Background of the study This research outlines the factors that influenced smartphone brand preferences among students

Background of the study
This research outlines the factors that influenced smartphone brand preferences among students. In order to stand out in a competitive and innovative market, smartphone manufacturers have entered the market with diversification and reasonable prices. This study is mostly on university students since they are youthful and are frequent user of smartphones (Khan & Rohi, 2013). Brand preferences are closely connected to brand choices and can impact consumer buying decisions (Petruzzellis, 2010). There are various variables which influence brand preferences and these include brand popularity, price, product attributes, social influences and marketing communications (Tekin, 2016). This investigation explored these factors and discovered ways they could help marketers to enhance their competitive advantages.

Problem Statement
Smartphones are useful for communication and are more advantageous especially for university students. Smartphones are currently a need in their daily life. Because of the rapid development in technology, there is a short smartphone lifecycle which tremendously affects the marketers of their products (Henderson, 2012). Manufacturers are forced to upgrade the design of smartphones on a progressing basis. However, the rapid introduction of cheaper forms of smartphones has increased the rate of competition between companies in the mobile industry. The purpose of the study was to explore the factors that influenced brand preferences among students of university (Ndadziyira, 2017).

Significant of the study
The significant for the study was to provide new bits of knowledge for local marketers into which factor consumers consider the most when searching or making decision on phone brands. This will be a advantage to manufacturers while producing new version of smartphones, since it will encourage them to design smartphones which are customer-centric, thereby satisfying customer needs to the fullest.

Research Objectives
This research outlines following research objectives:
1. To determine the relationships between brand popularity and smartphone brand preferences.
2. To ascertain the influences of prices on student choices of smartphone brands.

Research Question
1. What is the factor that influences brand popularity on the purchasing of smartphones?
2. How does price of the smartphones affect student’s decision?

Expected Contribution
This research may help the marketers to increase their performances among the competitors. Marketers can use celebrities to support their brands, consequently making brand popularity, resulting in consumers’ preference for such well known brands as Iphone, Oppo, Samsung and Vivo.

Next, this research may awaken the marketers of the forms of socialisation active in focusing on certain population groups, since target markets have distinctive socialisation groups. The students of university respondents for this study were affected mostly by peers. When focusing such groups, marketers should relate in regarding age.

Moreover, manufacturers may produce smartphones with attractive brand images, because most of the student respondents for this study believe that the smartphone can represent their noble image in the public by the brands of mobile phone they have chosen.

Conclusion
In conclusion, the research objective of this paper are intended to investigate the factors that influencing brand preferences for smartphones among university students. This study can enable smartphone industry stakeholders to enhance their insight into factors though important and enabling them to improve on their brands, consequently increasing preferences for their products in the highly competitive smartphone market.

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