LIFESTYLE BRANDING AS A METHOD OF INCREASING PRODUCT APPEAL
A STUDY OF LIFE BEER IN THE SOUTH EAST
Branding is an important issue in any organization. This is because without a proper branding of a firm’s products, it’s difficult for the firm to run its operation smoothly for profit. The importance this study the lifestyle branding as a method of increasing product appeal - a study of life bear in the south east cannot be overemphasized. The results of this study will be recommended to the Nigerian brewery company and will be used to give guidelines on the importance of lifestyle branding, and how it can be used to increase the number of customers. In this study after data was analysed we found out that Lifestyle branding increases product appeal by the customers and Life branding provides financial returns for Company.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Brands and branding have existed for as long as it has been possible to trace artifacts of human existence. According to American Market Association (2010) a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers or competitors. Branding emerged in the nineteenth century when smart entrepreneurs realized that they could charge more for an otherwise standard commodity if they could guarantee quality and consistency; they usually claimed that their branded product had some outstanding characteristics that justified the extra cost (Doyle, 2001).
In today’s business world companies have to market their product as well as themselves. This enables them to gain an edge over their rivals and to differentiate themselves. Coca- Cola for example is globally known not only for the cold drinks but for providing a lifestyle. Drinking Coca-Cola means much more to some customers than just having a cold drink or choosing to take Pepsi despite of both having about the same price. Coca-Cola has a competitive advantage over Pepsi because of the Coca-Cola brand. Through branding Coca-Cola has been able to create a long-term relationship with its customers and established a connection with them and therefore their customers are loyal. Coca-Cola is known as one of the worlds’ most recognized brands (Melin, 2001).
Companies therefore have set funds aside to project the right kind of image and capture their customers’ loyalty. While working on its image a company has to incorporate its communication plan which aims at building its reputation among it different stakeholders. The idea behind it is to create a coordinated image that runs through all facets of the company’s appearance (Advetiser 1991).
A communication plan dictates a company’s vision and mission. To make the idea of a communication plan successful, most companies if not all have a Public Relations and Marketing department that ensures it keeps, builds and maintains a good reputation. Competition among different bear in Nigeria has risen. A brand which is widely known in the market place acquires brand recognition. When brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiments in the market place, it is said to have achieved brand franchise. Brand recognition is most successful when people can state a brand without being explicitly exposed to the company’s name but through visual signifiers as mentioned earlier like logos, slogan’s and colours.
Life Continental Lager Beer is the fine quality lager beer from the stables of Nigerian Breweries Plc made from the choicest grains, hops and the purest of waters. Life Continental Lager Beer is expertly brewed to give that rich, crisp distinctive taste and well-rounded aroma in true quality fashion of the master brewers. Life is better when shared and when life is shared, there is progress. This is what forms the core brand value of great-tasting Life Continental Beer, promoting and refreshing a life-long tradition of sharing, a heritage of progress.
Nigerian Breweries Plc, is the pioneer and largest brewing company in Nigeria. It serves the Nigerian market and exports to other parts of West Africa. Nigerian Breweries was incorporated in 1946 and the first bottle of its brand, theSTAR Lager, rolled off the bottling lines of its Lagos brewery in June 1949. As the company expanded into other regions, it established more breweries such as Aba Brewery in 1957 and Kaduna Brewery in 1963. By 1971, the company was one of the largest industries within the country in terms of capital investment. In 1982, another brewery was added in Ibadan. In September 1993, the company acquired its fifth brewery in Enugu, and in October 2003, its sixth brewery, sited at Ameke in Enugu. Ama Brewery began brewing on the 22 March 2003 and at 3 million hectolitres is the largest brewery in Nigeria. In this project we want to study lifestyle branding as a method of increasing product appeal - a study of life bear in the south east.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Branding is an important issue in any organization. This is because without a proper branding of a firm’s products, it’s difficult for the firm to run its operation smoothly for profit. As consumer become more sophisticated, manufacturers place more emphasis upon promoting their brands directly to consumers (rather than to distributors) spending considerable sums on advertising the high quality of their products thus profitability. Furthermore branding has been a major issue especially in developing countries. As a result in order to explain the relationship between branding and profitability in developed countries. Manufacturers believe that if they invest in the quality of their brands they will build up a brand image to which consumers will respond by asking for their foods by their brand names and by being willing to pay a premium for them. It is against this background that the research seeks to investigate lifestyle branding as a method of increasing product appeal - a study of life bear in the south east.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. To investigate the role of lifestyle branding in the beer consumer sector in the south east.
2. To find out if lifestyle branding increases product appeal by the customers.
3. To assess whether life branding provides financial returns for Company.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Ho: Lifestyle branding increases product appeal by the customers
Hi: Lifestyle branding does not increase product appeal by the customers
Ho: Life branding provides financial returns for Company.
Hi: Life branding does not provide financial returns for Company.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The results of this study will be recommended to the Nigerian brewery company and will be used to give guidelines on the importance of lifestyle branding, and how it can be used to increase the number of customers.
This study by its substantive examination of past literature has contributed to the richness of the past studies. Furthermore, it has reinforced some past knowledge, updated information in studies relating to branding and how it enhances profitability in a manufacturing industry.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
The study limits its scope on the life beer brand in the south eastern part of Nigeria only and precisely on how lifestyle branding in a manufacturing sector enhances profitability (case of Nigeria Breweries). Here, attempts are made to look at concept of branding, product branding, branding strategy, effects of product branding or their significant contribution on organizational profitability.
A study of this nature cannot be effectively carried out without certain constraints. However, these constraints do not have any prejudice on the result of the findings in the course of the study. The major limitations of this study include inadequate resources; the unwillingness of some respondents to give all necessary information required. This work is not conclusive on its own; it is still open to further research studies.
1.7 DEFINITIONS OF KEY TERMS
PROFIT: this is the money made in business or by selling things especially after paying the cost involved. It could also be seen as inflow of assets into the firm as a result of sales of goods and or service by such firm.
BRAND: brand is defined as the totality of product features such as a name, term, symbol, colour, design, mark or combination of things that distinguish it from other products or a means by which the firm identifies it to consumers.
BRANDING: According to Rosenthal (2003), branding is part of the promotional aspect of marketing and is extremely important to the image, reputation and success of a product or company
LIFESTYLE BRAND: A lifestyle brand is a brand that attempts to embody the values, aspirations, interests, attitudes, or opinions of a group or a culture for marketing purposes. Lifestyle brands seek to inspire, guide, and motivate people, with the goal of their products contributing to the definition of the consumer's way of life.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.