1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Brands and branding have existed for as long as it has been possible to trace artifacts of human existence. According to American Market Association (2010) a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers or competitors. Branding emerged in the nineteenth century when smart entrepreneurs realized that they could charge more for an otherwise standard commodity if they could guarantee quality and consistency; they usually claimed that their branded product had some outstanding characteristics that justified the extra cost (Doyle, 2001).
In today’s business world companies have to market their product as well as themselves. This enables them to gain an edge over their rivals and to differentiate themselves. Coca- Cola for example is globally known not only for the cold drinks but for providing a lifestyle. Drinking Coca-Cola means much more to some customers than just having a cold drink or choosing to take Pepsi despite of both having about the same price. Coca-Cola has a competitive advantage over Pepsi because of the Coca-Cola brand. Through branding Coca-Cola has been able to create a long-term relationship with its customers and established a connection with them and therefore their customers are loyal. Coca-Cola is known as one of the worlds’ most recognized brands (Melin, 2001).
Companies therefore have set funds aside to project the right kind of image and capture their customers’ loyalty. While working on its image a company has to incorporate its communication plan which aims at building its reputation among it different stakeholders. The idea behind it is to create a coordinated image that runs through all facets of the company’s appearance (Advetiser 1991).
A communication plan dictates a company’s vision and mission. To make the idea of a communication plan successful, most companies if not all have a Public Relations and Marketing department that ensures it keeps, builds and maintains a good reputation. Competition among different bear in Nigeria has risen. A brand which is widely known in the market place acquires brand recognition. When brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiments in the market place, it is said to have achieved brand franchise. Brand recognition is most successful when people can state a brand without being explicitly exposed to the company’s name but through visual signifiers as mentioned earlier like logos, slogan’s and colours.
Life Continental Lager Beer is the fine quality lager beer from the stables of Nigerian Breweries Plc made from the choicest grains, hops and the purest of waters. Life Continental Lager Beer is expertly brewed to give that rich, crisp distinctive taste and well-rounded aroma in true quality fashion of the master brewers. Life is better when shared and when life is shared, there is progress. This is what forms the core brand value of great-tasting Life Continental Beer, promoting and refreshing a life-long tradition of sharing, a heritage of progress.
Nigerian Breweries Plc, is the pioneer and largest brewing company in Nigeria. It serves the Nigerian market and exports to other parts of West Africa. Nigerian Breweries was incorporated in 1946 and the first bottle of its brand, the STAR Lager, rolled off the bottling lines of its Lagos brewery in June 1949. As the company expanded into other regions, it established more breweries such as Aba Brewery in 1957 and Kaduna Brewery in 1963. By 1971, the company was one of the largest industries within the country in terms of capital investment. In 1982, another brewery was added in Ibadan. In September 1993, the company acquired its fifth brewery in Enugu, and in October 2003, its sixth brewery, sited at Ameke in Enugu. Ama Brewery began brewing on the 22 March 2003 and at 3 million hectolitres is the largest brewery in Nigeria. In this project we want to study lifestyle branding as a method of increasing product appeal - a study of life bear in the south east.