Example Answers to Questions on Consumer Behaviour

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-PURCHASE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS-

Problem Recognition:

The problem recognition is where psychological needs are involved; the intensity or awareness of the problem may vary as the individual realize that the actual state of mind or feeling is not a wanted one, as a consequence, the individual take action to change it by acquisition of a product or service.

Information Search:

This is the stage when the awareness of the problem is accepted and the self-realization of what kind of purchase could solve the difficulty. Where and how it can be acquired? What information is on reach? At this stage, consumers will search information that will allow them to make a decision.

Information Evaluation:

The evaluation of the information will be evaluated based on a certain criteria; the consumer will find means to differentiate between them. They may target shops, brands, pricing, promotion or even physical aspect like packaging.

Decision:

The next step after evaluation is the decision, which may be a natural result of the product assessment. The consumer may have to prioritise the assessment or choice of product/service/solution even further by choosing if the convenience or price is the most significant factor, or one may predominate on the other.

Post-Purchase Evaluation:

The majority of cases consumers are likely to be some level of after-acquisition analysis in order to reassure them whether the product/service fulfilled previous expectation.

-BUYING SITUATIONS-

Routine Problem Solving: This is when items that fall into the routine problem solving category in order not to risk by changing to new competitor products. The consumer is satisfied with the same brand and the benefit of changing may just bring an unnecessary effort of information, evaluation and decision. This generally happens with cheap or low-cost products.

Limited Problem Solving:

Involves more attention and decision -making those routine acquisitions. Goods tend to have an elevate value and last longer. It is more likely to occur when acquiring services. The consumer has the need to acquire the product right from the first time and will like not to risk by trying.

Extended problem Solving:

The extended problem solving is similar to the limited one but it compromises a more serious purchase, meaning that it is even more severe that the limited one. Goods have a much more value, consequently, a even higher risk for the buyer. It will be motivated to know as much as possible about the product and the decision will be based on coherent, practical and cognisant grounds.

-BUYER BEHAVIOUR THEORIES-

The buyer behaviour processes and acts on individuals involved in buying and using products or services. The formulation of the marketing strategies that will succeed in implementation depends on the understanding of how people behave when buy and how does the environment is composed. The decision environment are the influences that make people to take a decision, for instance family traditions, reference groups that enhance associate or disassociate behaviours.

The consumer buying process consists of 5 steps:

Need recognition: This is when an individual recognise the need for the acquisition of a product, in the scenario of the hair care company, the buyer acknowledge the need for the product by different factors as internal or external stimuli, social esteem, etc.

Information search: this is when the recognition process is complete; the fallowing step is where to acquire the product (memory, family, advertising, internet)

Alternative evaluation: As it is rare to find exactly what people look for there is always an evaluation for alternatives (rational or irrational).

Purchase decision and associated risk: It is important that the purchase of a good do not involved a high risk in regard of performance, financial, physical, social and egocentrically.

Post purchase evaluation: The final stage of the consumer buying process with the overall performance in contrast to the expectation prior the acquisition.

The key factors that influence marketing activities in buying satiations are the cultural, social, personal and psychological factors.

-FACTORS INFLUENCING CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR-

Cultural: Language, religion, education, values and attitudes, etc.

Social: Primary groups, secondary groups, inspirational groups and dissociative groups.

Personal: as age, occupation, economic class, life style.

Psychological: Motivation and the greatness of the need.

All this information is used to develop a clear picture and valid associations of how people take the decision to acquire a product, along with specifications of a valid target process, which will then be applied by the organization.

Types of Buying Behaviour:

Level of involvement is an individual's intensity of interest in a product and the importance he or she places on a product. Consumers go through a problem-solving process.

The 4 types of Problem-Solving are:

Routine Response: buying that requires very little search and decision effort; it is used for products that are low priced and bought frequently. Examples include soft drinks, snack foods, milk, etc.

Limited Decision: Buyers use when they purchase products occasionally or need information about unfamiliar brands in a familiar product category; it requires a moderate amount of time for information gathering and deliberation. Examples include Clothes, know product class but not the brand.

Extensive Decision: employed when unfamiliar, expensive, or infrequently bought products (such as homes, automobiles and furniture) are purchased; buyers used many criteria to evaluate brands and spend more time searching for information and deciding on the purchase.

Impulse Buying: unplanned buying behavior involving powerful urge to buying something immediately. A lot of impulse decisions are made at the checkout area and can be on items such as candy, sodas, batteries, film, etc.

Situational influences in the buying decision process:

Situational Influences:

Elements that influence the buyer to change his mind.

Situational Processes:

Physical surroundings

Social surroundings

Time perspective

Research purchase

Momentary mood and conditions

Psychological Influence in the buying decision process:

Psychological Influences (factors that determine behaviour)

Selective Exposure: Select one important factor while ignoring another (go to Libya because is cheap and worm - ignoring hostile environment)

Selective Distortion: Twisting information with personal feelings or beliefs (pay £700 when just can afford £550)

Selective Retention: Thrusting beliefs and feelings in regard of a product/service that actually are where never associated.

Perceptual organization:

This is based on organizing and integrating new information with what is already stored in the consumer's memory.

(Marketing Consumer Focus Product made for the consumer needs)

(Sales  Product Focus Consumer buy a product that may do not suit the consumer)

Interpretation:

The interpretation of the consumer on an untried product/service (how the consumer see it).

Main reasons why a marketer fails while delivering a message to the consumer are:

Consumers block out sellers info.

Consumers interpret seller's information differently than intended.

Consumer discomfort info the conflicts with cultural issues.

-EXTERNAL & INTERNAL FACTORS THAT AFFECTS THE BUYER BEHAVIOUR PROCESS-

Environmental influences: The decision making process is always connected to the environment in which the product and the buyer are. These influences are the fallowing ones.

Sociocultural influences: Influences from current trends as a whole and the various social groups they belong in order to enhance status.

Technological Influences: It affects many aspects of the decision-making by product development and innovation.

Economic and competitive influences: Price, value for money and conscious assessment of the need to acquire are prevalent influences.

Political and legal influences: Legislations, regulations, consumer rights and advertising also effect the overall decision-making process.

Psychological influences (The individual): The psychological influences are these aspects that affects an individual perception while executing a conscious or subconscious decision-making process.

Personality: Very extensive area of study - consist on features, behaviours and experiences of the consumers.

Perception: It indicates the way in which people interpret, analyse and make sense of present and upcoming situation while being affected by personality, experience and mood.

Learning: The process by consumers of understanding and retaining info from a product.

Motivation: Is based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs (Physiological, Safety, Love, Esteem, Self-actualisation).

Attitudes: Is a perspective that an individual takes on a certain subject (Cognitive, Affective, Conative).

Sociocultural Influences (The Group): Social groups will inevitably affect purchasing decision were the individual are member of, as individuals are influenced by social and cultural factor from their location of provenience.

Social class: Is a form of social grouping for identification of masses.

Culture and Subculture: It refers to the personality of the society where consumers live in (Art, Language, Literature, Music and Products which are consumed by society).

Reference Groups: these are groups where an individual belongs or aspire to belong (professional bodies, social societies, lifestyle groups)

Family: It is the key influence of the buyer behaviour of the individuals.

-RELATION BETWEEN BRAND LOYALTY, CORPORATE IMAGE AND REPEAT PURCHASE -

Brand loyalty this happens when a consumer is predisposed to acquire the same brand of goods/services constantly over a certain period of time instead of varying among manufacturers of the same product/service. Perhaps brand loyalty can be measured by the consistence or volume of acquisitions of the same brand within the same category.

Corporate image is a conceptual mental image developed by corporate advertising techniques to highlight their image so it can boost desirability to consumers, suppliers, employers and stakeholders. Companies develop a corporate image in order to enhance psychological perception, reputation and corporate culture. A positive corporate image can augment consumer adoption and develop further brand loyalty.

Repeat purchase is the action made by buyers while repurchasing a previously purchased product. Repeat purchase is a pattern used in order to calculate the consistency of loyalty to a brand.

The relationship between these three factors is enormous as they aimed the same result. The difference is that all make part of the same scope but in different stages. For instance when a company invest on the development of a positive corporate image, consumers will then mature a positive psychological perception over a period of time (depending the intensity and technique used). These perceptions will impulse consumers to try, and consequently, to adopt the product as preferable acquisition among all other similar brand products. When consumers make a repeat purchase of the same brand, the company is then able to assume a certain degree of brand loyalty.

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