“The Influence of Branding on Consumer Purchasing Behavior” Number

RESEARCH PROPOSAL 10

“The Influence of Branding on Consumer Purchasing Behavior”

Number

Abstract

Branding is an emerging issue in marketing. Many companies arerealizing the significance of branding in ensuring consumers continueto purchase their products. Thus, companies endeavor to createproducts that consumers are able to identify with, those that meetconsumers’ preferences and have had a positive impact on theconsumer. The reason being, it is supposed that branding influencesthe purchasing behavior of consumers. Prior to purchasing a product,a consumer evaluates the characteristics of the product. If theproduct has had a positive lasting impact on them, they are highlylikely to buy the product regardless of the availability ofcomplementary brands. Literature review on branding seems to supportthe fact that there exists a correlation between branding and thebuying behavior of consumers. Using survey forms and questionnairesfilled by university students on their reasons for buying a specificsoft drink, this research intends to validate if branding does ordoes not manipulate purchasing behavior.

Branding plays a crucial role in influencing the purchasing behaviorof consumers all over the globe. Each consumer has a particular listof explanations as to why they opt to purchase a certain brand andnot another. Most brands pay emphasis on their marketing approachesto draw a specific customer base as well as have an impression onconsumers. Hence, branding refers to the approaches used by a companyin attracting its target consumers via diverse means of marketingmethods. These methods range from advertisements and logos. Anexample of a logo is coca-cola, a brand, which most soft drinkconsumers associate with. The objective of branding is to sustain alasting relationship with customers.

Generally, customers maintain their relationship with a specificbrand and depend on logos to determine their product of choice. Thus,branding has a major impact on the purchasing behavior of consumers,which is demonstrated by the numerous studies on the influence ofbranding on consumer purchasing behavior. Supposing a well knownbrand creates a new or improved version of a previous product, theymust concentrate on numerous factors when aiming at making the newproduct available to consumers. The brand value of a product makesintroducing its new version more successful as compared to othermarketing approaches.

This research is important because it enhances understanding on theinfluence of branding. In addition, it provides meaningful literaturereview that makes it possible to understand how branding affects thepurchasing behavior of consumers. That is, why consumers choose tobuy products from one brand and not another. Branding is an importanttool in business, and analysis of its influence makes valuablecontribution to the field of business in demonstrating how companiescan increase consumers.

Review of the Literature

According to Rubio, Villasenor and Oubina (2015), brandidentification is a current idea in marketing. The idea is yet to besufficiently developed, but has great significance to manybusinesses. Similarly, Calvo-Porral et al (2015) supports the ideathat branding is a new trend. As a result, customers’ response tobranding is a crucial study area that requires a lot of focus.Customer purchasing behavior is grouped into diverse kinds ofcognitive as well as experience oriented. The customers’ cognitivebehavior directs the customer to select specific products at alltimes. Rationalism and logic are employed during the selectionprocess. Experienced behavior of a consumer comprises of an emotionalattitude to a specific product and the consumer continues to selectthe product regardless of new product introductions.

Today, brand names act as a significant asset to most businesses.The reason being, brands are formulated with the objective ofenabling consumers to identify goods and services that present themwith exceptional benefits (Miraftabzadeh et al, 2015). As a sellingapproach, branding is crucial to all companies, since well-builtbrand names increase the confidence of indescribable products andconsumers are permitted to comprehend them better. Research depictsthat brands increase power and the value of a product for companies(Miraftabzadeh et al, 2015). Brand equity has the capacity ofincreasing or reducing value added to a product for companies. Thecustomer decides to buy a product depending on the brand’s appealto them.

Miraftabzadeh et al (2015) continue to assert that today, themarkets are highly competitive. Thus, it is crucial for companies toretain clients as a way of increasing profits. As a result, companieshave invented approaches to retain customers. An illustration of suchapproaches is branding. The company makes the product, but thecustomer buys the brand. As a result, the customer must identify withthe brand prior to making a purchase. Rubio, Villasenor and Oubina(2015) use the self-categorization as well as social identity theoryto explain how consumers form brand identification, which eventuallyinfluences their buying behavior. The theories presume that consumersendeavor to attain positive social identity through comparison. Thismeans that a consumer will compare different brands beforeidentifying with one they feel suits them best. Brand identificationresults in psychological stimulation that in turn results inbehaviors such as brand loyalty. Hence, when a consumer identifieswith a brand they become loyal to it and they tend to purchase thespecific brand.

Tsai, Chang and Ho (2015) introduce an important issue of brandexperience. As part of branding, brand experience refers to thelasting impression of a product on consumers. Research shows thatconsumers may develop a lasting recollection of a brand they haveused. As a result, they develop dependence, loyalty in addition toliking for a brand. A lasting recollection of brand experience has animpact on the consumers’ satisfaction with a brand. Brandexperience develops following a consumer’s contact with diversebrands. This contact may be positive or bad, lasting or temporary,which in turn influence consumer behavior (Tsai, Chang &amp Ho,2015). When the contact is positive the brand has a lasting impact onthe consumer. It explains why consumers are more likely to purchasebrands with a positive lasting impact.

Brand characteristics are another important factor in influencingpurchasing behavior. According to Fianto et al (2014), consumersreflect on various product characteristics prior to deciding whetherto purchase or not. The consumer’s view to the attributes of abrand results in product impression. Consumers must feel that thebrand has characteristics that will satisfy their product demands(Fianto et al, 2014). This mostly applies when a new product isintroduced in the market. For instance, assuming that a new softdrink company introduces soft drinks complimentary to coca-cola, inorder for consumers to buy the new drink, they must compare itscharacteristics to those of coca-cola. Considering that coca-cola isalready an established brand, the new soft drink must havecharacteristics that appeal more than those of coca-cola in order toinfluence consumer’s purchasing behavior. But since consumers arealready familiar with coca-cola’s characteristics, then they willchoose to purchase coca-cola instead of the new soft drink.

The literature review provides information on the relationshipbetween branding and its influence on the consumer’s decision topurchase a product. Companies use branding to differentiate theirproducts from those of competitors. Depending on the company,products are differentiated by names, logos or features. Pastresearch demonstrates that purchasing behavior is influenced by brandidentification, experience and characteristics. Hence, branding is animportant issue when determining why consumers make buying decisions.The objective of the study is to determine why consumers demonstrateloyalty to specific brands hence, evaluate how branding influencesthe purchasing behavior of consumers.

Research question

How does branding, as a marketing strategy used by companies, resultin brand identification and in turn influence the consumer’sdecision to purchase a specific product instead of another?

Methods

Procedure – the study aims at determining how consumersidentify with a specific brand and as a result choose to purchase theproduct. Hence, in order to accurately respond to the researchquestion, the study will compare consumers’ purchasing behavior fortwo complementary products. It is important to choose products thatare familiar to customers, because the objective is to determine,which of the two products they choose to buy and why.

The research will use soft drink products. In this case, the softdrink selected in coca-cola, while the complementary is a new softdrink being introduced in the market. Most soft drink consumers areyoung people, and soft drinks are mainly sold in eatery centerslocated within learning institutions. Both, coca-cola and the newsoft drink will be introduced in two different eatery centers in thesame university. When consumers are making purchases they will beasked which of the two drinks they prefer to buy.

Depending on the choice of soft drink, consumers will be requested tofill a questionnaire on why they prefer to buy coca-cola over the newsoft drink and vice versa. It is important to note that thequestionnaires will contain questions related to branding. Forinstance, which brand of soft drink do you think is better? What softdrink characteristics do you consider when buying the soft drink? Doyou think that the soft drink meets your taste preference? At thesame time, a survey form will be filled to indicate the number ofstudents that purchase coca-cola and those that purchase the new softdrink.

The survey forms from the different eatery centers will then becompared to determine which drink has a higher purchase rate. Theresponse from questionnaires issued to the students will be analyzedto determine which brand students prefer by analyzing why studentschoose to purchase one product over the other.

Sample – the study participants includes 100 universitystudents. The participants will be selected randomly during theirpurchase of soft drinks from two eatery centers within theuniversity, 50 from each center. Participants are selected randomlyin order to increase the accuracy of the research. Since, theparticipants will be provided with a questionnaire after alreadypurchasing a soft drink, then their decision to buy the drink willnot be influenced. Also, because survey forms are being filled atsite, observation is more effective when made during the time ofpurchase.

The participants are both male and female. It is important to useboth genders in order to determine if there exists a similarity inbrand loyalty between males and females. The study participants areindividuals aged between 17 to 25 years. Since the research isconducted within the university, the population is young. Inaddition, young individuals rate higher in the purchase of softdrinks as compared to other age brackets. In addition, participantsat this age are already aware of the different soft drink brands inthe market and associate with specific brands. Hence, it is easierfor them to fill the questionnaires without any difficulties orassistance.

The participants have university-level education, which makes iteasier for them to understand the need to conduct the research. Thus,they will be more willing to take part in the study. Additionally, itis important to use participants that understand the concept ofbranding. Since they are expected to fill questionnaires on site,there may not be ample time to explain what branding is and itsinfluence on consumer behavior. Using knowledgeable participantsmakes the research fast and accurate.

Instrument – data will be collected using survey forms andquestionnaires. An observer will be positioned at each of the twoeatery centers. The observer will fill a form that contains differentslots. That is one slot on the number of participants that purchasecoca-cola and the other on those that purchase the new soft drink.The observer will fill the form after every soft drink purchase,until 50 participants have bought a drink from the eatery center. Thefilled forms from the two eatery centers will be compared. The aim ofthe comparison is to validate which soft drink is purchased more bythe study participants.

Once a student has been identified to be buying a soft drink, anotherobserver will be on site to approach the student. The student will beinformed on the study, and how they are expected to participate. Oncea student consents to fill a questionnaire, they automatically becomea participant since participants are selected randomly. The sameprocess will be repeated until 50 participants from every eaterycenter have filled a questionnaire. The questionnaires will then beanalyzed.

The first step involves separating those that choose to purchasecoca-cola from those that buy the new soft drink. Next, is toevaluate the reasons for the different brand preferences, which willbe written down separately. By comparing which soft drink brandconsumers choose to purchase more, it becomes possible to understandhow branding influences the behavior. The soft drink participantsdeem to be a better brand, because of its characteristics andexperience from participants having used the brand before, willrecord higher purchase as compared to the other.

References

Calvo-Porral, C., Martinez-Fernandez, V., Juanatey-Boga, O &ampLevy-Mangin, J. (2015). Measuring the influence of customer-basedstore brand equity in the purchase intention. Cuadernos deGestion, 15(1), 93-118.

Fianto, A. Y. A., Hadiwidjojo, D &amp Aisjah, S. (2014). Theinfluence of brand image on purchase behavior through brand trust.Business Management and Strategy, 5(2), 58-76.

Miraftabzadeh, S. M., Ahangar, N., Khadivi, A. M., Jahanikia, A. H &ampYousefi, V. (2015). Measuring the role and value of a corporate brandon customers’ perception of products and services. InternationalJournal of Academic Research, 7(1), 302-306.

Rubio, N., Villasenor, N &amp Oubina, J. (2015). Consumeridentification with store brands: Differences between consumersaccording to their brand loyalty. Business Research Quarterly,18, 11-126.

Tsai, Y., Chang, H &amp Ho, K. (2015). A study of the relationshipamong brand experiences, self-concept congruence, customersatisfaction and brand preference. Contemporary ManagementResearch, 11(2), 97-114.