Brands have an enormous effect in our lives but their effect varies across age, gender and culture. Pakistan is one of the biggest agricultural countries of the world and one of the biggest market for multinational companies to launch their brands. Brands give foundation for international business for future(pawle,1999) they are also called as ultimate competitive weapon of companies(light,1997) Particularly this research will focus on how different aspects affect the impact of brands in developing countries like Pakistan in particular field of pesticides. As in these countries like Pakistan, among majority of population, who are related to agriculture there is difference in evaluating Foreign vs. Local brands in terms of brand perceptions, brand evaluation and disposing of products and services that could satisfy their needs, so we will try to find out the effects of brand name on the decision making process of purchase by study of farmers of Pakistan in particular in buying pesticides of foreign country in presence of local products
Aim: The overall aim is to examine the effect of Brand name on Pakistani consumer's (farmers) purchase preference in agriculture pesticides products and develop better understanding regarding their attitude towards brand names.
- To examine the different issues of brands and their impact in Pakistan
- To determine the key influencers determining or undermining the effect of brands pesticides in Pakistan
- To identify and analyze different aspects of Pakistan's culture which impact the preference towards agricultural pesticides products
- To establish better understanding of branding theories transferability and applicability to Pakistan's agriculture market
Pakistan is underdeveloped agricultural country where 70% of population is dependent on agriculture ,so to understand the choice of farmers who are consumers as well about brands of pesticides , market could be distinctively segmented on basis of two demographic variables i.e. income and education. Like other parts of the world, these two variables heavily influence customer's choice among numerous brands available in the market. So, like West most marketers focus on these segments.
But the scenario is not as simple as "Market segmentation not only means that purchase patterns are becoming more diverse, but that consumers are also buying more goods" (Shultz II and Clifford J, 1994). This increase in multiplicity and procurement of more goods by consumers is making segmentation a multidimensional phenomenon. But still Income and Education seems to be most dominating demographic categories in developing countries.
Brands can furnish a number of benefits to a firm. A brand is believed to be a company intangible that generates value for firms ( calderon cervera, & Mola ,1997) . This value can be viewed As additional cash flows generated by a product identified with its brand (Doyle,1990;Murphy,1990). Hence a brand is becoming increasingly important due to its core element status in firm strategy and also due to its final contribution as an intangible asset. ( Aaker,1991 ; Farquhar , 1989;feldwick,1996;keller,1993).
Another benefit of branding , from the customer view point,is its ability to increase purchase confidence and enhance customer loyality (Aaker,1991 ; chaudhuri & holbrook ,2001).Brands work by facilitating the the customers buying decesions process.(Doyle,1990).In a competitive market customer face hundred of products and messages competing for attention.the buying decisions are reliant on their past experience and perception about a product and his habitual buying process is associated with brand loyalty.
In Pakistan the farmers who are the ultimate consumers use different types of information to judge different brands of pesticides. This information can be categorized on basis of Extrinsic and Intrinsic cues mentioned by Brown and O'Cass (2006). Intrinsic cues include physical product attributes such as packaging, size and colour whereas extrinsic cues are intangible product characteristics and include country of origin, brand and price (Peterson and Jolibert, 1995).
On the other hand as mentioned by Peterson and Jolibert, (1995), country of origin is very strong consideration and indicator of consumer quality perceptions. Consumers express preferences for products from one country over another, suggesting country of origin to be both product and country specific (Cordell, 1992). So, we will try to focus on foreign brands of pesticides in comparison with local brands of pesticides as two dominant basis of segmentation for the rest of discussion to be followed.
If we take Pakistan as an example then, there are four types of brands available:
- European/USA brands (Specifically called as "foreign brands" in this assignment)
- Chinese brands (China is also a foreign country but its brands are called "Chinese" and not called as foreign brands mostly in South Asia)
- Brands from neighbouring countries (Animosity also exist between them)
- Home brands (Local country's brands)
Animosity heavily influences brand preferences. Sometimes best quality product may not be preferred due to animosity with another country. Many consumers are high in animosity towards USA and India in Pakistan and therefore are reluctant to acquire goods made by them.
So, overall it could be said that segmentation in developing countries is a mix of psychographic, geographical and demographic profiles.
In Pakistan as a developing country, for foreign brands most of the consumers ignore economic advantage to certain extent (as they can purchase local brands at less cost). These consumers utilize their cognition (which favours foreign brands) and they can justify it too. Decision making is influenced by both internal and external factors.
- Internal factors include:
While external factors include:
- Reference Groups
- Family Influences
- Social Class
- Culture etc
(Schiffman and Kanuk, 2004)
Now the author will discuss each of them separately and will try to find out how they effect on brand preference between home country/local brands and foreign brands.
Proposed Research Methodology
An empirical investigation will be made using primary data. Deductive approach will be used in which already developed theories from the literature will be utilised to test validity using primary data collected from Pakistan leading to confirmation or modification of the existing theories. Deductive approach has several important characteristics which will be very significant in this study as stated by Saunders et al., 2007:
- It explains causal relationship between variables
- There is collection of quantitative data (most of the times)
- There is highly structured methodology to replicate findings
- Concepts are operationalised in an way that enables facts to be measured quantitatively
- There is ability to generalize statistically
(Saunders et al., 2007)
Some results form secondary sources can also be integrated for developing a comprehensive perspective.
The core issue which will be investigated is branding and its effect on choice of Pakistan's consumers, Effect of Culture, forces which increase or decrease branding effect, and verification of existing theories among Pakistani consumers. It is quite obvious from the literature review that this area is pretty unexplored in case of Pakistan. Both secondary and primary data is relevant in this research. Structured method of primary research will be more significant and used because it will be easy to quantify and compare data which can further be used to check the implications of existing theories applicability in Pakistan. To certain extent Secondary data can also be used to develop understanding about the existing theories which are checked in different geographical areas.
Most of the emphasis will be on qualitative data using in-depth interviews and descriptive data will be incorporated in the analysis to gain in depth knowledge about tastes and preferences among foreign and/or local brands. Major emphasis will be on qualitative data.
Detailed interviews of consumers will be conducted and primary data will be collected using questions in which each person is asked to respond to the same set of questions in a predetermined order (Saunders et al., 2007). Questionnaires will be distributed across different demographic segments to reveal true representation of the population.
Proposed Data Analysis Method
Data will be analyzed by descriptive analysis of the interviews of the respondents.
Proposed Sample Size
Convenience sampling method is proposed but variety of respondents belonging to different geographic and demographic profiles will be used. Estimated sample size which will be required to represent target population will be having in-depth interview with 15-20 respondents.
In Pakistan, anti-Western regime is becoming a strong point of debate in every level of social class and becoming important aspect of culture. But it is quite surprising to see why it is not affecting trend towards very strong western brand preferences in agricultural inputs. A detailed study is required to find out the actual reasons of this phenomenon but the assumption is that still Anti Western beliefs have not penetrated so deeply in societies of developing countries particularly Pakistan that it becomes part of culture. Or this might be a case that even consumers are not politically in favour of West but as far as individual/personal preference of products is concerned, they place more trust on foreign brands. This indicates an entirely different approach as a member of society and as a consumer on individual basis. But one thing for sure that Anti-West group is a sub culture within the culture and it has not dominated/influenced other sub cultures to become its part yet.
Sometimes a foreign brand is preferred regardless of checking its compatibility, trialablility, observability etc. And in fact credit goes to the better marketing by the marketing manager of foreign brands in terms of marketing mix (Product, Price, Placement and Promotion).
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