An examination of brand orientation and consumer perception of SMMEs in Mafikeng, North West Province, South Africa
Ogunsanya, Akintayo Adesoj
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Small businesses are globally recognised as important economic entities and have been the subject of various scholarly investigations. However, small business branding is a relatively new and nascent field of research and incontrovertible evidence exists that little information on the subject has come from Africa. Based on the preceding facts, this study was conceived to investigate brand orientation and consumers’ perception of small businesses in Mafikeng, North West Province, South Africa. The choice of the research locale was informed by the concentration of most small businesses in the country in rural areas. Using a qualitative approach of inquiry, three entrepreneurs were interviewed in order to assess their brand orientation in terms of their understanding and disposition towards branding, including strategies adopted in their businesses. Furthermore, two focus group sessions, of at least nine participants per session, were held in two locations namely; Mafikeng Town and Mmabatho, in order to explore their perceptions of small businesses given their respective brand positioning. Generally, the brand orientation of the entrepreneurs was found to be low, resulting in low brand distinctiveness. Focus group sessions corroborated the low brand orientation considering the fact that familiarity of discussants with regard to knowledge of small businesses was almost non-existent, a situation attributed to poor branding and communication. Recommendations were made to enhance brand distinctiveness of small businesses as well as for policy interventions and future scholarly studies.
- Humanities