IMPACT OF PRODUCT BRANDING ON AN ORGANIZATION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the eyes and imaginations of consumers, branding is the attachment of a specific and unique image or feature to a certain product that distinguishes it from other items (Chen, 2007). According to the definition of branding given above, a brand adds value to a physical product in addition to the core product. These might be aesthetic, emotional, psychological, or philosophical values that consumers hold dear in their minds and hearts. Branding is a broad phrase that refers to the formation of brand names (Juwah, 2011). A brand is a name, word, or symbol, or a combination of these, that is designed to identify and differentiate the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers from those of competitors. A brand, according to the definition, is a product and the value-added that personifies it beyond the primary product. According to Onah and Thomas (2004: 239), there are two categories of brands: manufacturer’s brands and private brands. They said that branding aids in the execution of other Marketing Management responsibilities such as New Product Introduction, Advertising and other Promotions, Pricing, and so on. It is often assumed that most of the time, what people buy is a brand name rather than quality, utility, or performance.
A brand, according to Kotler (1997), is a name, word, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of these, that is meant to distinguish them from those of rivals. As a result, a brand identifies the manufacturer or seller of a product. Stanton (1964) described a brand as “a name, word, symbol, or design, or a combination of these, designed to identify the goods or services of one seller and separate them from those of competitors.” According to Onwumere, (2005), a brand is a name, word, design, symbol, or any other attribute that distinguishes one seller’s goods or services from those of other sellers.
A product, in broad terms, is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy a want or need, such as physical goods, services, experiences, events, people, places, properties, organizations, information, and ideals (Onwumere, 2005). A product is a good, service, or idea that consists of a collection of tangible and intangible attributes that satisfy the customer and is received in exchange for money or another unit of value (Adirika, 2007). The proportional importance of product branding in improving a product’s sales performance varies depending on the product and company. Its purpose is to bridge the gap between the manufacturer’s promotional program and the final buyer’s consumption of sales. The majority of producers are ignorant of the significance of product branding. However, there has been a rising interest in upgrading the company’s corporate image as well as its brand. Many items on the market must be branded, and branding is one of the factors of a company’s product planning efforts. It is concerned with the efforts made by a company in selecting, developing, projecting, and establishing its own brand(s) of products (Ehikwe, 2005).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Product branding has evolved as a major management goal in recent decades as companies have come to realize that brands are one of their most important intangible assets. Companies are recognizing the value of strong branding in generating quick customer identification of the company’s goods (Ehikwe, 2005). Branding has been highlighted as a key weapon in most organizations’ hands for increasing consumer loyalty. In a highly competitive environment, branding (brand name) may be the seller’s last chance to influence buyers while also distinguishing it from similar products. And as such, organizations have used branding to as a form of advertisement for increase in product sales (Juwah, 2011). But has branding achieved the necessary impact that organizations want to see?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to assess the impact of product branding on organizations. Other objectives of this study are:
i. To determine the benefits of product branding
ii. To ascertain the types of product branding organizations use
iii. To ascertain if product branding leads to profitability in an organization
iv. To determine the challenges of product branding in an organization.
v. To proffer possible solutions to the problems
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. What are the benefits of product branding?
ii. What are the types of product branding organizations use?
iii. Does product branding lead to profitability?
iv. What are the challenges of product branding organizations face?
v. What are the possible solutions to these problems?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of great benefit to managements of organizations as this study will highlight the importance of product branding, and the findings of this study will show the benefits, types, challenges and possible solutions of product branding. It will also be beneficial to the academic world and scholars as this study will serve as a reference and further studies.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be focused on the impact of product branding on organizations. It will also focus on the benefits, types, profitability, challenges and possible solutions of product branding.
Selected management and staff of Unilever Nigeria Plc will serve as enrolled participants for this study.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study was limited to the impact of product branding on organizations. It will also be limited to the benefits, types, profitability, challenges and possible solutions of product branding.
Selected management and staff of Unilever Nigeria Plc will serve as enrolled participants for this study and as such more research needs to be carried out before the data from this study can be used any where else.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Impact: a marked effect or influence
Product: an article or substance that is refined for use or sale
Branding: the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design.