BRANDING AS MARKETING STRATEGY: CASE STUDY OF A BAKERY IN IDAH
M. I. Edicha
Department of Marketing, Federal Polytechnic, Idah.
A. M. Habeeb
Department of Hospitality & Tourism, Federal Polytechnic, Bida
Aimed at investigating the impact of branding on marketing efficiency, with Nkem Bakery, Idah, Kogi Stae, Nigeria, as a case study,this research used oral interviews and reconnaissance survey to obtained required data from primary and secondary sources. The branding strategy adopted in marketing the firm’s brands of bread is brand leveraging. It was found that consumer perception of Nkem bread is positive and preference is encouraging because the lowest consumer preference is 66%, which is above average of 50%.
Keywords: Branding, strategy,bread, marketing
All those managing businesses in the public and private sectors are well aware of the importance of marketing to their enterprises. A company producing new products, for example, bread or cakes, fail to market the bread or cake effectively, the venture will not reach its full market potentials and may even fail through insufficient sale revenue.
Many managers and operators working in the production industry consider that marketing is the single most important management function in their organisation. Most would be hard pressed to come up with marketing strategy or strategies to increase sale revenue. Marketing strategy like branding is veritable tool in marketing products in any competitive market.
Youell(1998:209) “branding is commonplace in the marketing of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods(FMCDs), such as cosmetics, food and household cleaning products, and is a technique that is increasingly common in the marketing of tourism products. As the tourism industry matures and its range of product, for example a Disney resort, Hilton Hotel or Hertz rented car, helps distinguish it from its competitors and by so doing, offers customers a buying cue and hopes that its consumers will show brand loyalty, by continuing to choose its products and services over and above those offered by its competitors.
Knowles, et al (2004) argued that there are several branding strategies exist to create brand equity and position a brand in the mind of the customer. An organisation must therefore choose the strategy most likely to generate success from the products or service. They also identified traditional branding strategies which consist of brand expansion, brand leveraging, multiband and co-branding.
A brand expansion (or brand extension) strategy aims at introducing a new product or service utilizing the established image of a core brand to gain acceptance for the new product or service in the marketplace (Kim and Lavack, 1996).
Brand leveraging (or umbrella marketing) is in reality a form of brand extension, but it has been allocated the status of a separate strategy by certain marketers (Kim and Lavack, 1996). This strategy comprises two methods, which are corporate umbrella branding and family umbrella marketing. The former refers to the decision to match the name of the organisation. The latter method allows an organisation to create several named product/service groups under a common name (Wilson and Gilligen, 1997).
Multibrands can also be said to be a sub-category of brand extension and the opposite of brand leveraging. They are formed when organisation launch several products/services in the same category but with different names and images. A multibrand strategy is adopted by organisations that aim to reach various market segments with their products/ services (Kotler, 1997, Maenaghan, 1997).
Co-branding (dual branding or brand alliances) takes place when the promotion of two or more brands is consolidated in order to strengthen the preference for the individual brands (Rao and Ruekert, 1994 in Kotler, 1998). Several varieties of brand alliances exist, including joint promotions, joint advertising promotion of complementary use and physical product integration (Washburn, et al, 2000).
Therefore, the objectives of this research are to:
i. Determine brands of Nkem Breads and the strategy Nkem Bakery adopted in marketing the bread;
ii. Evaluate the consumer’s perception / preference of Nkem Bread;
iii. Identify the problems encountered by Nkem Bakery and,
iv. Make recommendations based on the research findings.
Case study: Nkem bakery
Nkem bread is a product of Nkem Bakery which is registered as Private Sole Proprietorship business venture in 2004 and incorporated in 2008 by Mrs. Nkechinyere M. The Bakery is located at No. 34 Hon. Abu John Ali Street, Ede- Adejoh area in Idah, Kogi State Nigeria. The Bakery has total of Fifteen (15) staff permanent staff and casual staff which number are not stable.).
This research dealt with analysis of data obtained from primary and secondary sources. Oral interview with the Director and staff of Nkem Bakery, and Fifty (50) consumers (29 male, 58% and 21female, 42%) of Nkem Breads provided the needed primary data. Reconnaissance survey was conducted in Idah and environs including Ajaka, Oforachi, Ugwolawo, Ogbogbo, etc. Data collected from primary and secondary sources through oral interviews and reconnaissance survey were analysis using descriptive method.
Findings and discussions
Brands of Nkem Bread
Data / information obtained both from oral interview and reconnaissance survey in Idah and environs including Ajaka, Oforachi, Ugwolawo, Ogbogbo, etc. revealed that Nkem Bakery adopted branding as a marketing strategy for the bread products. Nkem bread is in Four (4) brands including Nkem Crown Bread (Fig.1), Nkem Fidelity Bread (Fig.2), Nkem Traveller (Fig. 3) and Nkem Royal Bread (Fig. 4).
Sample of Nkem bread collected during the reconnaissance survey in Idah and environs including Ajaka, Oforachi, Ugwolawo, Ogbogbo, etc. revealed that Nkem Bakery is using brand leveraging as a strategy to its products ( Nkem Bread)-. Brand leveraging (or umbrella marketing) is in reality a form of brand extension, but it has been allocated the status of a separate strategy by certain marketers (Kim and Lavack, 1996). This strategy comprises two methods, which are corporate umbrella branding and family umbrella marketing. The former refers to the decision to match the name of the organisation. The latter method allows an organisation to create several named product/service groups under a common name (Wilson and Gilligen, 1997). As it may be, Nkem Bakery strategically is using the latter method to explore the market in Idah, since Idah constitute a major hub of the consumption and patronage of Nkem breads.
Consumer’s perception of Nkem breads.
Oral interviews with consumers of Nkem Breads revealed that the consumer’s perception of Nkem Brands of Bread is positive. The Fifty (50) consumer preference as indicated during oral interview and reconnaissance survey in Idah and environs including Ajaka, Oforachi, Ugwolawo, Ogbogbo, etc is shown in the Table below.
Table: Consumers preference of Nkem Brands of Bread
Nkem Royal 43 86
Nkem Special 37 74
Nkem Fidelity 33 66
Nkem Crown 41 82
Source: Reconnaissance Survey, 2010.
The Table above show the Fifty (50) consumer perception / preference of Nkem brands of bread. The Table indicated that among the 50 consumers, 43(86%) which is the most preferred brand of bread (Nkem Royal) and Nkem Fidelity has 33(66) is the lowest preferred brand of bread. The general consumer preference is encouraging because the lowest consumer preference is 66%, which is above average of 50%.
Oral interviews with the consumers further revealed that the consumers developed positive impression in the consumption of Nkem brands of bread because of high quality. They also stated that in most cases there has been shortage in supply. In short, the consumers view Nkem Brands of bread as second to none in Idah and environs.
Problems encountered by Nkem bakery
Nkem Bakery encountered some inherent problems in the course of operation. These problems include:
Insufficient Electricity Supply
Hundred percent (100%) of the workers including the Director repeatedly reported that electricity is the major problem of the Bakery. They pointed out that electric current in Idah is too low to operate any machine or there is no electricity in Idah for days or even weeks. This findings confirmed Orga and Kuku (2009) and Momoh (2009) studies in Idah. Nkem Bakery main source of power is diesel generators. The diesel generators used diesel which is expensive. The respondents also stated that they buy a litre of diesel at cost of One Hundred and Thirty (N130) Naira and they uses fifty litres of diesel per day.
This is another problem of Nkem Bakery. It is reported that the workers are not willing to work in the Bakery. When the worker’s views were sought, the workers stated that the pay check is small and the work is tedious. However, further investigation revealed that the workers are not willing to work in the Bakery because they prefers government office work especially working with Federal Polytechnic, Idah like their relations.
Good water quality and large quantity is needed for production of bread. Unfortunately, there is no pipe- borne in Idah. The Bakery always treats water for the production of bread and this do increase the cost of production. As it may be, water supply is problem.
From the foregoing discussions, it is clear that Nkem Bakery used brand leveraging as a strategy to market its products (or bread). This marketing strategy is yielding positive dividends for the Bakery. The research also revealed that Nkem Bakery encountered some problems including insufficient electricity supply, poor worker’s attitude and scarcity of quality water for production of brands of bread.
To ameliorate these identified problems encountered by Nkem Bakery, the following recommendations are made as thus:
Alternative to insufficient electricity supply in Idah, the management of Nkem Bakery should consider using Solar Power Panel as suggested in Orga and Kuku (2009).
Motivation of Workers
The Bakery needs to provide incentives to it workers, this will motivate the workers to be loyal and stay for longer time. These incentives should include giving of bicycle, motor cycle, holiday allowance, etc to workers annually as the case is.
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