Free «How Brands affect on Car Consumer's Buying Decision» Essay

How Brands affect on Car Consumer's Buying Decision

Background

To begin with, branding in the context of business has received more attention than it was in the past. So to speak, branding is a way though which a specific product, service or business is given identity. Arguably, branding assumes many forms of which it may take a color combination, slogan, name, sign or a symbol. As a matter of fact, the aspect of branding reveals more than the surface attribute of a product, service or a business. Branding does not in this case exclude the automobile industry of which it has been noted to have so many brands.

In this context, there arises a question of how the car brands affect car consumer’s buying decisions. This is given to the reason that in the current world car market there are very many different brands of cars. Before a buyer reaches to a point of making the decision to purchase a certain brand in preference to another, several considerations are made from his or her own point of view. It is within this context that the paper is dedicated to establish whether the car branding has any effect on the consumer’s decision to buy. Ind (2007, p.18) asserts that a brand is implicit which means that what the brand tells should provide it. Nonetheless, there is some idealized image of the brand that has been brought in the market today.

Notably, huge sums of money have been used by major automobile companies to brand their cars. Owing to this behavior, one may question how brands affect the decision of the consumer to buy. From this point of view, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how a brand can affect the decision by the consumer to buy or purchase a certain brand. Along with this, it is evident that when people go on purchasing cars, they are in face to face with different products of the automobile industry. There is also some overlapping of brands especially in the car industry to an extent that choice has become a great challenge (Kapferer 2008). In line with this, the paper will also seek to identify or rather establish the very relationship that exists between car brands and the consumer purchasing behavior or consumer decision making process.

According to Pride & Ferrell (2008), in the purchase stage the consumer chooses the product and the brand to be bought. This choice is based on the outcome that is realized after an evaluation of all alternatives. At the same time, the Pride & Ferrell (2008), points out to the brand availability being in itself a cause for its being purchased. Along with this, if it happens that the highest ranked brand is not available, a buyer may go for the second one which may be available but may be ranked as the second one. Hasan (2008) puts it that some people will base their purchase on the brand names of the products with the example of a car.

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In the same line of thought, Yastrow (2003) puts it that branding is not about getting ones name out in the market place but in actual sense is all about getting an individual customer to prefer one’s product. This is to suggest that the main aim of branding is meant to attract the purchasing decision of the consumer. Yastrow (2003) further points out that branding brings out the connection that exists between what the customer thinks about one’s brand.

It further influences the customer regarding what he decides to do in relation to a product. Branding in addition influences how consumers decide to choose one product over another. Equally important, branding is about how sellers compete for customers (p.14). There is variation of information on the relationship between brand and the car consumer decision and with this, Randall (2000, p.41), says that buyers are not brand royal while others are. Therefore, from this point of view, brands affect buyers’ decision to buy in the sense that it may make a consumer to prefer buying a certain car or fail to buy.

Problem statement

As a matter of fact, the problem to be solved in this research is to investigate or rather trying to find out the effect that brands have on car consumer purchase behavior. Following this point, it is the fact that huge funds have been directed towards branding. Branding actually distinguishes a product from another but this is not only the case. In line with this, research suggests that there has been some kind of influence that is brought about by branding and as such it influences car consumer behavior. However, there is no enough literature to support this case and thus this paper will be directed towards establishing the real effect that brand has on car consumer decision to purchase in a deeper dimension.

Importance of investigating the effect of brand on car consumer’s decision to buy

There are so many advantages that are associated with the topic under research. As such, by establishing the effect of brand on car consumer purchasing behavior, sellers will be better positioned to use this strategy to sell their cars. On the other hand, the consumers will be careful while choosing the brands and as such, they will carefully carry out a post evaluation of the brand. Ethics will be employed while branding as to ensure that the consumers are not misled to buy cars that are not as good as the brand suggests. This is given to the reason that there has been a problem of branding influence in the sense that the brand meaning has become overemphasized without exposing the truth. This is supported by Kapferer (2008) who asserts that Peugeots are o longer Peugeots and thus buying a car on the basis of the brand is no longer the consideration as it is exaggerated.

 By so doing, if a brand reflects a symbol of durability, it would be so disappointing and as well unethical to find that on a practical point of view, the car is not durable. This research is beneficial to both sellers and buyers as it will expose the truth about branding and consumer purchase behavior exposing the associated advantages and disadvantages. Equally important, this will expose the loopholes that the sellers can use to manipulate the buyers in order to expound on their sales. In the same line of thought, the sellers are putting large amounts of money in branding of cars which may not necessarily be welcomed by the consumers as the world is changing rapidly. In fact, Walker (2005, p.56) puts it that companies that are branded try as much as possible to match their brand name in order to maintain the company’s performance.

As such, the results of this research can be utilized as a tool of advice to the sellers to avoid using a lot of funds in branding while it may actually not be influencing the customers to buy. Therefore, sellers may turn towards developing other methods that can add up towards influencing the car consumer decision to buy. On the other hand, if brands influence car consumers to buy then the sellers can utilize this towards maximization of sales and hence profits. Following this point, majority of customers associate brands with the added value of the given car brand and thus they will buy a car owing to the brand name given.

According to research, brands cannot be relied upon owing to the fact that some have failed to deliver what they promise (Haig 2005, p.21). Equally important, there are those that have pointed out that branding should be relied upon.  As such, there is need to address the problem by carrying a deeper investigation of the topic. In line with this, Franzen & Moriarty (2008), puts it that branding grants a product the way it will be perceived by the consumers and therefore, this does not exclude automobile industry. Hence, it is important to seek the depth of this problem in order to avoid disappointments in the cotemporary market.

Hypothesis

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In this context, the hypothesis or rather the proposition made is that the brands affect car consumer’s buying decision either positively or negatively. At this point in time, the null hypothesis is that brands actually affect the decision of a car consumer to buy positively. The alternative hypothesis in this case is that brands may affect car consumers’ decision to buy negatively. So to speak, the research will find out that cars are branded in a way that they appeal to the customers to purchase. The effect is brought about by how the customer perceives the brand. Given the example of a BMW which is represented as durable; for a consumer who perceives the BMW brand as strong and durable will go for it. On the other hand, if a customer views the Toyota brand as pleasure giving, and as such he or she needs a car for pleasure, he will go for a Toyota. At the same time, if the customer’s expectation that has been created by the brand is not met, a customer may decline a future purchase of the same

Outstandingly, though brands influence car consumers to purchase a particular brand, there are other factors that influence car consumers as it will be later highlighted in the text. At this point, it is important to state that car industry is going too far to use brands to influence customers to purchase without necessarily employing the required standards of business ethics.

Research benefits

The benefits of this research are diverse and as such, they range from the ones directed to the consumers to those that are directed to the sellers. Automobile industry has a diversity of car brands and even today, the industries are working hard as well as spending so much while developing these brands. The ideology behind branding is to give the product identity in the sense that it may be identified among many. However, while branding, the sellers have mastered the mind of the consumer to do the branding in a way that the consumer will be convinced to buy the product and in this case a car. Arguably, there has been so much that has been attributed to the brand which is false. There are some people who have argued that branding alone can influence the decision of a buyer to purchase a car. Nonetheless, Botha, Strydom & Brink (2005, p. 49) states that consumer’s loyalty towards a certain other brand of which he or she may have an experience with may hinder her or him from purchasing another one. From this perspective, it becomes of great benefit to research on this topic and clearly establishes the truth or falsehood behind the influence on decision to buy a car brought about by brands.

From the point of view of Kapferer (2008, p.14) most brands were in the past made out of product or service innovation which had to outperform its competitors. If this image is formed in the minds of people, they will continue buying that car owing to its superior performance. This is the example that worked for Volkswagen’s car which was viewed as the most reliable. Besides this, in the US community of Volkswagen brand was valued as the most reliable and the one which had the highest quality. Due to this factor of US car consumers, it took over 20 years for Toyota to shake the Volkswagen brand as the most reliable brand from the minds of Americans (pp.14).

 In this case, Kapferer (2008) reveals a very important factor that brands alternate in their focus and therefore, it is presumed that people do not entirely depend on brands to purchase. In the automobile industry, brands emerge serving the same purpose and thus a brand like BMW is meant for high performance, Peugeot as a dynamic car among others as such. From this point of view, car brand names are given to assert the identity of the car. Owing to the expansion of the global car market, each car automobile industry throughout the world is seeking for recognition in the very great pool of different brands of cars. Dahlén, Lange& Smith (2010, p.70), suggests that consumers have strong bonds with brands and thus, sellers should seek to work towards satisfying such customers. With this knowledge, it is also important to note that brands are made with the sole aim of winning the perception of the consumer (p.103).

As such, it has come a point in time whereby branding is being done for recognition and not what it really portrays. This confirms what has been highlighted earlier that the focus of car branding has been alternating. As a result, cars’ brands have exaggerated information being portrayed. By establishing such a truth, sellers of cars can be advised to avoid misleading the consumers. As well, the consumers can be advised not to rely heavily on the brand name while making their decisions to buy a car as brand focus is constantly alternating. Branding according to Kumar (2009, p.28) brings about added value to the consumers but if it is made to be false it can lead to more complications.

For instance, there may be brands that are appealing to the consumers showing that the car may bring about comfort which may not be the truth if a post evaluation is done. If found that this is not true, consumers may resolve not to buy the brand and this may eventually lead to decreased sales of the cars. In order to avoid such a scenario, this research will establish truths that will help to advise the sellers on how to brand their cars and retain their customers. It will explore what Bedbury & Fenichell (2003, p.17) points when they said that every brand exists in an environment which is critical to its success.

The benefits of this investigation are tantamount and as such, they will help in the future to know how to establish the customer-brand relationship without applying falsehood (Schultz et al. 2009, p.47). By so doing, the effect of brands on consumer purchasing behavior would be analyzed and applied in all sectors. At the same time, it will be used to advise the consumers on what to consider as it regards car brands.  The question of how will this contribute to existing knowledge of car branding, will be answered in the sense that branding will be explored while correcting all the associated deficiencies. The knowledge of how brands affect car consumers’ decision to buy will be used to encourage more research in the topic as well as offer solutions where it is needed. In fact, an establishment of the changing focus branding will make it possible to advise consumers in their purchasing behavior.  

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Methodology

In order to come up with concrete information in relation to how brands affect on car consumer’s buying decision, books, journals and websites will be used as research materials in order to come up with the information. Exploration of the basic information concerning the topic as well as literature reviewing will expose the gaps left by researchers of which the research will try to fill by providing answers and where possible recommendations.  At the same time, the research dissertation in this context will employ the interviews of car consumers investigating their perception towards car brands. It will cover people who are young and old seeking to know the reasons they purchased the brands they have and not any other.

 The sample size of the research will take about 30 individuals with different types of car brands. They will be asked questions why they chose the brands they have and what are their thoughts towards the effect that brands have on them while making the decision to purchase. Quantitative and quality analysis will be carried out to bring out the effect that they feel that the brands have on them. At the same time, the research will administer questionnaires to car sellers involved in the selling of different car brands.  As such, their reasons for selling branded cars rather than the ones that are not branded will be investigated. The results will then be compared and contrasted. As well, this will be compared and contrasted with the information found in the books, journals and websites.     

Limitations of the study

The topic of research being the effect of brands on the car consumer buying decision may be limited in one way or another. In this connection, the small sample of 30 car consumers with different brands may not bring out the required information with precision. The research may also be limited by the scarcity of materials addressing the problem in the books, journals and websites. More to this point, the research may be limited by biased information from the individual respondents who will be selected for the study. As such, these limitations open room for recommendations for further research to be carried with a larger sample size and deployment of other better sources of information inclusive of focus research groups and interviews. 

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