Competitive commercialisation and effective marketing in the world today has ensured that individuals have a wide array of products to choose from. Nonetheless, each individual has a specific preference based on various factors, such as taste, needs, and financial status. Indeed, marketing professionals, who understand the product decision-making process of individuals, produce and deliver superior and successful products and services to different individuals and market groups. In this regard, this study aims to evaluate how individuals make product choices with the understanding that different individuals pick a product based on different reasons, such as the aesthetic value, perceived benefits, and price amongst others.
Notably, establishing how individuals make product choices is very important in the context of consumer behaviour, as it sheds light on the buying decision-making process of an individual. In turn, this knowledge becomes useful in the determination of the various factors that affect consumer behaviour.
Moreover, knowledge of consumer behaviour explains psychological, socioeconomic, cultural, and personal reasons as to why individuals prefer buying different products, become faithful consumers, or dispose of certain products. Indeed, knowledge of how individuals make choices in purchasing products is essential for influencing consumer behaviours because it allows companies to package and communicate their products in a way that appeal to the individuals. In this view, this report analyses Dettol brand loyalty using qualitative and quantitative elements of marketing.
Various journal articles expound on different variables related to how individuals make product choices and exhibit certain consumer behaviours. Fundamentally, product involvement refers to the extent of consumers’ interest in buying a particular type of product and commitment to buy a certain brand (Ghafelehbashi, Asadollahi and Nikfar 493). Product involvement is very important in evaluating how individuals make product choices as it sheds light on the connection that exists between a person and the product. High involvement means that an individual has high interest and connection to a product and maybe loyal to a particular brand, while low involvement means that an individual has a limited interest in the product and is capable of buying different products or different brands.
Another concept relevant to this study is purchase involvement. Purchase involvement refers to the level of interest an individual consumer has in purchasing a given product. Purchase involvement is tightly linked to personality and character and goes beyond the situational status of an individual (Zhang 59). It is an important concept that explains how individuals make product choices and exhibit certain consumer behaviours, which marketers use in segmenting consumers into low, fair, and high involvement segments (Keshari and Narendra 58). Consumers with high purchase involvement tend to be loyal to specific brands that they buy periodically, while those with low purchase involvement are less loyal.
As customers have diverse tastes and preferences, brand involvement provides a way of evaluating how they make their product choices. Brand involvement is the degree of interest at which a buyer or consumer perceive a particular brand. It is a stimulus for understanding the attitude of a consumer towards a product or brand and points out the purchasing decision-making process of the consumers or individuals. Brand involvement is a special relationship between an individual and a brand (Zhang 60). Essentially, brand involvement is very important because it determines sales volume (Guthrie and Kim 115). To understand the consumer, it is critical to comprehend the apparent personal significance of a brand from the consumer’s perspective.
The concept of purchase intention is also essential in understanding how individuals make product choices. Purchase intention refers to the plan of an individual or consumer to purchase a specific product at a particular time (Liu 21). Data obtained from purchase intention highlight the ranging periods of consumer purchases for a particular product or brand. Purchase intention aids in the understanding of consumer purchasing behaviour helps marketers to segment market and promotes advertising (Chi, Yeh, and Tsai 1). For example, different consumers or individuals purchase various products daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.
Environmentally friendly products comprise an aspect that drives consumer behaviour. Consumers incline towards environmentally friendly products due to various reasons and factors that include belief, attitudes, knowledge, demographics, and values. Consumers, who believe in the protection of the environment, will be inclined to buy environmentally friendly products (Haryanto 85). Nonetheless, such products will not attract individuals who do not believe in the value of environmental protection. Thus, emphasis on the importance of environmental protection by marketers can have an impact on how individuals make product choices and exhibit certain consumer behaviours (Peattie 130).
Like many other behaviours of individuals, green purchasing behaviour is highly influenced by various social factors (Crane 280). This means that purchasing behaviours and decisions of individuals are tightly linked and are subject to the social environment, including peer networks and family.
It is imperative for society to have environmental values so that it can develop a lasting interest in environmentally friendly products and practice green purchasing. Environmental values refer to the worth that a society, group, or community assigns to environmental products (Haryanto 92). Environmental values emanate from product knowledge, where people are aware of the effects that a product has on the environment through the formal education program or various awareness programs (Petcu, Miron, and David-Sobolevschi 131).
Notably, creating awareness and increasing the level of environmental knowledge in the society may not automatically yield behavioural alteration; however, awareness of environmental challenges and problems elevates the level of concern among individuals in the society. Therefore, a marketer should not be surprised when an environmentally friendly product gets unfavourable reception by a particular society (Haryanto 83). The reception of a product has a direct implication on how individuals make product choices.
This study was developed through a mixed research approach that included both a quantitative and a qualitative research process. Data was collected from various consumers through interviews and a survey in the form of a self-administered questionnaire. University students and members of the faculty were involved in the study. Both the interviews and surveys were conducted on Saturday, March 14, 2015. The surveys were conducted over an online platform whereby different willing participants were asked to fill a self-administered questionnaire on the Internet. On average, each consumer took about four minutes to complete a questionnaire.
The online-based self-administered questionnaire was preferred because of the limited time available to conduct the research. In addition, it is quite easy to conduct a survey over the Internet, as there are many willing participants on the Internet. Consequently, various people within the university community were interviewed, and their answers subsequently recorded. This study utilised a mixed-method, a descriptive research design, which deals with the description of the characteristics of a particular individual or a group (Kothari 36).
A descriptive design is appropriate in describing and portraying characteristics of an event, a situation, a group of people, a community, or a population. It entails the development of a situation or a community of people by acquiring complete and possibly accurate information through interaction between the investigators and informants via questionnaires and interviews (DeVaus 23). The study sought to evaluate how individuals make product choices by studying Dettol brand loyalty and determining how people react to changes in the prices of Dettol products, what type of Dettol products are frequently used, and the factors that influence the purchase of Dettol products.
Various themes and patterns emerge from the interview responses. To begin with, most respondents identified Dettol as the most trustworthy brand. In addition, the majority of the respondents also expressed satisfaction with the current segments offered by the Dettol Company for all of them purchase the product at least twice a month. In fact, most of these respondents would highly recommend the Dettol brand to other people. Nonetheless, the majority of the respondents stated that they would shift their loyalty to another brand if Dettol increases its prices. There was only one deviation to this pattern and theme, as one respondent outlined Lifebuoy as the preferred brand.
The most interesting pattern that emerges from the interview transcripts is that, despite a high degree of brand loyalty, most respondents would be highly dissatisfied and change brand allegiance if Dettol increases its prices. Clearly, in this case, customer satisfaction has a higher influence than brand loyalty. Consequently, the price of the products has a high impact on customer satisfaction because of most Dettol consumers associate dissatisfaction with an increase in the price. A satisfied customer will develop a positive attitude towards a product and buy it continuously over an indefinite period. In many cases, customer satisfaction is based on integral elements that include the user experience of a consumer.
In this case, Dettol consumers place a high value on the price of the product alongside the user experience, an element known as cost-based brand loyalty. This form of loyalty means that consumers are aware of a substitute product that would satisfy them as Dettol does. It can also mean that Dettol offers products at the most competitive price in the market because it is a preferred brand.
The element of cost-based brand loyalty found in this study is supported by findings in other studies. Questions have been raised concerning the strength of brand loyalty during the repurchase process. Notably, marketers achieve brand loyalty through various strategies that are employed by a company. An example of such a strategy is the pricing strategy, which marketers devise in a bid to create a competitive advantage over other competitors in the market. Research done on the consumption of detergent showed that brand loyalty is susceptible to price changes. The research showed that consumers switch to other brands when the prices of their preferred brands change. The results of this research imply that every increase in the product price causes a concomitant decline in the sales of the products.
For the majority of consumers, price is a highly essential factor. In fact, the price of a product is more significant in the purchasing decisions of an individual than other attributes such as quality, package, or brand of the product. Nonetheless, it is not right to generalise consumer reaction to changes in prices as these reactions also depend on the marginal change in the price and the brand, and may vary from one market segment to another (Indrayani, Siringoringo, and Saptariani 1). However, based on the findings of this research, one can deduce that the pricing strategy of a company is very important in creating and maintaining brand loyalty.
The study administered surveys online and obtained 99 responses. Following the huge number of surveys, this study randomly selected and analysed 20 surveys. In the 20 surveys analysed, 13 respondents were women, while the remaining 7 were men. Demographics show that 11 respondents were between the ages of 15-20, 6 respondents fell into the age group of 21-25 years, and 3 respondents were older than 31 years. Regarding product loyalty, 13 respondents (8 women and 5 men), who make up the majority of the respondents, expressed loyalty towards Dettol, while 3 respondents (2 women and 1 man) showed allegiance to Lifebuoy and 4 respondents (3 women and 1 man) expressed loyalty towards Dove. Overall, more people showed loyalty towards Dettol than any other product.
Regarding frequency of purchase, 6 respondents, the majority of them, buy Dettol products at least once every month, 3 respondents buy the product 2-3 times a month, 1 respondent buys it once every week, and 1 respondent was unsure of the purchasing frequency. The most commonly used Dettol products, include wipes, hand wash, surface cleaner, sanitizer, and the bar soap. Dettol wipes is the most commonly used Dettol products because half of the respondents use it.
The hand wash sanitizer and surface cleaner all take the second position with 8 respondents stating that they use these products. The least used Dettol product is the bar soap with only 5 respondents stating that they use it. All the respondents (13), who are loyal to Dettol, stated that they like the brand because of its quality, 3 respondents also like it because of the packaging, while only one respondent stated that the design is likeable.
The majority of the respondents (8) buy Dettol products because they are easily available, while 3 respondents buy Dettol products because of their competitive price. Consequently, 7 respondents stated the brand as the main reason for purchasing Dettol products, 5 supported the quality of Dettol products, and 3 stated that they buy Dettol products because of their packaging.
All the 13 respondents (the loyal consumers of Dettol) would recommend the product to other people. Nonetheless, 5 respondents did not answer whether there is anything about the Dettol product that needed to be changed, whereas 3 respondents stated that the Dettol brand was quite satisfactory and nothing needed to be changed. Moreover, 1 respondent stated that Dettol should change its branding, while 2 of the respondents stated that Dettol should lower its prices, and 2 other respondents stated that Dettol should change its packaging. Regarding safety, 4 respondents did not state why they considered Dettol to be a safe product, whereas only 1 considers Dettol to be safe because doctors recommend.
On the other hand, 2 respondents believe that Dettol is safe because of the reputation of the brand, 1 respondent believes Dettol is a quality product, 2 respondents believe that Dettol does indeed kill germs, 2 others believe that the products are safe, while only respondent believe the product is safe because of good advertising. Finally, 13 respondents would consider purchasing an automated hands-free sensor dispenser, while 6 respondents stated that they would not buy it.
The study findings has several implications to the marketing of Dettol products. Evidently, consumers frequently buy Dettol products because of their value and brand. Consequently, individuals decide to buy Dettol products because they easily available. However, this means that consumers can shift to other products if Dettol products disappear, even for a short time, from the market. The packing of Dettol products is also an important factor that consumers consider. In this view, it implies that marketers need to package products to appeal and attract consumers. Lastly, consumers highly value Dettol products because they are of high quality.
Application and Conclusion
The findings of this research are very useful to marketers. Firstly, the study is highly useful in the creation of an effective marketing strategy. This study has shown the demographic elements influence Dettol’s sales as more women than men buy Dettol and majority of users are between the ages of 15-20 years. Thus, marketers can create impeccable marketing campaigns targeting women between the ages of 15-20 years, or try to create effective marketing campaigns that would appeal to the old people.
Secondly, marketers can use information from this study in relationship marketing. Relationship marketing refers to various actions performed by a company to develop and maintain a long-term relationship with consumers (Yaghobi, Ahmadi, and Shojaee 63). In view, the study highlights likes and dislikes of customers in terms of certain attributes of a product or a brand. Therefore, companies can enhance these products and repackage their brands, according to the specifications of the consumers, thereby maintaining a lucrative relationship with the consumers.
Undoubtedly, the modern day form of marketing heavily relies on assumptions and information obtained from consumer behaviour. Research is very important in helping marketers to develop analytical skills and evidence-based thinking in marketing. For example, big online companies like Yahoo, Google, and Facebook rely on consumer behaviour research in creating user-oriented advertising. Through their research on consumer behaviour, these companies are able to target their marketing strategies by creating the right ads for the right segment market. Targeting increases overall sales and profitability as the right information gets to the right individuals.
Evidently, this study achieved its objective of evaluating how individuals make product choices. Using Dettol as a case study, this study established that individuals buy products because they have considered various factors such as the quality, packaging, brand, price, and availability. These factors have aided in the creation of Dettol brand loyalty; however, price is relatively an important factor in the equation, as many consumers, regardless of their level of loyalty, would consider shifting to alternative products if the prices increase. Notably, this research did not exhaust all avenues, and thus, to explore the objective of this research further, an analysis of various other types of brands and products is imperative to investigate whether individuals generally use similar criteria in product selection.
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