BRAND SWITCHING BEHAVIOUR OF CONSUMERS IN THE HAIR CARE SERVICE
Thisproject work was an attempt to investigation the brand switching behaviour of consumer in the Hair Care Service Market in Enugu Metropolis. The main objectives were: Establish the impact of the marketing mix on the brand switching behaviour of Hair Care Service Consumer. Determine the factor or variable that promotes brand switching among hair care service market consumer. Based on the objectives above, four hypothesis were formulated. The populations of the study were drawn from the consumer (users) of hair care service in Enugu Metropolis. Top man’s formular methods were used to determine the sample size. Questionnaire and personal interview were use to elicit information from respondents simple table and percentage were sued to analyzed data collected. Based on the analysis, the following findings were made: it was observe that consumers will probably switch away from their brands because of increase of price. The researcher observed that the major variable that influences consumers in switching from one brand to another include differences and change in prices, availability and unavailability of hair care service brands and the desire for new experience to taste something different. Therefore, the researcher made the following recommendations. Manufactures should embark on our expensive and critical house assessment of their distributional strength, scope and efficiency in all their requires of operations this will identify their weakness and will also locate area for improvement. An intensive and comprehensive and continuous consumer and market research should initiated and sustained to minor consumption pattern and trends of consumers.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Brand switching is perhaps one of the most ignored and undiscussed issues underling branding decision which are regularly encountered by manufacturers and products of brand products. This situation may exist due to the nature of produces or brand owner’s goals of objectives. One of which usually Is to generalize a positive and sustained brand preference and loyalty. Mc Carthy and Perrault (1990), defined branding as the use of a name, term, symbol or design or a combination of these to identify a product it includes the use of brand names, trade-marks and practically all other means of product identification. The advent of branding in the middle ages was according to them as a result of medieval guide efforts to require crafts people to put trade work on their products to protect them and their customers from inferior quality. Today, branding is such a strong force that hardly anything goes unbranded. In developing marketing strategies for products branding has become a major products strategy facing manufacturers and markers of hair care services market in Enugu metropolis.
Semenik and Bamossy 1993, as noted earlier, the most Obvious aim of manufacturers and owners of Hair care services in Enugu metropolis from branding their products has been to develop brand loyalty or positive brand associations which to a great extent explain the influence on a consumer to repeatedly choose a particular company’s product over competing products. In building loyalty Hair care services manufacturers, over the years have emphasized products benefits attributes through advertising messages sales promotional activities integrated marketing communication and efforts coupled with recent effort at applying the social marketing concept. All these are aimed at applying the social market concept. All these are aimed at getting the consumer past the point of brand non-recognition, product test or trial to the points of brand adoption. The consumer testing a particular brand and consequently adopting it, most probably makes a conscious decision to test and use the new brand and thus abandons or discards the previous brand. By so doing the consumer exhibits a behaviours that is crucial and is the subject matter of this study and that behaviour is brand switching. Consumer brand switching behaviour should be as important as their brand preference to Hair care service manufacturers because any overt promotional appeal or overture aimed at generating brand preference among existing consumers inadvertently produce brand switching tendencies on response, within the same group of consumers. Therefore, it should be clear to brand owners that if their brand is not generating brand loyalty then it is attracting little loyalty and thus provides a high tendency for consumers to switch to other brands. An inquiry into the nature of causative factors that give rise of brand switching among consumers or users of Hair care services will provide an opportunity to manufacturers to guard against vulnerability to brand loyalty-encouraging activities of competitors so it is the task of this study to reveal the factors and variables which, directly or indirectly gave rise to brand switching among consumers of Hair care services with emphasis on.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Studies of consumer behaviour revealed that consumers generally exhibit three different kinds of purchase behaviour. They include expensive problem solving, limited problem solving, routine problem solving and these buying behaviour have important marketing implications. The routine problem solving or habitual purchase behaviour connotes a situation where a consumer does not devote much attention to his purchase task, often refered to as low involvement behaviour. According to Howard (1998). This behaviour gives rise to states of decisions repeat purchase and brand loyalty. This is a desirable position for most if not all hair care services manufacturers in Nigeria.
Conversely, in deciding to try a new brand other than a current brand or respond to emotional appeal or environmental appeal as point of purchase display, the consumers are placed with limited problem solving. This situation according to Hawkins et al (1992) gives rise to consumer-exhibtion of brand switching behaviour. The response of the consumer to another marketing mix stimuli such as pricing of different brands, distributional strategy impact and effort, product design and quality interplay may also give rise to brand switching behaviour.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine brand switching behaviour of consumers in the hair care service. Specific objectives include:
i. To establish the impact of the marketing mix on the brand switching behaviour of hair care services consumers.
ii. To determine the factors or variables that promote brand switching among hair care service market consumers.
iii. To ascertain the effort of brand switching by consumers on the rate of consumption of different brands within the market under survey.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were formulated for the purpose of this research work.
i. What is the impact of marketing mix on the brand switching behaviour of hair care services consumers?
ii. What are the factors or variables that promote brand switching among hair care service market consumers?
iii. What is effort of brand switching by consumers on the rate of consumption of different brands within the market under survey?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the purpose of a clear result the following hypothesis have been drawn and will be tested.
Ho: There is no significant impact of the marketing mix on the brand switching behaviour of hair care services consumers.
Hi: There is a significant impact of the marketing mix on the brand switching behaviour of hair care services consumers.
Ho: There are no factors or variables that promote brand switching among hair care service market consumers.
Hi: There are factors or variables that promote brand switching among hair care service market consumers.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that the findings of this study will be of immense help to hair care service manufacturers and marketers in the following ways.
1. It will enable the producers to identify the factors that will give rise to brand switching among consumers.
2. It will expose the importance of continuous consumers research and market monitoring in an expanding and increasingly competitive consumer market.
3. The study will also help brand owners to develop marketing strategies which will enable them reduce the impact of brand switching by repositioning their products to attain loyalty, it is also the hope of the research that the study would be relevant to other consumers goods manufacturers engaged in competition with producers of close substitutes a similar goods such as cosmetics and beverages.
Finally, the findings of this study should also be helpful to retailers, particularly in articulating and remodeling their purchase and merchandise policies so as to stock in relative depth and breath, different goods and their close substitutes.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study on brand switching behaviour of consumers in the hair care service will be conducted in Enugu State among consumers of hair care services in the state.
1.8 Limitations of the study
The demanding schedule of respondents made it very difficult getting the respondents to participate in the survey. As a result, retrieving copies of questionnaire in timely fashion was very challenging. Also, the researcher is a student and therefore has limited time as well as resources in covering extensive literature available in conducting this research. Information provided by the researcher may not hold true for all research under this study but is restricted to the selected respondents used as a study in this research especially in the locality where this study is being conducted. Finally, the researcher is restricted only to the evidence provided by the participants in the research and therefore cannot determine the reliability and accuracy of the information provided. Other limitations include:
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Brand Switching: This is a situation where a brand loses a once loyal customer to a competitor. In other words, a shopper changes their buying habits, choosing deliberately to purchase another brand instead of their usual choice. It is a situation in which someone changes from buying one brand of a product to buying a different brand.
Consumer: A consumer is a person or a group who intends to order, orders, or uses purchased goods, products, or services primarily for personal, social, family, household and similar needs, not directly related to entrepreneurial or business activities.
Consumer Behavior: This is the study of how individual customers, groups or organizations select, buy, use, and dispose ideas, goods, and services to satisfy their needs and wants. It refers to the actions of the consumers in the marketplace and the underlying motives for those actions.
Consumer Preference: This is defined as the subjective tastes of individual consumers, measured by their satisfaction with those items after they've purchased them. This satisfaction is often referred to as utility.
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