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Title: Communication and information-seeking strategies used to build trust and reduce uncertainty among customers of McDonald’s restaurants in Bangkok, Thailand
Authors: Pariya Rinrattanakorn
Keywords: information seeking strategies
McDonald’s restaurants
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Bangkok University
Abstract: Today, organizations have increasingly expanded their businesses into the international markets as global brands. Globalization enables information and knowledge to be easily and thoroughly disseminated to many areas. In order to achieve success when a global brand goes local, the organizations have to understand the uncertainty of customers and implement communication strategies with the customers to match the diversity of the locales. McDonald’s is one of the most famous and familiar international brands in many countries, including Thailand. The purposes of this research study were to examine the communication strategies that McDonald’s in Thailand (McThai Company) executes to provide information and build trusting relationships with Thai customers, as well as to reduce customers’ uncertainty. Furthermore, this study investigated the issues that provoke customers’ uncertainty and the information-seeking strategies that McDonald’s Thai customers prefer to employ to reduce their uncertainty regarding McDonald’s products or services. Qualitative methods, i.e., in-depth interviews and focus groups, were conducted in this study. On the part of McThai Company, the Communications and VIII PR Director and the Communications and PR Consultant were recruited as the participants for an in-depth interview. In term of customers, twelve McDonald’s Thai customers were interviewed as the participants in the in-depth interviews. Also, two focus groups with an additional twelve McDonald’s Thai customers were held. The findings from the study revealed that the communication strategies that McDonald’s/McThai executed was integrated marketing communications (IMC), including above the line and below the line strategies. Moreover, the results indicated that McDonald’s/McThai attempted to build trusting relationships with the customers through QSC and V strategies, supplier strategy strategies, and community strategies. The findings showed McDonald’s used appropriate amount of communication and IMC as strategies to decrease customers’ uncertainty. The customer in-depth and focus group interviews revealed that McDonald’s Thai customers had uncertainty about McDonald’s price, promotion, taste, facilities, and nutrition, and employed eleven strategies, including discount coupons, communication technology, mass media, point of purchase, direct asking, direct observation, previous experience, thirdparty discussion, word-of-mouth communication, competitive brands, and perceived reward, to acquire more information about McDonald’s products or services. A quantitative method, e.g., survey research (N=414), was used to measure the levels of customers’ trust and uncertainty when compared with the frequency of visiting McDonald’s restaurants. The findings showed that the more often customers visited or interacted with McDonald’s restaurants the higher the customers’ trust in the reliability, dependability, faith of McDonald’s products and services, and the greater the customer loyalty. In term of customers’ uncertainty, the results showed that the frequency of visiting McDonald’s restaurant affected the levels of customers’ IX uncertainty in price, promotional incentives, taste, and nutrition, with frequent visits resulting in lowering uncertainty.
Description: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Graduate School, Bangkok University, 2011
Subjects: McDonald’s Corporation -- Research
Fast food restaurants -- Thailand -- Bangkok -- Research
Business communication -- Thailand -- Bangkok -- Research
Information behavior -- Thailand -- Bangkok -- Research
Advisor(s): James, Anita C.
URI: http://dspace.bu.ac.th/jspui/handle/123456789/2713
Appears in Collections:Dissertation

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