The Influence Of Reference Groups On Consumer Choice: The Case Of Toilet Soaps In Nairobi
In Kenya, many manufacturers of toilet soap brands have resulted to very heavy advertising in reaction to increased competition that has seen rival manufacturers increase their marketing spends to win customer loyalty, taking up most of the television commercial spots. This has been through the use of advertising with various sets of models, reference groups and appeals. However, there has not been an independent research to find out how effective each of these reference groups have been in these huge marketing campaigns. This descriptive study therefore sought to investigate the influence of reference groups in the consumer’s choice, case of toilet soaps in Nairobi. Two major estates in Nairobi were chosen as representative of the middle income earners and questionnaires were issued to collect primary data that was later analysed for the concepts. The research found out that it was the products attributes that influenced consumers more than the employed reference group models or appeals. Many respondents preferred their current brands because of the fragrance, relaxing effect, its availability, germ bursting abilities and pricing. Of the reference groups, the immediate family influenced consumers most in their choice of toilet soap followed by medical experts and a satisfied user’s appeal. I he least influencing reference group were the celebrities followed by other groups like work mates and soap company employees. Lastly, the research also observed that many respondents were consumers of more than one brand and that many of them had recently moved to their current brands indicating that this is market that rewards marketers in their efforts to win loyalty.