This research work is based on a comparative analysis of consumer’s attitude towards different brands of motor oil lubricant products. The major objective of this study is to compare the attitude of consumers towards different brands of motor oil lubricant product. To identify factors influencing consumer preference of a particular brand of motor oil lubricant product. To compare consumers attitude towards different brands of motor oil lubricant product. To find out if price has any effect on the quality of such product. To determine which of the brands is more available in the market for the consumers to buy and be satisfied. Some issues were addressed by the researcher and the instrument used by the researcher for data collection was mainly questionnaire. The needed data collected from respondent were tabulated into frequencies and percentage using table and bar chart. And the two hypotheses were tested statistically at 0.05 level of significance. The first hypothesis sought to know if there are any significant differences in the quality of the various types of motor oil lubricant product; while the second hypothesis sought to know if there is any significant relationship between price of the product and its perceived quality. The work therefore, recommends that the producers of motor oil lubricant should see marketing research as a strategic investment which will help them to understand the dynamics in the preference and the consumer buying behaviour.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
An oil lubricant has been a canon product in our society today due to uses of different types of moving objects like motor vehicles.
A lubricant “some times referred to as lube” is a substance which is often a liquid introduced between two moving surfaces to reduce the friction between them improving efficiency and reducing wear. It may also have the function of dissolving or transporting foreign particles and of distributing heat. The ability of lubricants to lubricate moving parts and reduce friction is what is called lubricity.
According to Chris-C- (2007) one of the single largest applications for lubricants in the form of motor oil is protecting the internal combustion engines, in motor vehicles and powered equipment. He went further to state that typically lubricants contain 90% base oil (most often petroleum fraction, called mineral oils) and less than 10% additives. Vegetable oils or synthetic liquids such as hydrogenated polyolefin, ester, silicon and many others are sometimes used as base oils.
Motor Oil or engine oil is oil used for lubrication of various internal combustion engines and the main function is to lubricate moving parts, motor oil also cleans, inhibits corrosion, improves sealing and cools the engine by carrying heat away from moving parts.
Now, there has been increase in competition in the oil lubricate market from department companies. However, the application of marketing concept can drive the competition better for any firm irrespective of the numbers of the competitions in the market.
Stanton (1995:85) observes that the marketing concept is a philosophy of business which believes that the consumers’ want and need satisfaction is the economic and social justification for a firm’s existence.
Therefore, all company activities must be devoted to finding out what the consumer needs and wants are, and then satisfying these wants, while still making a profit in the long run Fulmer (1994:62).
Stanton (1995:86) contented, that by serving a customer well, we are at the same time wanting the consumer to satisfy his needs, and the consumer expects value and higher than the quantity in the products he buys and uses, when a customer fails to gain value from a product in one place, he will go and search for it else where.
Stanton (1995:87) observes that marketing concept is a marketing strategy accepted with the fact that a consumer’s good judgment cannot be bought but can be freely given in response to gifts of value from the products. The growth of competition has stretched this concept to embrace the importance of adoption or repeated purchases of the product brand and trade mark which determine the success of other use of that product in the market.
This project work was carried out in order to determine the consumers’ preference in oil lubricant products whether Mobil, total, A-Z, A/P, Oando etc.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Many firms have introduced motor oil lubricants product in the market. But despite effort made to promote these lubricants products, some of them have not been successful. And various promotional tools and efforts used advertising, participation in trade fair, the use of hand bill promotion, personal selling. But disappointingly, some of the consumer complained that the lubricant product was not serving its purpose which means that some brand of motor oil lubricant product are not performing well in the market in comparison to others.
Though, it is one thing to product a product and another to market it. The way customers react to product “A” may differ from the way they react to product “B”. These reactions may not be unconnected with the content of the product like quality, pricing, promotional and distribution strategies employed by these firms.
However, the purpose of this study is to find out what makes the difference in preference among the users of motor oil lubricants products.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The major aim of this research work is to compare the attitude of consumers towards different types of motor oil lubricant products.
1) To identify factors influencing consumer preference for a particular brand of motor oil lubricant products.
2) To find out if prices has any influence in the consumer preference of any of the motor lubricant product.
3) To compare consumers attitude towards different brands of motor lubricant product.
4) To determine the degree of acceptance of a particular brand of motor lubricant product in comparison with other brands.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The critical appraisal seeks to give answers to the following questions.
1) What factors determine the consumer acceptance of a particular brand of motor oil lubricant product?
2) Do consumers consider the prices of different brands of oil lubricant product in their buying decision?
3) What is the level of customers’ acceptance of a particular brand of motor oil lubricant product?
4) What is the general consumer attitude towards different brand of motor oil lubricant?
1.5 FORMATION OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
In working to achieve the aim of this study which is guided by the existing knowledge and observation of the recent business trend during the time of this investigation, the following hypotheses were tested by the researcher concerning the consumer attitudes towards different brand of motor oil lubricant product.
Ho1: There is no significant difference in the quality of the various types of motor oil lubricant products.
Hi1: There are significant differences in the quality of the various types of motor oil lubricant products.
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between price of a product and its perceived quality.
Hi1: There is significant relationship between price of a product and its perceived quality.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers consumer attitude towards different brands of motor oil lubricant products. It was carried out in Enugu Urban using different types of motor oil lubricant products namely
¨ Mobil motor oil lubricant
¨ Total motor oil lubricant
¨ A-Z motor oil lubricant
¨ A/P motor oil lubricant
¨ Oando motor oil lubricant
The survey was carried out on KEKE-NAPEP drivers and the Coal City Tax Drivers in Enugu Urban Area.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It cannot be disputed that the significance of this study is for academic requirements. Specifically this research is of immense benefit to:
¨ Motor Oil Lubricant Product Manufacturers: This study is of immense importance to motor oil lubricant product manufacturers because the study will reveal to them why their product is not doing well in the market and they can take remedial action on how to improve their product.
¨ Consumers: This study will benefit the consumers because the researcher will identify the reason why the consumers like a particular motor oil lubricant product to another. If the producer knows the reasons, he will take the appropriate steps to improving the product that can meet the acceptance of the consumer.
¨ Government: This study is of immense importance to the government because they are promoting their countries products. It will help them to know what should be done to product a better product to meet consumer need and the international competitors in the market environment.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Like all human endeavours, the study which has some limitations, associated with finance, time, and data collection. Since as a student I have limited finance, which constrained areas of the population.
The study was solely sponsored by the researcher without any government assistance as such, money was required for stationary, photocopying, typing, and cyclostyling of questionnaire and other writing materials and transportation.
A study of this nature requires a lot of time for sourcing of materials for the study. This research work was carried out along side with academic course work like term papers writing in partial fulfillments of the relevant courses.
A study of this nature requires enormous data on which to draw generalization upon; the researcher found it difficult in sourcing for the material required for the study.
To this end therefore, the researcher is going to limit the data collection have in Enugu State knowing fully well that any data collected in the Enugu Urban will be a good representation of Enugu State.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
For proper understanding of this study some operational terms which were constantly used in this work were detailed.
These are individuals who purchase or have the capacity to purchase different brand of motor oil lubricant product offered for sale in the market in order to satisfy personal or household needs, wants or desires.
It is a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of these intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.
This is anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use, or consumption that might satisfy a want or need.
This is defined in terms of all the attributes desired in a product. The Attributes include such things as durability availability, fittings, design and attractiveness. The compositions of these attributes are classified into high, medium and low quality.
This means the favouring of a brand of product to others.
Chris C. (2007): Implementing Phytoremedistion of Petroleum Hydrocarbons, Methods in Biotechnology, www.lubricantoil.com.
Fulmer P. (1994): Behaviour Aspect of Marketing London: Heinemann.
Stanton, W.J. (1995): Fundamentals of Marketing, Hills, Logakusha.