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Sample Paper: Business_Assignment_-_CONSUMER_BEHAVIOUR.doc

Introduction

Consumer behavior is a type of analytical study on the process of which individuals, groups, and organizations use to acquire, select and dispose products at their disposal. Everyone is a consumer, and each individual consumes one or two things on a daily basis. The way a person buys or consumes these products depends on their personal needs, buying power and preferences. The goods range from consumable, durable, industrial or specialty goods. How someone buys, where he or she buys from, and how much quantity depends entirely on individual perceptions, personal values, social and cultural backgrounds, the age, family influence among many more factors. This directly relates to the purchase of a luxurious BMW car basing on both consumer decisions and consumer behavior theories. A close analysis on consumer buyer theory in an analytical manner is part of the review that this paper is going to analyze. Also discussed is the rational that the consumer uses in purchasing the BMW car, basing on consumer decision-making process (Kuester, 2012).

Decision-making stages are diverse and complex since they vary from one consumer to the other. A consumer always purchases a product basing on the decision he or she made about the product. These decisions are because of media sources, due to social class status, availability of money to spend among many issues. The marketers of these products mostly try to understand the consumer’s needs, preferences, and an understanding of the consumer’s behavior. Marketers accomplish this understanding of the market through conducting both internal and external environment study, and finally formulating plan of marketing. This majorly constitutes the stage of information gathering before launching an advert of the particular product. The marketer knows exactly what the consumer requires and produces an advert that exactly talks about fulfilling the needs of the consumer in all means. Management process in business puts the needs of the consumer first, before ending with satisfaction.

A consumer’s decision to purchase a luxurious product like a BMW car may be because of various aspects; such as the need for social class status, satisfaction and assured security. The manner of which marketers advertise the BMW car builds a positive image in the mind of the prospective buyer, hence resulting to making of the decision due to influence by a particular advert. Marketing of the car revolves around the consumer’s needs and desires, which therefore makes the study of consumer’s behavior a necessity. A consumer’s behavior influences how the final purchase of the product. If for instance the car on advert is for the purpose of class, the marketer will dwell on this and might invest on a prominent person with high social class to come and do the advert for the product. Once a prominent personality shows satisfaction in the advert, the consumer watches and develops a positive attitude towards the product hence desire of acquiring it keeps on increasing. Advertisers of BMW tell on engine power, speed, elegant color, durability, inside design, shock resistance power for maximum security and pick acceleration speed. All these encouraging descriptions are for luring the prospective buyer into liking the product first, before making the purchase decision (Kiley, 2004).

Advertising mechanisms of the product range from the use of media, such as Television ads, billboards, and radio. Internet technology, websites, product shape, color, and interior design are also some of other mechanisms devised by marketers when marketing the products. A BMW is entirely designed with maximum security for its users since it has inbuilt air bugs, high braking speeds, hard body and low center of gravity. This makes the vehicle different from other models, and as a result, its cost is high. High cost of this type of car makes it hard for many people to acquire; thus, only the rich have the opportunity to acquire it.

This as a result has resulted to the naming of the car as a first class car, which is associated to people of high social status only. The rich will therefore go ahead and purchase the car since they want to stand out from the rest, resulting to ego-oriented objectives. Ego is therefore a contributing factor towards the decision making process considered by an individual during the purchase of a commodity. The process of purchasing is inbuilt in the consumer’s mind, which then leads to more analysis on figuring out alternatives to determine which products have relative advantages or disadvantages to the consumer. Internal and external research involves the process used by the consumer at arriving to the decision of purchase, then reviewing post purchase behavior since it provides the marketer with a clue of knowing whether the product was successful or not (Colley, 1961).

Pre-assessment process begins with the marketer understanding the consumer first. The research finds out what the likes and dislikes of the consumer are, consumer’s view on how the product can be improve, how consumers view the product, the attitude of consumers towards particular products and the way of which it is being advertised, the role played by the consumer in his/her family. After the consumer has answered all these issues, the marketer then devises a mechanism that will fulfill these needs of the customer. This as a result, call for the marketer to be equipped with 70’s framework of research related to consumer needs and behavior. Marketing strategies are game plans that firms should always adhere to, thus enabling them to differentiate their product from those provided by their competitors in the market. When coming up with several marketing strategies for achieving effective product sale, the marketers also need to analyze on cost-benefits that must be undertaken. The consumer of the product will incur several costs, for instance the BMW will cost the buyer high maintenance costs, fuel costs, parking costs, frustrations because of pollution and hidden costs because of traffic jams. The difference in all these costs incurred as compared to the benefits obtained from the product makes customer value. This makes up the idea of pre-purchase assessment of the product (Armstrong, 1991).

The next stage in consumer behavior is purchase of the product itself. The decision of the consumer to purchase a luxurious car relies entirely on values, demographics, social status, personality, motives, and subculture among other factors. All these formulate the consumer’s lifestyle, which puts these issues first and costs to incur last. According to the consumer, he/she decides to settle on the product since he/she values the above-mentioned values more than anything else does, thus cost is not a type of negative setback to them. Consumers use emotions and feelings when deciding to purchase a product. For instance, when a particular individual lost his or her relative due to low vehicle quality, he/she becomes determined to invest more on security thus securing a more secure car. An individual would rather spend more on securing his/her life rather that save and put life at risk. Research done on consumers during purchase generally indicate that these luxurious products are expensive thus, consumers spend more than they can really expect to get in return. The only reason for this expenditure by consumers is on security and class status.

Consumption is the next stage in reviewing consumer behavior characteristics. For the case of BMW, the consumer is precise at its use and serves only specific purposes, such as special functions, family travels, and for business services such as weddings. a review on the majority of customers that drive BMW confess to be only using it when transporting the whole family for long distance journeys, when attending special functions of high social class among other limited uses. In case of miner needs, the customer most likely has an alternative less expensive car to serve these needs. One can easily deduce that acquiring such product is due on the need of the customer to acquire special status that in the end helps in developing ego of the customer.

The next stage of consumer behavior is on post-consumption evaluation. Consumers who invest on expensive and luxurious products give responses based on external feelings, and as a result, these results do not reflect pure truth of the level at which they are satisfied. A consumer will always say positive of the product, even though the truth is that he/she might not be happy with the outcome of the product to his/her life. The costs incurred may be beyond the initial budget expectations of the consumer, but the consumer might not show this information due to personal reasons. The only thing that these consumers emphasize on is security obtained, respect and class obtained because of public exposure with a luxurious car. The idea of conducting post-consumption analysis is for determining whether the consumers have satisfied their needs or not. If the answer is yes, then more products need to reach the market and more people advised to purchase the product. However, if the answer for needs satisfaction is no, then possible mechanisms of improving the product are devised and if possible reduce the selling cost. The comparison between positive outcome and negative outcome forms the incentive of market growth and marketing purposes (Kiley, 2004).

Consumers get motivation to purchase certain products due to influences from the advertising media. The media, therefore, plays the role of creating awareness and developing frameworks of which sales are great at all cost. Marketing employs models in ensuring that customers are convinced to use their products. The first model used during marketing is an emotional response model. The act of advertising is an effective tool of marketing technique that communicates to the customer emotionally towards motivating him/her to purchase a particular product. Emotion is more of because of entertainment; media proliferation has blurred the distinguishing factor between adverting and the real entertainment. The idea of advertising is for creating brand awareness, preferences and more so for selection of products or services. More influence to the consumer can occur if their attitude to a particular advert is positive. The attitude developed by the customer towards a particular advert will have an influence to the consumer’s attitude towards on a particular brand, and this may go on and on until the consumer purchases the product. Advertising is necessary for making the consumers believe that possessing certain commodities is more important when one wants to achieve desirable qualities like prominence, beauty and happiness. Thus, the advert makes a prospective buyer to attach his or her emotions to a particular product, thus leading to the purchase of that product.

Another attribute to customer decisions on purchasing is due to environmental conditions. Variations in environmental conditions have great influence on the purchase of particular products. At this stage, the sensor stimuli has great say in the manner of which the consumer will respond to a particular product on advert. In as much as how emotional one form dependence to the product, sensor stimuli will still result to reduce self-control purchasing mechanisms, thus hindering one from temptations of purchasing according to desire. A person becomes more interested when he or she recalls on what to do in a particular environmental condition, and that the particular advertised commodity suits that situation now (Mackay, 2004).

When the advertised products do not go in line with particular environmental conditions, then the advert is most likely to be useless since it will not influence the buyers’ behavior. A consumer will only purchase the commodity that is necessary at that given situation and environment, hence the thought of maybe purchasing for future use are very limited. For instance, it becomes useless to advertise heavy jackets for keeping someone warm at hot summers. It is therefore, essential to usually monitor the environment first and then venture on advertising those commodities that go hand in hand with that particular environment.

A marketing strategy becomes successful after the consumer begins to see the need of using a particular product as compared to their products in order to solve the problem at hand. The evaluation framework for consumer behavior involves testing the results yielded from fully understanding the process of advertising. The framework is essential for identifying the truth of weather the intention of advertising a particular commodity is in relation to the expected goals. This process of application framework, also knows those variables to use with the initial purpose of making the advert successful. The framework conducts its findings through direct interviews and monitoring the behavior on purchasing preferences on particular products. Statistics taken in a given period on the amount of sales prior advertising compares with statistics done after advertising within the same span of time. All these process will help in telling whether the process of advertising has had an impact on the volumes of sales or weather there is no significant changes (Colley, 1961).

The act of advertising is not complete without carrying out an evaluation to see the impact it really has on the market framework, in relation to consumer’s behavior. Marketing has been there for a long time, and various strategies are being employed by various marketing firms in relations to the dynamic changes in the consumers’ preferences. Research shows that companies and advertising firms are shifting from above-the-line promotion and advertising techniques, but as result resorting to below-the-line techniques. This means that marketers are moving from the mechanisms of using broad messages and mass media branding and thus adopting the more direct response related marketing methods. The techniques used in this new form are different from the old method since instead of use of broad messages and media broadcasting, it is using print, broadcast and outdoor advertising mechanisms. The objective of this new mechanism is to create a much more interactive approach with the customers/consumers, which in the end helps in quick implementation of various changes to go hand in hand with preferences. The below-the-line technique also provides feedback that is more accurate. This feedback is necessary for marketers to know what to add to their ad productions in order to suite the market (Mackay, 2004).

Recommendations/Conclusion
From the knowledge learnt in this report, one can know that the process of advertising is not for entertainment purposes. The ideal reason is for building some emotions and interests aimed at persuading customers to use the advertised commodities with the aim of maximizing sales. The producing firm should therefore, choose the advertising agencies with best managerial and creative skills, which in the end might produce positive feedback from customers. In conclusion, the marketing agencies should adopt the below-the-line technique as compared to the old model that used media sources and broad messages. This new technique is effective for getting one-on-one contact with consumers and thus building a strong consumer-producer relation. This new method is also essential for producing positive feedback since primary data and response to established directly from consumers. Through this report, one can conclude that consumers get motivated to purchase particular products basing on choices and preferences, which can either, be an influence by media or not. For the case of purchasing a BMW, personal issues than influence from adverts and social media motivate the decision.

References

Armstrong, S. J., and Overton, T., 1971. Brief vs. Comprehensive Descriptions in Measuring Intentions to Purchase. Journal of Marketing Research
Colley, R. H., (1961). Defining advertising goals for measured advertising results. New York: Association of National Adverts
Khosla, S., 2010. Consumer psychology: the essence of Marketing. International Journal of Educational Administration 2 (2): 220-220
Kiley, D., 2004. Driven: inside BMW, the most admired car company in the world. John Wiley and Sons
Kuester, S., 2012. MKT 301: Strategic Marketing & Marketing in Specific Industry Contexts. University of Mannheim
Mackay, A., (2004). The Practice of Advertising. London: Butterworth-Heinemann
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