THE E VALUATION OF THE MARKET ACCEPTANCE OF MADE-IN-NIGERIA SHEOS

THE EVALUATION OF THE MARKET ACCEPTANCE OF MADE-IN-NIGERIA SHEOS (A CASE STUDY OF ST. RAPH’S SHOES INDUSTRY, ONITSHA)

ABSTRACT

This research work entails the evaluation of the market acceptance of made-in-Nigeria shoes using St. Ralph’s shoes industry, Onitsha as the case study. The purpose of this study is to determine the consumers purchase evaluation criteria in terms of price, durability, quality and dependability. To ascertain the reason why Nigerians prefer foreign  made shoes to made-in-Nigeria shoes and to determine the best channel of distribution which can be used to ensure the availability of the product (shoes) where they are needed. The population of this study was 2000. Random sampling method was used for the study. A sample size of 200 respondents was used. Questionnaires and personal interviews were used as a principal sources of information, journals and textbooks were also used as secondary sources. The analytical method used was the chi-square method (x2) to reach significant testing.

In conclusion, the results obtained showed that Nigerians consumers prefer foreign made shoes to made-in-Nigeria shoes due to the fact that made-in-Nigeria shoes are of low quality and non-durable. Also locally made shoes are bought because they are not expensive to compare to foreign shoes.

In recommendation, I suggest that since made-in-Nigeria shoes are not expensive compared to the imported ones, more efforts should be made towards improving the quality of the product, this will enable the indigenous manufacturers to compete favorably with its foreign counterparts.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The acceptance of made-in-Nigeria shoes seems not to satisfy the desires and tastes of consumers in relations to the foreign made shoes. This has prompted the researcher to go into investigation in order to ascertain consumer’s attitude or their mode of acceptance or reduction of shoes produced locally. The use of shoes is as old as human existence. Before then, there were no specific design of shoes available but the Europeans used shoes as a compensation for a job well done.

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But now, it has shown a very lucrative business opportunity to our colonial masters which they ought to exploit for profit. Due to the fact that Nigerians have a positive response to the use of shoes, our colonial masters (the British) have to import shoes into the country for Nigerians to purchase.

At this stage, some of the foreign countries started producing their products in the country such industries like Bata and Leonard owned by the British were among the first to be in the business. But this industries employed some Nigerians. They learnt how to make shoes and with the advent of independence, set up their own manufacturing industries.

But still, Nigerians were depending on the foreign shoes for use until the introduction of Austerity measure and structural adjustment programmes (SAP), due to the country’s economic recession.

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Moreover, because the foreign reserve of the country was declining the introduction of SAP imbalance trade deficits and this led to the eruption of local or indigenous industries as one, as a result, the importation of goods (shoes) are no longer encouraged. Nigerians were advised to go down with the locally made shoes (product) as well as patronizing our producers when necessary. The general attitude of Nigerians for both made-in-Nigeria shoes and foreign made shoes becomes very clear. Nigerians prefer foreign made shoes thereby keeping them for special activities and occasions.

They do prefer those shoes bearing the name of foreign countries whether they are made there or not, so far the name is there. Once the shoes bears a foreign country’s name, it becomes the best in the market.

In order words, buying the shoes stamped made in Spain or Italy will satisfy them due to the fact that they assume they are wearing the best shoes in their midst. Nigerians do think that those wearing made-in-Nigeria shoes are poor people in our society. Critically examined those people who think they are affluent enough do use foreign shoes to show their affluence in society in which they belong.

Mostly, in Nigeria today, because we are in the seller market, most organization do not recognize the importance of adaptation and implementation of marketing concept in order to effectively serve their target market very well. Then the inability of the Nigerian manufacturer to produce high quality products to satisfy the market may be the major cause of the massive demand for foreign goods. Finally, urgent steps should be taken to ensure that made-in-Nigeria shoes are given a face lift to ensure constant patronage of the locally made shoes. This should enable us towards attaining our country’s economic goals and growth.

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The fact is that made-in-Nigeria shoes do not perform well in the market, particularly in recent times.

Nevertheless, they are interviewed with other problems which will be outline here.

Indigenous manufacturers in Nigeria, including the management of St. Ralph’s shoes have a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of what marketing concept is all about. This situation has an adverse effects on all their planning and strategies as it renders them ineffective.

Furthermore, Nigerians prefer foreign made shoes to local ones. This is because they feel such shoes are of higher quality than local ones and putting them on his status symbol. This situation also leads to brand switching, where local manufacturer produce shoes and label then as foreign.

Moreover, despite the prejudice local manufacturers face, they find it difficult to reduce their prices to a considerably lower level than foreign ones. This reluctance or rather inability further aggravates their problem.

There are also several complaints by Nigerians about what they perceive to be the low quality of materials used in manufacturing local shoes.

However, many pundits counter this assertion and attribute it to prejudice.

Finally local manufacturers usually either do not advertise at all or conduct ineffective advertising campaign’s. This deficiency in advertising makes it difficult for them to explain their market base and increase their sales and profits.

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Thus, local shoes manufacturers in Nigeria are actually facing a vicious cycle and it is unfortunate.

1.3   OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

  • To determine the consumer’s purchase evaluative criteria in terms of price, durability, quality, dependability.
  • To ascertain whether the locally made shoes are performing well in the Nigeria market or not.
  • To identify the why Nigerians prefer foreign made shoes to made-in-Nigeria shoes.
  • To find out how the target audience can be reached effectively.

1.4   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

One of the points that make this study relevant is that it may compel successive Nigerian regimes to pay less lip-service to their intention to assist local manufacturers and take more proactive and effective action in that regard.

Another point is that it will be of immense assistance to researchers and scholars in such areas as marketing concept, marketing mix, small scale business and pricing theory.

1.5   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The question below will be given prominence in this work.

  1. What constitute the evaluation criteria of Nigerian consumers towards made-in-Nigeria shoes?
  2. Are made-in-Nigeria shoes performing well in the market?
  • Why exactly do Nigerian consumers prefer foreign made shoes to local ones?
  1. How can made-in-Nigeria shoes manufacturer have access to his target audience?
  2. What is the best channel of distribution for Nigerian shoes?

1.6   STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS

Two hypotheses were formulated for this study (Two Null and Two Alternate). The Null hypothesis is reflected by Ho, while the Alternate hypothesis by H1.

H1: Consumers do not prefer made-in-Nigeria shoes to foreign made ones.

H1: Consumers prefer made-in-Nigeria shoes to foreign made ones.

H2: Foreign made shoes do not have higher rate of turnover than locally made ones.

H2: Foreign made shoes have higher rate of turnover than locally made ones.

1.7   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

Precisely, the scope of this study is focused on the market acceptance of made-in-Nigeria shoes with particular reference to St. Ralph’s shoes industry, Onitsha.

This study is basically on the residents/inhabitants of Awada and Okpoko layouts of Onitsha north local government area of Anambra state.

1.8   DEFINITION OF TERMS

The definitions of the following terms were deemed appropriate for the studies.

Preference: The power or ability to choose one thing over another with the anticipation that the choice will result in greater satisfaction, greater capacity or improved performance.

Brand loyalty: The extent of the faithfulness of consumers to a particular brand expressed through their repeat purchases, irrespective of the marketing pressure generated by competing brands.

Marketing concept: The philosophy which state that all organization should earnestly make consumers their focal point, whilst striving to optimize profit.

Consumer Behaviour: The motivation, attitudes and mannerisms of consumers, with respect to their choice, usage and disposal of products and services.

Branding: All activities that are involved in the selection and implementation of brand name, brand mark and trade mark which a company uses to differentiate its product from similar product offering by competitors.

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Trade mark: Trade mark is defined as brand name, brand mark or a combination of both that is given legal protection.

Advertising: The use of paid media to influence consumer behaviour in the direction desired by the market.

Strategic planning (p. 30)

Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy or direction and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue that strategy in order to determine the direction of the organization.

Marketing management (p. 26)

The application, tracking and review of a company’s marketing resources and activities.

Marketing Mix (p. 25)

A planned mix of the controllable elements of a products marketing plan, commonly known as 4ps (price, product, place, promotion).

Primary demand (p. 31)

Consumer interest in purchasing an entire class of products, as opposed to interest in purchasing a certain brand that falls within the product class.

Profit-oriented (profit orientation)

A term used to describe a business that operate under the primary objective of making money (profit).

Consumer Orientation (p. 24)

A service offered by companies that focuses on the internal and external needs of a business customers.

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