“MBA Students’ Brand Awareness and preference with regard to Branded Laptops: A Case Study in NIS Academy, Guwahati” Introduction Studying the consumer buying behavior is a very complex process, as it involves not only the economic factors but also the emotional factors. However, marketers need to study the consumer behavior, as it helps them position their products better and develop effective marketing strategies. Consumer buying behavior is influenced by the culture and subculture.
Habits, likes and dislikes of the people belonging to a particular culture or subculture can affect the marketing efforts of a firm largely. The social class to which the individual belongs tells about the type of products the individual prefers. Other factors that influence the buying behavior are social factors like reference group and family, personal factors like the age, life cycle and occupation, and psychological factors like motivation, perception and attitudes of the customers. Buying roles and buying decision constitute consumer’s decision-making behavior.
A customer can adapt various buying roles like initiator, influencer, decider, buyer, preparer, maintainer and disposer in purchasing and using the products. Buying behavior helps marketers learn the intensity and degree of involvement of customers in purchasing the products. Customer buying behavior is broadly classified into three types. Extensive problem solving buying behavior is exhibited when a customer buys high involvement, expensive and less frequently purchased products. Consumers are involved in routine problem solving decision-making process, when they purchase routinely purchased, low cost products.
Variety seeking behavior is seen when customers purchase low-involvement products. Keeping with this perception the present study has been designed and undertaken to examine the Awareness and Brand Preference of the MBA students of NIS Academy, Guwahati, with respect to the branded laptops. Objective of the Study: The present study has been designed with the Objective of studying the Awareness and Brand Preference of the MBA students of NIS Academy, Guwahati, with respect to the branded laptops.
The study has also been attempts to examine whether there is any preferential differences exist between the two-gender group of respondents or not. Review of literature: Brand awareness is refers to the strength of a brand’s presence in consumers’ minds. Brand awareness is an important component of brand equity (Aaker, 1991; Keller, 1993). Aaker mentioned several levels of brand awareness, ranging from mere recognition of the brand to dominance, which refers to the condition where the brand involved is the only brand recalled by a consumer.
Rossiter and Percy (1987) defined brand awareness as the consumers’ ability to identify or recognize the brand, whereas Keller conceptualized brand awareness as consisting of both brand recognition and brand recall. A study of Kumar and Gogoi (2009) on Consumers’ Perceptions and awareness with regard to Purabi Brand of Dairy milk in Guwahati has drawn a clear picture regarding consumers’ perception and satisfaction. The study reflects that the consumers in Guwahati are well aware of their milk brands among the available alternatives. Out of all the six brands, Purabi is the dominating one and most of the consumers (i. . , 74%) rely on this brand. It was also found that perceptions of executives regarding the brand are different from that of consumers, which was found statistically significant also. He, Yanqun (2004) in his study examines the theoretical framework regarding the association between consumer satisfaction and repurchase intention, which in turn, determines profitability. Specifically, it investigates the role of consumer satisfaction in forming repurchase intention among other important marketing variables such as perceived quality and assessed value.
It further studies the relationship between consumer satisfaction and price tolerance. The study contributes to the research on consumer satisfaction in several ways. First, the results indicate that consumer satisfaction acts as a mediator for both assessed value and perceived quality in forming consumer repurchase intention. Second, the study of consumer satisfaction and price decrease tolerance provides a new perspective in evaluating efforts to achieve consumer satisfaction, i. e. , to secure price competitiveness through improving consumer satisfaction in a highly competitive market.
Third, the fuzzy analytical tool applied in the dissertation also gives a new perspective while examining the satisfaction-profit chain. While applying the fuzzy linear regression (FLR) model, the study further makes a methodological contribution by proposing a new FLR model. Charlton and Ehrenberg (1976) conducted an experiment to investigate how people change their buying habits over time. The experiments was conducted during twenty –five consecutive weeks in which housewives were given the opportunity to buy one package of laundry detergent and/or leaf tea, each week .
They examined the effects of price differentials, sales promotion, advertising, and out-of –stock condition, the introduction of new brand, and certain weak forms of brand differentiation. They defined loyal users as those buying a certain brand at least four times in a six-week period that was free of any marketing activity. None of the four marketing stimuli- promotion, advertising, an out-of stock condition, and the introduction of a new brand during the experiment, produced significant after-effects on brand loyalty.
Doreen Chze Lin Thang and Benjamin Lin Boon Tan (2003) Using a stimulus-organism-response (S–O–R) framework in their study, the study examines the S–R relationship of consumer retail behavior. In particular, the study focuses on how consumer perception of the attributes of store image affects their preference for the stores. The stimuli that pertain to store attributes include merchandising, store atmosphere, in-store service, accessibility, reputation, promotion, facilities and post-transaction service.
Consumers’ preference is based on their post-visit ranking of the stores. Eight hypotheses were developed and tested with data collected from a survey using a random sampling approach. Results from a polychotomous regression analysis identified the attributes like merchandising, accessibility, reputation, in-store service and atmosphere of the stores as significantly influencing consumer preference. Youn and Faber, (2000) in their study found that emotions strongly influence buying behaviors, which result into consumer impulse buying.
Babin and Babin (2001) found that in stores consumer’s purchasing intentions and spending can largely be influenced by emotions. These emotions may be specific to certain things for example, the features of the items, customer self interest, consumer’s gauge of evaluating items and the importance they give to their purchasing at a store. Nagar (2009) in his study examines one of the important factors affecting the consumers’ brand loyalty, namely, Advertising out of a number of factors.
The study farther states that – an advertisements of a competing brand , at the most , may act as additional information for the consumer , who might think for switching brands in times when the current brand is either not available anymore or is not giving the benefits due to which the consumer became loyal to the brand in the first place. Consumers are too conscious of the products that they use on themselves and are not easily convinced to switch unless they are dissatisfied with the brands they are currently using. The study also found that age and incomes are not the reasons for the difference in the consumers brand loyalty.
Keen Cherie (2004) attempted to find out which of the attributes were crucial in determining consumer preference regarding retail-shopping alternatives. Theoretical-driven research allowed expanding the power of consumer behaviour theories, allowing ever greater clarification of the practical issues. In light of these issues, this research had two main objectives: 1. to identify the structure for consumer intention to make product purchase through three retail alternatives and 2. to examine the trade-offs consumers are willing to make when deciding through which retail alternative to make purchase
Methodology of the study: Out of 84 MBA students, 20 students from the institute were personally interviewed using schedule containing relevant questions. The sample selection was made on judgment basis. For the collection of data, the researcher mostly relies on those respondents, which have laptops. Primary data have been collected from those students (individual) who have laptops. Out of 20 samples, 10 respondents were taken from MBA 1st year where five respondents were male, and 10 respondents were taken from MBA 2nd year where five respondents were female.
Along with the primary data, available secondary data was also used. Analysis & Findings: The results of the study and analysis are presented hereunder: Awareness and Brand Preference of the MBA students of NIS Academy, Guwahati, with respect to the branded laptops: Buying behaviour consists of all the mental, emotional and physical efforts put in to a marketing setup to make a search for the best solution to the problem of unfulfilled demand by joining resources one have and the offers available in the brand.
Usually awareness is expressed in terms of knowledge someone has for certain things and when someone shows preference for different attributes of a particular product or different brands of the same product. MBA Students in NIS Academy, Guwahati are well aware about their preference set regarding the brands of using laptop. They are able to explore and express their experiences with different brand in use. This indicates their concern for and the understanding of the products in use.
This is reflected from the consumers’ ranking of their preference for different brands and the ranking of experience and satisfaction with respect to the product as well as brand thereof is the sign of preference level among the MBA Students in NIS Academy, Guwahati. In the above context, MBA Students in NIS Academy, Guwahati are indeed very highly conscious users. They choose their products by considering all the attributes associated with the brand (Ref. Table-2) Table-1: Gender Wise Brand awareness and brand Preference Gender |Male |Female |Total | | | | | | |Respondent |Rank |% | |Brands | | | | | | | |No of respondent | |No of respondent | | | | | | | |Rank | |Rank | | | | |Compaq |3 |1 |4 |1 |7 |1 |35 | |HCL |1 |3 |2 |3 |3 |3 |15 | |Dell |1 |3 |0 |5 |1 |4 |5 | |Lenovo |2 |2 |1 |4 |3 |3 |15 | |Hp |2 |2 |3 |2 |5 |2 |25 | |Acer |1 |3 |0 |5 |1 |4 |5 | |Total |10 | |10 | |20 | | | The table-1 shown above depicts a clear picture regarding the MBA Students’ preference towards different brands of laptops. From the surveyed data, it is clear that – the MBA Students in NIS Academy, Guwahati in general, mostly rely on Compaq brand of laptop in comparison to other competing brands i. e. , HCL, Dell, Lenovo, Hp and Acer. The Students’ preference for different brands of laptop in NIS Academy, Guwahati is as shown below- Compaq: 35%; HCL: 15%;Hp: 25%; Dell: 5 %;Lenovo: 15%;Acer: 5 %.
Figure: 1; Students Brand Preference relating to laptop [pic] Source: Primary data It observed from the study that the Students using laptop are very much aware of the brand as well as different attributes associated with the same. The study further reflects that- consumers are highly concerned about Configuration, Battery backup, looks and servicing facility. Nevertheless, Price and availability are not yet a big issue for them. (Reference to table-2). Table-2: Students’ Attributes Preference towards Brands Preference Set Brands |Highly Preferred |Preferred |Moderately Preferred |Moderately Not Preferred |Not preferred |Highly not preferred |Total Respondents In Number) | | |A |B |A |B |A |B |A |B |A |B |A |B | | |Price |4 |20 |6 |30 |5 |25 |5 |25 |0 |0 |0 |0 |20 | |Configuration |20 |100 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |20 | |Looks |8 |40 |6 |30 |6 |30 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |20 | |Battery Backup |20 |100 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |20 | |Servicing Facility |7 |35 |6 |30 |7 |35 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |20 | |Availability |3 |15 |5 |25 |7 |35 |5 |25 |0 |0 |0 |0 |20 | |Note: A- No. of Respondents; B- Percentage (%). Source: Primary data. Figure: 2; Students’ Preference of attributes relating to laptop [pic] Source: Primary data. The MBA Students in NIS Academy are well aware about their preference set regarding Branded laptops and the attributes associated with the brands. They are able to explore and express their experiences with different attributes of the brand in use. This indicates their concern for and the understanding of the product in use. This is reflected from the Students’ ranking of their preference for different brands as well as the attributes associated with the product.
The MBA Students of NIS Academy have a very clear-cut awareness and perception about their own needs and the options available in the market and the set of attributes associated with the different brands of laptop. Students are also found brand loyal. This is reflected in their ranking towards different brands of laptop (Reference; table-1). In order to examine the existence of preferential differences between the two-gender group of respondents, Spearman’s rank correlation technique has been used assuming that there is no preferential difference exist in between the two gender group. Since the calculated value i. e. . 6571 is less than the tabulated value at 1% Significance level i. e. , ± . 9429, the assumed null hypothesis HO is rejected and alternative hypothesis (i. e. , H1) is accepted.
Hence, we can conclude that there is no preferential difference exists between the two-gender groups with respect to their selection of branded laptops. Summery & Conclusions The purpose of this research is to investigate how the MBA students of NIS Academy, Guwahati are shown their awareness and preference towards branded laptops. The findings revealed that products’ attributes like configuration, battery backup, looks of the product plays a significant role in influencing students to prefer the brand otherwise not. Undeniably, consumer awareness is one of the important factors that help the consumer to be loyal for a particular products’ brand.
The present study clearly posses the picture regarding awareness and brand preference of the MBA students of NIS Academy, Guwahati, with respect to the branded laptops. The MBA students are well aware regarding the different branded laptops. Out of the six brands (taken in to consideration for the present study) i. e. , Compaq, HCL, Dell, Lenovo, Hp and Acer, Compaq is the dominating one (Reference to table no 1) and most of the consumers (i. e. , 35%), rely on this brand. Hp (25%) is in the second brand of preference. HCL and Lenovo posses the third rank of preference among the students i. e. , 15% respectively. On the other hand, Dell and Acer lies in fourth rank of preference holding 5% respectively.
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