Consumer Bahavior Behavior of Customers the NeedsEssay

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Consumer Bahavior

Behavior of Customers

The needs and requirements of customers have significantly diversified, determining companies to develop innovative strategies that allow them to increase their market share, to increase their number of customers, and to build competitive advantage. In addition to identifying and addressing these needs, companies must study customers' behavior. Different types of customers have different types of behaviors, and companies must identify them in order to develop and implement successful strategies.

Business dictionaries define motivation as the internal and external factors that stimulate desire, and that sustain individuals' continuous interest in certain subjects, or in expressing the efforts required for reaching the objectives they establish. Motivation is the result of interactions between several factors, like intensity of desire and need, incentives or rewards associated with reaching objectives, and individuals' expectations (Business Dictionary, 2011).

The purchase decision is influenced by consumers' motivation. This process works by satisfying needs based on a certain hierarchy. In other words, customers focus on satisfying primary needs. This refers to purchasing basic products, like food, drinks, clothes. It has been observed that most of the income of individuals with small and medium incomes is spent on buying such products that satisfy their primary needs. Individuals then tend to focus on satisfying security needs, which usually refer to professional aspects that ensure their incomes. This means they invest in training programs that are intended to improve their skills, in order to benefit from better jobs.

Individuals also focus on satisfying social needs. In this case, the customer purchase behavior is oriented towards increased focus on entertainment or travel and tourism activities. Individuals also try to satisfy esteem needs, which determines them to invest in reaching a higher social status. Such customers are interested in purchasing luxury brands, and marketers are able to speculate this. Individuals also focus on satisfying self-actualization needs.

There are several strategies that marketers use in motivating their customers. They try to stimulate certain emotions from customers towards their products and services. They try to make the customers feel comfortable with the sales force and with the products in case. They also try to determine customers to take into consideration aspects like the product's quality and efficiency, instead of the price of the product.

Consumer behavior is represented by the purchase behavior of customers in response to the marketing strategies developed by companies. The purchase decision process has several stages. The process starts with the problem recognition or awareness of needs. The needs identified in this case can be stimulated by companies through their marketing strategies by increasing the level of product information. The process continues with the information search, which is performed from internal and external sources. These sources can be influenced by companies. This process must identify several alternatives for customers.

The process continues with the evaluation of these alternatives. During this step, customers establish their evaluation criteria, and the characteristics and standards that must be met by the product or service in case. There are situations where customers are not satisfied by these alternatives. Therefore, they start another search process (Wilson & Gilligan, 2005).

Furthermore, the purchase decision is made. This means that during this step the customer decides what product or service to buy, what type of store is the most suitable, and what type of method the customer prefers. The next step is represented by the purchase process. However, the customer might change his decision and purchase another product, as a result of the availability of the product in case, and of other factors. The evaluation of the purchased product is very important. During this step, the customer decides whether he is satisfied or not by the purchase decision. In order to improve customer satisfaction, companies provide support services and communication (Kardes et al., 2011).

There are several types of consumer behavior. The most important are represented by routine response, limited decision making, extensive decision making, and impulse buying. The routine response or programmed behavior requires low involvement level from customers in the purchase decision, which means that the interest in the product in case is quite reduced. This type of behavior usually refers to low cost products that are purchased frequently. The search and decision efforts associated with this type of behavior are reduced. This is the case of basic products purchase.

The limited decision making behavior is applied in the case of products that are purchased occasionally. In such situations, the buyer needs to find information about brands or product categories that he does not buy frequently, and feels the need to make an informed purchase decision. The information collection processes in this case requires moderate amounts of time.

The extensive decision making behavior requires an increased level of involvement from the customer. This usually refers to products that are not purchased frequently, that are expensive, or that the customer is not sufficiently informed about. Products that require this customer behavior have important risks associated with economic or performance factors. In this case, customers require increased amounts of time for information and for the decision making process. Information is provided by the producer, promotional material, sales staff, and others.

The impulse buying behavior refers to situations where the customer purchases a product or service with no planning involved. This usually refers to lower priced items that provide lower levels of utility for the customer, but that provide higher psychological satisfaction. In such cases, the customer makes the purchase decision based on price, product design, and other factors.

However, the purchase behavior of customers can frequently change. In other words, purchasing similar products might reveal different types of behavior from customers. This is because the purchase decision is also affected by factors like motives, referring to safety or esteem, perception, knowledge, attitudes, social factors, and cultural factors.

In their attempt to develop and implement successful strategies, marketers must influence consumer behavior. They must influence customers' motivation by developing certain needs. This strategy is used by numerous companies that prefer to create a need and satisfy it, allowing these companies to easier become the leaders in the market segments in case, instead of addressing existing needs that are also satisfied by competitors, and that required increased efforts from these companies.

For example, an interesting campaign of marketers' influence on consumer needs is represented by the public relations strategy developed by Lucky Strikes' producers in the attempt to increase their number of customers (Butterick, 2011). This could be achieved by addressing women. But during that period, women were not allowed to smoke in public. The company influenced the social and cultural environment and reached its objectives. However, women were not attracted by the Lucky Strike cigarettes, because their package was green, and this color was in contrast with the colors of their clothes that were fashionable at that time. Therefore, the PR specialists involved in that strategy, focused on making green one of the most fashionable colors. This required important efforts from numerous industries and companies involved in the process.

Another example of marketers' influence on customer motivation is represented by the introduction of microfiber organizers. These products are accessories developed for people that carry numerous small objects to work, school, or shopping, and that are difficult to find in larger accessories. Therefore, companies in the field have developed these organizers that can be used for storing cosmetics products, CDs, products used in business activities, and others.

Companies' attempt to influence the motivations of customers is a frequent phenomenon and can be observed in numerous business fields. The organic foods market is somewhat based on such strategies. This is because in this case, marketers have developed the need of eating healthy. This was achieved by conducting numerous studies about the effects of fast food and those of organic food. The organic foods market has significantly developed. Numerous customers are interested in eating healthy products, and these are considered to be represented by organic products (OTA, 2011).

Marketers' influence in this field is not limited to organic foods. They focused on developing similar needs regarding cosmetics and apparel. Therefore, an increasing number of customers are interested in purchasing organic cosmetic products, even if these are more expensive. Their availability level is also lower than in the case of other products. But customers' purchase decision in such cases is based on the fact that they are provided a strong motive that determines them to purchase such products.

The most important psychological factors that determine customer behavior are represented by motivations, perceptions, learning, beliefs, and attitudes. Their motivations are represented by factors that influence customers to purchase certain products and services (Encyclopedia of Business, 2011). In the case of organic products, marketers have determined high motivation levels for some of the customers. This means that their need of organic products is quite high.

However, given the higher prices of organic products, most companies have oriented towards customers with medium to high incomes. This is because in accordance with motivation theories, individuals try to satisfy physiological needs first, and than other… [END OF PREVIEW]

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