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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BRAND TRUST AND CUSTOMER LOYALTY: THE MODERATING IMPACT OF DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS ABSTRACT

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As a result of the shift from the traditional product orientation towards a customer based selling approach, companies, particularly those in the telecommunication industry are becoming more aware of the need for a better understanding of target customers and how these customers will react to organizational relationship marketing tactics based on their respective demographic characteristics, with a view to use such knowledge as a basis of attracting and maintaining a robust customer loyalty base. This study examines the effect of brand trust on customer loyalty. It went on further to determine the moderating influence of gender, age, and income level, among subscribers in the Nigerian telecommunication industry. A structured and close ended questionnaire was employed in eliciting responses from three hundred and seventy six (376) mobile telecom subscribers who were selected through the multistage sampling technique, from the eight local governments of Kano metropolis. Furthermore, the results from the three step regression analysis conducted indicates that while brand trust exercise a significant and positive effect on customer loyalty, this relationship is however, not moderated by gender, age and income level. In the light of these findings, it was recommended that those companies, whose focus is improving customer loyalty from the viewpoint of brand trust, should carry out such action without any consideration for the three highlighted demographic variables: gender, age and income level, in their segmentation exercise.
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International Journal of Marketing
Practices
Vol. 1, No. 1, 1-23, 2016
1
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BRAND TRUST AND
CUSTOMER LOYALTY: THE MODERATING IMPACT OF
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
ABSTRACT
Adewale, A.
Adekiya1۞
Bamidele, A. Adepoju2
1Department of Business
Administration and
Entrepreneurship, Bayero
University, Kano, Nigeria.
2Professor of Business
Administration, Department of
Business Administration and
Entrepreneurship, Bayero
University, Kano, Nigeria.
(۞ Corresponding Author)
As a result of the shift from the traditional product orientation towards a
customer based selling approach, companies, particularly those in the
telecommunication industry are becoming more aware of the need for a better
understanding of target customers and how these customers will react to
organizational relationship marketing tactics based on their respective
demographic characteristics, with a view to use such knowledge as a basis of
attracting and maintaining a robust customer loyalty base. This study examines
the effect of brand trust on customer loyalty. It went on further to determine the
moderating influence of gender, age, and income level, among subscribers in
the Nigerian telecommunication industry. A structured and close ended
questionnaire was employed in eliciting responses from three hundred and
seventy six (376) mobile telecom subscribers who were selected through the
multistage sampling technique, from the eight local governments of Kano
metropolis. Furthermore, the results from the three step regression analysis
conducted indicates that while brand trust exercise a significant and positive
effect on customer loyalty, this relationship is however, not moderated by
gender, age and income level. In the light of these findings, it was
recommended that those companies, whose focus is improving customer loyalty
from the viewpoint of brand trust, should carry out such action without any
consideration for the three highlighted demographic variables: gender, age and
income level, in their segmentation exercise.
Keywords: Brand trust, Customer loyalty, Moderation, Demographic variables, Subscribers,
telecommunication Industry.
Citation | Adewale, A. Adekiya; Bamidele, A. Adepoju (2016). The Relationship between Brand Trust and
Customer Loyalty: The Moderating Impact of Demographic Characteristics. International Journal of
Marketing Practices, 1(1): 1-23.
DOI: 10.20448/806.1.1.1.23
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
Online Science Publishing
1. INTRODUCTION
With the introduction in 1992 of the National Communications Commission (NCC) which has the role of
creating an enabling regulatory environment for efficient supply of telecommunications services and
facilities in the Nigerian telecommunication industry, the industry began to witness the entry of private
participants. The reform, which opened up the market to local and private operators, injected competition
into the market. Though some companies were issued operating licenses before 1999 full market
International Journal of Marketing Practices, 2016, 1(1): 1-23
2
liberalization however only commenced in earnest with government enacting a new telecom policy
document in September 2000 (Tooki, 2011). After full stakeholder consultations, a new law, the Nigerian
Communications Act was enacted in 2003 to boost investor confidence and provide clear rules of
engagement for industry stakeholders. Consequently, private investment in the sector has grown from
about $50m in 1999 to over $25 billion by 2010 with commensurate rapid growth in subscriber lines (Tooki,
2011).
According to Tooki (2011) the high level of competition and an increasing demand, coupled with
pressure on the management of these companies to deliver on shareholders earnings and justify
increasing investment have resulted in a war fought with neither swords, guns, nor nuclear weapons but a
stiff competition cloaked in the garment of war which continues unabated as each operator roll out new
offers and products in a bid to outsmart the other while the target remains: to get the larger chunk of the
over 100 million mobile subscribers in the country. Hence this has culminated in a barrage of promos and
offers that left the subscribers spoilt for choices (Tooki, 2011).
For instance MTN Nigeria kick-started the revolution with the launch of its extra cool in 2006,
(particularly introduced to capture the youth market with free mid night calls). Zain Nigeria, (now Airtel)
responded to this by also introducing Zain Tru, which offer subscribers one of the cheapest GSM on-net
call rates at 25 kobo per second (Monday to Friday) and 21 kobo/second on weekends. Etisalat on the
other hand rolled out its easy cliq, another exciting package targeted at youths. The package came with
innovative and exciting features like unlimited SMS, free midnight calls, talk n share, bonus on incoming
calls, one cliq, one tune, Facebook update service by SMS and cliq ring back tune. With easy cliq,
subscribers are automatically rewarded with free airtime for calls received from other networks, and
Etisalat lines that are not on easy cliq with the innovative bonus on incoming calls feature. Aside these, the
company recently announced that it has revamped its easy life tariff based service with the introduction of
return of access fee and easy life postpaid. This package offers subscribers cost effective and affordable
call rates as well as free text messages to other Etisalat lines on both prepaid and postpaid lines.
Glomobile, launches its Glo Flexi, Glo yarn-me-more and Glo wonderful in 2011. The Glo Flexi is said
to offer up to 99 per cent discount on calls made, depending on the time of day and geographical location
of the subscriber. The Glo yarn-me-more came with propositions that after the first 60seconds/1minute
(daily) call charged at the rate of 55k/s, the subscribers can enjoy 15k/s Glo to Glo calls and 25k/s Glo to
other networks calls. Also, the Glo wonderful rewards customer with free minute on every call being made
irrespective of the call being on net or off net.
All these are buttresses to the argument by the National Communication Commission (2013) which
positions the mobile telecomm market in Nigeria as among the most competitive market in Africa. To
further promote efficient competition, the commission has initiated several proceedings which allows
conduct that reduces competition in the market to be duly penalized. For instance there are a number of
regulatory frameworks such as the Nigerian Communication Act, 2003 Section 91(1) which prohibits
licensees from engaging in conduct which has the purpose or effect of lessening competition in the
industry. The outcome of this intense competition is a substantial bargaining power for subscribers coupled
with tendencies to switch service provider at will. This seems to be in line with the view of Amusu &
Olayinka (2006) who noted that as the number of offering within a category multiplies, the differences
between them start to become increasingly trivial and loyalty, to the best value replaces any previous
loyalty to a brand.
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3
Trust is a central component in the development of relationship between organizations and customers
and a condition that exists when one party has confidence in an exchange partner’s reliability and integrity
(Dithan, 2011). It is the basis of building a mutually beneficiary relationship with customers in order to
enhance competitiveness (Barney & Hansen, 1994). Put in another way, trust is an essential element and
condition that must be satisfied between customers and organizations in order to make provision for
successful long term relationship. As argued by Jahanzeb, Fatima & Khan (2011) trust is found to increase
customer’s commitment, which weakens customers’ propensity to switch. In their opinion, it serves as a
key element to build customer loyalty. According to Dithan (2011) a high level of trust may turn a satisfied
customer to be loyal thus, implying that companies can secure customer loyalty through the indirect
influence of customer satisfaction by concentrating on the mediating power of trust.
Empirically, the research by Lombard & Vuuren (2012) found that a direct relationship, strong and
significant, exists between trust and customer loyalty among 357 patients who assesses an optometric
practice in South Africa while other researches see for instance: Adekiya (2015) and, Sarwar, Abbas, &
Parvais (2012) all shows that the perception of trust by customers can act as an antecedent to their
decision to remain loyal to organizational products/services. While all these researches are concentrated
on the exploration of the direct relationship between these two constructs, no concrete attempt have been
made to determine the moderating impact of demographical variables: gender, income level and age on
this relationship despite the submission by Lee & Cunningham (2001); Saad, Ishak, & Johari (2013); Cole,
Drolet, Gutches, Pandrand, Norton, & Peter (2008); Alrubaiee & Al-Nazeer (2010) which highlighted these
demographical variables as important elements when the objective is discouraging customers from
switching brand, and the argument by Cooil, Timothy, Lerzan & Micheal (2007) which equally posits
customer characteristics as major determinant of the ability to retain them, in addition to enhancing their
repurchase intention. In other words, a research question that comes to the attention of these researchers
is if these critical demographical variables can act as a buffer in a research model that consist of brand
trust as an independent variable and customer loyalty as a dependent. In a nutshell, this research seeks to
determine the moderating impact of consumer’s demographic characteristics on the relationship if any,
between their perception of brand trust on one side and their tendency to remain as loyal customers on the
other side. It is narrowed down to the subscribers in the Nigerian mobile telecommunication industry and it
is thus, anticipated that the findings uncovered will be useful for marketing managers and industry leaders
particularly within the telecommunication industry, whenever the objective is the construction of customer
profiling data, aimed at the formulation and implementation of marketing plans and strategies, for the
enhancement of organizational competitive advantages. In the subsequent sections, the literature review,
research methodology, presentation of results, discussion, conclusion and recommendations are
presented.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1. Brand Trust
According to Rousseau, Sitkin, Burt, & Camerer (1998) trust is a psychological state in which
individuals are willing to accept vulnerability due to their positive expectations of the intentions or behavior
of another. A trust violation occurs when someone demonstrates a lack of skills required for a role, or fails
to uphold important ethical principles (Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman, 1995). These are pointers that
development and sustainability of trust in organizational setting is built upon the fulfillment of promises
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4
made to customers. Morgan & Hunt (1994) define trust as a condition that exists when one group has the
confidence to engage in a relationship with another trustworthy and honest party. Drawing inference from
this definition, it is arguable to concur that such elements as confidence and reliability are crucial in
building trust. Mayer, Davis and Schoorman (1995) in their own view provided one general definition of this
construct by saying that it is the willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party
based on the expectation that the other will perform a particular action important to the trustor, irrespective
of the ability to monitor or control the other party. According to Dithan (2011) theories of social psychology
assert that trust consists of two essential elements: trust in the partner’s honesty and trust in the p artner’s
benevolence. He maintained that honesty is the belief that one’s partner stands by its word, while
benevolence, in his opinion is the belief that one’s partner is interested in the company’s welfare and will
not take unexpected actions which will negatively impact the company. As noted by Ruyter, Wetzel &
Bloemer (1998) if partners in business relationship trust each other more, they are more emotionally
involved and less consciously weighing the benefits against the costs of that relationship. In other words,
customers would tend to be more emotionally involved with a brand in the face of increased sincerity and
honesty that is being exhibited by the brand even when they perceives the costs/benefits outcome of such
relationship as not much favorable.
Ian (2011) posits that if customers trust a company, there is high tendency that they will make
recommendations about its products and services to their friends. Furthermore, Liang & Wang (2008)
maintains that trust or distrust often takes place with a relationship built up. they declares that as a
supplier of product/service actively and consistently makes sincere relationship efforts, such efforts
provides evidence to customers that the supplier can be trusted, is concerned about customers’ interests
and is willing to make sacrifices for satisfying customers’ needs in the relationship. An act, which they
suggests will lead to an increment of customer’s trust in the supplier. By implying from this, it will be
reasonable to posit that companies willing to secure customer trust to their brand must be those who are
consistent in the exhibition of concern and sincerity to their customers, vice versa.
2.2. Customer Loyalty
Despite substantial disagreement about the exact definition or nature of the loyalty concept, common
elements among many of the loyalty definitions are that there is a relationship of some sort (i.e., ranging
from very shallow to very strong) between an actor and another entity and that the actor displays
behavioral or psychological allegiance to that entity in the presence of alternative entities (Melnyk Van
Osselaer and Bijmolt, 2008). By following this line of reasoning a loyal customer within the framework of
this study is one that rebuys, repartronize, and have declared allegiance to their mobile phone service
providers both in terms of behavioral and attitudinal even in the presence of competing alternative
providers. In the observation of Jahanzeb, Fatima & Khan (2011) there are evidences from research to
prove that customers who exhibit loyalty not only reduce the marketing costs of doing business but also,
lessen the need to incur customer acquisition costs. It is in their opinion that it is possible to increase
organizational profits by 60 per cent by averting potential migration of 5 per cent. This position was further
strengthened by Dithan (2011) who is of the view that transforming indifferent customers into loyal ones,
and establishing a long term relationship with them is critical to organizational success. In other words, a
viable measure of organizational performance can be in terms of its ability to retain existing customers at a
faster rate, against the acquisition of new ones. Similarly, if anything truthful is to be drawn from the
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observation by Shoemaker and Lewis (1999) then repeat or behaviorally loyal customers will also act as
information channels in addition to informally linking networks of friends, relatives and other potential
customers to the organization. Thus, since the development and sustenance of a viable customer loyalty
base has been highlighted as a critical organizational success factor, researchers and industry leaders
have consistently tried to unravel the mysteries that surround some of its important antecedents. In this
study, our attention shall be principally focused on brand trust.
2.3. Brand Trust and Customer Loyalty
By relating trust to the concept of loyalty among customers, Dithan (2011) suggest that a high level of
trust may turn a satisfied customer to be loyal which implies that companies can secure customer loyalty
through the indirect influence of customer satisfaction by concentrating on the mediating power of trust. As
suggested by them, customers will be loyal to telecom companies if they trust that such provider will meet
up with their needs in addition to delivering on promises made, and will likely switch from one service
provider to another in search of trustworthiness. Results from earlier studies for instance Berry (2002)
stressed that in telecom services, trust is the basis for loyalty, and that the biggest cause of failure to retain
customers and make them loyal is the lack of trust.
Empirically, Zhang & Feng (2009) in their attempt to determine the mediating nature of customer
satisfaction and trust in the relationship between some selected relationship marketing strategies on one
hand, and customer loyalty among Swedish mobile subscribers on the other, employed the use of internet
survey to sample the opinion of 101 randomly selected students of Halmstad University. A multivariate
regression analysis was performed and it was discovered that relationship marketing tactics: service
quality, price perception, and value offers all have a positive and significant impact with customer loyalty
through the mediating power of customer satisfaction and trust. This implies that these relationship
marketing tactics might be used to increase customer loyalty indirectly, through the mediating power of
customer satisfaction and trust. Nonetheless, their research was however, characterized by three major
limitations: the total number of 101 responses generated out of 700 targeted subjects and a consequent
response rate of 14 .4% which is too low, the consequent margin of error of 10% that results from a total
student’s population of 7000 which is quite high, and the non- generalizability of the research to the whole
Swedish population of mobile subscribers due to the fact that only the students of a particular university
were considered.
Similarly, Dithan (2011) conducted a study to demonstrate the effect of some relationship marketing
orientation on the loyalty of subscribers to selected telecommunication companies in Uganda. They
conveniently selected 400 subscribers whose opinion was sampled on relationship marketing orientations:
trust, commitment, communication, reciprocity, satisfaction and their willingness to stay loyal to their
respective providers, through a self administered structured questionnaire. The Pearson product moment
correlation and the multiple regression analysis were adopted as tools of statistical analysis while the
results obtained indicates that the combination of all relationship marketing orientation considered, have a
significant and positive relationship with customer loyalty.
Another study by Sarwar, Abbas, & Parvais (2012) designed, to clarify the relationship between
customer trust on customer loyalty and retention, in addition to the moderating role of cause related
marketing in such relationship was focused on the cellular services industry of Pakistan. Primary data were
collated from 150 university students via personally administered questionnaire. Further, the result from
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the Pearson correlation analysis indicates that both customer trust and cause related marketing have
significant relationship with customer loyalty. Other results from a linear regression model revealed that
while brand trust has a significant effect on customer loyalty, such effect is however moderated by cause
related marketing. This indicates that in securing customer loyalty from the view point of customer trust,
telecommunication companies must equally focus on improving cause related marketing activities in the
form of corporate social responsibility endeavors, and other related social welfare packages. These are
findings from other environment being characterized by different social, cultural and economic
phenomenon and it is yet to be decided if such will be the case in the Nigerian mobile telecom industry
hence the formulation of this first hypothesis
Hypothesis (1) there is a significant relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty among
subscribers in the Nigeria mobile telecommunication industry
2.4. Demographical Variables
According to Kotler & Keller (2009) there are two reasons for popularity of demographic variables as a
means of distinguishing among customer groups. First, consumer’s needs, wants, usage rates, and
product and brand preferences are often associated with demographic variables; second, demographic
variables are easier to measure. They stated that even when the target market is described in non
demographic terms, the link back to demographic characteristics is needed to estimate the size of the
market and the media that should be used to reach out to them. Some of the important demographic
characteristics that have been identified by Melnyk, Van Osselaer and Bijmolt (2008) are gender, lifestyle,
age, income level, educational status, generation and social class. In this study we shall concentrate on
gender, age group and income level with a view to determine if they have any moderating influence in the
relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty.
2.4.1. Brand Trust and Customer Loyalty (Gender as a Moderator)
As observed by Fisher and Dubé (2005) academic research has discovered important differences in
cognitive processes and behavior of male and female consumers. These differences are reflected in the
widespread use of gender as a segmentation variable in marketing practice (Melnyk, Van Osselaer and
Bijmolt, 2008). Their argument was built upon the crust that if male and female loyalties differ, men and
women might require a different selling approach, has different levels of customer value, and may respond
differently to loyalty programs and other actions aimed at enhancing customer loyalty. By following this line
of reasoning, it is arguable to give a concession that gender difference might be having a moderating role
in any relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty since brand trust as a construct, has been
shown to represent a core attribute when the objective is building a robust customer loyalty enhancement
programs.
Drawing inference from the theory of gender difference: interdependence versus independence, Cross
and Madson (1997a) argued that females are more interdependent than males. Based on their
observations, they strive to feel connected to other people, while at the same time, having interrelatedness
with society, social relationships, and social groups, which acts as a more important part of their identity
than it is for men. According to this theory, women focus on maintaining relationships as against the men
who sees themselves as more independent, are more individualistic, and strive for uniqueness and
individuality. To men as against the women, the concerns of society, family members, or other people are
International Journal of Marketing Practices, 2016, 1(1): 1-23
7
secondary to the individual's (Cross and Madson, 1997a). According to them, these differences in self-
construal are the result of differences in socialization of males and females starting in early childhood.
Though, the argument put forward by Melnyk, Van Osselaer and Bijmolt (2008) indicates that this theory
does focus directly on customer loyalty, they however admitted that it can be used to inspire different
predictions about customer loyalty. Their argument was based on two major observations (1) since the
theory is of the opinion that females are more interdependent than males, then, they are more likely to be
loyal customers. (2) If women tend to strive more for establishing and maintaining relationships to people
and social contexts, then they may do the same for relationships for example, with service personnel and
companies. Empirically, the results from Stan (2015) is absolutely in support of this school of thought by
showing that women are more in possession of a significant level of store loyalty than men.
Contrastingly, Baumeister and Sommer (1997) theory of relational versus collective interdependence
suggests that while the female consumers may be more loyal than male, such conclusion can only be
made depending on the object of loyalty. It pointed that the former are more likely to focus narrowly on
dyadic bond while the later will tend to focus more on a broader social structure (group). Put in another
way, females are more likely to be loyal to individual employees or sales personnel in a company while
males will tend to be more loyal to companies, which may be construed as more group-like (Melnyk, Van
Osselaer and Bijmolt, 2008). Thus, if inferences must be drawn from this, it can be presumed that males
will be more loyal to telecom companies as a result of the brand image associated with such company
while females will be more loyal to individual employees in the company. Nonetheless, this position differs
from the opinion of Musikawa (2011) who pointed that female customers are more inclined to maintain a
relationship with a company to avoid the emotional difficulty of switching to another company while males
are less interested in this relationship but more interested in the best offer.
Regarding gender differences as it effects on the relationship between consumer loyalty and its
antecedents, few researches have been conducted in marketing literature and the results are mixed (Stan,
2015). While the study by Mittal and Kamakura (2001) clearly shows that gender difference has a
moderating influence on the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty with
customer satisfaction performing a more important role as a driver for men than for women, other studies
for example, Helgesen & Nesset (2010) and Frank, Enkawa, & Schvaneveldt (2014) failed to uncover any
significant moderating influence of gender in this relationship. Though, the result from Frank et al. (2014)
indicates that perceived value has a weaker effect on repurchase intent for women than for men while
brand image strongly influences repurchase intent for women than for men, the later study by Stan (2015)
contradicts this by showing that gender difference cannot be used as a buffer in these relationships.
Nevertheless, since brand image is likely to lead to a perception of trust among consumers (Aaker, 1996),
With the later, being highlighted as a precursor to customer loyalty, a notable research question will be if
gender difference will have any moderating impact in a research model, consisting of brand trust as an
independent variable and customer loyalty as a dependent variable which leads us to the formulation of
this hypothesis.
Hypothesis (2) gender difference will act as a moderator in the relationship between brand trust and
customer loyalty among subscribers in the Nigerian mobile telecommunication industry.
International Journal of Marketing Practices, 2016, 1(1): 1-23
8
2.4.2. Brand Trust and Customer Loyalty (Age as a Moderator)
Mittal and Kamakura (2001) are of the opinion that customer characteristics such as age have a great
impact on the level of customer retention. By lending credence to this position, Saad, Ishak and Johari
(2013) declares that age allows marketers to determine how want and needs changes as an individual
matures. Furthermore, the submission by Hansman and Schutjens (1993) indicates that age is a strong
predictor of changes in attitudes and behaviors including those that are incline towards products/services
loyalty. According to Yoon (2002) theoretically, it is safe to conclude that older consumers will exhibit more
loyalty than their counterparts who are younger. Their argument was based on two reasons: older
consumers are more interested in familiar brands; they will tend to remain loyal to brands that are closer to
their environment as a result of less mobility in later life. Other researchers for instance Saad et al. (2013)
also lend credence to this line of reasoning by declaring that older consumers are more conservative and
less willing to try new brands.
Empirically, the study by Uncles and Ehrenberg (1990) among fast moving consumer goods customers
in the United States found that there is no significant difference in brand loyalty among the customers while
another study by Wood (2004) in Australia discovered a significant difference in the loyalty of younger
consumers between 18 and 24 years old across all product categories. Contrastingly, the research by
Matzler, Grabner-Kräuter, & Bidmon (2006) among the customers of product categories that ranges from
mobile phones, sunglasses, running shoes, and blue jeans in two Austrian cities uncovered that the age of
these customers does not have any significant influence on the relationship between brand trust and
customer loyalty while a later similar study in Iran by Hanzaee and Andervazh (2012) among three
hundred and fifty (350) Iranian shoppers also revealed that this relationship is not moderated by age
differences. Put in another way, while some of these empirically supported findings are of the view that
companies must lay emphasis on age differences when the objective is improving customer loyalty from
the viewpoint of brand trust, others are of the opinion that such action is not necessary in that it might lead
to an un-necessary wastage of marketing resources. To subject these positions to further testing, we
equally propose this third hypothesis.
Hypothesis (3) age difference will act as a moderator in the relationship between brand trust and
customer loyalty among subscribers in the Nigerian mobile telecommunication industry.
2.4.3. Brand Trust and Customer Loyalty (Income Level as a Moderator)
According to Saad, Ishak and Johari (2013) income segmentation is a popular demographic variable
utilized by a myriad of product and service marketers in that it allows businesses with target markets that
cross income levels to promote different products and services to the dissimilar income groups. This can
be seen in businesses such as Airline and Hotels where different categories of services are offered at
different prices to different customers according to their income level. As argued by East, Harris, &
Hammond (1995) research indicates that shoppers who are more price sensitive are less loyal, which
indicates that customers in high income groups are more likely to be more loyal than those in lower income
groups. Monroe and Petroshius (1981) conceptualize price consciousness as individual differing
reluctance to pay for additional or distinguishing features of a product if the price difference is too large
while Miyazaki, Anthony, Sprott, & Kenneth (2000) define price consciousness as individual difference
variable reflecting the enduring motivation to consider unit price information. Since it can be theoretically
argued that consumers who are of higher price sensitivity are more likely to be those in the lower income
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9
group, then it is equally arguable that these group of customers will exhibit lower brand loyalty than their
counterpart in a higher income group. This position can be attributed to two major reasons: (1) highly price-
conscious consumers express lower perceptions of offer value and higher price information search
intentions (Alford and Biswas, 2002), (2) the consumers level of price consciousness influences the
propensity to search for prices (Urbany, Dickson and Kalapurakal, 1996). All of which influences the
tendency for consumer brand switching in the face of lower price offering from other firms.
Furthermore, the research by Gan, Maysami, & Koh (2006) provided an empirically supported
evidence that people in higher income category have a tendency to be more loyal to credit card service
provider than those who earns lower income while Choi and DeVaney (1995) found income level to be
insignificant in the determination of those customers who are likely to be more loyal to a brand. While the
above findings are conflicting in nature and thus, remain inconclusive, it might be reasonable to subject the
issues raised to further empirical testing whose results will serve as a means by which they (the findings)
can either be accepted or refuted hence we formulate this fourth hypothesis.
Hypothesis (4) income level will act as a moderator in the relationship between brand trust and
customer loyalty among subscribers in the Nigerian mobile telecommunication industry.
3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1. Research Approach/ Participants/Sampling Technique/Sampling Size
Based on the submission by Zigmund (2005) which pointed the cross-sectional survey design as a
research design which deals with eliciting responses from respondents through the survey method at a
particular point in time, this particular research adopts this research approach as it is aimed at collecting
responses on the perception of brand trust and brand loyalty among the subscribers of mobile
telecommunication companies in the environment investigated. The populations of the study are the
subscribers of Mobile telecommunication companies in Kano. The study examined the eight local
government areas within Kano metropolis. It focuses on the subscribers of mobile telecommunication
companies that are working or resident in these local government areas. Unfortunately, due to the nature
of mobile telecommunication network which allows subscribers to move freely with their mobile phones
from one geographical location to the other, it was impossible to get the correct figure of subscribers that
are presently residing in these eight local governments from the offices of the companies under
consideration hence an estimation of this figure was made by utilizing the statistics on average mobile
phone ownership in major cities of Nigeria. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (2013) over 90%
of the population in major cities of Nigeria has access to mobile phone. As such, the total population of the
subscribers in focus is twenty five million, four hundred fifty nine thousand and seventy three (2545973)
and its calculated on the basis of 90% of the total population of the eight local government areas,
aforementioned. The populations of these eight local governments according to a report by National
Population Commission (2006) are as follows: Kano municipal 365,525 x 90% = 328,972 Tarauni
221,367 x 90% = 199230 Fagge 198,828 x 90%= 178945 Nassarawa 596,669 x 90% = 537002 Gwale
362,059 x 90%= 325853 Dala - 418,777 x 90% = 376899 Kumbotso 295,979 x 90%= 266381
Ungongo- 369,657 x 90% =332692. They also agreed that the city is one of the most populated cities in
Nigeria and thus, have a cosmopolitan nature that represents all ethnic groups and tribes in the country
thereby having the capability of providing a representative sample for major cities, tribes, and ethnic
groups in the country.
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Based on Krejcie and Morgan (1970) work on estimation on sample size, which has been adopted by
the universal accreditation board (2003) a total sample size of three hundred and seventy four (384) was
arrived at from the total research population highlighted above. Further, the sampling procedure involves
clustering the geographical boundary of Kano metropolis and its surrounding environ into eight primary
sampling units: Kano municipal, Tarauni, Gwale, Dala, Nassarawa, Fagge, Ungongo and Kumbotso.
Cluster sampling is most appropriate when the objective is to investigate a large number of research
elements that are scattered across a wide range of geographical location while operating in an atmosphere
of financial constraint, and there is a need to retain the characteristic of probability sampling (Zigmund,
2005). Second, the determination of sample size from each cluster was carried out with the aid of
proportional sampling technique. The proportional sampling is such that the items selected for the sample
from clusters reflects the proportion of the cluster in the population (Zigmund, 2005). This is done to
ensure that subscriber in each local government are proportionally represented according to the population
strength of the local governments. Finally, the primary sampling units were picked by adopting the
convenience sampling technique.
3.2. The Measures
As the questionnaire is the chief data collection tool in this study, it is essential that the questions are
appropriate to what the study is intending to achieve. For such provision the questionnaire adopted in this
study was divided into two parts.
Section A: contains 6 questions that measures demographic characteristics of respondents.
i. Sex/gender in the categories of male/female
ii. Marital status in the categories of married/single/divorced
iii. Respondents were asked to indicate their age.
iv. Level of education in the categories of SSCE, OND, HND/BSC, and Post graduate.
v. Respondent’s occupation in the categories of civil servant, business, student, private sector
employer and unemployed.
vi. Respondent’s income level was asked on a range of less than 15 thousand naira, 16-31 thousand
naira, 32-47 thousand naira, and 48 thousand naira above.
Section B: consists of the main variables that were earlier highlighted: brand trust brand loyalty.
First, brand trust, made up of eight items from the work of Sharma & Peterson (2000) was utilized after
necessary readjustment for suitability to the Nigerian environment. These instruments were designed to
measure such attributes as customer’s level of risk perception, beliefs in the consistency of service
providers, employee’s fairness, and in addition, company’s sincerity and honesty. To measure the loyalty
exhibited by customers in the study, (eight) items from the original work ofLam, Shanker, Eramilli & Murphy
(2004); Morgan and Hunt (1994); and Zeithaml (1988) was adopted and readjusted for local suitability.
These items are designed to suit the need of the two major dimensions of loyalty namely attitudinal and
behavioral loyalty. It measures the extent, to which respondents are willing to spread positive words of
mouth about a brand both in the present and in the future, their tendency to stick with a brand even in the
face of more competitive offers from rival brands, and their willingness to continue using the brand for a
long period of time. all items were presented in a form through which respondents are expected to respond
by showing their degree of agreement or disagreement on a five point Likert scale which range from (1)
International Journal of Marketing Practices, 2016, 1(1): 1-23
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strongly disagree (2) disagree (3) undecided (4) agree (5) strongly disagree. This range holds if the
statements are in positive form and it is reversed if it is a negative form.
3.3. Reliability
Reliability of a study or research is necessary to minimize errors, biases and to overcome copy of
another research (Yin, 1994). The objective of reliability is to make a study in a way that if someone else
makes the same research, under the same situation, then he/she will find the same results. Zigmund
(2005) further maintained that it is the degree of obtaining a consistency across different measures of the
same test and the degree to which measures are free from errors and therefore yield consistent results.
Hence the researcher conducted a pilot administration of all instruments on fifty (50) mobile phone users in
neighboring identical local government after which unclear questions were duly rephrased and restructured
to be in line with their comments and suggestions. In addition, Cronbach alpha was used to measure the
internal consistency of the items after administration on respondents.
3.4. Validity
Validity means “Does the research focuses on what it is meant to”? (Oulton, 1995). According to
Walonick (2005) validity refers to the accuracy or truthfulness of a measurement or the extent to which a
test measures what it is purported to measure. in his opinion, there are no statistical tests to measure
validity in that all assessment of validity are subjective opinion based on the judgments of the researcher
and other experts in the field. As such, all the instruments utilized in the study were adopted from the work
of experts and researchers in the areas under focus.
3.5. Methods of Data Analysis
After the retrieval of the questionnaires from the respondents, they were appropriately edited, coded,
and serially numbered for statistical analysis. The researcher employed the use of both descriptive and
inferential statistics in the processing of data collected. Descriptive statistics is statistics such as the
frequency distribution, mean, median and the standard deviation, which provide descriptive information on
a set of data (Sekaran, 2008). Such analysis was employed in the processing of section (A) of the
questionnaire which deals with demographic characteristics of the respondents. The type of analysis that
was used in the processing of section B of the questionnaire, which deals with the relationship between
brand trust and customer loyalty was the inferential analysis. Specifically, Pearson product moment
correlation was used in determining the strength of association between the main variables while the linear
regression analysis and the moderated regression analysis were adopted to determine the predicting
power of the independent variable on the dependent variable, and the interaction effect of the highlighted
demographic characteristics in the relationship between the two main variables respectively. All data
processing was carried out by using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) 20th edition.
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Figure-3.1. Conceptual Framework
Source: Author
In the conceptual framework in fig 3.1 above, the proposed hypothetical model for the research is
displayed. According to the table, there is a significant relationship between brand trust and customer
loyalty. However, such relationship is moderated by the highlighted demographical variables: gender, age
and income level.
4. FINDINGS
4.1. Summary of Research Questionnaire Distributed
Of the total 384 copies of questionnaire administered to respondents, only 380 copies were returned.
From the returned copies, 4 copies were found to be badly filled and incomplete thereby rendering them
unusable leaving a total usable copies to 376 which were consequently employed in statistical analysis.
4.2. Demographic Characteristics of Respondents
The demographic characteristics of respondents were classified based on gender, age group, income
level, educational level, occupation and marital status. Based on the analysis conducted, it was found that
204 or 52.3% of the respondents were male while 186 or 47.7% of the respondents were female. In
addition, 177 or 45.4% of respondents are single, 210 or 53.8% are married, while 3 or 0.8% are divorced.
Also, 94 or 24.1% of the respondents are between 15-25 years, 202 or 51.8% are between 26-36 years,
66 or 16.9% are between 37-47 years while 28 or 7.2% are 48 years and above. Furthermore, 173 or
44.4% of the respondents are civil servants, 13 or 3.3% of the respondents are self employed, while 108 or
27.7% are students. Also, 84 or 21.5% are employed by the private sector while 12 or 3.1% are
unemployed. As regards educational qualification, 50 or 12.8% of the respondents have the Senior School
Certificate (SSCE qualification), 77 or 19.7% have the Ordinary National Diploma (OND certificate), 172 or
44.1% have the Higher National Diploma or Bachelor Degree, while 91 or 23.3% have post graduate
qualifications. Finally, 99 or 25.4% earns less than N15,000, 89 or 22.8% earns between N16,000-
N31,000, 55 or 14.1% earns between N32,000-N47,000, while 147 or 37.7% earns N48,000 and above.
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4.3. Construct Reliability
In order to verify the construct reliability of each latent variable that was used, Cronbach’s α was
employed in this regard. As shown in the table below, the values for the two main variables meets the
reliability threshold of α > 0.75 as suggested by Tenenhaus, Vinzi, Chatelin, & Lauro (2005).
Table-4.1. The Reliability Coefficient of Main Variables
Cronbach Alpha
No of items
Trust
.820
8
Customer Loyalty
.858
8
Source: Field Survey, 2014
4.4. Descriptive Analysis
Table-4.2.Descriptive Statistics of Brand Trust
Items
N
Minimum
Maximum
Mean
Standard Deviation
The staff of my main service
provider are quite knowledgeable
about their products and services
376
1.00
5.00
3.6356
1.03934
This telecom company is consistent
in providing quality service
376
1.00
5.00
3.4016
1.06878
I perceive very little risk when
dealing with this company
376
1.00
5.00
3.2261
1.13347
The staff of this telecom company is
prepared to be asked questions on
what is not being done right
376
1.00
5.00
3.5053
1.03278
If I share my problems with staff in
this telecom company, I know they
would respond with care
376
1.00
5.00
3.6356
1.02902
The staff in the company are fair and
just in their dealings with customers
376
1.00
5.00
3.6011
1.03042
I am delighted to do business with
this company because of its sincerity
and honesty.
376
1.00
5.00
3.3803
1.06410
Overall, whenever my main service
provider makes a promise it always
delivers on such promise.
376
1.00
5.00
3.3856
1.05714
Mean Average: 3.4714
Table 4.2 above presents the results on the descriptive statistics of brand trust as perceived by
respondents in this study. According to the table, the mean average score for respondents in the construct
is 3.4714; the minimum mean score for items is 3.226, for item (3) while the maximum mean score is
3.6356 and for both items (1) and (5). This indicates that the respondents are moderately high in
perception of trust towards their telecom providers.
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Table-4.3.Descriptive Statistics of Customer Loyalty
S/N
Items
N
Minimum
Maximum
Mean
Standard Deviation
1
I will continue to do business
with this service provider for
a long time
376
1.00
5.00
3.635
6
1.03934
2
My service provider is the
best in the industry
376
1.00
5.00
3.401
6
1.06878
3
Even if the price charges of
another operator is lower; I
will go on using this provider.
376
1.00
5.00
3.226
1
1.13347
4
Even if there are more
attractive promotional offers
from rival telecom providers I
will choose to continue using
this provider
376
1.00
5.00
3.505
3
1.03278
5
I am willing to say positive
things about my main service
provider to other people
376
1.00
5.00
3.635
6
1.02902
6
I have said positive things
about the company to other
colleagues
376
1.00
5.00
3.601
1
1.03042
7
I have encouraged others to
patronize the company
376
1.00
5.00
3.380
3
1.06410
8
No matter what happened, I
am willing to continue using
this provider.
376
1.00
5.00
3.385
6
1.05714
Mean Average: 3.5242
Table 4.3 above presents the results on the descriptive statistics on customer loyalty as perceived by
respondents in this study. According to the table, the mean average score for respondents in the construct
is 3.5242; the minimum mean score for items is 3.2580, for item (3) while the maximum mean score is
3.7340 and for item (1). Hence this is an indication that the respondent in this study are equally high in
loyalty towards their telecom providers.
Similarly, to ensure that all items meet the assumption of normality they were subjected to these tests.
The results obtained indicates that both brand trust and customer loyalty has a skewness value of -.647
and -.518 respectively while a Kurtosis value of .824 and .368 were equally respectively obtained for these
two constructs.
4.5. Inferential Analysis
With inferential statistics, we are trying to reach conclusions that extend beyond the immediate data
alone (Dithan, 2011). In their opinion, this type of statistics is used to make judgments of the probability
that an observed difference between groups is a dependable one, or one that might have happened by
chance. Thus, we are using inferential statistics to make inferences from our data to a more general
condition.
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4.5.1. Pearson Correlation Analysis
First, person correlation was used to determine the strength of association between the construct of
brand trust and customer loyalty. The result obtained indicates that these two variables are significantly
associated with each other which imply that the initially proposed relationship can now be examined in a
more hypothetical manner through the linear regression model. Below is a table that shows the summary
of the coefficient of these two variables.
Table-4.4. Pearson Correlation of Variables
1
2
1 Brand Trust
1
Sig
N
2 Customer Loyalty
518**
1
Sig
000
N
376
376
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
In the opinion of Attar & Sweis (2010) value of Pearson correlation coefficient lying in the range of (0.1
0.29) suggest a small correlation. Value in the range of (0.3 & 0.49) suggest moderate correlation while
the coefficients between (0.5- 1) suggest high correlation. As indicated by the table above, the correlation
coefficient between brand trust and customer loyalty is .518, p = .000 (p<0.01). This implies that a
significant, high and positive association has been uncovered between these two variables. Furthermore, it
can be inferred from the table that about 26.8% of the variance in customer loyalty is associated with the
variance in brand trust. Put in another way, the subscribers who perceive that they can trust their providers
are those who exhibited a higher level of loyalty towards such providers.
4.5.2. Regression Analysis
In other to determine the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable, in addition to
the moderating influence of the demographical variables that were highlighted, a three step regression
analysis was carried out. the first step is a univariate analysis that focuses on the main effect of brand trust
on customer loyalty, the second step focuses on the individual effect of gender, age and income level on
customer loyalty, while the third step, is a multivariate analysis that focuses on the predicting power of the
independent variable, in conjunction with the proposed moderating variables, in a single regression model.
Below in table 4.5, 4.6.4.7, 4.8 and 4.9 are outputs that display the outcome of these analyses.
Table-4.5. Main Effect of Brand Trust on Customer Loyalty
Model
Unstandardized
Coefficient
Standardized
Coefficient
t
Sig
B
Std.Error
Beta
Constant
12.010
1.417
8.474
.000
1
TRUST
.583
.050
.518
11.716
.000
Dependent Variable: Customer Loyalty
R- Square: .268 F Statistics: 137.271
Adjusted R-Square: .268Significant F value 0.000
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The table in 4.5 above shows the regression output for the relationship between brand trust and
customer loyalty. According to the table, brand trust has a positive and significant impact on customer
loyalty at the 99% significant level with T statistics at 11.716, p=0.000 (p< 0.001) in addition, with a
standardized beta value of .518 that was uncovered, it can be projected that for every unit or 100%
increase in brand trust among mobile phone services subscribers, an increase of .518 or 51.8% increase
in customer loyalty can be projected by telecom companies. Hence hypothesis (one) which states that
there is a significant relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty is accepted.
Table-4.6. Interaction Effect of Gender
Model
Unstandardized
Coefficient
Standardized
Coefficient
t
Sig
B
Std.Error
Beta
Constant
27.470
1.049
26.186
.000
1
TRUST
.540
.672
.041
.803
.422
Dependent Variable: Customer Loyalty
R-Square: .002 F-Statistics.645
Adjusted R-Square -.001 Significant F-Value.422
The table in 4.6 above shows a summary analysis of the relationship between gender and customer
loyalty. As evidenced by the table, there exist an insignificant relationship between gender and customer
loyalty with T statistics at .803, p=.422 (p>0.001). In addition, the model has a beta coefficient of .041
which implies that a unit change from male to female will only lead to an insignificant increase of .041 or
4.1% in customer loyalty. Hence the second hypothesis which says that gender is a moderator in the
relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty can be partially rejected.
Table-4.7. Interaction Effect of Age
Model
Unstandardized
Coefficient
Standardized
Coefficient
t
Sig
B
Std.Error
Beta
Constant
28.201
.892
31.621
.000
1
TRUST
. 033
.399
.004
.082
.935
Dependent Variable: Customer Loyalty
R-Square: .000 F-Statistics: .007
Adjusted R-Square: -.003 Significant F- Value: .935
The table in 4.7 above shows a summary analysis of the relationship between the age of respondents
and their tendency to exhibit loyalty towards their respective telecom providers. As evidenced by the table,
there exist an insignificant relationship between age and customer loyalty with T statistics at .082, p=.935
(p>0.001). In addition, a beta coefficient of .004 was uncovered which also implies that a unit increase in
the age of respondents will only lead to an insignificant increase of .004 or 0.4% in customer loyalty.
Hence the third hypothesis which says that age is a moderator in the relationship between brand trust and
customer loyalty can be partially rejected.
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Table-4.8. Interaction Effect of Income Level
Model
Unstandardized
Coefficient
Standardized
Coefficient
t
Sig
B
Std.Error
Beta
Constant
28.817
.797
36.157
.000
1
TRUST
-.208
.274
-.039
-.759
.448
Dependent Variable: Customer Loyalty
R-Square: .002 F-Statistics: .576
Adjusted R-Square: -.001 Significant F- Value: .448
The table in 4.8 above shows a summary analysis of the relationship between the income level of
respondents and the construct of customer loyalty. As evidenced by the table, there exist an insignificant
relationship between income level and customer loyalty with T statistics at -.759, p=.448 (p>0.001). In
addition, the beta coefficient of -.039 uncovered implies that a unit increase in respondent income will only
lead to an insignificant decrease of .039 or 3.9% in customer loyalty. Thus, we can partially reject the
fourth hypothesis which says that income level is a moderator in the relationship between brand trust and
customer loyalty.
Table-4.9. Individual Effect of Brand Trust, Demographic Variables, on Customer Loyalty
Model
Unstandardized
Coefficients
Standardized
Coefficients
t
Sig.
B
Std. Error
Beta
(Constant)
11.174
1.887
5.921
.000
1
TRUST
.588
.050
.522
11.791
.000
GENDER
.815
.581
.063
1.404
.161
AGE
.144
.392
.019
.367
.714
INCOME
-.299
.269
-.056
-1.110
.268
Dependent Variable: Customer Loyalty
R-Square: .275 F-Statistics: 35.248
Adjusted R-Square: .268 Significant F- Value: 0.000
Finally, the output from the multivariate analysis, showing the effect of brand trust on customer loyalty,
in addition to the effect of the three highlighted demographical variables is displayed in table 4.9.
According to the table, except for brand trust, which has a significant and positive relationship with
customer loyalty at a standardized beta coefficient of .518, the three other demographic variables included
in the regression model, seems not to be having any significant relationship with the later which leads us to
the confirmation of the deductions earlier put forward that these demographic variables does not have any
significant confounding power in the relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty. Put in another
way, hypotheses (2), (3) and (4) which respectively proposed that gender, age and income level are
moderators in the relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty are fully rejected. Thus, the
relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty is not dependent on any of gender, age and income
level.
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4.6. Discussion of Findings
The foundation of this research work is laid upon the formulation of four research hypotheses. After the
utilization of appropriate statistical tools, the first hypothesis, which proposes that there is a significant
relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty was accepted due to the significant and positive
relationship uncovered between these two constructs. Put in another way, it can be projected that a unit
increase in brand trust among the subscribers in this study will yield a corresponding increase of 0.518 or
51.1% in customer loyalty. Thus, if subscribers perceives that their service provider have always delivered
on its promises in the course of their relationship over the years, and they have never experienced
disappointment in such relationship, such perception might likely translate into a prolonged relationship
with the provider as against a switch to other providers whose intentions and future actions are yet to be
determined.
This finding is absolutely in line with the submission by Dithan (2011) which pointed that customers will
be loyal to organizational products/services, if they are of the beliefs that the providers of these
products/services will meet their needs and provide what is promised unto them, prior to purchase, and will
equally switch from one product/service provider to another in search of trustworthiness. It is also in
tandem with Ruyter, Wetzel & Bloemer (1998) who are of the position that if partners in a relationship trust
each other more, they are more emotionally involved and less consciously weighing the benefits against
the costs of that relationship. Empirically, it shares the same view with the results from the study by
Sarwar, Abbas, & Parvais (2012) among mobile phone users in Pakistan which uncovered that 56% of the
variance in customer loyalty is accounted for, by these customers’ perception of trust towards their
respective service providers. Thus telecom companies who are consistent in sincerity and honesty in the
delivery of promises to their subscribers are likely to enjoy a superior and favorable loyalty from such
subscribers. On the contrary, if subscribers perceive that their service provider is not trustworthy, such
might lead to a search for an alternative provider that could be more trusted. What is more is that such
subscribers are likely to spread negative word of mouth regarding their experience to others. The
implication of these is a dwindled market share for the company, a significant reduction in its rate of return,
and consequently, company failure.
Furthermore, the second hypothesis which proposes that the gender group of respondents will act as a
moderator in the relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty was rejected due to the result
uncovered which indicates that the membership of a particular gender group (male or female) is not a
determinant in the uncovered relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty among the
respondents. Thus, while the perception of trust among them (respondents) will tend to have a positive
impact on their willingness to continue employing the use of organizational products/services, such
perception will not translate into a higher level of brand loyalty for either of the two gender groups,
highlighted in this study. This finding is in contrast with the report by Melnyk, Van Osselaer and Bijmolt
(2008) where it was posited that as a result of the interdependence of female customers, they are more
likely to exhibit higher level of loyalty in any relationship, including that, engaged in, with business
organizations.
Similarly, the third hypothesis which proposed that the age group of respondents is a significant
moderator in the relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty was rejected due to the
insignificant moderating influence that was uncovered for this demographic variable. This implies that
effect of brand trust on customer loyalty is constant across the subscribers regardless of their age group.
International Journal of Marketing Practices, 2016, 1(1): 1-23
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Thus, telecom companies can increase the level of commitment to organizational products/services among
subscribers by focusing on increasing brand trustworthiness, while at the same time, not using age as a
segmentation variable. The finding here is in coherence with the empirically supported results by Matzler,
Grabner-Kräuter, & Bidmon (2006) where an insignificant moderating effect was uncovered for customer’s
age group, in the relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty. Also, it is absolutely in line with a
similar study by Hanzaee and Andervazh (2012) where it was also revealed that this relationship is equally
not moderated by the age difference among the three hundred and fifty (350) Iranian shoppers,
considered.
Finally, the fourth hypothesis, which predicted that the income level of respondents will moderate the
relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty was equally rejected due to the insignificant
moderating influence of respondent’s income level that was uncovered for this relationship. In other words,
the relationship between brand trust and customer loyalty among respondents in a lower financial status is
not significantly different from that, uncovered among their counterparts in higher financial status.
5.1. Conclusion/Implication
Based on the findings from statistical analysis of data and the consequent discussion that ensured, the
following conclusion and implications are arrived at: the perception of trust among consumers of
organizational products/services (especially, telecommunication related products/services), is essential
when the objective is the enhancement of organizational based customer loyalty. Hence, telecom
companies can deter their subscribers from switching network by being consistent and truthful in any
promises made to them, prior to products/services purchase. Also, it can be concluded that the three
demographical variables identified in this study: gender, age and income level are not important factors of
consideration whenever the objective is increasing customer loyalty from the viewpoint of trust which
implies that the concept of market segmentation on the basis of these demographic characteristics is
irrelevant.
5.2. Recommendations
For the companies in the Nigerian telecommunication industry to attract customers, retain them,
and discourage churning behavior, these companies should continue to strengthen themselves on
the attribute of brand trust in that the inability to do this might lead to deterioration in this attribute
which might consequently lead to a significant drop in commitment from the subscribers, a
consequent drop in market share, and company failure.
Moreover, in the present Nigerian legal and business environment that is being characterized by
high level of uncertainty, customers are more likely to feel more vulnerable and thus, rely on
trusted brands in transacting businesses. The telecom companies can thus capitalize on this
opportunity by exhibiting those business actions that will distinguish them as a trusted brand. For
instance, the situation in this industry is such that subscribers are promised quality and
uninterrupted services at the point of subscription. However, due to periodical upgrading of
facilities and equipment, they are usually subjected to experience a drop in services quality as
against what was earlier promised to them. This could discourage the subscribers from exhibiting
the perception of trust towards these providers. Hence the later must strive to initiate programs
which will allow an efficient communication to the former during periods of service fluctuation,
International Journal of Marketing Practices, 2016, 1(1): 1-23
20
brought about as a result of facilities upgrading as being done in the more developed telecom
markets of Europe and America.
Furthermore, whenever the intention is to cultivate customer loyalty from the viewpoint of brand
trust, companies are advised to leave out the concept of gender, age and income level in their
segmentation programs. Put in another way, these three demographic variables are not to be used
as a basis of allocating marketing resources in the implementation of this highlighted marketing
activity.
5.3. Suggestions for Further Research
The following are some of the probable areas that might call for further investigation by potential
researchers in order to further broaden knowledge on the concepts under focus in this particular study.
As stated earlier in the methodology, this study employed convenience sampling technique in
picking its primary sampling units. hence in order to reduce the probable bias that might be
associated with this sampling technique, and thus provide a better platform through which findings
can be generalized to a larger population, it is suggested that potential researcher might increase
the sample size employed, while a more sophisticated sampling technique can also be utilized in
picking primary sample elements.
Furthermore, the respondents that constitute the research sample are wholly drawn from Kano
metropolitan areas hence the results uncovered are inconclusive. It is hereby suggested that future
researcher should do more justice by replicating the study in other cities of Nigeria so as to make a
comparative assessment with our findings.
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... This is similar to Sari and Yasa's (2019) findings, who concluded that customer trust has a mediating effect on the relationship between corporate image and customer loyalty. Examining the effect of brand trust on customer loyalty, Adewale and Bamidele (2016), in their study of telecoms subscribers in Nigeria, found that brand trust has a significant positive effect on customer loyalty. This is similar to the findings of Pasha and Waleed (2016), who found a significant positive effect of brand trust on loyalty in the Pakistani banking sector. ...
... Though, to decide the accurate marketing strategies according to the stimulating environment is challenging due to various elements that have influence on customer purchasing decisions. [1] it is thus vital for the companies to recognize the customer values and their major preferences regarding the desired product, for example the quality as opposed to price, stages of services that provided, brand loyalty and distribution channels. This study explores customer behavior in a definite market zone. ...
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