The paper focuses on attitudes and behavior on the concept of the youth’s buying
behavior towards branded sports shoes, different consumers have got different decision
making process. The buyer’s ultimate goal is to buy the product of qualitative,
quantitative with low/best affordable price. In order to identify different kinds of
consumer’s behavior towards buying of different branded shoes and Nike sports shoe. I
have carried out buying behavior of youth and different kind of consumer behavior
models, literature and theory of consumer behavior; finally, I analyzed and concluded
with research based on questionnaire of Nike shoes and case studies of Nike sports shoes
at Halmstad University.
1. INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
Why studying youth buying behaviour?
Youth is perhaps the most difficult demographic group to communicate with. Not only
they have a short attention span, they are also elusive in media consumption, fickle in
brand preference, and simply challenging to engage and entertain. Marketers spend
millions in marketing research every year trying to predict, or anticipate, changing youth
behaviours. With the continually proliferating choices of sports shoe, not only does this
group embrace technology at an early age, it quickly becomes the early adopters of all
new trends and convergent platforms. One can argue that whatever youth does today
foreshadows what older demographic groups will adopt in the near future. All this makes
it extremely difficult to understand and target their behaviours.
Consumer has been elated with the kind of reception; they are getting from various
companies these days. The reason behind a drastic change in consumer behavior is
because the consumer is no more treated as a hire purchaser but, he is treated as the
decider of the company’s fortune. Companies or marketers cannot hire any fortuneteller
to guess the consumer’s attitude. Guessing or measuring the consumers attitude is not a
cake walk but this is because predicting consumers attitude is as tough as predicting
consumer’s mind (Bheri, 2004).
Consumers are continuously choosing among the various products though they are not
aware of the products and usage, even though they are intentionally purchasing the
various new brands without any knowledge about the new products, furthermore if new
company enters into the market, for every consumer it is very difficult to understand the
features of the news products and this makes confusion among the consumers to obtain
the information. For example: If one local company enters into the market then to gain
the knowledge about the features of the new product, it will take long time for the
consumers to understand (Nelson, 1970).
The term ‘consumer’ can be described as a person who acquires goods and services for
self satisfaction and his often used to describe two different kinds of consuming entities:
the personal consumers and organizational consumers. The personal consumers buy
goods and services for his/her own use. In this context, the goods are bought for final use
by individual, who are organizational consumers, they encompasses for profit and not for
profit business, government agencies, institutions, all of them must buy products,
equipment and services in order to run their organization (Hawkins, Best and Coney
The consumer will respond according to the product quality and reliability, the
fundamental understanding of products is necessary to understand the product features,
products reliability and product benefits (Baker, 2004). The consumer is the end user for
the product; consumers buy the products in market; in order to perform successful sales
operations in the market an effective distribution channel and networks are required for
the organizations. Distribution channels and networks play an important role in the
consumer goods industry. Consumer is the ultimate user of every product, without any
consumer there is no market as such (Baker, 2004).
Every region wise the different consumers are using different kind of products. Every
consumer has their own tastes and preferences. So, every consumer’s opinions and
preferences are different from one another. The local marketers have good idea about,
what the local consumers are using (region wise). For example: The south Indian food
habits and tastes and preferences are different, when compared to north Indian food
habits (Thomas, 2004).
Based on above paragraph, direct marketing activities have big impact on every
consumer, because through direct marketing every company knows about the behavior of
every consumer in the market. Manufacturing companies, retailer and suppliers do not
have an idea about the consumer behavior in the local market. So, author suggested that
direct marketing activities should be left to the local market leaders, because the local
market leaders have best idea of local market and local consumer behavior. This theory
helps for the organization and sub-organizations to know the consumer behavior in
different market environments, taste and preferences of the consumer behavior (Thomas,
McDonald’s would not have made a big impact in the Indian market had it persisted with
its U.S. product line that included beef products, moreover, McDonald’s repositioned the
brand as family-oriented and children-friendly, catering the traditional Indian middle-
class segment that finds pride in its family culture and is especially conscious of
childcare. So in this point of view Mc Donald’s have approached differently, because
they identified that, which they followed earlier that will not get good impact on their
business so, they immediately changed the business line to achieve the targets, thus, this
is one kind of business strategy to achieve the set goals in huge populated countries
For perspective of globalization we can not change the system of tastes and preferences
of Consumers. Another instance demonstrating the ignorance of local tastes in the wake
of globalization features the multinational mobile phone makers, Nokia had tasted
success with its soap-bar designed phones and ceased producing the flip phones that
consumers found irritating to use (Zaccai, 2005).
The Chinese business people are giving importance to Chinese traditional, patriotic
values; the business people are running their businesses by showing their traditional,
patriotic advertisement and promotional campaigns to get the business from the Chinese
people. The Chinese consumer’s perspective, by assessing their preferences amongst a
host of advertisements and promotional campaigns, later on the business people are
started the global Advertisement campaigns with status and social appeal, they sought
immense pride in clinging to the traditional, cultural and patriotic values through the local
campaigns, with this theory helps by knowing the Chinese consumer behavior and also
they are giving same importance to traditional and patriotic values in the name of
advertisements. Finally, they want the advertisements with traditional and patriotic values
of Chinese culture (Zhou and Belk, 2004).
The consumers mind is different from one another in this as author said in the definition
that according to the human psychology, demographical differences, age & sex and to
understand people needs. (Kotler, 2004), to assess the influences of every consumer
approach is different, in theory explained that consumer is treated as decider of the
company, what ever the product comes to the market, the consumer is the ultimate
purchaser for every product, some times the consumers are choosing, selecting and going
for family decision making to choose differently, in one point of time the consumers
differentiated and explained that they are going for personal and some of the them are
using products for profit. Demographical differences make new food habits for every
consumer. The choice of variation for every consumer (Kotler, 2004).
The example of above paragraph, two countries, therefore Chinese consumers are giving
respect to traditional and patriotic values, where as Indian consumers are more religious
when they are using the products. These are influences that make the consumer to
purchase different products; mostly those influences are more related to the
physiological, demographical, social, cultural, economic, family and business influences.
According to Kotler (1994), consumer behavior is the study of how people buy, what
they buy, when they buy and why they buy. It is a subcategory of marketing that blends
elements from psychology, sociology, socio psychology, anthropology and economics. It
attempts to understand the buyer decision making process, both individually and in
groups. It studies characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics,
psychographics, and behavioral variables in an attempt to understand people needs. It
also tries to assess influences on the consumer from group such as family friends,
reference groups, and society in general (Kotler, 1994) for example while consumers
purchase the shoe, then they go for family decision, comfort, satisfaction, price and
quality. Every family member doesn’t have the same opinion to buy the same product;
different family members have different choice to buy the product. So, in one family
consumer behavior is different (Kotler, 1994).
2. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to a better knowledge of consumer buying
behavior towards purchasing the sports shoes. The aim of the thesis is to find out the
factors influencing the youth in purchasing sports shoes.
The purpose of the study could be expressed by the following research question.
Assessment factors, which influence the youth to buy sports shoes?
3. LITERATURE REVIEW
The Definition: Consumer-buying behavior according to Kotler (2004, p.601) is defined
as “The buying behavior consumers – individuals and house holds who buy goods and
services for personal consumption.” the term ‘consumer’ can be described as a person
who acquires goods and services for self satisfaction is often used to describe two
different kinds of consuming entities: the personal consumers and the organizational
consumers. The personal consumers buy goods and services for his/her own use. In this
context the goods are bought for final use by individual, who are organizational
consumers, encompasses for profit and not for profit business, government agencies,
institutions, all of them must buy products, equipment and services in order to run their
organization (Kotler, 2004).
Peter and Olson, (1993) mention that interactions between the peoples emotions, moods,
affection and specific feelings is called consumer behavior, in other words in
environmental events which they exchange ideas and benefits each is called consumer
behavior . Buying behavior of people, who purchase products for personal use and not for
business purposes (Peter and Olson, 1993).
The Physical actions of consumers that can directly observe and measured by others, by
influencing behavior profit can be earned (kotler, Armstrong and Cunningham, 1989).
The study of consumer behavior has evolved in early emphasis on rational choice
(microeconomics and classical decision theory) to focus on apparently irrational buying
needs (some motivation research) and the use of logical flow models of bounded
rationality (Howard and Sheth 1989). The latter approach has depended into what is often
called the ‘information processing model’ (Bettman 1979). The information processing
model regards the consumer as a logical thinker who solves problem to make purchasing
decision (Holbrook and Hirschman 1980).
Compares the four major approaches to create successful inter-organizational
relationships and integrates them into a single prescription for managing important inter –
firm relationships (Palmatier, Dant and Grewal, 2007). Service fails, in satisfying the
customers and developing customer loyalty over time in business to business markets.
Cyert (1956) may have been the first to observe that a number of managers in addition to
the purchasing agents are involved in buying process, and the concept was labeled
‘buying behavior’ and popularized by Robinson (Faris and Win 1967). Webster and
Wind (1972) famously identified five buying roles, they are: 1. users 2. Influencer
3.buyer 4. decider and 5 Gatekeeper (Webster and wind, 1972). Further categories have
been suggested as the ‘initiator’ (Bonoma, 1981), and the ‘analyst’ and spectator by
Wilson (Wilson, 1998).
The product purchase decision is not always done by the user. The buyer necessarily
purchases the product. Marketers must decide at whom to direct their promotional efforts,
the buyer or the user. They must identify the person who is most likely to influence the
decision. If the marketers understand consumer behavior, they are able to predict how
consumers are likely to react to various informational and environmental cues, and are
able to shape their marketing strategies accordingly (kotler, 1994).
The consumer behavior influences are follows:
The consumer behavior influences in 3 aspects, they are acquiring, using and disposing.
The acquiring means that how the consumer spends money on the products, such as
leasing, trading and borrowing. Using means some of the consumers use the high price
products and some of the consumer sees the quality. Disposing is nothing but
distribution, order or places a particular product (Hoyer, Deborah, 2001).
By understanding consumer behavior deeply, different authors have given different
information about the consumer behavior, how consumer buys the products, it involves
four steps they are: need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives,
purchase decision and post purchase behavior, the marketer can pick up many clues as
and how to meet the buyer need and develop an effective program to support an attractive
offer to the target market (Kanuk, 1990).
According to Kotler (1994), the Consumers buying decision process is influenced by four
steps those are as follows:
- Types of consumer buying decision behavior:
Consumer buying behavior decision-making varies with the type buying decision.
There are different types of buying behavior decisions.
- Complex buying behavior: Consumers undertake complex buying behavior when they
are highly involved in purchase and complex buying behavior and perceive significant
difference among the brands. Consumers may be highly involved when the product are
expensive, risky, purchased in frequently and are highly expensive (Kotler, 1994).
- Dissonance – Reducing buying behavior occurs when consumers are highly involved
with an expensive, infrequent or risky purchase, but sees little difference among various
brands (Kotler, 1994).
- Variety – Consumers undertake variety seeking buying behavior in situations
characterized by low consumer involvement, but significant perceived brand difference.
In such cases, consumers often do a lot brand scrutiny (Kotler, 1994).
4. THE BUYING DECISION PROCESS
- Introduction of buying decision process
Consumers make many buying decisions every day. Mostly large companies do extensive
research on consumer buying decision, to answer questions like what does consumer buy,
where they buy, how they buy, how much they buy, when they buy and why do they buy
a product, for this question to reorganize the decision different stages needed they are,
information search, and evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post purchase
decision etc., The consumer passes through all five stages with every purchase, but in
more routine purchases, consumers often skip or reverse some of these stages (Hawkins,
- The buying decision process
The buying process starts with need recognition, where as buyer recognize the need. The
buyer’s decision is depending on his/her internal & external stimuli of consumer
behavior. The internal and external stimuli of consumer behavior means that the
consumer, which product should purchase, how much wants to purchase and externally
which products are more reliable and usable. According to this internal and external
stimuli’s the buyer will take the decision (Hawkins, Coney, 1998).
The consumers are searching the information from the various sources those are
information search, personal source, commercial sources, public sources and
experimental sources; this is also process of the buying decision process before purchase
of the product (Hawkins, Coney, 1998).
Information search: The consumer can obtain information from any of several sources,
Personal source: family, friends, neighbors, acquaintance etc.
Commercial sources: advertising, sales people, dealers, packaging, displays.
Public sources: mass media, consumer-rating organizations etc.
Experimental sources: handling, examining, using of the product.
Consumers receive most of the information about a product from commercial sources,
which are controlled by the marketer. The most effective source however tend to be
personal. Personal sources appear to be even more important in influencing the purchase.
- Evaluation of Alternatives: The consumer evaluates all the alternatives available to
him/her to arrive at a brand choice. The consumer will see the product as a bundle of
attributes with varying capacities, which satisfies his or her needs. The consumer will pay
more attention to those attributes connected with their needs. The consumer is likely to
develop a set of brand beliefs about, where each brand stands on each attribute. These of
beliefs held about the particular brand is known as brand image, according to the beliefs
and preferences of the consumer, evaluates the alternative products instead of using
existing products (Kotler, 2004).
- Purchase decision: In the evaluation stage, the consumer ranks all the brands and
makes a purchase intention. Generally the consumer purchase decision is to buy the most
preferred brand, when purchasing a products, consumer will think about two things,
which can be, purchase decision and purchase intention. The attitude of others and
unexpected situation factors both directly or indirectly effects the consumer’s final
decision to buy a particular brand. (Kotler, 2004).
- Post purchase behavior: The buyers’ job does not end when the product is brought.
After purchasing the product, the consumer will be satisfied or dissatisfied and will be
engaged in post purchase behavior. The satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the purchase of a
particular product depends on the relationship between the consumer expectation and the
consumer disappointment, if it meets the consumer expectations, the consumer can get
satisfied. And if it exceeds he/she is delighted (Gilly and Gelb, 1986).
5. THEORETICAL FRAME WORK
- Consumer Involvement Theory
The consumer involvement theory means that, how the consumer involving the purchase
of various products in the market, after purchasing the product, how the consumer
responding towards the products called consumer involvement theory.
The consumers get the information through advertising, for that they purchase, use, and
react that they see and hear about the products that they buy (Barry, 1987).
Level of involvement an individual’s intensity of interest in a product and the importance
of the product for that person, those are enduring involvement and situational
involvement (Homewood IL & Irwin, 1987). Routinized response behavior is that the
process used when buying frequently purchased low-cost items that requires little search-
and decision-effort (Homewood IL & Irwin, 1987).
The consumer involved in purchasing of products and usage and, also, various aspects
like high involvement and low involvement in process of purchasing of products. The
consumer some times involves high and low in purchasing products, so, theory of
involvement is explaining that the consumer recognizes the importance of the purchase
and it considers that the degree of perceived risk, moreover, it reflects on self image
perhaps information processing may be different from one another (Ray, 1973). The low
involvement theory is explaining that the consumer would accept wide range of products
with positive attitude with do-feel-learn strategy, firstly the consumer select any kind of
product, use the product, if they are not sure about how to use the product, and they learn
how to use the product. To purchase a new computer in market and using of the
computer, if they are not satisfied then they go for learning of how to use the computer.
The low involvement of consumer will be in manner that do-feel-learn strategy (Ray,
1973). In one of the consumer article author explained about the consumers, are
influenced by television commercials and their relationship effectiveness of
advertisements (Krugman 1987).
High involvement theory is rational and emotional, and it is explaining about the
consumer’s participations in the context very actively without any hesitation, moreover,
they look after extensive problem solving. In this theory of involvement the consumers
learn about the product, use the product, if they are feeling that the product is comfortable
to use it, and then they go for buying the product, so this is called high involvement
because after usage, they definitely buy the products. The high involvement theory is
reversible order to low involvement theory like learn-feel-do strategy (Debruicker, 1979).
How the involvement theory is useful, the emotions, specific feelings, learning of every
product and involves when they want to use it and when they want to purchase it. So, this
theory helps when the consumer purchasing any kind of product or after using the
6. CONSUMER BEHAVIOR MODELS
- Introduction & Intergradations of three models
There are three types of models, which will explain about consumer’s process of basic
needs to selecting one particular product, In order to process consumer behavior the
following three models are important, the first and foremost model is that the Hierarchy
model of consumer behavior, in this model the author said that, without any basic needs
the consumer can not survive, so, the consumer should have some basic needs, which
have been explained below, secondly the consumer behavior model. In this model author
mentioned about research and planning, in this process, the researchers are taking
samples from consumer before manufacturing the new products in the market. Finally,
lens model has been explained that in order to choice/select a product by the consumer.
Most early psychologists studied people who had psychological problems, but Maslow
Hierarchy needs tells us about the needs of consumer behavior.
- Hierarchy needs of consumer behavior model (Simons, Irwin and Drinnien, 1987)
Maslow believes that people seek to fulfill five categories of needs.
(Simons, Irwin and Drinnien, 1987)
Maslow’s given the hierarchy needs for consumer behavior, before starting about the
consumer behavior, the consumer needs are important; usually every consumer have
some hierarchy needs, they are; self actualization needs, esteem needs, belonging needs,
safety and security needs and psychological needs (Simons, Irwin and Drinnien, 1987).
The self actualization needs: The term actualization means that the intrinsic growth of
what is already in the organism, or more accurately, of what the organism is called self
actualization needs. For example: one can play the music, he is called musician or artist,
and one can paint the art is called painter, one can write the poems, is called poet. For
surviving in competitive world one profession is important, this profession is not only for
surviving, but also one kind of need for human being. In small words to understand
simply one individual potentiality develop him by doing something; it is called the self
actualization (Simons, Irwin and Drinnien, 1987).
The author suggests that the self actualization need is important when the consumer
wants to survive, consumer came with new professions, and it is one kind of need, it will
help the consumer to survive in this competitive world (Simons, Irwin and Drinnien,
Esteem needs: The term esteem means that need for things that reflect on self-esteem,
personal worth, social recognition, and accomplishment, for example one can travel in the bus,
motor bike, and car respectively, depends on his/her financial position they can travel. In
this case travel is a need, so, in smaller words, if one can economically sound, then
he/she arranges the esteemed need according to their financial possession (Simons, Irwin
and Drinnien, 1987). The author said that, if she/he needs the esteem needs, then they
should have good economic possession, if not no necessary to maintain the car or motor
bike, it is very easy to use the public bus or walk (Simons, Irwin and Drinnien, 1987).
Social needs: The social needs includes love of family or friends, for example, the boy
loves his girl friend, the relationship between husband and wife, one child belongs to one
family This is called belongingness or love (Simons, Irwin and Drinnien, 1987). This is
one kind of need for every consumer, because every consumer has their personal
belongingness and love.
Safety needs: The safety might include living in an area away from threats. This level is
more likely to be found in children as they have a greater need to feel safe. For example
one wants to live safe and secure life in the society. Finally, always consumer wants to
live a life, which is safe and secured (Simons, Irwin and Drinnien, 1987).
Physiological needs: It includes the very basic need air, warmth, food, sleep, stimulation
and activity. People can die due to lack of biological needs and equilibrium common
needs like food, water, oxygen and other common minimum needs are wanted for every
one to survive in the world. This is also a basic need of consumer (Simons, Irwin and
- Consumer behavior model
The concept of consumer behavior model is that, all the consumer minds are not the
same, because every consumer thinks in different manner and purchasing of products also
The below figure is saying about the research and planning, now a days the products are
many, the consumer is attracting towards new products and its features. The
manufacturing companies are designing the products, before manufacturing of new
products the researchers are taking the samples for research from the consumers, after
taking the samples from the consumers, researchers are doing the research about the
products, it encourages companies to constantly innovate better ways to serve the
consumer needs (Yeowzah, 2003).
The research & planning depending on product design, insights and action. As author
saying about the design, if products designs are good then every consumer attracted
towards purchasing of new products, the product design is possible only by doing
research. The insights is nothing but the product features, the product features are depend
upon good research and planning, without any research and planning there is no product
as such. In between these two aspects the action takes place to do good research and to
get good results in the market (Yeowzah, 2003).
2. Consumer behavior model (Yeowzah, 2003)
The significance of consumer behavior decision theory in some cases consumer has clear
and strong choice or preference for particular product to purchase. According to the
customer preference, companies can increase their sales to develop the 4 P’s marketing to
affect the customer preference and test. Company can design the product to attract the
customer to make the better sales. To analyze the competitor activity and make the most
battle plan to fight in to the market (Hauser, 1993).
- Lens Model
Lens model (Hauser, 1993)
Description: The above lens model says that, the product features and perceptions are
inter dependent, because the consumer see the product features before purchasing any
product in the market, the product features arrow showing towards perception, the
perception is nothing but understanding of the product, in this process consumer will
understand about the product, after understanding the product, the perceptions is going to
be preference of various products (Hauser, 1993).
In this process of preference product, the consumer prefers the products, after preferring
the product, consumer select the particular product that is called choice. The final arrow
showing towards choice, but this whole process depends on consumer psycho-social cues
and availability & price of the products in the market (Hauser, 1993).
The second way is that the psycho-social cues and perceptions are also inter dependent
with the help of these two terms the consumer prefers the product and finally
choose/select the product (Hauser, 1993).
The third way is that the consumer chooses the product with the help of psycho-social
cues, which means psychological influences, understanding of the product and
availability & price of the products (Hauser, 1993).
NIKE’S INTRODUCTION (NIKE’S CASE STUDIES)
The company was established in 1968. Philip H. Knight is the chairman and CEO of the
company. The first idea was given by Philip knight to manufacture the shoes, the idea
behind this concept is that, when he was studying MBA in Stanford University in USA,
he completed the course and he was trying to do the project in different marketing
contexts, for this project, he went to Japan to do project in tiger shoes in Japan, it is one
of the best shoes brands in Japan, at the same time he presented himself as an American
representative and started manufacturing of shoes and he has given name for that
company is blue ribbon sports company later on he has changed the name Nike.
Later he started manufacturing shoes, apparel and equipments and he renamed his
company name like Nike hope for the best to happen after some time he turned in to his
coach Bill bower man in his school for what to do next in this industry. So, Bill bower
man came up with new idea. In 1979 the Nike was the world’s top companies in the
world. Nike mainly concentrated on athletics, the main competitors was Reebok and
Adidas. Now Ni
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