The Importance of Branding in the
It is estimated that there are approximately 4900 fuel retail stations operating in South Africa. The industry is typically characterised by an oversupply of fuel retail stations, strong competition, a high degree of regulation and low retail margins. In order to differentiate their product offering, oil companies and fuel retailers make use of branding of fuel retail outlets, the inclusion of fuel additives to petrol and diesel and diversification of services available at fuel retail stations (for example the addition of convenience stores) to increase their competitive advantage. The purpose of this study is to determine the relative importance of branding in the South African fuel retail industry and to examine if certain demographic groups consider branding to be more important compared to other attributes. The research found that there is a significant difference in the degree of importance the South African private fuel consumer attaches to brand, location, fuel specification, quality of convenience store and level of forecourt service when determining fuel retail station preference. The private fuel consumer typically rates the fuel retail brand as the most important factor in his/her preference of a fuel retail station. The level of service, quality of the convenience store and the location of the fuel retail station also play an important role in determining fuel retail station preference. It was found that fuel specification played the least importance to the private consumer when selecting a fuel retail station. It was also found that certain demographic groupings attached varying importances to these attributes. For example, it was found that the Indian population seemed to be more brand conscious compared to other races, and that in general, men are more brand loyal than women. Women, on the other hand, valued the level of service and the quality of the convenience store as more important than men. A number of consumer clusters could be identified that attach different importances to the various fuel retail station attributes. From this cluster analysis, a group of respondents could be identified that base their fuel retail preference almost exclusively on brand.
MBA - WBS
Brands and branding , Fuel retail industry