IMPACT OF A BRAND ON CONSUMER DECISION MAKING PROCESS (Case study of Mtn Ghana)

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ABSTRACT
The twenty first century age represent key changes in the marketing strategies employed by organizations and institutions in order to help them be very competitive and be sustainable in the turbulent market that they find themselves. Major changes include the institution of brand managers, constant research on the performance of brands and the behavior displayed by consumers.

The purpose of this research was to determine the impact a brand has on the behaviors of consumers with special regards to their purchase behaviors and its relevance to our contemporary Ghanaian telecommunications industry.

The objectives included the impact of branding on consumer decision – making process of the mobile subscribers in Accra, Ghana; determine whether there is a correlation between consumer‟s perception and branding and to also present the key theories and concepts surrounding the topic.

The methods used for the research was a non – probability sampling technique as far as data collection was concerned. This was administered on a total of fifty respondents around the Adabraka region of Accra, the capital city of Ghana using the Mtn vendors as the agents.
The findings include;

I.            Consumers are attracted to the packaging, labeling (name) of a brand

because it enhances its image and creates a visual appeal for it.

II.           Consumers are influenced by the quality of a product or service before

making a brand selection.

III.            There have been major changes in branding; these include the size, color, shape and the materials used in designing the brand. It is evident that consumers are becoming enlightened and more fashionable and would
therefore prefer well developed brand.

IV.       Mtn‟s insurance brand lacks easy recognition and popularity in the minds of consumers and hence calls for further research on the ways and means of improving it.

In conclusion, consumers are very much enlightened about the various brands on the market and as such the image is very crucial when it comes to making a purchase – decision especially at first time.

Again family, friends and reference groups do play a major role in also affecting the purchased decision making of consumers. This draws calls for massive improvement on the services rendered, innovation and differentiation.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION
            1.1 Research problem
            1.2 Objectives of study
            1.3 Research methodology
            1.4 Limitations of study
            1.5 Structure of the thesis

2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
            2.1 Understanding Brands
            2.2 The Development of brand Equity
            2.3 Characteristics of a brand
            2.4 Significance of a brand
            2.5 Brand strategies
            2.6 What is consumer behavior?
            2.7 Factors affecting consumer behavior
            2.8 The consumer decision-making process
            2.9 Brand impact on consumer behavior

3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
            3.1 Research approach
            3.2 Data collection
            3.2.1 Questionnaire approach
            3.3 Sampling plan
            3.4 Data analysis method

4.   DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION
            4.1 Respondents gender
            4.2 Respondents age groups
            4.3 Respondents duration with Mtn
            4.4 Importance of brand reputation to respondents
            4.5 Respondents feelings about brand association
            4.6 Respondents Knowledge about Mtn subsidiaries
4.7       Respondents understanding of a brand
4.8       Respondents perception of Mtn‟s brand in terms of quality
4.9       Respondents perception about the brand image
4.10     Respondents perception about Mtn‟s pricing
4.11     Other brands that come into mind when the Mtn brand is mentioned
4.12     How Mtn differs from other brands
4.13     Causes of purchases decision

5.         FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
5.1       Conclusions
5.2       Recommendations
REFERENCES


1    INTRODUCTION



The twenty first century age represents key changes in the marketing strategies employed by organizations and institutions in order to help them be very competitive and be sustainable in the turbulent market that they find themselves. Today‟s consumers live in a world where the purchase of products and services is enormous and continuous (Rindell, 2008).

The survival or success of companies is now dependent on the amount of information that is carefully gathered by the former with regards to the purchasing habits displayed by consumers

In order to survive in the market, companies are keenly interested in developing strong brands that leads to long term and customer relationships (Hess, Story and Danes, 2011).

Companies inject heavy resources and time into the study of behavioral and sociological factors in order to gain much insight and to understand consumer purchasing patterns. Thus brands represent key assets to companies (Rindell, 2008).

Branding has emerged as part and parcel of modern day marketing strategies and now considered a key organizational asset (Kotler, 2000)

Organizations shifting their from a product or market point of view to consumer or customer focus reflect the evolution of marketing. As an implication to this paradigm shift, companies are relentlessly injecting huge resources into understanding their consumers in relation to the 4 p‟s (thus product, price, place and promotion) and the additional 3 p‟s (people, process and physical evidence), (Kotler ,1999).


They further resort to underpinning the relationship that exist between consumers spending and the key variables involved in consumer preferences in terms of attitudes, cognition, perception and learning. (Von Moos, 2005).They want to know who their customers are, what they think and how they feel, and how they buy a specific brand instead of others.

Companies go to the extent of employing a separate brands manager who sees to the management of the brand. That is serving as a link between the company‟s brand and consumers.

In today‟s turbulent market place where consumers have an enormous 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)


This work aims to understand the theoretical impact of a branding on the decision making process of some the customers of Mtn Ghana Limited inTudu, a suburb of the Greater Accra region of Ghana...

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