Marketing Research Paper


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Marketing Research Paper

  1. 1. 1.0 INTRODUCTION<br />1.1 Purpose<br />The purpose of this report is to understand brand loyalty. The idea is to see if brand loyalty is influenced by price. The next objective is to discover if consumers are willing to buy the generic brand versus the name brand. With that in mind the purpose is to understand what makes consumers loyal and if brand loyalty exists at all.<br />The idea is to compare the research that has been published in books and articles to the respondents’ answers that will be conducted by a survey later in the report. There will be hypotheses tested to discover the true opinion of the average consumer.<br />1.2 Following Chapters<br />In the following chapters brand loyalty will be put to the test in the aspect of how people really feel about the subject. The chapters will discuss the literature that has been published. Explain how the survey was conducted to test the hypotheses. Provide the results of the survey instruments and give unbiased opinions of the researcher. <br /> 2.0 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE<br />2.1 Brand Loyalty Defined<br />“Brand Loyalty exists when customers feel some loyalty to the brand behind the products they are buying. Brand loyalty can be enforced perhaps by a carefully constructed lock in device in the products sold which serves to make it harder for customers to leave a brand ideally though customers would feel loyalty to a brand because the products of services have been good in providing solutions to their needs.” CITATION Sti04 l 1033 ( 2004).<br />2.1.1“The degree to which consumers prefer and continue to purchase the same brand within a product or service category. Brand loyalty results in improved sales volume and the ability to charge a premium price.” CITATION Net07 l 1033 (Net MBA Business Knowledge Center 2007).<br />2.1.2“If you are selling services, brand loyalty is built by bringing consistent value to your customer. If you bring new ideas to your customer, understand his or her marketplace as well as his or her specific business needs, and flawlessly execute on the services you provide, a customer will be much more likely to give you business in the future, as your company name will be associated with superior value.” CITATION EMa09 l 1033 (Lewis 2009).<br />2.1.3Brand loyalty is defined as a consumers’ willingness to purchase a product again or by demonstrating positive behavior such as telling a friend about the product. Brand loyalty is just not about repurchasing an item. Some consumers are forced to buy a product because of lack of a better alternative product or out of convenience. CITATION Sal09 l 1033 (Burnett 2009).<br />2.1.4“For any business, it is expensive to gain new customers and relatively inexpensive to retain existing ones, especially when the existing customers are satisfied or happy with the brand. Competitors may even be discouraged from spending resources to attract already satisfied customers. Further, higher loyalty means greater trade leverage; since customers expect the brand to be always available.” (Manheimer, 2007).<br />2.1.5 Mac has a great consumer following and their loyalty is undeniable. They are very dedicated to their products and the company itself. CITATION PKo91 l 1033 (Kotler 1991).<br />2.1.6Another example of exceptional Brand Loyalty is the program Pepsi had called “Pepsi Stuff”. CITATION PKo91 l 1033 (Kotler 1991).<br />2.2 Three Different Categories of Brand Loyalty<br />There are different categories of customer brand loyalty. They are Hardcore Loyals, Soft-core Loyals, Shifting Loyals, and Switchers. Companies usually target more to the Hardcore Loyals who are also called “heavy users”. Companies spend tons of money on advertising to promote their product to Soft-core Loyals and Shifting Loyals. The company’s goal is to change the outlook of their product to those consumers in hopes that they will soon become one of those heavy users. CITATION Rei93 l 1033 (Reicheld 1993).<br />2.3 Measure Brand Loyalty<br />“A popular model that provides a view of customer loyalty is the Harvard Business Reviews Apostle Model, which segments customers into four quadrants (Figure 1). To measure the attitudes that result in this model, customers are asked to rate their overall satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10 (horizontal axis) and their likelihood to continue to do business with you on a scale of Definitely Will to Definitely Will Not (vertical axis). In this model, Defectors are defined as anyone who answers the satisfaction question with a score of 6 or less and reports that they definitely or probably will not continue to do business with you in the future.” CITATION Wen06 l 1033 (Close 2006).<br />“Figure 1: In the Apostle Model, both loyalty and satisfaction are measured. By plotting the scores for both variables, you can segment customers into four categories.” CITATION Wen06 l 1033 (Close 2006).<br />Source: Close, 2009<br />2.4Strategies for Each Customer Segment<br />2.4.1Loyalists report both high satisfaction and high loyalty. These customers are, in essence, an extension of your sales force because they spread positive word-of-mouth publicity. Loyalists also typically increase their spending more rapidly than other customers in your customer base. Understand, serve, and protect these customers and focus on developing communities for (and with) them.<br />2.4.2Because relationships with loyalists tend to last longer and because of their role in generating referrals, customer acquisition costs for loyalists tend to be lower than those for other customers. Because of the many benefits loyalists bring to your business, you should prioritize any strategies that strengthen and expand these relationships.<br />2.4.3Hostages report high loyalty despite low satisfaction. This situation typically appears when there is little competition or a high risk associated with changing suppliers, such as economic costs or time investments<br />2.5Customer Expectations<br />“Customer satisfaction is strongly influenced by customer expectations. The gap<br />between perceived quality and expected quality, called “expectancy disconfirmation”<br />is a strong predictor of customer satisfaction. As a result, many managers and researchers have chosen to explicitly measure the extent to which a product/service meets customers’ expectations.” CITATION Oli80 l 1033 (Oliver 1980)<br />2.6 How to Enhance Customer Loyalty<br />Enhancing customer loyalty has become a popular topic for many managers.<br />The arguments in support of loyalty are simple to understand. Loyal<br />consumers are more likely to stay with one company and recommend others to become customers. CITATION DrE07 l 1033 (Manhaimer 2007).<br />2.6.1Surveys are conducted in order to get customer feedback about company satisfaction and their intention to stay with the company and recruit friends and family. CITATION DrE07 l 1033 (Manhaimer 2007).<br />2.6.2Customer satisfaction plays a key role in brand loyalty. Good customer service is usually the number one thing consumers look for in a company and it is the number one thing that keeps a person going back. CITATION DrE07 l 1033 (Manhaimer 2007).<br />2.6.3“Amidst the global recession, organizations are taking a closer look at how to foster customer loyalty. Surveys, segmentation, and social networking are just a few of the mechanisms available. Coming in the wake of an economic boom, when customer loyalty was less of a priority, some companies are wishing they'd paid it closer attention earlier.” (Beal 2009).<br />2.6.5“The rise of social networks offers a new opportunity to connect with customers and build loyalty and affinity -- often requiring no more investment than some staff time. Start small, figure out who are the advocates for your product and service, and talk to them. You may find only four people, but they connect with 400. (Beal 2009).<br />2.6.6“The challenge is far more difficult than most realize. There are often different definitions of "customer" throughout an organization, and different definitions of what makes a loyal customer and how valuable a loyal customer can be.” (Beal 2009).<br />2.6.7“Loyal customers are almost three times as likely to continue doing business with companies for another 10 years as dissatisfied customers are 10 times more likely to attrite in the next 12 months.” (Beal 2009).<br />2.6.8“There’s a saying in the business world: Customer acquisition is an investment, but profitability is built on customer retention. With the current state of the economy, you really need to hang onto the customers you have. “(Beal 2009).<br />2.7 What Influences Brand Loyalty<br />For advertisers to achieve their ultimate goal of brand loyalty, the consumer must perceive that the brand offers the right combination of quality and price. Many factors influence brand loyalty, such as consumer attitudes, family or peer pressure, and friendship with the salesperson. The advertisers must consider all such factors. CITATION PKo91 l 1033 (Kotler 1991).<br />2.8 Creating Brand Loyalty <br />In order to create brand loyalty, advertisers must break consumer habits, help them acquire new habits, and reinforce those habits by reminding consumers of the value of their purchase and encourage them to continue purchasing those products in the future. (Kotler 1991)<br />2.8.1 Brand Loyalty occurs because the consumer perceives that the brand offers the right product, image, or level of quality at the right price. (Burnett 2009).<br />2.8.2Branding is by far one of the most important factors influencing an item's success or failure in the marketplace, and can have a dramatic impact on how the "company behind the brand" is perceived by the consumer. (Burnett 2009).<br />2.9 Having a Strong Brand<br />Companies with strong brands have increased customer loyalty relative to their competitors and can charge a price premium for their products and services. A hike in customer loyalty of only 5 percent can ensure lifetime revenue that increases profits per customer by as much as 95 percent. This is because up to 50 percent of customers are willing to pay an increase of 20-25 percent on the premium to the brands they are most loyal to. (Beal 2009).<br />2.10 Branding Power<br />”A company that has a valuable brand can decrease employee turnover. Low employee turnover translates into increased company performance. A brand is not simply a logo or a name. It is a set of expectations from experience with a company or product. “ (Wernick 1991).<br />2.10.1Brand is how customers, employees and shareholders, among others --think and feel about what you do. (Wernick 1991).<br />2.10.2The brand impression results from every experience or contact a person has with a company. Initially, this means advertising and sales, followed by customer service, then the actual performance of the product or quality of the service. Finally, product support and warranties round out the experience. (Wernick 1991).<br />2.11 Brand Loyalty Statistics<br />“In five years, 50% of customers find a newer, better brand and leave. In four years, employees find a newer company, that has more productivity and confidence as a brand, and they will quit. The most staggering of all is a brand that is not sure of them and their brand may run off their investors. An average of 50% leaves within one year. “ (Michael A. Jones 2002).<br />7.12 Word of Mouth Affects Brand Loyalty<br />”A negative experience decreases brand loyalty to a greater degree than a positive experience increases loyalty. Consumers find NWOM (No Word of Mouth) more useful in making purchase decisions than PWOM (Positive Word of Mouth).” (Wulf 2008).<br />2.13Recommend Intention<br />“Word-of-mouth intention has been of importance to researchers for at least the past<br />thirty years. Early research regarding word-of-mouth tended to focus on complaining<br />behavior” (Gronhaug and Kvitastein, 1991). <br />2.13.1“More recently, however, the focus has shifted to recommendations and customer advocacy. Thus far, there is very little scientific research relating recommend intention to actual recommendations. In an analysis of actual conversations in numerous discussions forums on the Internet documented<br />recommendations as one of four unique dialogues taking place. As noted earlier, loyalty expert Fred Reichheld (2003) argues that recommend intention is the best metric at predicting not only customers’ recommending behavior, but also their purchasing behavior.”<br /> CITATION TWA06 l 1033 (T.W. Andreassen 2006)<br />2.14 The Way to Foster Brand Loyalty<br />A way to make sure that brand loyalty will most likely not be a problem for a brand, increase the purchases’ importance to the customer, add emotional significance to the purchase, and associate the product with ongoing interest. (ICC Decision devices 2009).<br />2.14.1The only way for brands to foster involvement is to know your consumer. Proactive consumer and industry research provides important insight to consumer needs, interests, and emotional attachments. (ICC Decision devices 2009).<br />2.14.2Brands should know which benefits they offer their customers. Whether it’s being gluten free, organic, or offer an advantage over the competition, this is the information consumers are looking for. This is information that needs to be visible at the retail shelves. (ICC Decision devices 2009).<br />2.14.3Military members are a niche market whose uniforms require laundry detergent with no certain additives. There are very few brands which fill this need. These brands should ensure availability in every grocery store which surrounds military bases. (ICC Decision devices 2009).<br />2.14.4Offer free samples and coupons to get a better response to your brand. This attracts customers who may not be familiar with your brand. (ICC Decision devices 2009).<br />2.15 Bringing Back Loyal Customers<br />Sometimes corporations have to take a step back and remember your loyal customers. They are so occupied trying to accumulate new business that they forget about the people that have been there all along. This is what Starbucks new marketing campaign is focusing on – loyal customers. (ICC Decision devices 2009).<br />2.15.1The past year, Starbucks has been the target of media claiming the brand is too expensive. The negative press was causing an opening for competing brands to market as the cheaper coffee choice. Starbucks is aiming to change that assumption. (ICC Decision devices 2009).<br />2.15.2Starbucks new strategy is to focus on its existing customer experience. The brand is not advertising frozen drinks, but putting the good old Starbucks coffee blends in the spotlight. (ICC Decision devices 2009).<br />2.15.3Coffee promotions and store layouts will be focused on what attracted Starbucks first customers: the coffee. (ICC Decision devices 2009).<br />2.16 Three Elements Your Incentive Program Must Have<br />In order for an incentive program to be successful, it must encompass three elements: communication, motivation, and reward. (ICC Decision devices 2009).<br />2.16.1A company must get the word out to its target audience clearly and efficiently. (ICC Decision devices 2009).<br />2.16.2The goal must be realistic and attainable. If an incentive program gives points in increments of two and a prize offering starts at 150,000 points, then consumers will not be motivated. (Reicheld 1993).<br />2.16.3The rewards have to be great. A pen for 150,000 points might not be as appealing as you think. On the other hand, a customer might just keep on purchasing your product if they know that enough points will earn them an IPod. (Reicheld 1993).<br />2.17 Baby Boomers are Less Brand Loyal<br />TV Land’s “Generation BUY” study found that 40 and 50-somethings are more open to new brands and not as brand loyal as people under 40. The willingness of 40 and 50 year-olds to buy new brands carries over across every product category including electronics, personal care products, restaurants, automobiles and more. (Conduit 2006).<br />2.18 Using Email to Increase Brand Loyalty<br />Today, email is the accepted method for advertising and giving information about a company. Many corporations are using this opportunity to cement customer relationships. It is much easier these days to Google a company and request information online or strictly read about a company’s code of ethics and what they are all about with the click of a mouse. (Conduit 2006).<br />2.19 Is Brand Loyalty Even Possible?<br />Very few brands ever achieve it. In fact, the likelihood that a brand will attain a high level of loyalty from a majority of users is slim to none. It’s not that a brand doesn’t deserve consumer loyalty. It’s just that the numbers are against it. (Kotler 1991).<br />2.19.1It is estimated that the typical American is exposed to more than 3,000 paid marketing messages every single day. ( 2004).<br />2.19.2.As much as 90% of all editorial content in our media is generated by public relations professionals. ( 2004).<br /> 2.20What is Brand Equity?<br />“Brand equity is an intangible asset that depends on associations made by the consumer. There are at least three perspectives from which to view brand equity: <br />2.20.1Financial - One way to measure brand equity is to determine the price premium that a brand commands over a generic product. For example, if consumers are willing to pay $100 more for a branded television over the same unbranded television, this premium provides important information about the value of the brand. However, expenses such as promotional costs must be taken into account when using this method to measure brand equity.<br />2.20.2Brand extensions - A successful brand can be used as a platform to launch related products. The benefits of brand extensions are the leveraging of existing brand awareness thus reducing advertising expenditures, and a lower risk from the perspective of the consumer. Furthermore, appropriate brand extensions can enhance the core brand. However, the value of brand extensions is more difficult to quantify than are direct financial measures of brand equity.<br />2.20.3Consumer-based - A strong brand increases the consumer's attitude strength toward the product associated with the brand. Attitude strength is built by experience with a product. This importance of actual experience by the customer implies that trial samples are more effective than advertising in the early stages of building a strong brand. The consumer's awareness and associations lead to perceived quality, inferred attributes, and eventually, brand loyalty.” (Net MBA Knowledge Center, 2007)<br /><ul><li>2.20.4“Brand equity has been defined as a set of brand assets and liabilities linked to a brand, its name, and its symbol that add to or subtract from the value provided by a product or service to a firm and/or to that firm’s customers. If the brand’s name or symbol should change, some or all of the assets or liabilities could be affected and even lost, although some might be shifted to a new name and symbol.
  2. 2. 2.20.5The assets and liabilities on which brand equity is based will, according to Aaker (1991), differ by context. However, they can be grouped into five categories: 1. Brand Loyalty2. Brand Name (Awareness)
  3. 3. 3. Perceived Quality4. Brand Associations5. Other Proprietary Brand Assets” CITATION DrE07 l 1033 (Manhaimer 2007).</li></ul>2.21Brand Name Awareness<br />“People will often buy a familiar brand because they are comfortable with the familiarity or they assume that a brand that is familiar is probably reliable and of reasonable quality. When consumers feel uneasy about a product’s name, they will avoid the product – and that translates into the loss of sales. Brand names should be easy for customers to visualize, and this involves pronunciation and spelling.” (Manhaimer 2007).<br />2.22Perceived Quality<br />“A brand will have associated with it a perception of overall quality, which is not necessarily based on knowledge of detailed specifications. The quality perception may take on somewhat different forms for different types of industries. Perceived quality means something different for Compaq or IBM than for Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Perceived quality will directly influence purchase decisions and brand loyalty, especially when a buyer is not motivated or able to conduct a detailed analysis. It can also support a premium price, which, in turn, can create gross margin that can be reinvested in brand equity. Further, perceived quality can be the basis for a brand extension. If a brand is well-regarded in one context, then the assumption will be that it will have high quality in a related context. “ (Manhaimer 2007).<br />2.23Brand Associations<br />The underlying value of a brand name often is based upon specific associations linked to it. The associations, for example, of the car brand Jaguar may make the experience of owning and driving one “different”. If a brand is well positioned upon a key attribute in the product class (such as technological superiority), then competitors will find it hard to attack. If they attempt a frontal assault by claiming superiority via that dimension, there will be a credibility issue. They may be forced to find another, perhaps inferior, basis for competition. Thus, an association can be a barrier for competitors. (Manhaimer 2007).<br />2.24Other Proprietary Brand Assets ”This fifth category represents such other proprietary brand assets as patents, trademarks, and channel relationships. Brand assets will be most valuable if they inhibit or prevent competitors from eroding a customer base and loyalty. These assets can take several forms. For example, a trademark will protect brand equity from competitors who might want to confuse customers by using a similar name, symbol, or package. A patent, if strong and relevant to customer choice, can prevent direct competition. A distribution channel can be controlled by a brand because of a history of brand performance.” (Manhaimer 2007).<br />2.25 Economy Affects Loyalty to Gasoline<br />“When comparing first-quarter 2009 loyalty measures vs. the same period in 2000, the age group that experienced the greatest decline was the 30-to-44-year-old age segment. In 2000, 18- to 29-year-olds were the least brand loyal; in the intervening nine years, many of them brought their brand switching behavior into the 30-to-44 bracket.<br />Brand Loyalty Among Different Age Groups<br />Source: Burnett, 2009<br />When comparing 1Q09 loyalty measures versus 1Q00, the age group that experienced the greatest decline was the 30-to-44 age segment. In 2000, 18- to 29-year-olds were the least brand loyal; in the intervening nine years, many of them brought their brand switching behavior into the 30-to-44 bracket.” (Burnett 2009).<br />2.26Measuring Brand Loyalty to Brand Types<br />”Consumers are loyal to denim jeans brand types: over the past three years, more than 8 of 10 of denim jeans customers purchased exclusively either national brands or private labels, based on survey data from STS Market Research.<br />Overall, more consumers bought national-brand than private label denim jeans (72% vs. 47%), consistent with the fact that national-brand jeans outsold private label jeans (60% to 40% In 2003 on a unit basis). Of consumers who bought denim jeans, 53% bought only national brands, 28% bought only private labels, and 19% bought both (i.e., cross shopped between brand types). “(Cotton Incorporated 2004).<br />2.27The Roots of Brand Loyalty<br />“Brand-type loyalty may be influenced by such attributes as quality, style, and labeling. Other possible explanations for loyalty to national-brand denim jeans are their greater availability and a greater opportunity to buy national brands at sale prices.” (Cotton Incorporated 2004).<br />“In 2003, 48% of national-brand jeans were sold at a discount, compared with 32% of private-label jeans. Slashing of prices creates a perceived value to consumers and attracts bargain hunters, even if they still pay more than for competing products.” (Cotton Incorporated 2004).<br />2.28Loyalty and Age<br />“Age is another determinant of brand-type loyalty. Young people (under 35) were generally more likely than their elders to cross-shop between brand types. However, patterns of cross-shopping with age differed between male and female consumers.<br />Cross-shopping was highest (25%) among women aged 19 to 24 and dropped off sharply among women over 34. Women’s loyalty to both national brands and private labels increased with age, though loyalty to national brands was consistently stronger. Among women who purchased any national-brand jeans, 75% of those aged 45 or older bought only national brands, compared with 67% of those under 45. Among women who purchased any private-label jeans, the corresponding figures were 63% for older women and 59% for younger women.” (Cotton Incorporated 2004).<br />2.29Measuring Emotional vs. Rational Customer Loyalty<br />“Another aspect of customer loyalty involves the difference between emotional and rational loyalty. Are your customers rationally loyal because they appreciate the tangible benefits of your products or services? Are they emotionally loyal because they love your business and how you make them feel? Or is it some combination of the two? <br />2.29.1“According to Dr. Gerald Zaltman of Harvard Business School, Laboratory of the Consumer Mind, “consumers are driven far less by tangible attributes of products and services than by subconscious sensory and emotional elements derived from the total experience surrounding a transaction.” CITATION Wen06 l 1033 (Close 2006).<br />2.29.2Because customers who are rationally loyal often know how to “work the system,” they tend to be less profitable than customers who are also emotionally loyal. For that reason, it is important to measure both dimensions of loyalty and to take steps to increase your customers’ emotional loyalty. Customers who have a high degree of both rational and emotional loyalty are considered to be “engaged’ customers.” (Close 2009).<br />2.30Measure and Enhance Emotional Loyalty<br />“To enhance emotional loyalty, focus on turning customer problems into opportunities for your company. Research shows that customers who felt that a company adequately addressed their problems reported higher loyalty than customers who didn’t report any problems.” CITATION Wen06 l 1033 (Close 2006)<br />2.30.1“Also, train all customer-facing employees to act as ambassadors of messages your customers most need to hear, such as “we appreciate you.” Above all, focus on strategies that engage customers’ emotions, such as passion, intimacy and partnership, interdependency, and commitment. “ CITATION Wen06 l 1033 (Close 2006)<br />2.30.2“Examples of companies who have done that extraordinarily well include Apple, Harley Davidson, and Google.” CITATION Wen06 l 1033 (Close 2006)<br />2.31Measure and Enhance Brand Perception <br />“When you measure both rational and emotional loyalty, you in essence measure brand perception, which shows whether your efforts to create a particular brand perception are successful. “ CITATION Wen06 l 1033 (Close 2006).<br />2.32Behavioral Brand Loyalty<br />“Behavioral brand loyalty is mainly determined by repeat purchase. If a customer buys your product over and again it means that the customer is loyal towards your brand. But at times it might not be true and the customer might be forced to buy your products because of situational constrains. However customer behavior always reflects his/her perception about a brand. Depending on a customer's perception a company develops its branding strategy.” CITATION Bra09 l 1033 (Brand Loyalty can Increase Saes 2009).<br />2.33Attitudinal Brand Loyalty<br />“Attitudinal brand loyalty should be the ultimate goal of any company. It determines a customer's favorable attitude towards a brand. It is not only indicated by repeat purchase but much more than that. If a customer is completely committed to a brand he/she will be indifferent to price change. They will be ready to pay high for a product when they know that the company offers value for money. Not only that he/she will also recommend your brand to others when they realize that your brand actually keeps the promise it makes.” <br /> CITATION Bra09 l 1033 (Brand Loyalty can Increase Saes 2009).<br />3.0 METHODOLOGY<br />3.1 Sample<br />The concept is to find out if the respondents are loyal to one brand or if a lower price drives their buying patterns. As a methodology, it can be applied to deepen a Marketers’ understanding of brand loyalty while explaining the opinions, influences and attitudes that lies behind the respondents’ opinion about a brand, the product and the reason behind the purchase. <br />The specific questions work in conjunction with the background of the typologies to enable a rich understanding of purchasing decisions and explain opinions based on the reason the respondent will continue to purchase a brand.<br />Core Aspects of Brand Loyalty<br />Focus on the key demographic of 17 years of age and older<br />Features Surrounding Areas– Killeen, Fort Hood, Cedar Hill, Garland, and Dallas, Texas <br />A series of both qualitative and quantitative questions<br />Every respondent can put theory input ideas and research themes into the qualitative topic guides, therefore enabling specific findings from each respondent<br />3.3 The Background and Development of Brand Loyalty<br />The methodology was designed through a combination of vast amounts of qualitative research and quantitative representation across 100 consumers. There is no prearranged plan with how the methodology or typologies would be formed. The primary philosophy was to find out if consumers will stay loyal to one brand even if a lower priced generic brand is available. The idea was to create a method to determine what the respondents feel about brand loyalty and how they respond to lower priced generic brands. The researchers goal was to map out the best way to reach the precise demographic in such a way that handles the issues of brand loyalty with complexity and fluidity to thoroughly explain the thinking of the respondents.<br />The difficulty was that the respondents do not all think the same when purchasing a product nor do they have the same amount of money to spend. Depending on the respondents’ beliefs and personal experiences with a brand or product, there are many opinions on the subject,<br />The processes of the research were kept extremely open to all demographics to keep the idea of biased opinions under assumption. The beginning process is to pass out ten of survey instruments. The researcher asked the respondents if the questions were clearly worded and if there were any misspellings. <br />The next stage of the research was to continue passing out the survey instruments to make sure a variety of opinions would be represented in the research. The researcher also emailed the survey instruments, as well as telephoned different respondents who were willing to participate in the study. <br />As always with quantitative studies, they formulated a series of theories and hypotheses that could be tested through a number of questions. The survey was then conducted across 100 respondents aged 17 or older who lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and other areas throughout the state of Texas. The study was then modeled with the data on the key variables of customer service, price, quality, and brand name products versus generic products.<br />3.4 Reliability and Validity<br />The reliability and validity of brand loyalty is going to be understood. The reliability with the results will be proven in the following chapter. For instances, each respondent wrote their exact opinion or the researcher wrote down word for word the respondents’ response. This provides the reliability of the research. The respondents were strictly voluntary and gave the most honest answers for the survey. <br />The validity will be with the findings of the survey. This will better be exemplified with understanding on how the respondents answered to the survey. Showing the reliability of the respondents’ answers and how they made the survey into their own. <br />Biased Opinion<br />When conducting the survey there were no biased opinions. To prove that there were no biased opinions the researcher numbered each of the surveys when received from the respondents. Obtaining the research in a non-biased form gives more reliability and validity to the research.<br />The following chapter will examine the findings of the research about brand loyalty. It will be based upon the survey that was conducted and be analyzed. The information is being tested from the hypotheses that were in the proposal. <br />4.0 FINDINGS<br />4.1 Findings<br />In this chapter the findings will be introduced. The information is produced from the survey instruments that were given to one-hundred respondents. The information that will be given is to help prove or fault the hypotheses about brand loyalty and generic products versus name brand products, The information will also test if generic products are a great thing to have around or if <br />they are more cost effective to produce than to use.<br />4.2 Gender Q1: Are you…?<br />The first question on the survey is the gender of the respondent. Asking are you male or female? This question was important in conducting the survey because it helps to grasp understanding for the rest of the responses from the respondents. The genders that were surveyed by the researcher ended up being primarily female versus male. The graph below shows the actual percentage of the Male gender that took the survey of 33% and the female gender responding to the survey with 67%.<br />The table above clearly shows the genders divided. One assumption that one could be speculated is that that there were more women than men surveyed because the women were more open to taking the survey.<br />4.3 Age Q2: What is your age? <br />The reason this question was important in conducting the survey is to determine the age range that is being used. It was also used to determine how each age range differed on the answers that were given. <br />Most respondents that were surveyed were between the ages of thirty six or older. The percentage of that age range is 40%. Even the second runner up was ages twenty six to thirty five and that range was not far behind with 30%.<br />In the research the ages were for the most part all over the age of eighteen. The research that is concluded from the respondents is that most of them, if not all of them, are out of High School. <br />4.4 Income Q3: What is your total household income?<br />This particular question of household income is vital because a household that makes $0-$10,000 will of course have a different outlook on generic products versus a household with an income of $46,000 or more. <br /> Most of the respondents had a household income of $46,000 or more. The next highest income was $26,000 to $45,000. The one that had the least was $0 to $10,000.<br /> <br />4.5 Q4: Have you been affected financially by the recession?<br />This question was important because it gave the researcher an idea if price mattered to the respondent. If the respondent was not affected by the recession, then the respondent probably would not mind spending a few extra dollars for a name brand product.<br />The results were 67% of the respondents were not affected by the recession This is a surprising amount of respondents who were not affected financially by the recession. <br />4.6 Q5: Does Advertising influence your choice of brand when shopping?<br />This was a vital question to the researcher because advertising is an important part of today’s society. Many are influenced by advertising and that helps them decide what products to purchase. The researcher was curious to know if advertising influences the respondents shopping choices.<br />The results were sixty-seven percent of the respondents were not influenced by advertising when choosing a brand. Only thirty three percent responded yes. <br />4.7 Q6: Have you ever purchased a generic brand?<br />This was one of the most vital questions of the survey. If the respondent had never purchased a generic brand then the survey was not as relevant to them as others.<br />The results for this question were that 70% of the respondents had purchased a generic product. An overwhelming amount of the respondents had bought a generic brand.<br />4.8 Q7: Did price influence your decision to purchase the generic brand?<br />This question is important in the survey because this is one to test the hypothesis. Without asking this question in the survey the hypothesis could not be tested and concluded with the findings. <br />Participants in this survey prove that the hypothesis is false. The hypothesis stated, Brand loyalty is not influenced by price. The respondents stated that they purchased the generic brand because of the price.<br />4.9 Q8: If a brand that you currently use was not available, would you consider buying the generic brand?<br />This was an important question because it plays a huge role in determining how open the respondent would be to purchasing a generic brand or if the respondent would alternatively look for another name brand product to buy.<br />As shown above in the chart, 67% of the respondents stated that they would consider buying the generic brand if a brand that they currently use is not available. 33% of the respondents said they would not consider buying a generic brand.<br />4.10 Q9: If your brand increased in price, would you continue to be a loyal customer?<br />Question nine is another question that evaluates and tests one hypothesis. The hypothesis stated, brand loyalty is not influenced by price. Due to the information conducted from the survey respondents felt that if their brand increased in price they would not continue to be a loyal customer. 67% agreed with that statement. <br />Respondents concluded through the survey that price does influence their decision to buy a generic brand. The findings in this section prove to be false when looking at the hypotheses. <br />4.11 Q10: Do your friends or family influence your decisions on what brands you purchase?<br />This particular question was vital in the research to determine if purchasing decisions are based upon influence of friends and family. In 2.0 Review of Literature, it explains in detail that a lot of times a buying decision is made based upon the influence of a friend or family member. <br />This theory that is mentioned in 2.0 Review of Literature is proven incorrect because 67% of the respondents felt that their friends and family do not influence what brands they purchase.<br />4.12 Q11: Do you feel like the generic brand is not as good as the name brand?<br />This question was more of an opinionated question to really understand on how the respondent felt about generic brands. This is the main reason why this particular question was vital in conducting this study.<br />The results were 33% agreed with the question that the generic brands are not as good as the name brand. The 67% that checked no felt that it was just as good as the name brand.<br />4.13 Q12: In today’s society, do you think purchasing a certain brand plays into your social status?<br />Just like question number 11, this was more of an opinionated question to really understand how the respondents felt about what brand is purchased plays into social status. This is the main reason why this particular question was vital in conducting this study.<br />67% felt that purchasing a certain brand does not play into a certain social status. 33% disagreed and felt that purchasing a certain brand does play into your social status. <br />4.14 Q13: If a new brand with the same product and the same price was available, would you still purchase your usual brand?<br />This question was put in the survey to discover if the respondents would be willing to purchase a newer brand if it was exactly the same as their usual brand. <br />The findings to the question were 67% no and 33% yes. Most respondents according to the survey would not purchase their usual brand if they found a newer brand that was the same product and price.<br />4.15 Q14: Customer service is the number one reason why I stay with a company.<br />The respondents answered the question and picked the number they felt most strong about in the survey. The respondents could choose from the following: 1-strongly disagree, 2-disagree, 3-neutral, 4-agree and 5-strongly agree.<br />The results came to be with a mean (average) of 3.54. Most respondents felt neutral with the statement that was given. The medium, which is the middle value reported with this statement as 4. The mode in this statement is 3 which gave most used value in this question of the survey.<br />4.16 Q15: The way I was raised has a huge influence on what I purchase.<br />Out of the one hundred respondents this statement was evaluated in a number order. The choices were: 1-strongly disagree, 2-disagree, 3-neutral, 4-agree and 5-strongly agree. The following were analyzed into mean, medium and mode.<br />The results that were calculated with were the mean 3.16. The medium resulted in 3, neutral. The mode calculated as a 3, neutral. <br />4.17 Q16: Before I buy a product I look at the prices and compare<br />The respondents answered the question and picked the number they felt most strong about in the survey. The respondents could choose from the following: 1-strongly disagree, 2-disagree, 3-neutral, 4-agree and 5-strongly agree. <br />The results came to be with a mean (average) of 3.75. Most respondents felt they agreed with the statement that was given. The medium, which is the middle value reported with this statement as 4. The mode in this statement is 5 which gave the value of the most used in this question of the survey.<br />4.18 Q17: Do you buy a certain brand because it is what your parents bought when you were a kid? If yes, why do you prefer that brand versus the others?<br />The following results are part of the qualitative section in the survey. When reported, there were very different opinions that relate with many of the top results but had more elaboration. The results are arranged according to the survey number. If another respondent puts the same opinion or something similar, that survey number will appear next to the opinion stated.<br /><ul><li>Some of the products I buy because I’m used to them and know them.
  4. 4. No (5,7,10,11,13,14,16,17,19,20,21,22,24,25,31,40,42,44,45,47,48,49,51,52,53,54,56,57,58,59,66,67,72,73,77,78,81,82,83,84,85,86,87,88,89,90,91,92,93,94,97,98,99,100)
  5. 5. Sometimes I do but I also compare prices and quantity and that is how I determine what I buy.
  6. 6. Taste, quality, price some things are not as good as generic brands.
  7. 7. No response (26,33,35,36,37)
  8. 8.
  9. 9. I will usually buy the brand my parents buy but I also take into consideration quality and if it financially makes sense to my family.
  10. 10. Sometimes depending on what it is. More than likely yes because I am more likely to buy a brand that I am familiar with.
  11. 11. Yes, for the most part depends on the other brands quality and taste.
  12. 12. No, price and quality are number one
  13. 13. No – I feel brands change over time so what is used today is different from the same product of yesterday-new, improved remember?</li></ul>23. No, I buy what I like and get what I want to make me happy. I eat my feelings away.<br />27. I buy a certain brand because I’ve tried it and I like it.<br />28. Yes, some brands are better than others.<br />29. Some brands yes. Because they are brands I am similar with and I know about the companies.<br />30. Yes, taste better (38)<br />32. No, I buy what I like and can afford.<br />34. Yea<br />39. Yes old habits are hard to break.<br />41. No, I buy because I like it for the smell, taste, looks or feel and price. My choice is not anyone else’s.<br />43. No I do not believe that I do. I enjoy finding good deals and using coupons. Although, I have been more influenced to buy meats and produce that are labeled as “organic” and have been more willing to pay a bit more money for that reason.<br />45. Yes, I am a bit of nostalgias and I usually don’t change my ways unless something forces me to.<br />50. Yes, I only buy Jiffy cornbread because it reminds me of childhood. <br />55. Yes, toll house cookies because they taste better than the others.<br />60. I’ve worked with the product for a while so I’m more familiar with it.<br />61. No response (65,69,70,79,80,95)<br />62. Yes Kool-aid is a great cheap drink.<br />63. Not really, I usually go with the cheapest. (75)<br />64. Sometimes-probably because I trust their “test of time”<br />68. Yes, Tide it smells the same as it did when I was a little kid.<br />71. I prefer to buy items that my mother used to purchase as it always seems to remind of my childhood. Also, if it worked for her it should work for me.<br />74. Depends on the brand and the product. Some brands are better quality and value based on the research and work put into them that generics don’t usually have. My parents’ brand preferences haven’t had much of an impact on me except for automobiles. My parents have had 4 Honda’s and I bought a Honda because they were happy with the support, quality, and value. I don’t value the same clothes brands as they do.<br />96. Sometimes depends on the price. Trust the brand name sometimes.<br />4.19 Q18: Do you believe that generic products are just a knock off of the original and they should be done away with? Why or Why not?<br />The following results were given by the respondents. The findings or this qualitative question had diverse variety of results. The findings are reported with the first recorded with the highest number of the same result then followed by the rest. The results are arranged according to the survey number. If another respondent puts the same opinion or something similar, that survey number will appear next to the opinion stated.<br /><ul><li>No I think after a certain product has expired it helps to create a knock off that compares to it.
  14. 14. No, competition controls pricing
  15. 15. No they are made with the same thing it just has a cheaper cover on it.
  16. 16. No, they should not be knocked off for some brands are just as good. It all depends on what it is you are a getting.
  17. 17. In some cases generic products may differ slightly but may still work for intended use.
  18. 18. No response (33,36,44,54,61,65,69,75,76,80,81,94,95)
  19. 19. No (14,19,46,52,55,56,57,66,70,82,83,84,85,86,87,88,89,92)
  20. 20. No absolutely not with the diverse social status’ of our society there should be something that economically makes sense for everyone.
  21. 21. No, I think the generic products are usually the exact same product as the brand name ones. Many times when you buy branded products, you pay extra for the name.
  22. 22. No, many times they are just as good as the brand and cheaper.
  23. 23. No they have the same ingredients as the brand name. (22)
  24. 24. No some generic products produce the same benefits
  25. 25. Yes, they are a “knock off” of the original, no they shouldn’t be done away with because of price.
  26. 26. Most are knock offs but I do believe they are necessary in today’s financial times.
  27. 27. Yes, I have sold both and seen firsthand the difference in quality.
  28. 28. No because it may have the same ingredients as the original brand.
  29. 29. No everything has more than one way to reach the same result. Think about it…how many times have you got to the same place using a different route</li></ul>20. No they should keep the generic brands due to the savings for the consumers.<br />21. No it allows people to pick products for less, which, allows people to save money and live for less.<br />23. Some cases yes I believe they are, but I think they should stay around cause you might not always have the funds to get the name brand or doesn’t make sense to buy the name brand when you can get it cheaper.<br />24. Yes but not done away with. Comparing ingredients they are both containing the same. Generic products are sold at the same price the original should be. The only difference is the packaging.<br />25. No, I think generics are just as good of quality as the name brands.<br />26. No, because some generic brands are pretty much consistent with brand names. The only difference is the name.<br />27. I do believe that generic products are a knock off of the original but I don’t think they should be done away with because there are people who can’t afford the real thing and prefer to buy a knock off brand.<br />28. No they are pretty much the same thing.<br />29. I believe generic products are knocking off of the original but they should not be done away with because they can offer the same things at a lower price and people who cannot afford the original are able to get the generic brand. Generic products also keep the market price down and some of the original products.<br />30. No, some generic foods taste the same as the name brand. I have tried some generic foods that are just nasty. Personal preference. Depending on the product I purchase name brand or generic.<br />31. I do believe they are the same as the others and why do away with them when they are cheaper!<br />32. No, I think they are the same as regular at a cheaper price.<br />34. Yea (58<br />35. No most times there really isn’t a difference3 in taste from the generic to the brand name and most times generic is a lot more affordable.<br />37. Yes they are and they should continue to be offered.<br />38. No, it is very important to have the generic brand for medicines and everything else because the majority of the public can’t afford the name brands.<br />39. A lot of people cannot afford name brand items so generic products should be kept.<br />40. No, they are the price they should originally be. The original brand makes their price high because of supply and demand.<br />41. No, as far as I’m concerned generic is just as good without all the hype. You don’t have to pay so much because there is no advertising overhead to pay for it. If it was taken away many of us would have a very hard time with the little money we make now-a-days to make ends meet.<br />42. No because it is cheaper.<br />43. I actually called Conagra Foods and spoke with a representative about the foods that they manufacture. They literally make a product (such as salad dressing) and then send it off to different bottling companies. Some of the product goes to Kraft and receives their bottle and label; while some of the product is sent to Wal-Mart packaging centers and bottled/sold as a “great value” generic brand dressing. They are literally the same product. Kraft costs more because of the advertising that they pay for and the more expensive packaging.<br />45. No I don’t feel all generic products are as good as name brands. I purchase name brands even if it cost more.<br />47. I find some generic products better than name brand products. If the product is good it should sell itself, although you have those people who think name brand is better, although money and product should always play a factor in decisions.<br />48. Yes how do I know if they are generic?<br />49.No helps save money.<br />50. No exactly the same as the name brand.<br />51. Yes they are wasting space on the shelves.<br />52. No they have the same ingredients.<br />59. No, because I think it’s good because it gives people that are less fortunate to have a chance to purchase things that they usually wouldn’t.<br />60. No it’s cheaper and can do the job just as well for less amount of money.<br />62. No great and cheap item.<br />63. Yes I believe same product different labels. When they recall products lots of time it is all brands.<br />64. No, I like using generic products because their price is better.<br />67. Yes they really are not as good.<br />68. No good stuff!<br />71. No I think some of them are the same with just less of the active ingredient.<br />72. No I don’t feel all generic products are as good as name brands. I purchase some name brands even if it costs more.<br />73. Generic brands are beneficial.<br />74. I believe generics that don’t do research on their own to develop a product should be done away with (except in the context of prescriptions where brand names are ridiculously priced) but generics where the product has been around for a while and no detailed research goes into its production, such as say dry pasta and produce, those are fine.<br />77. No I think they are most likely exactly the same but cheaper.<br />78. Not always but I’d have to try before making a decision if it’s a good alternative.<br />79. I think they are knock offs but I don’t think the choice to purchase them should be done away with.<br />90. No, most generics are the same quality of the original. They should be kept to keep costs down and promote competition between brands.<br />91. No if it is the same product for less price why do away with it?<br />93. No prices are great.<br />96. No because they offer competitive cheap alternative.<br />97. No they keep the originals affordable.<br />98. I wish they would get rid of those damn things.<br />99. I enjoy generic brands! They are so cheap but still just as good as the original.<br />100. Mostly all generics are the same as the name brand so I don’t think they should be gotten rid of.<br />4.20 Findings Conclusion<br />The findings were all resulted in a statistical analysis conducted from all 100 survey instruments. The results were each divided into a graph to give the reader a quick view of the findings. The researcher’s opinion will be given in the following chapter to conclude the report of brand loyalty.<br />The findings gave the reader a broad understanding of what is people’s true opinion on brand loyalty compared to what text books and articles say about the subject. Many respondents agreed with the research in 2.0 Review of Literature. <br />5.0 CONCLUSIONS<br />5.1 Purpose of Research<br />The purpose of this study was to determine if brand loyalty existed or could consumers be persuaded to use a generic brand because of its cheaper price. The hypotheses were to determine brand loyalty is affected by price, if buying a name brand mattered to consumers over price, and finally to determine females cared more about brand loyalty over males.<br />The results of the findings were discussed in the previous chapter and understood that the subject varies from respondent based upon opinion and experience of the participant. <br />5.2 Results<br />The first hypothesis is brand loyalty is not influenced by price. This statement was proved to be accepted because 67% of the respondents said that they bought a generic brand over their usual brand because it was a lower price. The second hypothesis is consumers do not care if a product is a name brand as long as it is considered cheap. The second hypothesis that was tested was also accepted. 67% of all the respondents agreed that buying a name brand does not determine your social status and that if both products are the same and one is cheaper, they will buy the lower priced product. Finally, the third hypothesis is males do not have as much brand loyalty as females. This statement again is rejected. Due to the overwhelming response of opinions the respondents had during the qualitative questions. Surprisingly, most of the males said that they enjoyed buying the generic products and did not care to remain loyal to their name brand. They are definitely persuaded by the better deal.<br />Two hypotheses of the three were accepted and one was rejected from the recently discovered research on brand loyalty. <br />5.3 Researcher’s Opinion<br />The researcher felt that many respondents’ answers were predictable. Most of the respondents felt that generic brands were the same as the name brand and that they would definitely buy them in the future. It was very disheartening to the researcher that some of the respondents chose not to answer the qualitive questions because those questions helped the researcher gain the most knowledge about the study of loyalty and generic branding.<br />Reviewing over 2.0 Review of Literature the reader will conclude that loyal customers are hard to come by now-a-days with so many other companies offering the same product for a cheaper cost. It is also very costly advertising wise to keep a customer loyal for long periods of time. The understanding of all the research and findings of the survey instruments concludes that there are lots of different opinions on generic brands versus name brands. One of the most common opinions was that the generic brands needed to have the same exact ingredients as the name brand to be fairly comparable <br />