1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Several studies have examined the influence of advertising messages on brand loyalty (Baktor, Boric and Paunović, 2017). Advertising messages can be transferred to the target audience through the respective advertising media. A wide array of media is used for advertising messages. Each medium has its diverse benefits, restrictions and significance. Widely used media are; print media, television, radio, audio visuals, among others.
Advertising is a form of communication that ardently tries to convince customers to purchase or devour more of a particular brand of product or service. Advertisements are strategized to create increased consumption of those products or services through the generation and reinforcement of brand loyalty. A brand is seen as an intangible asset made up of the basic features, attributes, customers’ benefits and the perceived quality of the product or services (Egwuonwu, Adeniran, & Egwuonwu, 2017). According to Bencollins and Okwuchukwu (2018), one of the many secrets of a successful brand is the ability to influence how customers perceive and appraise their level of satisfaction with the services or products, resulting in a continuous purchase of such products or services and how said products or services are recommended to family and friends. Successful brands continuously deliver benefits that meet and exceed expectations in diverse ways, thereby creating strong user loyalty; this is a scope in the modern competitive environment.
Brand Loyalty is closely related to the characteristics of consumers themselves, who rely on their experience of products (Emmanuel, 2017). Advertisement plays a major role in building brand loyalty through the agreement of both the brand and customer. According to Hammouri (2016), brand loyalty is one of the many advantages of creating a positive brand image, having brand equity and brand advocacy.
Advertising in Nigeria has undergone several levels of growth over the years. Some of the changes that have marked this growth include the limitation of foreign-owned agencies through indigenization and the introduction of modern advertising innovations such as billboards, mobile advertising, guerilla advertising, testimonials and many more. It is important to consider that advertising agencies in Nigeria manage accounts in a large range (billions) and, more recently, the banking sector whose in-depth and large scale advertising campaigns depend on advertisers for advertising expertise.
To a large extent, the success of the banking sector depends on their ability to create and maintain customer brand loyalty through effective advertising messages. It is critical to remember that because every brand is a promise and pact, customers have certain expectations of the brands they patronize. The use of images, videos and even audio to communicate a message sparks customer interest in goods or services. In order for there to be a spark, the advertisers should ensure that the advertising messages should have an interest in the customer’s attitudes. Understanding the customer’s attitude is very beneficial because it creates a positive view of that advertisement in the mind of the customer.
Advertising messages that possess the attribute of making the consumer identify his or her self with the brand are more valued than brands that do not. Many experts believe that including brand elements in advertising should increase brand recall (Getrude, 2015).
In this era of information explosion and severe competition in the banking sector for obtaining customer satisfaction and establishing long-term relationships with customers so as to obtain higher market share, customers can have access to many products or services without being loyal to any. Advertisement is an important part in creating consuming reactions in the customers and causes purchase repetition and loyalty to the brand. Since advertisement affects expectations of products and service quality, its role should be associated with brand loyalty (Aishatu & Lim, 2017).
Banks are trying so hard to keep their brand loyal customers through solid advertising messages to avoid giving their competitors an opportunity to grab their customers. Advertising messages should contain factors like customer satisfaction, customer trust, the company’s brand image, product involvement and perceived quality, among others are some factors that generate brand loyalty.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
As principal as advertising is, communicating to customers and consumers the relevant information about a product or brand and its services as well as the right values that should be associated with it will determine the strength and uniqueness of that product. Profitability of any business spawns from the purchase and repurchase by consumers. This is the most important reason why marketers are out on an advertising battle to ensure they are the most effective and efficient in delivering ultimate satisfaction.
Some scholars are of the belief that overtime in the life of a brand or product, the role for advertising shifts from an aggressive search for new customers to a defensive stance, to protect the ground won. In this regard, both Zenith and Polaris bank are brands that have in different ways survived the harsh market competition, yet it must not relent in its effort.
This study seeks to access the unique qualities that distinguish Zenith bank from Polaris bank and to examine the extent, to which advertising has influenced consumer loyalty of both banks, the relationship between advertising messages and brand loyalty, to measure the impact of advertising messages and to explore the effectiveness of the advertising ads on brand loyalty through brand awareness.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The aim of the research work is to determine the effects of advertising messages on brand loyalty in Lagos, Nigeria.
1. To ascertain how Zenith and Polaris bank customers perceive advertising messages.
2. To determine the preference of media for ad messages for customers of Zenith and Polaris bank.
3. To find out if the advertising messages of Zenith and Polaris bank portray a customer-centric relationship at all times.
4. To identify the factors that influences the loyalty of customers towards Zenith and Polaris bank.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following questions guide this research;
1. What is the perception of advertising messages by Zenith and Polaris bank customers?
2. What is the preference of media for advertising messages for customers of Zenith and Polaris bank?
3. Does the advertising message portray a customer-centric relationship at all times?
4. What are the factors that influence the loyalty of Zenith and Polaris bank customers?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study explores the factors which are affected by the advertisement and ultimately influence the customers’ degree of brand loyalty. The study will help the readers understand the customer’s behaviour while undergoing the services so that they can devise appropriate and relevant strategy to advertise their product in an excellent way and this research paper will also contribute to already existing knowledge of advertising. Data generated will also help in determining to an extent the future of advertising in Nigeria.
It is also hoped that after the completion of the research, the general reader, academia, banks, and advertisers will find the knowledge gained from the write-up useful. The findings of this study will also add to the body of existing knowledge that will contribute greatly to the area of effects of advertising messages in influencing brand loyalty in Nigeria.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will focus Zenith and Polaris bank customers in Lagos, Nigeria. Also this study is focused on the customer’s preference and what influences their preferences.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The only limitation faced by the researcher in the execution of this study was insufficient time.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. ADVERTISING: Advertising is the action of calling a product to the awareness, observation and attention of the general public especially having communication elements that is non-personal, persuasive, paid for by an identified sponsor used to reach enormous audiences, generate brand awareness, brand differentiation and build effective brand image. Advertising is all about the public attention derived from a paid form of declaration or announcement. People are usually unaware but advertising is always present. Advertising messages are paid by the people who actually share it to develop a certain action in people who receive them. The advertising of Zenith and Polaris banks are created by creative advertisers.
2. ADVERTISING MESSAGES: Advertising messages refers to what is said in an advertisement, the implementation or strategy or tactics in which the brand message is communicated. The message is not only original but tactically apt for the objectives and target market of the organizations. Both banks covey their advertising messages in various forms; digitally and physically.
3. BANK: A bank is a financial institution that helps maintain the economic stability by means of controlling the money market. The institution is in charge of motivating people in investing their money. Zenith and Polaris are examples of banks in Nigeria.
4. BRAND: A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, or, design or a blend of them planned to recognize the goods or services of one or more sellers and to differentiate them from their contenders. It is basically a mark of identification and recognition. It is your trademark. It is basically the perception audiences have in their mind about said product. Zenith and Polaris banks are both brands.
5. BRAND LOYALTY: Brand Loyalty is the attribute or feature of consumers themselves, who depend on their past experiences of products. Brand loyalty is the gateway to brand development. Brand loyalty is always a positive feeling towards any said products regardless of competitor’s or contender’s attacks.
6. LOYALTY: Loyalty is the customer’s dedicated responsibility in repurchasing or subscribing to a product or service in the future. It is gotten from the previous definition that it is a conscious individual goal and intent. Loyalty promotes two concepts: brand loyalty and brand equity. Loyalty in this study represents the ultimate goal of both brands.
MESSAGES: A message can either be verbal or non-verbal words either in speech or writing that comes in form of information. It is the content of any and all communication process. The originator of the message in the communication process is the sender and the message is conveyed to the receiver. The message in this study is the information conveyed by both brands.