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 behavior. 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 consumer’s perceptions of a brand is 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 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% respondents assess that branding has a significant relationship on 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, statement of the problem, general and specific objectives of the study. Also, the significance of the study, scope of the study and operational definitions of terms
Background of the study
World telecom industry is taking a vital part of the world economy. The total revenue earned from this industry is 3 percent of the gross world products and is aim 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 prospective since we have over five mobile network operators in Buea. Customers have a choice on which mobile network operator to subscribe. The endurance of companies is now dependent on the amount of information that is carefully assembled by the mobile network operators with regards to the buying behaviors exhibited by consumers. In order to withstand in the market, companies are intensely interested in developing strong brands that leads to long term and customer relationships (Jeff H, 2011).
The swift progress in technology and information sharing has boost owners and management of business organizations to redefine customer attraction and retention strategy. The effect of branding on customer behavior had been invested by expert’s 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 a 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 on employees, stakeholders who develop 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 where organizations have incorporated branding into their strategic goals and due to competition within the market, individual organizations use branding to distinguish itself 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 behavioral and sociological factors in order 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 to shift their production of goods and services to customer focus which reflect the evolution of marketing modern day. Marketing strategies are now considered a key organizational asset (Kotler A, 2012).As an implication to this shift, companies are persistently injecting huge resources into understanding their consumers in relation to 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 market place 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 market place. Instead, creating an outstanding brand that appeal to consumers (Ahuvia, 2005). There is a correlation between consumer’s perception of a brand and their purchases.
As a result, the mobile network operators in Buea has opened up new prospects of business opportunities.
The mobile network operators in Buea, although slow has experienced some growth in recent years. Apart from the three networks Camtel ,Orange and MTN that has been in the country since 2003, a new network Vietnam’s mobile phone company (Viettel) came in with the name Nexttel 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 alleged to have been operating without 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 is fast growing. This is evident with the presence of five networks in Buea which are CAMTEL, MTN, ORANGE, NEXTTEL 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 of 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, celebrities. Brands perform valuable functions for firm, thus function of a brand is a consumer being able to distinguish two different products and being able to make a choice out of the two products (Ghodeswar, 2008). Lack of this distinction causes customers to pass through difficult times in selecting a network for them thus brings us to this study which is to investigate the Impact of branding on consumer buying behavior.
Objectives of the Study
- The general objective of this study is to assess the impact of branding on consumer buying behavior in the mobile network operators in Buea.
- To examine the branding strategies employed by mobile network operators in Buea.
- To investigate customers view on branding in the mobile network operators in Buea.
- To evaluate the impact of branding on the behavior of mobile network operators in Buea.
- What is the impact of branding on consumer buying behavior 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 branding on consumer buying behavior?
Significance of the Study
The outcome of this study is expected to contribute positively towards mobile network operators on the impact of branding on consumer buying behavior. This is to revive and remind mobile network operators about the perception and attitude of their target customers on the very branding strategies they have been applying. Thus, there will be an awareness on how branding actually influences consumers to purchase, this will help the mobile network operators to develop the best strategies in captivating the heart of its consumers.
This study is also expected to contribute value towards existing knowledge on branding in mobile network operators in Buea and beyond. Particularly, it is expected to serve as a reference document to prospective researchers who may endeavor to repeat and expand on this study.
The findings will contribute immensely in creating awareness to service providers that are interested in know the impact, quality, strength and effectiveness of their brand services campaign and their perceptions about customer’s preferences.
The study would be geared towards determining the customer’s perceptions and preference of mobile network operator’s services. This may be useful in the mobile network operator in Buea as it attempts to show how and why individuals decides to utilize a particular brand of mobile operator services as opposed to others. It will give room for a complete point-by-point research in the area of mobile network operator’s services in Buea. At last, it will add to existing academic literature in these fields, which will help mobile network operators in developing strategic marketing and promotions.