Assessment of promotion and distribution strategies as marketing mix tools : a case study of omo and blue band
Namisi, George W.
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Fast moving consumer product firms need to devise marketing mix strategies to ensure they maintain a competitive advantage. At Unilever Kenya, the spent on both promotion and distribution of two brands is far higher than other Unilever peer companies. This study assessed the effectiveness of distribution and promotion as marketing mix strategies to brand equity at Unilever Kenya. It focused on the two main brands; Omo and Blueband. This study was conducted in three parts; firstly, a cross sectional survey of consumers from the three main cities in Kenya was done to obtain data on consumer brand equity of the two products and to establish the factors that influence brand equity. Secondly, key informant interviews were carried out at Unilever, the key informants being Unilever managers, to obtain information pertaining to the distribution and promotion mix strategies employed by Unilever. Thirdly, an analysis of historical secondary data used for making decision within the company was done. Data collected was both qualitative and quantitative. The data was analysed both descriptively and inferentially. First, correlation analysis to establish relationships between the different variables was carried out. Second, ordinary least square regression analysis of the different variables was carried out to establish the significance of the relationships. Results showed that promotion strategy as evidenced by advertising impacts on brand loyalty, perceived brand equity and brand awareness, and association has more significant impact on the three brand equity dimensions than distribution. Additionally, one unit change in advertisement leads to 0.63 change in brand equity, whereas a change of one in distribution leads to 0.33 changes in brand equity. Therefore, promotion is a key marketing mix tool that can be used to impact brand equity. From the assessment it is recommended that, the company (Unilever) should continue with its promotion and distribution strategy and sharpen execution so that they can reach out to more outlets that are perfect. Unilever should therefore consider focusing beyond customer satisfaction towards integrated marketing strategies that foster brand equity and trust in consumer base in support of consumer loyalty programs, this would ensure repeat purchase of their products.