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In this project research the researcher was motivated to find out the importance, advantages and role of branding as a tool in marketing to the marketers and manufacturers in the competitive marketing environment which if not neglected would lead to success in business. To solve the research problem both primary and secondary data were collected. The research instrument used in collecting the data were questionnaires and oral interview. The respondents comprised of the personal and consumers of the company’s products. In organizing and presenting data collected, tables, frequencies and percentages were used. The various hypotheses were tested using the chi-square/ data analysis and interpretation gave the following findings:-

-Most of the respondents are consumers of Unilever Nigeria Plc products

-Most of the consumers were influenced mostly by the Unilever product brand name.

-Many consumers consider the quality of Unilever products the reason for their purchase decision

-Most of the consumer were aware of the products through advertising

Based on these findings the researcher recommended that:-

-The company should give more attention to the complaints and behaviour of consumers towards their products

-The company should work towards keeping up to the expectation and standard of their products (quality)

-The company should engage in market segmentation which will bring it close to its consumers.

-The company should not take advertising for granted. They should look for a good advertising message that will be suitable for each brand.



1.0 Marketing in the 21st Century

The dynamic and competitive nature of business in our complex environment, has led to business organisations to formulate and adopt appropriate marketing strategies in order to be effective and efficient. Marketing strategies are basically divided along the 4PS of marking: Product, Place, Promotion and Price. Product is the totality of the idea that stratifies needs and wants of the consumer. It is the conceptualization of the need satisfaction package. Place is he utility added to product through real or

perceived change in location. Promotion is the communication undertaken to persuade others to accept ideas, concepts or things. Price is the mode of evaluation of the values being exchanged in a transaction. These may either be perceived or actual values. Price comes last because all often three Ps are quantified in naira and kobo, this is because it is that concept which does the actual satisfaction work. Products may be tangible or intangible. Where products are concerned branding is also concerned too.

Brand comes into focus as a means of specific identification of particular organization’s product or products. The research is concerned with household goods, such as beverages, toilet soaps, detergents, tea, powdered milk, toothpaste and hair care products. The industry has over the years experienced a rapid growth  in terms of the number of manufacturers, importers and even the individual identification of products. Nigeria, thank to its large and growing population, offers a good market for these

household items. This has led to very keen competition amongst local manufacturers and international manufacturers on the other hand. This situation has developed gradually into a fierce battle that marketing has termed brand war. Unfortunately Nigeria registers about 45 percent level of illiteracy, which has created a haven for product adulteration and misbranding. This is inspite of the fact that the food and Drugs Act of 1975 which clearly forbids such practices. Passing off of goods as a result of

inadequate branding goes on in a daily basis all over the country. In fact many people will simply ask for Close-Up when they want to buy toothpaste, and in the absence of Close-Up the seller will readily produce any other brand of toothpaste. In cases where the customer protests, the un-informed or dubious market will simply say they are the same thing. Misbranding is therefore a serious problem which serious minded manufacturers must address. Uni lever Nigeria, Plc has not escaped this situation.

And this is why the company is the case study for this research work. It is necessary to define the term “Brand”. A brand is a name, colour, term, symbol or special design or some combination of these elements used to identify goods or services of a manufacturer or seller from those of other organisations. Branding may be accomplished by the use of a brand name and a trade mark.

Adequate branding is essential in successful marketing in/order to prevent the passing off of product. This research work thus has its focus as the role which product branding plays in the market today and its effectiveness in achieving what it was designed to do. This work is carried out using Unilever Nigeria Plc a as point of contact.


1.1 Statement of Problems

This study is directed at discovering the effectiveness of product branding for competitors in the marketing environment. Hence it centers on the advantages and roles which appropriate product branding offers to manufacturers and marketers alike. The disadvantage of inadequate product branding will be also looked at. Branding which is a means by which manufacturers of products differentiate their product from those of competitors is a vital marketing tool whose basic purpose is to fix the identity

of the producer of a given product. However because Unilever Nigeria Plc operates in a rather undeveloped and backward environment, it is faced with certain problems. One of such problems is brand imitation, for instance, Omo a non-soap detergent produced by Unilever Nigeria Plc was at a point faked by unknown persons in 1998 at Aba. This of course dealt a heavily blow to Unilever Nigeria Plc. Imitation also surfaced in the area of packaging. Once more unknown persons packaged substandard

products in Unilever Nigeria Plc package styles in order to partake in Unilever Nigeria Plc’s share of the market. Other than measuring the effects of brand imitation on Uni lever Nigeria Plc, this research will also look at how appropriate product branding has affected Unilever Nigeria Plc overtime. Branding interest and brand distaste are two problems in product branding which R and D has to deal with. This work will also look at both. The influences of high profitability will also be studied. inally this research will seek to discover how much of product branding Unilever Nigeria Plc practices and to what extent it has used it’s branding to gain competitive advantage over other competitors.

1.2 Objective of Study

  1. To evaluate the effectiveness of product branding as a marketing tool.
  2. To determine whether effective product branding aids invariably in modifying the consumption pattern of consumers.
  3. To analyze the reasons for differentiating brand name
  4. To study the relationship between product branding and the element of marketing 4PS.
  5. To assess the importance of Product branding in marketing
  6. To asses the advantages of effective product branding for the marketers in a competitive environment.

1.3 Research Hypotheses

H0: Effective product branding has not affected the consumer patronage received by Unilever Nigeria Plc.

H1: Effective product branding has affected the consumer patronage received by Unilever Nigeria Plc.

H0: Unilever Nigeria Plc has not used effective product branding to gain competitive advantage over rival companies.

H1: Unilever Nigeria Plc has used effective product branding to gain competitive advantage over rival companies.

H0: Effective product branding has not aids invariably in modifying the consumption pattern of consumers.

H1: Effective product branding has aids invariably in modifying the consumption pattern of consumers.

1.4 Significance of the Study

Marketing research is undertaken in the effort to learn something reliable about a marketing problem facing management. Emphasis has been laid on the relevance of consumer’s preference analysis is a valuable source of information in effective management of firms. The impact of branding as a strong marketing tool for Unilever Nigeria Plc will form a useful reference point in the marketing efforts of the producers and marketers of Unilever Nigeria Plc to know the best brand strategy or strategies that will help the company to achieve its objective in business.

It will help Unilever Nigeria Plc to know whether, it is the effective product brand image, is the most important tool in marketing of Unilever Nigeria Plc products. This study is beneficial to several parties like: manufacturers, marketers, and general public. These research findings will be very useful to the researcher for problem solving in the future and to other researches in the same field of study.

Finally, it will enable the company to do all its possible best to make sure that each and every product brand owned by Unilever Nigeria Plc posses all the quality expected from them by the consumers, since effective branding is the marketing tool for Unilever Nigeria Plc.

1.5 Definition of Terms

Branding: This is the general area of establishing a product’s identity. It is concept adopted by companies to identify their products and distinguish them from those of competitors. Branding may be accomplished by use of a brand name and trademark.

Brand Name: Is that aspect of a product which can be spoken. This includes letters, words and numbers.

A Trademark: Is a legal symbol. It could even be a corporate name of an organisation, such as Unilever Nigeria Plc, Nestle and Cadbury etc. It is a legal issue and only the owner can make use of the trademark

A Product: Is anything that has value and can be exchanged for money to satisfy given needs and wants of the consumers. A product may be tangible or intangible. The tangible products are physical products like motor, vehicle, etc while the intangible products are non physical products such as services.

Product Line: Is the total range of product produced by a company. It is totality of products produced.

Strategy: Is a plan designed for a particular purpose.

Advertisement:  Is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services by any identified sponsor. It is usually used for highly standard, low price product and for mass markets.

Promotion: Is a non-price competitive tool designed for achieving immediate sales volume increase. It involves the firm’s communication with customers to inform, persuade and remind them  of the benefits of products offered through the communication process.

Policy: Is a guide to decision making

Passing off: Is a deliberate act of misleading consumers.

Packaging:  Is the art of designing containers for goods and the operations involved in the preparation of articles or commodities for carriage, storage and delivery.

Data: Consist of the summary of facts of various forms that concern the phenomenon under investigation when expressed quantitatively.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is concerned with the impact of branding of Unilever Nigeria Plc products on people in Enugu and Ebonyi State will also be interviewed to get their response on the organizational brand.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

These were many factors that hindered the researcher from attaining the peak of the research work proposal. Among these factors are:-

  1. Attitude of Respondents: The respondent’s attitudes were not encouraging. Most of the respondents showed indifferent attitude in giving the relevant information required from them. Many of the respondents were found to be skeptical towards research and in some cases, refused to fill the questionnaire.
  2. Cost: Due to the nature of this study that demands much cost than what the researcher could afford, the scope of this study was narrowed to enable the researcher have a sample that could effectively be studied bearing in mind cost considerations and the financial resources available to me as a student.
  3. Time Constraints: A research like this requires a reasonable length of time to do a carefully, monitored study. But in this case, only few months were given coupled with the fact that the researcher was not left uninterrupted by his lectures and other things in the course of study.


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