Master of Business Administration
Faculty / School
School of Business Studies (SBS)
Syed Akhtar Mahmud
Project Coordinator (External)
Mr. Anas Mehmood
Committee Member 1
Syed Akhtar Mahmud, Visiting Faculty, Business Administration – Academic Affairs, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi
MBA Research Project
Abstract / Summary
The study has been conducted in collaboration with Reckitt and Institute of Business Administration, Karachi (IBA). The study focused on the brand Cherry Blossom and the overall shoe care industry of Pakistan.
- The main problem statement the research aimed to focus on was Cherry Blossom saw a major decline in sales of shoe care across Pakistan during the Covid-19 pandemic and how that could be addressed.
- The study also explored the factors impacting consumers’ purchase intention for shoe polish, impact of the pandemic on the long-term consumption of shoe care and how to address seasonal demand fluctuations for Cherry Blossom.
- Our primary research pointed out that the fall in consumption of Cherry Blossom was directly related to the lockdowns across the country as offices and schools closed due to the pandemic, and that there was no additional issue that had risen to impact sales.
- Findings also indicated that the sales of Cherry Blossom should fall back to their previous trend as lockdown restrictions lift across the country and normal work and school routine ensue.
- The study comprises of qualitative and quantitative sections. For the qualitative study we explored existing literature, conducted interviews and a retailer analysis. For the quantitative segment, we distributed a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire adopted from a published research model.
- Brand recall was highest for Cherry Blossom and the brand is associated with high quality in consumers’ minds. However, if Cherry Blossom was unavailable, they were willing to purchase other available brands indicating strong competition in the market.
- From the qualitative study we found the shoe polish is a low involvement product in Pakistan. Price and Quality were found to be the two most important factors for homemakers while Quality, Availability and Ease of Application were priority factors for employees. Meanwhile the retailers looked at the category from multiple fronts such as product offtake and shelf life, credit period, stock availability and delivery lead time, brand strength, discounts, margins, and customer recall.
- Cherry Blossom was generally purchased by parents initially and then their children continued using it over the years.
- The brand is associated with higher price; however, this is in parallel to the brand perception of high quality. The price differential between competing brands is also not large.
- While performing retail audit it was observed in most stores that shoe care range was placed with other household cleaning supplies like mosquito repellents, sprays, and brushes. Cherry Blossom was found to be in all stores, but it lacks a wider range as compared to competing brands. The brand also does not stand out in terms of promotions or packaging.
- In the quantitative study we investigated the factors that impacted the consumers purchase intentions when purchasing shoe polish brands in Pakistan. The quantitative analysis shows that the model holds true for our study since the significant relationship was found between all the variables.
- We can conclude that perceived price, perceived quality, trust, brand image and perceived value all are major factors that impact the consumer purchase intension in Pakistan.
- Our recommendations considering above insights included an expansion in the product portfolio of Cherry Blossom for color range and polish type, as well as other categories like odor control.
- To maintain the quality perception and keep the brand at top of the mind, a marketing and advertising campaign has been proposed centered around quality, promotion, and legacy of the product with the tagline, ‘Mayaar jisper Abu ka bhi bharosa’.
Azhar, M., Uddin, M. G., Khan, M. R., Ur Rehman, M. S., Ahmed, M., & Zahid, S. (2022). Cherry blossom: insights into shoe polish consumption in Pakistan (Unpublished graduate research project). Institute of Business Administration, Pakistan. Retrieved from https://ir.iba.edu.pk/research-projects-mba/244
Available for download on Monday, July 19, 2027
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