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An Analysis On The Impact Of Corporate Communication On Brand Image: A Case Study Of Navigator Bra

ABSTRACT

The purpose of the research is to analyse the impact of corporate communication on brand image by taking Portucel Soporcel, UK as the case study. Corporate communication plays vital role in communicating the brand value of corporate entity to stakeholders and the internal and external communications involved in corporate communications plays active part in this process. Many studies have shown that unethical practices and unfavoured situations taking part in the firms eventually leads to the diminishing of brand image of the company due to the negative perception of stakeholders. Therefore the objective of the research is to critically investigate the corporate communication activities of Portucel Soporcel with relation to Navigator products and the impact made on its brand image in UK.


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In order to collect relevant information the author used focus group discussions with managers of Navigator, UK and for collecting quantitative data the author has conducted self administered survey with the staffs and  customers of Navigator, UK. The sample size taken in this research was 5 managers, 20 staffs and 60 customers. Moreover the author also used pie charts and bar charts for analysing and interpreting the collected data. From the data analysis it was found that the major activities carried out by Portucel Soporcel for enhancing corporate communications includes price contests, sponsorships in sports events, advertising and promotions. It was also found that the company has introduced edgeBOX for maintain employee relation and in short it was the effective corporate communication activities and social media interaction which enabled to Navigator to attain success in Europe, but as contrary the brand was not much dominated in UK. Moreover this research also provided recommendations for Portucel Soporcel, UK to improve corporate communications for developing brand image. 

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Introduction

Cornelissen (2011) states that corporate communication plays vital role in protecting the corporate identity of the business firms and holds active part in communicating brand value and reputation to customers, stakeholders and target audience. This chapter comprises of introduction to the chapter, background of the research, rationale followed by research aims, questions and objectives. Furthermore this chapter concludes with short summary which depicts the overall abstraction of the current chapter.  

1.2 Background of the research

 As per the view of Watson (2014) future of the firms in current year is critically based up on the way in which the firms are viewed by customers, shareholders, employees and other members in the community in which the firm operates. Corporate communication of business entity for managing communication adopts integrated approach and involves both internal and activities to maintain and establish favourable reputation with stakeholders (Cornelissen, Christensen and Kinuthia, 2012).  Internal communication in corporate communication refers to carrying out effective communication among the participants within the organization and it includes communication with internal public and employees whereas external communication refers to carrying out of communication outside of the organization such as media relations, B2B relations, brand image development and investor relations. Goodman and Hirsch (2010) refer brand image development as the important area among the external communications of corporate communications as it determines the survivability of firm in competitive environment. The nature of internal and external communication varies with respect to business structure and context. However Dolphin and Reed (2009) argues that conflict or any unethical practices taking place within the organization adversely affects the internal and external communications of corporate entity and it eventually leads to diminishing of brand image. 

1.3 Problem Statement

According to Elving (2011) it is highly essential for the firms to align with the ethics of business along with the enhancements of sales and revenues for protecting the interest of stakeholders. While considering the paper and pulp industry the possibilities of environmental issues are high when compared to other industries, and therefore here arises the possibility of violation of business ethics. In the view of Cornelissen, Christensen and Kinuthia (2012) firms failing to align with the ethics of the business negatively impact the brand image of the company and thus stakeholder relations.  Portucel Soporcel group is one among the top five fine non recovered paper producers in Europe. Being a largest producer of paper products, certain issues were reported against with the operations of company. Hence, it becomes highly necessary to carryout study based on the impact of corporate communication on brand image by taking Portucel Soporcel as the case study.

Portucel Soporcel is one among the largest Bleached Eucalyptus Kraft Pulp producer in Europe and the pulp produced is utilized by the company for the manufacturing of fine quality paper for printing and writing. Elving (2011) mentions that Portucel Soporcel  manages about 135 millions hectares of forestland and generates more than 1 billion of Euros year by year. Navigator is the premium brand of office paper which is produced by the company. As per the reports from Mills and Technology (2012) Navigator established its truly global presence through the sales of brand over 45 countries and has attained foremost position in office paper market. but certain issues with respect to environmental and quality issues effected the brand image, which holds prime concern of corporate communications of the company.

1.4 Rationale of the research

What is the research issue?

Cornelissen, Christensen and Kinuthia (2012) observe that many global brands such as McDonalds and Starbucks have faced problems related to disparity in branding and corporate communication. This convolutes the brand image of the company as customers are confused due to the disparity in messages. Parguel, Benoît-Moreau and Larceneux (2011) notes that brands that portray themselves as ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ often face this dilemma when the organization fails to meet its sustainability goals.  So in this study this issue in the context of Navigator paper brand of Portucel Soporcel, UK will be analysed.

Why is it an issue for Portucel Soporcel?

As a paper product manufacturer, Portucel Soporcel has to comply with strict sustainability standards, reports Baeva (2011). Due to these regulations Portucel Soporcel had to adopt forest development measures to attain sustainability standards (UNEP report, 2010). Navigator is the most successful brand of Portucel Soporcel. Navigator is marketed as an innovative and sustainable paper brand (Navigator, 2015). This shows that reducing disparity in branding and corporate communication is an important issue for Portucel Soporcel.

Why is it an issue for Portucel Soporcel now?

Portucel Soporcel recently started their forest development plans in Mozambique (Portucel Group, 2014). However, this plan was severely criticised as over 80%of their raw material were sourced from Portugal where they had only small forest development plans. This negatively influenced the brand image of Portucel Soporcel and Navigator brand, reports Lesprom (2014). This shows that the issue is relevant for Portucel Soporcel now.

What could this research shed light on?

Apart from analysing the impact of corporate communication on brand image, this research could also:

·         Review Corporate communication strategy of Portucel Soporcel

·         Asses the brand image of Navigator

·         Provide recommendations for improving corporate communication in Portucel Soporcel, UK

1.5 Aim of the research

The prime aim of the research is to analysis the impact of corporate communication on brand image by taking Navigator brand of Portucel Soporcel, UK as the case study.

1.6 Research objectives

·         To understand the importance of corporate communication and brand image for an organization

·         To recognize the elements in corporate communication activities of an organization  and how it impacts on the brand image of the firm

·         To critically investigate the corporate communication activities of Portucel Soporcel with relation to Navigator products and the impact made on its brand image in UK

·         To identify the issues faced by Navigator in UK and provide recommendations to Portucel Soporcel

1.7 Research questions

1.    What is the association between corporate communications and brand image of an entity?

2.    How does the internal and external communications involved in corporate communication impacts on brand image of Portucel Soporcel, UK?

3.    How can Portucel Soporcel can improve the corporate communications for enhancing brand image

1.8 Summary

This chapter starts with the introduction of the chapter followed by background of the research, problem statement and rationale. The rationale of the study is discussed in chapter stating the issues confronted against with the operations of Portucel Soporcel, UK, Furthermore the research aim, objectives and questions were also discussed in this chapter.

CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction

This chapter on literature review will cover the main aspects related to the variables under the study i.e corporate communication and brand image. This chapter will also discover the major elements of corporate communication in an organization and how these impact upon the brand image of a product and the manufacturing organization. Towards the end of the chapter, the author has developed the case study of the ‘Navigator’ paper brand produced by Portucel Soporcel and finally has framed the conceptual framework formed from the literature. The chapter ends with a conclusion wherein the major findings and knowledge from the literature has been mentioned.

2.2 Defining the variables

·         Corporate Communication

According to Cornelissen (2011) Corporate Communication (CC) can be defined as the total set of communication activities carried out by an organization to connect all the internal and external stakeholders. Similarly, Doorley and Garcia (2011) has mentioned that corporate communication can be a pair of actions involved in managing and orchestrating all inner and exterior communications at producing favourable perspective among stakeholders where the business depends, aimed.

·         Brand Image

Brand image is the current view of the buyers in regards to a brand, defines Baeva (2011). It may be defined as the internal thoughts of target buyers about the brand as a distinctive deal of groups. It indicates what the brand currently stands for. It is some morals kept about a brand that is unique (Fetscherin and Usunier, 2012).

2.3 Components of Corporate Communication

1. Professionals: There are lots of technical characteristics inside interaction in an organization’s wider ambit. Technical categories of professionals speak with central publics of the organization and take care of the relation between the organization and its investors. According to Cornelissen, Christensen and Kinuthia  (2012) professionals are in charge of the marketing communication activities of an organization and also with relation to government relations. When analyzing the paper and pulp industry, it is noteworthy to understand that organizations in this industry employ a group of qualified professionals to work for the attainment of organizational objectives together with implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics and the success of all these factors (Elving, 2011). 

2. Employee Communication: The next major elements that forms part of the corporate communication activities of an organization is the employee communication activities in the organization. It is this element that takes into account of the corporate conversation where the entire employee’s of the organization is responsible for working cordially with the Human Resource Management department and produce tactics that help the firm to keep its personnel informed, timely, says Gaweesh (2012). It is found that for employee communication, an individual will be appointed as the Controller of staff communications and writes newsletters as well as relates to the company's Intranet information. It is the duty of this controller to deal with staff communications and handle dissemination of corporation policies, events and measures (Dolphin and Reed, 2009).

3. Customer Relations: According to Gaweesh (2012) the most important part of corporate communication of an organization is in handling the customers and meeting their needs and demands properly. For this purpose the CC department of an organization employs a special department namely the ‘Customer Relationship Department’ which takes into account of all activities related to to-and-fro communication of organization and its customers.  The customer service executives in the department stands responsible for working in line with the sales and marketing division of the organization and in the development of the products and service. It is in this area that the organization arranges promotions and incentives to employees and customer service staffs so as to meet the market requirements and appropriate development of the products according to market demands (Hawabhay, Abratt and Peters, 2009). 

4. Public Relations: This department is responsible for making the pursuits of the public and a harmony between the company's ambitions. Positive connection such as a news release often declares the introduction of a new product/ changes in the existing product to the market. It is this element in the corporate communication of an organization that is responsible for Charity and Fund raising functionality (Gaweesh, 2012). This element holds importance because if the product procured by the customers turns out to be in default or not meeting the required demand, the PR group constantly arrives for the rescue and endeavors at restoring the lost image and equity of the product/ brand. Maintaining the trust and satisfaction of the customers is increasingly important for every organization in today’s competitive world and hence Public Relations also holds importance in the CC activities of a firm (Cornelissen, Christensen and Kinuthia , 2012).  

5. Media Relations: The communication division of a company nowadays tries to innovate the communication methods and takes revolutionary approaches where the company and its reputation in the Internet is managed. One of the major advantages of employing corporate communication in an organization is that the organization maintains a cordial relation with all media, including the internet and websites and hence negative publicity or digging up of issue in the internal and external business of the organization gets reduced to the maximum extent (Elving, 2011).  Active and potential clients are usually managed through Company websites by the administration department and this website gets regularly monitored by a crew of authorities. It is the duty of these crew members to handle the website, its pages' and performance. Communications and social media reputation are also monitored from the interactive communications executives. It is found that the media relations are responsible in maintaining a certain stability between an organization, its workers, other stakeholders and ultimately, the customers (Cornelissen, Christensen and Kinuthia , 2012).

2.4 Link between existing literature and present study

From the above discussion, it can be noted that the study of Hawabhay, Abratt and Peters (2009) was focussed on a topic that is highly relevant to the present research. However, their study focussed on the case of organizations in Mauritius. Mauritius being a renowned tax haven, the unethical business practises of organizations was the main issue their study focussed on. The present study focuses on paper industry where the main issue is the environmental sustainability practises of organization. So the present study is clearly linked to the study of Hawabhay, Abratt and Peters (2009) but at the same time contextualises the research on different issue.

2.5 Impact of Corporate Communication on Brand Image

Corporate communication is ultimately aimed at developing a positive reputation for the company in the marketplace (Gaweesh, 2012). So corporate communication which encompasses all forms of communication carried out by the organization with different stakeholders such as customers, employees, media, governmental agencies, general public, investors etc. needs to be closely managed so as to develop a good reputation for the company, observes Tomi? and Komen (2011). Hawabhay, Abratt and Peters (2009) agree with the above observation. Their study revealed that any discrepancies in corporate communication related to business ethics, environmental issues, investor relations would create bad reputation for the company in the eyes of the customers. Pérez and López (2014) further add that corporate reputation and corporate communication are interlinked. Doorley and Garcia (2011) agree with this.  This would in turn negatively influence brand image of the company as brand image interlinked with reputation of the firm.        

Toppinen et al. (2012) in their study of corporate communication in forest based industries identified that properly communicating the corporate social responsibility (CSR) measures taken by the organization and adhering to global sustainability standards was the most important corporate communication issue faced by these organizations. Toppinen et al. (2012) also notes that positive CSR boosted the brand image of the company while negative CSR or failure to tackle a environmental sustainability issue was catastrophic to the brand image of the company.

Sharma and Kamalanabhan (2012) points out that internal corporate communication with the employees of firm had direct impact on internal branding of the firm. They also mention that improper corporate communication with employees of the organization might result in rifts in employee morale and outlook towards the company.

Another aspect of corporate communication is the relationship of the company with customers. As per Zahay, Schultz and Kumar (2015), delivering assured product quality is the main customer expectation especially in B2B markets. So failure to deliver quality as assured in the marketing communication negatively impacts brand image and thereby also leads to customer attrition. This shows that credibility is an important factor in brand image. Abratt and Kleyn (2012) also provide similar views on the importance of credibility in brand image of a company.  Abratt and Kleyn (2012) also noted that apart from meeting the quality expectations of customers organizations also need to meet the customer demand for the product at any cost. Corporate communications have a crucial role in mitigating with customers in instances of supply-demand disparity in an organization, observes Gyrd-Jones, Merrilees and Miller (2013). This reveals that corporate communication has a significant role in managing the credibility and reputation of the brand.

Zahay, Schultz and Kumar (2015) observe that organizations are able to push favourable reports regarding the company in media and press through corporate communication. So this really helps in creating a positive attitude towards the brand in the minds of the customers. So it reveals that marketing communication positively influences brand image by promoting favourable news items, reports and stories regarding the company and brand in the media. 

From the above discussion of the impact of corporate communication on brand image, it can be understood that corporate communication can impact brand image in many ways. It was also understood that corporate communication can positively or negatively influence the credibility and reputation of the firm and thereby influence the brand image. 

2.6 Case Study of Navigator Brand

The ‘Navigator’ is the world’s most premium brand of office papers and is produced by the Portugal Company-Portucel Soporcel.  In the year 1992, the Navigator brand was launched with standard quality and later in 1995 the brand got repositioned as the world’s premium paper brand, majorly due to the fact that the papers were produced from Eucalyptus. In 2003, further improvements were made to the quality and durability of the product and with improved looks and packaging. Navigator kids got launched in 2005 and product lines like hybrid papers and premium notebooks were launched by 2010. In the year 2001, the brand reframed its identity and product range as part of its corporate business (Portucel Soporcel, 2015).

Analysis of the corporate communication of the organization i.e. Portucel Soporcel, it can be found that the company has efficiently managed its internal communication system by implementation of ‘edgeBOX’ all over Europe (Mills and Technology, 2012). Apart from this, the European continent is the largest market of the brand and the organization connects all in-house sales offices in Europe and other continents are linked with each other and together with the clients to ensure that the needs and demands regarding Navigator papers are met. A high level of integration could be found between the front-offices and back-offices of the organization and this has guaranteed the flexibility of the management and business needs of the brand and the group. According to the Parguel, Benoît-Moreau, and Larceneux (2011) the basic perspective of the organization is to conduct business with sustainability and the organization has been able to carry out corporate communication with trust, credibility, and cooperation with its stakeholders which had simultaneously helped it to bring up Navigator as the world’s premium paper brand.

It has been observed by Roper and Fill (2012) that Portucel Soporcel regularly communicates with its shareholders providing the most accurate information and complying corporate governance and with the clients of Navigator, it has been able to emphasis on proximity and build acquaintance always. The group says that meeting the environmental and public health has always been its prime motive which has enabled Navigator to procure premium place in the minds of the customers and public. Dynamic leadership with freedom to participation and association has been permitted to the employees in the organization and the group undertakes social, educational and environmental projects in the areas of its operations to ensure development of various communities and nations. All these activities have thus made the organization to attain a reputable position among the society and hence gain improved brand image for Navigator papers (Navigator, 2015).

The major corporate communication activities of Portucel Soporcel with relation to its ‘Navigator’ brand are mentioned below:

·         Advertising

Portucel Soporcel regularly advertises about the innovations and changes made within its Navigator papers by mode of advertisements. For instance, during 2008, it was found that the organization promoted the products in the major airports of the European Continent, particularly in Vienna and UK. In the same year, Navigator was advertised in 250 cabs located in Zurich, Basel and Geneva. It was also promoted by mode of advertisements on another 500 cabs in Vienna. Pursuing that, advertising campaigns of the brand in 2010 and 2011 took place on the cabs in UK and Frankfurt during ‘PaperWorld’, an international fair for papers, office materials and stationery (Portucel Group, 2014).

·         Events

Another major corporate communication method adopted by Navigator to maintain close relations with its key decision makers and customers is participation in major events. For example, the brand participates in sponsorships of sports events (UEFA Euro 2004 Portugal) and Open door functions for channel partners and customers of Portucel mills. Another number event where Navigator is introduced professionally is in the fairs, exhibitions and displays for example PaperWorld OfficeWorld, Drupa and Big Buyer and these are held regularly in all parts of Europe, particularly in UK (UNEP report, 2010).

·        Pos- Material

Another major technique employed by the Corporate Communication department of the organization in UK is in Pos-Materials which is related to presenting the Navigator products on shelves and displays of major retail and other stores in UK, presentation of the items using Reams displays, Box pallets and the Navigator dispenser. It is the Navigator dispenser that allows the customers and public to ‘Touch and Feel’ the product to understand its uniqueness (Navigator, 2015).

·        Media Relations

Portucel Soporcel is one among the world’s top most company that also promotes its ‘Navigator’ brand through its website www.navigatorpaper.com and through social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter etc and via YouTube and major blogs. The organization has a data base of more than 250,000 customers particularly interested in Navigator products and hence regularly updates them with all information related to the products (Portucel Soporcel, 2015).

·         Navigator Global Promotions

This is one among the major corporate communication techniques adopted by the organization to develop the brand image of Navigator. For example in 2009, Navigator launched ‘the Navigator and You Promotion’ which arranged prizes for the person who took the most creative photos and videos that involved Navigator products, finds Lesprom (2014). Weekly prizes of the competition were Apple iPhones. Another global promotion done by the brand was during 2010 May-November where the customers had to purchase Navigator’s Ream paper and visit the website with personal details and the promotional code printed in Navigator ream. The winners were offered with 500 Toshiba netbooks. Again in 2011, Navigator similarly arranged prize games which gave out 333 Apple iPad 2 and these global promotions of the brand still stands out to the biggest success in the history of paper and pulp business world, states Zahay, Schultz and Kumar (2015).

But the major success behind the brand image of the organization lies in the quality of the Navigator paper products. It has been reported by Mills and Technology (2012) that the runnability offered by Portucel Soporcel with its Navigator products are unmatched with any other brand and the paper brand comes with excellent print and photocopy quality with all types of laser and ink-jet printers. The brand allows its users to use intensive colours and this brand is highest with its quality consistency and guarantees multi-functionality i.e. it can be used for office equipments, personal uses, kids, other office applications etc. The Navigator gives smoothness, whiteness, opacity and thickness and delivers the customer with emotional values of empowerment, confidence and motivation (Navigator, 2015).

Apart from the above, the major factor that differentiates Navigator with other paper brand in UK is that the entire ranges of Navigator products are eco-friendly and the brand is famous for waste reduction. As part of the corporate communication program, the organization promotes its customers to plant a tree for every Navigator product purchased and many customers are found to purchase the brand due to participation in waste reduction and environmental development. Above all, the brand guarantees 99.99% jam-free which is not offered by any other paper brand and its performance is approved by the Buyers Laboratory Inc (BLI), observes Zahay, Schultz and Kumar (2015). Thus these unique combinations of quality, runnability, multi-functionality and opacity together with effective corporate communication strategies have made the brand to attain the position of world’s leading paper brand.

2.7 Conceptual Framework

The above conceptual framework has been derived by the author after analysis of the study. The above conceptual framework has tried to explain that the major internal elements i.e. the employees and professionals in the organization and the external elements such as strategic customers, general public and media relations constitutes the corporate communication activities in an organization and a cordial link between these elements enhances the internal and external relations of the organization. With the implementation of proper promotional activities, with these elements directs to enhance perception about the brand among the public and other stakeholders leading to improved brand image. The same has been found buy the author with respect to Navigator products of Portucel Soporcel.

2.8 Conclusion

This chapter has provided the definition to the key variables under the study and also has analyzed the link between the two. The researcher has identified the link between existing literature and current work in this chapter and has also explained the case study of Navigator with respect to the research topic. Finally, the conceptual framework derived from the study has also been mentioned at the end of the chapter.

CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction

In view of Miller (2011) research methodology is the systematic process which is carried out to find out the possible solutions for a particular research problem. This chapter explains various methods and procedures employed in the research study. Moreover justifications for the adopted methods were also included in this section.

As per Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2011), Saunders Onion model was the suitable one applied in the present research study, consists of various stages for the development of accurate and reliable interpretations of the research problem

Figure 3.1: Saunders Onion Model

Source: Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2011)

3.2 Research philosophy

The research philosophy is the basic research process in research methodology and carried out the acquisition of background knowledge about the research topic, reports Collins (2010). According to Wilson (2010) the background knowledge were gathered through three philosophies and these are positivism, interpretivism and realism.

3.2.1 Positivism

Positivism includes the method of natural science through which the social world was analysed (Collins, 2010).  It was achieved through the direct observation without the participants’ involvement. This philosophy required large samples for the analysis.

3.2.2 Interpretivism

In view of Wilson (2010) interpretivism philosophy was opposite to the positivism philosophy and involved the social science methods by which the characteristics and attitudes of the participants were absorbed.

3.2.3 Realism

Realism deals with real life situations and carried out in more practical way, opines Pasian (2015). Direct realism and critical realism are the two kinds of approaches in realism.

Justification:

For the better understanding of characteristics and views of research participants, the researcher adopted interpretivism philosophy. This philosophy has been enabled the researcher to analyse the realities through the researcher integration. As per Wilson (2010), interpretivism philosophy needed small sample size for the development of knowledge about the relationship between the variables involved in the study. Hence through interpretivism philosophy the author was able to collect the knowledge regarding the influence of corporate communication on the brand image of Navigator, UK.

3.3 Research approach 

In view of Tight (2012) the research objectives and goals were achieved through the suitable research approach.Deductive approach and inductive approach are the two types of research approaches classify Gratton and ‎ Jones (2010).

3.3.1 Deductive approach

The deductive approach initialized with analysis of research questions with the help of existing theories, opines McNabb (2013). Further the formulated observations were tested against the applied theories. This research approach was more suitable for quantitative analysis.

3.3.2 Inductive approach

In view of Gratton and ‎ Jones (2010) formation new theories from the observations were carried out in inductive approach. The qualitative research was mainly executed through inductive approach. 

Justifications:

In this present research process the author has been adopted inductive approach. As per Wilson (2010), the inductive approach was the most suitable on e with the interpretivism philosophy. This approach enabled the researcher for the analysis of research problem through qualitative research. Also by adopting inductive approach the researcher was able to develop new innovative ideas regarding the influence of brand image of Navigator, UK on its corporate communication strategies. Moreover this approach helped to explore on various corporate communication strategies of Navigator, UK.

3.4 Research purpose

The acquisition of background knowledge in connection with the research problem was employed in research purpose, reports McNabb (2013). According to Salkind (2010) exploratory, descriptive and explanatory are the three types of research purposes.

3.4.1Exploratory Research

When the knowledge about the research topic was very few, then the exploratory research was the appropriate one, opine Gratton and ‎ Jones (2010). The information about the new research topic was collected through exploratory research.

3.4.2 Descriptive Research

According to Gray (2013) the characteristics of people, an event or a phenomenon were described through descriptive research.  It was mainly focused on the qualitative research.

3.4.3 Explanatory Research

The causal relationship between the variables involved in the research study was explained through explanatory research, mentions Walliman (2010). The elimination of the invalid inferences was the prime focus in the explanatory research

 Justifications:

For the better analysis of the corporate communication strategies of Navigator, UK the exploratory research has been selected. The availability of details about the Navigator’s corporate communication strategies and influence on the brand image was very little known. Hence as per Gray (2013) the researcher selected exploratory research for the knowledge development of this present research problem. Moreover it has been supported for achieving the objectives and goals.

3.5 Research strategy

As per Wilson (2010) the efficiency and effectiveness of a research depended up on the selection of suitable research strategy. Experimental, survey, case studies, grounded theory, action research and ethnography are the different kinds of research strategies classifies Bell (2014).

3.5.1 Experimental

The cause and effect relationship between the variables involved in the research study were done in experimental strategy. Also in this strategy the researcher has the complete control over the variables included in the research study (Nestor and Schutt, 2014).

3.5.2 Survey

The survey employed questioning strategy for the collection of details from the selected individuals from the population (Thyer, 2009). The questions were prepared on the basis of variables included in the research study.

Survey interview and the survey questionnaire are the two kinds of survey strategies. The verbal survey included in survey interview and the survey questionnaires were in written format.

3.5.3 Case study

The in-depth analysis of a particular event or an organization was carried out in case study, reports Bell (2014). This strategy involved in qualitative research analysis, moreover mainly implemented with a real life background.

3.5.4 Grounded theory

In grounded theory new theories were developed based on the empirical data (Birks and Mills, 2015). The participants concerns were also analysed in this strategy. It was done through the qualitative analysis.

3.5.5 Ethnography

The characteristics of people and their culture were analysed in ethnography, opines Bell (2014). This strategy took a long time period to complete the research process, as it was held in the natural settings.

3.5.6 Action research

The possible findings of the research problem were formulated through various experiments in the action research, reports Tight (2012). The researcher was integrated in this research strategy.

Justifications:

For the collection of relevant information from the research participants the researcher adopted survey strategy. The researcher utilized both survey interview and survey questionnaire methods with questioning strategy. The survey interview was executed through verbal questions. For this the author collected in depth knowledge about the corporate communication strategies of Navigator, UK. Based on the collected information the questions were prepared and through the direct interactions the responses were collected. For the execution of survey questionnaire, the questions were printed in paper, both objective and descriptive type, and distributed among the research participants. Consecutively the details were gathered from them. As the effective and efficient strategy, the author selected survey method for the collection of relevant information from the large population.

3.6. Data collection methods

The accuracy of data has a significant role in the formulation of valuable interpretations of the research topic. Moreover the selection of data collection method was important in the research process. Wiid and Diggines (2010) classify data collection methods in to primary data collection and secondary data collection methods.

3.6.1 Primary data collection methods

The preliminary data which was developed by the research for a specific research topic, referred as the primary data (Thyer, 2009). It was collected through various tools and these are observations, qualitative and quantitative methods.

Observation

Through observation method the characteristics of people or events were absorbed, reports Tight (2012). The participatory or the non participatory are the methods involved in the observation.

Qualitative method

The collection of direct responses from the participants by asking a series of questions was carried out in the qualitative method. Individual in-depth interview and the focus group discussions are the various methods in qualitative method.

But secondary data is the already developed data available through various sources.  The tools for the collection of primary data are observation, qualitative and quantitative methods and the secondary data were collected through the internal and external sources.

Justifications:

The researcher utilized both primary and secondary data collection methods for the development of generalized ideas about the corporate communication strategies of Navigator, UK. The primary data were collected through qualitative and the quantitative method. In qualitative method the author used focus group discussions with managers of Navigator, UK and by conducting self administered survey method the quantitative data were collected from the staffs and customers of Navigator, UK respectively. Moreover the author collected secondary data through firm’s annual report, books, websites, etc.

3.7 Sample selection

The collection of information from the large population was a tedious work and the researcher selected few of the elements from the population depending up on the time and cost involved in the research study (Miller, 2011).

3.7.1 Population

In view of Collins (2010) a population is the large amount of elements or individuals involved in the research study. The individuals in a particular population have some common characteristics in general.

3.7.2 Sample size

The elements in the sample are drawn from the population and the number of elements in the population is referred as the sample size (Babbie, 2015). The samples are of appropriate size for the formulation of accurate conclusions which represents the population as a whole.

Justifications:

The researcher selected a sample size of 5 managers, 20 staffs and 60 customers for the sampling analysis. The research study was constrained to a particular area and the sample size of 5 managers, 20 staffs and 100 customers were great enough to formulate the findings of the research study.

3.8 Sampling techniques

The sampling technique was executed only when the population consists of a large number of individuals, reports Gray (2013). Probability sampling and non probability sampling are the two sorts of sampling techniques.

3.8.1 Probability sampling

In view of Babbie (2015) the random selection of elements from the population was happened in probability sampling and each element has an equal chance to be selected for the research purpose.

The probability sampling is categorized in to simple random sampling, systematic sampling, stratified random sampling and cluster sampling.

3.8.2 Non-probability sampling

According to Sahu (2013) the non probability sampling was suitable for unknown population and the elements from the population are drawn by the author’s assessment. Each element in the sample does not have equal chances to be selected for the research process.

Snow ball, judgmental and quota sampling are the different types of non probability sampling techniques.

Justifications:

The researcher employed stratified sampling methods for the analysis of the research participants. In stratified sampling technique the participants were selected randomly and categorized in to various groups to perform sampling analysis, reports Babbie (2015). Through stratified sampling method the researcher collected unbiased information from 5 managers, 20 staffs and 60 customers of Navigator, UK.

3.9. Data analysis plan

According to Maltby et. al. (2014) after the collection of relevant data the researcher has been planned for the analysis of collected data with proper tools and procedures. The researcher collected the qualitative and quantitative data through primary and secondary data collection methods. The qualitative data were assessed by manually and the quantitative data were analysed with the support of pie-charts and graphs.

3.10. Accessibility issues

Accessibility to the research field is a critical factor for the successful completion of the research study. Also every researcher has to plan accessibility to the particular research field before the onset of a particular research process report Maltby et. al.(2014). In this research also the author faced difficulties in accessing participants from the Navigator, UK.

3.11. Ethical issues

Every researcher has to follow the ethical parameters during the research field study opines Wilson (2010). Mainly the researcher collected the prior consent from the concerned authority before interacting with the research participants. Moreover the researcher was more conscious to hold the privacy and confidentiality of data as well as the identity of the research participants.  

3.12. Research limitations

The stipulated time period, the budgeted cost and the limited knowledge about the research topic are the main limitations for the research study opines Tight (2012).  Here the researcher faced more limitations during the collection of primary data. Moreover the researcher has paid money to access the background knowledge about the topic.

3.13 Summary

The appropriate answers for the research questions were formulated through various stages of research methodology reports Bryman (2012). The research philosophy, research approaches and methods applied in the present study were explained in this chapter. The researcher collected qualitative and quantitative data through focus group discussions with managers and self administered survey with staffs and customers of Navigator, UK respectively. The researcher selected a sample size of 5 managers, 20 staffs and 60 customers for the execution of stratified random sampling method. Through these sampling techniques the author formulated the valuable and reliable interpretations of research participants about the influence of corporate communication strategies of Navigator on brand image. Along with these methods and procedures the data analysis plan, accessibility and ethical issues were included in this chapter.

CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

4.1 Introduction

In this chapter the researcher has carried out the presentation, analysis and interpretation of the collected data for the study. The data was collected using focus group interview of managers and survey of staffs and customers.  

4.2 Qualitative Analysis -Interview with Managers

5 managers were interviewed by the researcher for this study using focus group method. The questionnaire along with summary of responses of managers is given below.

1.    What methods have Portucel Soporcel employed to ensure effective corporate communication with all stakeholders of the company?

Focus Group:

“Communication with stakeholders is achieved through advertisements, events such as open door events, fairs and exhibitions, sponsorships, pos materials etc. Advertisements are mainly used for managing the brand image of our products. We advertise our innovations in Navigator paper brand. Open door events are used to communicate with channel partners and other important stakeholders of the company. We also use promotional campaigns to promote our Navigator brand. For example, we used Navigator and You campaign to engage with customers on a personal level.”

2.    How effective is Corporate Communication (CC) with the ‘Navigator’ brand of your company?

Focus Group:

“We believe that our company has one of the most effective Corporate Communication in the industry. We have recently implemented ‘edgeBOX’ to manage the internal communication between different departments within the company. The company also has appointed Controller of staff communications to manage internal communications in the company. We have also employed a professional team to manage marketing communication, investor relations etc. Customer relations of the brand are managed by Customer Relationship department which is responsible for managing the social media interactions of the company. There is also a special division in the company for managing public and media relations. This division manages the sponsorships and charity and fund raising activities of the brand. So in short, our corporate communication is of the highest quality and has played a vital role in developing a positive brand image for Navigator.”

3.    Has CC of your company been able to enhance the image of the ‘Navigator’ brand among its stakeholders?

Focus Group:

“Corporate communication has definitely helped in our brand building efforts. Corporate communication has enabled the company in aligning the diverse communications functions such as public relations, media relations, customer relations, internal communication and marketing communication with the common goal of developing the brand image of Navigator. So all our communications are in line with our brand values which encompass eco-friendliness, charitable activities, waste reduction programs etc.   and thereby expose all our stakeholders to these values and identity. So eventually, they will associate Navigator with these values. So corporate communication has clearly helped us in enhancing the brand image of Navigator.”

4.    Can you please mention how important is media in implementation of effective CC in your company?

Focus Group:

“Managing Media relations is the main goal of corporate communication in our company. Media is the main source information in today’s world and has an important role in developing public opinion. Through corporate communication we are able to push out positive stories and reports about our brands through different media platforms and thereby develop a positive image for the company among public. Media relation also helps in tackling negative publicity in the media which might damage our brand image. So media is very important for providing stability to corporate communication.”

5.    Generally, effective CC is a tough notion for manufacturing companies. What issues were or are being faced by the company with respect to ‘Navigator’? Has this in any manner affected the brand’s image?

Focus group:

“As a paper manufacturer we have definitely faced issues related to environmental sustainability. We source more than 80% of our products from Eucalyptus trees which has caused some problems related to deforestation. This had threatened to malign our brand image. However, we have recently started reforestation and land restoration programs in Portugal and Mozambique to overcome this issue. We also implemented programs to reduce wastage and improve eco-friendliness of the brand. We were able to improve our brand image after introducing these programs. However, we still need to improve our brand image in UK as we trailing our main competitor Xerox in UK market.”

4.3 Qualitative Analysis - Survey Interview with Staffs

20 staffs were surveyed by the researcher for this study. The questionnaire along with summary of responses of staffs is given below.

1.    Are you provided with timely and necessary training and development activities by the organization with respect to manufacturing and marketing Navigator products?

Pie Chart 1: Training and development opportunities of staffs

Source: Created by author

From the responses of staffs it can be noted that majority of staffs (65%) replied that the company provided timely and necessary training and development activities with respect to manufacturing and marketing Navigator products. About 25% of staffs responded that the training and development was good only to certain extent while 5% staffs considered it not good. The question was not applicable to 10% of staffs.

2.    Which among the following option could be most appropriate for the CC relation between top management, manufacturing mills, in-house offices, HRM, finance, marketing etc in your organization?

Pie Chart 2: Most appropriate description for the CC relation in Portucel

Source: Created by author

As given in the above chart, 55% of staffs considered the CC relation between top management, manufacturing mills, in-house offices, HRM, finance, marketing etc. to be interdependent. 20% of staffs mentioned that the CC relation between top management, manufacturing mills, in-house offices, HRM, finance, marketing etc was participative while 10% of staffs considered it partially dependant. 10% mentioned that there was no link while 5% of staffs were not aware of any connection.

3.    Which among the following activities are employed as part of CC in your organization?

Pie chart 3: Most appropriate description for the CC relation in Portucel

Source: Created by author

As given in the above chart, dealing with media enquiries reactive and proactive media liaison was the main function of CC in Portucel. 20% of staffs noted that informing the public was the main function. 10% of staffs each selected provocative marketing campaigns, public relations and brand promotion as the main function of CC. 5% of staffs each selected responsibility for corporate communications strategies and media policies and intra and internet development and management, e-communication as the main function of CC in Portucel.

4.    Please rate following according to level of agreement with relation to Corporate Communication activities in your organization.  

 

Statements

Strongly agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

1

I receive daily and timely information from the superiors

70%

20%

5%

5%

2

I have the freedom to contribute my ideas to the top management of the organization dealing with Navigator’s production

65%

15%

10%

10%

3

Introduction of edgeBOX has reduced the issues in internal communication activities of the organization

75%

15%

5%

5%

4

Every worker shares the most important and critical information required for the success of Navigator papers

60%

20%

15%

5%

5

All meetings conducted by the management are informative and highly beneficial in the production of Navigator papers

50%

25%

15%

10%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table: 1 Rating the agreement of employees

Source: Created by author

Bar Chart 1: Rating the agreement of employees

Source: Created by author

As shown in the above chart, 70% of staffs strongly agreed with the statement ‘I receive daily and timely information from the superiors’. 

As shown in the above chart, 65% of staffs strongly agreed with the statement ‘I have the freedom to contribute my ideas to the top management of the organization dealing with Navigator’s production’.

As shown in the above chart, 75% of staffs strongly agreed with the statement ‘Introduction of edgeBOX has reduced the issues in internal communication activities of the organization’.

As shown in the above chart, 60% of staffs strongly agreed with the statement ‘Every worker shares the most important and critical information required for the success of Navigator papers’.

As shown in the above chart, 50% of staffs strongly agreed with the statement ‘All meetings conducted by the management are informative and highly beneficial in the production of Navigator papers’.

5.    Do you think that the brand image of Navigator is due to the consistency of the organization to plan and communicate all requirements to its staffs?

Pie Chart 4: Impact of CC on brand image

Source: Created by author

About 75% of staffs reported that brand image of Navigator is due to the consistency of the organization to plan and communicate all requirements to its staffs while 15% of staffs this was responsible to an extent. 5% of staffs each not sure of this or considered it not at all responsible.

4.4 Quantitative Analysis- Survey with customers of Navigator

60 customers were surveyed by the researcher for this study. The questionnaire along with summary of responses of customers is given below.

1.    Gender

Pie Chart 5: Gender of customers

Source: Created by author

Out of the customers who attended the survey, 60% were males while remaining 40 were females.

2.    For what purpose do you use the Navigator products

Pie Chart 6: Purpose of using Navigator

Source: Created by author

50% of customers used Navigator products for office use while 30% 0f customers used it for personal purposes. Remaining 20% bought Navigator products for their children.

3.    How do you get to know about the timely updates of Navigator?

Pie Chart 7: Source  of information regarding Navigator

Source: Created by author

Majority of customers (35%) got information regarding Navigator from advertisements while 20% of customers received information from exhibitions and events 10% of customers got information from social networks, POS and sports events.  5% of customers each gained information from retail stores and contests.

4.    What makes you to choose Navigator than any other paper/ stationary product?

Pie Chart 8: Reason for using Navigator

Source: Created by author

The superior quality of Navigator paper was the main reason for selecting the brand for majority of customers (50%). Eco-friendliness and eco-efficiency was the second major reason for choosing the product (30%). 15% of customers selected the product due to its compatibility with printers.

5.    If you a loyal customer of Navigator, please rate the following:

[NB: 1- Strongly agree, 2- Agree, 3- Disgaree, 4- Strongly disagree]

 

Statements

1

2

3

4

1

I can use Navigator papers in any printer/ copying machines

70%

20%

5%

5%

2

Navigator products are jam free

60%

25%

10%

5%

3

I can use any range of vivid colors while printing and copying

50%

40%

5%

5%

4

Navigator provide me with the best value-for-money than any other paper brand available in UK

75%

15%

5%

5%

5

The contests and prizes offered by the brand motivates me to buy the product

50%

20%

25%

5%

6

I come to know about every minute details and changes made by Portucel Soporcel with its Navigator products

60%

30%

5%

5%

7

No other paper brand in UK offers the whiteness, smoothness and multi-functionality as offered by Navigator

65%

20%

5%

10%

Table 2:Rating the loyalty of customers

Source: created by author

Bar chart 2:Rating the loyalty of customers

Source: created by author

As shown in the above chart, 70% of customers strongly agreed with the statement ‘I can use Navigator papers in any printer/ copying machines’. 

As shown in the above chart, 60% of customers strongly agreed with the statement ‘Navigator products are jam free’.

As shown in the above chart, 50% of customers strongly agreed with the statement ‘I can use any range of vivid colors while printing and copying’.

As shown in the above chart, 75% of customers strongly agreed with the statement ‘Navigator provide me with the best value-for-money than any other paper brand available in UK’.

As shown in the above chart, 50% of customers strongly agreed with the statement ‘The contests and prizes offered by the brand motivate me to buy the product’.

As shown in the above chart, 60% of customers strongly agreed with the statement ‘I come to know about every minute details and changes made by Portucel Soporcel with its Navigator products’.

As shown in the above chart, 65% of customers strongly agreed with the statement ‘No other paper brand in UK offers the whiteness, smoothness and multi-functionality as offered by Navigator’.

6.    Will you continue to prefer Navigator than any other paper brand?

Pie Chart 9: Preference for using Navigator

Source: Created by author

80% of customers mentioned in the survey that they will continue to prefer Navigator than any other paper brand while 15% said that they would sometimes continue to prefer Navigator than any other paper brand. 5% of customers replied that they would not continue to prefer Navigator than any other paper brand.

7.    Will you suggest the brand to others?

Pie Chart 10: Chance for recommendation

Source: Created by author

65% of customers mentioned in the survey that they will recommend Navigator to others while 30% said that they will sometimes recommend Navigator to others. 5% of customers replied that they would not recommend Navigator to others.

8.    Do you plant a tree for purchase of every Navigator product?

Pie Chart 11: Plant a tree for purchase of every Navigator product

Source: Created by author

75% of customers mentioned in the survey that they plant a tree for purchase of every Navigator product while 25% of customers replied that they do not plant a tree for purchase of every Navigator product.

4.5 Cross reference with theories

·         The researcher understood from the interview analysis that the company has appointed a Controller of staff communication to manage internal communications in the company. The same statement was opined by Dolphin and Reed (2009) that for employee communication, an individual will be appointed as the Controller of staff communications and writes newsletters as well as relates to the company's Intranet information. Hence it can be inferred that both the statements occur similar to each other.

·         In the literature review according to Cornelissen, Christensen and Kinuthia (2012) professionals are in charge of the marketing communication activities of an organization and also with relation to government relations. The same statement was opined by the managers in the interview analysis as they stated that employed a professional team to manage marketing communication. So it can be noticed that both statements concurrent each other.

·         From the literature it was found by (Elving, 2011) that one of the major advantages of employing corporate communication in an organization is that the organization maintains a cordial relation with all media, including the internet and websites and hence negative publicity or digging up of issue in the internal and external business of the organization gets reduced to the maximum extent The same opinion was stead by the managers in the interview analysis that media plays an important role in developing the positive public image and also helps to tackle the negative publicity that destroys the brand image. So it can be found that the both statements integrate each other.

·         In the literature review it was observed by Zahay, Schultz and Kumar (2015) that  the Navigator brand guarantees 99.99% jam-free which is not offered by any other paper brand and its performance is approved by the Buyers Laboratory Inc (BLI). The same was opined by majority of the customers in the survey analysis that Navigator products are Jam free. Hence both statements go inline with each other.

·         The researcher understood from the interview analysis that corporate communication has enabled the company in aligning the diverse communications functions such as public relations, media relations, customer relations, internal communication and marketing communication with the common goal of developing the brand image of Navigator.The same was opined by Tomi? and Komen (2011) that  corporate communication which encompasses all forms of communication carried out by the organization with different stakeholders such as customers, employees, media, governmental agencies, general public, investors etc. needs to be closely managed so as to develop a good reputation for the company. Hence it can be noticed that both statements go in line with each other.

·         In the literature review UNEP (2010) report reported that the brand participates in sponsorships of sports events and Open door functions for channel partners and customers of Portucel mills. The same statement was opined by the managers in the interview analysis and it can be seen that there occurs a similarity between the statements.

·         From the survey analysis it was found that majority of the customers opined that they plant a tree for purchase of every Navigator product. The same was stated by Zahay, Schultz and Kumar (2015) in the literature review that the organization promotes its customers to plant a tree for every Navigator product purchased. Hence both statements occur similarly.

·         In the literature review it was reported by Mills and Technology (2012) that the run ability offered by Portucel Soporcel with its Navigator products are unmatched with any other brand and the paper brand comes with excellent print and photocopy quality with all types of laser and ink-jet printers. The same statement was opined by majority of the customers in the survey analysis that they will continue to prefer Navigator than any other paper brand. Hence there occurs similarity between both the statements.

4.6 Identification of Gaps

It was mentioned in the literature review that Portucel promoted ‘Navigator’ brand through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. and blogs. It was also mentioned that the company used to provide product information among customers (Portucel Soporcel, 2015). However, in the survey only 10% of customers mentioned that they received information about ‘Navigator’ brand from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. and blogs. This reveals that there is a gap between the existing literature and the findings of the present study.

Lesprom (2014) mentions in the literature review that as a part of global promotion of Navigator events and prizes were effectively utilised by the company to promote its products. But in the survey it was found that only 50% of customers were attracted towards the brand through events and prizes. This again reveals that there is a gap between the existing literature and the findings of the present study. It can also be understood from this that Navigator needs to improve the usage of events and prizes to improve its effectiveness. The managers of Portucel also mentioned about the effectiveness of these events in the focus group interview. This further shows that there is a gap between the views of managers and customers of Portucel. From this it can be understood that the management of Portucel needs to improve in this respect. 

Mills and Technology (2012) mentions in the literature review that runnability offered by Portucel Soporcel with its Navigator products with all types of laser and ink-jet printers was one of the main reason for selecting Navigator brand. Conversely, in the survey it was found that quality of the paper was the main reason for choosing the product while only 15% of customers selected Navigator due to its runnablity with printers and photocopiers. This reveals that runnability of the paper was not a major concern for customers while choosing a product brand. This also shows that quality of the paper is most important criterion while selecting a paper brand. 

4.7 Conclusion

This chapter of the dissertation dealt with the presentation, analysis and interpretation of data collected for the present study. The data collected from focus group interview of managers of Portucel and survey of staffs and customers of Portucel was analysed in this chapter.  The researcher employed descriptive data analysis method in the study. The quantitative data was presented using tables and charts. The researcher also carried out the discussion findings of data analysis with reference to literature review. This was carried out in order to assess the implications of the research findings. The researcher has also reviewed the gaps in the research findings in relation to literature review. 

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1 Introduction

This chapter of the dissertation will illustrate the conclusion derived from the study by analyzing how far the study has met the objectives framed. Moreover, through this chapter, the researcher has provided recommendation to Portucel Soporcel to improve the corporate communication activities of Navigator and there by improve its brand image. This chapter has also dealt with analyzing the major limitations faced during study. Based on these limitations, the researcher has provided recommendation to future researchers at the end of the chapter. 

5.2 Conclusions from the study

This section discusses about the major conclusions from the study on behalf of the objectives framed.

Objective 1: To understand the importance of corporate communication and brand image for an organization

The main objective of the study was to understand about how important is corporate communication in developing the brand image of an organization.  It was found by the researcher through the interview with managers that the success of Navigator brand was due to its corporate communication strategies like employee and public relations, advertisements, events and sponsorship, exhibitions, sponsorships, displays etc. It was fund from the survey with staffs that proper employment of communication activities to-and-from between the higher and lower management of the organization and also with Portucel mills ensured the staffs to get updated withal major requirements of Navigator brand. It was due to the cordial employee relations in Portucel Soporcel that the entire crew of Navigator could work together to achieve the organizational goals and objectives. The survey with the customers also mentioned that the company information about Navigator product was up-to-date and timely and this enhanced their image about the brand. The primary data also pointed out to the fact that meeting up of corporate social responsibility, ethics and environmental protection by Navigator was the major reason for the improved brand image of the products. Moreover the literature retrieved from Parguel, Benoît-Moreau, and Larceneux (2011), Roper and Fill (2012) and Mills and Technology (2012) also showed that only efficient corporate communication activities of an organization could effectively link the organization with the internal and external factors in the environment and there by direct to improved brand image. Hence, this research has met the first objective of the study.

Objective 2: To recognize the elements in corporate communication activities of an organization and how it impacts on the brand image of the firm

To meet this objective, the researcher first collected secondary data and found from the studies of Cornelissen, Christensen and Kinuthia  (2012), Gaweesh (2012), Elving (2011) etc that there were internal and external elements in corporate communication of an organization and the major elements were employee relations, public relations, media relations, group of professionals in an organization and above all, customer relations and support. To confirm the reliability of the secondary data obtained, the author asked related questions to the samples of the study and found that the secondary data holds good. The samples of the study, i.e. the managers and staffs and customers of Navigator unanimously opined that the success of the brand was due to effective implementation of strategies to link all major elements in the corporate communication activities of the firm. It was found from the primary data that Portucel Soporcel employed special group of professionals and controllers to examine and coordinate employee relations and the customers were managed though appropriate promotional activities with the support of various medias. It was found by the author that a cordial link between all the mentioned elements in CC was employed in Portucel Soporcel and this led to improved brand image of Navigator among the internal and external elements. Thus the second objective has been met though the findings from the study. 

Objective 3: To critically investigate the corporate communication activities of Portucel Soporcel with relation to Navigator products and the impact made on its brand image in UK

The primary data of the study showed that advertisements and promotional events were the major corporate communication activities of Portucel Soporcel with relation to Navigator products. It was also found from the interview and survey that the company employed open door events and sponsorship programs to promote Navigator and this attracted more customers towards the products. Another major corporate communication activity of Portucel Soporcel with relation to Navigator products was to arrange prize contests to its buyers and the success of these contests ensured improved brand perception and image of Navigator. These results are in accordance to the secondary data collected from Portucel Soporcel (2015), Navigator (2015), Portucel Group (2014), UNEP report (2010) etc which shows that Navigator arranges timely advertisements, events, prize contests etc to attract more customers and improve its brand image and hence a similarity between primary and secondary data has been found. This meets the third objective of the study.

Objective 4: To identify the issues faced by Navigator in UK and provide recommendations to Portucel Soporcel

It was found by the researcher that Portucel Soporcel was highly efficient with its business activities and had very little issues. Even though the corporate communication activities of Portucel Soporcel with relation to the Navigator brand has received wide applauds among all its major stakeholders, the researcher was able to find that the brand had issues with relation to its customer-public relation in the matter of deforestation activities in UK. Also, it was found from the interview that Navigator has not been able to achieve market dominance in UK by beating the demand fro Xerox products. Hence the author has provided recommendation to the organization in the following section there by meeting the fourth objective.

5.3 Recommendation to the organization

From the primary data analysis, the researcher has framed the following recommendation to Portucel Soporcel with relation to its Corporate Communication activities and brand image of Navigator:

  • Even though the major market of Navigator is European continent, Navigator has not been yet able to achieve market dominance in UK and this was due to the fact that marketing and promotion of Navigator was more in other nations of Europe and less in UK. Hence the researcher recommends the organization to adopt increased advertisements and promotional activities to be conducted particularly in UK and let more customers know about the Navigator items and its unique qualities. Only this could develop the brand image of Navigator in UK.
  • It was found by the researcher that Navigator products were highly eco-friendly and promoting waste reduction and Portucel Soporcel promoted its customers to plant trees for every purchase made. The organization even had its own forest in Mozambique, but this has led to wide issues in UK since the organization did not have any forest and plantations in Europe, including UK. This was despite the fact that all three mills of Portucel were located in various parts of Europe. Hence the author recommends that the organization implements reforestation and land restoration strategies in UK and in other parts of Europe.
  • The author also found that only less product lines of Navigator have been released till date like Navigator Kids, Navigator ream and Navigator for office purposes. While the competitor products of Navigator in UK like Xerox and Clairefontaine had varieties of product lines and hence to attain market dominance in UK, the researcher recommends Navigator to introduce more lines of products including other stationary items.

5.4 Limitations of the study

The main limitation faced by the researcher during the study was that little studies have been conducted with relation to the selected research topics. Even though studies have been found with relation to corporate communications, no much study was found about how this made impact on the brand image of an organization. Hence limited knowledge about the research topic has affected the data collection of the study. Apart from this, the study concentrated only on one organization and this has also limited the findings of the study. Moreover, time and cost constraints have limited the sample size of the study to a large extent and hence retrieval of the entire required data has been affected. Furthermore, word count limitations of the work have also affected the generalisability of the research topic to some extent.

5.5 Recommendation to future works

As the topic on ‘Corporate Communication and impact on brand image’ is still an area where no much studies have been conducted,  the above discussion point out that wide range of improvements can be made in future works. The author recommends the future researchers to select more number of organization and sample to identify and critically prove the relation between the research variables. In this study, certain gaps have been identified with relation to primary and secondary data findings and hence the researcher also makes recommendations that the future researchers bridge those gaps.

REFERENCES

Intentionally Removed....

APPENDIX-I

Interview Questions to Managers

1.    What methods have Portucel Soporcel employed to ensure effective corporate communication with all stakeholders of the company?

2.    How effective is Corporate Communication (CC) with the ‘Navigator’ brand of your company?

3.    Has CC of your company been able to enhance the image of the ‘Navigator’ brand among its stakeholders?

4.    Can you please mention how important is media in implementation of effective CC in your company?

5.    Generally, effective CC is a tough notion for manufacturing companies. What issues were or are being faced by the company with respect to ‘Navigator’? Has this in any manner affected the brand’s image?

Survey Interview Questions to Staffs

1.    Are you provided with timely and necessary training and development activities by the organization with repect to manufacturing and marketing Navigator products/

·         Yes

·         To an extent

·         Not applicable

·         Not at all

2.    Which among the following option could be most appropriate for the CC relation between top management, manufacturing mills, in-house offices, HRM, finance, marketing etc in your organization?

·         Interdependent

·         Participative

·         Partially dependent

·         There is no direct link between the departments

·         Not aware

3.    Which among the following activities are employed as part of CC in your organization

·         Dealing with media enquiries, reactive and proactive media liaison •

·         Proactive marketing of campaigns

·         Informing the public

·         Protecting and promoting the brand’s image and reputation

·         Responsibility for corporate communications strategies and media policies

·         Public relations

·         Intra and internet development and management, e-communication

4.    Please rate following according to level of agreement with relation to Corporate Communication activities in your organization.  

 

Strongly agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

I receive daily and timely information from the superiors

 

 

 

 

I have the freedom to contribute my ideas to the top management of the organization dealing with Navigator’s production

 

 

 

 

Introduction of edgeBOX has reduced the issues in internal communication activities of the organization

 

 

 

 

Every worker shares the most important and critical information required for the success of Navigator papers

 

 

 

 

All meetings conducted by the management are informative and highly beneficial in the production of Navigator papers

 

 

 

 

5.    Do you think that the brand image of Navigator is due to the consistency of the organization to plan and communicate all requirements to its staffs?

·         Yes

·         To an extent

·         Not sure

·         Not at all

APPENDIX-II

Survey questionnaire to customers of Navigator

1.    Gender

·         Male

·         Female

2.    For what purpose do you use the Navigator products

·         Office printing and photocopies

·         Personal purposes

·         For my kids

·         Other purposes

3.    How do you get to know about the timely updates of Navigator?

·         Advertisements

·         Exhibition events of paper and stationary products

·         Pos-materials of Navigator

·         Displays and presentations of Navigator products in retail stores

·         Sports events

·         Social networking sites, youtube and blogs

·         Contests arranged by Navigator

·         Others

4.      What makes you to choose Navigator than any other paper/ stationary product?

·         Finest quality paper

·         Guaranteed use with any type of printer and photocopies

·         It is eco-friendly and eco-efficient

·         Even though indirect, I can contribute to waste reduction in my nation

·         Not applicable

5.    If you a loyal customer of Navigator, please rate the following:

[NB: 1- Strongly agree, 2- Agree, 3- Disgaree, 4- Strongly disagree]

 

 

 

 

 

I can use Navigator papers in any printer/ copying machines

 

 

 

 

Navigator products are jam free

 

 

 

 

I can use any range of vivid colors while printing and copying

 

 

 

 

Navigator provide ne with the best value-for-money than any other paper brand available in UK

 

 

 

 

The contests and prizes offered by the brand motivates me to buy the product

 

 

 

 

I come to know about every minute details and changes made by Portucel Soporcel with its Navigator products

 

 

 

 

No other paper brand in UK offers the whiteness, smoothness and multi-functionality as offered by Navigator

 

 

 

 

6.    Will you continue to prefer Navigator than any other paper brand?

·         Yes

·         Sometimes

·         No

7.    Will you suggest the brand to others?

·         Yes

·         Sometimes

·         No

I am expressing my heartfelt thanks to the managers, staffs and customers of Navigator, UK for the immense support during the realization of focus group discussions and survey respectively. I am extending my sincere gratitude to the respondents who all involved in the research process without any hesitation and by providing relevant information for the development of precise findings and interpretations of the research problem. I hereby declare the privacy and confidentiality of the collected data as well as the participants’ identity as a part of the research process.

Thank You

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