The purchasing behaviour in the detergent industry : a PMB case study on the feasibility of starting a new detergent business venture.
This study analyses the purchasing behaviour of households and briefly on industrial consumers with regard to their detergent purchases. Following from this analysis, the scope for a new detergent business venture will be investigated. The local industry has a plethora of detergent manufacturing companies supplying the retail and industrial markets, thus an appropriate analysis and strategy developed from this study will enable a new detergent business venture to have an improved understanding of the detergent industry in Pietermaritzburg leading to some minimisation of the risks for potential detergent entrepreneurs. The objectives for the study is detailed below. Primary Research Objectives : 1. To examine whether mcome accounts for household purchasing preferences between branded and non-branded detergents. 2. To determine whether location is a factor that must be considered m the marketing of detergents. 3. To examine whether there are gender differences in the purchasing behaviour of detergents among households. 4. To determine which are the major factors that influence detergent buying behaviour among industries. Secondary Research Objective: To determine whether there is scope for the introduction of a new detergent venture among households in Pietermaritzburg. This study found that income accounts for differences in purchasing of detergents. The manufacturer of detergents needs to be aware that location is a factor that must be considered in the marketing of detergents. Branded detergents carry a premium price whereas non-branded detergents are cheaper. Correspondingly, the marketer must match the type of detergent product to the consumer profile of the location in which the business is operating. It was found that gender does not account for differences in monthly expenditure on detergents. Price and quality of detergents were found to be important characteristics for both the household and business user. In addition, it was found that consumers were willing to support a new detergent business venture in Pietermaritzburg. The major variables influencing detergent brand choice in the Pietermaritzburg market seem to be attitudinal variables such as perception regarding the efficacy (QUALITY) of the brand, closely followed by the perception on the valuefor- money (PRICE). Field level promotional activities such as price-offs, freebies associated with different pack sizes of the same brand also seem to impact the choice of the brand, although the impact was low. Base price reduction is generally resorted to quite infrequently and hence a price elasticity measure may be found to be statistically insignificant. A critical result drawn from this study is the importance of attitudes in affecting behavior in the purchase of detergents. In the South African market, it is generally believed that brand attitudes are primarily influenced by advertising. If this assertion is assumed to be true, this research makes a case for better management of consumer attitudes through the deployment of appropriate advertisements using the correct media (Banerjee, 2004: 3). The major recommendations from this study found that manufacturers of household detergents need to dedicate resources to print media when advertising their products. Targeting the most appropriate consumer and capturing potential consumers by television should be looked at by marketers (Dutta-Bergman, 2006: 103). Liquid detergent manufacturers need to major more on the price of the product and the quality. These two factors are critical in ensuring a new detergent business venture is successful and sustainable . Davis (1993: 19) punts 'green marketing' as one of the strategies that may shift consumers to purchase products. Accordingly, companies that can market a 'green' detergent product would have a greater chance of penetrating the market, and gaining market share from the dominant and larger multi-national detergent companies.