An Evaluation Of Product Positioning Strategies In The Consumer Products Industry In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Unilever Nigeria Plc)
This study is a research into “An Evaluation of Product Positioning on Unilever Nigeria Plc.
The study seeks to find out how product positioning helps the firms in achieving greater part of its sales objectives.
In an attempt to carryout the study effectively, a total sample of seven firms were judgmentally selected.
This sample random sampling technique and chi-square statistical tools was used for this study.
- From the analysis of the data, it was deduced that the selected firms consider the application of product positioning as very important part of firm’s sales objectives.
- The selected firms also used product positioning to achieve their aims.
- The firms marketing operations are regionally structured. However, it was noted that the firms is selling to all the customers.
Finally, the following suggestion were seen:
- There should be adequate provision of funds.
- The firm should engage more effort to train their sales executives.
- They should improve on advertising and other sales promotion mix.
- Lastly, the issue of transportation and distribution facilities should be improved.
1.1 Background of the Study
In marketing, positioning has come to mean the process by which marketers try to create an image or identify in the mind of their target market for its product, brand or organization. It is the relative competitive comparison their product occupies in a given market as perceived by the target market. What we must agree as is that positioning is something that happens in the minds of the target market. It is the aggregate perception that market has of a particular company, product or service in relation to their perception of the competitors in the same category it will happen whether or not company managements is productive, reactive or passive about the on-going process of evolving a position Ries and Trout explain that while positioning begins with a product, the concept really is about positioning that product in the mind of the customer. This approach is needed because consumers are bombarded with a continuous stream of advertising, the easiest way of getting into someone’s mind is to be first. It is very easy to remember who is first, and much more difficult to remember who is second. Even if the second entrant offers a better product, the first mover has a large advantage that can make up for other shortcomings.
Product positioning refers to the place on offering occupies in consumers mind on important attributes relatives to competing offerings. The essence of positioning is to sell consumers something unique, different or distinctive about our product, which is different from what the competitor offer we want our target segment to think in terms of our total product occupying a distinct or different position as is the case when athletes are running in a race and are positioned in which competitor must strive to occupy or attain rewarding position.
Position is a marketing strategy whereby the marketer associates his product with specific and unique benefits, which he wants consumer to perceive as being different and better than those of his competitors. Positioning has to take up place in the perception and mind of his competitors, if the consumer does not have this perception in his mind no positioning has occurred. For positioning to occur the target segment must see the company’s product as being unique in what it promises them in relation to those of competitors.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Generally a great number of problems confront the application of product positioning. To desirable product positioning does not seem different but to put the description into practice is not easy. Some of the problems however are particularly about product positioning in unilever Nigeria plc. Some of the these problems are stated in the work with the purpose of finding solution to them.
The ability of the firm to classify these customers group. According to the uniqueness in purchases. The company based their positioning on their product rather their based on customers/ consumers and their needs. The company also go about boasting about being number one and by doing so the customer will think that the firm is insecure in its position if it must reinforce it by saying so. The company don’t know what that change is inevitable and a leader must be willing to embrace to carryout marketing survey and research because there is not provision to know how effective their strategy is and how customers responded to their products.
1.3 Objective of the Study
Like the marketing philosophy pointed, out, every marketing oriented firm organization has the primary duty of not only making sales for the company but for the identification of customers need and planning to satisfy their customer need at a profit to the firm.
For the purpose of this work, it is therefore very important to review the strategy and offering of organization with a view to finding how effective such strategy and offering are meeting the objectives of the organization that is applying them. If is the light of this that this work outlines the following:
- To known what product positioning is al about as if involves the companies under study.
- To know actually the company or organization actually applies positioning in the sales of its product.
- Also, to know how the company’s sales is structured. This could be geographically, regionally or customer structured and if it can determine or know its target customers.
- The other objective of this study is also to know the method or strategy the company actually uses in performing its functions.
- Also the evaluation of product positioning strategies is achieving the firms goals as well as host of the others.
1.4 Formulation of the Hypothesis
For the purpose of this work, the following research hypothesis are formulated and need adequate attention hence, they will be subject to test to reliability and authority.
- H0i: The firm does not use positioning to achieve greater part of their objectives.
- Hn2: The firm uses positioning to achieve greater part of her objectives.
- H02: The firm marketing operations are not regionally structured.
- H02: The firm marketing operations are regionally structured.
1.5 Significance of the Study
They study on the positioning is very significance because many companies and organization have had of the lack of ideas to produce positioning. This work would provide marketing / sales managers of companies and organizations in the state and country at large, with the useful tools for designing and accessing the efficacy of their positioning programmes. This study is very significant and justifiable in that product positioning and identification target markets by organization realization turnover ratio of organization as well as development sales. Finally, this research in this direction thereby lagging foundation for other resources.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The study covers all aspect of product positioning as an instrument for achieving organizational objectives as a whole. The population of this study is all Unilever Nigeria Plc. However due to time and financial constraints, a survey of selected and financial constraints, a survey of selected branch in Enugu will be conducted. Therefore, the study sample has narrowed to Unilever Nigeria Plc in Enugu, which theresearch believes is representative of the entire population. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
a) Availability of Research Material:
The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Organizational Privacy:
Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
1.7 Definition of Terms
In marketing, a product is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need. In retailing, products are called merchandise. In manufacturing, products are bought as raw materials and sold as finished goods.
An effective positioning strategy considers the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, the needs of the customers and market and the positionof competitors. The purpose of a positioning strategy is that it allows a company to spotlight specific areas where they can outshine and beat their competition
A consumer good or final good is any commodity that is produced or consumed by the consumer to satisfy current wants or needs. Consumer goods are ultimately consumed, rather than used in the production of another good
1.8 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
- Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
- Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain an evaluation of product positioning strategies in the consumer products industries in Nigeria
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of product positioning strategies in the consumer products industries in Nigeria
This study was on an evaluation of product positioning strategies in the consumer products industries in Nigeria. Four objectives were raised which included:To known what product positioning is all about as if involves the companies under study, to know actually the company or organization actually applies positioning in the sales of its product, also, to know how the company’s sales is structured. This could be geographically, regionally or customer structured and if it can determine or know its target customers, the other objective of this study is also to know the method or strategy the company actually uses in performing its functions, also the evaluation of product positioning strategies is achieving the firms goals as well as host of the others. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff of unilever Nig Ltd, Enugu. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up administrative staff, human resource managers, senior staff and junior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.
Unilever Nig ltd products are some of the leading products in Enugu, Enugu State and are doing well in the market. The effective marketing strategies used by the company have made a great impact on the success of their products. The research findings indicated that consumers will continue to buy these products as a result of their good quality and moderate prices. The company should endeavour to adopt efficient and effective marketing strategies to ensure that the successes of their products are maintained.
The company should engage in periodic market research to add more value to its products and ascertain whether its products performance in the market is up to consumer’s satisfaction. In addition, the company should improve more on its overall promotional programmes through the advertising of its products to stimulate consumers through the advertising of its products to stimulate consumers buying action and create more awareness, sales promotion thereby increasing its products sales above its existing level. Personal selling should be employed to counter consumers’ cognitive dissonance, and public relations/publicity used to create good image and public acceptance.
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