A consumer can be defined as an individual who buys goods and services and uses the products to satisfy his/her needs. Consumers differ in age, gender, marital status race, nationality, religion, academic level and sexual orientation. These social elements that differentiate consumers influences radically the choice of making a purchase of a product by the consumers. In the fashion industry, for example, female consumers will be very unlikely to purchase male oriented apparel. Equally an old head teacher of a girl school will not be pushed to acquire a mini skirt that has the potential to expose three-quarter of her legs.
Essentially it is the behavior of these consumers that guides their choice of clothing more than other factors. The age and gender in the above examples have successfully influenced a consumers decision to purchase or fail to purchase a commodity. In the United States of America, American Marketing Society defined consumer behavior as the experiences, feelings, and thoughts that an individual practices during the consumption process and it is inclusive of all other environmental factors that have the potential to influence the thoughts, experiences, actions and feelings of a person. These environmental factors could include advertisements, comments from other consumers, packaging of the products, appearance of the product, price information among other factors. A distinguished quality of consumer behavior is that it is prominently dynamic since the thoughts, experiences, actions and feelings of a person, society or a target group of consumer are constantly changing (Anton, Camarero & Carrero, 2007).
Many firms are trying very hard to comprehend the consumer behavior towards their products and craft market strategies that will help them elevate their profitability index among the targeted consumers. Firms initiate research into consumer behavior to understand the psychology of how consumer process their thoughts, feelings, reasons, and how these factors influence their choice on different alternative brands, retailers and products. These research also endeavors to perceive the demeanor of a consumer while making marketing choices, to understand what motivates consumers and decisions approaches based on the degree of importance or interest they prefer the brands, retailers and products. In doing so firms put themselves in a vantage position to respond and improve their marketing operations to reach effectively the customer based on their analysis of consumer behavior. Marketing departments employ a range of techniques to learn more about consumer behavior among them include experiment, focus groups, and surveys which yield important data that helps in crafting effective strategies (Thrassou & Vrontis, 2009).
Developing a market strategy is a perpetually difficult task because of the persistently changing of consumers thoughts, experiences, actions, and feelings. Often, a strategy that has proven to work at one time will fail to address a challenge at a future date or when applied to another market. To stay profitable and address consumers changing behaviors, companies are now forced to frequently reinvent themselves to develop greater value products and services for their consumers. To innovatively reinvent itself, companies are producing new products, creating new versions of current products, new brands and employ new strategies to market them. These market strategies are strategically designed to in the hope that consumers will develop favorable feelings and thoughts about particular services, products, brands and will make an effort to try them and recurrently purchase the products. To possibility comprehensively achieve a firms marketing objectives is dependent on the ability of the firm to serve, know and influence consumers (Zamaratskaia, Zlabek, Ropstad & Andresen, 2012).
The market is filled with consumers who have undergone several changes in the behavior which are measurable. Some consumers have become more judicious in their spending owing to the slow economic growth and fragile employment packages. Many consumers in the modern time are more empowered and well informed about the products in the market. The internet has radically shaped their behavior in empowering them with the information about the quality and utility of products and services offered by companies. Companies are there forced to comprehend these behaviors to effectively engage with the consumers. In comprehension of this demeanor, the companies envision to develop an experience with their consumers that will propel acquisition of products and sustain loyalty.
As established, for an effective marketing strategy to be successful, a company needs to discern why consumers make purchases and the factors that motivate the decisions they make. Products will not appeal to the whole mass but a section of the population with demographic traits that encourage the purchase of a particular product. Assessing geographic, psychographic, behavioral and demographic influences that impact the purchasing decisions of a consumer is a paramount duty of any marketing strategists (van Raaij, Strazzieri & Woodside, 2001). The demographic and geographic factors will help a marketer to segment the market into quantitative and observable features like age, family income, location, gender, education levels, ethnicity, and occupation. This information provide imperative insight into the companies target market and help the marketer make conclusions about several lifestyle, social and cultural factors that favorably propel a person to consume a product. Psychographic and behavioral factors are qualitative factors that elucidate why a targeted market behaves as it does towards a product. These influences include attitudes, personality, beliefs, values, interests and opinions.
An analysis by Foxall (1992), supposes that marketing strategies provide support of the expected results while concurrently adapting to the demands of consumer behavior settings. In the long run, the marketer bares the burden of creating a psychological connection between a consumer and a particular brand, retail shop or product. Foxall (1992) purports and strongly suggest that market strategies are directly impacted by consumer behavior. Anton, Camarero & Carrero (2007) maintain consumers to a variety of choices to satisfy one need has promoted consumer writing feedbacks, peer reviews of products and their access to information. The right to choose granted to consumers has eventually impacted on the behavior of consumers and affects their purchasing considerations at a future date. Thrassou & Vrontis (2009) supposes that the most important conduit of information for marketers is the consumers behavior trends and discerning them equips the marketer with the right tool to navigate safely through market changes, consumer buying approaches and counter competitive influences.
The concept of consumer behavior is perhaps a very important model for any organization. Marketing effectively a given product to attain the marketing objectives of a given firm requires a grasp of the consumer behavior. The link between market strategy and consumer behavior is one that is unyielding, and the more informed a company is about this link, the more it will potentially succeed with acquiring the loyalty of its product consumers. It is true to think that to know what is wrong with a product you need to observe the behavior of consumers towards the product.
AntA3n, C., Camarero, C., & Carrero, M. (2007). The mediating effect of satisfaction on consumers' switching intention. Psychology And Marketing, 24(6), 511-538. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mar.20171
Foxall, G. (1992). The consumer situation: An integrative model for research in marketinga. Journal Of Marketing Management, 8(4), 383-404. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257x.1992.9964206
Thrassou, A., & Vrontis, D. (2009). A New Consumer Relationship Model: The Marketing Communications Application. Journal Of Promotion Management, 15(4), 499-521. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10496490903281270
van Raaij, W., Strazzieri, A., & Woodside, A. (2001). New developments in marketing communications and consumer behavior. Journal Of Business Research, 53(2), 59-61. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0148-2963(99)00075-2
Zamaratskaia, G., Zlabek, V., Ropstad, E., & Andresen, A. (2012). In vitro and In vivo Association of Porcine Hepatic Cytochrome P450 3A and 2C Activities with Testicular Steroids. Reproduction In Domestic Animals, 47(6), 891-898. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0531.2012.01986.x
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