Branding remains a powerful practice for informing customers about the existing products and services. Many companies pursue this concept since it has been observed to increase competitiveness and delivery timely business outcomes. Any person in the global community can become a consumer for a given product. However, customers tend to have diverse expectations and needs that dictate their purchasing and consumption behaviours. Marketers usually focus on such trends in an attempt to implement evidence-based approaches to sensitize more people about the available services or products and eventually encourage them to purchase them. Every industry or community has specific factors that influence the behaviours and practices of the consumer. These attributes will tend to have significant implications on the decisions such an individual makes regarding the intended product. Some of the attributes include branding, product or service quality, expectations and cultural attributes. The purpose of this research study is to evaluate the impact of branding on consumer purchasing behaviour and describe how it remains a powerful factor in the fields of marketing and advertisement.
The specific aims of this study include:
- To develop or get a clear knowledge of the attributes of branding.
- To evaluate the impact branding has on consumer purchasing behaviour.
The intended objectives for this research study are presented below:
- To explore the role and concept of branding.
- To evaluate and analyze the major factors affecting the nature of consumer behaviour.
- To explore how brands shape or impact the purchasing behaviours of customers.
The Concept of Branding
Branding is one of the biggest aspects that many companies pursue in an attempt to attract more customers and record positive outcomes. Firms that develop effective branding strategies become more competitive in their respective sectors (Satvati, Rabie and Rasoli, 2016). This concept continues to evolve due to the nature of emerging technologies (Momani, 2015). Many organizations consider the power of elegant designs to advertise and sensitize more people about the available services or products.
The Role of Branding
A brand is an asset that companies capitalize on to build the desired reputation. This process can place for a period of several months or even years (Ramya, 2016). The outstanding role of branding is to elevate a given business by maximizing recognition and developing loyalty to the available products or services. Many customers will be willing to associate with products that share their attributes or values (Zhang, 2015). This becomes the best tool for increasing the level of connection to the targeted brand.
The position of a given brand or product in a given market depends on the appreciation of the existing customers. Companies that have succeeded in promoting their brands will develop a huge commercial value that becomes brand equity (Zhang, 2015). An organization with recognizable and widely consumed products will have increased brand equity. This achievements means that the company will not encounter numerous challenges when trying to identify and attract new customers (Ahuja, 2015). This development will eventually result in increased sales and competitiveness.
With successful branding, a company finds it easier to attract more customers who eventually become aware of the existing products or services. These individuals will be willing to analyse the images, qualities and attributes associated with the organisation’s key offerings. Many firms launch campaigns and marketing programs to ensure that more people are aware of such products (Ahuja, 2015). These aspects amount to brand awareness and can dictate the future performance of a given company (Zhang, 2015). Marketers who are able to consider this attribute and make informed decisions will be in a position to add value to the customer and eventually record positive results.
Human beings tend to appreciate specific brands or items that meet their demands or aims. This pattern or behaviour ensures that more people are accustomed and committed to the selected product or service (Ashraf, Naeem and Shahzadi, 2017). This kind of a pattern is known as brand loyalty and encourages more people to purchase the services or products repeatedly (Ahuja, 2015). Many companies and marketers envy such an achievement since it guarantees increased level of sales.
Customers will develop their unique views and opinions regarding a specific brand and product in the market. Thangamani (2019) identifies such a practice as perceived quality and can guide investors or marketers to understand how the targeted customers perceive the service or produce.
Brand positioning has emerged as a powerful aspect of marketing whereby companies pursue new ways to ensure that their products are more favorable and admirable in the market (Ahuja, 2015). Those involved in marketing and distribution will consider the best approaches to deliver the intended conceptual place in the minds of the potential customers.
The importance of brand positioning
Theorists and marketers consider the idea of brand positioning since it delivers specific benefits. Firstly, Ramya (2016) indicates that the process maximises or increases the level of customer relevance. Secondly, a company that manages to implement a proper positioning model will increase the level of competitiveness in the targeted sector. Thirdly, this process is essential since it makes it possible for organisations to maximise their brand values, thereby being in a position to achieve their business aims (Ahuja, 2015). With successful brand positioning, a company finds it easier to distinguish its products and services from the ones existing in the market. The final outcome is that the company will become more successful and profitable.
Factors that Affect the Position of a Brand
The position of a specific brand in a given industry or sector depends on various factors that both marketers and investors should take seriously. The major ones are presented below.
This attribute refers to the product or service that a given organisation avails in the market. Potential customers will focus on a number of aspects before developing the needed attachment, such as quality, features and the ability to solve their problems (Thangamani, 2019). Many people will also become repeat buyers if the product introduces a superior way of doing things or addressing their issues.
Customers tend to develop mental pictures of different products in the market depending on the business model of the company, intended objectives and how they transform the experiences of the possible users (Ahuja, 2015). A higher perceived quality is usually a new opportunity for maximising sales and improving business performance (Ramya, 2016). This attribute will have significant implications on the position of the intended brand position.
Brand equity is inseparable from the company producing and marketing the targeted items. A reputable organisation will occupy a superior position or perception in the eyes of the targeted buyer (Ramya, 2016). A company with a bad name might take long before convincing more people about the effectiveness of its products.
The nature of brand differentiation dictates the perception different people develop regarding a specific product in the market. Ramya (2016) defines this concept as an approach that companies implement to set their brands apart and minimise the risks of competition. They do so by presenting superior attributes or aspects that deliver additional benefits to the targeted customers (Momani, 2015). Such a practice becomes a new opportunity for improving performance.
Many organisations will pursue the concept of competitive advantage since it is a powerful factor for improving the position of a given brand in the market. Firms achieve this aim using a number of initiatives, including adding value to services and products, improving packaging, promoting the sustainability of the existing supply chains and redesigning them based on the expectations of the final user (Ahmad and Thyagaraj, 2015). Products and brands that achieve their form of advantage will occupy a recognisable position in the market (Zhang, 2015). The company will record additional gains that the existing competitors.
The consumer remains a critical factor in the level of brand awareness. Products that are admirable to the final customers will deliver an increased brand equity and awareness. Momani (2015) asserts that the consideration of this factor is essential since it will present new ideas for improving the branding process.
Excellent After Sales Service
The anticipated brand positioning aims might not be realised without considering the existing after sales services. Companies take this aspect seriously by ensuring that customers receive timely guidelines, support and advice after purchasing a specific product (Momani, 2015). The provision of excellent customer experience becomes a powerful opportunity for increasing brand equity and awareness.
Introduction to Consumer Behaviour
Customers apply their knowledge and views about a certain product in the market before making their purchasing decisions. Ahmad and Thyagaraj (2015) indicate that branding is a powerful process that will compel people to prefer or ignore specific services or items. Juneja (2015) goes further to reveal that many consumers will tend to associate with products whose branding process appears to be established. Those without proper branding history will take long before succeeding in the market.
The process of branding will succeed if it seeks to meet the interests of the customer. During marketing, it is always necessary for different professionals to consider the most appropriate ways to add value to the customer (Kotler and Keller, 2016). Products that have a positive history will be associated with increased sales (Zhang, 2015). This form of interest will eventually make it possible for more companies to engage in continuous innovation and research and development (R&D) in order to ensure that the available products deliver positive results.
When a certain branding strategy revolves around the needs and expectations of the customer, chances are high that more sales will be recorded. Customers tend to consider the history of a specific product and analyse how the parent company meets the needs of the buyers (Zhang, 2015). Firms with a strong or positive reputation will trigger increase the confidence levels of the customers. On the other hand, companies with ineffective or low-quality products and services will perform poorly in this area.
Many buyers will develop unique beliefs, ideas and attitudes to specific brands. For example, customers will tend to prefer high-quality Mercedes Benz cars since they deliver quality, comfort and safety (Kotler and Keller, 2016). Similarly, Coca-Cola is associated with positive consumer attitudes due to its history of perfection and effective supply chain (Kotler and Keller, 2016). These achievements explain why such companies will compete successfully with their immediate rivals in the respective industries.
Modern technological changes are transforming the performance and goals of many companies across the world. Many young people are using different online-based social platforms to chat and communicate with their colleagues and friends. Successful companies have appreciated the potential of the Internet (Juneja, 2015). These trends have forced many organisations to start their one online-based platforms and groups as a way of maximising their brand images. The use of the Internet has become one of the best models for ensuring that more people are informed about the available services and products (Thangamani, 2019). The companies are also considering this resource to monitor the changing behaviours of different buyers and reinvent new ways of fulfilling their demands.
Factors Affecting Consumer Behaviour
Consumers will portray different behaviours depending on various factors or forces. The marketer’s duty is to analyse such attributes before developing or introducing the most appropriate marketing strategy. Social aspects tend to be a product of an individual’s cultural background and norms. For instance, some communities are characterised by people who prefer coffee while others tend to love tea (Juneja, 2015). The religious values of a given society will also dictate the kind of behaviours its members portray. Similarly, the demographics of a specific region can influence the most prevalent social practices, thereby dictating the manner in which the people make their buying decisions (Kim and Chao, 2019). Marketers have always been keen to consider these attributes to design and launch superior strategies that can increase sales and profits.
Psychological aspects play a major role in the area of business strategy. Individuals will tend to follow their instincts and established perceptions before deciding to purchase a specific product. The first attribute that marketers need to consider is that of motivation (Juneja, 2015). Customers might be motivated by the superiority of a given product to purchase them. A given company can capitalise on such a factor to deliver high-quality items that can fulfill the demands of such people. The learning process of a potential customer will dictate most of his or her decisions before purchasing a certain product (Kim and Chao, 2019). Similarly, some people tend to have specific attitudes and beliefs that dictate the psychological processes taking place in their minds.
Similarly, personal factors play a significant role in the field of marketing. Every individual will tend to have specific likes and dislikes. Marketers who manage to unearth such personal preferences will be one step closer to their goals (Kotler and Keller, 2016). Some people prefer specific colors and not others when purchasing product (Farhana and Bimenyimana, 2015). The issues of choice, religion, culture and philosophy will always be critical determinants of an individual’s purchasing behaviour. Those who have disposable income will have increased chances of purchasing luxurious items in comparison with their counterparts.
The Consumer Buying Decision Process
The buying decision process remains one of the areas that successful companies and marketers take seriously in order to achieve their goals. Kim and Chao (2019) assert that consumers will not just buy a specific item without going through a rigorous process of analysis and decision-making. Different people will pursue such a path as a way of ensuring that the acquired product or service is capable of addressing the intended need. Those who buy without considering such a process might eventually make an error and even fail to benefit from it. Marketers always identify new ways of ensuring that their inputs and ideas reshape the targeted consumers’ decisions (Farhana and Bimenyimana, 2015). This achievement becomes a new opportunity for ensuring that additional sales are made.
The Stages in the Consumer Decision Process
The existence of a specific problem becomes the first stage of every purchasing process. Customers will tend to have their unique demands or expectations that the available products in the market need to meet. They begin by considering the presented items, adverts, or leads that can make it easier for them to get the intended products (Juneja, 2015). During such a phase, the issues of quality and efficiency do not escape the attention of the possible buyers.
When the customer acknowledges the validity of his or her need, the next stage is to consider the available products in the market and their abilities to deliver the best solution. Some people tend to seek recommendations or prefer the power of search engines (Farhana and Bimenyimana, 2015). They might also liaise with different professionals in the specific field in order to get genuine information (Juneja, 2015). Past experiences or purchasing trends can be critical throughout the decision-making process.
Evaluation of Alternatives
The market will always be flooded with numerous items, services, or ideas that target the same problem. However, outstanding differences might arise after an individual decides to select the most appropriate one (Tartaglione et al., 2018). The customer considers this stage in an attempt to compare quality, price and after sales service before purchasing a specific product.
The fourth stage is the point when a customer decides to buy a certain product. The person will have identified the best place or shop to get it and at what price (Tartaglione et al., 2018). The individual’s past experience with the same decision can become a powerful guideline for marketers who want to record positive results. Advertising procedures are also essential since they can inform this kind of decision and eventually ensure that a specific company achieves its aims much faster.
Post Purchase Behaviour
The acquired product might not be perfect or desirable. This fact explains why another stage of purchasing decisions emerges whereby customers will consider a specific item and decide whether their demands have been fulfilled or not (Juneja, 2015). A bad experience during this phase means that the customers might never consider buying the same item again. The individual might even stop considering any other product associated with that specific brand. The opposite will be true since a superb experience will encourage the customer to become loyal (Juneja, 2015). This phase explains why quality and the desire to focus on the expectations of the consumers are key attributes of effective branding.
The Various Types of Purchasing Behaviour
The brand image of a certain company will be instrumental in influencing or dictating the purchasing behaviour of specific customer. Corporations and marketers are constantly monitoring the practices or trends in order to acquire additional insights for being involved and encouraging them to engage in repeat buying (Farhana and Bimenyimana, 2015). The major types of such behaviours include:
Complex Buying Behaviour
The market will tend to have various products items with identifiable differences. This is possible when considering specific products, such as cars, homes and personal computers (Zhang, 2015). Customers will have to be fully involved and consider all aspects of the available products. They will be keen to examine the strengths of individual items before making their final decisions. Juneja (2015) argues that the buyer will have to develop strong emotions with the targeted product throughout the purchasing period or process.
Variety-Seeking Buying Behaviour
A certain group of potential buyers might develop minimum attachments with available products even when they have diverse aspects or differences. Such buyers will be willing to seek variety but fail to offer valid explanations for doing so. Kim and Chao (2019) believe that such individuals might be unable to purchase the targeted item or become bored within the shortest time possible. It becomes hard for businesses to understand the needs of these people. It becomes necessary for marketers and manufacturers to ensure that they deliver quality.
Dissonance Reducing Buying Behaviour
This form of behaviour is evident when the targeted customer does not see striking differences in the targeted product. However, the individual will remain highly involved and interested in getting the best deal or quality. The emerging dissonance can distract the buyer and make it hard for him or her to make the most appropriate decision (Farhana and Bimenyimana, 2015). The marketer can become involved to guide the buyer throughout the decision-making process. When the professional succeeds in encouraging such a customer, chances are high that more sales will be recorded in the future. A proper understanding of this form of behaviour can empower more companies to develop superior plans that resonate with the changing demands and expectations of the targeted customers. This process will make it easier for the targeted company to achieve its goals and eventually become more profitable in its industry.
Habitual Buying Behaviour
This form of behaviour is usually common when a specific customer understands that there are different products in the market that will satisfy his or he needs. The person or consumer will be purchasing such items continuously and might not see any unique differences between the existing brands. A good example of this kind of behaviour will occur when one is buying alcohol. Marketers need to be aware of this form of behaviour in order to develop superior strategies and models. The involvement of the customer or association with the existing or targeted brands remains low (Farhana and Bimenyimana, 2015). This development arises from the fact that the buyer has made it a habit and will not take much time tying to compare the existing brands or products. When this behaviour becomes common in a specified segment, Kim and Chao (2019) support the introduction of additional aspects or strategies to ensure that positive results are recorded. A given company can decide to increase the availability of its primary products in different markets as one of the best strategies to maximise sales and meet the demands of individuals who engage in habitual buying. This group is worth considering since it presents a new opportunity for increasing sales and improving the level of business performance.
A number of attributes will comprise the identity of given brand, such as colors, packaging, logos, messaging and its ability to meet the targeted needs. When a company succeeds in creating this identity, chances are high that more new customers will be willing to purchase all the products associated with it (Durmaz, Çavuşoğlu and Özer, 2018). They will also be keen to focus on the presented quality and taste. The ultimate objective or goal of the marketer is to consider the demands of the customers and liaise with the company to meet them (Kim and Chao, 2019). They can achieve such a goal by engaging in R&D and considering the emerging trends in the specified industry. This practice will create room for understanding the behaviours of the customers, their decision-making processes and past experiences with certain items (Kim and Chao, 2019). This knowledge will guide more firms to consider new ways of changing such events and ensuring that future products are capable of delivering quality.
When the branding process is good and resonates with the demands of the customers, chances are high that the company in question will be in a position to influence purchasing behaviours. According to Zhang (2015), more individuals will also be on the lookout for emerging products and services that are superior and can maximise or improve their past experiences (Farhana and Bimenyimana, 2015). Newcomers or entrepreneurs should focus on this aspect of branding to develop positive images and combine them with quality (Ashraf, Naeem and Shahzadi, 2017). Such a process will make it easier for the marketers to convince more customers and eventually result in increased sales.
From the presented literature review, it is evident that different authors have treated this subject in a professional manner. Zeineddine and Nicolescu (2018) offer valid arguments that identify branding as a powerful practice for attracting more customers and maximising sales.Firms that pursue this practice intelligently will increase their brand images and eventually achieve the intended aims (Zeineddine and Nicolescu, 2018). The identified studies have gone further to offer adequate insights or factors that affect consumer behaviour. Some of them include personal behaviours, psychological aspects, income and region (Kim and Chao, 2019). Additionally, companies can focus on such considerations to make informed decisions and improve the nature of marketing strategy (Zhang, 2015). People will also follow their instincts and rely on their past experiences when deciding to purchase a specific product. Another achievement that links the research questions with the literature review is that different researchers describe how brands tend to impact customer behaviour. For example, Momani (2015) argues that successful products in the market will be sold much faster. Ramya (2016) indicates that companies can rely on emerging technologies to achieve better or additional branding goals. Different customers will prefer such products since they offer quality and are marketed at competitive prices. Additionally, Juneja (2015) asserts that marketers can focus on the best ways to maximise their branding models in order to influence people’s purchasing decisions and encourage them to purchase the intended products. These aspects will eventually maximise or increase profitability (Ahuja, 2015). The completed analysis has, therefore, supported the fact that the nature and quality of branding will have significant impacts on the purchasing trends and behaviours of the consumer.
The above discussions have identified branding as a powerful force or process that can have a great impact on consumer buying behaviour. The studied materials and articles have revealed that there will always be a positive correlation between the branding processes of a company and the behaviours of the targeted consumers. However, customers will develop a sense of loyalty to brands or products that are capable of meeting their demands. This becomes possible when they can deliver quality and superb experience. Social and personal factors will also dictate the way customers would prefer certain items and not others in the market. It is therefore necessary for the marketer to consider these emerging aspects and introduce a powerful strategy that will deliver the best experience to the final consumer. Personal differences and income levels need to be factored in during the planning phase in order to develop messages and processes that can result in additional sales. Continuous improvement will also be essential to ensure that the available brands are capable of succeeding in the market and overcoming the negative impacts of competition. In conclusion, future scholars can consider the available knowledge and undertake new studies in order to present additional insights that corporations and consumers can consider whenever pursuing their goals. The acquired ideas will be instrumental in transforming the fields of marketing and branding and take more companies and customers closer to their goals.
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