The factors influencing brand loyalty in purchasing pet food in New Zealand

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Roshan, Kodagoda Arachchige Lalantha
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Applied Management
Southern Institute of Technology (SIT)
Akhtaruzzaman, Akhtar
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
pet food industry
brand loyalty
decision making
brand perception
Roshan, K. A. L. (2022). The factors influencing brand loyalty in purchasing pet food in New Zealand. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Management). Southern Institute of Technology (SIT), New Zealand.
Pet ownership is becoming popular throughout the world and hence the pet food industry has been growing. New Zealand’s contribution to the global pet food industry is significant as the country has the second-highest proportion of households with pets in the world. The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that build brand loyalty among pet (Cat and Dog) food customers in New Zealand. For this, the objectives of this research were to: identify the factors that determine the decision-making process in purchasing pet food; understand the contribution of communication mix in building brand loyalty; and analyse the factors of switching pet food brands. The study employed a mixed-method approach to collect data from the study participants; survey questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used. A total of 123 valid survey questionnaires were collected from the participants and four interviews were conducted in Invercargill. The results revealed that the majority (69%) of New Zealand pet owners are women and cats are the most popular pets. The brand image is the most important factor among pet food customers when purchasing pet food and in switching pet food brands. The research also identified that price, product availability, family/friend recommendations, and online reviews are other key determinants when making a purchase decision and switching current brands. Lastly, the study found, that factors such as traditional advertising (eg: TV advertising), in-store sales promotions, product quality, digital marketing, and online reviews are key factors in building brand loyalty among pet owners in New Zealand. The findings of this study have important implications for pet food industry in New Zealand. Specific strategies outlined in this research can influence pet owners purchasing decisions and develop marketing strategies and communication mix to build brand loyalty. Future research can use the findings of this research and focus on a specific type of pet (either Cat or Dog) and further investigate the effects of online reviews in building brand loyalty and influencing the decision-making process of New Zealand pet owners.
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