Consumer has been proven to evaluate a product’s attributes and characteristics base on its country of origin (Johansson, Douglas, and Nonaka, 388). Fresh & White toothpaste is the brand of Southern Lion manufactured in Malaysia, which is formed under the joint venture between Lam Soon Corporation from Malaysia and the Lion Corporation from Japan. From this, I would deduce that Fresh & White toothpaste is of high quality. This is because Japanese products are commonly stereotyped as having superior quality.
Moreover, Japanese affiliates in Malaysia including Southern Lion itself regularly import in quality management system from Japan in updating and incorporating it into their own (Hamzar, and Ho 1993, 2). Therefore, it is reasonable for consumer to possess high level trust towards the quality of Fresh & White since it is deeply influenced by its Japanese partner. This further proves that country of origin is significant in influencing consumer perceptions towards a product’s quality (Bilkey and Nes, 89). Darlie is a toothpaste brand of the Hong Kong-based company, Hawley & Hazel which is currently being manufactured in China.
Based on this, I would infer that Darlie toothpaste possesses a low quality and safety standard. This is because of the popular stereotype towards China’s manufacturers of practicing unethical business behaviour in order to gain competitive edge. This may include the usage of cheaper raw material to gain dishonest revenue (Product safety 2007). Thus, consumer may generate negative prior perception towards Darlie toothpaste solely due to its manufactured location which may reduce their purchasing intention.
The right colour scheme could draw consumer’s attention and influence their product perception visually. Fresh & White toothpaste is using blue and white colour as its colour scheme. Based on this, I would deduce that blue colour represents the cool and refreshing experience gained in using this toothpaste. This is because blue can elicit a feeling of refreshing among individual (Fong 2011). As blue are closely associated to mint, a main ingredient in providing the pure fresh and icy cool feeling of the refreshing function of toothpaste.
For the colour white, I would infer that it represents the cleanliness, shinny, and brightness of teeth made possible by the toothpaste whitening function. White colour is often related to purity, simple and uncontaminated (Chapman 2010). For that reason, white is a prefect colour to demonstrate the capability of the toothpaste and indicate its assurance of hygienic and spotless sparkling teeth. Darlie toothpaste utilises green and yellow as their product’s colour scheme. I would deduce that the toothpaste is capable of providing a calming and soothing feel to the user’s teeth and gum.
This is because green colour is often related to the feeling of relaxing and comforting. Also, green colour is able to stimulate a positive response of calmness and relaxation within individual (Kaya and Helen 2004, 396). Thus, this may incite a positive imagination amongst consumers. For the colour yellow, I would infer that it arouses a cheerful and positive sensation towards the toothpaste. The yellow colour is frequently related with happiness and joyful emotion which can leads to the building of positive consumer mindset towards the toothpaste.
In addition, yellow will guide consumer in generating optimistic and inspiring thoughts (Smith 2011). 1. Contrast and compare your responses for each competing product. Overall, which product carries the most favourable associations and inferences, and why? In comparing between the brand name of Fresh & White Extra Cool Mint Toothpaste and Darlie Double Action toothpaste, Fresh & White toothpaste gives an impression of the user having fresh oral breath and glittering shinny teeth after using it which is clearly defined by the name itself.
This provides a clear indication to consumers of the product benefits. Darlie toothpaste has a blur indication of the name as the relation of “darkie” which translates to a dark skinned man may not be familiar to some consumer groups. Consumers may not be able to associate Darlie and “darkie” together so this shows that Darlie doesn’t has an apparent representation of the product benefits. A brand name that reflects the product advantages can be recalled much easily (Robertson 1993, 64).
Thus, Fresh & White evidently possesses a superior brand name as it implies the product benefits. In comparison of the brand symbol, Fresh & White uses a polar bear which gives consumers the thought of clean white teeth and fresh breath as polar bear is usually found within the freezing Artic Circle. Its white fur also implied a function of the toothpaste as a strong whitening agent for the teeth. Darlie uses a dark skinned man with a top hat as its brand symbol. It is much difficult to associate the connection between the product and the symbol.
However, an unanticipated or unusual stimulus such as this are much capable of drawing attention and stimulate elaboration which enhances consumer memory of the product if consumers are able to figure out the relation (Hoyer and Macinnis 2010, 179). The symbol does represent the benefit of the toothpaste indicating the whitening capability possessed by Darlie, given that consumers are able to relate to it. Overall, Fresh & White toothpaste symbol is more favourable compared to Darlie toothpaste as it is much easily associated.
In comparison of the packaging, Fresh & White toothpaste has a more attractive packaging in a way that it has a more complex design and shiny packaging that makes it more attractive to consumers and has a higher visibility in the store. Whereas Darlie packaging is focuses on a more classical and old fashioned look which may appeal lesser to the consumers. The shape, colour, and graphic element of a product can be designed to enhance its visibility in better attracting consumers’ attention (Asher 2010, 108). Therefore, Fresh & White possesses a superior packaging compared to Darlie.
Another comparison between these two products is that Fresh & White toothpaste cap design is much convenient to the consumers where it is easily opened and closed by utilizing a pulling and pushing motion. Whereas, Darlie toothpaste cap is designed as a spiral shaped cap which requires a turning motion to open and close it which is more time consuming. Thus, this shows that Fresh & White toothpaste possesses a more favourable design feature as compared to Darlie toothpaste. An additional comparison between the two products is the country of origin.
Fresh & White is co-produced by companies from Lam Soon (Malaysia) and Lion Corpration (Japan), which enhances consumers’ perception towards the quality because generally consumers assume that Japanese products possesses superior quality. Darlie is originated from Hong Kong and being manufactured in China where it creates the consumer perception of having a lower quality. Generally, consumer perception of Chinese manufactured goods are inferior in both quality and safety standard as compared to other country.
As stated by Dzever and Quester (1999, 165-166), all of these will alter consumer’s future purchasing decision as it is influenced by quality and product’s country of origin. Therefore, Fresh & White carries a more favourable association than Darlie in terms of country of origin. Fresh & White uses a blue and white as their product’s colour scheme whereas Darlie utilises green and yellow colour. Blue colour signifies a refreshing oral breath while white colour implied the cleanliness and brightness to the user teeth.
Green colour elicits a calming and comforting feel whereas yellow colour represents an optimistic and joyful feeling. Darlie shows a more favourable association as green and yellow possesses greater attracting power. This is because the combination of green and yellow colours are considered to be harmonious and possesses more attracting power because they look similar and are closely related to each other (Color Matter 2011). All and all, Fresh & White Extra Cool Mint toothpaste carries more favorable associations and inferences as compared to Darlie Double Action toothpaste.
Fresh & White produces much favourable association and inference in terms of brand name. As stated by Hoyer and Macinnis (2010, 95), “associations vary in their salience, or how easily they come to mind”. It is much easier to relate and characterize the toothpaste’s benefits with a name like Fresh & White, representing its ability to provide refreshing and white teeth, rather than Darlie, which consumer may find it complicated to associate it with the stereotype of “Darkie”, African descendent of having whither teeth due to their dark skin contrast.
Fresh & White produces much favourable association and inference in terms of brand symbol. The reasons are the same as stated in the brand name section. The symbol for Fresh & White is a white polar bear which can be easily related to the product benefit while Darlie usage of African man wearing a top hat doesn’t provide consumer with a direct insight of the products attributes and features. Fresh & White produces much favourable association and inference in terms of packaging.
The packaging of Fresh & White toothpaste is modern and contemporary looking as compared to Darlie which uses a design that feels outdated and looks seemingly classic look. Fresh & White packaging has a much greater attracting power due to its packaging design. Fresh & White produces a much favourable association and inference in terms of the toothpaste cap design as it utilizes a pushing/pulling motion to open/close the cap whereas Darlie cap require a more time consuming turning motion to open/close its cap. Fresh & White produces much favourable association and inference in terms of country of origin.
Fresh & white is a Malaysian/Japanese brand manufactured in Malaysia which gives the impression that it has superior quality due to its Japanese origin as compared to Darlie toothpaste which is a Hong Kong based product manufactured in China. China manufactured products are perceived negatively due to its low quality and safety standard. In terms of colour scheme, Darlie shows a more favourable association and inferences as compared to Fresh & White. As green and yellow colour possesses a stronger attention getting capabilities due to it’s closely resemblance of each other.