The importance of branding fast moving consumer goods in retail chain stores : consumers and marketers perceptions in South Africa.
This investigation probes the perceptions of consumers as well as marketers with regard to the branding of fast moving consumer goods in South African retail chain stores. While much research has been conducted on branding, this investigation will focus on the extent to which marketers’ perceptions and consumers’ perceptions converge with a view to maximizing the mutual benefits to be derived from marketing strategies within a contemporary South African environment. The extent to which South African marketers’ perceptions and consumers’ perceptions converge to promote brand equity is postulated in the brand equity optimization model. The research commenced with an exhaustive literature survey followed by an empirical survey. The fieldwork for this survey was conducted nationally among the three major retail groups in South Africa and among consumers living in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The findings from the literature survey indicate that both local and international companies have realized the potential of investing resources in brand building activities. These findings have provided evidence to suggest that building brand equity for fast moving consumer goods impacts positively on the sales and the popularity of these products. The findings of the empirical research illustrates that the typical South African consumer has become brand conscious and brand building activities encourage them to purchase these products. The findings from the consumer survey were supported by the investigation conducted among retail chain stores who agreed that building brand equity results in increased sales and the popularity of the products concerned. Consumers have a preference for manufacturer branded products but house brands are selected primarily because they are cheaper. Manufacturer brands are viewed by consumers as having the most innovative packaging, excellent promotional support and consistently good quality while retail chain stores believe that manufacturer brands lead the way in terms of brand building activities, packaging innovation, promotional support and quality. The results of both surveys illustrate that retail chain stores and consumers share similar viewpoints with regards to the branding, packaging, pricing, promotions and quality attributes of fast moving consumer goods in terms of optimizing brand equity.