The influence of packaging and brand equity on over-the-counter herbal medicines in Kumasi, Ghana.
Oppong, Peter Kwasi.
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In a highly competitive drug market, building vibrant brands would ensure that traditional herbal medicine companies gain sustainable competitive edge and long term profits. More importantly, successful brands need to be recognized as strong and enduring assets that can boost the companies` future growth in the industry. Distinctive packaging design is well-acknowledged to provide less expensive means of creating healthy brands with high commercial value. Despite the numerous advantages associated with well-designed packaging and brand equity of late, traditional herbal medicine companies are yet to reap the benefits in the over-the-counter pharmaceutical market. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of packaging and brand equity of herbal drugs in the over-the-counter medicine market. The research utilized a quantitative research method to align the research objectives with the philosophy underpinning the study. Using a systematic sampling technique, data were gathered face-to-face from 348 respondents selected from the herbal medicine market in Kumasi metropolis in Ghana. Through structural equation modelling (SEM) technique using SPSS Amos 22, the proposed research hypotheses were analysed. The findings of the research indicate that brand loyalty, brand awareness and brand association are the key sources of customer perceptions of brand equity in the over-the counter market. Essentially, brand loyalty was found to be the most important driver of value for brands in the over-the-counter medicine industry. The results also demonstrate that packaging contributes to enhance brand equity through the impact of brand loyalty, brand association, perceived quality and brand awareness of herbal medicine in the over-the-counter market. The study further found that, among the dimensions of brand equity, packaging plays a substantial role in creating brand loyalty in the over-the-counter pharmaceutical market. The study recommends that traditional herbal medicine companies need to concentrate their efforts on developing brand loyalty given its strategic role in the success of a business. Furthermore, traditional herbal medicine companies need to consider packaging in their brand-building efforts to strengthen overall brand equity in the over-the-counter drug market.