Theories of Consumer Decision Making

The concept of consumer buying behaviour is not new, it has been discovered ages ago .The current marketing strategies focuses on consumers buying behaviour. The marketing aim is to grow and make best use of their market share. Consumer’s decision making process is highly sensitive and is based on their learning and experience. The paper explains about the consumer’s psychological factor particularly learning and its effect on buying pattern. Learning has been explained with the help of theories, using black box and stimuli response theory. The black box explains the consumer’s decision making process and factors that affect buying decision. In addition this model also highlights the market stimuli, market environment, buyers’ stimuli and the buyers’ response. These internal and external factors aim to influence the purchasing pattern of every single consumer.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Buyers are highly sensitive while making decisions and marketing stimuli provide necessary information and knowledge about the product or service. Consumers are also influenced by social and psychological elements like society, family, personal, motivation and learning. In practical consumer use personal thinking or experience to response repetitive buying. The self learning helps to reduce the buying options and narrow down the substitutes available in the market. Today modern companies have adopted the customized marketing techniques to understand the thinking and decision making standards. The cognitive learning helps the buyer to remember the previous purchase each time when similar arise buyer will use own experience to make decision. Satisfied consumer will not go for information search which comes after problem recognition and others steps in decision making. Marketers can influence post purchase decision by positive learning.
Provided examples indicate the importance of buying behaviour and fortune 500 companies have used these elements to increase their retention rate. E.g; Dettol marketing explains the buyer’s response and trust which they have developed by using psychological marketing and positive cognitive learning.
To enhance the learning process Marketer used education and awareness program to develop the learning of every single consumer. E.g. Toyota Lexus on other hand also focus experience as their marketing strategy. By understanding the need and market trust they introduced Lexus (Premium product) which leads the market from decades. Marketing techniques plus additional value added service enable them to enhance the customer experience. Toyota consumers were happy and satisfied with original band. By constructive experience Toyota succeeded to develop new market for luxury automobiles. While exploring consumer learning it was observed that customer retention has a direct relation with positive learning. It is also suggested that marketers must use buyer behaviour and need as the primary research of market study.
Financial products and services require more understanding of consumers. It also needs to develop conceptual framework together with service marketing to deal with individual consumer. As explained it’s become more challenging for the marketers to understand, satisfy and influence the consumer to use financial services. By focusing customer experience, strong perception, service quality and trust marketers can influence the decision making and supplier choice. Parasuraman’s, A., Zeithaml, V.A. and Berry, L.L. (1985) says that it’s very difficult for a consumer to choose financial products and supplier because of the intangibility of product, and supplier reputation. Together with Ansoff’s model and focus existing product and existing market marketers can increase buyer behaviour through target marketing.
Outcome suggests that companies must emphasize on the elements that impinge on the buyer’s behaviour together with decision making. Learning can be deployed to evaluate individual response which has been proved by examples in the literature. Significantly, the end result suggests that learning can be use as communication and interaction tactic to view individual response especially financial products.
Table of contents
1.0 Introduction
Business success can be obtained through the appropriate study of consumer behavior. Consumer buying behavior is a multi step process, which involves buying, paying, using and reconsidering the same product over again. To understand the buying pattern or actions is very imperative as it directly influence the business success. As mentioned by Caslione, John A, (2009) the marketing strategies must meet consumer preferences in recession time in order to gain competitive edge. Most commonly buying activities reflects the strategy use by the companies for marketing and fulfilling the market needs. So consumers are considers to be the entry and exit to a successful business. To understand the consumer’s decision making it is important to understand the cognitive factors affecting their needs, choice, preference and final and post purchase experience or learning (5 W’s of marketing).
Research done on buyer behavior helps to understand the deciding process in two ways i.e. collectively and individually. Both individual and collective buying process is affected by other factors like demographics, environment and perception. (Foxall, Gordon R, 1987) mentioned through the behavioral research companies can forecast the buying frequency and product preferences.
Theory of Consumer behaviour and decision making
The decision making theory was examined and modified by Nicholas Bernoulli and Oskar Morgenstern but it originate about 300 years ago. The theory was based on the expectation of decision outcomes which was a cognitive process. Later the theory was modified with the addition of value and satisfaction. In addition Allen Shocker explains the complexity and steps which involve in decision making. (Michael Richarme, 2005) Degree of involvement is another important factor while looking and making decision. Researchers also proved that the marketing activities have huge impact on consumer’s psychology which helps to take decision.
Consumer behaviour is a psychological function which involves the customer to undergo the identification of their needs, searching methods to fulfill the needs and make purchase decisions accordingly. The process can also be described as collecting, interpreting, making plans and executing it for successfully buying the desired product (Lars Perner, 2008). The behavioral approach of the consumer is highly dominated by their psychology.
The first model of consumer decision of making process was developed in 1963 by Howard and later edited in 1969 which has become the current “theory of consumer behavior”. The updated model provides an integration among the several psychological, social, and market pressure on the buyer’s choice and information (Howard and Sheth, 1969).
Source: http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/10107/1/Consumer_Behaviour_Theory_ _Approaches_%26_Models.pdf)
1.2 Consumer Decision Making Process
Consumers cannot make their decision alone, rather they need to interact and look up for the information from various sources like their own concept, reference groups, environment, other buyers and sellers etc.
(Source: http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/10107/1/Consumer_Behaviour_Theory_ _Approaches_%26_Models.pdf)
The consumer decision making process is interaction between the stimulus for the purchase, the characteristics or need of the consumer and their corresponding response. The stimuli can either be intra or inter personal from the consumer. This can further be explained by the BLACK BOX MODEL which emphasizes on the connection between the response and the stimulus of the buyer. (Cindy Dietrich, 2010) The companies plan and process their marketing stimuli, whereas on the other hand social factors like political, economic and cultural, impact the environmental stimuli.
Fig# 5 the Black Box Model
(Source:http://marketing5.net/Buying-behaviour-and-decision-making-criteria-of-Base-of-the download-w11405.pdf)
The box encloses the characteristics of buyer and their decision making process which helps the buyer to decide and response. Internal and external factors have been represented in the model as buyer characteristics and environmental stimuli respectively. These factors together influence the decision process and buyer response as described in the figure above.
From the identification of problem till the post evaluation of the decision each step is very critical for the buyer which directly affects the marketing strategies. Positive learning reduce the steps in decision making where consumer narrow down the choice, information search, alternative, here consumer behaviour to buy the specific product. All these process relate to buyer psychological factors, motivation, learning, personality etc. on the basis of information gathered the buyer tries to select the best available option while making the purchase.
(A) How the selected factor affects the behaviour theoretically?
Origination and influence of learning on buyers behaviour
The cognitive method is the greater part of mental psychology which founded by early Marketers back (360 B.C). The memory or learning theory was developed by Aristotle who linked learning and knowledge as a mental process. In 1950 Hubb developed a model called Stimlus- organism- response which was dominated by behaviorism approach. (Hope J. Hartman,2001)
Consumer decisions are influenced by individual uniqueness like age, life style, self concept, personality, occupation and economic condition. The purchase decision also influenced by individual learning and past experience. (Kotler, 2006) Learning refers to actions performed or information received. It arises from experience and interplay of wants, stimuli, response and reinforcement.
Once the consumer has learned from their experience they try to discriminate and recognize the difference between similar buying stimuli and adjust their response to it consequently. Learning theories are also important to marketers in order to create the demand for a product using the buyer’s knowledge, motivating reasons for purchase and also backing them up with positive reinforcement (Frans Giele, 2009).
Learning evolves over a period of time and helps the consumer to improve their knowledge. There is a continuous impact on the behavior of the consumer and their purchasing activities in future. The information gathered using different learning processes help the consumers to create a guide and mental framework for their purchasing pattern, behavior and decision.
Learning is also closely to perception as it serves to be the raw input for the consumer knowledge which they have gained from previous buying occasions. (Mario Glowik, Slawomir Smyczek, 2011). Perception can better be explained as a process which the consumer uses to select, organize, receive and interpret their buying need and enrich their learning for a better purchase decision. (William j. Mcguire, 1976) said that perception is more important and has high influence than other stimulus. In this way the consumer evaluates the various brands and products which come to their mind. Often the compared aspect of the product relates largely to the psychological and functional benefits offered by the products or brands.
(Thomas M. Aslin, Michael L. Rothschild, 1987) Marketers must understand the importance of learning/ experience as “first impression is the last impression” and it is important for the company to retain the existing customer as it is always cheaper and consecutively make new loyal customers. Other market factor like service quality and seller’s eminence are also a part of human cognitive process which directly affects the buying pattern. (Kau, Daleen and Serene, 1995) New marketing strategies should focus to enrich customers experience by enhancing their learning/ experience and benchmarking those processes to increase market segment and share.
Mental learning determines that for how long does particular information retains in human mind. This process involves different activities that a consumer relates while buying the particular product or service and then this information becomes the knowledge for future reference. Consumer retrieves the information from the memory if the same or similar product or service is observed.
Effective marketing strategies and tools help to create a lasting impact on the cognitive learning of the consumers. (Mark D. Uncles, Grahame R. Dowling, Kathy Hammond and Angelo Manaresi, 1998) Marketers can use behavioral learning to enhance the consumer’s experience associated to their products as a large market segment loves to follow the current market trend and feel satisfied with their decision.
Example 1: Dettol antiseptic has excellent advertisement which has made a lasting impact on consumers mind by using their marketing slogan of “Be 100% sure”. This advertisement has created a long and positive image on consumers mind since ages. Even after the launch of other brands of antiseptic liquids like Savlon by J&J, consumers still look for Dettol as their first choice while making a purchase decision as Dettol has made a strong brand image.
Example 2: Allen bought Mercedes Benz S-class and told his boss and the boss admired the comfort, safety and power while driving, he will be happy to hear positive response and feel satisfied with the buying decision and feel proud to associate with the brand.
Service products require more concentrated and customized service and experience. As they affect each customer in different manner and individually. Consumer’s level of involvement influences their buying behavior decisions which can be classified into three categories: Repetitive/routine buying, limited and extensive decision. Level of satisfactions/learning is also important to decide the nature of buying behaviour in future. Consumers keep their learning experiences as a catalogue and categories them as positive or negative which they use for future reference.
Example 3: A Toyota customer will remain loyal to the brand if he has a good experience with his previous purchase of its models and associated services. So when the company introduces new car segment like ‘Lexus’ which belongs to niche market, the customer will not hesitate to buy the product since his experience is affirmative.
2.0 B: Why is customer experience important to marketers in explaining buyer behaviour?
Consumer behaviour and decision making process has been one of the favorite research topic for marketers since ages. Authors like Sheth (1974) recommended that consumer decision making is largely influenced by their family, awareness, knowledge and power of their attitude for the brands available in the market. Consumers use detailed information and their past experience to minimize brand ambiguity. Therefore managers must ensure that each purchase experience leads them to higher satisfaction and positive learning about their product and brand.
Allen m. Weiss, Nicholas h. Lurie, and Deborah j. Macinnis, (2008) mentioned in their paper that Marketers can play with the psychology of the consumer as consumers compare each product in their mind. Companies need to identify about the consumers, what they want and which products make them happy. Fortune 500 companies have chosen marketing activities like advertisement, pricing, packaging and labeling to attract their customers. Modern marketing practices have moved on to CRM, service quality which leads to strong brand image and name. Service quality has emerged as an influencing characteristic in consumers learning, as a goods service quality leads to positive learning and rewarding experience for the consumer.
Example 4: Dell is famous for their products and after sales services. In case of any technical assistance needed, the company sends their team to solve the problem at the customer’s residence. So the customer is highly motivated to trust and buy their product. Dell used customer experience and feedback to improve their product and service quality.
2.1 Explanatory examples (Marketing and Managerial Implications)
2.1.1 Dettol (Reckitt Benckiser)
Strong marketing and brand image is behind the success of Dettol. Marketers have carried extensive research, advertisement and learning campaigns. The company has focused to educate and make every single consumer aware about personal hygiene and germ free environment. The marketing slogan of “Be 100%” sure has created a positive image and brand in consumers mind. The cognitive learning has helped the company to influence the buying behaviour and decision making of the consumers. Dettol has used several marketing strategies which were designed to influence the learning of consumers to ensure that whenever they think of antiseptic liquid they must think of the only brand i.e. Dettol. Through the use of learning and awareness programs, the company has successfully expanded their business and product categories from personal care to total care. E.g.: They first launched their antiseptic liquid followed by toilet soap, hand wash, shower gels and bars, shaving creams etc. Dettol has used marketing knowledge and communication to develop the need of the product which was supported by various marketing and advertisement programs.
Sayantani Kar, (2009) mentioned that Consumers are highly influenced with learning approach adopted by Reckitt Benckiser hence they are loyal to the brand. Dettol marketers have chosen psychographic and behavioral segment to target the selected consumer and then penetrate by the use of marketing channels. Competitive marketing and advertisement is the powerful USP (unique selling proposition) which helped them to grow and develop strong image which directly influenced the buyer behaviour. By using cognitive and behavioral learning factor company is rapidly engaged in research and development to extend its product line. (Prerna Raturi, 2006) Several business rivals like P&G, Unilever have tried to focus on consumer learning and succeeded to break the market to some extent but being a pioneer and strong brand, Dettol remains as their first preference.
2.1.2 Lexus (Toyota Motor Corporation)
Being an automobile market leader the company has transformed itself into quality conscious company. Toyota is well known for its durability, performance, luxury and features. Consumers have learned the superior quality and performance by experiencing Toyota cars. Company has a wide segment market which starts from middle income to high income groups. Toyota has transformed high end market with clever marketing and using consumer experience. (Bill Vlasic, 2012) Through encouraging experience they have entered in to niche market where traditional rivals like, BMW, Benz and Volvo dominate the market. By understanding the need of their existing customers they took innovative steps and broke the market share and successfully launched” LEXUS”. Lexus is a premium car and also one of the largest selling brands in the world. Carl Howe (2007) mentioned that Lexus used direct and target marketing by which they targeted loyal customers who were happy with Toyota models, while they carried massive marketing plans to focus and educate the consumers that Lexus belongs to Toyota but it is a more value added product. They used words like “same family” but different child concept to introduce Lexus.
The new concept was ‘high value leading to high price’ which influenced buyers to experience the new product. Consumers have responded greatly to the new model which resulted in greater sale for the company, since the cognitive learning was affirmative which insisted them to try the new model ‘Lexus’ hence upgraded their behavioral learning. Alan Ohnsman and Makiko Kitamura (2011) stated that the after sales service was one of the key marketing features together with the product that enabled the marketers to develop lasting impact on consumer psychology and they succeeded to influence buyer’s behaviour.
(C) Best product category and its implications.
3.0 Financial Services (Banks)
Financial services are the most discussed topic in today’s economy. By narrowing to financial products like, Personal banking and Investment banking particularly, service marketing has introduced many models to understand and deal with the problems. Consumer behaviour is one of the biggest issues which differentiate these two markets (product, service). Services are different from goods because of their heterogeneity, inseparability, intangibility, perishability and customization which make it difficult for marketers to identify and practice the service standards. Major Banks and financial institutions have realized the importance of consumer psychology toward financial products which influence the final decision. (McKechnie, Sally, 1992) To make a purchase decision for a financial product the consumers are not completely aware of the utility and consequences, the learning is developed simultaneously with the product use and Therefore it’s highly critical for the marketers to acquaint with personality, consumer thinking, relationship, service quality etc. which directly affect the buyer preference.
The financial services are not a one- time purchase but there are several two- way transactions for long time. These services need the trust, confidence and mutual rapport of the consumer in the financial institutions. Lunt, Peter, (2005) explains that Marketers invests plenty of time to facilitates and establish a mutual relationship to print positive image in the consumers cognitive learning which they consider to assess the creditability of the institution repeatedly. It also benefits the institution in long term business with individual consumer. Trials are not available for these products and services, most of consumers use their experience to make decision every time. So customer experience, trust and brand image are the main wisdom drivers which influences the buyer to select from available financial facilitators.
4.0 Conclusion
The object to study the consumer behaviour and decision making is to examine the role of determinates that influence the final decision of consumer. The justifications and explanation was based on available consumer decision making theories, buying behaviour model and deep study of selected determinant learning. While exploring the determinants it was observed that marketing stimuli, an external and internal factor plays a critical role in consumer psychology which influence individual response. These elements affect the final purchase of every single product or service. Therefore it’s highly critical for the marketers to identify and effort to narrow down the difference between consumer and supplier interest. Study also indicates the major difference between product and service and also suggests addressing them with more focused marketing. As a service based product buyers are more conscious about the cost and outcome of the specific product because of intangibility of the product it is difficult to communicate with the consumer. Learning encourages the buyer to understand and provide a clear feedback of any particular product. If the consumer is happy with the product or service the feedback will be highly positive which also influence the buyer to straight rebuy without considering other options. In financial products consumers are always scare with the outcome of the decision and highly depend on their previous learning.
Marketers have used this element to understand the needs and want to optimize the satisfaction level, which is actually developing positive attitude to rebuy the same product. Marketers can use modern methods to reduce the level of negative out come by spending more on developing consumer learning and experience. The right use of service quality, customer relation and satisfaction helps to create long term business with every customer which also reduces the brand switching. It is also observed that companies and marketers cannot solely depend on learning determinant. While investigating the determinants it is seen that marketing stimuli also affect the buyer behaviour. The choice of marketing mix product, place, price, promotion) significantly changes the taste and choice of buyer. Marketers must design the strategies to reduce the flaws and ensure that the right message is conveyed to the consumers. The primary aim of marketing is to develop the need, attract, educate and influence consumers to buy the product. Therefore proper market study, product design, segmentation and targeting should be ensured by the marketer.
5.0 Learning from the assignment
Consumers involve in buying and decision making process every day. The learning and decision making affects every time one use the product or service. Being continuous process it’s crucial for the buyer and the marketer to understand the process behind the decision process and what factors affect the buyer on each purchase.
Being a marketing student the assignment helps to understand the available theories in details. Exploratory assignment “determinants of buying behaviour” helps to comprehend the practical implication of each determinant like Marketing stimuli, external and internal factors. By using exploratory research on chosen factor it was observed that it is very critical for the company and the marketer to understand the consumer need, preference, satisfaction and loyalty. Companies cannot rely on each determinant which influences buyer decision because consumer keeps changing their buying decisions. Strong marketing is also one of the key successes for every company which involves more focused, targeted and innovative communicative tools to address the need of the consumer with offered solution.
Assignment also facilitates to analyze the practical illustration from the world renowned companies. While exploring their marketing strategies particularly which helps to learn from their practices. Critical analysis help to understand the pros and cons of every option which the marketers use address the problem. The assignment also encourages self learning, theories and their implications.
Being a future manager it is quite helpful to discuss and address the problem in details. The positive outcome is to address the problems with solutions which help to groom the thinking and brainstorming process being a decision maker and manager.
Strong marketing is the key of today’s competitive business, it was an opportunity to learn and evaluate the possible solutions while understanding consumer decision making process which will help to take positive decisions in future time.
6.0 Appendix
Fig#1
“Theory of customer buying behavior”
(Source : http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/10107/1/Consumer_Behaviour_Theory_ _Approaches_%26_Models.pdf)
Fig #2 Decision making through information search
(Source: http://www.consumerpsychologist.com/cb_Decision_Making.html)
 

Identity and Consumer Culture

In the post-modern society, consumption became a very notion in people’s day-to-day life, consumer culture occupies the central position over the historical process of later modernity in the west, no matter we are black or white, fat or slim, male or female, doctor or housewife, European or Australian, people with a wide range of identities act as consumers in daily lives are obviously. The main task of this essay is to discuss the relationship between consumer culture and individual’s identity, whether the contemporary concepts of identity ‘fit’ with the qualities of a consumer culture, whether the qualities of consumer culture pose particular challengers for individuals to construct their identities. This essay was divided into two main parts: in the first part, different theoretical perspectives both on identity and consumer culture will be discussed; in the second central part, the essay will analyze and demonstrate how these two themes interrelated with each other.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Over the centuries, there were a series of approaches on the subject about identity and self-identity from different aspects: psychology, social psychology, anthropology, sociology and philosophy, this essay will talk about identity from sociology and psychology perspectives. As Mach (2007) argues that identity is a symbolic construction, it is an image of ourselves, which we build in a process of communication with others. Therefore, it is dynamic and contextual, improving via dialogue and through the different ways in which people exchange the meaning of the diversity of symbols that constitute their cultural atmosphere and their social relations. Such as material culture, literature, ritual and myth, they are all the cultural heritage of people involved in the interaction, many other symbolic constructions (including these) plays a part in the process of construction of images, acting as the material out of which all these images as well as borders between groups are constructed. “The construction of the identity of one’s self and of others involves not only building symbolic images but also power relations,” (March, 2007, p.54-55) which we must take into consideration. Between social groups there is an unequal balance of power, the process of communal symbolic identification take up the character of sustaining and legitimising the existing state of affairs through creating and re-creating the identity of all the members in that social context. Changes of symbolic identification and types of identity result from changes in the balance of power. Ardener claims that the construction of image of others and their model of identity is a performance of imposition (Andener, 1989 in Mach, 2007). The acceptance of this imposed identification may result from it. A person of a group may usually accept their identity as it has been created by their partners in the structure of society, in particular, if these partners conquer a stronger position in the structure of society. (Mach, 2007)
Mach continues argues that there are two factors affect identity: one is the social relations of power and another one is the symbolic image of the world. The former contains not only the inner power structure within the group but also the relations with other groups. For example, if the power structure is a particular social group is incapacitated or oppressed, then its possibility to develop activities in which its identity shaped and transformed can be impaired. The latter factor is the conceptual foundation of these activities. (Mach, 2007)
From a psychological perspective, Erik (1968) claims that identity formation makes use of a process of concurrent reflection and observation, a process happens on all levels of mental functioning, by which the individual judges him/herself on the basis of what he/she perceives to be the way in which other people judge him/her in comparison to themselves, while he/she judges their way of judging him/her in accordance with how he /she perceives him/herself in comparison to them and to models that have become pertinent to him/her. This process is more often than not unconscious except where internal conditions and external circumstances combine to aggravate an elated, or painful, “identity-consciousness.” (Erik, 1968, p.23) Furthermore, the process is always developing and changing, increasing differentiation and it becomes more comprehensive as the individual produces aware of a broadening circle of others significant to him/her. Finally, discussing with identity, we can not separate mutual change and personal growth, nor can we detach the identity crisis in person’s life and present crisis in historical development, because these two combine to define each other and are relative to each other. (Erik, 1968) Those are two theoretical perspectives on identity, next, let us move on to look at the concept of consumer culture.
Everyday when we wake up we began to consume, using toothpaste and facial cleanser to wash, having some bread and a bottle of milk for breakfast, then we go to work produce goods, services or experiences for others to consume. Then we taking a break from work only to consume a delicious sandwich in the restaurant, after work we go to some clubs or pubs, if we still have some energy, go shopping or enjoying an incomparable concert, or even bought a CD and listening through computer. Therefore, “our daily life is typically organized as alternating between times/space of work and times/spaces of consumption.”(Sassatelli, R, 2007, p.3) So consumption has played a pivotal role in our daily life. In the modern world, central social practice and cultural values, identities, aspirations and ideas are defined and oriented relative to consumption rather than other social aspects, such as religious cosmology or military role. (Slater, 1997)
As for Slater (1997), consumer culture is the main mode of cultural production developed over the course of modernity in the west. It stands for a social arrangement in which the relation between social resources and lived culture, between meaningful ways of life and the material and symbolic resources on which they rely, is arbitrated through markets. Consumer culture establish a system in which consumption is controlled by the consumption of commodities, and in which cultural reproduction is mainly understood to be performed through the practice of liberated personal choice in the private sphere of everyday life.
Slater (1997) outlined some main features and characters in consumer culture: first, consumer culture is a culture of consumption. When considering this need to regard the main values of a society to be organized through consumption practice as well as in some sense to derive from them. Therefore, we might describe contemporary society as a pecuniary culture based on money, as materialistic, as commodified or as a society of choice and consumer sovereignty. Moreover, values from the sphere of consumption spill over into other areas of social action, such that modern society is totally a consumer culture, and not just in its specially consuming activities. Second, consumer culture is the culture of market society. We usually consume goods, services and experiences which have been produced exclusively with the purpose of being sold on the market to consumers. To a certain extent, essential to our consumption is the action of choosing among a series of alternative commodities produced by organizations and institutions which are not interested in cultural values and need but in economic values and profit. The consumer’s access to consumption is organized by the distribution of material and cultural sources-money and taste- which itself is determined by market relations – wage relation and social class. Third, in principle, consumer culture is universal and impersonal. Although we know that access to commodities is limited by access to money, commodity consumption is treated in principle as the activity of whole population. The idea of selling products is not designed to the needs of a unique and known person or community, however, which might be sold to anyone anywhere, presumes generalizable and impersonal relations of exchange as the foundation for mediating consumption. Fourth, consumer culture identifies freedom with private choice and life. Consumer choice is a private action, it is merely the ordinary version of the broader notion of private, individual freedom. However, the individual privacy choice seems to contradict social order, authority and solidarity. In many aspects, this is the main critics in consumer culture. Fifth, in principle, consumer needs are insatiable and unlimited. In consumer culture, the continuous desire for more and the continuous production of more desires is taken to be normal for its citizens as well as crucial for socio-economic progress and order. The increased is widely understood as both a spur and a response to individual’s desires to become increasingly imaginative, sophisticated and personal, as well as individual’s desire to advance themselves economically and socially. Sixth, within a post-traditional society, consumer culture is privileged medium for negotiating identity and status- the communication and practice of social position-under these conditions, tradition regulation is replaced by construction and negotiation, and consumer goods are important to the way in which we construct our social appearance, networks and our structures of our social value. However, Consumer culture is a contradiction in terms of culture because it characterizes the destruction of a stable traditional social order by capitalist and industrial relations that degrade real culture, challenge the social values that are essential for social solidarity and render people’s social identities fluid and unstable.
Through consumer culture, through the use of goods, services and experiences that we formulate ourselves as social identities and present these identities. Goods can indicate social identity, but in the post-traditional society, comparing to others identity seems to be more a function of consumption. The images we constructed on the external of our bodies, our living location -appearance- become a central way of understanding and identifying ourselves and each other. (Slater, 1997) In terms of appearance, Giddens argues that bodily appearance and demeanour become especially important with the advent of modernity and modes of facial adornment or dress to some degrees mean individualization. (Giddens, A, 1991)
On the one hand, our personal impression manifest our identity, so we consume certain goods to make ourselves look better and feel better which could be considered as a sign we construct our self-identity. For example, women consume cosmetics and beautiful dress to make them look good; some people use weight loss products to make them look slim; others may go to health clubs to built muscles or practice yoga to make them healthy. “We choose these goods over others precisely because they are not neutral, because they are culturally incompatible and even in opposition to those perspectives on the organization of society and identity which we want to refute. In this sense consumption is ‘the very arena in which culture is fought over and licked into shape’.” (Sassatelli, 2007, p.98) This means that consumption reflects fundamental choices of which type of society we want to live in and which type of person we wish to be, and what we do not agree to take and what we do not want to be. (Sassatelli, 2007) It is a process of internal self-examination and self-communication. In this process, people judge themselves, classify themselves and make themselves to choose, because “consumers have sovereignty over their own needs, desires, wants, identities.” (Slater, 1997, p.34)
On the other, “goods ‘are good to think’: they can be treated as symbolic means of classifying the world, as the tools of a particular form of non-verbal communication.” (Douglas, M, 1996) Our world and society are classifies by goods into different class, lower class, middle class and upper class, people within different class have different social identity, according to Slater (1997), in principle consumers needs are insatiable and unlimited and “whose desires grow much faster than their fortunes,” (Ewen, 1999) So people in different class with different social identity and status want to rank among a advanced class to pursue ‘higher’ identity in the manner of high value consumption. For instance, some may choose to go further for education and get masters degree or doctors degree; or others may choose to consume a famous brand to flatter their self-esteem, such as Chanel, Gucci, Christian Dior, Swarovski, Lancôme and so forth, therefore, some factories may copy those fashionable and popular luxuries from upper class to fulfill those individual’s desire and satisfaction on proving their social identities and status. “A growing market in cheap luxury items allowed others to purchase the symbolic accoutrements of status.” (Ewen, 1999, p. 59)
We could negotiate, define, improve or observe our identities through goods, through consumption, through consumer culture; we also could be defined, guided and identified by those goods, institutions or communities vice versa, they are important in our daily life for constructing, reconstructing and maintaining our identity. Consumer culture offers wide range of guidance on the relation between the expanding sphere of meaningful consumer goods, experiences and services and the scheme of maintaining a self. This comes in the form of consumer magazines and the consumerist editorial columns in more general magazines as well as in the form of advertising. (Slater, 1997) For example, a teenage magazine named sugar considered as ‘style bible’ for the teenage girl readers, because it provides a wide range of guides and instructions in the operations of femininity. To some degree, the developments in the teenage magazine industry during the 1990s can be seen as an intensification of the process of ‘logic of consumption’. Increasingly promotional and editorial features have tied the ‘making of adolescent feminine selves’ to the deployment and acquisition of appropriate goods and products and celebrated shopping and consumption as specifically feminine pleasures. Marketing publishers and directors were particularly active in constructing the figure of different consumers’ identity to meet the logic of consumer capitalism, and creating a ‘natural fit’ between the demands and desires of those consumers with the solutions provided by the magazine product. Magazines are presented as dominant to the successful management of their readers who will have developed a ‘strong sense of their own identity’. (Bell & Hollows, 2005, p. 173-177) Also, advertisement is another ‘guidance’ guide us orientate ourselves for constructing self-identity. Slater (1997, p.86) claimed that in a commercial world, advertising provides ‘maps of modernity’, authoritative, ‘discourses through and about objects’ which allow us to orient ourselves to the social meanings of things. For example, appealing to insecurities and dissatisfaction around the job, certain advertisements not only offered their goods as a sort of job insurance, but also suggested that through the usage of their products one might become a business success-the capitalist concept of individual ‘self-‘ fulfillment. (Ewen, 1976, p. 46-47) However, under some circumstances, some advertisement or promotional images may not genuine or if the individual read them amiss, they may be lead very wide astray, because “a promotional message is a complex of significations which at once represents, advocates, and anticipates the circulating entity or entities to which it refers.” (Wernick,1991)
People with different identities or people want to prove their distinct identities depend on ‘choosing’, “we have no choice but to choose” (Giddens, A, 1991, p.81), choosing according to one’s taste is a issue of identifying goods that are objectively adjust to one’s position. (Bourdieu, P, 1984) However, consumer culture increases the individual’s experiences of anxiety and risk by offering more choice images and choices of different identities and by raising the sense of social risk let in for making the ‘wrong choice’, This kind of risk may cause identity crisis to some extent with the process of modernity. The description of modernity as mass identity crisis link up with consumer culture in several ways: first, the symbol of individual choice controls our sense of the social. Social structure and action are progressively understood in terms of individual choices take on in relation to the needs of/for self. Through the image of consumption modern identity is best understood. In the pluralized social world we choose a self-identity from the shop-window; objects, experiences and actions are all reflexively confronted as part of the need to maintain and construct self-identity. Second, identity itself can be seen as a commodity which can be sale. Self is not an internal sense of authenticity but rather a predictable condition of social success and survival. We have to create and ‘sell’ an identity to a variety of social markets with the purpose of having intimate relationships, jobs and social standing. Third, both material and symbolic resources through which we create and maintain identities increasingly take the form of consumer goods and actions through which we create appearance and arrange social encounters and leisure time. Conversely, in post-traditional anomie, the quest for identity is debatably the greatest market of all, or the motivation underlies all markets, at least, marketing take for granted that we want goods primarily for the desirable and meaningful identities with which they might endow us. At the same time consumerism exploits mass identity crisis by offering its goods as solutions to the problems of identity, and in the procedure strengthens it by proffering ever more plural values and methods of being. Consumer culture breeds and lives in the cultural deficits of modernity. (Slater, D, 1997)
As a conclusion, this essay goes overview the Mach and Erik’s perspective on identity and Slater’s concept about consumer culture and analyzes the relationship between those two themes: through consumer culture individuals could construct self-identity and present these identities when consuming, because goods can indicate social identity, in another word, people could construct identity in the back ground of consumer culture, this is a process we depend on our ‘self’ and active. Also, we were received and guided through ‘media consumption’ vice versa, this point was demonstrated by magazines and advertisement in consumer culture, and within this process compared to the previous one individuals are not so active to construct identity to some extent, they were guided by media information. Last, people making ‘choice’ when consuming, when we make the ‘wrong choice’ will lead to ‘identity crisis’, consumer culture increases the individual’s experiences of anxiety and risk by offering more choice images and choices of different identities and by raising the sense of social risk let in for making the ‘wrong choice’, This kind of risk may cause identity crisis to some extent with the process of modernity. Therefore, for the previous two points identity is ‘fit’ with the contemporary notions of consumer culture, and for the last one, consumer culture poses the challenge for constructing an identity.
 

Relationship Between Marketing and Consumer Demand

From the past decades to the new 21st century, the global economy had grown vastly over the years and the organisations had come to a realization of the importance of customer demands and the need for marketing. For most of the companies, their main objective was to make a certain amount of profit. Profit can be earned by satisfying the customers’ need through the use of marketing philosophies. Hence, customer value is an essential component for marketers to examine through the process of producing a product/outcome. In order to understand marketing and consumer demand, we will have to first elaborate the concept of what is marketing and look at the customer values. And the remaining essay would elucidate the relationship between the two.
No matter in what type of industries or how large were the organisations, the company would have a certain amount of skill in marketing. So, what is marketing? Most of the people may picture a salesman straight away as they believe marketing were equivalent to the word ‘selling’. However, selling was only one of the several functions of marketing.
“Marketing is the activity, set of institution, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” (AMA, 2013)

The first part of the definition, ‘activity, set of institution, and processes’ recognizes the broad scope of marketing. It indicates the roles/functions that need to be performed by marketers such as perform market researches and choosing target markets. The second part of the definition is ‘creating, communicating, delivering’. This suggests that marketing is to get the right goods and services to the right people at the right place at the right time at the right price (Elliott, Greg, Thiele & Waller, 2012, ). This part of the definition included the creation and the delivery process of marketing. The third part of the definition ‘exchanging offerings that have value’ includes the process satisfying customers’ needs and wants through exchange – which is one of the ways for individuals to get what they desired by offering certain things that the other party desired. For instance, money or other products. The last part of the definition ‘customers, clients, partners, and society at large’ outlines the beneficiaries of the process of marketing. The benefits were not only received by the organisations and the consumers, the suppliers and the society can also gain benefits from marketing. The society can be benefited from marketing as marketing creates employments and society welfares and wealth as more people are spending and thus indirectly speeds up the GDP.
Marketers have to perform functions such as identify the need, development of the product, pricing, distributing and promoting the product. Their main aim is to make selling superfluous. (Kotler & Philip, 1983, p. 4)
Apart from the definition, marketing can also be examined from the five philosophies of marketing. The production philosophy assumes the consumer would favor in the product and the main aim is to improve the efficiency of both production and distribution. The product philosophy looks at the quality of the product while assuming the consumers would favor the product. The selling philosophy involves organisations stimulate customer’s interests. The marketing philosophy questions the organisation, whether they did satisfy the customer’s needs efficiently and effectively or not compared with their competitors. And lastly, the societal marketing philosophy considers whether the organisation enhanced the consumer’s and the society’s well-being based on the marketing philosophy.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

For a product such as the Membership to Zoos Victoria, the marketers would have done market researches and targeted the membership to families and children as they had packaged a lot of benefits for children or family. For instance, there are 15% discounts from the stores in the zoo. Membership to Zoos Victoria also creates and deliver the good at the right time and right place, the product can be brought from online or at the zoo and even if the consumers purchased the membership after the visit to the zoo, they could get refunds for the ticket money. As mentioned in the previous, the zoo’s main target is family and children, as the kids can satisfy themselves while they visit the animals, the exchange was proceeded as the consumers, parents/families does gain happiness within the tour.
Before we discuss about the customer value, I believe it is essential for us to understand ‘value’. Value is the “worth, desirability or utility” (Grönroos, C., 1997). On the other hand, customer Value is “the difference between the benefits a customer sees from a market offering and the costs of obtaining those benefits” (Quester, P., 2007). By all means, in order to make customers receive the benefits, they would have to ‘give up’ certain things for the exchange of the product. In decree to get better acknowledged about the customer value, we can apply the diagram beneath.

Functional/instrumental value is concerned with the product’s usability; the product’s unique characteristics and its desired function. This value is basically generated by the purchase and use of the product. Under the functional value, there are three main areas – the correct attributes, appropriate performances and outcome. The correct attributes concerns with the characteristics a product has as consumers would prefer to buy a product that has the most suitable characteristics that they desired. Appropriate performances look at the quality of the product. So, the customer would be satisfied if the product is able to perform as well as it was appeared in its description. Lastly, the appropriate outcome considers whether the product reaches the outcomes that the consumer demanded. The experiential/hedonic value looks at the product’s ability in creating experiences, feelings and emotions of its users. For this value, there are four parts to it – sensory, emotional, social/relational and epistemic. Some retailers focus on sensory value (such as aesthetes, ambulance, aromas, feel/tone) (Smith & Mark, C., 2007). The third beneficial value is the symbolic/expressive value. This value is concerned with the extent to which the product gave its user a certain degree of self-worth or self-value. It is also a value that connects with personal meanings of the product to particular consumers. The social meanings of how the others think about you and conditional meanings such as Valentine’s rose or the dumplings that we have for Chinese New Year Festival. In order to have the benefits, customers also has cost/sacrifice values. This can be economic losses, risks associated with the product, personal investments and psychological losses. So, by knowing the customer’s concerns or hold back in the process of purchasing a product, the marketers would look at the costs and tries to minimize the costs so products can be sold more efficiently. For the Victoria zoos, its product: the membership of zoos Victoria has complied with the four values. The product does provide services/tours for its members and it has appropriate performance and outcomes (functional values). Furthermore, the membership also blends in with emotional, relational and epistemic values as the members can both enjoy the tour and learn knowledge about the zoo animals at the same time. It also helps to enhance the relationships between the consumers (families). It gave its consumers the experience to have a close interactions with the animals. The membership contains symbolic values as it carries out personal and social meanings. On the membership website, the campaign was focused on children or family relationship and it also mentioned about the fees for membership would be used for saving extinction animals. This would make the consumers of the zoo appears to be morally respectful to the society as they are indirectly helping/saving animals.
Marketing and customer value has a close relationship. Customers are the core of marketing as the consumers would only buy products that they strongly desired. Thus, in order for the company to be successful, organisations would have to be customer orientated. Before organisations produce their product, a certain amount of market research would be made and these researches would have focused on the consumer needs. As more and more businesses had opened locally and globally, each organisation faces with a greater extent of competitions, no matter in quality, price or service. This growing fierce competition had led organisations to put strong emphasis on customer value and their needs. Therefore, when companies creating their product, they would put consumer’s values into the consideration so their product can outweigh the competitors’ products. The same concept was also adopted by the Victoria zoo, in their product, the membership to zoos Victoria. Consumers are able to receive benefits from the exchange process as their values being fulfilled by the product. For instance, members can visit new exhibits prior to the non-members, customers and there are 15% discounts for any purchase at the zoo stores. The consumer can also receive benefits such as the freedom to visit all the zoos in Victoria and there are special name cards for individual kids. These characteristics would satisfy most of the customers as they would feel being welcomed and well considered by the zoo. The zoo’s welcome letter also addresses themselves as a family, which would made consumers to felt being a part of a family. Overall, the membership of zoo Victoria is a successful product as its advertisement campaign was very well presented, there are considerations for the customer values and it adopts the marketing philosophies well through the product.
For the purposes of gaining more consumers, the organisations must have a strong understanding in marketing, both as its definition and its five philosophies and in the concept of customer value. When marketing and customer values are being understood by companies, the organisation, customers and the society can all gain benefits from it as businesses can earn more profit, customers can enjoy their life by using the product and the society can gain benefits through the interactions between the two parties.
Reference List
America Marketing Association – AMA. (2013) Definition of Marketing. Retrieved from https://www.ama.org/AboutAMA/Pages/Definition-of-Marketing.aspx
Elliott, Greg, Sharyn Thiele, and David Waller. Marketing. 2nd Ed. (pp. ) Milton, Qld.: John Wiley and Sons Australia, 2012
Kotler, Philip. “Marketing and Human Needs.” Marketing in Australia. (pp. 4) New York: Prentice-Hall, 1983
Grönroos, C. (1997), “Value-Driven Relationship Marketing: From Products to Resources and Competencies,” Journal of Marketing Management, 13 (5), 407–419.
J. Brock, S., & Mark, C. (2007) Customer value creation: a practical framework. Associate Professor of Service Management, Faculty of Business, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Quester, Pascale G.. “Chapter One.” Marketing: creating and delivering value. 5th Ed. (pp. ) North Ryde, N.S.W.: McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd., 2007.
Smith and Colgate. (2007) Customer value creation: a practical framework, Journal of Marketing Theories and Practices. Vol 15, No. 1, pp 7-23
 
 

Impact of Brand Name on Consumer Decision Making

Brand Name Consumer
Today’s generation follows the pattern of capitalism where human values are measured by, ‘you are known by what you have not by what you are’. This naturally leads to a social structure where everyone seeks uniqueness by possessing things which sets them apart from everybody else.
Nowadays, brands not only represent the symbol of a company or product but also define the daily life of a person to a large extent . Products used by a person often reflect the person’s tastes, status in society, and economic background. When customers purchase products, the consumer’s choice is frequently affected by brand name. Some customers purchase specific brand products only due to brand name.
The purpose of this thesis is to create a deeper consideration about how brand name affects consumers when they gor for purchasing a car. Moreover the author wants to identify if there is any connection between brand name and consumer decision making.
The research method involved a critically analysed review on secondary research upon the subject. It provides the reader with an understanding of the relation between companies and consumers in terms of brand equity, emotional branding, consumer behaviour, and consumer decision making.
From the secondary research, the basis for primary research was created. The use of a questionnaire allowed the author to identify individual feelings when people go for purchasing car. All of the respondents answered every question upon which quantitative data and findings were produced.
The findings and analysis of the research conducted, concluded that brand name is the most important aspect when people go for purchasing a car. Furthermore, the results show that most people prefer brand products which signify consumer status and social status.
The paper concludes with an evaluation of the study, limitations, and recommendations for further research.
Reasons for choice of topic
Every brand differs in names or symbols like logo, trade mark, design and packing. A brand name is a signal to protect the customer from similar brands and protect the producer from the competitors (Aaker, 1991). Brand names present many things about a product and give number of information about it to the customers and also tell the customer or potential buyer what the product means to them (Hansen & Christensen, 2003). Brand names affect consumers purchasing behaviour enormously. It is important for companies to find out customer’s decision process and pinpoint the criteria, which customers apply while making decision (Cravens & Piercy, 2006).
In today’s business environment, companies must work harder than ever before to achieve some degree of differentiation in their products. Many companies have sought to achieve this differentiation by branding their products, simply putting the company’s name on a product (Aaker, 1991).
The author has chosen the topic to try to gain further knowledge about the subject of how brand name affects consumer decision in car choice. The reasons for attempting to gain further knowledge are simply based upon the author‟s great interest towards the car industry and consumer behaviour. The author is particularly interested in why customers prefer brand products in case of brand cars. Also the effect of brand name on consumer decision making will be of great curiosity to the author.
Academic objectives of dissertation
This study attempts to highlight and tackle the extent to how brand name affects consumer decision in car choice. This is to allow a greater understanding of the relation between companies and consumers in terms of brand equity, emotional branding, consumer behaviour, and consumer decision making. In order to achieve this main aim, the following objectives have been produced:

To discover any assets and liabilities of brand equity in case of adding or subtracting value for customers.

To understand why emotional branding creates feelings and what kind of feelings.

To explore how individuals select, purchase, and use or dispose products to satisfy their needs and desires.

To investigate consumer decision making and the way of information search when customers go for purchasing a car.

As the introduction is chapter one, the surplus of this study is organised and structured as followed:
Chapter Two- This chapter is to set the scene for the study. It presents the background of the current situation of the car industry and the influence of brands in society.
Chapter Three– This chapter is a review of earlier research and literature on brand name and the effect it has on the consumers purchase decision. In this chapter the earlier literature is critically analysed upon its relevance and importance to the study.
Chapter Four– The methodology of the study is addressed in this chapter. It involves a description of the research undertaken for the study and a justification of why. The approaches and methods of research are detailed here and justified.
Chapter Five– This chapter is the findings and analysis of primary research as well as secondary research undertaken towards the study. The findings from the primary research are analysed against the earlier literature and research from chapter three.
Chapter Six- This chapter is a conclusion, commenting on the initial objectives of the study. The limitations and recommendations for further research are also discussed in this chapter.
Car Industry Background
The European Union is the world’s largest car manufacturing region and the world’s biggest market, not only in size terms, but also due to the intensity of competition (Lung, 2003). Europe constitutes a true “automobile space”, inasmuch as the routing and regulation of the supply and demand for automobile products here has mainly taken place at a regional level (Carrillo, Lung, van Tulder, 2004). We can therefore say that we are in the presence of what can be called a European automobile system (Lung, 2001).
From the perspective of car manufacturers the competitive pressure is increasing and their established role is threatened (Selz & Klein, 1998). Franchising dominates automobile distribution because of the need to decentralize pricing and control of decisions (Vazquez, 2004).
The sales and distribution sector is set to experience considerable change (Eurofund, 2004). The aim of the Commission regulation is to promote competition and a better deal for consumers. It separates new car sales, repair and parts supply, and gives more autonomy to dealers and repairers (Eurofund, 2004). The idea is that such liberalization will promote intrabrand competition, that is, competition between dealers of the same brand (Verboven, 2006).

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Furthermore, cars of different manufactures look increasingly similar. Product differences are reduced to design aspects, and thus require new branding concepts. At the same time, we move away from the simple durable good car to a complex bundle, incorporating diverse s and after-sales s (Dudenhöffer, 1997). When a company is deciding which new products to add to its line, it should consider two key factors: First, which new product contenders best fit its distribution system, and second, whether the distribution system will add value to the product in the eyes of the end user (Fites, 1996).
Brands in Society
Today’s generation follows the pattern of capitalism where human values are measured by, ‘you are known by what you have not by what you are’. This naturally leads to a social structure where everyone seeks uniqueness by possessing things which sets them apart from everybody else. Brands not only represent the symbol of the company or product but to a larger extent define the general life of a person.
Brand is a combination of name, symbol and design. Brands represent customer perceptions about the performance of a product. A powerful brand is which resides in the mind of the consumer. Brands differ in the amount of power and worth they have in the market place. Brands with high awareness have a high level of acceptability and customers do not refuse to buy such brands as they enjoy the brand performance (Kotler et al., 2005).
The history of branding goes back when people utilized burned mark on cattle in order to identify quality (Bengtsson, 2002). Brands differ in name or symbol, trade mark, design and packing. Products are recognized through these elements and thus make it possible to differentiate one product from the other. A brand is a signal to protect the customer from similar brand names and protect the producer from the competitors (Aaker, 1991). Usually people do not buy certain brands because of design and requirements, but also in an attempt to enhance their self esteem in society (De Chernatory & McDonald, 1992).
Brand names present many things about products and give a number of information to customers. When customers consider to purchase they evaluate the product immediately by reconstructing the product from memory (Hansen & Christensen, 2003).
In today’s business environment, companies must work harder than ever before to achieve some degree of product differentiation. Many companies have sought to achieve this differentiation by branding their products, simply putting the company’s name on a product (Aaker, 1991). In this respect companies offer different packages to customers in this competition war for raising awareness among the customers about the branded product.
Brand and Consumer Perceptions
In every industry corporate executives are finding that to be competitive they must increase the communication and contact between their company and their customers (Girsky, 2003). Automotive is no exception: car manufacturers face mounting pressures related to acquiring and retaining customers. While many dealers have assumed that customers make decisions primarily on a rational, fact-driven basis, the truth is that most purchase decisions also involve emotion, intuition and impulse (Zaltmann, 2003).
The reason customers buy cars is more connected to the overall experience of the purchase and ownership of an automobile than it is to any traditional impetus such as brand loyalty, price, or personal relationship with the dealer (Bolton, 2002). In this environment, competitive advantage will shift to the player whose value net is most tightly linked and built around the customer: To attract new customers, and sell more to each of them over a lifetime, manufacturers need to move away from their traditional “build it and they will come” approach to capture customer wallet share (IBM, 2003). To facilitate increased revenue capture over the customer lifecycle, dealers should work to create a collaborative business environment. Increased collaboration will help dealers manage customer touchpoints more efficiently and effectively, increase personalization and establish emotional bonds between themselves and their customers (IBM, 2003).Seeing, touching, and driving the product are still crucial to the purchase decision for most consumers (Helper, 2000).
The evolution of customer needs advances continually (IBM, 2003). Successful marketing requires understanding how customers’ relationships with an organization change over time. Todays interactive generation demands products that are valuable to them and that enhance and enable their lifestyle as well. In this environment, quality and price are no longer enough, customers want to make purchases that improve their quality of life – and their buying power will go to the companies that offer them the best (IBM, 2003).
Product differentiation is no longer adequate to ensure profits. Traditional customer-focused marketing “to determine the needs and wants of target markets” is still largely product, rather than customer, focused. Even customer satisfaction itself is no longer enough (IBM, 2003).
Customer Touchpoints
A car company’s marketing instruments have different effects on customer behavior and ultimately on customer lifetime value (Bolton, 2002). Customer lifetime value is characterized by the length, depth and breadth of each customer’s relationship with a dealer in terms of the customers purchase behavior (Verhoef 2001). Length and depth are also reflected in upgrading behavior, which is the purchasing of premium higher margin products instead of low cost variants (Bolton, 2002). Loyal customers are sometimes assumed to be willing to pay higher prices (Reichheld 1996a; Reichheld 1996b) but in some markets loyal customers pay lower prices due to discounts. The breadth of a relationship primarily concerns “cross- buying” or “add-on buying” that is, the number of additional (different) products purchased from a company over time (Blattberg, Getz and Thomas 2001). In addition to purchase behavior, customer lifetime value is influenced by non-purchase behaviors, such as word-ofmouth behavior and the provision of new product ideas that may be more difficult to observe and predict (Bettencourt 1997).
It is important to know how each of these categories of marketing instruments differentially influence relationship duration, customer usage and cross-buying of products. These marketing activities generate revenues via their effect on individual customer behavior (Bolton, 2002).
Satisfaction and Quality Management
Marketers typically assume that satisfied customers are more loyal (Szymanski and Hise 2001). However, studies of actual customer behavior have established that the effect of satisfaction on relationship length is complex. Bolton (1998) argues that satisfaction is an indicator of the subjective expected, and finds a positive effect of satisfaction on relationship length that is enhanced by relationship age. Mittal and Kamakura (2001) show that demographics, such as age and gender, moderate the effect of satisfaction on relationship length.
Negative discrepancies between a customer’s satisfaction with of a product provider and its competitor (i.e., competitor performs better than company) influence customer retention, whereas positive discrepancies do not (Kumar 2002).
A positive link between satisfaction and usage has been documented by Bolton and Lemon (1999). The underlying rationale for this link is that higher satisfaction scores reflect a higher utility of the provided product. This higher utility will be reflected in higher future usage rates.
However, a customers’ experience with a particular product will not necessarily transfer to additional products offered by the same organization (Verhoef, Franses and Hoekstra (2001).
Relationship Management
In direct marketing it is distinguished between marketing instruments that directly stimulate product sales, and those that focus on the maintenance and development of customer relationships (McDonald 1998). Marketing instruments can also be classified based upon whether they provide economic gains or social benefits to the customer (Bhattacharya and Bolton 2000). But these effects of relationship marketing variables have not been extensively investigated (Jain and Singh 2002). Since direct marketing focuses on creating immediate sales, direct marketing is not expected to influence the length of the customer-firm relationship. However, in the case of successful direct marketing policies, direct marketing may positively affect the depth and/or breadth of the relationship (Bolton, 2002).
A key objective of concentrating on loyalty is to enhance relationship depth, although it is also intended to increase customer-firm relationship length (Bolton, 2002). Although there is considerable anecdotal evidence that loyalty programs strengthen social bonds between customers and product providers (Sharp and Sharp 1997). In existing relationships, direct marketing is an important tool to sell additionals (Roberts and Berger 1999). Direct marketing often offers attractive propositions to customers, such as economic benefits (Bolton, 2002).
Brand Equity
Most observers define the brand equity in term of marketing impact that exceptionally attribute to a brand. Brand equity relates to the information that usually gets different results from marketing of a product (Keller, 2003). Brand equity is a set of brand assets and liabilities linked to a brand, its name and symbol that add to or subtract from value provided by a product to a company and/or to the companie’s customers (Aaker, 1991). Brand awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality and brand association are the core assets for the brand equity. These are important assets for building strong brand equity helps in increasing the brand awareness in the market. The perceived quality and its association with the brand name can effect the customer’s satisfaction and gives him the reason to purchase. This results in the high brand loyalty among the customer and greater share in market (Chen, 2001).
A power full brand enjoys a high level of customer brand awareness and loyalty. Company can have a competitive advantage through high brand equity (Kotler et al., 2005). Brand equity provides a great value for customers; brand equity assets help the customers to capture and process the brand and store large number of information about it. Brand equity can help to attract new customers and/or to maintain the loyalty and faith of old customers (Aaker, 1991).
Customer based brand equity arises when customers are well acquainted with the brand name and keeps some favorable, strong and unique about brand association in memory (Keller, 2003). Brand equity also involves the value added by a product through customer relations and perceptions about a specific brand name (Wood, 2000).
Brand equity supports the company in facing the competition. If a brand has a strong position in the segment, another brand will find a very difficult to compete in the same segment as they already correlate various characteristics with the recognised brand (Papanastassiu & Rouhani, 2006).
Brand Loyalty
Brand loyalty shows customer preferences to purchase a particular brand; customers believe that the brand offers the enjoyable features, images, or standard of quality at the right price. Initially customers will purchase a brand for trial, after being satisfied, customers will keep on buying the product from the certain brand (Bolton, 2002). Brand loyalty represents an encouraging approach towards a brand resulting in regular purchase of the brand over time (Tuominen, 1992).
Brand Loyalty reflects the ratio of regular buyers to satisfied buyers who like the product This is more useful in marketing the product to existing customers because of good brand loyalty it will cost less effort and money, than to attract new ones (Tuominen, 1992). When loyal customers see any lack to a brand attribute, then they immediately transfer to other brand products that offer a better deal. The reason for buying a same product from a familiar brand saves time and reduces risks (Bloemer & Kasper, 1995).
Perceived Quality and Brand Association
Perceived quality defines a customer’s perception about product superioty. Perceived quality provides fundamental reasons to purchase. Perceived quality provides greater beneficial opportunity of charging a premium price. Perceived quality enables a strong brand to extend on a large scale (Hoyer & Brown, 1990).
Mostly customers prefer to buy products from a well-known and familiar brand, rather than opting for unknown or new brands (Rust et al, 1999). Perceived quality of a brand influences decision making of consumers. This influence is important when customers are unable to analysis the quality of a product (Aaker, 1991). All customers are conscious about product quality. The majority of people prefer to go for well-known brands which have high reputation in the market.
Favorability, strength, and uniqueness of brand associations are the dimensions distinguishing brand knowledge that play an important role in determing responses that makes up brand equity, especially in high involvement decision settings (Chen, 2001).
There are values of a brand that are not as visible as other brands. These values can be based on brand association with certain factors that provide confidence and credibility among customers. Companies try to associate certain attributes to their brand, which makes it harder for the new brands to enter the market (Aaker, 1991).
Brand Name Awareness
Brand name awareness plays an important role in consumer decision making; if a customer has already heard a brand name, the customer would feel more comfortable at the time of decision making. Customers do not prefer to buy unknown brands. Therefore companies’ strong brand name is a wining track as customers choose brand products (Aaker, 1991).
People generally tend to buy brands that they are familiar with and in which they have confidence. Brand awareness is responsible for loyal customers, for which unknown brands have to face tough competition (Hoyer & Brown, 1990).
However, well-known brands are always more likely to be recognized and therefore it is more likely that customers prefere brand products.
Emotional Branding
At present, successful companies have built relationships with consumers by attractively engaging them in a personal communication which responds to their needs. Marketers have done so by connecting with customers and creating strong emotional bonds with their brands (Brand Week, 2001).
When companies want to know what consumers feel about them, they have to build a personal communication with them. This is the good way for a company to consider itself because customer perceptions are very important for companies. However a company can learn a lot by listing to its customer’s views (Daryi, 2000). For companies it is essential that its brand corresponds with its products to create emotion; thereby products become connected with a brands image in the customer’s mind (Papanastassiu & Rouhani, 2006). Emotional branding is the fine approach that clarifies the values of a company to its customers (Marken, 2003).
Pricing Strategies
The effect of price on customer behavior in their relationships with companies do not focus only on actual prices. They also focus on price perceptions, such as price fairness or payment equity (Bolton and Lemon 1999). Higher absolute prices lead to lower perceptions of price fairness, but price fairness is also be affected by competitors’ pricing policies (Rust, Zeithaml and Lemon 2000). Negative changes in price perceptions over time (e.g., price fairness decreases), will probably have a larger influence than positive changes (Tversky and Kahneman 1991). Furthermore, differences between the price perception of the dealer and its competitors can lead to regret (Tsiros and Mittal 2000). Positive price perceptions relative to competitors have a large effect on customer retention, and negative price perceptions relative to competitors have a small effect (Bolton, Kannan and Bramlett 2000).
Price plays an important role in the acquisition of new customers. In contrast, after the relationship has been established, the role of price tends to become less prominent and experiential aspects of the relationship, such as quality, become more important (Zahorik and Keiningham 1995).
Brand Name
The name of a brand is the fundamental indicator of the brand. The name of the brand is the basis for raising awareness of the brand and communication efforts. Often even more important is the fact that it can generate association which serves to describe the brand (Aaker, 1991). Brand name is a significant choice because sometimes it captures the central theme or key association of a product in a condensed and reasonable fashion. Brand names can be extremely successful means of communication (Keller, 2003). Some companies assign their products with a brand name that in reality has nothing to do with the emotional experience but is catchy and a name that people can easily memorize. The core base of naming a brand is that it should be unique, that it can be easily differenciated from other names, that is easy to remember, and that it is attractive for customers (Papanastassiu & Rouhani, 2006).
Symbol and Logo
Symbols have a long history which shows brand identification of the company. Logos and symbols are an easy way to recognize a product. It is a greater success if symbol and logos became a linked in memory to corresponding brand name and product to increase brand recall. Customers may perhaps identify definite symbols but be unable to link them any particular brand or product (Keller, 2003). Logos helps companies to develop the brand equity through raised brand identification and brand loyalty. Logos are very important assets, companies spend enormous time and money to promote brand logos and symbols (Hem & Iversen, 2003).
Experience
All brands create feelings; some brands are designed to give customers more experience in the true sense of the word than other brands. The most powerful brand goes beyond the traditional means to steal customers’ heart away and take on special meaning to customers through their product. With time and experience, consumers learn about the brands, they find out which brands satisfy their needs and which ones do not (Daryi, 2000). Customers have used a same branded car for many years, because customers have good experience company brands product.
Self esteem
Usually people have some pre-conceptions about themselves, which is the image of ideal self and also reflects the person’s desire how he would like to be. When the person tries to think about himself he tries to compare it to the people who are well known in society and have high image in the society. It is a very basic and natural tendency of a human being to look into his self esteem and personality by comparing it to others (Solomon, 2005).
Self-esteem refers to person’s self-concept. When people have a bad self-esteem it shows that they will not perform well and they think that when they will do a certain work and they might be rejected or fail (Solomon, 2005). When self esteem advertising is done, there are attempts to change product attribute by motivating a positive feeling about the self. One approach of doing this is to challenge the customer self esteem and then it shows a product with a linkage of that can provide a solution (Solomon, 2005).
Consumer Behaviour
The Consumer behaviour study involves how an individual or groups select, purchase, use or dispose of products, s ideas, or experience to satisfy their need and desires (Solomon, 2005). The consumer environment influences how the consumers feel, consider and act. The environmental features are, for instance, comments taken from other customers, advertising, packing, price, and product appearance etc (Peter & Olson, 2005).
Consumer behaviour is related to the physical action of a consumer, which can be measured directly. Frequency of visiting stores or shopping malls can be measured. To select a specific store then to go there is very difficult to choose and observe directly. Where different types of behaviour can be measured including a shopping pattern in stores. This kind of measurement is very hard. The behaviour can be analyzed in different ways, by offering lower price, better and good quality (Papanastassiu & Rouhani, 2006).
Consumer behavior mainly sheds light on how consumers decides to spend their various resources like time, money etc. on various products so as to meet their needs and requirement. Consumer behavior encompasses study of what, when, why and where the consumers will buy their products. It also focuses on how often the consumers use the products. Furthermore, it also sheds light on how the consumers evaluate the products after the purchase and the effect of evaluations on their future purchases (Schiffmann, 2004).
Consumer Decision Making
The consumer decision making process defines different steps when a consumer goes through to purchase a product. If customer wants to make a purchase he or she takes a sequence of steps in order to do complete this purchase. Problem recognition includes when consumer feel a significant difference between the current state and ideal so consumer thinks there is some problem to be solved. The problem may be small or big. In the second step, the consumer seeks information about the product. The extent of information search relies on the level of consumer involvement. In case of expensive products, the level of involvement is high. Conversely, in case of relatively cheap products the level of involvement is usually low. In the third step, the consumer evaluates the different attributes of the brands. Consumer may consider the product attributes and compare brand products. In the final step consumer makes his choice about a product (Solomon, 2005).
It’s true that a consumer may not necessarily go through all the decision making steps for every purchase he or she makes. At times, consumer makes his or her decision automatically and the decision may be based on heuristics or mental shortcuts. Other times, in case of highinvolvement products consumer may take a long time before reaching a final purchase decision. It depends on consumers’ importance of the products like purchase of a car or home (Solomon, 2005). More over consumers try to make an estimated brand universe on the basis of available information about the brands, and to make an estimated the utility function on the basis of past consumption experience (Davies, 1986).
Decision Rules
Consumers apply decision rules to attributes and alternatives chosen. A decision rule can be explained as a strategy used by the consumer when selecting from the alternatives. If a purchase decision is habitual, a simplistic decision rule is likely to be applied. The consumer may simply decide to buy the same brand as last time. The complexity of the decision rule depends much on the level of involvement and the perceived importance of the outcome of the purchase decision. There is clear division between more complex rules, which are compensatory and non compensatory (Solomon, 2005).
Social Class
Social class is an invisible stratification of the inhabitants of the society into different groups based on some traits of the people. Inhabitants in a society can be divided into different social classes according to their income level, occupation, education and so forth (Hawkins, 2004). Social class of a person is determined by a wide variety of set of variables including income, family background and occupation (Solomon, 2005).
People of a certain social class will also have different choices and preferences for different products. Members of a specific class will also vary in taste. People form higher social class will have preferences for reputed branded products as they buy products not only to satisfy their needs but also to say who they are through the products (Schiffmann, 2004).
Purchase Intention
The purchase intention shows customers preference to purchase the product, whose image is very close to customer. Moreover customers are well aware of certain brand name through advertising, from their past experience or information form their friends and relatives (Solomon, 2005).
The intention of a consumer to purchase a particular
 

The iPhone and my identity as an Apple Consumer

The iPhone and my identity as an Apple Consumer

“First was the mouse. The second was the click wheel. And now, we’re going to bring multi-touch to the market. And each of these revolutionary interfaces has made possible a revolutionary product – the Mac, the iPod and now the iPhone.” These words are said by Steve Jobs, the CEO and co-founder of one of the world’s largest tech companies, Apple. This company has come a long way in terms of the latest technologies. Ever since the first iPhone was launched, Apple never failed to impress their consumers by launching newer versions of the iPhone. I, just like other iPhone users, would keep my eyes out for the latest updates on the new iPhone models. This enthusiasm that I portray makes me wonder, what role am I exactly playing as I continue to buy more Apple products? In this analysis, I will focus on Louis Althusser’s definitions of ideology and his concept of Interpellation to help further explain my identity as an Apple consumer.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Louis Althusser was an influential philosopher. He believed that we are all ‘unconsciously’ influenced by an ideology that is altered by our own beliefs and ideas (Storey 71). To theorize even further, he introduced three definitions of ideology. First, he argues that ideology is “a system of representations (images, myths, ideas or concepts)” (71). In other words, Althusser believed that ideology was governed by rules that had a political aspect to it. This emphasizes our ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’ relation. Since we live in a world dominated by the upper class, there obviously is an assumption that we idealise them as they seem happier and wealthier. But Althusser proves it differently. In “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation)”, he states “there is no ideology except by the subject and for the subject” (Althusser, 1970). He clearly means that ideology is imaginary and everyone, including the dominant class, are not aware of it. This creates a notion that ideology does not reflect the actual conditions of the real world but rather the imaginary relationship of us as individuals, to the real world.  His second definition states that ideology is a “material practice” (Storey 78). He believes that ideology is something that we inherit as thoughts or practices and continue to use that ideology in our day to day lives. For example, I am a waitress and I bring a cup of coffee to a customer and I accidentally spill a bit while carrying it. I apologize and become more aware when I carry a cup of coffee henceforth. Now in this example, the imaginary ideology is that I am taught to feel concern for my customer and I end up feeling guilty. The material practice is when I apologize for my mistake. In this way, ideologies shape our thoughts.

Althusser’s third definition is the concept of ‘interpellation’. He argues that ideologies construct “concrete individuals as subjects” (78). These ideologies “hail” or “call us” to be a part of a particular subject position and we are encouraged to accept this position only because it seems ‘natural’ when in reality, it’s just something that we inherited. Althusser uses the example of a policeman calling out to an individual. When called out, the individual is interpellated into a subject position unknowingly as he/she responds (78). This act of hailing the subject is achieved by the Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs) which represents school systems, families, churches, technology and other private entities. Althusser implies that these ISAs are fully functioned by ideologies and reinforce different social norms on us as subjects. These ISAs are usually controlled by those in power, that is, the upper class or the ‘elite’. Being a subject can result is two options. One being a subject where you have the freedom to make your own choices or being a subject to a person of higher authority where you do not have enough freedom to take up your own responsibility.

In relation to Althusser’s idea of interpellation, I consider myself in a subject position as an Apple consumer. I got my first ever phone four years ago and it happened to be a Samsung model. I used it for almost a year and then switched to Apple. Ever since I switched, I can never seem to go back to Samsung or any brand as a matter of fact. It’s not just me but even my family has the Apple products from iPhones to the Apple Tv. Now the real question is, how am I interpellated into being an Apple consumer? In my opinion, Apple is the ISA here as it acts as an entity that holds some authority and power. Every year, Apple launches newer versions of the iPhone with extravagant features. For example, Apple suggests that we record our fingerprint in order to unlock our iPhone instead of putting a passcode lock. Not only that, iPhones have a health app installed that keeps track of all your data. Since Apple users have their iPhones or Apple watches with them all the time, the app serves as boon. It records the number of steps you’ve taken and flights of stairs you’ve climbed per day. You can also enter specific data such as your nutrition and sleep analysis. Now as we enjoy such privileges, we don’t realize that Apple has interpellated us into a certain set of expectations which has caused us to accept this specific approach that all our information is stored digitally. In other words, Apple interpellates us into trusting them with our personal information.  Recently, Apple was receiving backlash after admitting to slow down older models of the iphone such as the 6 and 6s. This strategy, I believe, was another way into compelling us to buy newer versions of the iPhone. Like I mentioned before, it is hard for me to switch to another brand as I am used to the iPhone interface. So, this interpellates me into buying the latest model so that it could last for another 4-5 years.

Just as I hold the subject position as a consumer, I do have other identities. The first identity I hold onto is the cultural identity. I am an Indian and I grew up learning the beliefs and ethics of India in order to strive my position as a citizen. Being a daughter would be my second identity. I grew up internalizing the values my parents taught me. As I mentioned before, being a subject means freedom or no freedom. In this case, I do not have much freedom as I have to look up to the ISAs (family and culture) in order to follow the ideologies they teach us.

Overall, Althusser highlights his notion of ideology being our ‘imaginary relationship to the real world’ and a ‘material practice’. The usage of both in our day to day lives suggest that we are unaware of this ideology as we assume it to be natural. His concept of “hailing”, also known as interpellation, is viewed to be subtle as we are encouraged into being a subject to something without even realizing it. This proves my identity as an Apple consumer as I am interpellated into trusting this brand with my personal information hence leading me to buy more products in the future. This makes us commodities when we are subjected to interpellation (Doug). With all this research I wonder, does the ‘i’ in iPhone stand for identity?

Works Cited

.

Consumer Purchase Intention Analysis

This management report is abased critique of an article which is known as “consumer purchase intention for organic personal care product”. The shows that the overall summary of this management report which is based on the environmental awareness towards the Impact on US consumers activities actually there is huge no selling of this organic personal care product which is extensively focusing to the marketing strategy but lacking care in customer behaviour. To avoid lacking customer behaviour author has based his research on TPB which also known as theory of plan behaviour. And also the entire report based on research of US consumer buying behaviour, attitude, values, norms and intention of purchasing past experience overall data analysis and so on. Here in this management report I have put few my effort to critique this article.
Introduction:
“Consumer purchase intention for organic personal care products” is an article written by Hee Yeon Kim and fae-Eun chung. Both authors’ are from department of consumer science, from the Ohio State University from Columbus, Ohio, USA. Author’s has raised the awareness of environmental protection which is also known as “green consumerism”. (Moisander, 2007)
The article is based on growing huge amount of US consumers’ activities that has been impacted by the variety of green products which has gained high popularity in a US market (organic trade association, 2006). And problem with highly growing organic personal care industry is that they are focusing on marketing strategy instead of having consumer behaviour and it is says that organic product industry will sink sooner if this industry will not understand focus on consumer behaviour. And this article is mainly based on organic personal care products which are covered outside of the US market. And author’s says that the purpose of this article is to research by using “theory of planned behaviour” in order to investigate the customer behaviour and values, norms and to know the previous experience of consumer purpose while buying organic personal care products. With a response group of 207 online members and with many ignorance was used for study the relationship in the variables. And through this result it was found that awareness of environment were positively manipulate with this industry and it was also founded that the relationship between previous experience of having buying purpose consumer and behavioural control was surrendered pretty good on the TBP model. It says that with this research retailer can have a great marketing strategy by advertising its product is safe and gives beautiful look and can offer consumer the affordable prices in order to develop the buying purpose of customer through organic personal care product. And these researches give US consumer approaches analysis towards the intention of buying purposes of consumer queries through organic personal care product which had manipulate consumers attitude. This article of research has been elaborated to TBP by investigating the relationship between previous experience of having buying purpose consumer and behavioural control. (Kim,H ;chung,f, 2012)
Conformance with principal of scientific investigation:
Purposiveness: Here Michael K. Green (1998, p.165) states that “the purposiveness of company consist in conceiving of a goal and plan of action for realizing it, and then carrying this plan into action”. Here in article the researcher has used theory of planned behaviour in order to analysis the consumer buying behaviour through organic personal care product which will also help in achieving the intention of consumer buying behaviour past experience and consumer attitude towards the company and consumer values and norms. In this article the researcher has choose such types objectives in order to achieve their goals therefore it can be said that it is purposiveness.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Rigor: Mentzer, John T (2008, p.72-77) states that “rigor is the constant examination of whether research can actually support and justify the claims it makes”. And it uses appropriate theories and methods which will regret the final part of something that research did not exposed. This means in this article the researcher has used theory of plan behaviour (TPB) analysis to research customer buying behaviour, past experience values and norms and then over all online participation was recruited in which 207 team members were participated which has helped to evaluate for the multiple regression relationship among the variables and then consumers attitude towards buying organic personal care product which has positive influence overall consumer buying shows that the research hence research is rigor.
Testability: According to Binder, Robert V (1994, p.15) ” the testability terrain for object -oriented development is mapped in order to find shorter and cheaper paths to high reliability”. He says that includes 6 factors which are representation, implementation, built-in test, the test suite, test support environment and process capability. This mean the researchers has developed hypothesis testing sample in order to perform the examination of relationship between consumer attitude and consumer values towards buying behaviour through organic shampoo and body lotion. Therefore the research can be said testability.
Replicability: Clive Seale (2012) states that “replicability is the extinct to which a re-study is made by feasible by the provision of sufficient information about research procedure in the first study”. He says that if the research meets the quality the closeness will be placed in the fact of determining. This means while testing sample consumer attitude and consumer values towards buying behaviour through organic shampoo and body lotion. The evaluation data shows that most of the time similarities results were found in attitude and intention between organic shampoo and body lotion hence, it can be said that the research is replicable.
Precision and confidence: Quiroz, Jorge (2012) states that “confidence interval is usually constructed to assess the level of precision in the method validation studies”. It shown that the finding this research may not be suitable for other organic product which shows in confidence in statistics and no closeness found during the evaluation this may not be precision and confidence in my opinion.
.Objectivity : Business Wire(2006, New York) states that ” objectivity is used for real time processing of complex information, documents and process management, scientific computing and complex defense and security application”. And it also says that objectivity also increase the solution based on Data base such as government, telecommunications, internet infrastructure, manufacturing, bio technology, financial services, scientific and IT market. That means in the hypothesis sample which has stated that consumer values and norms and past experience intention in buying towards the organic product were positively influenced which means although price of product un affordable there lots of appealing towards this organic personal care industry hence the research could said it is objective.
Generalizability: Lee, Allen S (2003, p.221) states that ” it is major concern to those who do and use research”. It means that the research shows analysis of two products are not applicable to other product categories of organic personal care product and it is also says that there may be needs of further study with diversity of product types to achieve highest generalizability.
Parsimony: Maj, S P; Veal, D. (2010, p.3) state that ” parsimony is used for defining structural knowledge with in field of research”. Hence the research is structural and well presented with simple explanation therefore it is parsimony.
Aims and Rationale
According to bryman and bell (2007) “statement should be open and needs to be resulted which should highlighted to be accomplished and then it should reflect the aspiration and expectation of the research topic which will not need to be numbered”. He says that after making aims there should be the objectives that needs to achieved aims and objectives of research should be specific task that will accomplish the goal of the project which should be analytical to accomplish that aims. And it should be feasible and focused which means to be addressed the more urgent project to be resulted.
Objectives:
Here in this article author has made his objective based on examine the US consumer buying behaviour towards the organic personal care product based on theory of plan behaviour which means to analysis the consumer buying behaviours, attitude, values, and norms from the past experience which are being highlighted by the researcher of this article in order accomplish the research aim. That means objectives of research are clearly mentioned above.
Questions:
Researchers have made their questions targeting to organic shampoos and body lotions. And then question were related to the consumer values, TPB constructs, and consumer past experience which were measured in seven scale. Whereas demographic and socioeconomics were also related. Such as health consciousness, environmental consciousness, appearances consciousness, attitude, subjective norms, perceived behaviour control, past experience and purchase intention with in online survey only few members could have participated and many of them have regression during question and answer because of price being unaffordable. This means has been clearly stated.
Hypothesis:
Hypothesis was made on the basis of sample of product such as organic body lotion and shampoo in order to evaluate the regression of differences between consumer attitude and consumer intention in between those two products. Data of hypothesis found to be little complicated and bias of organic product.
Rationalise:
Emly R. (2013) states that “Rationale is done before starting the research project. And the rationale is the reason for researcher conducting their research in the first place.”
The research is based on the awareness of US consumers through the environmental consciousness and here what the different authors say is “US consumers’ activities had an impact on environmental protection. (Kangun et al, 1991).as the green product has been popular in US market the more consumer focused on greener product. (Nimse et al, 2007). Although the green product has earned so much popularity in US market there is only focused on marketing strategy instead of focusing to consumer behaviour so to understand the consumer behaviour the research done on the basis of consumer attitude, intention, values and norms of buying behaviour towards the organic personal care product. Research clarified that if the organic product will not understand consumer behaviour soon the company will be in lose. So the research is based on how the organic product is going to be sustained with in the US market. ((Kim,H ;chung,f, 2012)
Design and methodology:
Design:
AQR (2013) states that “The importance of research project that includes factors such qualitative approaches or the sample that is targeted in order to interview or observed, numbers of interviewed, research location, questioners outline, and task and material to be introduced”.
That means the research is design on the basis developing some questioner based on sample of organic shampoos and body lotions targeted to consumers that uses the organic personal care product were interviewed within US. Out of 202 were responded where 53.5% of them were females and others remaining were 44.3 age male some of them argued their view regarding on environmental consciousness and other respondent positively. And investigation of questioners includes question such as consumers value, norms, TBP constructs and consumer past experience. Such types question was interviewed through the source online panel. Which means it is clearly research clearly designed.
Methodology:
Tutor India (2010) states that “it is the data collecting system for research which may be collected for either theoretical or practical research. Research methodology important factor could be validity of research data”. It also says that research methodology is followed by the research design which maid is experimental or theoretical.
This mean the researchers conducted online investigation with 207 group of member in California which means multiple regression were used for analysing the data of relationship among the variables. In this research shows verification in each and every term of analysis of the article therefore there is no question regarding through this article. Therefore it can be said the research is methodologically clear at all.
Limitation:
USC library (2013) states that “the data analyses which are directly being impacted by characteristics of design and methodology is limitation of the study which controls generalizability and utility of finding”. It is says that the data will be chosen to design the study and method which are used for creating internal and external validity.”
This mean the research has evaluate no such applicable analysis comparing to other organic product according to the data and it says that to have greater generalizability organic personal care product should have other varieties of product.
Finding:
AQR(2013) states that ” The main conclusion of the research project which suggest the project to be indicates or usually refers to the result somewhat the recommendation drawn from”.
The result of analysis which indicate over all environmental consciousness and appearance consciousness are being positively influenced attitude through the organic personal care product which means according to the data analysis in the research consumer relationship of attitude and intention found to be similar between two product. Hence finding is clear.
Conclusion:
Over all it can be concluded the research is based on Impact of US consumer activities towards the environmental awareness. Here author has done research in understanding US consumer buying behaviour towards the organic personal care product. Hence over all consumer buying behaviours towards environmental consciousness, appear consciousness and health consciousness are seems to be positively influenced. Consumption organic product care product can be seen that of consumed more by females then male And data analysis shows that evaluation of regression in relation of attitude and intention seems to be similar between two products. Therefore the author seems to be having a successful research of organic personal care Product Company. And also the author have suggested the retailer can have great marketing strategy by focusing on more of ecology of beauty, product safety and by providing affordable prices attracting to the customer towards the buying behaviour through organic personal care product.
 

Consumer Attitudes and Behavior Towards Ikea

1. Introduction:
IKEA is one of the main home furnishing chains in the world and especially in Malaysia. As IKEA originated in Sweden and have a strong position here it is motivating to study the consumers’ attitudes toward the company in Kualalumpur, Malaysia. IKEA companies have information about their customers’ opinions, attitudes and behavior .They will have the greater effect in comparison to their competitors.
To analyze the attitudes to IKEA I prepared a questionnaire in Kualalumpur. The respondents are chosen randomly between Iranian people, after an overview the paper designed the methodology part, its describes how the proses have been done. The chapter explains the hypothetical framework, which absolutely contracts with attitudes.
In the analysis chapter each question in the questionnaire is offered and explained separately. The study is then used to make decisions.
Some of the decisions ended were:
Ikea’s main target group is well-represented customers nowadays.
IKEA have very strong position in the home furnishing market.
The price and product kind is the key reasons for purchasing at IKEA .
“A Better Everyday Life” –
Organization:
VISION: Ikea’s vision is to create attractively home furnishings to a great customer segment, if you noticed to other main furniture stores; good design is offered only for a small part of the people who can have enough money. It means that IKEA have to answer to the home furnishing requirements of people all over the World Ikea’s strategy: People have different needs and wants, ideas, aims; all these people need to design their home and provide a beautiful environment in which to enjoy. In selection a better everyday life, IKEA suggestions an extensive choice of home furnishings in IKEA stores.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

IKEA is well branded worldwide. Their product variety (18 000 products) is almost similar in All countries. This indicates that IKEA have a global product strategy that is extremely standardized. Ikea’s marketing concept is “Low price with meaning”. When introduction of IKEA in Porters 3 Basic Strategies, IKEA enter by directing on low prices. The main target group is young families who build up their first home. But all customers who think through price as an important argument when purchasing home furnishings are an important target group. Consumers within the organization feel to clearly knowing the I Keas’ purpose. It is also important that they need a strong sense of fitting. The characteristics of the company must spring from the own origins. IKEA have undoubtedly been able to use their origins.
1.2. History
1943 the creator of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, records the name IKEA.
1950 was the first time furniture’s go into the IKEA product collection.
In 1951 the first IKEA list was issued. First furniture showroom was opened in 1953 in Älmhult, Sweden. 1955 was the year IKEA brings into being to design its own furniture. The first IKEA store opens in Älmhult, Sweden in 1958. In 1963 IKEA opens a store in Norway. The store in Stockholm, inspired by the Guggenheim Museum in New York, opens in 1965.
3.Vision:
Was self-service, open warehouse would help customers cut down on Waiting time. 1969-1996 Stores were opened in: Denmark, Germany, Australia, Canada, Austria, Singapore, Netherlands, the Canary Islands, France, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Kuwait, USA, UK, Hong Kong, Italy, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Mallorca, Slovakia, Taiwan, Finland, Malaysia and Spain.
1.4. The purpose:
Is that the home furnishings are associating good design, good purpose and good quality with low prices so that as many people as possible can pay for them.
IKEA sold their World Wide Living Room Web Site on the Internet. In 1998 the first IKEA store was opened in mainland China.
Literature review:
Analysing consumer behaviour is perceived as cornerstone of a successful marketing strategy (Papers4you.com, 2006). Consumer behaviour is ‘the mental and emotional processes and the observable behaviour of consumers during searching purchasing and post consumption of a product and service (Batra & Kazmi, 2004). Similarly Engel (et al, 1990) refers consumer behaviour as the action and decision process of people who purchase goods and services for personal consumption.
WHAT IS CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR?
It is necessary to understand consumer behavior; this is based on the activities leading to the acquisition and use of goods or services, including decision-making processes that determine a purchase. In this process the consumer performs actions such as search, purchase, use and evaluation of products expected to be used to meet their needs (Solomon Michael, 2007).
The activities, processes and social relations to which reference has been made include various actions of the consumer: knowledge of a need, when you make a comparison between stores, the simple reasoning of information that are available in regard to the benefits and risks of the desired product, or seek advice from a friend about a new product. The purchase of a product includes experiences such as mental and physical stimulation, social changes, the more status and power. (Kollat David).
Attitude has a significant effect on purchasing a brand and choosing the place for shopping, moreover new products emerge in the market or exiting products future demand can be predicated by measuring consumers attitude.(Blackwell et al,2001).
Method
Approach
The ways to pay attention to different situations vary due to several factors. There are numerous different methods of looking at the same phenomenon.
My perception of this paper is mostly unbiased by the facts that I am a business
Management student with put emphasis on marketing and I have a great attention in internal design. People have different methods to set situations due to attitude to behavior and individual norms. Past experiences and demographics also create a difference in approach. In making I have tried to be as unbiased as possible when studying collected material. It is important to mention that it is difficult to be one hundred percent neutral and without bias. What is understood depends on who understands it and what is to be understood.
3.2 Method:
As we know market research is only one type of marketing research. The resolution is to make the study standardized. This is able by giving the same
Questions and answer to all respondents. There is no warranty that the information collected from the questionnaire is relevant to the case recognition. I have selected to use very short questions to insure that they would be easy to
Understand and to decrease the risk of misunderstanding. When dealing with short questions the Respondents have to think noticeably and ignore redundant parts. The information I needed was collected by using a quantitative method and questionnaire. After gaining the information, I used SPSS statistic 17.0 for analyze my data.
3.3 The questionnaire:
One of the most important points in this plan has been designing the questionnaire. I have chosen to use short question that would be easy to understand. The price of creating a questionnaire is half of what a phone discussion costs and a tenth of the cost of an individual interview33 I have chosen close questions because I want to consider the population in general terms.
It makes it easier to create a general picture of the respondents’ opinions I designed 6 questions for 50 respondents
3.4 Conformation of population:
The population in my case is IKEAs’ Iranian customers in Kuala Lumpur. It is hard to find out, how many Iranian customers of IKEA has in Kuala Lumpur, and then it is quite unmanageable to know how many times each customer visit to the store.
3.5 Method of selection:
I chose to use the non-probability selection (quota selection).
This method is versus the random sample.
The sub-group that I have been selected is:
Age
Average income
Educational level
Gender
Theory
4.1 Consumer Behavior:
Consumer behavior is one of the main parts in marketing; there are many different ideas about it. The basic principal of marketing are needs and wants, these two factors make the process of buying decision. One of the most popular theories is the Consumer Decision. My study emphases on the attitudes and behavior before the buy, what defines the buy and not the actual buy? Companies succeed if and when considerate what consumers want. This of course makes them very interested in how to effect on consumer behavior. The process of the buy is as important. Consumer behavior is included to: Consumer expectation, store image, needs, wants, culture, age, education, income level.
4.2 Marketing Mix:
The marketing mix is the base of marketing tools a company practices to chase its marketing Goals in the target market. The most popular way to consider the marketing mix is over the eyes of the supplier. The 4Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. When considering the marketing mix from the buyer’s opinion you catch the4Cs: Customer needs and wants, Cost to the customer, Convenience and Communication. The companies that can meet the 4Cs will be winners. By a multifaceted contact between the individual and environmental factors and the marketing mix the consumer estimate the stimuli. When taking done the process the consumers have got a conclusion about the product or service. If the decision is positive it does not mean that the consumer really will purchase the product or service. It is one thing to consider about doing something. Truly doing it is a much bigger stage. Attitudes designed directly are showed to be steadier than indirect formed attitudes like questionnaires. Finally it is meaning that defines what behavior the consumer will selected there are many factors that control the consumer behavior process. Many of these are fairly difficult to influence for a marketer. They have to focus more on the factors they can affect. The most vital factor one can use to influence is perception. The motivation that information gives is there for the factor that initiates the process that tends to the consumer’s decision.
4.3 Buying behavior:
There are many main aspects that effect on a consumer’s purchasing behavior:
Culture
Social
Personal
Psychological
Depending on the kind of product a buyer wants to purchase the buying behavior differs. Costly, complex products that a customer does not purchase often calls for high involvement decisions. The customer looks for information about the Low involvement decisions or unchanging problem resolving follow a somewhat different purchasing design. The consumer knows what he/she want and do not gauge different changes IKEA emphases a lot on trying to impact customers when the turn through the store. This is ended by setting products with very competitive prices at tactical spaces in the store
4.4 Attitudes:
This cause is one of the most motivating and vital factors for marketers. Attitudes to a company make a company image. Therefore, a strong company image offers good business. The Attitude is often supposed to reproduce a person’s deep values; it means that the attitudes are used as an evaluative tool. We weigh products, people, and events and so forth by using our involvements and attitudes the first parts of the consumer behavior process is the base that leads to the consumer’s final decision-making. So one realizes why it is of importance for the companies to study about the consumers attitudes.
 
5. Survey
In the text below I will consider each question in questionnaire separately to evaluate the Respondents answers. The questionnaire is bounded in the end of this paper.
5.1 Demographic Variables:
To conclusion and analyze the respondents attitudes one need to select related
Demographic variables. I have therefor used age, income and geographic area,
And gender as variables, I follow them to be related and exciting in my study. The demographic variable was offered first in the questionnaire.
5.1.1 Gender:
The consumer behavior and attitudes vary among the sexes. Usually women have a more attention to home furnishing compare to men. In my survey 40 percent of the respondents were men and 60 percent women. It is a good proportion
.
5.1.2 Acceptation:
The buying behavior and attitudes differ between the occupations. In my survey students were in majority compare to others.
Student Dr. Secretory lecturer house hold
60% 8% 4% 4% 24%
Obviously, international students have limited budget for buy, especially furniture.
5.1.3 Age:
The respondents’ age, always, impact what kind of home furnishing they need.
Young people are launching their first home
0-15 16-30 31-40 41-5
4% 24% 48% 24%
Age 31-40 is over-represented and 0-15 is under re -presented .0-15 years old do not have their own money to buy. The most important target group for IKEA among Iranian is 31-40 years old.
5.1.4 Marriage:
In my survey, 28% of respondents were single, 72% were married. This is a good proportion. People who married, they are more interesting to furnish the house compare to singles.
Single married
28% 72%
Number of children:
0 1 2 3
40% 12% 20% 12%
6. SURVEY QUESTION
6.1 QUESTION ONE:
I am in IKEA (timely/y) 1-2 3-5
56% 44
There is no any reason for other times; it means respondents never go to IKEA more than 5 times a year. According to analysis 56% of respondents go to IKEA1-2 times a year.
6.2 QUESTION TWO:
What the respondents have bought at IKEA during the past five years?
Bed couch kitchen bookshelf kitchen appliances
36% 24% 12% 16% 12%
6.3 QUESTION THREE AND FOUR:
According of IKEA’s position in the market, the question is:
Where they buy most of their furniture?
Which company has the best quality?
100 percent of respondents answered were (IKEA), IKEA’s strategic plan (high quality, low price, good service) is making the consumers loyal to company and it seems that the IKEA is successful.
6.4 QUESTION FIVE:
I wanted to know how different aspect of IKEA was graded (1-5)
Product quality:
Very good Good Ok Not so good
40% 28% 28% 4%
Product quality compared to price:
Very good Good Ok Not so good
56% 36% 8% 0%
The store location:
Very good Good Ok Not so good
8% 8% 36% 44%
Disposition of the store:
Very good Good Ok Not so good
12% 40% 48% 0%
Service:
Very good Good Ok Not so good
48% 40% 12% 0%
Payment method:
Very good good ok not so good
20% 68% 12% 0%
7. RECOMMENDATION:
According to result of survey:
100% of respondents chose IKEA for satisfying their needs of furniture instead of LUZINI, EMPIRE, and HOME’S HARMONY.
IKEA’s target market could be women (60%),student(60%), between age31-40(48%), married(72%), who visit IKEA 1-2 times a year(56%),they bought bed(36%)and couch (24%).
Respondent’s believes that IKEA’s product quality compare to price, is very good (56%) and good (36%).
IKEA location for (44%) is not so good and for (36%) is ok.
IKEA’s service for (48%) is very good and for (40%) is good.
Around (68%) of respondents are satisfy about payment system.
IKEA’s furniture is more familiar between Iranian who is resident in Malaysia. Majority of respondents are satisfy about price and quality of IKEA’s furniture because they are student and have a limited budget for purchasing household items. As Iranians are influenced by peer group, they are not looking for other brands such as LUZINI, HOME’S HARMONY…
The other reason that IKEA’s furniture is well-known between Iranian is excellent IKEA’s advertising.
Price, quality, advertising, innovation in producing new product, are the basic points to attract positive attitude toward IKEA’s furniture.
IKEA adopted its products to global market.
8. Conclusion
In this part, it is obvious that many of Iranian people know very well IKEA products and also they included to middle consumer income group.
Understanding, what different consumers purchase is the basic information and very interesting for IKEA.
IKEA, recently has improved the rang of its products, especially in terms of furniture with approximately the same price.
The majority of IKEA’s consumers between Iranian are student with limited budget.
I think Iranian people who staying in kualalumpur, are not familiar with another brands as much as IKEA. They introduce IKEA to each other based on their past experience and friendly recommendation.
These consumers of are interest when encourage the more expensive products and have to thinking about it.
IKEA advertisement for Iranian is very interesting, and consumers from low -income areas tend to buy more from IKEA.
Since the price is low, the quality is high and everyday innovation in IKEA’s products is obvious.
IKEA gives the new idea to consumers who do not know which products they need for their house.
IKEA’s product attracts consumers with its innovation and considering consumers expectation.
It is understandable that IKEA pay more attention on its consumers, their needs, wants, expectations, images, culture.
Different age, job, purchasing power, culture, attitudes’ and habits needs different marketing, setting price, quality and store location because these factors obviously influence the consumers.
REFERENCES:
IKEA.2011.01.21
IKEA facts & figures.ikea.com
IKEA student information
www.701 pandan.com
www.Marketingpilgrim.com/2010
www.mpdailyfix.com/IKEA
Blackwell, R, D;Miniard,P.W;Engel,j.f.2001 consumer behavior
[13] Hyunjoo Oh, So-Yeon Yoon and Jana Hawley, what virtual reality can offer to the furniture industry, journalof textile and apparel, technology and management. Volume 4, Issue 1, summer 2004
Shiv, B. and A. Fedorikhin (1999), “Heart and Mind in Conflict: The Interplay of Affect and Cognition in Consumer Decision Making,” Journal of Consumer Research, 26 (December), 278-292.
Cacioppo, J., S. Harkins, and R. Petty (1981), “The Nature of AttitudesandCognitive Responses and Their Relationship to Behavior,” Cognitive Responses in Persuasion, R. Petty, T. Ostrom, and T. Brock, eds., (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates).
Zajonc, R. (1968), “Attitudinal Effects of Mere Exposure,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 1-27.
Petty, R., R. Unnava, and A. Strathman (1991), “Theories of Attitude Change,” in Handbook of Consumer Behavior, T. Robertson and H. Kassarjian eds., (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall).
 

Consumer Choice Behaviour: UK Nightclub Industry Analysis

From about 1900 to 1920, working class Americans got together at bar to dance with the music played on a piano or a jukebox, and this is the early origin of the nightclub (Smith, 2001, p. 3). Nowadays, in general perspective, the ‘Nightclub’ is a word can represents the entertainment and social nightlife. And in recently decades the nightclub has become one of the most important parts of modern entertainment industry (Peretti, 2007, p. 4). It is clearly that, compared with the pub and bar, the nightclub not only has some similitudes, but also has more own characteristics. The nightclub sells alcoholic drink and put music as pub and bar. However, nightclub generally has dance floor and a DJ booth, the music always includes hip hop, rock, reggae and some house music (Smith, 2001, p. 5). To some extent, nightclub mixed the advantages of pub and bar, it has more entertaining and more modernity. As Smith (2001, p. 9) claimed that the nightclub industry is bright and profitable in the coming future, and this industry will probably has more influences on economic growth. For example, a positive phenomenon of U.S. shows that after consumer spending declined on nightclub industry in 2009, consumer spending is probably has a noteworthy growth in 2010 (Bars, Nightclubs & Drinking Establishments report in IBISWORLD, Jan 04 2011). And this kind of situation is happening in UK. In UK, there are 332,700 people working in the pubs, bars and nightclub industry, 40% of this people is working for nightclub. Therefore, the nightclub provides a huge number of job opportunities to society Pub, bar and nightclub industry workforce report in WARWICK, March 2010). Consequently, now the nightclub industry is playing a significant role in UK’s economy. Although the nightclub industry is important, in the academic circles there is a few literatures were related to the consumer behaviour of this industry. Moreover, in nightclub industry, less than 20% of entertainment venues capture 80% of the market share (Nightclubs | A business where 20% continue to make 80% of the money cited in NIGHTCLUBBIZ, 08 February 2010). And there is no authoritative and coincident academic theory to explain this unbalanced phenomenon. Therefore, more and more attention began to focus on this interesting unbalanced situation. What are the main factors dominating consumer choice in nightclub industry and what is the core competitive advantage in this truly competitive market.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Obviously, the nightclub industry is a bright and profitable industry over the next few decades. Therefore, realizing the main factor dominating consumer’s choice behaviour is useful and significant. This dissertation will make an in depth look into the nightclub industry and investigate the main factors dominating consumer’s choice behaviour. And then, provide some theoretical supports for understanding consumer’s choice behaviour in this industry. Moreover, use the research results to provide some positive suggestion about the marketing and promotions strategies in the nightclub industry.
Literature Review
Obviously, nightclub industry is truly different from other industries, such as food, medical, clothing and so on. These kinds of industries produce tangible products. However, the nightclub industry provides tangible products and intangible service together (Rigakos, 2008, p. 12). To some extent, the intangible service is more difficult to promote and also uncontrollability. Therefore, investigate the main factors which dominate the consumers choice behaviour in this industry is arduous task.
Firstly, looking back the previous academic theories, Baker (1999) demonstrated that marketing is a process that can provide the products to the consumers, and this process includes four factors; they are product, price, place and promotion. Additionally, Keller (2003, p. 7) claimed that brand take on special meaning to consumers. It is a significant source of competitive advantage of the manufacturers. Fill (2006, p. 8) suggests that the marketing communication can add value through enhanced product and organisational symbolism. Egan (2008, p. 16) and Buttle (2009, p. 14) demonstrate that the customer relationship management is a positive technology to enhance the achievement of enterprise, helping broader organizational goals. In the secondary research procedure, this dissertation will take these academicians’ theories as the basic theoretical supports.
After the secondary research studying in this area, it can be seen that in nightclub industry there are several factors can influence the consumer’s choice behaviour. According to the basic theories and through the preliminary assessment, these factors can be separated by two parts, internal and managerial. The internal factors includes: music, light, price and security. The managerial factors includes: brand value, promotion and customer relationship management.
First of all, some perspectives support that the music is the core competitive advantage of a nightclub. The main types of music in nightclub include hip hop, rock, reggae and pop music and so on. And different consumer groups have different demands to the music (Smith, 2001, p. 219). Therefore, comfortable musical environment is an important factor could be influence the consumer’s choice behaviour. Then the other internal facilities factor is light. On the topic of professional writing and referencing Smith (2001, p.131) states:
‘Light set the mood, like many other things, light play an important role in establishing an overall mood, and if the place is hopping, it usually results in an easy decision for customers to enter and if it is not, they may leave’.
Furthermore, sometimes the price is also an important element to influence consumers’ choices behaviour. That is not to say price is cheaper is better. It is mean that in this industry, there should be different price ranges for different consumer groups (Engelson, 1995, p. 33). For example, there is a figure shows that per person spending on average from £12 to £31 one night (A basic overview of nightclub and bar investments cited in NIGHTCLUBBIZ, 08 February 2010). Different consumer groups have different attitudes on same price. Therefore, some consumers with high consumption would probably choose the high price service or product. Opposite, the low consumption consumers would be more price-sensitive (Engelson, 1995, p. 35). Consequently, to some degree the price is probably an important factor can influence the customer choice behaviour. Recently, the security problem is raising a key master of the nightclub industry. That is because there are several malignant cases were related with nightclub. For example, a man died after a shooting outside a nightclub in Winter Garden on 5 April 2001 (One killed in shooting outside Winter Garden club cited in ORLANDOSENTINEL, 05 April 2011). And in earlier time, there is another homicide case happened in East London nightclub (Murder at Boheme nightclub cited in MURDERMAP, 27 March 2011). Except the malignant cases, the fire disaster is another frequent threat to the security of nightclub (McManus & O’Toole, 2005, p. 244). Therefore, the consumers put more and more attention on security of nightclub.
The first managerial factor is brand value. Rigakos (2008, p. 46) mentioned that the brand value to a nightclub is crucial adjective. And the brand value can make your nightclub stand out from the rest and potential customers need to be able to find your nightclub. Moreover, Peretti (2007, p. 201) comments that create a brand name is significant step for building fame in the nightclub industry, sometimes the brand value is the key matter for earning profit in this industry. Therefore, the brand value is a significant element in the process of the consumer’s choice behaviour. Secondly, promotion for the nightclub is a significant element. Compared with other industry, the customers of nightclub industry have more mobility. It is meant in this industry the average customer loyalty is lower than traditional industry. Hence, this industry needs more promotions activities (Coe, 2009, p. 102). Some simple promotions technologies can results in an easy decision for consumers to enter the nightclub. Such as the free hats, shirts, and carry bags. According to the academic work of Egan (2008, p. 16), the customer relationship management is not just sent an email to customers. It is also not simply sent the invitation on Facebook. The customer relationship is becoming the major trend in marketing and the key mater of nightclub promotion process. It is clearly that, customers prefer to the nightclub with favorable customer relationship management. Consequently, from the analyzing the related material, the customer relationship management is probably can be a main factor dominating the customer’s choice behaviour.
Finally, through reading the literatures it is can be found that there are some factors are basic. Such as the price, security, music, favorable traffic condition and convenient parking conditions. That is to say if the nightclub investor wants get customers into nightclub and make profit, these factors are necessary. Expect there necessary conditions, the brand, promotion and customer relationship management are the extended conditions. Therefore, in the process of primary research, this project will investigate these factors can dominate the consumer’s choice behaviour or not. And if there has influence on the consumer’s choice behaviour, how much is the degree of the influence.
Research Question and Aims
The proposed research question is to explore what are the main factors can dominate the consumer’s choice behaviour in UK nightclub industry. As motioned previously, there are many factors have influences on customer’s choice behaviour. And what are the decisive factors can dominate the consumer’s choice behaviour in this competitive market? This project is designed to investigate the current situation of UK nightclub market and find out the core factors which can decides the consumer’s choice behaviour in this industry. Then, in order to help the owners of nightclub in UK can better realise the customer’s intend propose and need, increasing the profitability.
Proposed Method
Research strategy
Form the research question and aim; this project will focus on investigating the main factors which can dominate the consumer’s choice behaviour. That is to say, why the consumer choice A nightclub rather than B nightclub? What are the main reasons of the consumption behaviours? Therefore, the emphasis of this project will focus on the consumer side. However, that is not to say the information come from the operator of nightclub is useless. This project will also adopt the case study method, choosing some successful nightclubs as the samples of case study. Interview the operators of the nightclub or do some participant observation works for collecting the useful data from the nightclub operators. According to the research methods literature; this project will adopt the qualitative and quantitative research methods together to get the research result. And the main basic theoretical supports come from Bryman and Bell (2007), Saunder (2007) and Easterby-Smith, et al. (2002).
Research design
Several research designs were considered. Consequently, cross-sectional design, longitudinal design, Multiple-case study design and comparative design was decided as the practical and appropriate research designs due to the restraints imposed by time and accessibility (Bryman & Bell, 2007, p. 44-66). The reasons of choosing these kinds of research designs have four: firstly, this research will adopt the questionnaire and structured interviewing methods, and the cross-sectional design is an appropriate research design to analyse the data come from the questionnaire and structured interviewing (Saunder, et al., 2007, p. 153). Secondly, in this research, it will adopt the case study method to analyse several nightclubs. Therefore, it meant there will be Multiple-case study design. Because the case study research always includes longitudinal factors, and the longitudinal design is also an effective way to analyse the changes happened inside of the cases (Saunder, et al., 2007, p. 161). Hence, it will be also adopted in this research. Thirdly, the comparative design is appropriate for analysing the external elements of the cases (Bryman & Bell, 2007, p. 66). It can be used to investigate the differentiations and similarities among different nightclubs.
Research method
In this research, it will first collect the related literatures about the research topic, analysing the similarities and differentiation among different literatures, and then, obtain the background of this topic and the general theoretical framework about this field (Easterby-Smith, et al., 2002, p. 60). Secondly, this research will use the primary research methods to glean the original data. In this procedure, it will include questionnaire, interview, participant observation and some internet research methods (Easterby-Smith, et al., 2002, p. 168). The questionnaire will be used in the structured interview, and the self-completion questionnaires would not be adopted in this research, because the limitation of lower response rates and not prompt (Bryman & Bell, 2007, p. 242). The types of interview will include structured, unstructured and semi-structured interview. The structured interview will be used in the process of questionnaire, and the unstructured and semi-structured interview will be adopted to interview the operators of nightclubs. Additionally, the participant observation will be used to analyse the nightclubs which the research selects as the samples (Easterby-Smith, et al., 2002, p. 76).
Access issues
This research will choose the Newcastle nightclub market as the research sample. The reason for doing have two. One is Newcastle upon Tyne is famous for its entertainment, and especially the nightlife culture. And a new survey by Luxardo sambuca reveals that Newcastle followed Manchester as the second most offers for nightlife city in UK (Top UK Nightlife City Survey cited in PRNEWSWIR, 25 November 2011). Therefore, the Newcastle nightclub market has its strong representativeness of the UK nightclub industry. Two is I am a student in Newcastle University, I live in Newcastle, for the reason of restraints imposed by time and accessibility therefore I choose Newcastle nightclub market as the sample is reasonable and viable. And after determine the sample this project will try to glean the data from consumers by questionnaire. And this research will print two hundreds paper questionnaires and the questionnaires will be distributed by structured interview around the city centre and in front of door of the nightclubs. The electronic questionnaires will be distributed by email or put on the websites. For example, establish a group discussion on Facebook or Twitter. Furthermore, this research will attempt to interview fifteen nightclub operators in Newcastle, obtaining their perspectives about the dissertation question for supplementing the data come from consumers. And until now, I have two interviewees were selected, one is my classmate, he is the main operator of the Voodooers party in Newcastle. The other one is the manager of Sinners. Because that I have operated some private parties in her nightclub. Therefore, she would like to be an interviewee of my interview and would like to introduce other nightclub managers to me. And this project will search for more interviewees in May.
Proposed work plan
April:
The design of questionnaire
Check the quality and viable of the questionnaire
Send the questionnaires and analysis of questionnaires data
Continue to search for the interviewees
Continue the secondary research work and contact with the interviewees of interview
May:
Carry out the interviews and record the process of interview
Finish the report of interview
June:
Analysing all of the primary data and contrast the results of the secondary research and primary research
Start writing the final dissertation
July to August:
Finish the writing of dissertation
Ethical issue
In this research it will adopt a series of research methods. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention on the ethical issue. Firstly, it should keep the rule of reciprocity and trust; create a favourable research environment (Bryman & Bell, 2007: 144). Secondly, In the process of questionnaire, it should keep the principles of voluntary participation and informed consent, it means the respondents must be fully informed about the procedures and risks involved in research and give their consent to participate (Bryman & Bell, 2007: 137). Thirdly, in the process of participant observation, it should avoid the harm of participants to the respondent, and keep a certain distance from the respondents in hope that avoiding the negative influence and maintaining the objective of the data. Furthermore, in the process of data analysing, do not destroy the privacy of the respondents. Moreover, protect the security of data after finish research (Bryman & Bell, 2007: 143). Consequently, only under the ethical principles, the research is reasonable and significance, the results of research can be objective and credible.
Limitations
The most serious limitation of this research is that the secondary literatures are not adequate. Therefore, to some extent, the primary research is the key matter of this research. Hence, the quality of the primary research decides the results and the quality of this project. Consequently, if the collection and analysis of primary data are not reasonable, then the results of the research will not representative (Easterby-Smith, et al., 2002, p. 128). Therefore, in the process of designing questionnaire and the procedure of analysing the data should be more cautious and systemic.
The second limitation is that the size of the sample. It is common that bigger size sample will make minimum biased (Bryman & Bell, 2007: 242). Hence, I am not sure that the two hundreds questionnaires will get the representative primary data or not. Whether increase the size of sample or not need to be checked and considered in the practice process.
Finally, there is another limitation is that lack of practical experience. I just make sure two interviewees until now. Therefore, I need to contact thirteen interviewees in May. And the worse thing is I did not have any experience about the interview. I need to design a question plan and ask questions in an appropriate way. Consequently, this process for me is a challenge, for the whole research is a limitation.
Proposed data handling and analysis
Generally speaking, in this research it will obtain plenty of data come from the questionnaire and interview. Therefore, it is important to adopt an appropriate method to analyse the qualitative research data. There are two general strategies of qualitative data analysis were considered. One is analytic induction (Bryman & Bell, 2007: 582). The other one is grounded theory (Bryman & Bell, 2007: 584). And this project will adopt the grounded theory as the main strategy of qualitative data analysis. The data of the qualitative research will be analysed by the computer software NVivo (Saunder, et al., 2007, p. 480). Moreover, the quantitative data will be analysed by using the normal statistical methods (Saunder, et al., 2007, p. 414). Furthermore, the secondary analysis will be used in both of the quantitative and qualitative research.
 

Consumer Buying Behaviour In Textile Retailing

Consumer behaviour is a complicated and diverse area of study. Since marketing is based on identifying, anticipating and providing customer needs it is important to understand them. There are two predominant types of buying: consumer buying, which consists of buying products for personal use, and organisational buying, which involves buying for organisational purposes. Consumer buying behaviour is defined as the buying behaviour of final consumers, individuals and households who purchase goods and services for personal consumption (Kotler et. al., 2001, pg. 858).

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Purpose of choosing this topic: For a marketer to satisfy customer needs efficiently and lucratively, understanding consumer behaviour is essential. Research into consumer behaviour allows the marketer to create target groups of people with common interests, values, beliefs and patterns of behaviour which will be discussed further in this proposal. Once a market segment has been identified, marketers can research the target market more thoroughly and the marketing mix, product, price, promotion and place can be adjusted to ensure the product position is correct.
2.0 Objective
This dissertation will identify the main factors influencing consumer behaviour patterns, particularly in textile retailing. It will examine how buyer characteristics influence buyer behaviour and also how retailers react to such characteristics. In particular this proposal will look at the cultural factors, demographic factors and psychological factors that influence consumer buying. Also, it will investigate on different types of buying behaviour that helps to find how and why consumers make their purchase decisions. It is vital to note that the purchase of a particular product does not always derive the same type of decision making behaviour (East, 1997: 19). For example, an affluent businessman who enjoys collecting cars may not undergo complex buying behaviour as opposed to an average earning salesman who is buying a car for transportation purposes.
3.0 Method
In order to achieve the objectives stated above, the research will utilise online survey and will consider the scope to which:
Online community members share their views on buying;

The sharing of pre-buying experience differs from the sharing of post-buying experience;
Comments made by third party and direct contact through an online community affect buying pattern;
Comments received on different company websites affect buying pattern.

Also, the research will utilise online database: Mintel and Emerald, and published material: books, articles on newspaper, magazines, or journals.
Feasibility
There is no purpose at this stage to employ any company information for preparing the dissertation. The author wants to ensure if he needs permission from the online community to approach individuals to take part in the survey. Participants will be at liberty to withdraw from the survey at any moment of time.
5.0 To what extend the existing published material meets the proposal
The dissertation intends to explore the knowledge of types and elements of buying behaviour that influence consumer buying behaviour such as cultural factors, demographic factors and psychological factors. This will significantly assist the marketers to invade the competitive market and come out with fruitful wings.
Complex
buying behaviour
Dissonance-reducing
buying behaviour
Habitual
buying behaviour
Variety-seeking
buying behaviourFigure A:
High Involvement Low Involvement
Significant differences
between brands
Few differences
between brands
Figure A shows the relationship between different types of consumer buying behaviour with the level of consumer involvement and the degrees of differences between brands. The level of involvement in a purchasing a product is related to the importance of the purchase, the risks involved and the type of cognitive processing that is generated (East, 1997: 19). It helps the marketer to keep a better hold on the competing market.
Culture affects consumer behaviour in a variety of ways. It relates to customs and beliefs that are learned from the society in which an individual grows up. Aspects of our socio-culture, such as sub-culture, social class and reference groups play different roles in influencing consumers. A common pattern of behaviour can be observed within groups. Cultural change occurs at a very slow pace and can be seen to marketers as threats or opportunities. Cultural elements that influence consumer behaviour can also be said to be environmental influences.
‘A reference group is one that the individual tends to use as the anchor point for evaluating his/her own beliefs and attitudes’ (American Marketing Association, 2004).
‘Sub-culture plays an important part to marketers because of their influence on brands and types of product and services demanded by their members’ (Chisnall, 1975, p.98). Mintel (2003) reports that an emerging youth sub-culture, in which extreme sports is the focal point. He estimates that consumers spent £4.5 billion on extreme sports goods in 2003, an increase of 29% on 1998. (See appendix 1, figure 3)
Demographic elements (ref Fig.7 appendix.3) can significantly affect consumer behaviour. As an individual’s stage of life progresses, so will the needs and wants of a product. To help marketers make a clearer distinction between demographic groups for market segmentation classification bases have been developed.
‘A Classification of Residential Neighbourhoods’ (ACORN) is a popular geo-demographic technique used as a segmentation base. ACORN maps geographically the concentrations of a particular type of individual and can be useful for helping marketers decide upon store locations and targeting direct mailing (Beaumont, 1989).
Lansing, J and Morgan, J (1955) have devised a popular and successful break down of the life cycle of families to successfully target a market. Each stage influences consumer behaviour in a different way (see table1 appendix2). Mintel (2001) reports that the greatest time of expenditure for women in the AB social grade are during the bachelor stage where 56% of women spent more than £500 on clothes in a year. However, during the newly married couples, full nest 1 and full nest 2 periods the percentage of women that spends £500 a year on clothes decreases to 35%. This percentage increases at the empty nest stage to 46%. (See appendix 3, figure 6)
Psychological factors are related to perceptions, motivations, attitudes and personality of a consumer so it crucial to know how life patterns influence purchasing decisions. ‘Psychographics are usually based on demographic information as well as ratings of consumer’s activities, interests and opinions’ (Williams, K, 1981, pg.91).
Lifestyles and patterns have strong influences on consumer behaviour. Figure 7 (see appendix. 3) illustrates the main factors that form a lifestyle.
Perception and motivation relates to an individual’s interpretation of a product and company. Maslow recognises that people with intensive needs can be motivated to purchase the goods if identified properly (Lancaster, G, Massingham, L, and Ashford, R, 2002, pg. 80). With this, marketer can convey good brand awareness.
The subject of personality is a very complicated area. There are many variables that reflect a comprehensive view of a personality. This makes it difficult for marketers to understand the link personality has with consumer behaviour (Williams, K, 1981, pg.133)
6.0 Timescale
Milestone
Task
Due date
Remarks
1
Stage 1: Area of interest identified
24 March ’10
Completed
2
Stage 2: Specific topic selected
24 March ’10
Completed
3
Stage 3: Topic refined to develop dissertation proposal
6 April ’10
Completed
4
Stage 4: Proposal written and submitted
22 April ’10
Completed
5
Stage 5: Collection of data and information
30 June ’10
6
Stage 6: Analysis and interpretation of collected data
10 July ’10
7
Stage 7: Writing up
31 July 10
8
Stage 8: Final draft prepared – submission of dissertation
31 Aug ’10
9
Final Deadline of dissertation
17 Sept ’10
7.0 Bibliography
American Marketing Association (2004). ‘Dictionary of marketing terms: reference group’ Available from: http://www.marketingpower.com/live/mg_dictionary-view3860.php [Accessed: 2nd April 2010]
American Marketing Association (2004). ‘What’s hot what’s not: Teens tastes in fashion change and change often? Teens also spend, and spend’. Available from: http://www.intellisearchnow.com/mp_pwrpub_view.scml?ppa=7iempYZhklooprVSlj%216%3C%22bfej%5B%21 [Accessed: 2nd April 2010]
Batista, E (2004). ‘Wired News: What your clothes say about you’. Available from: http://www.wired.com/news/wireless/0,1382,58006,00.html [Accessed: 2nd April 2010]
Beaumont, J. R. (1989). ‘An overview of market analysis: Who?, What?, Where? and Why?’ International Journal of Information Management Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages 51-62 Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VB4-45M2NCT-16&_user=822084&_coverDate=03%2F31%2F1989&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1303548251&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000044499&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=822084&md5=6b2bce837f0436807b24710842e5914a [Accessed: 3rd April 2010]
Chisnall, P (1975). ‘Marketing: a behavioural analysis’. 1st edition. McGraw-Hill Book Company (UK) Limited.
East, R. (1997). ‘Consumer Behaviour: Advances and Applications in Marketing’. Prentice Hall, London.
Goldsmith, R (2002). ‘Some Personality Traits of Frequent Clothing Buyers. Emerald, journal of consumer marketing, volume 6, number 3’. Available from: http://oberon.emeraldinsight.com/vl=3977275/cl=13/nw=1/fm=html/rpsv/cw/mcb/13612026/v6n3/s6/p303 [Accessed: 3rd April 2010]
Kotler et. al. (2001). ‘Marketing’. 5th Edition, Prentice Hall, Sydney.
Lansing, J, and Morgan, J, (1955). ‘Consumer Behaviour: Consumer finances over the life-cycle’. 1st Edition. Clark, L.H., New York University Press.
Lancaster, G, Massingham, L, and Ashford, R (2002). ‘Essentials of Marketing: Understanding the Behaviour of Customers.’ 4th edition. McGraw-Hill Education.
Mintel, (2001). ‘Marketing to AB’s – UK – June 2001’. Available from: http://reports.mintel.com/sinatra/mintel/searchexec/fulltext=family+life-cycle&type=reports&report_title&results=1000&proximity=anywhere&variants=true&order=2/report/repcode=S192&anchor=accessS192/doc/712626029&repcode=S192#0 [Accessed: 2nd April 2010]
Mintel, (2003). ‘Extreme Sports – UK – November 2003’ Available from: http://reports.mintel.com/sinatra/mintel/searchexec/fulltext=sub-culture&type=reports&report_country=224&report_title&results=1000&proximity=anywhere&variants=true&order=2/report/repcode=L439&anchor=accessL439 [Accessed: 3rd April 2010]
Moran, C (2004). ‘Fashion Crime: hoodlums love their hooded tops’ The Times.
Plummer, J (1974) ‘The Concept and Application of Life Style Segmentation’ The Journal of Marketing. Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 33-37. American Marketing Association
Williams, T (2002). ‘Social Class Influences on Purchase Evaluation Criteria. Emerald, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Volume 19, Number 3’. Available from: http://titania.emeraldinsight.com/vl=7203230/cl=70/nw=1/fm=html/rpsv/cw/mcb/07363761/v19n3/s5/p249 [Accessed: 3rd April 2010]
8.0 Appendices
8.1 Appendix 1
Figure 3: Consumer spending on extreme sports goods, 1998-2003 (Source: Sports Industry Research Centre/Sports Industries Federation/Mintel)
£m
Index
£m at 1998 prices*
Index
1998
3,470
100
3,470
100
1999
3,560
103
3,331
96
2000
4,107
118
3,227
93
2001
4,048
117
3,158
91
2002
4,319
124
3,088
89
2003 (est)
4,476
129
3,054
88
Figure 4: PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, 1998-2007 (Source: National Statistics 2002/Mintel)
It demonstrates that between 1998 and 2003 while levels of disposable income have increased by 21%, consumer spending has increased by 22%.
PDI at 1998 prices
Index
Consumer expenditure at 1998 prices
Index
Savings
Index
£bn
£bn
£bn
1998
592.74
100
557.35
100
35.39
100
1999
614.50
104
582.90
105
32.80
93
2000
639.80
108
612.25
110
28.09
79
2001
676.08
114
638.52
115
40.02
113
2002
697.58
118
665.05
119
37.20
105
2003 (est)
715.02
121
681.01
122
56.52
160
2004 (fore)
732.18
124
697.36
125
62.86
178
2005 (proj)
749.02
126
715.49
128
68.16
193
2006 (proj)
768.50
130
734.09
132
73.86
209
2007 (proj)
787.71
133
753.91
135
76.75
217
8.1 Appendix 2
Figure 5: Socio-economic classification as defined by the National Readership Survey (Chisnall, P, 1975, pg.114).
Social grade
Social status
Head of household’s occupation
Approximate percentage of families
A
Upper middle class
Higher managerial, administrative or professional
3
B
Middle class
Intermediate managerial, administrative or professional
10
C1
Lower middle class
Supervisory or clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional
24
C2
Skilled working class
Skilled manual workers
30
D
Working class
Semi and unskilled manual workers
25
E
Those at the lowest levels of subsistence
State pensioners or widows (no other earner), casual or lowest-grade workers
8
Table 1: Life cycle stage (Lansing, J and Morgan, J, 1955)
Stage
Category
1
Bachelor stage
young single people
2
Newly married couples
young, no children
3
The full nest 1
young married couple with dependent children
4
The full nest 2
older married couples with dependent children
5
The empty nest
older married couples with no children living with them
6
The solitary survivor
older single people.
 

Research Methods for Consumer Buying Behaviour Research

Research Method
Research methodology
Everywhere, our knowledge is incomplete and problems are waiting to be solved. We address the void in our knowledge and those unresolved problems by asking relevant questions and seeking answers to them. The role of research is to provide a method for obtaining those answers by inquiringly studying the evidence within the parameters of the scientific method.
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/3238/page3-15.htm
Research means finding out things in a systematic way in order to increase knowledge. In any research two phrases are important, first is the ‘systematic research’ that is based on logical relationship and not just beliefs (Ghauri et al., 1995). The second phrase is to ‘find out’ the purpose of the research. It includes describing, understanding, criticizing, analyzing and explaining. (Ghauri et al., 1995) (Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. 2000) (pg 1-2).

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Therefore in simple words research can be expressed as number of similar and related activities involving together in search of information. It is also found that many times we have a question or a problem to resolve. The main aim of research is to collect sufficient information or data relevant to the research topic to get the clear picture and proper understanding in order to accomplish the research goal. But it is thought that we have the answers to those questions thinking that the answer is obvious, commonsense, but until we have subjected our problem to rigorous scientific scrutiny, our ‘knowledge’ remains little more than guesswork or at best, intuition. http://www.chssc.salford.ac.uk/healthSci/rem99/resmeth/chap1.htm
Though the meaning of research is to find out answers for question but research can also be carried out in particular subjects. As a result research in marketing is the systematic and objective identification, collection, analysis, and dissemination of information for improving decision making related to the identification and solution of problems and opportunities in marketing.
There are different approaches to carry out the research. It truly depends upon the researcher which method to choose. It is also necessary to explain why a particular method is being chosen. However the author has focused on the levels of maintaining brand loyalty toward telecom service provider with respect to the competitor’s offers. To carry out this research the author has collected the primary as well as secondary data. Comparison of the primary and the secondary data will help the author for the interpretation leading to the conclusion and recommendation for the research topic.
Research Approach
Research can be carried out by using two types. One is the Inductive research and the other is Deductive research.
Inductive research
“Inductive research is a study in which theory is developed from observation of empirical reality; thus general inferences are induced from particular instances, which is the reverse of deductive method”.( Hussey & Hussey, 1997, pg 13). In inductive research the data is collected and after that the theory and the hypothesis are defined and formulated. The inductive approach can also be helpful in coming up with new ideas, theories and hypothesis. It is also possible that the results of inductive research may not be hundred percent true as they are done through empirical observation. Inductive research is also known as theory generating as it done through specific observations to broader generalizations.
Deductive approach
According to Hussey & Hussey, 1997, pg 13, deductive research is
“Deductive research is a study in which conceptual and theoretical structure is developed and then tested by empirical observation; thus particular instances are deduced from general inferences. The deductive method is referred to as moving from the general to the particular”. In deductive approach the theory or hypothesis are drawn and the research is carried out to support or test the hypothesis. The deductive research draws conclusion through logical reasoning. Robson (1993:19) lists five sequential stages through which deductive research will progress:

Deducing a hypothesis from the theory: In this stage the relationship between the two variables can be defined and later tested.
Expressing the hypothesis in operational terms, which propose a relationship between two specific variables: In this stage the two variables can be defined to be measured. How the two variables relate to each other and how they would affect each other if any changes are made.
Testing this operational hypothesis: In this stage one can involve experiment or some other form research method to test the relationship between two variables.
Examining the specific outcome of the inquiry: In this stage the result of the research would be verified according to the hypothesis so that to see whether the result support the hypothesis or not.
If necessary, modifying the theory in the light of the findings: In this stage, if the results suggest that there should be justified then the theory needs to be modified or altered. (Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A., 2000) (pg 85 – 87)

The author has decided to carry out the mixed approach that is the inductive and deductive method in order to carry out the research on whether customer are able to maintain band loyalty towards their mobile service provider and originate and analyze the essential facts required to fulfil the research objective
The research design builds on clear and concise understanding of research topic. A clear and concise statement of research purposes is absolutely essential for doing good quality research. The important idea of a research design is that all of its components must ‘fit’ with each other or ‘go together’ with each other in a logical manner. There are various methods to collect data. But which method the researcher should adopt will depend upon the nature of the research and various other factors. The method chosen should able to derive sufficient information to answer the research question. It should also be reliable, accurate.
Data collection
There are various methods that can be used for collection of data. In research data collection methods may vary greatly in the amount of time and money required and in complexity. The best method is one that provide the relevant and sufficient information that is needed and not necessarily the one which is fastest, cheapest and easiest. In many cases it is also possible to use more then one type of data collection method to obtain data on the same research topic. Sources of data can be put into the two general categories of being either primary or secondary.
Research methods can be classified in various ways. However one of the most common methods are qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Quantitative research
The quantitative research is more easily defined as the collection of numerical and statistical data. “a quantitative approach involves collecting and analyzing numerical data and applying statistical tests…a qualitative approach, which is more subjective in nature and involves examining and reflecting on perceptions in order to gain an understanding of social and human activities”. (Hussey & Hussey, 1997, pg 12).
The aim of quantitative methods is to determine whether the predictive overview of a theory hold true. Quantitative designs of research tend to produce results that can be generalised. The important features that are associated with quantitative research are Objectivity, deductive ness, generalisability and numbers. It can also be said that quantitative research is concerned with numbers and measurement, rather than words, in the collection and analysis of data. Charts and graphs demonstrates the results of the research, the researchers commonly employ words such as ‘variables’, ‘populations’ and ‘result’ as part of their expressions Quantitative research usually seeks to establish causal relationships between two or more variables, using statistical methods to test the strength and significance of the relationship. Quantitative methods include experiment, surveys, and questionnaire for data collection.
Qualitative research
Preissle (2002) confirms that ‘qualitative research is a loosely defined category of research designs or models, all of which elicit verbal, visual, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory data in the form of descriptive narratives like field notes, recordings, or other transcriptions from audio and videotapes and other written records and pictures or films’.(Web 14)
http://www.roboneill.co.uk/papers/research_methods.pdf
Qualitative research is conducted in a natural setting and involves a process of building a complex and holistic picture of the phenomenon of interest. Qualitative research is concerned with no statistical methods of inquiry and analysis of social phenomena. Qualitative Research is collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data by observing what people do and say. Qualitative research is more subjective and deals in words, images. Qualitative research methods are observation, in-depth interviews or the case study. Therefore in some cases the researcher can also take an active part while interacting with participants. This helps the researcher to get in-depth views and knowledge from participants.
Research is carried out with some or the other aim. Thus research is important to answer the questions and draw conclusion. Therefore to achieve the aim of the research it is crucial to choose the correct research approach and correct research method. As a result the author has made an effort to collect the primary as well as secondary data from the reliable and relevant sources in order to achieve the final results of the study.
Collecting and using primary data
Primary data is collected with a specific purpose or some reason. It is collected especially when the researcher cannot find the relevant data or enough data in the secondary sources. “Primary data is also known as grey literature; they are the first occurrence of piece of work. They include published sources such as reports and some central and local publications such as white papers and planning documents. They also include unpublished manuscripts sources such as letters, memos and committee minutes that may be analyzed as data in their own right”. (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2003, p52).
In many cases primary data is the first hand data that is directly collected from the field survey and thus it is really important for the respondent to understand the aim of the research. This helps the respondent to answer the questions the from the researcher’s view and not from their personal thinking.
There are various types to collect primary data. Every type is advantageous and disadvantageous in its own way. The choice is also highly influenced by the availability of time and money. The basic methods are observations, interview, questionnaire survey, focus group interview, and case study.
After the proper and complete understanding of each and every method the author had decided to obtain the primary data by using questionnaire survey and interviews to carry out the research. The method selected by the author is the mixed approach of qualitative and quantitative method. The main reason to use mixed approach is that qualitative method of approach is process-oriented, real, subjective and descriptive where as quantitative method of approach is objective and mainly outcome oriented. The use of multi methods or triangulation is adopted so that the weakness of one method is offset by the other and to ascertain whether the findings of each method achieve the same results or conclusions which will greater validity and reliability.
The questionnaire survey
Questionnaire is one of the simple and widely used methods for collecting primary data. “In questionnaire technique each respondent is asked same set of questions and thus it provides an efficient way of collecting response from a large sample prior to quantitative analysis”. (Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A., 1997)(pg 244).
Thus it can be understood that questionnaire is a set of the question given to the respondent. The questions are in preset format and the respondents are asked to fill in the answers. There are various advantages in using the questionnaire technique as it is cost effective, less time consuming and efficient. Questionnaire is one the most familiar method for data collection so the researcher doesn’t have to sit and spend time in explaining how to fill them. It also won’t make the respondent nervous. The clear and simple questionnaire can also be filled in by the respondent without the presence of the researcher. Therefore the respondent will be honest and researcher’s own opinions will not influence the respondent to answer questions in a certain way.
There are also certain disadvantages of using questionnaire method. It is very difficult to design the questionnaire. In many cases the researcher is not present while filling in the questionnaire thus it is not possible to give any assistance. The questions in the questionnaire have to be very simple. The response rate is also low many times. Many times it is difficult to find a consumer group who are co operative to answer the question.
The main purpose of using the questionnaire survey was to obtain as much as information possible on customers brand loyalty towards their mobile service provider. The questionnaire survey was intended to acquire the information from the customers using the mobile service. In terms of design and layout of the questionnaire was kept very simple. The questions framed were very clear, simple and easy to understand by the respondent. The length of the questionnaire was also kept short keeping in mind that the respondent may not be bored or tired. This may hinder the final results of the research.
The questionnaire was the combination of open ended and close ended questions, which will use the rating scale technique from 1 to 5. In which 1 represented the highly satisfied customer, 2 represented the satisfied customer, three represented the moderate customer. 4 represented dissatisfied customer, 5 represented highly dissatisfied customer. The questionnaire was self administered and researcher administered. The author had chosen the option of delivering and collecting the questionnaire. With the help of the supportive consumer group the author had achieved 90% of the response rate from the customer and tried to maintain the privacy of the data collected.
 
Pilot testing
Before using the questionnaire on the main sample the pilot testing of the questionnaire was carried out. It is important to obtain information by pilot testing the questionnaire on individual similar to those who will be asked to complete the questionnaire. The purpose of pilot testing is to refine t questionnaire so that the respondent will have no problem in answering the questions and there will be no problems in recording the data. (Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A., 2003)(pg 308). This will help the researcher to perform the necessary changes in the questionnaire before giving it to the actual sample. Pilot testing helps to assess the questions, validity and reliability of the data collected.
After the completion of designing and drafting of questionnaire it was circulated between the MBA students at UWIC. Some of these students were currently working in a company. As a result the author received a response on the clarity, sequencing and inter relation of the questions. This response facilitated the author to make the necessary alteration in the questionnaire.
Interviews
An interview is a purposeful discussion between two or more people. In this one the person is the researcher. Making use of the interview method can be helpful help to gather valid and reliable data that are relevant to the research question and objective. There are three categories of interview each category has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Structured interview
Unstructed interview
Semi structured interview
The first is the structured interview in which the researcher has a list of question in a predetermined manner. They are focused and précised there fore more data can be collected. These are informal interview. The second is the unstructured interview in such type of interview there are no predetermined questions. The conversation between the respondent and researcher is quite general but the researcher needs to have a clear idea about the aspects that he has to explore. The interviewee is given an opportunity to speak on the research topic this type of interview is called as non directive. As there are no set of questions that are prepared it takes lot of time to gather sufficient information. But in such interview the interviewee feels at ease and does not realise that he is being interviewed. There are also some ethical issues that may prevent to make use of such interview especially for research projects.
The third category is the semi structured interview. In such interview there are the list of topics and question to be covered by the researcher. The researcher may also vary the order of the question as per the situation and flow of the conversation. Additional question can also be asked related to the research topic in order to gain the in depth knowledge. It is more flexible. The response rate is also higher. It is a time-consuming method and also requires more time to analyse them.
Therefore the author has decided to make use of the semi structured interview in order to gain the in depth knowledge and achieve the research objective.
Secondary data
Secondary data is the data that readily available. Secondary data is data that is neither collected directly by the user nor specifically for the user, often under conditions not known to the user. “Secondary data is a source such as books and journals are designed either to help to locate primary literature. These publications are aimed at wider audiences. They are easier to locate than primary data”. (Saunders, Lewis, Thornhill, 2003, p52). It is the information that has already been collected for some other purposes by some one else. It may be available from internal sources, or may have been collected and published by another organization. It is basically gathered before the primary data as to find out what is already known about the subject matter before starting the own research. In many cases the researcher prefers using the secondary data instead of carrying out the primary research.
There are advantages as well as disadvantages of using secondary data. Secondary data is available quickly, easily and cheaply. It provides the researcher in determining the direction for primary data collection. It is flexible and provides great variety to the researcher.
The disadvantages of secondary data are as follows. It is difficult to rely on secondary data in terms of quality and accuracy of the data. As the gathered may be long time back hence it may not be valid in current situation. The data readily available may not be related to the research question or may not available in sufficient quantity. There are three types of secondary data:
1. Documentary.
Organizational records, communications and web sites; reports of committees; media accounts (newspaper articles); TV and video recordings; Internet sources
2. Multiple sources. (different data sets combined)
Country or sector reports; industry statistics
3. Survey data.
Government surveys and censuses (continuous); surveys by international bodies. (Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A., 1997) (pg 190)
There are other types of secondary data available such as books, journals, newspaper, articles, and internet. In order to make the research more effective the author has gone through various books, journals, articles, and internet. The combination of primary and secondary data has been collected to obtain answer to the research question more efficiently.
Reliability and Validity
In order to reduce the possibilities of getting the answer wrong attention has to be paid on two important factors in research design: reliability and validity. These two factors are dependent on one another. Reliability is required to make statements about validity. Reliability of the research means the extent to which the instrument would yield the same result if used in the other occasion. Validity applies to both the design and the methods of research it is an indication of how sound the research is. Validity is concerned with whether the findings are really about what they appear to be about (Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A., 2003) (pg 101).
Validity in data collection means that the findings truly represent the phenomenon that the researcher is claiming to measure. Research can be affected by different kinds of factors that irrelevant to the concern of the research, can invalidate the findings” (Seliger & Shohamy 1989, 95).
“Findings can be said to be internally invalid because they may have been affected by factors other than those thought to have caused them, or because the interpretation of the data by the researcher is not clearly supportable” (Seliger & Shohamy 1989, 95). Findings can be externally invalid because they cannot be extended or applied to contexts outside those in which the research took place. (Seliger & Shohamy 1989, 95).
Therefore the author has taken proper care while making the selection of the sample as well as the research planning. The information acquired is also from the reliable and valid sources. The incomplete questionnaires were also discarded to avoid the effects on final results.
Ethical issues
There were certain ethical issues that the author had to face throughout the research. Ethics in research is mainly the appropriateness of your behaviour in relation to the right of those who become the subject of your work, or are affected by it (Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A., 2003)(pg 129). Therefore the ethical issue has to be taken the special care as they remain sensitive and had a impact on the research work as well as the respondent.
While carrying out the survey the companies were assured that this research work is truly for educational purpose and wouldn’t be revealed any where else. Therefore special care was taken by the author to maintain the privacy for the data collected so that it is not been misused by anyone else for any other purpose.
For primary data
http://members.tripod.com/~mccurtain_2/genietips/tip15.html
http://misnt.indstate.edu/wilhelm/ASBE%20336/336%20Primary%20Data.ppt
http://www.jica.go.jp/english/evaluation/guides/pdf/ref_ma_005.pdf
Consumer buying behaviour
A buyers decision are also influenced by personal characteristic such as the buyer age and life cycle stage, occupation, economic situation, lifestyle, and personality and self concept. There are various internal factors, external factors and marketing factors which motivates the customers in their decision making process. Some of the important factors are mentioned below:
Competitive price: a product with a competitive price often attracts customers. Customers are willing to pay a certain amount for a specific product. If the price ranges of that product falls within their purchasing power, customers are tend to be happy.
Good Customer service: customers are satisfied if the are given good customer services for the product that they have purchased. Customer should be provided with good service not only at the time of buying a product but also after sales service should be provided as this influences the buyers buying behaviour. Efficiently handling the customers’ problem.
How convenient the buyer is in buying and using the product also influences the buying behaviour of the customer.
Availability of the product also acts as an influencing factor for the customers buying behaviour. In some cases, if a particular product that the customers buy regularly is not available in the market then the customer may intend to buy the substitute of that product.
Attitude of customers toward a particular product and company also influences their buying behaviour. A good attitude will always have a positive effect and a bad attitude will have a negative effect. Individual learns attitude through their personal experience and interaction with other people. Therefore it becomes important for the companies to develop a positive attitude in the minds of the customers by providing excellent quality of service. If the negative attitude is developed within the customers it is difficult to change it.
Life style of a customer is also becoming an influential factor in their buying behaviour. This influencing factor relates to the way we live through the activities we engage in and interests we express. Lifestyle is often determined by how we spend our time and money. A person having a high standard of life will always prefer using a high quality of product specially a brand.
Many people respond to what they perceive to be fun, exciting, and hip, and they want to feel valued and recognized
Consumer purchasing decisions are often affected by factors that are outside of their control but have direct or indirect impact on how we live and what we consume.