This study was carried out to ascertain consumer perception towards leading brands of beverage produced by the Nigerian Breweries Plc and how branding can be used by brewers as a tool to increase or boost its sales. I employed a combination of tabulations and weightings to arrive and consumer ratings of brands. The result showed that taste and flavour emerged as the most important attribute to respondents in the research sample. This was followed by alcoholic content, price and aroma/smell in that order. The questionnaire method of data collection was adopted and administered to a systematic random sample of respondents. The results of the study revealed that consumers preference for a brand is a function of the relative importance of the product attributes and beliefs about the brand. In the preference ranking by consumers, star emerged as the most preferred brand and legend extra stout as the least preferred brand. Results revealed that there was no relationship between brand preference and the demographic variables like sex, age and income level.
1.1 Background to the study
Adeleye (2003) describes a brand as the name attached to a product or service. The author added that a brand upon close inspection represents many more intangible aspects of a product or service: a collection of feelings and perceptions about quality, image, lifestyle and status. Other researchers argued that a brand creates in the mind of customers and prospects the perception that there is no product or service in the market that is quite like yours (Keller, 2006; Ajagbe, 2007; Solomon et al., 2012). In short, a brand offers the customer a guarantee and then delivers on it. Kotler (2000) stressed that branding is more than just a business buzzword. For Keller (2003), the concept of brand name has become the crux of selling in the new economy. The author added fur old marketing mantra was,” Nothing happens until somebody sells something,” the new philosophy could be” Nothing happens until somebody brands something” (McCarthy, 2002).
Branding is a major issue in product strategy, perhaps the most distinctive skill of professional marketers in their ability to create, maintain, produce and enhance brand. Branding is the art and corner stone of marketing. The American marketing association defines a brand as a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors. Thus a brand identifies the seller or maker. The brand name and trademarks provide legal protection of improving product features which will otherwise be copied by competitors. Moreover, branding gives the seller the opportunity to attract a loyal and profitable set of customers and also gives sellers some protection from competitor’s greater control in planning their marketing mix. All these make companies to spend a lot on branding with the sole aim of product differentiation and identification thereby changing the taste of customers as a result, making good sales branding.
Branding has become an essential motivating factor in the area of sales branding in any organization, whether manufacturers of industrial or consumer products.
The researcher choice of the subject matter was as a result of the keen interest he has on sales increase especially on branding involves to identify the level of dependence of customers to this effort and to the organizations. Hence, the impact of branding on sales increase, of Nestle foods Nigeria Ltd.
The researcher also deliberated on the effectiveness, achievement and the results that branding has brought to the organization in terms of sales volume and profitability.
Nestle Plc began simple trading operation in Nigeria in 1961 and ha today grown into a leading food manufacturing and marketing company. It is a publicly quoted company listed, since 1978, on the Nigeria stock exchange (now known as Lagos stock exchange) the main production units were designed in line with modern manufacturing method which ensure efficient production of the following products. NESTLE NUTREND, NESTLE CERELAC MAIZE AND NESTLE CERELAC CHOCOLATE, NESTLE GOLDENMORN, NESTLE MILO, CHOCOMILO, MAGGI CUBES, etc. nestle Nigeria Plc has its regional sales office in Lagos region, east region North-West region and north east region. It has its depot in Ibadan, Benin, Kaduna, Makurdi Kano, Aba and Jos.
Branding has nothing to do with the design of a product which include both the intrinsic and extrinsic qualities of a product that is branding, textile, color, names tastes and so on.
Branding is in fact the composite of activities in establishing brand names, brand mark, copyright and the like. In the absence of branding, there cannot be any better described marketing situation than confastic marketing.
Francis and Stephen (2003) perceive branding as the creation of three dimensional characters of a product, defined in terms of name, branding, colors and symbols. The authors posit that branding aids to differentiate particular product from its competitors. They also added that branding helps the customers to build a relationship with the products. Bearden and Ingram (2007) elucidated that branding is the use of a name, term, symbol or design- or a combination of all to identify a product. McCarthy (2002) believed that branding is the process by which a company employs marketing strategies to get people to easily remember their business and products over another. He mentioned that a brand promises to consistently deliver specific set of features, benefits and services to consumers. Worlu et al. (2007) also refer to branding as the use of a name, symbol or design or a combination of these to identify products and services. In short, it can be viewed as a conscious and planned process undertaken to align business processes with the brand identity and values. In the opinion of Batra and Homer (2004), branding is an activity in which organizations use a name, phrase, design or symbol or a combination of these to identify its products and distinguish them from those of competitors. Palmer (2000) highlighted that branding is the process of creating a distinctive identity for a product which differentiates it from its competitors. Branding is the process of creating distinctive and durable perceptions in the minds of consumers (Johnson and Russo, 1984; Blythe, 2001; Ajagbe et al., 2015).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The issue of branding of food products in the Nigeria context cannot be over emphasized, some are of the view that food product branding and will constitute a problem to the society at large while other disagree with this issue. To be more precise, an example is that we have different types of soft drinks which, when consumed by the customers will give the same satisfaction, but the issue is, these products have to be branded so as to give each and every product its own identity that will differentiate it from others or rather its competitors. It is however the interest of this research to find out the impact of branding in the increasing sales volume of an organization.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is mainly to find out the impact of branding as a tool to increase sales volume of an organization, specifically the study intends to:
- Identify method of marketing branded products in an organization
- Find out different styles of branding used by organization
- Find out the impact of branding on the increase in sales volume of Nestle foods Nigeria Ltd.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What methods can be used to markets branded products in an organization?
- What are the different styles of branding used by organization?
- What is the impact of branding on the increase in sales volume of Nestle foods Nigeria Ltd.?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Ho: there is no significance impacts of branding on the sales increase of Nestle foods Nigeria Ltd
Hi: there is a significance impacts of branding on the sales increase of Nestle foods Nigeria Ltd
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Similar studies might have been carried out in this area of human endeavor, however, the simple fact that business environment is never static, a lot of changes might have rendered parts of the result of these findings obsolete.
This research work will be beneficial to the organization under review (Nestle Nig Ltd) as the researcher will search into various aspects of marketing branded food products within the organization to ascertain whether the huge amount of money spent to brand food products is justified.
The study is also expected to serve as a reference material for future research work in this important aspect of business administration as it can be consulted as a reference material especially if there is the need to improve on the study.
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer.
Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships. Marketing is used to create, keep and satisfy the customer
A consumer is a person or organization that uses economic services or commodities
Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.