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The Effect of Product Quality on Customer Brand Preferences in Source Du Pays Products among Customers in Buea Municipality

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The marketing paradigm is shifting, with a new focus on customer brand preferences rather than client acquisition in order to build long-term connections with customers.

The study examines the effect of product quality on customer brand preferences in Source Du Pays Products in Buea Municipality.

Specifically, the study sought to examine the influence of product price, product attributes and product image on customer brand preferences in Buea.

The study used customer satisfaction as a mediating variable between product quality and customer brand preferences. To achieve the objectives, the study employed an explanatory research design and a quantitative approach along with simple random sampling techniques to sample 200 customers of Source Du Pays, using structured-questionnaire.

Collected data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS, 21.0) where descriptive statistics and inferential statistics such as correlation and regression were employed to test for relationships between variables.

Findings reveal that product price has a significant positive effect on customer brand preferences. Product attributes has a significant positive effect on customer brand preferences, product image has a significant positive effect on customer brand preferences.

It was concluded that product quality has a significant effect on customer brand preferences. The study recommend that marketers should enhance innovative strategies for packaging their brand products that will meet the desire of the customer.

Key Words:  Product price, product attributes, product image, customer brand preferences



1.1 Background to the Study

Product quality is an effort to meet or exceed customer expectations. A product that has a quality that meets the standards of quality that have been determined, and quality is a continually changing condition as the consumer’s taste, or expectation of a product is always changing. So that the better-quality change and improvement are meant to keep the product created to a standard that has been set for consumers to lose confidence in the product concerned. Quality is a factor in a product that causes the product to be worth the purpose of what the product is producing. 

Quality is a mix of properties and characteristics that can determine the extent to which the output can meet the needs of the consumer. The quality of a product, whether goods or services can be determined through its dimensions. The dimension is called product quality dimension (Tjiptono, 2008). According to Garvin in Tjiptono and Diana (2003), there are eight dimensions of product quality. The dimensions are1) Performance.2) Features.3) Reliability.4) Conformance to specifications. 5) Durability. 6)Serviceability. 7) Aesthetic. 8) Perceived quality 

Kotler and Amstrong (2001) use three dimensions to measure the quality of a product, namely:1) Performance. 2) Reliability. 3) Conformance. Furthermore, Mowen and Minor (2002) simplify the four main dimensions, namely:1) Features 2) Reliability. 3) Durability. 4. Safety. 

Every decision that a customer into buying a product is influenced by various factors, one of the factors that influence the purchase decision is a brand preference (brand Preference). Brand preferences are considered important for the company, because it is one indicator of customer loyalty and brand strength of each (Ya-Hui Wang: 2014) while the brand preferences according to Howard dkk quoted from the journal that published the Ya-Hui Wang said brand preference can be seen as attitudes that influence consumer purchase decisions, which then lead to behavioral tendencies which the buyer will choose a particular brand and other brands ignore.  

While the concept of brand preference described by Mitchell & Amioku 1985 quoted (Zahra Kashanizadeh: 2014) brand preferences as a set of attributes that lead to brand loyalty.  These attributes are categorized into three categories:  consumer attributes, attributes of products or services, and market attributes. Brand preferences according to Hellier, et al: 2003 in Margaretha, 2008) is the degree to which the consumer requires the services rendered by the company today as the comparison on services provided by other companies with a series of deliberations. So, it can be concluded that brand preference is a factor that affects the consumer to choose the brand that corresponds to the desired, brand selection is based on a consideration of the attributes shown of the brand.  

Brand preference is the level of brand awareness where the brand is already on top of mind of consumers, just that companies need support services for consumer attributes compared to other companies (Hellier, et al:  2003, in Margareth, 2008). The same thing was reemphasized by Samadi:  2007 in Zahra Kashanizadeh:  2014) which states beliefs about product attributes affect consumer to consumer attitudes towards a particular brand and ultimately encourage the tendency of behavior and brand Margareth, 2008).  

The same thing was reemphasized by Samadi: 2007 in Zahra Kashanizadeh: 2014) which states beliefs about product attributes affect consumer to consumer attitudes towards a particular brand and ultimately encourage the tendency of behavior and brand preferences (Margareth, 2008). The same thing was reemphasized by Samadi: 2007 in Zahra Kashanizadeh: 2014) which states beliefs about product attributes affect consumer to consumer attitudes towards a particular brand and ultimately encourage the tendency of behavior and brand preferences. A strong brand preference has a degree of consumer preference on the brand, the company that developed the brand Preference properly will be able to face a competitor, a good preference to provide assurance about the quality of products / services rendered. 

The lack of empirical evidence for brand preference and loyalty was identified in the early 1940s (Guest 1942). The relationship between brand preference and buying behaviour had not been established at this stage, and brand loyalty was defined in attitudinal terms as being constancy of preference over years in the life of an individual (Guest 1944, p17). In the the1950s when empirical research into brand loyalty gained momentum, behavioural measures were proposed (Cunningham, 1956). 

As the saying goes, the business of business is to stay in business. In today’s highly competitive global market, one of the main challenges for organizations is to ensure business sustainability or the preservation of a business through time. Sustainability in marketing literature covering different aspects, such as sustainable reputation, sustainable brand management, sustainable online customers, and sustainable brand loyalty, has witnessed significant interest in recent years.

Among these interrelated aspects, brand preferences has emerged as a critical factor for sustainable business growth as it directly contributes to increased market share and profitability. This is because, sustainable business, at a basic level, is to make sure that customers are satisfied and become loyal to the brand. In other words, maintaining a loyal customer base is critical for business sustainability.

The importance of sustainability has never been more pronounced than in these pandemic times. The pandemic continues to ensnare in almost every possible area, leaving a deleterious effect in its wake. As the world struggles to come to grips with this seemingly unending menace, one of the foremost thoughts in the minds of business owners is not just immediate survival but also continued sustenance.

Similarly, the Volkswagen Group, one of the leading car manufacturers in the world, has openly admitted that they broke the trust of their customers and the general public in the emission scandal, where they used illegal software to cheat on emissions tests.  Similarly, Facebook has publicly apologized for the “breach of trust” with consumer data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Yet, these brands emerged stronger from these scandals and retained their position or became leaders in their respective categories.

From a product quality perspective, Samsung, another brand with a loyal customer base, experienced a considerable quality setback with its Note7 smartphone. Within weeks of its launch, Samsung’s South Korean customers complained about its battery exploding and catching fire, causing a colossal loss of USD 26 billion in the stock market and an estimated USD 16 billion in sales.

As mentioned by Sahin, Zehir and Kitapi (2012), there has been little empirical research on the relationship between brand experience, brand trust and loyalty. Existent research in the service loyalty context (Aydinzer, 2005, Chiou, 2004,) has examined the impact of antecedents such as trust, quality and satisfaction on loyalty, while Brakus, Schmitt and Antonello (2009) developed the brand experience scale and examined its relationship with satisfaction and loyalty.

However, none of the studies offers an integrated view of all of these antecedents in a single framework. This research draws on previous studies to develop a more comprehensive loyalty model, integrating both the traditional loyalty antecedents and the new concept of brand experience. To complement previous studies, this research was implemented in the highly competitive telecommunications sector, here exemplified by the triple play (internet, phone and TV) service market in Portugal, which is characterized by fierce competition, high technological pace of change and steady market growth.

According to ANACOM (2011), the first supplier appeared in 2001 and by the end of 2010 the market had ten brands providing triple-play services. During 2010 the number of subscribers raised and some of the suppliers increased their market share, which was only possible by winning new customers. Despite the number of players, three brands share the majority of the market, with significant changes to market shares in recent years.

In short, the above examples raise the following questions: How does Product quality, service quality, business reputation and community outreach affect customer brand preferences of Source Du Pays Customers in Buea Municipality. 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Customer brand preference is very important for businesses in the recent market environment. For the companies, customers are the core assets and companies can gain added value from customers’ preferences only if they pay sufficient attention to customers (Rowley, 2005). The benefits of this are mutual and both companies and customers can be rewarded. From the perspective of companies, first, developing customer relationships bring companies’ invaluable resource. Second, it makes companies get more useful information about customers (Ndubisi, 2007). 

From another perspective of customers, knowledge of customers brand preferences can help to reduce companies’ costs, for example, the marketing cost and operational costs, etc. Second, customers can serve as part-time employees who can offer her or their friends and relatives’ information about products. This partnership-like word-of-mouth will bring good effects for companies intangibly (Bowen & Chen, 2001). Customer brand preferences have a significant impact on companies’ product sales and customers satisfaction. 

In the modern business market, there is a trend that many companies transform from traditional marketing methods to modern relationship marketing methods. In this process, different elements have different effects that have an impact on customers’ brand preferences attributes such as product image, product attribute, product price, service quality, community outreach and many more. 

The business paradigm in marketing is changing: new emphasis is being given to customer retention instead of customer acquisition to create long-lasting relationships with customers. Service marketing is very challenging not only due to its intangible characteristics but also because of the variety of services. Services involve the supply of certain benefits and brand experiences to customers and those benefits are experienced in different ways, with consequences for their level of trust and loyalty. Accordingly, to develop appropriate marketing strategies, it is important to understand how a sense of brand preference develops in customers and, in addition, how consumers experience brands.

From observation from Supermont products in the southwest region of Cameroon, there is a lot of customer brand disloyalty and this could be as a result of competitive prices, customers’ complaint that their products are of low quality and a high percentage of sugar in their products. The challenge for growth and development of Source Du Pays will be to meet customer expectations for the different patrons of their respective services. What will be the expectations of the different segments of the market with respect to range of products, quality, services, complaint management, after sales services and prices to mention some. Despite all the numerous advantages of knowledge of customer brand preferences to a business, Source De Pays still suffers greatly from meeting customers expectation which is a very big problem for the company.  The purpose of this study is to investigate which has great effects on customer brand loyalty. The study will make use of the questions in other to solve the problem.  

1.3 Research Questions

1.3.1 Main Research Question

The main research question is what is the contribution of product quality to customer brand preferences in Source Du Pays Products in Buea Municipality?

1.3.2 Specific questions

  1. How does product price influences customer brand preferences in Source Du Pays Products in Buea Municipality?

  2. How does product attributes influence customer brand preferences in Source Du Pays Products in Buea Municipality?

  3. How does product image influences customer brand preferences in Source Du Pays Products in Buea Municipality?

1.4 Research Objectives

1.4.1 Main Objective

The main objective of the study is to examine the effect of product quality on customer brand preferences in Source Du Pays Products in Buea Municipality.

1.4.2 Specific objectives

Specifically, the study sought to; 

  1. Examine the influence of product price on customer brand preferences in Source Du Pays Products in Buea Municipality 
  2. Investigate the effect of product attributes on customer brand preferences in Source Du Pays Products in Buea Municipality 
  3. Examine the influence of product image on customer brand preferences in Source Du Pays Products in Buea Municipality


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