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The role of positioning in the retail banking industry of Sub-Saharan Africa

The role of positioning in the retail banking industry of Sub-Saharan Africa PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate employment of positioning strategies in the retail bank sector of Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically using Ghana as the study context. In addition, it explores the applicability of western-based typology of positioning strategies in the Sub-Saharan African environment.Design/methodology/approachSix retail banks – three national and three foreign – are studied, each through an in-depth case study method: covert and participant observation techniques; and face-to-face interviews of chief executive officers, marketing managers, and bank branch managers provided data for the study.FindingsThe results show that the “service” positioning strategy is the most popular strategy employed by retail banks. “Value for money,” “attractiveness,” “brand name,” and “country of origin” positioning strategies are also dominant. “Top of the range” and “selectivity” strategies are minimally pursued by the sample of banks studied. The results reveal that both foreign and national retail banks employ multiple positioning strategies in the face of competition. However, foreign retail banks consistently employ a; large number of strategies relative to national retail banks. This paper supports the applicability of a western-derived set of positioning strategies in the Sub-Saharan African marketplace.Research limitations/implicationsThis study closes a gap in the understanding of positioning, as well as filling the empirical gap in the application of positioning. In addition, it helps resolve a contextual gap of knowledge in Sub-Saharan Africa’s retail banking sector.Originality/valueThis study responds to Porter (1996), Clancy and Trout (2002), and Knox (2004) for continued empirical research in positioning in service industries and specifically in Sub-Saharan African economies (Coffie, 2014, 2016; Coffie and Owusu-Frimpong, 2014). Moreover, this research adds value to the banking and marketing literatures through a qualitative case study method, which is an important yet overlooked research method (Yin, 2009). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Bank Marketing Emerald Publishing

The role of positioning in the retail banking industry of Sub-Saharan Africa

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References (94)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0265-2323
DOI
10.1108/IJBM-04-2016-0055
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate employment of positioning strategies in the retail bank sector of Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically using Ghana as the study context. In addition, it explores the applicability of western-based typology of positioning strategies in the Sub-Saharan African environment.Design/methodology/approachSix retail banks – three national and three foreign – are studied, each through an in-depth case study method: covert and participant observation techniques; and face-to-face interviews of chief executive officers, marketing managers, and bank branch managers provided data for the study.FindingsThe results show that the “service” positioning strategy is the most popular strategy employed by retail banks. “Value for money,” “attractiveness,” “brand name,” and “country of origin” positioning strategies are also dominant. “Top of the range” and “selectivity” strategies are minimally pursued by the sample of banks studied. The results reveal that both foreign and national retail banks employ multiple positioning strategies in the face of competition. However, foreign retail banks consistently employ a; large number of strategies relative to national retail banks. This paper supports the applicability of a western-derived set of positioning strategies in the Sub-Saharan African marketplace.Research limitations/implicationsThis study closes a gap in the understanding of positioning, as well as filling the empirical gap in the application of positioning. In addition, it helps resolve a contextual gap of knowledge in Sub-Saharan Africa’s retail banking sector.Originality/valueThis study responds to Porter (1996), Clancy and Trout (2002), and Knox (2004) for continued empirical research in positioning in service industries and specifically in Sub-Saharan African economies (Coffie, 2014, 2016; Coffie and Owusu-Frimpong, 2014). Moreover, this research adds value to the banking and marketing literatures through a qualitative case study method, which is an important yet overlooked research method (Yin, 2009).

Journal

International Journal of Bank MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 5, 2017

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