Markovian Application to Brand Switching Behaviour: A Survey of Toothpaste

Godwin I. Umoh, Hart O. Awa, Prince T. Ebitu


Every industry and economy is idiosyncratic especially in terms of what drives consumer loyalty and so, extrapolating knowledge may not always provide the right basis for competitive advantage. This paper borrows transition matrix as a forecasting instrument for determining the market environment in the future, and sets out to unveil the potential of Markov chains in sequencing family brand choice and in determining intensive transitional probabilities for toothpaste. Data were purposefully drawn from 785 students of universities of Abuja, Lagos, and Port Harcourt. The data generated were cast into a Markov matrix to permit meaningful observation of the households’ behaviour toward five brands of toothpaste. Further, the data were analyzed using multiple regressions and Pearson correlation co-efficient; and the findings showed that households exhibit AAAAA, AAAAB, and AAABC not because of trade deals, out-of-stock of favourites, and in-store stimuli; rather because of such product-delivery attributes as flavour and functionality, brand availability and awareness, and brand name and image. While the paper concludes that subjects exhibit brand loyalty based on brand’s selling points, the paper advised on creating corporate framework that allows for more strategic and perhaps tactical actions.

Key words: Markov chain, toothpaste, switching behaviour, brand loyalty.

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