AN INVESTIGATION INTO MARKETING CHALLENGES AFFECTING MANUFACTURERS OF FOOTWEAR IN THE KUMASI METROPOLIS

ABSTRACT
In Ghana, footwear plays an essential part of our culture. Almost all the tribes put on footwear as part of their traditional dressing. The study sought to investigate the marketing challenges affecting manufacturers of footwear in the Kumasi Metropolis. Data was collected from two hundred manufacturers of footwear products in the Kumasi Metropolis. The heads of the Business Advisory Council and Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly were also interviewed for relevant data. The study revealed that manufacturers of footwear products employed varied strategies in attracting customers, including designing products to meet needs of customers, offering after sale services, and selling at considerably lower prices, among others. The study further revealed that the first and second major marketing challenges confronting manufacturers of footwear products in the Kumasi Metropolis are the lack of promotion and quality of their products respectively. Other challenges included the presence of competitors and inability to find new markets. The study therefore recommended that the local media should also be sensitized by the national bodies such as the Ministries of Information and Communication, NCCE and Media Commission to spearhead the regular promotion and marketing of footwear products. Also, the Metropolitan Assembly should create the enabling environment to improve upon activities of the footwear industry.


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the Study
Footwear is among the things that are very important in our daily dressing. There is not a single day that one dresses without wearing a shoe, slippers, heel, to mention but a few. This reveals the importance of footwear in our daily life. History reveals that early human beings walked on the surface of the earth without wearing footwear (Geib, 2000; Trinkaus and Hong, 2008). However, with time, footwear became a very important component of things that human beings wore every day. This was due to some reasons among which include protection, beautification, and social value, to mention but a few (Houlbrook, 2013).According to Houlbrook (2013), there is no country with her citizenries walking barefoot in this twenty first century. Not even in a developing country such as Ghana in West Africa.

In Ghana, footwear plays an essential part of our culture. Almost all the tribes put on footwear as part of their traditional dressing. For instance the Akans, among other tribes, wear “Kawkaw” as part of their traditional dressing to every important occasion. To add, people put on shoes, slippers, or heel to work, church, school and other important places. Consequently, a very great opportunity seems to exist in the footwear industry. But the question pondering in the minds of many marketers is that, are the profit-making opportunities in the footwear industry, in Ghana, fully exploited?

Inadequate information and understanding about needs and wants of the customers have contributed to poor “image” of the kind of footwear that the manufacturers produce to the market. Upon some efforts being made by the manufacturers of footwear in marketing their products, majority of the customers, especially those in Kumasi Metropolitan Area (KMA) unconsciously maintain the perception that footwear produced in Ghana are of “poor” quality. This has led to low patronage of the footwear produced in Ghana (especially Kumasi). Thus, most people in the KMA prefer to purchase imported or foreign footwear rather than purchasing the locally manufactured footwear and as a result of that reducing the sales volume and hence the profitability of the manufacturers of footwear.

There are many marketing challenges that the manufacturers of foot wears are facing. The place, promotion, price and the products to produce in order to meet the needs and wants of the customers become a challenge for most businesses in Ghana, including the footwear industry. The gap of marketing these products is present in almost all the footwear manufacturers in Ghana.

1.2       Problem Statement
So long as people exist and have feet there must definitely be demand for footwear. This is so in the sense that footwear is one of the things everybody needs as part of his or her basic needs. Thus, calls for the manufacturing of footwear in almost every country. Nevertheless, in the case of Ghana, even though manufacturing of footwear goes on but the demand for the products by the populace is nothing to write home about thus affecting the manufacturers of footwear. This problem is not limited to only the footwear industry but to other manufacturers who are into production of footwear products. This has led to series of calls from previous and current governments to the general public to patronize in products, including footwear to promote and sustain the growth of the local industries. Manufacturers of footwear complain of low demand for their products upon all the efforts being made by them to satisfy the needs and wants of the Ghanaian market, with regards to footwear. Surprisingly, consumers still perceive that products are of poor quality and for that matter prefer foreign ones to locally manufactured ones thus causing a relatively reduction in the total revenue of the made-in Ghana footwear hence low profit being made by the manufacturers (Bamfo, 2012). The place, promotion, price and the products to produce in order to meet the needs and wants of the customers become a challenge for most businesses in Ghana, including the footwear industry. Therefore, the problem the researcher intends to investigate into is the marketing challenges affecting manufacturers of footwear in Kumasi Metropolis.

1.3       Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate into the marketing challenges affecting manufacturers of footwear in Kumasi Metropolis. This is achieved through the following specific objectives:

i. to find out the customer group manufacturers of footwear are selling their products to.

ii. to assess how manufacturers of footwear are applying the marketing mix from product development to sales.

iii. to analyze the main marketing challenges manufacturers of footwear are facing.

1.4       Research Questions
In order to achieve the objectives stated above, this study raises the following questions:

i. What are the customer groups manufacturers of footwear are selling their products to?

ii. How are the manufacturers of footwear in KMA applying the marketing mix from product development to sales?

iii. What are the main marketing challenges manufacturers of footwear are facing?

1.5       Significance of the Study
First of all, since literature on footwear as an industry and an area of study is scanty in Ghana, this thesis being an embodiment of knowledge, serves as a very important reference material for students, manufacturers of footwear, marketers, researchers, government and people who are interested in footwear in general. It is therefore hoped that this study will provide basis for further research. Also, the study identifies the main marketing challenges manufacturers of footwear are facing and necessary strategies to promoting locally manufactured footwear in the Ghanaian market. In addition, the study seeks to highlight or suggest the marketing implications to the footwear manufacturers and how to improve upon their marketing efforts. Moreover, the final write up can also be used as learning material especially within areas related to marketing and consumer behaviour. Last but not the least, the study seeks to make available marketing strategies that can improve and promote the use and consumption of locally-made products.

1.6       Scope of the Study
Conceptually, the study was confined tomanufacturers of made-in Ghana footwear within the KMA, and was conducted to investigate into the marketing challenges that affect themanufacturers.Moreover, it is noteworthy to mention that the research is a case study approach of only manufacturers of footwear products in the Kumasi Metropolis and did not cover other manufacturers in the footwear industry outside KMA to reflect the entire industry marketing challenges. Hence, the result was not generalized but its findings were placed in the relevant context of the area studied.

1.7       Overview of Methodology
The population of this study comprises the manufacturers of footwear, within the Kumasi Metropolis. For convenience, a sample of the population was drawn. A sample is a number of respondents that are representative of the population (Smith and Albaum, 2012). For the purpose of this study, sample size of 200 respondents was selected. The study relied on only primary data. The primary source of data was collected from respondents through questionnaires and interview concerning the research under the study. The study adopted purposive sampling methods to select the manufacturers of footwear as respondents. Statistical Package for Social Scientist (SPSS) was used to run the analysis. Descriptive statistics (simple percentages, pie charts, and tables) were used in analyzing the data collected on the various specific objectives, which were presented in tables and charts for further discussions.

1.8       Limitations of the Study
This study is not without limitations. First, studying the marketing challenges manufacturers of footwear are facing, as a whole would demand taking a larger sample size from all the ten regions of Ghana other than the sample size of 200 manufacturers as respondents from Kumasi used in this study. Due to poor documentation on indigenous activities in Ghana, scantiness of literature on the indigenous footwear industry made the review of related literature difficult and frustrating.

1.9       Organization of the Study
The study is organized in five chapters. The first chapter is the introductory chapter and discusses the background of the study, problem statement, objectives, research questions, significance of the study, brief methodology, scope of the study, and limitations of the study. Chapter two considers a literature review of the theme of the study, while Chapter three deals with methodology for the study. Additionally, Chapter four presents the results of the various specific objectives used for the study and the accompanied discussions. Finally Chapter five presents summary, conclusions, policy recommendation as well as suggestions for future studies.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Project Material  |  Attribute: 66 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: GH50  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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