Measuring brand loyalty in the pharmaceutical industry of South Africa
Brands are recognised as one of the most valuable assets that a company can possess and therefore brands are key role-players in the business strategies of organisations. The rivalry amongst competitors in the pharmaceutical industry is fierce and companies should design their strategies in such a way in order to achieve competitive advantage. Brand loyalty is regarded as a powerful tool in the development of pharmaceutical brands. The main aim of this study was to measure brand loyalty in the pharmaceutical industry of South Africa and to establish whether patients are brand loyal to original pharmaceutical brands and the influence of generics on pharmaceutical brand loyalty. The measurement of brand loyalty in the pharmaceutical industry is based on Moolla’s brand loyalty framework for the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) industry. This study also aimed to determine whether Moolla’s FMCG brand loyalty framework is applicable to the pharmaceutical industry. The twelve brand loyalty influences identified by Moolla are: Customer satisfaction; Switching costs; Brand trust; Repeat purchase; Involvement; Perceived value; Commitment; Relationship proneness; Brand affect; Brand relevance; Brand performance and Culture. The empirical study was conducted among 250 over-the-counter medicine consumers with different demographic profiles. The methodology included the sampling procedure, data collection, questionnaire development and statistical techniques used. Results were analysed with regards to Factor analysis; the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy; Cronbach Alpha coefficients; Bartlett’s test of sphericity, mean values and effect sizes. The Empirical results through quantitative analysis included the validity of the research instruments, the calculation of the reliability coefficients which reported on the significance of the research variables. The results were presented in a conceptual framework to measure pharmaceutical brand loyalty. The results of this study concluded that the brand loyalty influences as identified by Moolla are important for measuring pharmaceutical brand loyalty. The results of this study also concluded that patients are indeed brand loyal and do prefer branded pharmaceuticals to generic pharmaceuticals in the over-the-counter medicine industry of South Africa. The importance of this study is the contribution of a brand loyalty framework to measure pharmaceutical brand loyalty which will aid pharmaceutical companies in the strategic management thereof.