Rebranding strategy and performance of savings and credit co-operatives in Meru county, Kenya
Branding is a long – term strategy adopted by enterprises to develop a successful brand in order to achieve specific goals. Branding as a strategy aims at defining a company’s core values and beliefs. In this respect, branding enables companies to communicate the benefits and values that a product or service offers which in the long run forms the foundation of enterprise’s very identity, or brand. While branding is concerned with creating a brand identity, rebranding is recreating that identity. Based on this review; there is no known study in Kenya that has investigated the effect of rebranding on performance. Therefore this study seeks to fill this information gap by investigating effects of rebranding strategy on performance of SACCOS in Kenya by carrying out a survey of SACCOs in Meru County. The objective of the research is to investigate the effect of rebranding strategy on performance of SACCOs in Meru County, Kenya. The survey incorporated both branded and non branded SACCOs in Meru County. 75% of SACCOs in Meru were selected using Stratified random sampling which was necessitate by the fact that SACCOs in Meru were divided into seven categories based on the location ( districts). This ensured that SACCOs from all areas within Meru County were part of the study which gives the study an all inclusive report as pertains to SACCOs in Meru County. In particular, the effect of rebranding on membership, customer satisfaction and corporate identity was evaluated. Data was gathered using a closed ended Likert scaled questionnaire which incorporated various factors which could be used to evaluate the desired variable. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS version 20. 1. Cross-tabulations and Pearson correlation was used for analysis of the data. Confidence interval was set at 95%. Data was presented using graphs and tables. According to the results obtained SACCOs rebrand for various reasons including: to improve competitiveness, improve diversity and SACCO’s relevance. Re-branded SACOOs in Meru county noted rebranding had been necessitated by SASRA regulations that required all deposit-taking SACCOs to have a core capital of not less than 10 million shillings; which forced SACCOs to find alternative ways of expanding the common bond, respondents from rebranded SACCOs felt that branding can have an effect on brand equity greatly by improving brand loyalty, customer attitude, and perception of quality and brand awareness. They also noted that branding can have a positive effect on SACCO membership via enhanced membership retention, increase in membership and increases in shareholding and savings. Putting the results into perspective, it can be asserted that rebranding is a viable alternative for SACCOS seeking to project a new image and improve its market share. However, further data are needed to more definitely clarify the specifics of rebranding and its effect on SACCO’s membership and image among others. Such studies should evaluate a large number of SACCOs and should preferably be longitudinal. More studies on rebranding and performance should be carried out even in other sectors of the economy.