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Factors That Affect Brand Choice

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 3798 words Published: 18th Apr 2017

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A detailed study is a study which is undertaken to understand a particular project or sector. The main aim of this research is to get detailed information that provides knowledge about the like and dislike towards the biscuits.

What is the key issue and what are the factors (packaging, price, taste, variety, availability etc that affect the choice of brand for biscuit?

Is there any role played by advertisement and other promotional activities in building brand loyalty among the consumers of biscuit?


According to Antonides and van Raaij (2004) the strength of any economy can be judged by the position of its consumer. For any economy to be successful, it is important that its durable and nondurable industry is flush with consumer act. In the case of Pakistan development of infrastructure the priority of country. Since this gives a support for overall economic development. There is no doubt that in Pakistan the private sector provides the greatest improve to the production of consumer. It is important to encourage these industries while they are enabling the economy to boom. These industries are the very useful assets and the pillars for the economic reorganization of Pakistan. The lack of private sector in countries like Russia and the eastern union is the greatest uncertain block in the flow of foreign investment to these countries.

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According to Baker (2001) that an important role of marketing is to discover and recognize the consumer’s needs and demands properly and then build up products and services which will satisfy customer demands. It is just not sufficient to know the requirements of the consumer but from marketing purpose it should be successful it is important to know the reason after the needs of the consumer. Inclusive approaching into the buyer behavior is necessary for achieving the goals of marketing. In fact the understanding of buyer behavior is important for both the consumer and marketer. This will enables the marketer to deal with the consumers needs powerfully as on the other hand this will also helps to build up loyalty or credibility among the customers by develop optimistic attitudes towards the company’s products.

The reality is that all human beings are customers at some point. So is it possible to simplify the buying behavior particularly when an individual indulges in desire behavior? The answer is no according to (Doyle and Dibb, 2001). At different points of times different number of factors come into play and influences the buying behavior. so predicting buying behavior is definitely not a easy work. It is a complex procedure requiring careful planning, strategizing and analysis. This particular research is aimed at highlighting the factors that influence the consumer preference for a particular brand of biscuits and recognizing their pattern of consumption.

Literature review:

The primary objective of marketing is to develop and uphold a meaningful system of exchange in such a way that the consumers’ needs are satisfied with the products that are being are promoted. The strategies of marketing have to be, therefore, designed keeping in mind how best they convey the message to the consumer. The fact is that marketing is essentially a function of communication. The desires, needs, wants and requirements of the consumers are conveyed through their responses in the various types of market research. On the other hand, according to Baker (2001), marketers present their information through different types of promotions such as advertising. The purpose of marketing communication is essentially to kindle the interest of the consumers in the brand, position the brand favorably, highlight the qualities of the brand which would best satisfy the needs, wants and desires of the consumers as compared to other competing products and ultimately influence the behavior of the customer like getting them to try out the product, or visit the retail store or, at least, convey a positive message about the product/purchase experience to friends and relatives.

Groucutt et al. (2004) feel that even when the consumers enter the marketplace, their tastes and choices are pre-defined. It is not often that the consumers indulge in impulse purchase. Most often, even the impulse purchase, for which they not planned or anticipated, is influenced by general preferences and tastes. Therefore, the entire process of marketing and promotions is basically to control the mindset of the consumers. The aim of every advertiser is to reach a level above that of the others in order to reach out and touch the buyers. Thus, anyone seeking to promote or market his products must watch out for the factors that influence the preferences of the consumers, in order that they can position their own brand in such a way that the customers view it favorably. For a better understanding of this dissertation, it is important to understand the various concepts like marketing, growth of marketing, attitudes of consumers regarding purchase of products, buying process, branding and all its aspects. In the subsequent pages these concepts are discussed in detail.

Conducting an amalgamation of primary as well as secondary research is significant to achieve the desired objective of the research that is in reference. A detailed dialogue of the methodology can facilitate an outline of constructive criticism and duplication of the research (Nachmias & Frankfort-Nachmias, 1996). The assortment of instruments utilised all through the research are explained in the next section. Also, the logic behind selection of every one of these instruments has also been discussed.

Despite the fact that there are a variety of approached that can be chosen from the research methodology, there is one approach recommended by Saunders et al. (2007) which appears to be quite reasonable. Saunders et. al. (2007) puts the process of research in comparison to an onion by bringing out the layer by layer attitude to research.


second century Rome to learn the history of biscuits. The word itself is derived from their Latin word “bis coctum”, meaning twice baked. Biscuits do not need any introduction while biscuit is a part of everyday diet for about everyone. The reasons may differ, taste, health, satisfaction of hunger etc. A product of daily consumption, they come in all types, salty, diet, sweet, creamy, sweet and salty etc. Biscuits are also perfect while traveling food which can keep on fresh for long periods. During maritime days biscuits saw a boom time that’s way they were preserved in airtight containers to keep them fresh for months together. Countries mainly the western European times where biscuits are most popular are the ones which were active during the maritime days.

Possibly one of the most underrated least talked about and low thrill industry the biscuit business has been making impressive growth for the last few years!

Biscuits eating habit had been inculcated into the Pakistani frame work with ‘sipping of tea’ post British Raj. The biscuit, a natural complement during evening tea or in large receptions and parties has been a essential at least in the upper income tier. The lower tier though not as heavy in consumption could not abstain (being Pakistanis’ with a sweet tooth) and with baking being a relatively easy concept (eating fresh biscuits being a necessity), the industry as expected started growing at a fast pace. This led to the sprouting of the unbranded neighborhood bakeries that made small quantities of large variety of irresistible snacks. Even as other categories of FMCG like washing powder, soaps and tea have facing a decline. AC Nielsen retail audit data states that the category of biscuits reported a double digit growth during the January-December 2002 period.

The story stretched out with the entry of English Biscuits Manufacturers (EBM) some forty years ago into a comparatively virgin market. From a modest two product business, EBM started to expand in terms of product range and geographical penetration (local and exports). Other key players of note such as Union Industries with their confectionary and biscuits range have gone out of market since then.

Many unsuccessful entries by international brands in the 80s’ lead to a large gap in a market that was ready to fill it. Companies like Danish Cookies and McVities could not capture the market due to incorrect product mix, poor vision and adaptation of product to local taste (product development). With the entry of Continental Biscuits (CBL) with a French brand, LU with the right product for the right market. With two major players in the market with a wide portfolio mix, the consumption habits started to change with increased usage and new users coming into the fold!

By 2001 the industry had grown to 45,000 tons; however the largest player was still the unbranded/bakery type biscuits with 90,000 tons. The real challenge hence forth was two (as with most industries at that time):

1) Conversion from the loose/unbranded to branded.

2) Increasing market size through increased consumptions

Companies stepped up to the challenge through innovations in the form of new brands (Sooper, TUC, Candi, Tiger and Peanut Pik..), packaging breakthroughs (half roll, tikki packs..) and breakthrough product developments, (who can forget with the tag lines such as: Candi by LU; TUC kay sath chaiya, Mama Sooper..…). With the growing market size and unbranded conversions by early 2000, the industry saw the entry of several key smaller players such as Bisconni, Mayfair and Kolson. New players all wanted a slice of the pie and hence, by 2006 the market grew to 175,000 tons with successful conversions to branded; standing 130,000 at ton.

However, with the conversions from unbranded taking place a new parasite hit the industry in the form of copy/infringements/poor quality me toos’. These operators with small to medium sized set ups started operating in interiors of Punjab and Sindh under cover, safe from any government taxes or being bound by any professional code of conduct and quality standards. With little government support to fight them, larger companies gave into the premise of their existence, co exiting with them!

Market share in the branded and total market still remained with top two players, EBM and CBL with 37and 26% respectively. Major upsurge was witnessed after 2004 with the growth in the soft biscuit category driven by two power brands: Sooper and Bakeri, collectively 24% of the total biscuit market! The branded industry with an average 23% compound annual growth rate showed no signs of fatigue with increased consumption coming from urban areas’ and new consumption from rural penetrations.

THE PAKISTANI biscuit and confectionery sector has been faring well, with 12-15% growth last year, but there are storm clouds on the horizons because of skyrocketing prices of sugar and flour. In recent years, these ingredient problems have been overshadowed by massive domestic demand, fed by more than 255 biscuit and wafer manufacturing units (42 mechanized) with an installed capacity of 47,000 metric tons for biscuits and 5,200 metric tons for wafers. As well as the growth in local demand–fuelled by the continuing surge in per capita income in Pakistan, there has also been a visible improvement in exports, which are mainly destined to Europe, Middle East, Canada and Africa. Total value of exports of biscuits, confectionery and bakery products rose by approximately 30% in 2006-07 to US$7.612 million from US$5.873 million in 2005-06.

Though it should be a highly regulated business as the part of the food industry surprising it is not, only a handful of players meet international guidelines for food safety. Following through with HACCAP, GMP, ISO and other standards becomes even more difficult when the industry is so volatile in terms of input prices for materials and hence smaller players with the need to stay competitive give into constant re engineering and low focus on hygiene standards that comes at a high price!

So how does the industry fair in respect to the international players and market. Well surprisingly the quality of products is superior to Indian products, which are lower in quality but also lower in price (hence value for money). Approximately 10,000 tons (USD 1.5 mn) is exported from USA to Africa and from Europe to CIS countries, hence wide net penetration but nonetheless a paltry amount in terms tonnage exported world wide.

Consumption per person (per annum) has come along way from 0.6 kg in 2001 to almost 1.1 kg by 2007. With international benchmarks such as India at 1.6 kg and European countries above 4 kg we have far to go; a marketers dream to reach and nightmare to attempt to get there!

The market has been segmented primarily into adults and kids with further segmentations in terms of taste profiles/Lifestyles and hence: Soft & Sweet Plain

Sooper, Bakeri, Gala, Bravo, Treat…

Cream Filling

Prince, Rio, Cocomo, Jam Hearts

Salty Snacks

TUC, Saltish


Candi, Chocolate Chip

Plain Glucose

Munna, Gluco, Tiger

Ingredient Based

Party, Zeera Plus


Wheat Slices, Wheatable


Two major strategies of research are given to select from and they are, deductive and inductive approach and they have been elucidated along with their approach techniques and their results.

Deductive Approach: Deductive approach’s method is move from usual to particular. Robson (2002: 19) elucidates five chronological stages of progression in the deductive approach. It begins with deducing or inferring a hypothesis. Second step is to move ahead by articulating the hypothesis in more operational contexts that offer a relationship amongst two particular elements. The third stage is to verify and examine the operational hypothesis. In the fourth stage, there is investigation of any kind of particular results of the enquiry. It would either be able to confirm or approbate the theory or suggest the requirement for its change. Eventually, if required, customising the theory keeping the findings in mind would be the last step.

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Inductive Approach: As per Saunders et al. (2007) inductive approach functions in another manner, i.e. to move from particular to expansive generalisations and hypotheses. Unofficially, it is at times known as the “bottom up” approach (Robson, 2002). Inductive approach starts with particular inspections and measures start figuring out the formats, patterns and policies, form a few provisional hypotheses that can be assessed and eventually result in building a few theories and general findings.

The objective behind this research is to assess the elements that impact the selection of brand for a specific biscuit. The biscuit is owned by low-involvement product i.e. the consumers do not focus too much on the brand however elements such as taste, crunchiness would be given a lot of importance by the consumers. On route this research, the writer was able to assess the significance of various aspects accountable in the selection of a brand. This study utilised the inductive research strategy for the purpose of the research because there is no particular hypothesis to be established.


For the purpose of the study both primary data as well as secondary data were accumulated. Primary data was accumulated by surveying the consumers to assess their opinion regarding various biscuits brands available in the market space of Mumbai city.

As per Creswell (2002) a lot of methods can facilitate the collection of primary data. A few of them are elucidated in the next few segments.

Survey: According to Creswell (2002), surveys can be classified under to broad groups: the questionnaire and the interview. Questionnaires as we know are groups of questions that are replied to by a certain set of people known as the respondents. However, interviews are a list of questions asked by the interviewer on the basis of the replies given by the respondent.

Questionnaires: Presser (2004) asserts that questionnaires are usually though or organised in the form of surveys. A lot of plus points lie in forming them as surveys. It is a well known strategy in corporate and management research. They permit the accumulation of a big volume of data from a considerable group of people in an extremely reasonable manner. However, there are a few shortcomings also. Malhotra (2004) observed that the rate of response from mail surveys is usually not apt or sufficient. There is a perpetual prospect of the questionnaires to not be reverted back and there could also be a chance that the questionnaires that have been responded to would get a prejudiced response.

Interviews: Kothari (2005) is of the opinion that interviews are a lot more personal in nature as far as a research is concerned, especially in comparison to questionnaires. In the case of a personal interview, the interviewer works completely in tandem with the respondent directly. Contrary to the mail surveys, the interviewer has the chance to explore or solicit certain follow-up questions. Also, interviews are usually unproblematic for the respondent, particularly if the requirements are of opinions or perceptions. Interviews can be extremely verbose in terms of time and also involve a lot of resources.

Case study research: Robson (2002:40) describes case study as the “growth of comprehensive thorough knowledge regarding a specific case or a few of the connected cases.” The case study approach has the capacity to produce the solutions to the questions such as, ‘Why’? ‘What?’ and ‘How?’ though the ‘What?’ and ‘How?’ questions are more relevant to the survey method. The case study research can be extremely useful in comprehending the current theory. A kind of qualitative descriptive research, the case study focuses deeply on a person or a small group of participants, figuring out the outcomes of only the participant or the group and that too in a particular reference. The benefits of the case study method are its capacity to be easily applied to actual life and modern human issues and its public availability by way of official reports. Case study outcomes connect straight away to the average reader’s daily observations and experience and then provide a complete comprehension on complicated actual life issues. On the other hand, the case study research is thought to be of a specific nature. It possesses a weak foundation for the facilitations of generalisations.

This research asks for exploring and extensively ascertaining the consumers’ perception of the brands of biscuits and that asks for a sample survey that can be carried out through the use of a questionnaire.

Luck and Rubin (2005) asserted that the secondary sources comprise of a broad list of sources constituting books, journals, newspapers etc.

Books – Books were basically used to attain certain inside view of the hypothetical elements of the customer purchase behaviour and conceptual outline related to it. Books also assisted in appreciating the customer purchase behaviour in the larger picture of business strategy. Furthermore, as per Luck and Rubin (2005), books would also facilitate the educational and theoretical attribute customer buying behaviour. On the other hand, a researcher has to be cautious to not be completely dependent on books because they also have some shortcomings. The exact definition taken of the consumer buying behaviour from a book could go through tough prejudices depending on how new or old the book is in the current corporate situation. It is essential to ensure the reliability of the books used and verify if the information taken out is authentic and useful enough for the objective of research.

Journals – Journals act as add-ons to the information derived from the books. Journals are made up to made very often and thus facilitate information about the thought leading to the strategic representation of consumer buying behaviour and its usefulness for a company (Saunders et al., 2007). Journals can also be selected due to their nature of being articles that facilitate perceptions and work on the same area by various other experts and researchers. But, just like books, journals can also undergo the negatives of prejudices in their approach. There is a possibility of a researcher taking up a separate research approach or the researcher could have neglected the other areas that required attention in the research. Despite that, journals offer more than enough insight and data for the concerned research. Therefore, this leads to bringing out the inhibitions regarding the dependability of a source and the authenticity of the accumulated data from a particular source. A researcher has to ensure that the information collected in not just applicable but also dependable and can be utilised for the purpose of the research. If the answer is negative then the research would be considered invalid.

Press Articles – A broad spectrum article has been doing the rounds in newspapers and magazines associated with various concepts of customer purchasing behaviour (Luck and Rubin, 2005). However, there are certain doubts that are brought up regarding the dependability of the reports and articles that have been released by the press as to the preciseness of these documents and can they be relied upon. But, it is of great significance to observe the dependability of the selected media for the purpose of collecting the research centric information. This is because incorrect information would take away the authenticity of the research outcomes. Therefore, it is a must to utilise articles from the well dependable media and the researcher is accountable for evaluating the suitability of the data that has been taken out from this source.

Out of the aforementioned sources, extra sources of information were trade journals, websites and industry reports. These are the sources that facilitate larger research coverage. A researcher ought to be cautious enough to the take out the unnecessary information bits accumulated from these various sources.


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