You are on page 1of 25

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics ISSN 1450-2887 Issue 43 (2010) EuroJournals Publishing, Inc. 2010 http://www.eurojournals.com/finance.

htm

The Effect of Familiar Brand Names on Consumer Behaviour: A Jordanian Perspective


Khaled Khasawneh Alisra University, Faculty of Administrative & Financial Sciences Marketing Department, Amman-Jordan Abdel Baset I. Hasouneh Corresponding Author, Associate Professor of Marketing Faculty of Administrative & Financial Sciences Al-Isra University, p.o.Box 22, Amman 11622, Jordan Tel + 962 79 66 78 263 E-mail: uniof@yahoo.com Abstract Jordan, nowadays, is trying to develop and build itself simultaneously with the current growing marketplace around the globe. Even though the country has limited resources to do this, its strategic position and stable situation compared with its neighbour attracted many companies and investors to establish their entrepreneurs in Jordan. Such a flourish in the country economy and the rapidly growing industries within it, raise the need for researches and studies to be conducted about Jordan and its people. For this reason, marketer managers spare no efforts to understand consumers in Jordan, and to specify their needs. Thus, this research came to cover an important subject within the consumer behaviour, which is the effect of brand names on the consumers choice between alternatives. Major objective for this research was to determine if there is a significant effect of familiar brand names on the consumer behaviour. Other objectives, which are related to the first one, were to find if there is a relation between the customer demographic profile and the extent to which he/she is affected by the product brand name, and finally to identify the way Jordanian customers perceive strong brand names. In order to attain the study purposes, a self administered questionnaire containing eighteen items has been designed; all efforts have been done to make the questionnaire as much reliable and valid as possible. It has been distributed to a judgmental sample of 125 respondents. However, 104 useable questionnaires have been analysed using the (SPSS) software. Results found that customers in Jordan really consider the product brand name as an important cue while making their buying decision. But in the other side, no relation between the customers demographic profile and the level of brand name significance has been founded. Finally, Jordanian customers are appreciating the product with strong brand names, they said it worth its price and its not that expensive. Also they agreed that it is more trustworthy and have better quality than other products without brand names or with unknown brand names. At the end, we also found that the majority of the research participants think that using or buying products carrying well known brand names reflect higher social status.

34

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010) Keywords: Consumer Behavior, Brand Names, Research Questions , Jordan.

Introduction
Understanding consumers behaviour is a crucial factor in the companies success around the world. Marketers, considering that, dedicate a lot of efforts in trying to specify the exact needs and wants for their customers and target markets, they also try to determine the best products characteristics that can satisfy the target market from the consumers own perspective. Thus, a lot of researches have been done in order to find the factors affect consumer behaviour, and to clarify the way consumer act and behave when he/she tries to make a buying decision. However, we have to say that different customers in different places have various needs and wants; they also act and behave in different ways to fill these needs. This has been proofed in several researches that tried to understand consumers (Chisnall, P. (1995); Solomon, M. (2002); and East, R. (1990)). One topic that attracts many researchers, due to its importance and its effect on the consumer behaviour, is the influence of the product brand name on the way consumers evaluate and perceive different products offering. Lim, K. and OCass, A. (2001) implied that brand names are becoming increasingly the most critical success factor for companies in the highly competitive market place worldwide; they also said that brand names are almost the last source of differentiation for the companies goods or services. Previous studies found that there is an undeniable impact from the familiar brand names on the consumer behaviour too. For instance, a recent study assured that the product brand name is an important feature of the product itself. From the study perspective, which takes jeans trousers as its main concern, all products are simple and the same. But when the manufacturer put his brand on the product, this makes it different than other similar products, and the study insist that even customers start to look to the product in different ways; that using some brand names rather than the others will differentiate the consumer and also reflect higher social status in some times. The study ends by noting that we reached a point where some people consider the product brand name to be more important than the product itself (www.aljazeera.net). However, because, as we said before, different customers act in different manners, researches werent able to provide one framework for all different customers. Actually, each target market must be studied alone to determine the significance of brand names from their point of view. Therefore, this study tries to specify and find the effect of brand names on the consumers in Jordan, a country in the Middle East. In fact, brand names to have an effect on consumers must be a strong and familiar one. That is, as we will try to clarify in more details later, it must have a wide base of brand equity which contains brand identity, knowledge, and awareness. Each part of these is a wide topic that contains many subjects that must be covered separately, which we cannot do here because it is not within our concern in this study to do that.

The Research Questions


There are three questions this study tries to answer. The first question is the main concern of this study, as it focuses on it. However, answers for the two remaining questions must be obtained in order to generate a more completed picture about the situation in Jordan. These questions are the following: Question one: Are familiar brand names considered as a significant and important variable while Jordanian customers evaluate different products offering? In other words, this question will try to find and specify if familiar brand names affect consumers choice during making their buying decision. Question two: Is there a relation between the customer demographic profile and the level of familiar brand name effect on him/her? Question three: How do Jordanian customers perceive and evaluate products carrying a familiar brand name?

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

35

The Research Objectives


Researches objectives have been formed in a way that help the researchers answer his study questions. The objectives of this study can be summarized as the following: To find if Jordanian customers consider the product brand name as an important cue while evaluating different alternatives. To find if the effect of familiar brand names differ as the demographic profile for customers differ. To find what features related to well known brand names the Jordanian customers have in their minds.

Importance of the Research


Jordan, in the last period, developed quickly even though it considered as one of the poorest countries in the Middle East. Because of its strategic position and what is known about it as a safe place in that region, Jordan succeed to attract a lot of enterprises and companies from different countries, it also entered in several commercial agreements with its neighbour and with other strong industrial countries. With this economic prosperity and the increasing numbers of manufacturers and companies entering to the Jordanian market, general managers for these companies and specially marketer managers need to know some facts and have some data about the general trends in the market. This is important in order to enable them to specify the consumers attitudes and the way they think and behave, so they will be able to determine the market segments, and their exact needs and wants. This in fact arises from the notion that you cannot sell customers some things they dont want or need. Such knowledge for marketers will also enable them to target the best segment, form the most influential promotional campaign, and use it to motivate people to use and buy the product. Also this research will provide a base for other researches which may be conducted in the future related to this topic. This is especially significant if we know that until now, as the researcher knows, there is no research that tried to cover such a topic in Jordan, and that the few researches available are talking about consumer behaviour in general. So this research tries to focus more in a specific important issue which is related to the consumer behaviour subject.

Research Philosophy
As this research try to gain some detailed understanding of how consumers perceive familiar brand names, or in other words, try to define and understand humans and their way to behave, we considered this research as interpretivism one. Such researches are concerned with understanding people behavior, and consider them as a fundamental matter in the social science, which is the converse view of the positivism (Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2003)). Its main philosophy determined in that there is no reality outside the people perceptions and the world is socially constructed and subjective (Ticehurst, G. and Veal, A. (2000). This is in line with the researcher way in developing knowledge about the topic he is studying. This research focuses on people to study and define the social world, as it is more suitable that researchers concentrate and interact with humans to be able to determine the complex way they think and behave, and dont follow the same view and procedures followed by others whom studying the natural science. This was the strongest arguments for this philosophy against other philosophies specially the positivism one. However, as the findings from such researches related to the humans, and done by humans, a major criticism was that researchers can never be sure that they have acquired the right knowledge about how people view the world around them, nor that they interpreted and understood the data they collected in the optimal way (Riley, M. et al (2000)), this due to the fact that humans can make mistakes and that different people perceive and evaluate different things in different manners.

36

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

Thus, in order to minimize the criticism that has been mentioned before, the researcher used the existing theory and information about his topic and related them with the inductive approach he follows. This is apparent from the research questions and objectives he formed, and from the questions he asked to people through the research as we will see later. In other words, the researcher used the previous literature, about similar topic to the one he is studying, as a director through his research process, whether in the research questions and objectives, or in forming the questions he asked to the participants. By doing this, the researcher can be ensured, to some extent, that he wont be mislead by the interpretation for the people responses, and this will provide him with other advantages as Saunders, M. et al (2003) said even though you may incorporate an inductive approach, commencing work from a theoretical perspective may have certain advantages. It will link your research into existing body of knowledge in your subject area, help you to get started and provide you with an initial analytical framework. Any way, following such approach is not an easy job, data which have been collected must be treated and analysed carefully to try to reach optimal results and findings.

Data Collection Method


Despite the several methods the literature suggested to collect qualitative data, like case studies and interviews, questionnaire will be used in this research. This doesnt mean that this method to collect the required data, and have a quantitative perspective, is not able to collect the qualitative data for the researcher, as long as the information which is generated doesnt have a numerical nature. This is what Ticehurst, G. and Veal, A. (2000) referred to by saying sometimes the information is qualitative in nature but is presented in quantitative form. Also using questionnaires have some advantages, which we will mention in a separate section later, that motivated the researcher to adopt such method. Moreover, other factors like the time constrain forced the researcher to use a questionnaire. Required data has been transformed into statements that respondents must indicate their opinions toward these statements by choosing from a five points scale, called Likert scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

The Questionnaire Design


To answer the research questions and reach the study objectives, a questionnaire containing eighteen items was designed (see the appendix), mainly all the items within the questionnaire have been generated from the literature. The questionnaire first was written in English then translated into Arabic later; to avoid any translation mistakes, or the probable differ in meaning, or any limitations that could arise due to the translation process the two versions of questionnaire have been shown to and evaluated by a specialist person who can deal with both English and Arabic languages. The questionnaire has been kept short to some extent, in order to motivate more people to participate by convincing them that it wont take a long time to fill it, but at the same time the researcher take in his consideration not to make this affect the questionnaire effectiveness to measure what it intend to measure. Thus, the reliability and validity of the questionnaire items have been measured and evaluated. Items sequence has been considered too. Sekaran, U. (2003) defined the reliability of a measure as an indication of the stability and consistency with which the instrument measures the concept and helps to assess the goodness of a measure. Despite there is several ways to measure the reliability, Cronbachs coefficient alpha has been used to measure the internal consistency of the questionnaire. In the other hand, Oppenheim, A. (1992) noted that validity indicates the degree to which an instrument measures what it is supposed or intended to measure. To ensure the content validity of the questionnaire items and their ability to attain the required objectives, the researcher tried to connect the questions as much as possible to the consumer behaviour and brand name literature, also the questionnaire has been evaluated by an academician in these fields. The questionnaire consists of three parts; following is what each part contains and the reliability and validity evaluation to them:

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

37

Part one of the questionnaire asked the participant to indicate some information relating to his/her demographic profile. Respondents were asked about there age, sex, annual income, marital status, and level of education. Part two contain five items and asked the respondents to determine if they consider the brand name as an important variable, and if it plays any significant role through their buying decision. Reliability coefficient was 81% approximately, so this is a good rate knowing that statisticians argue that the best reliability must be around 70% and others said 80%; in both cases we had satisfied these requirements. Relating to content validity, while reviewing the literature, a scale known as brand dependence scale has been founded, and the items within this scale was similar to a high extent to the items in this part of the questionnaire and intended to measure relatively the same things. This give a guide to the researcher that he is in the right direction, it also enhance the validity of this part. The academician opinion come to emphasis this, as he considered that the items can do their job and find what is required from them. The third part consists of eight items and asked the participants to indicate how they perceive the familiar brand names. Thus, respondents asked about the way they perceive the price, quality, and trustworthy of the well-known brand names from their point of view, they also have been asked if they think that strong brand names reflect higher social status. The expert opinion was that the validity of such items can be questionable because it tries to find more than one result in the same part, and he suggested that findings must treat carefully. However, as this research try to generate a general idea about the way customers perceive strong brands, and its main object is to find if brand names affect customers behaviour while evaluating different alternatives, the researcher will just try to formulate a general framework and leave the door open for future research in these points. Further, as Oppenheim, A. (1992) recommended, the researcher conducted five pilot tests before distributing the questionnaire in order to examine if there is a problem with the items wording and clarity, or if there is any inappropriate questions or double barreled questions (Sekaran, U. (2003)). The expert who evaluated the questionnaire validity and the items appropriateness, and the five colleagues who participated in the pilot tests determined some problems resulted in modifying, removing, or adding some items.

The Questionnaire Items


The first part, which asked about the demographic profile of the respondent, used to segment the participants to several group to enable us to search if there is any relation between the customer with these specific features and the extent he/she is affected by the brand names. We thought this can be important because several previous studies pointed that the difference in the demographic profile for the customers can lead to a difference in the way he act or behave. So we, in our turn, tried to study such issue in Jordan by including these items within our questionnaire, and test the relation between them and the level of strong brand names effect, as we will see in more details in the analysis chapter. Relating to the second part, we have five items, so we will take each item separately and talk about it. I pay attention to buying the product with a well known brand name. This item asked the respondents to indicate if they have a concern to buy the products which carry the familiar brand names. In other word, it wants to find if Jordanian customers have the interest to buy products with such names, and if they concerned with the product name while evaluating the different alternatives they face. The well known brand name enhances my buying decision.

38

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

Here we asked if the participants think that buying a product with a familiar brand name can enrich their buying decision. What we mean here is, do consumers think that the strong brand names can be more useful and suitable for them, and also that choosing such brands will enable them to obtain the optimal value they search for in order to satisfy their needs. I buy the product with a well-known brand name regardless to other brand names. This item comes to underpin the previous two items. Its objective is to find that if the consumer faced with two products, one with a brand name which he is familiar with and the other not, will he/she choose the product with the familiar brand name without looking to the other one with the unknown name. I rely on the well-known brand name of the product I want to buy as it is over lasting. This item is a reformulation for the second item in this part, we here aim to emphasis the customers opinions of the superiority of the strong brand names, and as if it can serve them better and provide them with the optimal results. When buying a product for the first time I select the well-known brand name. The responses for this item can sum up all the responses for the last four items. This item asked respondent to indicate if they choose the well known brand name when they make the purchase for thing they dont have past experience with. That is, they rely on the brand and thing it can provide them with the value they need Finally, in the third part we have eight items which try to specify the customers perceptions for the familiar brand names relating to their price, trustworthiness, quality, and the social status they reflect. So again we took each item separately and talked about it in some details. Well known brand name means high price. This item and the next three following it try to determine the customers perceptions relating to the price issue. The above item request the respondents to indicate if they think that familiar brand names carry a higher price compared with the other products which dont. This may not be the case but we need to know what customers in Jordan think. Well-known brand name product is worth paying the price. The aim here is to find if Jordanian customers think that familiar brand names worth what is being paid for, regardless it was low or high price. Thus, we want to know the monetary value of familiar brand names from the customers own perception. The well-known brand name abuses me with respect to price. This item emphasises the notion in the previous item, but here the statement has been asked in a different way. Respondents asked to indicate if they think that familiar brand names exploit them regarding their prices, whether high or low. Thus, if respondents indicate that it abuses them so they must indicate that it doesnt worth its price and vice versa. Low price is one of my priorities when making a buying decision. Respondents have been asked about this notion to determine if there is any bias that could arise from their answers to the three previous statements. That is, the consumer who consider the low price as one of his/her priorities, tend to be more critical in his/her evaluation process. So if he/she though that brand name is exploiting him/her and doesnt provide the required value, he/she will avoid to buy it in the future. However, we must remember not to take this item individually as a separate item from the previous ones, by doing this it may seem not relevant to the issue we study within this part, and this is not the case here. Well-known brand name is trust worthy. This statement and the following one focus on the reliability of the strong brand name. Here participants asked to indicate, from their own perspective, if they think that they can trust familiar brand name. The trust here applies to its ability to minimize all kinds of risk by buying such brand. I feel more secure when buying a product with a well-known brand name.

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

39

The aim within this statement is to underpin the finding for the previous one, so we asked about the same notion in extremely different statement. The similarity of responses to these two items can let us conclude that Jordanian customers perceive the products which carry a familiar brand names as a reliable one and vice versa. Well-known brand name means high quality. Even though we can conclude from the acceptance of the previous items, if there was an acceptance, that customers in Jordan perceive strong brand names as a high quality brands, we used this specific item to ask directly about such notion in order to adopt or reject such notion according to the respondents answer to this statement. Also asking directly for such notion will enable us to generate better results rather than depending on our conclusions from previous statements. Buying or using well-known brand name reflects higher social status. This item is asking about a relatively separate notion. However, as some literature noted that using familiar brand names can reflect higher social status, we thought it will worth to find what customers in Jordan opinion relating to such issue. We must remind again that the first two parts are capable to measure and find what they intend to find, as the validity and reliability tests showed earlier, and that we must deal with the third part results with some caution, due to the fact that it try to measure several things in just eight questions, which may be insufficient enough.

The Sampling Method


125 questionnaires have been distributed to a judgemental sample from the biggest two cities in Jordan, these two cities contain more than half the population in Jordan (www.amman.com/amman.htm). What we have to mention here, that because of some obstacles which prevented the researcher to travel to his home country to collect the data by himself, he delegated this to another capable person. Careful instructions have been provided to that delegate, a sufficient details about what is required and what is studied have been provided too in order to enable him to do the job as expected. However, as the delegate was a marketing student and have enough knowledge with the topic which has been studied, any probable problems and mistakes have been diluted. Back to the sampling method, Balnaves, M. & Caputi, P. (2001) suggested that the judgemental sampling enable the researcher to select participants according to certain criteria established by the researcher, like age or sex, in order to reach the optimal sample he/she think will be representative to the whole population. In fact, the reason behind choosing such non probability sampling method refers to the difficulty of obtaining a sampling frame in Jordan to pick respondents from; also this study try to cover whole the Jordanian customers, so the researcher thought that the judgmental sampling method will be the best way to obtain the most possible representative sample. Further, any data collection method or sampling method has its limitations and advantages, the final decision to which one to use refer to the researcher himself. Finally, a structured questionnaire has been distributed to each participant individually to fill it, while the researcher assistant stay with the person who fill the questionnaire in the same place to answer and clarify any inquiries and to pick the questionnaire after finishing it. Such strategy enabled the researcher to finish distributing, filling, and collecting the questionnaires in a relatively short period of time (two weeks approximately).

40

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

Limitations of the Study


Even though the maximum efforts have been done to produce a good piece of work, some limitations due to the limited time and fund have been emerged as the following: Using one method to collect the data and asking people about their feelings may not be enough; combining another method like semi structured interviews, as was intended before, will result in more reliable and valid findings. The distance issue, despite the researcher tried to minimize its effect, can results with some limitations. Seeing people impressions and reacting with them can always result with better understanding. Covering the biggest two cities may not be sufficient; to have more completed picture the remained five cities must be added to the study.

Data Analysis Methods


As the collected data was in a quantitative form, so we have to use a quantitative method to analyse them. Therefore, the statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) has been used to analyse the data. Frequency tables and descriptive statistics have been founded for each part. We also used means and standard deviations to find the importance of familiar brand names to Jordanian customers. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and t-test have been used to find if there is a relation between consumers demographic profiles and the importance of brand names. And finally, descriptive statistics and frequency tables have been used again to define the way that customers in Jordan perceive the well known brand names.

Jordan and its Customers: An Overview


At the end, as this study focus on the Jordanian customers, it worth to negotiate some facts about Jordan and the Jordanian customers. Moreover, someone may say why this study chooses Jordanian consumers as its main base? And what is the benefit of understanding this group of people? Well, beginning with Jordan, as a country, we can notice that it achieved high levels of growth in the last few decades, despite it considered as a poor developing country with almost no resources, whether industrial or natural. This what Mansfield, P. (1992) assured when he said despite its precarious position and lack of natural resources Jordan had prospered over the last two decades with the help of Arab and western aids and above all the help of working in gulf oil states. Also, recently, Jordan joined the world trade organization (WTO) and engaged by other agreements with large and strong industrial countries like the one with USA in establishing a free trade area (FTA) in Jordan. The importance of mentioning this, because it proof that Jordan and its economy are growing rapidly, also the country expected to prosper in the coming few years and it plan to launch more developing investment enterprises. So this will open the door for more industries and investors to come and invest in Jordan, especially because its strategic position in the middle east and what is known about it as a safe and secure place to invest in compared with the countries surrounding it like Iraq and Palestine. As we said before, there are few researches about Jordan in general and the people live in it precisely. Actually, no researches have been founded about the same topic this research deals with relating to Jordan. So to stay in line with this predicted growth and prosperity, more researches must be done to reach a point of better understanding about the life, people, and the country itself to provide the potential investors with a wide database of information which they can refer to, and to attract and motivate them to come and build new factories and companies in Jordan, and to participate in its development process. This research, in turn, tries to do this. Another fact which the researchers lives with, is that the religion, norms, culture, and attitudes play a crucial role in the way people behave and act (Sabbarini, W. (2000)). What affect the consumers behaviour? Adcock, D. et al (2001) suggested a model which shows the various elements that take place while a person is making a buying decision, and the factors that affect this choice. (See figure 1 below)

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

41

As it clear from the model several variables specify if that person will chose to buy certain product or not. We are concerned here in the consumers profile, as it the likelihood that different customers with different characteristics will behave in different manners and buy different products. According to Chisnall P. (1995) we can classify the factors which influence how different customers behave within two categories; the first is personal aspects of behaviour, the other is group aspects of behaviour.
Figure 1: The basic elements of a buyer-behaviour model.

Product offerings

other stimuli

purchase situation

Consumers demographic profile

Physiological stimuli

consumers social profile

consumers psychological profile

Decision-making process Person making buying decision

Product purchased or not


Source:

Figure 1: The basic elements of a buyer-behaviour model. Adcock, D. et al (2001), Marketing Principles and Practice.

Following are some details about each factor and how it can play a critical role in the person choice and the way he/she behave. Personal Aspects of Behaviour Cognitions, perceptions, and learning process: these concepts had been clarified in the literature which takes the consumer behaviour as its concern. For example, Chisnall, P. (1995); Blythe, J. (1997); Adcock, D. et al (2001); and East, R. (1990) noted that perception is part of the cognition process; it is also a prerequisite for information-processing and learning. (Adcock, D. et al (2001)). Chisnall, P. (1995) defined cognition as the mental process of knowing, perceiving, and judging which enable people to interpret the world about them. It is clear from the definition that this term refers to a process that humans engage in everyday, whether directly or indirectly. Actually, humans, through there five senses, observe and receive several situations and information which demonstrate the way they think, act, and behave in there life. The way that these situations and information are selected, organized, and interpreted to produce message and meaning is known as perception (Adcock, D. et al (2001)). However, humans as a result of what they perceive and recognise, shape their actions and behaviour to fit these situations, or any other similar experience they face in the future, and help them to survive. This is what the learning process implies.

42

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

The importance in mentioning this, as literature assert, is that persons with different perceptions and learning experiences have different needs and want, which mean that they will chose to buy different products, with different attributes, they perceive it as the best to satisfy their need. As East, R. (1990) noted we are concerned with human choice which depends upon perceptions about alternatives. Judgments are related to these perceptions and not directly to the objective features of alternatives. Motivations: this concept refers to the forces that encourage people to take or avoid certain action or behaviour in order to satisfy certain needs. As we can notice, the study to motives is related to the knowledge of people needs, because the action which was motivated wouldnt arise if the need didnt arise. A very well known model here will be Maslows hierarchy of needs (see figure 2). Maslow suggested that humans needs fall within five levels, after the person satisfy the needs in one level he/she will proceed to the higher level and try to satisfy the needs. However, in reality, humans can try to fill several needs in different levels at the same time. (Chisnall, P. (1995); Blythe, J. (1997); Adcock, D. et al (2001))
Figure 2: Maslows hierarchy of needs.

Selfactualisation
Esteem needs: prestige, fame Belongingness and love needs

Self-fulfilment needs Psychological needs

Safety needs: security, safety

Basic needs

Physiological needs: food, drink

Source:

www2.cedarcrest.edu

What we are concerned about in motivation that, as an example, certain product features like brand name can work as a motivator that encourage some people to chose certain brand names rather than others. What play this role can be the need to self-fulfilment rather than the basic physiological need to wear clothes and keep out the cold, this depends on the person way of thinking and his/her place within Maslows hierarchy as we clarified above. Attitudes: Blythe, J. (1997) defined attitude as a learned tendency to respond to an object in a consistently favourable or unfavourable way. Actually, we can not take this definition as the optimal one which cover whole the aspects that researchers argue about, the study of people attitudes is more complex than this definition imply, and there is no specific one which has been agreed on. However, previous studies and researches agreed that when considering an attitude of a specific person, a relation with specific object must take place, as the attitudes always form toward an object, whether another person, product, or any other thing the person

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

43

may face or sense. This again returns us to the relation between attitude and cognition which is one component of attitudes as Chisnall, P. (1995) argued. The relationship between attitude and behaviour is mysterious and complex too, but researchers agree that it affect the person behaviour toward the object, they also agree that it can be changed by advertising for example. The following model proposes this relation (figure 3).
Figure 3: Cycle of attitude and behaviour.

Views and opinions of relevant others

Advertising

Attitudes form

Media views

Evaluate use experience

Decide to use the product

Use the product


Source:
Blythe, J. (1997), consumer Behaviour.

Purchase product

Personality: people around the world always use this word in there daily life, even though they may not know its exact meaning but they can determine nearly what it refer to. However, Adcock et al (2001) defined personality as the unique psychological make-up of individuals that conditions their behaviour generally, and their responses to particular stimuli and situations. We can argue here that this concept can combine whole the previous mentioned aspects emphasising on the cognition, learning, and attitudes concepts. It is widely known that each person has his/her personality that results in behaving and acting in different way than others. However, marketers and researchers have a lot of debate about personality and its effect on consumers behaviour. For instance, Kassarjian, H. (1965) argued that A few studies indicate a strong relationship between personality and aspects of consumer behaviour, a few indicate no relationship, and the great majority indicate that if correlations do exist they are so weak as to be questionable or perhaps meaningless.

Group Aspects of Behaviour

Culture: as Goodenough, W. (1971) supposed, culture could be defined as a set of beliefs, values, behaviours, and standards which are shared by a group of people, and it helps to indicate the way they behave, think, feel, and act toward certain situations. From this definition and the aspects we defined previously, we can say in general, that people who share the same culture may have the same attitudes and perceptions, and may behave and act in the same way too.

44

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

The role culture play in forming the behaviour of people is well documented in literature; a lot of study covered this role. For instance, it has been founded that Hispanic Americans have strong commitment to their cultural traditions (Berman (1995); Hamstra (1996); and Radice (1997)); they also consider the price, value, and quality of products as more important than the packaging, advertisements, or fads (Valncia, 1983). (Adopted from Bristow, D. and Asquith, J. (1999)) Social class: even though it is difficult to reach a specific definition about the social class, we can define them as a group of people whom share similar attributes, and buy to some extent similar kinds of products, and nearly act and think in the same way. Also we have to mention here that due to these similarities and because in some societies these classes are very obvious, marketers and manufacturers target a certain class and try to fit and serve just this class, so it can work as a segmentation variable too. Social classes can be classified according to several characteristics; for example one can classify people relating to their occupation or annual income, which later can determine the way this class behave. Group influence: what is meant here is the reference group, which has been defined by Blythe, J. (1997) as A person or group of people that significantly influences an individuals behaviour. As the definition imply we can not deny the group influence on the person behaviour; however, different people are influenced to different extents by their reference group. Here we can again take Hispanic Americans whom Bristow, D. and Asquith, J. (1999), after reviewing the literature, founded that they are more interdependent, more likely to conform, and to be influenced by family members than the more individualistic Anglo consumers. (Bellinger and Valencia (1982); Nicholls et al (1997); and Penaloza and Gilly (1986)) As we can notice from this quick review to the literature in consumer behaviour, different customers with different features behave in various ways, buy different products, and have diverse needs. Also the way customers respond to different situations, offers, or products are dissimilar too. So the relation between these characteristics and the way the person behave attract the researchers and marketers to study it and achieve a precise results and knowledge to have a clearer picture about this subject, and to enable them to determine, produce, and provide those different customers with what they need exactly and satisfy their needs in order to generate profit for the company they work in. This research is concerned with the effect of brand name -which is a specific attribute of product like price, quality, and packaging- on the consumer behaviour. This subject has been well studied at the past as we will see further, and a lot of literature can been found relating to this issue, because of its importance and undeniable role in formulating the way consumers behave, choose, and act. However, as we said before, no previous researches studied this issue from a Jordanian perspective as this research do, and this raise the importance of this study and its implications. But before moving to this stage a clarification about brands and brand names, and why they have this role in affecting the consumer behaviour, is essential. This is the topic which the next part covers.

What is a Brand?
Keller, K. (1998), according to the American Marketing Association, defined the brand as name, term, symbol, or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competition. Actually, this definition imply two ideas that worth to be discussed. First, it is clear that the product or the good is something bigger or more general than the brand or the brand name to be more precise. This what Kotler and Andreasen (1991) specified in there Multi-level approach in clarifying the product offering, they said that the brand, featured in its most important element which is the brand name, is an extra mark added to the core product to differentiate it (www.nottingham.ac.uk/ttri/products.doc).

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

45

As we notice, this goes with the earlier American Marketing Association definition mentioned in Keller book. Second, from our clarification above, it is clear that the brand name is one component of the brand itself. Moreover, Adcock, D. et al (2001) asserted what we said earlier about the importance of the brand name which is the salient feature of the brand, they specified that the most obvious manifestation of a brand is the name and this is then the trigger for all the associations related to the brand. Brand names give products an identity among customers and intermediaries alike, distinguishing them from standard commodities, and particularly from competitor products. Thus, Keller, K. (2003) defined the brand name as to distinguish the products of one producer from those of another by creating a certain amount of awareness, reputation, prominence, and so on in the market place. Hart, S. and Murphy, J. (1998) went even further and claimed that the brands, identified by a corporate name or the product brand name, embrace products which are well priced and offer good and consistent quality to consumers, they argue this by specifying that brand acts as a credible guarantee which will allow consumers to distinguish the goods which genuinely offer added value. This is what Cowley, D. (1998) means by saying that the brands start by satisfying a crucial need in human which is the need for control and reassurance. By providing reassurance and creating procedure of consumption, the brand always produce value to customer more than just the functional one. After this discussion about brands and brand names, we reach a point that highlights the question of how the company can have a strong brand name. Or how we judge if this is a strong and well-known brand or not. Actually, to answer such questions a concept known as the brand equity had emerged. Aaker, D. (1996) defined the brand equity as A set of assets (and liabilities) linked to a brands name and symbol that adds to (or subtracts from) the value provided by a product or service to a firm and/or that firms customers. While this concept is not our interest in this research, it is useful to say that brand equity carried by a certain brand play a major role in its familiarity. In other words, a well-known brand name must have a strong brand equity which includes the brand image, extent of brand awareness, and the associations linked to that brand. (Keller, K. (1993, 1998, and 2001); Aaker, D. (1996); Cowley, D. (1998)). But why companies around the globe pay billions of pounds to build their brand equity and make their brand name familiar, and to convince customers about its quality and reliability, or at least make them think so. Is it really worth this? This is what we will try to answer in the next section.

Describing the Sample


We will start by describing the respondents demographic profiles. Frequency tables have been used here to specify the percentages of respondents in five demographic factors they have been asked about. Details of each factor and its percentages can be shown as the following: First: Table (1) distributes the individuals of the sample using the age variable: we noted that the age group "18-35" has (42.3%) of the sample, the second one is the age group "36-51" has (29.8%) of the sample. However, the other two age groups which are "<18" and >51 has smaller percentages, (12.5%) and (15.4%) respectively, of the sample. This is due to the fact that the majority of Jordan residents fall within the first two age ranges, and also because the researchers tried to focus on the adults and older ages because they tend to be more responsible for their choices and behaviors.
Table (1): Individuals are distributed as the variable of age
Cum ulativ e Percen t 12.5 54.8 84.6 100.0

Valid

< 18 18-35 36-51 > 51 Total

Frequenc y 13 44 31 16 104

Percen t 12.5 42.3 29.8 15.4 100.0

Valid Percent 12.5 42.3 29.8 15.4 100.0

46

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

Second: Table (2) distributes the individuals of the sample using the gender variable: we noted that (55.8%) of the sample are males and (44.2%) of the sample are females.
Table (2): Individuals are distributed as the variable of gender
Cumulativ e Percen t 55.8 100.0

Valid

mal e femal e Total

Frequenc y 58 46 104

Percen t 55.8 44.2 100.0

Valid Percent 55.8 44.2 100.0

Third: Table (3) distributes the individuals of the sample as the variable of martial status: we noted that (60.6%) of the sample are married, and (39.4%) are single.
Table (3): Individuals are distributed as the variable of martial status
Cumulativ e Percen t 39.4 100.0

Valid

single marrie d Total

Frequenc y 41 63 104

Percen t 39.4 60.6 100.0

Valid Percent 39.4 60.6 100.0

Fourth: Table (4) distributes the individuals of the sample using the annual income variable: we noted that the individuals whose annual income is (3000) Jordanian Dinars or less form (51%) of the sample, (22.1%) whose income (3001-6000), (11.5%) of the sample whose income (6001-12000), and (15.4%) whose income at least (12000). This again reflects the real situation in Jordan, as according to a study in (2004) the average annual income for the individual in Jordan was $4300 or 3000 J.D. approximately. (http://www.travelblog.org/World/jo-econ.html)
Table (4): Individuals are distributed as the variable of income
Cumulativ e Percen t 51.0 73.1 84.6 100.0

Valid

<=300 0 30016000 600112000 > 12000 Total

Frequenc y 53 23 12 16 104

Percen t 51.0 22.1 11.5 15.4 100.0

Valid Percent 51.0 22.1 11.5 15.4 100.0

Fifth: Table (5) distributes the individuals of the sample using the scientific degree they have: We noted that (58.7%) of the sample have Diploma or Bachelor degrees, also the sample contains (23.1%) of respondents who have "Secondary or below" degrees. Finally, (18.3%) of the sample has graduate degree.

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)


Table (5): Individuals are distributed as the variable of scientific degree
Cumulativ e Percen t 23.1 81.7 100.0

47

Valid

Secondary or below BA or diplom graduat e Total

Frequenc y 24 61 19 104

Percen t 23.1 58.7 18.3 100.0

Valid Percent 23.1 58.7 18.3 100.0

Analyzing the Data


To generate the best results from the data we collect, we had took each research question separately and studied the data that enabled us to reach an answer for it, so next we will show each research question and the data analysis related to it and the results we reached with these data.

The 1st Question Are familiar brand names considered as a significant and important variable while Jordanian customers evaluate different products offering? Table (6) gives the statistical analysis for the questionnaire items which correspond to the above research question, noted that the item with large mean value generated the most agreement from respondents and vice versa. Now, to find if Jordanian customers consider brand name to be important or not, we took the grand mean for all the items related to this issue. Since we found it to be (3.77) and that is greater than the cut point (3) we can accept that the brand name is an important variable which affect participants in this research.
Table (6): Descriptive Statistics for the 1st question
# 6 7 8 9 10 Strongly Agree % 28.8 35.6 12.5 28.8 28.8 Agree %
56.7 45.2 20.2 51.9 45.2

Neutral %
5.8 9.6 16.3 9.6 8.7

Disagree %
6.7 9.6 46.2 8.7 15.4

Strongly Disagree % 1.9


4.8 1.0 1.9

Mean
4.04 4.07 2.89 3.99 3.84 3.77

Standard deviation 0.891 0.92 1.17 0.91 1.07 0.7

To emphasis this finding, we took each item separately again and evaluate the percentage of acceptance or rejection for the notion within that item. The following items measure the importance range of the brand name for the respondents. Item 6: I pay attention to buying the product with a well-known brand name. 28.8% of the respondents in the study strongly agree that they pay attention to buying the product with a well-known brand name, and 56.7% of the consumers are agreeing. That is 85.5% of the respondents in this research indicated that they pay attention to buying the product with a well-known brand name. But, 1.9% of the consumers are strongly disagreeing, and 6.7% of the consumers are disagreeing. Thus, those who reject this notion formed only 8.6% of whole the respondents. So we can say that the majority of respondents, whom represent the Jordanian community, consider the product brand name as an important cue while making their buying decision. Moreover, 5.8% of the consumers remained neutral, this could mean that they some times consider it important and sometimes not. However, this will not affect the earlier finding, as those only form a small minority of the respondents. Item 7: The well-known brand name enhances my buying decision.

48

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

As we can see from table (6) 35.6% of the participants in this research strongly agree that the brand name enhances their buying decision, and 45.2% of the consumers are agreeing. That is, 80.8% of the participants in this research are agreeing that the brand name enhances their buying decision. This underpins the fact that consumers in Jordan may favor the products with familiar brand names against others which dont. But, however, 9.6% of the consumers are rejecting such notion. What worth mentioning here, that no respondents indicated that they strongly disagree with this statement, this could lead us to the fact that even the consumers who disagree may have some acceptance for the idea that brand name can enrich the choice which customers make, as no one show that they strongly reject such idea. Any way, 9.6% of the consumers are neutral. Item 8: I buy the product with a well-known brand name regardless to other brand names. The responses show that 12.5% of the consumers strongly agree that they buy the product with a well-known brand name regardless to other brand names, and 20.2% of the consumers are agreeing. That is 32.7% of the participants in this research are agreeing that they buy the product with a wellknown brand name regardless to other brand names. However, 4.8% of the consumers are strongly disagreeing, and 46.2% of the consumers are disagreeing. Thus, 51% reject this statement. This doesnt mean that they dont consider the brand name important, but it implies that they also consider the other products in an attempt to reach to the ideal choice. Actually, this may be due to the fact, which we mentioned before, that consumers like to feel that their choices are built on a rational and intelligent bases, and we must not take this as an opposite opinion that conflict with what we said before about the brand name importance to the Jordanian customers. However, 16.3% of the respondents remained neutral, this relatively large percentage can emphasis the fact that customers dont totally agree with this notion, also it can mean that consumers take different considerations depending on the product that they intend to buy. For example, they will attach more consideration for the brand in durable products rather than the frequently purchased one. Item 9: I rely on the well-known brand name of the product I want to buy as it is over lasting. 28.8% of the participants in this research strongly agree that they rely on the well-known brand name of the product they want to buy as it is over lasting, and 51.9% of the consumers are agreeing. That is 80.7% of the respondents in the study are agreeing that they rely on the well-known brand name of the product they want to buy as it is over lasting; this again underpin our earlier finding and also with a very large percentage agreeing on it. But 1% of the consumers are strongly disagreeing, and 8.7% of the consumers are disagreeing. Also 9.6% of the consumers are neutral. Item 10: When buying a product for the first time I select the well-known brand name. We founded that 28.8% of the respondents in the study strongly agree that they selected the well-known trade name when buying a product for the first time, and 45.2% of the consumers are agreeing. That is 74% of the respondents in the study are agreeing that they selected the well-known trade name when buying a product for the first time. This mean that many respondents use the brand name as a crucial cue when making a buying decision for something they dont have past experience with, this can be returned to the fact, which previous studies found within this topic, that familiar brand names can minimize the risk level. Also 1.9% of the consumers are strongly disagreeing, and 15.4% of the consumers are disagreeing. That is 17.3 of customers still can take the risk and dont choose the brand name which they are familiar with. Here we must say that those who do this can buy a product without a brand name or with unfamiliar one, and still be satisfied with it. Further, 8.7% of the consumers remained undecided.

The 2nd Question


Is there a relation between the customer demographic profile and the level of familiar brand name effect on him/her? Within this question, we have to take each demographic characteristic we asked respondents about, and find what each respondent carrying specific profile answered relating to the brand name importance part.

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

49

This can be done statistically by using both (ANOVA) and t-test options, what determine the option that we have to use is the nature of the data. (ANOVA) analysis must be used when we try to compare between more than two means at a time, while t-test used to examine the difference between two means at a time (Ticehurst, G. and Veal, A. (2000)). Within these two tools we must reach what called the level of significance (p-value), and then we evaluate it. If it was less than (0.05) we can accept the statement, and if it was greater we have to reject it. Following is each characteristic and its finding. Customers in different ages affected to different extents with the product brand name. To compare the differences between the means we used Analysis of Variance Table (ANOVA). We used this because within the age feature we have four groups that we try to compare between them, so we need to use (ANOVA) here. Table (7) gives the results of ANOVA test, which indicate that the P-value (Sig. =0.087) is greater than the level of significance (0.05), therefore, we can conclude that there is no significant difference between customers having different ages. Or in other words, all customers in different ages consider the brand name to be important without any different variance that worth mentioning.
Table (7): ANOVA Test
Sum of Square s 3.632 53.68 3 57.31 5

df 3 100 103

impotanc e

Between Groups Within Groups Total

Mean Square 1.211 .537

F 2.255

Sig. .087

Male and female customers affected differently by the product brand name. Here we can notice that we are comparing between just two groups, males and females, so we will use T-test for comparing the means. Tables (8a) and (8b) give the results of this test, which indicate that the P-value (Sig. =0.751) is greater than the level of significance (0.05), thus, we can say that again the customers gender dont play any crucial role in determining the importance of brand names through the buying process. That is both male and female specify it as important without many differences between their opinions. Also, the standard deviation is very small, that is both groups are agree to a high similar extent that brand name is important. We conclude this as we know that the standard deviation measure the distance between responses and its mean, so it must be always more than zero. Also whenever the standard deviation was smaller and near the zero, this will mean that there is less difference between responses and vice versa.
Table (8a): Group Statistics
Std. Error Mea n .11 .10

impotanc e

SE X mal e femal e

N 58 46

Mea n 3.79 3.74

Std. Deviation .82 .65

50

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

Table (8b): Independent Samples Test

t-test for Equality of Means

t impotanc e .318

df 102

Sig. (2tailed) .751

Single and married customers affected to different extents with the product brand name. Again here we used T-test because we only have two groups. As is shown in Tables (9a) and (9b), which give the results of this test, the P-value featured in (Sig.) was (0.066). This is again greater than the level of significance (0.05); as a result, we can note that there is no relation between martial status of the customer and their level of concern in the product brand name, but both implied that it is important as we clarified earlier. The standard deviation is very small too, that is both groups agree to relatively similar extent.
Table (9a): Group Statistics
Std. Error Mea n .109 .096

impotanc e

MSTATU S single marrie d

N 41 63

Mea n 3.93 3.66

Std. Deviation .697 .762

Table (9b): Independent Samples Test

t-test for Equality of Means

impotanc e

t 1.856

df 102

Sig. (2tailed) .066

Individual with different annual incomes affected variously by the product brand name. As there are four groups with different annual incomes, we used Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) to compare between them. Table (10) gives the results of ANOVA test, which indicate that the P-value (Sig. =0.503) is greater than the level of significance (0.05). Consequently, we can argue that brand name is important for customers without any relation to their annual income. Or for instance, we can say that a Jordanian customer who gains (<3000), consider the brand name for the product he/she choose as important for him/her as the customer who gains (>12000). As the P-value we calculated didnt show any statistical significance which indicate the converse of what we wrote earlier.

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)


Table (10): ANOVA Test
Sum of Square s 1.326 55.99 0 57.31 5

51

df 3 100 103

impotanc e

Between Groups Within Groups Total

Mean Square .442 .560

F .789

Sig. .503

Customers with different educational levels affected differently by the product brand name. To test this statement we used Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), because we have three different educational levels within our sample. Table (11) gives the results of ANOVA test, which indicate that the P-value (Sig. =0.576) is greater than the level of significance (0.05), as a result, we cant accept that customers with different educational levels affected variously by the product brand name.
Table (11): ANOVA Test
Sum of Square s .622 56.69 3 57.31 5

df 2 101 103

impotanc e

Between Groups Within Groups Total

Mean Square .311 .561

F .554

Sig. .576

The 3rd Question


How do Jordanian customers perceive and evaluate products carrying a familiar brand name? Since the part which tried to answer this question contains questions for more than one perspective, we decided to segment this part to four different sections; each is concerned with one matter from the four we are asking about. That is, to find how customers perceive prices of the products that carry a familiar brand name, we took questions from (11-14). Second, relating to the trustworthy issue we took both 15 and 16 questions. Finally, for the product quality and the social status it reflects we took question 17 then 18 respectively. We used the descriptive statistics for each segment, and in order to analyze the results and generate some findings we compared the means with the cut-point to make sense of the data, and then we evaluated the responses percentages for each item as the following. Table (12) shows the descriptive statistics for questions from (11-14). Here the larger mean dont always reflect an agreement with the notion in the related item. This happened because we had forced in one item to reorder the scale scores conversely, by this we followed the recommendations which Oppenheim, A. (1992) implied while the researcher is trying to measure the people attitude. Oppenheim argued that the researcher must decide if he want the high scale score to mean a favorable or an unfavorable attitude; and as we have some items that can reverse the favorable attitude within our questionnaire, we were only have just two options to solve this issue. Sawaie, Z. (2002) suggested that the researcher can whether reorder the scale score conversely, or make the question in the negative form if it was positive or vice versa. However, we took the first option and used it in question (11) which apply to such a problem. We must mention that this issue appeared while the researcher was trying to analyze his data, so he tried to solve it by using the reverse reorder, and this is totally a statistical matter which wont shows in the descriptive tables as we will see later.

52

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

Table (12): Descriptive Statistics for items (11-14)


#
11 12 13 14

Strongly Agree % 27.9 17.3 1.0 9.6

Agree %
48.1 46.2 19.2 42.3

Neutral %
8.7 20.2 14.4 14.4

Disagree %
14.4 14.4 34.6 28.8

Strongly Disagree % 1.0 1.9 30.8 4.8

Mean
3.87 3.62 2.25 3.23

Standard deviation 1.01 1.00 1.12 1.12

Now, we will clarify what these statistics mean by taking each item separately to find what the Jordanian customers attitudes and perceptions are, according to each statement, as the following: Item 11: Well-known brand name means high price. As we said before, we had reordered the scale for this item. After the reordering number 1 in the scale now means strongly agree, 2 means agree, 3 means neutral, 4 means disagree, and 5 means strongly disagree. So now comparing the mean with the midpoint will have a different meaning. That is if the mean was less than the midpoint we can accept the statement, and if it was more we must reject it. So as the mean here equals (3.87) we can argue that customers in Jordan dont accept the notion that strong brand names mean high prices. The responses percentages come to underpin this finding to a great extent. As we found only 1% of the respondents in the study strongly agree that the well-known brand name means high price, and 14.4% of the consumers are agreeing. But 27.9% of the consumers are strongly disagreeing that the well-known brand name means high price, and 48.1% of the consumers are disagreeing. Therefore, approximately 75% of the sample rejects this notion. And we can see that 8.7% of the consumers still undecided. Item 12: Well-known brand name product is worth paying the price. From the table above, we can see that the mean for this item is (3.62) which are larger than the midpoint, so we can conclude that respondents indicated that well known brand names worth its prices. Also 17.3% of the respondents in the study strongly agree that the well-known brand name product worth paying the price and 46.2% of the consumers are agreeing. That is 63.5% of the respondents in the study are agreeing that the well-known brand name product worth paying the price. Actually, what consumers imply here doesnt converse with their opinions in the previous item, as within this item we ask about the worthiness of the paid price regardless it was high or low. Anyway, 1.9% of the consumers are strongly disagreeing, and 14.4% of the consumers are disagreeing, so who reject this notion form the minority of the sample which represents the Jordanian community. But also we found that 20.2% of the consumers remained neutral, this can be clarified as that those undecided customers dont totally agree with such statement, and may be sometimes perceive it as worthy and sometimes not. However, our generalization return to the fact that we found the majority agrees with this statement. Item 13: The well-known brand name abuses me with respect to price. For this item the mean was (2.25), and as this is less than the cut-point (3) we have to reject the notion within it. Also after taking the responses percentages, we founded that 1% of the participants in this research strongly agree that the well-known brand name abuses them with respect to price, and 19.2% of the consumers are agreeing. That is 20.2% of the respondents in the study are agreeing that the well-known brand name abuses them with respect to price. But 30.8% of the consumers are strongly disagreeing, and 34.6% of the consumers are disagreeing. So we can argue that Jordanian customers accept the price for familiar brand, despite the difference in prices between products with familiar brand names and others without a brand or with an unfamiliar one. However, 14.4% of the consumers remained neutral. Item 14: Low price is one of my priorities when making a buying decision.

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

53

Within this statement the mean for the responses equals (3.23) which are greater than the cut point, so we have to accept that consumers favor products that carry relatively low prices, as they indicated the price as one of their priorities. In fact, again we can return such opinion to the fact that consumers like to seem intelligent and that they dont take any decision without critical evaluation from all different perspectives. That is if the consumer thinks that the product is exploiting him/her, he/she wont buy it regardless any other thing. Virtually, this may be the case, as a majority of consumers try to save as much money as they can, and try to buy the product as lower price as they can. However, we have to take the result as we found it and as we clarified it earlier. Also relating to the responses percentages, we noticed that 9.6% of the respondents in the study strongly agree that low price is one of their first priorities when making a buying decision, and 42.3% of the consumers are agreeing. That is nearly half the participants in this research are agreeing that low price is one of their first priorities when making a buying decision. But 4.8% of the consumers are strongly disagreeing, and 28.8% of the consumers are disagreeing. And 14.4% of the consumers are neutral. This high percentage in both who disagreed and undecided respondents, can be because people dont like to admit such fact and tend to hide it usually. Now, table (13) shows us the data for the trustworthiness and confidence from customers regarding to the well known brand names. As its clear from the table, the total mean for the two items within this section was (4.08) which is larger than the cut point (3), so we can argue that Jordanian customers, represented by the sample, consider the products with a familiar brand names as a reliable goods that they can trust. Also the standard deviation was very low, this mean that Jordanian customers agree on this issue to a high extent.
Table (13): Descriptive statistics for items 15 and 16
Strongly Agree % 30.8 36.5 Strongly Disagree % Standard deviation
0.93 0.81 0.87

#
15 16

Agree %
46.2 51.9

Neutral %
12.5 4.8

Disagree %
10.6 6.7

Mean
3.97 4.18 4.08

To make sure about this finding we took the responses percentages again, our review to the percentages are clarified below: Item 15: Well-known brand name is trust worthy. When asked participants to indicate their opinions relating to this statement, 30.8% of the participants in this research strongly agree that the well-known brand name is trust worthy, and 46.2% of the consumers are agreeing. That is 77% of the participants in this research are agreeing that the well-known brand name is trust worthy. At the same time, 10.6% of the consumers are disagreeing without any respondent who indicate that he/she strongly disagree with such notion. So its clear that the majority agree that they can trust strong brand names and their goods. However, 12.5% of the consumers are neutral but this doesnt make a lot of difference. Item 16: I feel more secure when buying a product with a well-known brand name. Here 36.5% of the respondents strongly agree that they feel more secure when buying a product with well-known brand name, and 51.9% of the consumers are agreeing. That is 88.4% of the respondents in the study are agreeing that they feel more secure when buying a product with wellknown brand name. And again only 6.7% of the consumers are disagreeing without any participant who doesnt agree strongly. This without doubt can show that Jordanian customers use the product brand name as a cue which they trust while making their buying decision, especially with the products which they dont have past experience and buy it for the first time. Also just 4.8% of the consumers remained undecided.

54

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

Third, we took the quality issue and its data as clarified in table (14) below. We found the mean for this statement equals (3.85), and as it is larger than the midpoint, we can argue that Jordanian customers perceive the products with familiar brand name as products with relatively better quality than others that not familiar or without a brand name.
Table (14): Descriptive statistics for item 17
Strongly Agree %
28.8

# 17

Agree %
40.4

Neutral %
18.3

Disagree %
11.5

Strongly Disagree %
1.0

Mean
3.85

Standard deviation
1.00

To make sure about this finding, and to evaluate it from another perspective we took the percentages for this statement and we found the following: Item 17: Well-known brand name means high quality. There were 28.8% of the participants who strongly agreed with this notion, and 40.4% of the consumers were agreeing. That is 69.2% of the respondents in the study are agreeing that the wellknown brand name means high quality. Such opinion can be related to the consumers past experiences with different products, specially the local-low quality ones, or because of the advertising effects; but whatever the reason was behind this trend, which is not our concern to find why, we can argue that a large number of customers in Jordan think that goods with familiar brand names will have more quality than others. However, 1% of the consumers are strongly disagreeing, and 11.5% of the consumers are disagreeing. Also 18.3% of the consumers are neutral. Item 18: Buying or using well-known brand name reflects higher social status. After calculating the mean for this last item, it was (3.57) as shown in table (15) below. And as it is larger than the midpoint, we can say that dealing with products that carry familiar brand names reflects higher social status for the person who buy or use them in the Jordanian community.
Table (15): Descriptive statistics for item 18
# 18 Strongly Agree % 21.1 Agree %
37.5

Neutral %
21.2

Disagree %
17.3

Strongly Disagree % 2.9

Mean
3.57

Standard deviation 1.10

We also took the percentages for the responses, which are related to this statement, to measure and evaluate if they underpin our finding above. We noted that 21.2% of the participants in this research strongly agree that buying or using well-known brand name reflects higher social status and 46.2% of the consumers are agreeing. That is 67.4% of the participants in this research are agreeing. On the other side, we found 2.9% of the consumers are strongly disagreeing, and 17.3% of the consumers are disagreeing. And 21.2% of the consumers stayed neutral. This mean that what we found earlier was reflected within the respondents indications when they asked about such notion, as the majority accept and agree with this statement.

Conclusions
As a growing and prospering market, Jordanian market and more specifically its customers were the main concern for this research. There is a huge lack of a comprehensive understanding of this market, which started to feature several attractive attributes for the newly coming companies and enterprises. Thus, this study has been designed to provide the initial step in gaining knowledge and understanding to the Jordanian customers within this market.

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

55

After gathering the required data using a structured questionnaire and analysing them, the researcher reached several findings that were able to answer the study questions and attaining its objectives. Relating to the first question, which asked if familiar brand names affect Jordanian customers behaviour, the research found crucial evidence that customers in Jordan are affected with the product brand name, and that they use it as a cue to make their buying decisions especially when they buy a product for the first time. The study found that customers in Jordan like others in several places in the world, as this research and others proof, consider the intangible characteristics of the products featured in the brand name within this study, to be as an important heuristic variable that can guide them during their purchasing process. After reaching such finding, the study went even further by trying to look if there is any relation between the customer demographic profile and the extent he/she will be affected by the brand name. Generally, it will be very useful to know if the brand name effect varies between customers having various demographic profiles, as this will specify the best segment to be targeted by that certain brand, and the optimal way to attract those customers to this brand name. Thus, the research determined five different characteristics and tried to relate them with the importance of the brand name, they were the customer age, sex, marital status, annual income, and educational level. We took each attribute separately and tried to find any significant influence of it on the extent that the consumer carrying it will be affected by the well known brand name. Virtually, we didnt find a significant relation between any of these characteristics and the level of brand name effect. Conversely, we found that all Jordanian customers regardless their demographic profile consider the brand name to be important to relatively the same degree. That is, the respondents favourable opinions and attitudes towards the product brand name was nearly the same. These findings can be very useful for marketing managers and brand managers, when they exist, they can engage them with the strategies and plan they put in order to success in the market. For instance, if we went back to the preposition we made in the first chapter, about if we found that brand name is important in Jordan, marketing managers can focus on the product brand name while promoting for that certain product. As we proof this through the study, and we also proofed that there is no critical relation between the customer demographic profile and the level of brand name effect, marketing managers in the Jordanian companies can try to relate the brand name with other product features, whether intrinsic or extrinsic, to generate more sales and brand attractiveness. This point, actually, lead us to the third issue this study searched, which is the way Jordanian customers perceive the well known brand name. Or in other words, what is the attributes that the familiar brand name have that can distinguish it from other products which dont carry a brand name or carry unknown one, from the customers own perspective. Therefore, we asked the respondents in this study to indicate their opinions within eight items they have been asked about, these items featured four important attributes that previous research within this topic showed a relation between them and the strong brand names. First, we asked participants to determine their opinions about the brand names prices and their worthiness. For Jordanian customers, strong brand names dont mean, always, high prices. Such an opinion may be strengthened by what we found that customers in Jordan strongly agree that the familiar brand names worth paying what are paid for. This could be resulted from the consumers past experiences and their critical evaluation for both products that carry or not a familiar brand name. That is, even though they consider the lower prices as one of their priorities while making buying decision, Jordanian customers insisted that they will buy such brands as it, as we can conclude from their attitudes, worth this price, and if the benefit provided by them compared with the price, it will not necessarily reflect high prices. Also they assured that the strong brand names dont exploit them regardless the potential differences in prices between products with or without a strong brand names.

56

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

Another issue was the ability of the well known brand names to dilute the level of risk that customers perceive during evaluating the products offering. In fact, we found that these brand names help customers in Jordan by giving them the confidence in the decision they will make. Here, this may mean that familiar brand names can minimize all the different risk categories, whether it was monetary, functional, physical, etc this is featured by the high level of trustworthiness and confidence that Jordanian customers shown towards such brand name. However, we have to say that we found some exceptions too, but these just formed the minority of the sample which represent those customers in Jordan. The previous two findings can be emphasised by the third result we found during this study. The data we gathered and analysed indicated that customers in Jordan tend to perceive products that have strong brand names as high quality products. The last finding within this research was the feeling that strong brand names can reflect and show a higher social status. We can relate this finding to the fact that Jordan is still a growing country, which have limited national industries that usually carry low quality due to the mass productions strategies used to produce such goods. Also, generally, the third world country tends to relate such thoughts to the foreign products which are produced in the developed industrial countries!!! The importance of these findings, relating to the way Jordanian customers perceive familiar brand names, can be used by the marketing managers to position certain brand in the consumers mind in a way that improve the effectiveness and attractiveness of this brand name, in order to generate more acceptance and sales for it or its related products. However, this requires the study for the brand name to ensure it considered as a familiar one, and so apply to these findings. What worth mentioning here, that these last findings cant be generalised to the same extent that the first two can be generalised, as the items used to generate these results have questionable validity and relatively low reliability as has been shown before. Any way, we cant doubt that such findings can form a solid base for other future research which must try to cover some of the limitations this study have. So we thought it will be useful to specify a separate section to talk about this issue, as the next section do.

Future Work
This research tried to generate a fundamental base of understanding to a crucial topic in the management marketplace, and more specifically to the marketing one. Some issues relating to this topic may be covered with relatively insufficient concern, so more work may be needed for these issues. Thus, we can propose three approaches in order to enhance the level of understanding relating to the effect of familiar brand names on consumers behaviour in Jordan. These approaches are clarified below: As this study took the two largest cities in Jordan to attain an understanding that can be generalised for whole the customers in Jordan, future researches with enough time and financial abilities can try to cover the remained cities in Jordan, and can took more participants within their study. This will help to reach better generalise findings. Also because this research took several related issues and tried to cover them, it will be better if future researches took each issue separately and try to find more critical understanding for it. For example, brand name familiarity as an indicator for the product quality tend to be an attractive topic which worth the effort to research. Finally, this study talked about the strong brand names in general. However, future researches can took certain strong brand names and study its exact influence on the consumer behaviour in Jordan.

International Research Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 43 (2010)

57

References
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] Adcock, D. & Halborg, A. & Ross, C. (2001),Marketing Principles & Practice, Prentice Hall, Financial Times. Sandhusen, Richard L.: Marketing (2000, S. 219. Balnaves, M. & Caputi, P. (2001), introduction to quantitative research methods, SAGE Publication Ltd. Chisnall, P. (1995),consumer behaviour, McGraw-Hill Book Company. Cowley, D. (1998),understanding brands: by 10 people who do, Kogan Page Limited. East, R. (1990),changing consumer behaviour, Cassell Education Limited. Sandhusen, Richard L.: Marketing (2000, S. 218). Hussey, J. & Hussey, R. (1997), business research: A practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students, MACMILLAN Press Ltd. Swarming the shelves: How shops can exploit people's herd mentality to increase sales?". The Economist. 2006-11-11. p. 90. Marketing Management: Strategies and Programs", Guiltinan et al., McGraw Hill/Irwin, 1996. Paliwoda, Stanley J.; John K. Ryans (2008).. Retrieved 2009-10-15. Solomon, M. (1992),consumer behavior, Simon & Schuster Inc. Sunders, M. & Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2003), research methods for business students, Prentice Hall, Financial Times. Dev, Chekitan S.; Don E. Schultz (January/February 2005). "In the Mix: A Customer-Focused Approach Can Bring the Current Marketing Mix into the 21st Century". Marketing Management 14 (1). International Marketing: Modern and Classic Papers (1st ed.). p. 25. Retrieved 2009-10-15. Marketing Management: Strategies and Programs", Guiltinan et al., McGraw Hill/Irwin, 1996. Nichter M, Cartwright EL (September 1991). "Saving the Children for the Tobacco Industry". Medical Anthropology Quarterly 5 (3): 236-256.
Paul H. Selden (1997). Sales Process Engineering: A Personal Workshop. Milwaukee, WI: ASQ Quality Press. p. 23.

[15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21]

Kotabe, Masaki and Helsen, Kristiaan, Global Marketing Management 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc Publishers, Copyright 2004, Kotler & Keller, Marketing Management - 12th Edition, 2005,. Young, Charles E., Advertising Research Handbook, Ideas in Flight, Seattle, WA, April 2005.