Title: A study of customers' brand preference pattern and factors influencing brand preference in a commodity product

Authors: M. Punniyamoorty, Nanda Kishore Shetty

Addresses: Department of Management Studies, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli 620015, Tamilnadu, India. ' Heidelberg Cement India Limited, No. 6, 1st Floor, MLA Layout, R.T. Nagar, Bangalore 560032, Karnataka, India

Abstract: In today|s highly competitive business environment together with the global meltdown of economy, manufacturers of generic commodity products like cement must achieve some degree of differentiation for their products in order to avoid their product being viewed as a basic generic commodity. This will help them to develop strong cement brands in this sector, and move the customers from a low-involvement decision-making process to a medium- or high-involvement decision-making pattern. Hence this paper attempts to find out the customers| preference pattern and the factors which influence the customers| preference so that a strong cement brand can be developed by understanding the values the customers are looking for, and then develop a suitable branding strategy. A study has been carried out with some of the major cement customers in Bangalore, one of the fastest growing cities in India. The results of the survey shows that the customers are not only viewing physical products, but also the distribution, customer service, quality, package, durability, price, value for money, company image and company policy that accompany the product. The study concludes with the managerial implications and suggestions for cement manufacturers towards developing suitable branding strategies.

Keywords: brand preference; commodity branding; brand value; involvement; customer needs; MDS; multi-dimensional scaling; commodity products; branding strategy; cement manufacturing; India.

DOI: 10.1504/IJICBM.2011.042323

International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, 2011 Vol.4 No.5, pp.523 - 542

Published online: 04 Sep 2011 *

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