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Analysing The Consumer Behaviour Concept

3661 words (15 pages) Essay in Marketing

5/12/16 Marketing Reference this

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Solomon, Bamossy, Askegaard and Hogg (2010) described consumer behaviour as a study of why, how, when and where consumers make purchases of a particular product and it tends to understand the decision making process of consumers. Also, Hannah and Wozniak (2001) revealed that consumer behaviour seeks to focus on the consumption related activities of individual as well as investigate the reason behind and the forces influencing the selection, purchase, use and disposal of goods and services in other to satisfy personal needs and wants.

Furthermore, Hannah and Wozniak (2001) revealed that consumers behaviour encapsulate activities like influencing others, being influenced by others and complaining about and returning product and exposure to the media.

Finally, in this report, the concept of consumer behaviour as well as marketing communication, customer satisfaction and reference group influence with regards to consumers or visitors in Newarke house museum and New-walk museum will be analysed using some theories.

Antonides and Van Raaij (1998) revealed that consumer behaviour is concerned with the following namely;

Mental and physical act (behaviour)

Including the motives and causes

Of individuals and (small) group

Regarding orientation, purchase, use, maintenance and disposal (consumption cycle)

And house hold production (Do it yourself)

Of (scarce) goods and services

From the market, public and household section

Lending of functionality and achievement of consumer goods and value

And to satisfy

Take into account short term and long term effect

And individual and societal consequences

However, Solomon, Bamossy, Askegaard and Hogg (2002) regarded consumer behaviour as a process and it involves many different actors. In the quest of trying to understand the consumer behaviour concept it was revealed by Jobber (2010) consumer are involved in a sequence or process of consumption.

Figure 1 described the consumption process of consumer for product or services

Figure 1; Consumption Process of Consumer For Product Or Services

Need Recognition/Problem Awareness

Information Search

Evaluation of Alternatives and Purchase

Post-Purchase Evaluation of Decision

Sourced from: Jobber, D. (2010) Principles and Practice of Marketing

Need Recognition/Problem Awareness

This is the first stage of the consumer decision making process (Solomon et al 2010). This stage involves when a consumer recognises that there is a difference between his true self (that is, the current state) and his ideal self (the desired state). This fact was supported in the first visit when the ladies revealed that they had to go somewhere because they were on holiday,

However, Jobber (2010) revealed that there are two issues that determine the intention of a consumer to solve his problem namely; the magnitude of the discrepancy between the desired and the present state and the relative importance of the problem (Neal, Quester and Hawkin2 2007). Also, Jobber (2010) further revealed that in a situation where the difference between the present state and desired state is small, the consumer might not be motivated to move to the next stage of the process (that is, information search)

Furthermore, O`Shaughnessey (1987) suggested that a customer must be aware of the need to solve a problem as well as being aware of the need inhibitor and a need may arise as a result of stimulation which can be caused by advertising campaign.

Information Search

Jobber (2010) revealed that information search “involves the identification of alternative ways to solve a problem”. Information search might be carried out internally or externally (Jobber 2010). This was supported in the first visit when the 2 ladies revealed that they searched the Internet as well as ask friends about the museum. However, internal search involves a consumer reviewing relevant information from his memory bank in which the information will include reference to personal experiences and marketing communication. While, external search involves searching from personal sources like friends, co-workers, neighbours as well as commercial source like sales people and advertising (Jobber 2010).

Recently, consumers tend to use the internet as their major information search tools using search engines like Google and Yahoo (Jobber 2010) This was also suppoted in the first visit when the two ladies revealed they searched the Internet for more information before coming to the museum.

Furthermore, Solomon et al (2010) revealed that the major aim of information search is to create an awareness set that involves several brands that can solve the consumer`s problem.

Evaluation of Alternative and the Actual Purchase

Consumers tend to be open to several alternatives in the process of decision making. This several alternatives will be evaluated and filtered to produce an “evoked set” (Jobber 2010). This evoked set includes several brands which a consumer is considering to purchase, in which the consumer tend to use fewer criteria to select the brand of choice because information search has already taken place (Kuusela, Spence and Kunto 1998)

Furthermore, Solomon et al (2010) suggested that consumers tends to evaluate product or service using the knowledge about the product or service, hence allowing the consumer to group product or service in accordance to their belief and attitude about different brand of product. This was supported

However, Schiffman, Kanuk and in the second visit to New Walk museum when the people observed to be chatting to each other said they decided to come to the museum instead of going to the Caribbean because of what their fried had told them. Wisenblit (2009), suggest that the purchase stage is when the customer actually make up their mind and purchase the product of service after information has been searched and several alternative evaluated.

The first stage of the categorisation is the “basic level of category”. This level tends to group product or service with common attribute or character while the second level is the “subordinate category” which includes grouping of individual brands; and the third category id the super- ordinate category

Figure 1.2 depicts the three stages involved in evaluating and categorising of brands

Figure 1.2: Evaluating and Categorising of Brands




European Country



New Faces

Arts and Painting


Newark House Museum/ New Walk Museum

Adapted from: Solomon et al (2010) Consumer Behaviour

Post- Purchase Evaluation of the Decision

Jobber (2010) revealed that the aim of an effective marketing is to create customer satisfaction and acquire customer loyalty. Customers tend to experience some post purchase issues in which the issue tends to be form or arise as a result of uncertainty in the consumer decision. The consumer tends to ask himself if he made the right decision or not? This issue according to Kotler et al (2008) is referred to as “cognitive dissonance”. This was supported in the first visit when I concluded that anyone in the museum at that time could conclude that two female from the group of 8 were enjoying themselves.

However, the result of post purchase evaluation of product or services are based on the quality of service or product, as well as the role of the sale-person which act as a problem solver. This factors tends to reduce the cognitive dissonance in the consumer (Jobber 2010)

Marketing communication of the museums

Marketing communication can be described as messages and media used to convey information to the market or target consumers (Baines, Fill and Page 2008). However, the collective means of communicating with target consumers is referred to as the “Marketing Communication Mix” (Baines, Fill and Page 2008).

The marketing communication mix comprises of five tools which can be used collectively at different level in other to intensify communication with the audience or target consumers, namely; advertising, personal selling, public relations, sales promotions and direct marketing. (Baines, Fill and Page 2008)

Figure 1.3: Marketing Communication Mix Tools

Personal Selling

Public Relation


Sales Promotion

Direct Marketing

Adapted from: Baines P, Fill.C and Page K (2008) “Marketing”


According to Baines et al (2008) they described advertising as a non personal form of communication where a clearly identifiable sponsor pays for a message to be transmitted through media. Also, they further revealed that advertising tends to engages the target consumers impersonally and its a tool used to communicate an organisation marketing offer(s).

Furthermore, Baines et al (2008) suggested two ways in which advertisement could be used namely;

It can be used to influence demand for product and services

It can be used to manage perception and understanding about the organisation.

Types of Advertising

There are two major types of advertising namely;

Digital advertising- This type of advertising includes the use of television advertising, music in advert, infomercial (this involves product demonstration and features as well as testimonial about product) radio advertising, product placement, and online advertising (McCarthy 2002) This type of communication mix(that is, Internet) is been used by both museums as information’s about the museums could be found on the museums website

Physical advertising- This includes mobile billboards advert, in-store advertising, celebrity branding and press advertising (McCarthy 2002)

Sales Promotion

Sales promotions are used commonly in consumer market especially during the launching of a new brand and it’s mostly in a matured market where market growth is limited and when prices and sales promotion work are the only means of causing brand switching behaviour in consumers as well as improving performance (Baines et al 2008). Also, sale promotions are majorly concerned with offering additional value to customers in order to enhance sales.

Public Relations

Baines et al (2008) described public relations as a marketing communication mix tool that influences the perception of various group of consumers or stakeholder about an organisation. Also, Bruning and Ledingham (2001) described public relations as the tools that manage the relationship between an organisation and the public.

Finally, Baines et al (2008) defined public relations as a “management activity that attempt to shape the attitude and opinion held by organisations stakeholders.

Personal Selling

This can be described as an activity carried out by an individual or group of individual representing an organisation to potential customer in order for a sale or transaction to be made (Baines et al 2008). This form of activity is different from the other types of marketing communication mix because personal selling carry out transactions directly with customers and feedback are gathered from consumers in other to measure and aid improvement (Baines et al 2008)

Direct Marketing

According to Jobber (2010) Direct Marketing is “the distribution of products, information and promotional benefits to target consumers through interactive communication in a way that allows response to be measured” . Direct marketing seeks to acquire and retain customers by contacting them without the use of an intermediary (Jobber 2010 pp 547).

Furthermore, Jobber (2010) revealed that direct marketing tends to use several methods such as; direct mail, telemarketing, direct response advertising, catalogue marketing, mobile marketing, electronic media like the internet, door-to- door leafleting.

An Investigation on the Impact of Reference Group on Consumers or Visitor in Newark House Museum and New Walk Museum

Cohen, Joel and Ellen (1972) described reference group influence as “an actual or imaginary individual or group conceived to having significant relevance upon an individual evaluation, aspiration or behaviour. Also, Bearden, William and Etzel (1982) indicated that direct and verbal interaction are not the only means of influencing a customer instead observing the reference group will suggest the choice of brands a customer will choose.

Furthermore, Interdependent cultures like china, Korea stress the need to conform to group norms and social acceptance (Gurhan-Canli and Masheswaran 2000). Also, Wong and Ahuva (1998) suggested indicated that consumption or use of luxuries conspicuously which translate to wealth or social status by consumers from east Asia are as a result of cultural influence.

However, past research by Park and Lessig (1977) identified three reference group namely; informational influence, utilitarian influence and value expressive influence

Informational Influence

Park and Lessig (1977) reveals that, in this type of influence the individual seek information about various brands from an association of independent group of expert. His could be supported in the first visit when I asked the two ladies and I was told they searched on the Internet as well as asked their friend. Also, Kelmar (1961) revealed that in this type of influence, individual are more likely to accept information that will broaden and improve knowledge and ability to cope with environment. Furthermore, Park and Lessig (1977) revealed that individual will seek information from whom they see as professional as well as observe what expert do (such as brand of television a repair man buys). This information will influence the individual in the aspect of the type of television brand they intend to purchase. Also, individuals tends to be influenced by observing a seal of approval of an independent testing agency as well as seeking brand related knowledge and experience from friends and neighbours who have reliable information about brands (Park and Lessig 1977).

Utilitarian Influence

Kelmer (1961) suggests that this type of influence influences an individual to satisfy a certain group expectation in other to obtain the praise or avoid punishment form group. Furthermore, this type influence affect the decision of an individual to purchase a particular brand as well as the individual decision to purchase a brand is as a result of influence from family member.

Value expressive Influence

This influence make individual feels that the purchase or use of a particular brand will aid the image of people have on them (Park and Lessig 1977). Also, this influence make an individual feels that the purchase of a certain brand would help show others what they would like to be. For example, an individual wanting to be like an athlete, a good parent (Park and Lessig (1977).This was supported in the second visit when the white male believe to be in his 20s was taking note of everything in the museum so as to become a renowned poet like Geoffrey Chaucer. Furthermore, Park and Lessig (1977) reveal that this type on influence make the individual feels that it would be nice to be like a type of person on an advertisement of a certain brand.

Customer Satisfaction

According to Oliver (1997); “satisfaction is the consumer fulfilment response; it’s a judgement that a product or service feature or the service itself; provides a pleasurable level of consumption- related fulfilment”. Also, Zeithaml and Bitner (2003) defined satisfaction as customer evaluation of a product or service in terms of whether the product or service has met their need and expectation. They further stated that failure to meet the needs and expectation could be regarded as “dissatisfaction” with product or service.

Furthermore, Zeithaml and Bitner (2003) indicated some factors that influence customer satisfaction towards a product or service namely;

Product and Service Features- Evaluating the product or service significantly influences customer satisfaction (Oliver 1997) for example, I was amazed when I discovered that New Walk museum also cater for children also in the second visit when some of the visitors were a bit noisy because they were amazed by the creatures

Consumer Emotions- Oliver (1997) revealed that customer emotions can affect their perception of satisfaction with product or service. These emotions can be stable, pre-existing emotion (Oliver 1997). Also, Zeithaml and Bitner (2003) suggest that some emotion can be as a result of consumption experience of a particular service. Liljander and Strandvik (1997) also revealed that negative emotion like depression, guilt and anger tends to have a strong effect on customer dissatisfaction ratings towards a service or product.

Attributions for service success or failure- Folkes (1988) described attributes as the perceived cause or causes of event which can influence perception of customer towards a product or service. This type of influence was revealed in the first visit when the lady told me she was expecting to a lot of people in the museum.

Perception of Equity or fairness- This can also influence customer’s satisfaction (Clemmer and Schneider (1996). This type of influence occurs when a customer asks his or herself “Have I been treated fairly compared to other customer?” (Zeithaml and Bitner 2003) Also, this perception can create a notion of dissatisfaction as well as satisfaction or fairness.

Other consumers, family member and co- workers- This influence tends to affect satisfaction in terms of if their needs or expectation has been met compared to what their family member received, (Zeithaml and Bitner 2003).


In other to enhance satisfaction in customers visiting the museums, it is imperative that museum tries to maximize visitor’s satisfaction by avoiding any form of disappointment, for example, in the second visit to New Walk museum, some visitors were disappointed because they only came to see the dinosaurs and the geology gallery but the gallery was closed due to renovation also, in the first visit to Newarke museum when the lady was complaining that she was expecting to meet a lot people in the museum, which was quite different from her expectations. However, in my opinion, this low turnout of people might be attributed to the communication strategy used by the museum. Hence it is suggested that that the museum (both New Walk and Newarke museum) should utilise three marketing communication mix that is, the advertising, some Public Relations as well as Direct marketing to home schools as well as foreign schools which includes universities.

Also, the museums should ensure that visitors are completely satisfied with the quality of service they provide in order to build a loyal customer base. For example in, the first visit when the two ladies told me that they were informed about the museum by friends which invariably support the revelations by Jones and Sasser (1995) which states that “completely satisfied customers are likely to become apostle and recommend the service six times more than very satisfied customers”

Also, it is suggested to the museum to bring in more history about legends because in the second visit a white male revealed he came to the museum so as to make note of what could have inspired poets like Geoffrey Chaucer.


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