Consumerism as a determinant of multinational product consumption in Kenya
Consumerism is defined as an economic and social dogma that promotes social and economic acquirement of goods and services above and beyond your basic needs and in greater amounts. Consumer demand is now recognized as the engine of most developing economies and investment surge, and analysts have predicted that the middle class buyers with swelling disposable income as fuelling this boom and as a result, expanding the net of consumers for market hungry multinationals. The objective of this study was to determine how consumerism acts as a stimulus in the consumption of multinational products in Kenya and how they influence this process and accompanying elements that encourage consumption especially in acquisition of bank loans, credit cards, motor vehicles, and retail spending. To achieve the objective of this study, the research used a descriptive study, the population of this study was drawn from multinationals operating in Kenya from the following sectors; Retail and shopping, Alcoholic Beverages, Banking, and Automobile and Accessories. These were as provided by the East Africa’s top 100 companies as listed in issue 6, August 2014 East Africa’s top 100 newsletter. A sample of 40 respondents was used who included: the Finance managers, Business Development managers, and marketing managers of the respondent multinationals namely Nakumatt, Toyota Kenya, East African Breweries, and Equity Bank who were selected. The 40 respondents were selected using systematic random sampling. Data collection involved both qualitative and quantitative forms of data collection techniques. Secondary data was obtained from financial records and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics reports. Primary data was collected by use of a semi structured questionnaire. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics in form of percentages, mean and standard deviation to determine consumerist patterns. The results of the analysis showed the highest amount of consumption by customers ranged between Kshs 30,000 to Kshs 49,999; this was explained by 29% of the respondents; Least amount of consumption that was found to be 1% for those who spent over Kshs 100,000. This was a clear signal that most consumers of multinational products spent between Kshs 30,000 to Kshs 49,999 monthly. Similarly, the chief motivational factor that was perceived to influence their purchasing decisions was found to be advertisement which according to the findings, showed that 94% of the respondents agreed that advertisement played a greater role in purchasing and shopping decision. The other factors that were perceived to influence purchasing decisions were after sales service, word of mouth, celebrity endorsement and festivals and promotions. It was concluded that Consumerism highly influenced consumption of multinational products in Kenya. The study recommended that the Central Bank of Kenya, through prudent economic policies, sustains a stable macroeconomic environment that will support access to consumer credit hence enabling more consumption of multinational products leading to economic growth. Also, Kenya National Poison Board should put proper measures to ensure that all the organizations handling consumer products abide by the stipulated regulations and procedures in order to create an enabling environment that will lead to increased consumption of their products.