BRAND PERSONALITY AND CUSTOMER LOYALTY

ABSTRACT

The study examined brand personality and customer loyalty in Babcock University using of indomie instant noodles of de united foods as a case.

More specifically, the study sought to assess the brand personality and customer loyalty in Babcock University.

The study consist of consumers in Babcock University, illishan, the sample frame of the study was made up of consumers of of indomie instant noodles in Babcock University, illishan.

The simple random sampling technique method was use to pick the respondents and 400 consumers in Babcock University, illishan were selected, and a well- developed questionnaire was designed to elicit information from the respondents.

The data collected were analyzed using the descriptive statistics technique and the linear regression analysis was adopted to test the stated hypotheses at .05 significance level.

Result from the study indicated that there is Brand sincerity has significant effect on Customer Retention, There is significant relationship between brand competence and customer repurchase intention, Brand sophistication has significant impact on customer advocacy.

Base on this, the study advised that Indomie instant noodles of De united foods should stimulate its customers’ loyalty by considering the personality of its different customer groups via providing a distinct brand personality, major customers should be recognized and their different personalities should be explored through questionnaire, interview, and qualitative research methods, and a determination should be made as to which brand personality they prefer, The intended personality that is involved exactly in customers’ attitudes and beliefs should be designed at the phase of new product development.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Personality is perceived as a basic factor in building strong relationship among human beings. By this they are sure of winning each other’s trust and affection through activities that fall in line with their personalities. This is also true of product and brand offerings which should characterize personality that appeals to consumers in order to take a decision to purchase them (Nofle & Shaver, 2006; Pollalis, 2011).  The concept of brand personality has reached the level of great importance when it comes to successful brand management. With the intention to satisfy and meet customer’s needs, firms decide to position their brands with unique personalities (Weis & Huber, 2000). Looking at the field of relational marketing, brand personality stems up and is perceived as a set of human characteristics associated or attributed to a brand (Aaker, 2004).

The idea of brand personality offers a major advantage to firms as they are able to apply their personality if positive to their brands so as to win over the heart of their customers from competitors. This then gives insight into the study of brand personality as a veritable tool to improving the stand of firms in the mind of their customers (Gouteron, 2008)). An important observation that needs to be made is the fact that brand personality helps a firm to exert action on consumer behaviour. This implies that brand personality is used as a vehicle to express functional benefits of a brand, it also serves as a reflective symbol of the consumer and as a medium to establish consumer-brand relationship (Ahmad & Thyargaraj, 2015).

Brand personality creates a long-term relationship between the customer and the brand on the one hand and distinguishes it from other existing brands on the other hand (Kumar, Lemon, & Parasuraman, 2006). Brand personality is a potential marketing strategy to increase customers' loyalty towards a specific brand. Many customers are interested in a brand due to the similarity between their own personality and the brand. Brand personality is effective on sales volume and customer loyalty improvement (Lin & Huang, 2012; Vallete et al., 2011).

Brand personality has provided a strategic tool for executive marketing managers through which the relationship between the brand and consumers will be reinforced (Achouri & Bouslama, 2010), because consumers often intend to choose a brand that is closer to them in terms of personality and shows their own personality (Park &John, 2011). Thus, strong emotional linkages will be created among the customers and the brand that will finally lead to the customer’s commitment and loyalty to that brand (Arora & Stoner, 2009). A brand which does not have a clear and strong identity is like a ship which has lost its path (Aaker et al., 2004).

Customer loyalty is becoming more complex to achieve as a result of increased competition. Companies are trying hard to keep their customers loyal and avoid means of making room for competitors to grab these customers (Abubakar, 2014). Businesses require customers to be particularly loyal to their brand of products because it contributes greatly in reducing costs thus improving brand as well as company’s profitability (Tiele &Mackay, 2001). For instance a company will gain profit when loyal customers provide free advertisement through positive word of mouth. Satisfied and happy customers recommend stores, products or services to their family and friends. Hadiza (2014) revealed that each satisfied customers tells nine or ten people about their happy experiences and 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people about how bad the company or products are.

Customers’ loyalty is important for the continued growth of every industry. The concepts of brand personality and customer loyalty have been in existence for years and many purposeful researches have been carried out in this area. Earlier contributions to the study of brand identity and customer loyalty include the works of Behabadi (2009); Christian (2000); Gee, Coates and Nichadsen, (2008); Geuens, Maggre, Weifjfers, Bert, Bert, Wulf and Kristof (2009). This area is given attention by researchers and scholars alike because of its continued relevance and centrality in the success of every firm. To corroborate this assertion, Holliday, Sue, Kuenzei and Sven (2008) asserted that a business is as strong as its unhindered customers, as loyal customers is the centre piece of every business that is hoping to do well.

Consumer loyalty is a behaviour of a consumer in which they show willingness to repurchase from a company and continue relationships with that company in their future purchases. Customer loyalty is the key factor under consideration of each and every firm (Vesel & Zabkar, 2009). Dick and Basu (1994) brought out the idea of relative attitudes while defining various forms of loyalty depicted below. They described loyalty as the strength of the relationship between a customer's relative attitude and repeat patronage and four dimensions had been identified: true loyalty, latent loyalty, spurious loyalty and no loyalty. The perception of the customers about a brand is very important, therefore organisations should deliver a consistent brand experiences that interact or connect with consumers and long term communication with the customers to enable customer loyalty.

This study focuses therefore on the probable relationship between brand personality and customer loyalty using De- United Nigeria makers of Indomie instant noodles.

1.2       Statement of Problem

In Nigeria however and especially in the FMCG sector, there is the problem of poor brand identity, inadequate customer satisfaction, poor network service, poor coverage, high tariff charges among others. Most brands have poor personality, sincerity in the sense that the products don’t actually perform what they portray,

These problems have indeed led to frequent brand switching behaviour among customers in the industry. Problems arising out of poor brand personality management can be poor patronage from customers, poor customer mapping to determine what they want as a result brand loyalty and customer patronage will erode (Baines, 2013) These problems combine together to tarnish the image and good will of the organization in relation to their customers, hence the fall in the desired level of performance (Baines, 2013). These problems therefore become issues of concern in considering the effective or effectual performance of the organization. It is against this premise that this study wants to find out the effects that product branding will have on organizational performance using De-United Foods Industry Ltd.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of brand personality on customer loyalty using De United foods industry as a case study. The specific objective however will be to:

1        find out if brand sincerity has an effect on customer retention

2        Examine the relationship between brand competence and customer repurchase intention.

3        Assess how brand sophistication has impacted on customer advocacy.

1.4         Research Questions

The study will be able to provide answers that would be linked to the following questions

1        What is the effect of brand sincerity on customer retention?

2        What is the relationship between brand competence and customer repurchase intention?

3        What impact does brand sophistication have on customer advocacy?

1.5       Research Hypotheses

H0: brand sincerity has no significant impact on customer retention

H0: There is no significant relationship between brand competence and customer repurchase intention.

H0: Brand sophistication has no significant impact on customer advocacy

1.6       Operationalization of research variables.

Y=f(x)

     Where Y= Customer loyalty

                 X= Brand personality

Therefore X= (x1, x2, x3)

            Y = (y1, y2, y3)

Then we have:

x1= Sincerity

x2= Competence

x3= Sophistication

y1 = customer retention

y2 = customer repurchase intention

y3 = customer advocacy

Functionally we have

               y1=f(x1)………………………….. (1)

               y2=f(x2)………………………...... (2)

               y3=f(x3)………………………….. (3)

Statistically or regressionally, we have

               y1 = ……………………. (1)

                y2= …………………….. (2)                                              

              y3= …………………….. (3)

Where:  The constant of the equation

               The coefficient of the independent variable

               The stochastic value, error term or values that account for change but are not part of the survey at present.

              X= the independent variables

              Y= the dependent variable

1.7       Scope of the study

The study will focus on the relationship between brand personality and customer loyalty and how the relationship will be affected by some other variables. The study would involve the Fast Moving Consumer goods sector in Nigeria and use of De United Foods makers of Indomie Instant Noodles as a case study. The study will cover the customers based in Ogun state, Ilishan Remo, Nigeria. The population for the study are Babcock university students of business administration and marketing, accounting and anatomy department and would serves as our target population. The study would also include a simple random sampling technique, and while data will be analysed using correlation and regression tools.

1.8       Significance of the study

On completion of the study, it’s meant to examine the impact of brand personality on customer loyalty in manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

Individuals

The study would help give a better understanding to individuals on brand personality as an important factor to customer loyalty. It would also to give an insight on why companies do have a competitive edge than others because of the concept of brand personality. To the society at large, the influence of this study would led to an improved quality satisfaction and experience of the brand by the individuals, through the quality of the product been produced and add to economic development of Nigeria.

Industry

The study would help industries to be able to establish a successful brand personality in order to create a successful brand strategies which will lead to brand equity which enables customers purchase, re-purchase and be loyal to that brand, also it will help with clarity in communication and marketing activities or programs necessary to create awareness. The study would help to improve the management of Indomie Instant Noodles (a product of De- United foods industries limited) in Nigeria, to be able to understand the concept of brand personality that helps to give the company a stand in the market over other competitors and lead to them having long term customers which involve in customer loyalty. It would also be seen as a way to have competitive edge over other competitors in the same line of industry to Indomie Instant Noodles, utilizing the brand personality dimensions.

Government

In all the study would help the government understanding the issues concerning the manufacturing sector, and how it can be solved. For the manufacturing sector to be more utilized to help in economic growth of the country, drift the attention from the agricultural and Oil sectors. The study would help future researchers to have a wide understanding of brand personality concept, it importance’s, merit and demerit and how its cab be applied in any industry. Gap would be identified by further researchers. It severs as a guideline for researchers who wishes to study on brand personality and customer satisfaction and its application.

1.9       Definition of operational terms

Brand personality: human traits or characteristics associated with a specific brand name. Common characteristics represented include uniqueness, sincerity, and competence. Brand personalities gives consumers something with which they can relate, effectively increasing brand awareness and popularity.

Customer loyalty: The fact of a customer buying products or services from the same company over a long period of time.

Sincerity: is a mix of seriousness and honesty, it is the quality or state of being sincere; honesty, genuineness, good faith.

 Competence: The ability to do something successfully or efficiently. The quality of being competent; adequacy, possession of required skill, knowledge, capacity. A cluster or related abilities, commitments, knowledge, and skills that enable a person (or an organization) to act effectively in a job or situation.

Sophistication: It involve having a good understanding of the way people behave and or/ a good knowledge of culture and fashion. A person character, ideas, tastes or ways as the result of education, worldly experience.

Customer retention: it refers to the ability of a company or a product to retain its customer over some specified period.

Customer repurchase intention: deals with the customer’s decision to engage in future activities or in future buying of a company’s product.

Customer advocacy: is a specialized form of customer service in which companies focus on what is best for the customer.

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