Consumer perceptions of beer products at the point of purchase
Customer perception and the way this phenomenon impacts customers' choices when purchasing products is an extremely significant marketing aspect in any industry. In a competitive market and economy, understanding and being able to predict consumer perceptions and responses is a crucial competitive factor that all suppliers should have an in–depth knowledge and understanding of. This applies especially to the South African beer market with more than forty competing beer brands. This study examines the aspect of customer perception in terms of the three central variable perceptions of price, taste and brand image. Furthermore, the study takes into account the interaction between these variables and attempts to ascertain whether one is more significant than the other. To this end an empirical research study was undertaken by means of a questionnaire that examined the responses from 225 participants. These responses were analysed in terms of a number of significant variables in relation to perceptions of price, taste and brand image. The results were also compared to the literature and theory on the subject. Among the findings from this research was that while all variables were important, price was considered by the participants to be a constant factor in the decision–making process. However, it was also found that price as a perception could not be viewed in isolation as a separate and autonomous variable. It was found that aspects such as brand image could have a significant impact on other perceptual factors such as taste. The study concludes with the recommendation that the perceptions of price, taste and brand image should be considered in terms of their affect on each other and should be further researched in terms of a more holistic understanding of their interconnections.
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