BRAND IDENTITY AND MARKETING PERFORMANCE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM QUOTED COMMERCIAL BANKS IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background of the Study
Sheldon, (2002) defined a banking business as to receive money from customers and to collect instruments representing money from customer on the understanding that the money will be refunded or collected either on demand or at some definite date agreed upon between union and his customers. From the above, the core activity of a bank is funds intermediation which entails mobilizing funds from surplus spending unit and channeling such funds to the deficit unit. This activity facilitates capital formation which generates growth and development in the economy. How Nigeria banks have fared along the lines of the above function has been an issue of unresolved debates in the banking domain, as their effectiveness has been consistently criticized. Perhaps the fallout of this argument led to the banking sector reforms.
The current banking sector reforms in Nigeria was designed to promote the viability, sound stability of the system to enable it meet the aspiration of the economy in term of accelerated growth and development (Nwachukwu and Peterson,2007) for bank in the industry to acquire effectiveness within the sector, banks must compete vigorously using their competitive strategies. One such competitive strategy would be thedevelopment of superior brand identity, brand image and brand personality. These marketing concepts areusually noted as a prerequisite for achieving sustainable competitive advantage.Given these trends after the bank consolidation, marketing strategy has become a fundamental tool inthe banking sector.
Indeed, both the application of marketing concepts to the banking firms and theunderstanding of customer behavior have been subjects many research works in many decade ago (German andHunt, 2003; Jessica and Pius 2008; and Kotler et al 2006). Banking industry have aggressively pursued variousmarketing strategies to enable firms succeed, a good example of such are market segmentation (Harvey 2000cited in Denmasks, 2010; Nichols 2001 cited Nubam 2008), relationship marketing and database marketing(Amett et al 2003) and other marketing activities that will enhance performance.
Brand identity is the visual aspect that forms part of the overall brand (Koneonit, 2002).However, brand identity is seen as what the owner want to communicate to its potential consumers. Leclere and
Schmitt (2007) submitted that consumers brand knowledge consist of two measures, brand awareness and brandimage. Brand awareness refers to the strength a brand’s present in the consumer’s mind. Aaker (2006) thereforedefines brand awareness as the ability of a certain product category. Brand image increases the produce inmarketing efforts.
Although these strategic issues in marketing are important to the banking sector researchers andpractitioners, the understanding of the unique nature of how these strategies enhance performance need to beexplicated. Several studies in relationship marketing and many in branding has focused on brand equity, brandpersonality and brand image. This study departs from previous research in that we are looking at using brandidentity as a specific strategy to differentiate our service from other of our competitors. Our examination ofbrand identity in the banking context aims to extend prior research on brand identity and firm performance(Jackson and Smith 2006; Manson et al 2008; and Mubok 2010).
1.2 Statement of Problem
There is no gainsaying that the present economy deserves a sound, stable and better banking performancefollowing the causative factors, such as unethical and unprofessional practices, poor management qualityamong others which contributed to low level of bank performance and sometimes lead to failure of bank.
The major problem in the Nigeria bankingindustry is that bank services are still lacking in so manyspheres in Nigeria, yet the banks perception ofmarketing has not shifted from mere advertising untilrecently as a result of stiff competition brought about byreforms.This crisis demonstrated in no unmistakableterms that “even strong economies, lacking transparent control, responsible corporate boards andshareholder right can collapse quite quickly as investor’s confidence collapse”. The alarming rate of corporate failures as witnessed globally has necessitated this study apparently; thefailures have known no boundary as it cuts across both the very big organizations and the very smallcorporate entities especially financial industries.In a nutshell, the present study is designed to investigate the Bank’s management ability, capability andperformance. It also reviews the interventionist role played by corporate governance to bank performance.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The general purpose is to examine the effect of Brand Identity and Marketing Performance Empirical Evidence from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria while the specific objectives are:
1. To determine the extent to which Product Design influence Marketing Performance from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria
2 To ascertain extent to which Brand Image influences Marketing Performance from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria
3 To ascertain extent to which brand awareness influences Marketing Performance from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
From the above specific objectives, the following research questions are formulated:
1. To what extent does Product Design influence Marketing Performance from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria?
2 To what extent does Brand Image affect Marketing Performance from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria?
3 To what extent doesbrand awareness affect Marketing Performance from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria?
1.5 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF BRAND IDENTITY AND MARKETING PERFORMANCE
SOURCE:(Researcher’s Desk 2016).
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses are formulated from the above specific objectives:
H01: There is no significant relationship between Product Design andMarket Share from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria.
H02: There is no significant relationship between Brand Imageand Sales Volume from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria.
H03: There is no significant relationship between Brand Awareness and profitability from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria.
1.7 Significance of study
The study will be helpful to various stakeholders in Quoted Commercial banks who are interested to the long-term strategies for profitability namely shareholders, investors and creditors in such a way that they should be able to realize the potentials and scope for the business growth in Quoted Commercial banks. The study has provided recommendations to be considered by Quoted Commercial banks to improve on their service.
Therefore this study will add new knowledge to bankers in Nigerian regarding the extra value banks can earn through implementation of product Identity.
This study will be of benefits and interest not only to banks in Nigeria, but it will be valuable to other service sectors in Nigeria as a whole. The study will also be a source of secondary data to other researchers who wish to conduct studies on related issues. It will
again act as mainstream for generating, keeping and maintaining customers.This study is important for customers, employees, banks, academia and even government. Customers will have access to better and qualitative services from the banks. Employees can also have improved conditions of service due to better organizational performance. Banks can gain in terms of superior performance. The research can also benefit the academia in terms of addition to knowledge.
1.8Scope of the Study
The study will only concentrate three (3) selected quoted Banks.The selected quoted Banks under study are: First Bank of Nigeria PLC (FBN); United Bank for Africa PLC (UBA) and Zenith Bank PLC.
1.9Limitations of the Study
The success of this study depends to a very large extent on both qualitative and quantitative factors.
Financial constraints: Data gathering and analysis involve financial expenses thus, the extent to which information is acquired depends on the available funds at the disposal of the researcher.
1.10 Definition of Terms
Brand Identity: According to Janonis et al. (2007), Brand identity includes everything that makes the brand meaningful and unique.
Brand awareness is how easily consumers can recognize a brand or the identity of a company and/or product.
Marketing performance: refers to the improvement of the organizational status in the market (market share), improvement of the customers’ perception of organization and its products, and increase in their loyalty toward organization
Sales growth: The increase in sales over a specific period of time, often but not necessarily annually.
Profitability: is the ability of a business to earn a profit.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
From the review of literature in chapter two it was discovered that the principal objective of brand awareness and marketing is to provide services and products to satisfy customers and from the list of services and products offered by banking institutions it is obvious that there are a wide range of offers to the public. The study revealed that marketing does not only affect the nation’s banking system, it also has an impact on other aspects like social and economic life (Ogunsanya, 2003). From all previous studies done by other researchers referenced in this research it is obvious that marketing can either be a catalyst if it is actively used or lag if inactively used in the financial system of Nigeria. The first step to be taken by the company is to ‘create customers’ having in mind that these customers are faced with different choices of producers, products as well as prices of products and services (Drucker, 1999). Banks also need to build a loyal customer base, have an effective and efficient way of dealing with competition from other banks, ensure products and services they offer meet the needs of consumers and have an efficient channel of sales distribution. Banking operations began in Nigeria in 1892 even before Independence under the supervision of the colonial masters. Then banks did not have sufficient assets to meet the demand of customers and this made banks unable to invest in real assets which could not 130 Ikpefan, Ochei, Ailemen be easily realized to cash when needed without incurring any loss thereby making the Federal Government establish the Loynes commission in 1958, this also led to the establishment of the company acts of 1968 (Somoye, 2008). Another aspect of the theoretical findings is based on bank marketing. Bank marketing is setting the goals of the bank in line with the present and future profitable segment of the market and the present and future customers’ needs. According to Onah (2009) bank marketing is needed to identify threats and weakness that the bank is exposed to due to high rate of competition and to also work on them to convert them to opportunities and threats. He also explained the problem of bank marketing includes non-computerized bank branches due to low level of technological advancement making work pace to be slow, the problem of structuring services and costs in most cases leading to the deterioration of services, problem of nature and ownership, communication gap within and outside banks and the problem of turning prospect customers to loyal ones. Marketing has greatly impacted the Nigerian banking system by assisting banks deal with competition nationally and internationally, helping to make awareness on the availability of a product, make customers know about the services they are being offered and their benefits. Okonkwo (2004) emphasis the importance of marketing in banks as it will contribute largely to the overall development of the entire Nigerian Banking system. Marketing is also useful because it helps to promote the image of the bank which is key, it helps to win more businesses and customers so as to maintain market share.
Based on the data gathered through questionnaires that were distributed to both customers and bank staff of First Bank of Nigeria PLC (FBN); United Bank for Africa PLC (UBA), and Zenith Bank PLC to measure the impact of brand awareness and marketing in the Nigerian banking system some observations and findings were made. To form the basis of the findings three hypotheses were stated in chapter one, after they were all tested using the T-test the three alternative hypotheses were accepted and the null hypotheses rejected stating the following:
1) There is no significant relationship between Product Design and Market Share from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria.
2) There is no significant relationship between Brand Image and Sales Volume from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria.
3) There is no significant relationship between Brand Awareness and profitability from Quoted Commercial Banks in Nigeria.
From the above it can be concluded that brand awareness and marketing of bank’s products and services affects the efficiency of banking system, marketing leads to the satisfaction of bank’s customers and the problems of marketing go a long way to adversely affect the Nigerian banking system. The following are my findings:
1. We found out that respondents feel the quality of services provided by banks is good.
2. Banks also offer timely and prompt services.
3. Most of the respondents agreed that all the units of the bank and not just the marketing unit should be involved in marketing.
4. We found that banks still have to improve more on their marketing strategies.
5. Banks should engage in quite a number of promotional activities including billboards, radio, television, personal selling, sales promotion etc.
6. Respondents agreed that their bank introduces better ways of satisfying their customers. One of the ways by which this can be continuously carried out is by creating a good platform for any of customer’s complaints on any issues and challenges and by also making efforts on making customers feel important and keeping them delighted.
7. We found that marketing has led to efficiency in the Nigerian banking system since independence and has assisted banks in achieving their goals and objectives.
The following are being recommended based on the result of my findings:
1. We recommend that banks should work on the quality of services they provide to their customers because customers expect a high level of quality of the services rendered to them.
2. We recommended that banks should continue to offer prompt and timely services. No one customer wants to go to their bank to carry out some transactions and end up being held up for a long time due to reasons like manual ways of performing banking operations like it was done in the 80’s.
3. All the units of the bank should be involved in marketing. It is recommended that not only the marketing department of the bank should market the bank’s products but all other units should also be involved. This is because in the case of any loss incurred as a result of poor marketing it is not just the marketing unit that will suffer the consequences but all the units of the bank.
4. We recommend banks to continue to improve on their strategies of marketing. The bank management should select suitable and consistent principles to achieve profit objectives and to ensure long term patronization from present and potential customers.
5. Banks should always endeavor to communicate the value of their products to customers, ensure their services are newsworthy and inform the public on the availability of services.
6. We recommend that banks should continue to make their customers feel important and have well equipped and experienced staff personnel in customer services unit to be able to provide solutions to customer’s complaints and challenges.
7. Finally, we recommend that marketing should be seen as a very important tool for the purpose of assisting banks in achieving their goals and objectives, as well as improving efficiency in the Nigerian banking system..