The Application Of Product Innovation As An Effective Strategic Tool In A Competitive Market (A Case Study Of Unilever Nigeria Plc Aba Abia State)

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Project and Seminar Material for Marketing

Project and Seminar Material for Marketing


This project work is solely dedicated to God almighty the author and finisher of our faith.

The God that has kept me from my PRE-ND, ND, HND may his name be highly exalted in Jesus name.

To my beloved parents MR. and MRS. EKEOCHA NWOGU, my siblings, my loved ones and my pastor MR. SUNDAY IBEH that has being praying for me I want to say thanks

The Storm Is Over


I wish to express my profound and sincere gratitude to God Almighty for making me to be a graduate of Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri.


And to my supervisor and also my HOD MR. NEBO OKWUDILI, to my rector and all lecturers in marketing department


The research list out the problems and prospects of manufacturing and producing firms with a particular reference to Unilever Nigeria Plc Aba. Product is one of the marketing mix why because all other element of the marketing mix revolves around it. However, it does not mean that product planning and development is free from problem but we still have other ways of solving the problems so as to ensure the growth of the firm and at the same time achieve their goals and objectives.

This project is made up of five different chapters. Chapter one is the introduction this include the topic under study, statement of problem, research questions and hypothesis, objective f the study, scope and limitation, significance of the study and definition of terms.

Chapter two deals with the review of related literature and current literature and current mode. Chapter three is the research methodology which includes the design of the study, population and sampling size, method of data collection, instrument of data collection, sources of data collection and data analysis techniques.

Chapter four involves the presentation and analysis of data collected and discussion of results. Finally, chapter five involves the summary, conclusion and recommendations and suggestion for further studies.

Based on this, it will help to find possible solution to improving or enhancing product planning ad development in consumer manufacturing firms.

Table Of Contents

  • Title page  i
  • Approval Page ii
  • Dedication iii
  • Acknowledgement iv
  • Abstract v
  • Table of contents  vi

Chapter One

  • 1.0 Introduction 1
  • 1.1 Background of study  3
  • 1.2 Statements of problems 4
  • 1.3 Purpose of study 5
  • 1.4 Research question 6
  • 1.5 Statement of hypothesis 7
  • 1.6 Significance of study  9
  • 1.7 Definition of terms  10

Chapter Two

  • 2.0 Review of related literature 13
  • 2.1 Brief history of Uilever Plc Aba 13
  • 2.2 Current literature of the study 16
  • 2.2.1 Meaning and types of innovation  17
  • 2.2.2 Product perspective 18
  • 2.2.3 Product improvement 19
  • 2.2.4 Product proliferation 19
  • 2.2.5 Product advancement  20
  • 2.2.6 Market perspective  20
  • 2.2.7 Continues innovation 21
  • 2.2.8 Dynamically innovation 21
  • 2.2.9 Discontinuous innovation  21
  • 2.2.10 Sources of innovation 22
  • 2.2.11 External; sources 22
  • 2.2.12 Internal sources 22
  • 2.2.13 Research and development 23
  • 2.2.14 Top management personnel 23
  • 2.2.15 Rain storming 24
  • 2.2.16 Consumer 25
  • 2.2.17 Scarcity of change of raw materials 25
  • 2.2.18 Competition  25
  • 2.3 Models and theories relevant to the study -25-37

Chapter Three

  • 3.0 Research methodology 38
  • 3.1 Research design 38
  • 3.2 Method of data collection 40
  • 3.3 Population and sample size 41
  • 3.4 Sample procedure 42
  • 3.5 Determination of sample size 45
  • 3.6 Method of questionnaire distribution 46
  • 3.7 Validity and reliability of measuring instrument 47
  • 3.8 Method of data analysis 47

Chapter Four

  • 4.0 Data Presentation, analysis and Interpretation  48
  • 4.1 Analysis of questionnaire 49
  • 4.2 testing of hypothesis and interpretation 68

Chapter Five

  • 5.0 summary, conclusion and recommendations  70
  • 5.1 Summary of findings 70
  • 5.2 Conclusion  72
  • 5.3 Recommendations  73
  • Bibliography 76
  • Appendix 77
  • Questionnaire 78

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Product innovation should be a responsibility of top management. Moreover the extent of the top executive activities involvement in new products is a vital determination of a company’s success with new products. To be effectively managed these programmes must be effectively organized. Products innovation is one of the important aspect in marketing. Some evidence suggests that effective product innovations are difficult value to customers timely capable of being exploited commercially through existing capability sand core competence that helps firms develop competitive advantages. Other observers see new products development and its launching into the market place as difficult costly or a dangerous business.

The question that need to be answered are what is innovation?, why so many industries embark on innovation?
Joseph Schumpeter’s classic work on management of the innovation process type on innovation and limitation.
He defines innovation as the act of erecting or developing a new products or process idea while they saw innovation as the price of creating commercial products from innovation.

Finally, he defined initiation as adoption of the innovation by similar firms.

However, initiation usually leads to product or process standardization long man dictionary of contemporary English sees innovation as a new idea method or innovation. But according to the universal English dictionary innovation means something newly introduces, it changed new tangles practice while development is a state or process developing growth evolution gradual process or expansion.

The technology revolution and grater competence is domestic and international markets have increased the competitive importance of innovation. Recent research has shown that firms invest more in innovation and also achieve the highest return in investment. In fact positive or receptive investors, attitude toward introducing new products increase the price of the firms stock in the market place as well as the stock exchange, market.

In view of the economic advantage of the product, innovation and the need to stay ahead of the curve innovation must take risk and be aggressive.

Production ahead and innovation, in the price of their competitors in order to maintain a sustainable success in the future. Therefore application of product is a subject which is more recognized.

The fact, that many of the high quality product needed by consumers are not readily available has left consumers into importing some of them. These problems can only be solved if companies recognized the need fro products innovation and develop their innovation ability with government firing economic investment enabling environment where and when necessary. Further more, all products have life cycle which dictate that at some point their usefulness will decline although there is substantial variation in life cycle by types out class of products. Its product cannot live forever, as aging and marketing attrition will work against it innovation. Stanton likened products to people. They are born; they grow, means time and die. In the height of this therefore the need for the application of products innovation by business firm should not be over emphasized.

Demand is increasingly dynamic and its products life cycle are getting short and the true scale of most product is being compresses by acerbated research and technology, rapidly charging markets, mass distribution. If business firms are to survive in the wake of all the social, economy, political and cultural changes that are affecting their business adversely, they must have a capability fro product innovation. A product that effectively most consumers need reduce problem associated with decision on distribution, pricing, advertising and personal selling in most ideal while a poorly developed products on the other hand creates many problems for the other decision areas in the company.

Organization, are always competing among themselves for survival growth, market share, product line and product mix. All these are necessary strategies for survival which are the overall objective of any corporate entity.

All those hope could be achieved through the application of the product innovation.

Innovation both in theory and practice is not a new phenomena in Nigeria, during the olden days people used to drink from animal horn and carons of calabash, bur the local men in Yoruba land started with cups and utensil through brass catering.

This practice was known only to small groups or professional and its often protected and trade secretes by religions sanctions. Today the innovation ideas and practice have spread to other parts of the country and even beyond. Talking the innovation in the industry and economy may write up and statement lend credence to the fact that the idea of innovation need e.g. Adam Smith expanded the relationship between the innovation in machine building industry and the scientist Marx assigned to technical innovations “the driving force in economic development and competition”. According to max” the bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the means of production.

Finally, innovation can be highly productive but often risking road to success in most industries to day, any company that is not aggressive alert to innovation possibility in taking a competition risk which it ought at least to be intelligently aware.

1.2 Statement Of Problem

Due to rapid change interested technology, and competition, thus becomes risky fro a company to depend on its existing products. This is because consumers taste and references are in most because uncertain and change from time to time.

They are many difficulties involved in products that act as hindrance to their addition to the products line.
One of such factors is the uncertainty in pricing. The question therefore is should firms adopt a skimming pricing strategy or a penetration pricing strategy when introducing a new products into the market? It is also advised that at the early stages in the life span of new products, cost could result. This arises from the fact that management must have employed a good percentage of its resources to product. In addition the supply of raw material and spare parts could become inadequate and or scarce too.

Another area of difficulty in the application of a products innovation is high marketing cost. At the introductory stage of any products, consumers may not be aware of its existing and where it could be obtained.

Aggressive advertising, personal selling and publicity would therefore be needed to accomplish these objectives.
The cost of performing them properly. The competitiveness of the new products at a certain stage in a life span of a products, the market could be characterized by been competitive, if the products lack critical that compare favourable with those of competing products and if the management lacks desired competitive ability to push it, certainly it will gradually die out.

Another problem worthy of consideration in this study has to do with transferability of knowledge. If new products like computer may require technology or say new sales techniques that would require extensive force and middlemen to market the product. It is also advice that money of the management lack the know how and general skills needed to a successful new products development and its subsequent launching into the market due to the ear of failure, risk and uncertainties make them skeptical as regards the implication of products innovation.

1.3 Purpose Of The Study

Having identifies the problems of the study has to solve the general objectives or purposes of this work and they are:

  1. To find out whether there is a signify cant relationship between the sales revenue of a firm products innovation and after innovation.
  2. To determine the dim pact of product innovation on consumers patronage of a firms products.
  3. To determine the various wages in which a firms products could be innovated.
  4. To determine the causes of failure in innovated products.
  5. To offer solution to the problems of innovative products.

1.4 Research Question

The problem and the objective of the study high lighted above allow the researcher into the following questions:

  1. Product innovation does it have any effects on the sales revenue?
  2. Products innovation, does it include or sustain buying response from consumes more than price reduction and promotion?
  3. Products innovation, does it increase firms profit?

1.5 Statement Of Hypothesis

  1. Ho: product innovation has no effects on the sales revenue figure of the company.
    Hi: Products inn ovation has some effects on the sales revenue figure of the company.
  2. Ho: Product innovations do not induce/ sustain buying response from consumer more than price reduction and promotion.
    Hi: Products innovation induces sustain buying response from consumers more than price reduction and promotion.
  3. Ho: Product innovation do not increase firm profit
    Hi: products innovation increase firm profit.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

This research work or study will be very useful to the company to understand, find out how the products planning and development is been run.

It will also help them to discover the problem and prospects encountered in products planning and development and to find solution to the problem in order to achieve the firm objectives and goals. It also helps manufacturing firm to improve on their product planning and development. It will also be of great value to the government in the sense that it will help them in gaining advice to the manufacturing firms on the social responsibility of their products to the countries economy.

The society will also benefit or gain from this research project by having access to the products at the right time.

Quality price, this will generate the derived consumers satisfaction and patronage. This research work will be useful to the researcher as it is one of the requirement for the award of Higher National Diploma and the improvement of his or her academic knowledge in the areas of study.

1.7 Scope And Limitation If The Study

The research work which is aimed at investigating the importance of product innovation as an effective strategy tool in a competitive market.

The major problems encountered was the inability to receives adequate cooperation from the staff of the company more especially from the personnel department.

They made things difficult for the research to get the data required to make necessary findings. Further more, the bureaucrat nature of work, existing in the company acted as a constraint during study.

The researcher was also told to get a covering note from the head of department first before going to the department. They actually prevented the researcher from getting all the information needed, also finance acted as a hindrance during the period of this study. The cost of transportation for numbers of days this research work as carried out become a problem to the researcher.

Time factors also contributed to problem there was unwillingness on thee par of the organizational management to release most of the required information for the study. Despite all these constraint, the researcher work was completed.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


Product is anything that can be offered for sales or acquisition through exchange process that bring or lead to satisfaction or bundle of satisfaction that bring about exchange value between the products and the consumer.


It is the process of improving in changing major or establishing new product or new pattern of usage on consumer behaviour.

Product Proliferation:

It is a process of spreading different types of product both in size and authorize in evry part of the market; but the same quality different size.

Product Development:

It is the process of finding the proposal product to requirement and opportunity of the market place, initiating action, toward the identification and production of product/services which will best satisfy the needs of the consumer.


This is the process of introducing new products fully into the market however its after the testing

Product Life Cycle:

The product life cycle is the sales history of a products, it’s the stage and product passes before it dies, upstarts from the introduction stage maturity stage and decline stage.

I bet you, the complete material is fully loaded. This is just an excerpt. The Material is in MS-Word Format which you can easily edit and is comprehensive for a complete research work for this topic

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How to nail it on the head during your project defence

You are through with writing that project. Now what?

You have found yourself at that point where you have to defend what you have written. Of course you have to stand in front of your supervisor and other literary personalities to prove that you know what you wrote in your project paper. Unfortunately, the more you think about it, the more it looks like you are about to face a legion. It is not a war. But the emotion of dread welling up inside of you makes it look like one. So now you are asking yourself questions.

  • How am I going to start?
  • I hope I will do well enough to get an A.

You really want to nail it, but you need to come to terms with exactly how to get everything in perfect control. Especially your emotions of fear that seem to make a wreck of you every time you think about public speaking.
So here is the deal. I want to help you avoid that feeling that would ruin your precious moment if you dare to let it. And we are going to do it together.

I am going to highlight some very important tips to help you get in control for you to be comfortable enough to move from that feeling of DREAD to CONFIDENT; and making an awesome Impression for that great rating your supervisors should be giving to you so freely.

Consider these tips as you prepare for your defence. We will be taking them one after the other so here we go.

Watch Your Body Language And Keep It Confident:

Can you tell that a person is falling apart if they look confident? … If I can second guess you rightly, am sure you answered no to that question. Remind yourself that you need to come out that way. Now this might seem like a huge big deal when you are dealing with the foreboding. Maintaining a poise of confidence is very important. So find your most comfortable position, sitting or standing and draw up your body. You must exude confidence. It is something you need to do for yourself. People can only see what you allow your body language to show. So you must endeavour to put that out. Remember the story of David and Goliath? … At the end of your defence day, you want to be David.

Dress In Your Most Comfortable And Impressive:

Am sure this one is a no brainer. However I must highlight that you choose comfortable pieces. You don’t want to look so good and yet look like you were forced to wear something that does not belong to you. It’s great to ensure that as impressive as your clothes are on you, that they are also very comfortable.

Speak With Authority:

Going hand to hand with that aura of confidence is your most powerful asset:your words. If you look that confident, your words must not come out like whimpers. To be able to pull this off, you definitely need to speak as deliberately as possible in expressing yourself. Let them also hear what they see.

Use, Your Gestures:

I have often found this to come to my rescue in dealing with shyness and conveying my confidence. Usually it gives you an edge to also drive home your point. You must, however, ensure that you do not over use it. It doesn’t mean that your hands should be flying all over the place. That would be absolutely unnecessary. If you do this well, after a while you will realize that you are not as self-conscious as you used to be at the very start. For most situations, it would have completely disappeared altogether; leaving a really confident you talking.

Have A Good Opening And Closing Line:

Make sure you have perfected a good opening line. You should also be armed with a good closing line too. Try and rehearse it to a friend. If for the first time you presented it, your friend does not say “wow, that’s beautiful” or something like that; just know you need to keep refining it until you get the perfect line. Both opening and closing lines will go a long way in how impressed your panel gets to rate you high.

Make Sure You Know Your Work:

Certainly you should understand how important it is to know your own work from start to finish. Not having in-depth knowledge of your own work is tantamount to a suicide mission. Why should you kill yourself?
When all is said and done, this is what you came to defend in the first place. You should know your work from A to Z.

Prepare For The Questions:

Now this part is truly essential. You must be sure you do not floor all the good work you did on your presentation by not answering correctly. You must pay attention to the questions you are asked to be sure you will give the right answer. Many people get it wrong at this stage and spoil their good presentation. When you do not understand any question do endeavour to ask the person to expatiate what they mean before you answer.

These tips are by no means exhaustive, but applying these tips will give you some necessary advantage you need for a great outcome. Of course that outcome would mean that you eventually earn all your points on this project.

The structure of a good project work

Undergraduate projects in Nigeria is a prerequisite for graduation amongst Nigerian tertiary students who will which to obtain bachelors degree in their respective courses of study such as accounting, banking and finance, business administration and a host of others. Writing an undergraduate project in Nigeria for final year students entails a lot both financially and otherwise. Being able to develop any final year project depends on getting a researchable topic whether it is Accounting Undergraduate project topics, Banking and Finance research topics or banking and finance project topics and materials and it all requires diligent hard work of students who are willing to develop best undergraduate projects in Nigeria and graduate in flying colors.

A typical Undergraduate project in Nigerian tertiary institutions can be said to be divided into five or six chapters depending on the format of the school and course of study which are

1. Introduction

The introduction of an undergraduate project states the main research problem and research argument. What precisely the study is all about and why it is important. It looks at the originality of the research work and how it will fill the gap in other studies. Justification for a research undergraduate topic should not be lengthy before it has been explicitly stated.

Below are the contents in chapter one of an undergraduate research project which includes;

  • Background of the study,
  • Statement of the problem,
  • Objectives or aims of the study,
  • The research questions,
  • Research hypothesis,
  • Significance of the study,
  • Scope of the study,
  • Limitations of the study and
  • Operational definition of terms.

2. Literature review

Literature review of any undergraduate research work, be it business administration project topics or Economics project topics just to mention a few is very critical to securing a high grade in one’s project work. The literature review of a research process uncovers what other writers have written about the student’s topic. A student’s undergraduate research work should include a discussion or review of what is known about the subject and how that knowledge was acquired. The review could conclude with a brief summary of the literature and its implications. The contents of the literature review are the theoretical review, conceptual framework, empirical review and summary of literature review.

3. Research Methodology

This section includes a description of the research methods used in the undergraduate research work such as the sample size, data collection methods, measurement instruments, research data analysis procedures and the population from which the sample was selected.  This section also describes the method used in selecting the sample or samples, validation and reliability of the instruments used in the research work. There are different research statistical techniques used in undergraduate research work such as SPSS, e-views etc.

4. Results & Discussion

This section presents and discusses the data analysis results used in an undergraduate research work, the results of each analysis is being summarized, tabulated, and then discussed for each research question.  Then for each research hypothesis, the statistical test of significance selected and applied to the data is briefly described, followed by a statement indicating whether the hypothesis was supported or not supported.  In presenting the result analyses/summary in an undergraduate project tables and figures and or graph are used to add clarity to the presentation.

5. Summary, Conclusions And Recommendations

This section summarizes the findings of the study in an easy to understand manner.  It also explains the practical implications of those findings, and points to recommended directions for future research in that area.


This is where every source cited in the undergraduate research work is being included. Every undergraduate research work must be properly referenced for its authenticity.

Choosing A Good Project / Research Topic

Students in Nigerian universities these days wish to choose a very simple project topic/material. There is no issue choosing a simple project topic; the only problem is your ability to choose a good project or research topic that your supervisor will easily approve for you.

Most project supervisors really want to see how good his or her project student understands his or her surrounding through the kind of topic he or she chooses for their project work.

There are some project topic that are not reject-able; for instance in Nigeria of today; what do you think is the major issue on ground now?

If a project student can choose or craft a topic on the effect of dollar increment on the economy of Nigeria. Such project topic will be very interesting to write on.

Now what are the qualities of a good project topic?

  1. The materials for the project topic must be easily assessable.
  2. The project topic itself must be meaningful.
  3. The variables must be able to give a clear aim of the project topic.

What do I mean by variable?

Well I am deriving my point from the area of project writing; the variables here are those main words in the project topic.

Like the above project topic; the effect of dollar increment on the economy of Nigeria. You can see the main variables that really define this project topic are:dollar, increment and economy.

Before you present your topic to your project supervisor, first of all understand your project topic, and then secondly try to do some research for your topic to see if at least you can get up to 60% of what you need to write the complete project.

I said that above because you might have a very nice topic that the materials are not available online and there are no books as regard the topic; in this case the project topic becomes difficult for you even though the topic is catchy.

What do I mean by your topic being assessable?

Well what I mean is very simple and easy to understand. Simply pick your project topic, type it on google and see if you will have at least a good background for the topic you are writing on.

If you can have a good background for your project topic and you can understand the problem associated with the project topic, then I believe the aim of the project is not far-fetched.



Samuel Obiora Blessed is the CEO and founder of Samphina Academy ( a.k.a Nigeria Students Media, the youngest engineering graduate of Federal Polytechnic Nekede in 2017 and the engine brain behind this great platform. He is the man behind the scene, filled with many potentials, a musician as well as a pro developer with the interest of Nigerian students at heart.

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