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PROJECT TOPIC AND MATERIAL ON THE RELEVANCE OF MIDDLE-MEN IN MAINTENANCE OF BRAND LOYALTY: A STUDY OF FAN MILK NIGERIA PLC, ELEYELE

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  • Name:THE RELEVANCE OF MIDDLE-MEN IN MAINTENANCE OF BRAND LOYALTY: A STUDY OF FAN MILK NIGERIA PLC, ELEYELE
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ABSTRACT

Building brand loyalty in a competitive market can play an efficient role in the modern marketing environment. It is now widely acknowledged by companies and business enterprises that strong brand loyalty will make a competitive advantage in the marketplace that will increase their overall knowledge with experiences and trustworthiness. Indeed, recent trends in modern marketing have changed tremendously, and study of brand loyalty is increasingly becoming essential to keep pace with this change. In this conceptual paper, we have summarized the literatures on currently prevailing concepts and approaches on brands that will allow us to identify the necessary components of brand loyalty, and therefore will help companies and business enterprises to improve their marketing efficiency. Based on a comprehensive review of several earlier works, here we propose a plausible framework for building brand loyalty in sequential order, namely, familiarity of the brand, satisfaction of customer of the brand, trust on the brand and attitudinal loyalty of the brand. In this review, we put forward the perception that brand loyalty-building challenge need to be connected with organizational processes which will support to bring the promises as well as commitments to the customers through organizational aggregate activities. We suggest that these aggregate activities could play an imperative role in building brand loyalty among customers. As a whole, based on the existing literatures, we have tried to provide a comprehensive view on the essential components of brand loyalty for building brand loyalty in a competitive market

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page………………………………………………………………………………………i
Certification …………………………………………………………………………………..ii
Dedication……………………………………………………………………………………..iii
Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………………..iv
Abstract ……………………………………………………………………………………….v
Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………………..vi
List of Tables………………………………………………………………………………….ix
List of Figures…………………………………………………………………………………x
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………1
1.1 Background to the study………………………………………………………………3
1.2 Problem of the Statement……………………………………………………………..4
1.3 Objectives of the study………………………………….……………………………..5
1.4 Research questions……………………………………………………………………5
1.5 Statement of the hypothesis…………………………………………………………..6
1.6 Significance of the study……………………………………………………………..6
1.7 Scope of the study…………………………………………………………………….7
1.8 Definitions of terms ………………………………………………………………….7
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.0 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………8
2.1 A Conceptual framework for Building Loyalty……..…..…………………………….8
2.2 Definition of Brand Loyalty…………………………………………………………..12
2.3 Levels of Brand Loyalty………………………………………………………………13
2.4 Brand Equity…………………………………………………………………………16
2.5 Brand Knowledge……………………………………………………………………16
2.6 The value of Brand Loyalty………………………………………………………….18
2.7 Maintaining Brand Loyalty………………………………………………………….18
2.8 Factors influencing Brand Loyalty…………………………………………………..19
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
3.0 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………..23
3.1 Area of study…………………………………………………………………………23
3.2 Research design and Sources of Data……………………………………………….23
3.3 Study Population and Determination of Sample Size……………………………….25
3.4 Instrumentation………………………………..…………………………………….26
3.5 Procedures for Data Collection and Data Analysis…………………………………27
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS, FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
4.0 Introduction………………………….………………………………………………28
4.1 Findings of the study…………………………………………………………………28
4.2 Test of hypothesis……………………………………………………………………38
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.0 Summary of findings…………………………………………………………………42
5.1 Conclusion..………………………………………………………………………….43
5.2 Recommendations..………………………………………………………………….44
5.4 Proposal for further studies…………………………………………………………..45
References……………………………………………………………………………46
Appendix…………………………………………………………………………….50
LIST OF TABLES
4.1.1 Gender of the respondents…………………………..……………………………….28
4.1.2 Age of the respondents………………………………………………………………29
4.1.3 Status of the respondents…………………………………………………………….29
4.1.4 Educational background of the respondents..………………….…………………….30
4.1.5 Years of experience of the respondents……………..……………………………….30
4.1.6 How do you view branding in your organization……..….………………………….31
4.1.7 What is the company branding strategy objective……………………………………31
4.1.8 To what extent has branding enhance profitability in the company….………………32
4.1.9 Do you think that choice of brand would relate with frequency of consumption.…..33
4.1.10 Has the company branding objective help in achieving profitability……..………….33
4.1.11 What do you think of your company’s distribution network system ………………..34
4.1.12 Do you think that an improved relationship between your company and it distribution will increase consumer satisfaction……………………………….35
4.1.13 Do you think there is a qualification and influence of advertisement towards the buying decision of customers………………………….36
4.1.14 What do you think attracts customers to the product of Fan Milk……………………36
4.1.15 Do you believe that effective channel management can lead to customer satisfaction………………….37
4.2.1 Computation of the 1st hypothesis…………………………………………………….39
4.2.2 Computation of the 2nd hypothesis……………………………………………………41

LIST OF FIGURES
Fig 1: FSTA Framework…………………………………………………………………….10
Fig 2: Dimensions of Brand Knowledge, Keller (1993)…………………………………….17

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 Introduction
A successful brand is an exclusive product (industrial or consumer), place, person or service, amplified in such a way that the user or buyer perceives significant and exclusive added values, which go with their needs closely. If a brand provides superior service over many years of regular use, it gains added value of acquaintance and proven trustworthiness. The added values can come from the experience of using the brand, e.g., reliability, risk and familiarity. The practice of branding first urbanized in the middle ages.
During this period, craft guilds used brands to identify inferior goods and to limit production. In nineteenth century America, the purposes of branding began to change.
The historical advancement of brands has shown that initially brands have served the roles of discriminating between competing products, representing uniformity of quality and giving legal protection from replication. Apart from providing the contribution with the badge of its maker, thereby indicating legal possession of all the special technical and other relevant features that the contribution may possess, the brand must have a powerful symbolic worth. The brand can in itself involve status, increase project and image or augment lifestyle so that the ownership of the making process by reducing perceived risk from the supplier’s perspective, it not only assist in discriminating the offering, but also lead to brand loyalty, discourage market entry and well deployed, facilitate its owners to rule profit margins and higher prices. (Bradley 1995; Egan – Guilding, 1994)
According to Jacoby and Chestnut (1978) brand loyalty is:
“The (a) behavioral response, (b) biased, (c) expressed overtime, (d) by some decision making unit, (e) with respect to one or more alternative brand out of a set of such brands and (f) is a function of psychological decision making processes”. Building and maintaining brand loyalty is a central theme of marketing practice and theory in establishing a sustainable competitive advantage.
There are at least four cognitive based determinants of satisfaction. First, expectancy disconfirmation theory says that customers form prospect as benchmarks from which performance is rated. Disconfirmation has been established to be a significant determinant of satisfaction. Second, perceived performance also affects satisfaction assessment (Tse & Wilton, 1988). Support for both expectancy disconfirmation and performance evaluations in a customer satisfaction situation has been established (Oliver, 1995; Oliver & Burke, 1999). Third satisfaction influences by equity (Oliver & Desarbo, 1988). In a study of payment equity, it is found that satisfaction is directly affected by normative comparisons of payments (Bolton & Lemon, 1999). Finally, the most important cognitive factor of satisfaction is potentially fairness (Oliver & Swan, 1989).Fairness has been operational zed as perceived losses and gains in a service relationship (Bolton, 1998).
The construct of loyalty has been researched in a number of contexts, including brand loyalty (Cunningham, 1956; Jacoby & Chestnut, 1978; Kahn, Kalwani, & Morrison, 1986; Massy, Montgomery, & Morrison, 1970), source loyalty (Wind, 1970), service loyalty (Butcher, Sparks, & O’Callaghan, 2001; Caruana, 2002; Gremler & Brown, 1996), store loyalty (Beatty et al.1996; Czepiel, 1990; Macintosh et al., 1992; Reynolds & Arnold, 2000) and e-loyalty (Srinivasan et al., 2002).
Bearing in mind the importance of brand loyalty, a study was designed to examine the influence of perceptions of service quality and product quality on attitude and behavior based brand loyalty in a quick-service restaurant. In particular, the goal of this study is to determine either product quality or service quality are predictors of brand loyalty in quick-service restaurants and if so, their relative strength.

1.1 Background of the Study
Due to today’s up tight competition (F. Arslan, Altuna, 2010), developing a strong, positive image has become crucial to the maintenance of lasting competitive advantage. (G. Birtwistle, L. Shearer, 2001) In addition, rapidly changing consumer needs and markets, place strong pressure to businesses to sustain their brand image and keep their products and services up to date. (Haeckel, Nolan, 1993) Brand image refers to the perception of a certain brand in the mind of the consumer when a brand name is mentioned (Keller, 1993), whereas brand awareness measures the customer’s ability to recognize the brand when seeing the brand name, logo, symbol etc. (Aaker, 1991) Building up a strong brand is not easy but if a brand could build a better image than its competitors’, then it would enjoy a degree of protection (Cheverton, 2002). With high brand image, a business can gain greater perception of the brand among customers, customer loyalty, high profit margins, less negative attitude to price fluctuations and less vulnerability compared to competitors (F. Arslan, Altuna, 2010).
In the 1980s, the conception of brands changed enormously, when the management started to understand the importance of a brand as an asset of the business (Kapferer, 1997). Nowadays, brands are seen more than just symbols and names: brands are major assets of a company due to the fact that “a brand represents everything that a product or service means to consumer.” (Kotler, 2009) That is the reason why brands should be carefully developed and managed. (Kotler, 2009) However, very often firms consider brands just as a tool for advertising, but that is not the case: good brands don’t just sell, they act! (Ind, 2003) Due to the present competitive environment, every firm attempts to generate favorable and positive associations about their brand which result in a positive image of the brand (Keller, 1993). Companies should understand the fact that building up a positive brand image depends on possessing high brand awareness, because when a brand is well established in the memory it is easier for associations to be created and attached (Esch. et. all., 2006) In other words, this means that before customers can create an image of a brand in their minds they have to get to know and be aware of the brand first.
To sum up, nowadays, brands are considered to be the key element when developing relationships between companies and consumers. (Kotler, 2009) Brands are the key to winning a position in the marketplace because they deliver unique benefits and build deep connections with customers. (Kotler, 2009) In addition, customers are the most critical, though, very important group to take into consideration because customers can always choose from where they buy. Consequently, they will buy from the manufacturer that provides the most value. (Doyle, Stern, 2006)

1.2 Problem of the Statement
The problematic situation that gave rise to this study was that consumer perception towards airlines is a very sensitive subject from the point of view of Fan Milk Plc. (D. Van Oudheusden, 1990) In conclusion of the previous statement, airlines can benefit from knowing what kind of perception consumers have of them. A Fan Milk which seeks to succeed needs thorough knowledge of current and potential markets for its services: it must be able to identify customers and distinguish them from consumers. (Stephen Shaw, 2011) In this regard, this study was decided to carry out in order to research the phenomenon of perceptions that consumers have towards Fan Milk. This led to research problem formulation which is the following: what kind of image consumers have and how aware they are of Fan Milk Plc.

1.3 Objectives of the Study
In this research, it has been attempted to analyze the factors affecting perfume preferences based on the consumers. Relationships between brand value and its dimensions with brand loyalty have been researched. The primary objective of the research is to determine the effects of consumer buying decisions on each dimension of brand value and the effects of these dimensions on brand loyalty. For this purpose, finding answers to the question of whether brand awareness, brand associations and perceived quality – which are among the components Aaker has included in his scale of brand value- have an effect on brand loyalty is among the objectives of the research.
i. To examine the various factors influencing brand loyalty?
ii. To study the impact of customer satisfaction on brand loyalty.
iii. To investigate the role of brand performance in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
iv. To investigate the role of brand efficiency to improves customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
v. Empirically investigates the role of customer satisfaction for enhancing brand loyalty.

1.4 Research Questions
Questions to be investigated are as under:
Q1. What is the connection between brand credibility and brand loyalty?
Q2. What is the association between brand awareness and brand loyalty?
Brand credibility and brand awareness both are essential for product loyalty, which is significant for people. Product loyalty not only differentiates the people who are loyal with the brand but also provides the perceived value to those people. Brand credibility and brand awareness increase the value of the product and also play a vital role in creating a positive image of the product

1.5 Statement of the Hypothesis
The present study is carried out with the following hypothesis.
H0: There is no significant relationship between brand choice of the respondents and frequency of consumption.
H1: There is a significant relationship between brand choice of the respondents and frequency of consumption.
H0: There is no significant relationship between qualification of the respondents and Influence of advertisement towards their buying decisions.
H1: There is a significant relationship between qualification of the respondents and influence of advertisement towards their buying decisions.

1.6 Significance of the Study
The research work is very significant because of it contributes to the field of knowledge, in finding ways of maintaining the brand loyalty of Fan Milk Plc in Eleyele Ibadan.
Additionally, the research work would appraise the significant role of middlemen in maintaining the brand loyalty of Fan Milk Plc. Nigeria, in Eleyele, Ibadan as to know whether it has been adequate to the company’s most target audience.
The findings and recommendations of this research work, if adopted by Fan Milk Nigeria Plc, in her physical distribution policies will reduce some costs and enhance her distribution activities above her competition.
Academically, further research could be carried out to widen the intellectual horizon of people, and also, improve the physical maintenance of brand loyalty of Fan Milk Nigeria Plc, and other Companies in Ibadan and beyond.

1.7 Scope of the Study
The study focuses on the relevance of middlemen in maintenance of brand loyalty in the society with a case study of Fan Milk Plc. Ibadan Nigeria as far as the area is concerned, is limited area only. Due to time and other resource constraints I have limited scope of study to this particular area and hope to focus entirely on our objectives.

1.8 Definitions of Terms
In this research, the following definitions are used to determine the key words: Brand, Brand Image, Brand Awareness and Consumer Perception:
1. Brand: “A trade name used to identify a specific product, manufacturer or distributor” (Pallister & Law, 2009).
2. Brand Image: “Brand image is defined as a set of perceptions about a brand as reflected by the brand associations held in consumers’ memory.” (Keller, 1993)
3. Brand Awareness: “Brand awareness measures the ability of a potential customer to recognize or to recall a brand when faced with a purchase decision in a specific product category” (Aaker, 1991).
4. Consumer Perception: “Customer perception is the process by which an individual selects, organizes and interprets stimuli into a meaningful and coherent picture of the world” (Shiffman & Kanuk, 1997)

 

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