The Impact of Branding on Consumer Buying Behavior in Mobile Network Operators in Buea
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Branding is an essential tool in the business world that boosts consumers’ buying behaviour. Consumers are influenced by many psychological, social and personal factors that influence their perception of a brand. Branding is a powerful tool to attract more consumers to buy particular products and, has become important in the mobile network operators in Buea.
A very important factor that influences consumers’ perceptions of a brand is a strong brand image. The main purpose of this study was to examine the impact of branding on consumer buying behaviour in mobile network operators in Buea. The random sampling technique was applied resulting in a sample of 397 mobile network users in Buea.
The study made use of primary and secondary data. The data collected was analyzed with the use of mean and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) closed-ended questionnaires were administered to respondents.
The results show that 65.82% of respondents assess that branding has a significant relationship with consumer buying behaviour. It is recommended that companies should engage in these branding strategies this is because conditions are changing rapidly and companies that strategize and react to these changes promptly are the most successful.
This chapter shall present a detailed background of the study, a statement of the problem, and general and specific objectives of the study. Also, the significance of the study, the scope of the study and operational definitions of terms
Background of the study
The world telecom industry is taking a vital part of the world economy. The total revenue earned from this industry is 3 per cent of the gross world products and is aimed at attaining more revenues. One statistical report discloses that approximately 16.9% of the world population has access to the Internet (Ngosan, 2010).
The telecom industry in Cameroon is growing as more mobile network operators are entering the country and the future looks even more perspective since we have over five mobile network operators in Buea. Customers have a choice on which mobile network operator to subscribe to. The endurance of companies is now dependent on the amount of information that is carefully assembled by the mobile network operators concerning the buying behaviours exhibited by consumers. To withstand in the market, companies are intensely interested in developing strong brands that lead to long-term customer relationships (Jeff H, 2011).
The swift progress in technology and information sharing has boosted owners and management of business organizations to redefine customer attraction and retention strategy. The effect of branding on customer behaviour had been invested by expert writers (Zhang H, 2015) the perceived and real satisfaction of customers has been long linked with the brand image of a product or an organization. Branding and particularly, company branding should be sensitive to three key elements; organizational culture, organizational vision and most importantly the image of the organization. There should be proper coordination between stakeholders, management, and the employees of the organization to have a wider scope and deliberations about company branding and image (Hatch, 2001). A very good company brand stimulates assurance in employees, and stakeholders who develop an association with the organization and glues customers to the brand when they come in contact with it. (Knox S, 2003) Investigated corporate branding, corporate identity and branding marketing are reported as follows; top managements of organizations never understood the power of branding until recently when organizations incorporated branding into their strategic goals and due to competition within the market, individual organizations use branding to distinguish themselves from other competitors.
Today’s consumers live in a world where the purchase of products and services is massive and unceasing (Rindell, 2008). Companies pump in resources and time into the study of behavioural and sociological factors to gain much insight and to understand consumer purchasing patterns this prevents wastage of resources. Brands symbolize key assets to companies. Branding has emerged as part and parcel of the company’s operations. This has made the Organizations shift their production of goods and services to customer focus which reflects the evolution of marketing modern day. Marketing strategies are now considered a key organizational asset (Kotler A, 2012). As an implication of this shift, companies are persistently injecting huge resources into understanding their consumers about the 4 P’s ( product, price, place and promotion) and the additional 3 P’s (people, process and physical evidence), (Kotler, 1998).
In today’s raging marketplace where consumers have a vast amount of information with regards to products and services at their disposal, yelling louder is not a solution to making you heard or recognized in the marketplace. Instead, creating an outstanding brand that appeals to consumers (Ahuvia, 2005). There is a correlation between consumers’ perception of a brand and their purchases.
As a result, the mobile network operators in Buea have opened up new prospects for business opportunities.
The mobile network operators in Buea, although slow have experienced some growth in recent years. Apart from the three networks Camtel, Orange and MTN that have been in the country since 2003, a new network Vietnam’s mobile phone company (Viettel) came in with the name Nextel Cameroon in 2014. In 2016, another network also came into the country known as Vodafone. Vodafone started operations only in two cities in the country which are Yaoundé and Douala but was suspended from the Cameroon business environment and alleged to have been operating without an authorized license from Telecom (Mbodiam, 2017) presently, we have Yoomee operational in Buea.
Statement of the Problem
It is no doubt that the mobile network operators in Buea are fast-growing. This is evident with the presence of five networks in Buea which are CAMEL, MTN, ORANGE, NEXTEL and YOOMEE. Customer confusion has become the order of the day as they try to choose between the network operators and as such, branding is the tool being used by these mobile network operators giants either through publicity or advertisement to cajole customers to make a choice. Branding involves creating a unique name and image for a product in a consumer’s mind which can be through some form of advertisement, campaigning word of mouth, or celebrities. Brands perform valuable functions for a firm, thus a function of a brand is a consumer being able to distinguish between two different products and being able to choose between the two products (Ghodeswar, 2008). Lack of this distinction causes customers to pass through difficult times in selecting a network for them this brings us to this study which is to investigate the impact of branding on consumer buying behaviour
Objectives of the Study
- The general objective of this study is to assess the impact of branding on consumer buying behaviour in the mobile network operators in Buea.
- To examine the branding strategies employed by mobile network operators in Buea.
- To investigate customers’ views on branding in the mobile network operators in Buea.
- To evaluate the impact of branding on the behaviour of mobile network operators in Buea.
- What is the impact of branding on consumer buying behaviour in the mobile network operators in Buea?
- What are the branding strategies employed by mobile network operators in Buea?
- What are customers’ views on branding in mobile network operators in Buea?
- What is the mobile network operator’s view on the branding on consumer buying behaviour?