In our economy today, wants satisfaction has generally replaced the necessity of fulfilling only basic physiological needs. This however has exposed Nigerian consumers who by virtue of circumstances, education and awareness are becoming enlightened as the day go by to numerous influences and factors which propel them to accept a product or develop a brand loyalty.
Consumer’s attitude towards a product according to Kotler and Armstrong (2008:143) is being shaped and influenced by psychological factors such as motivation, perception, learning, personality, attitude and belief. Consumers are also influenced by certain product features and characteristics such as product style, quantity, quality design, colour, packaging and labeling.
Picking it up form there, Nebo and Onyeke (2000:65) Pointed out seller centered factors like image, credibility, price, advertisement and sales promotion. Situation centered factors also play a role in determining what the consumer buys; such as age, income, social group or reference group favourable brand attitude, in doubt is determined by this factors.
Ultimately, marketing is the art of creating, attracting and keeping profitable customers., in order to covert occasional purchasers into brand loyalists, habits must be reinforced by appealing to the afore-mentioned factors that shape consumer purchase attitude, because they hold the key to success or failure of any product.
Against this backdrop, consumer acceptance, preference and loyalty are very important to manufactures of consumer products. Outstanding and successful companies have priotized this by building and developing army of consumer loyalists who are less sensitive to price change and competitive promotion. This set of consumers are ready and willing to search for their favorite brand.
In essence, the topic of this research study stemmed form the researchers deep desire to personally investigate and unravel the success of Nigerian first indigenous beer “STAR LAGER BEER”. Star brewed and bottled buy Nigerian Breweries PLc is synonymous and comes to mind once beer is mentioned among the youths.
The imagination of why “star Lager Beer” is Nigerian’s most popular beer will continue to hover until the end of this research study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In today’s highly competitive, dynamic and challenging business environment, the level of consumer product acceptance and preference are critical to survival of business. Also the unpredictable and transient nature of consumers which studies have shown are more complex than a machine cannot be over-emphasized. Each day consumers are becoming more rational and speculative in their spending, willing to spend their hard earned money on product they believe will give them value and maximize their utility.
Interestingly, in the midst of all these uncertainties, one company, one product have continued to soar high by placing and positioning an indelible products in the minds of Nigeria beer consumers. Nigerian Breweries plc, brewers and bottlers of “STAR” is worth celebrating. STAR, the first indigenous beer in Nigeria, and the only beer believe to have assumed the status of a national icon.
According to the marketing directors of NB PLC Mr. Woulter Fijnaut, star has about 80 percent of the market share. These in no doubt, means that star has a wide range of consumer’s acceptance and loyalty.
The factors responsible for this phenomenal success of STAR beer against other competing brands of alcohol is the rational behind this study which will go a long way in exposing other hidden factors influencing consumer preference and acceptance of this brand.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study include;
i. To unravel the reason(s) for consumers wide acceptance and preference of star lager beer against other competing brands;
ii. to ascertain and determine the effect of promotion in a competitive marketing environment;
iii. to determine if quality adds to consumer acceptance and loyalty to a brand;
iv. to determine if packaging and branding play a role in influencing consumer loyalty to a particular brand;
v. to also ascertain other factors that give a product an edge over competing brand; and
vi. to make necessary recommendation in line with the findings;
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Ho: The leadership stand of star lager beer does not influence the rate at which it is consumed and purchased.
Hi: The leadership stand of star beer influences the rate at which it s consumed and purchased
Ho: That advertisement and sales promotion do not influence brand acceptance and loyalty of star beer.
Hi: That advertisement and sales promotion influence brand acceptance and loyalty of star beer.
Ho: The quality and taste of star beer does not positively influence the patronage of the product and its acceptance
Hi: The quality and taste of star beer positively influence the patronage of the product and its acceptance
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research intend to give answers to the following questions.
1. Does packaging and branding influence consumer acceptance and loyalty to a particular product.
2. Do promotional activities influence consumer acceptance and loyalty to a particular product.
3. Does psychological and sociological factors play a role in influencing consumer acceptance and loyalty to a particular brand.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is mainly about consumer acceptance and loyalty to a product; STAR LAGER BEER, brewed and bottled by Nigerian Breweries Plc (NBL) was used as the product of study: While consumers and retailers within Enugu metropolis were used for the study.
The areas covered for the survey included, new Heaven G.R.A, Uwani, New layout, Abakpa. Independence layout.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research study hopefully will be of great assistance to the marketing department of Nigerian Breweries Plc (NBL). It will be a practical guide in retaining there market share.
Furthermore, the study will demonstrate that promotional activities especially advertising and sales promotion remains a variable and indispensable tool in respect of consumer acceptance, loyalty and preference of a product over another, not also over-looking the importance of branding.
Finally, the study will serve as a reliable guide and good source of secondary data on this topic for future researchers.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The gathering of all needed data for a research study is usually met with a number of constraints. The researcher encountered multiple of problems in the course of this work.
Firstly, some consumers thought that the research was a staff of Nigerian breweries and always demand for a tip before accepting to fill the questionnaire.
Secondary, the researcher could not gain access in to AMA Breweries due to some bottleneck bureaucracy though he was later supplied with relevant materials.
Finally, time and financial constrain also derailed the study.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms” (Socrates, 470?-399BC)
A consumer is one who buys good or uses a service. Onyeke and Nebo (2000:42) defined a consumers as people acting as individuals or in small groups who purchase goods and services to satisfy their personal and household consumption needs as opposed to individual or people who buy and use items for commercial, business, organizational, government or institutional purpose.
Kotler and Armstrong (2008:225) defined a product as anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that might satisfy a want or need. Products include more than just tangible goods.
Broadly defined, product will include physical objects, services, events, persons, places, organization, ideas, or mixes of these entities.
iii. CONSUMER PRODUCT
Having defined consumer and product, in extension consumer products are products and services bought by final consumer for personal use or consumption. This set of product are classified further based on how consumers go about buying them.
- The consumer product includes
- Convenience goods
- Shopping goods
- Specialty goods
- Unsought goods.
The American marketing Association defined 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.
v. Brand loyalty
Brand loyalty is the ultimate goal a company set for a branded product. Nancy and Hofmann (2007: File C5-54) defined brand loyalty as a consumers preference to buy a particular brand in a product category. It occurs because consumers perceived that the brand offers the right product features, images, or level of quality at the right price.