Consumer Choice Factors Influencing Essay

Pages: 5 (1353 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising

Consumer Choice

Factors Influencing Consumer Choice and the Companies that Use These Factors Well: A Research-Based Comparison

There are many different factors that can have an impact on the decision a consumer makes to purchase a given product. Simple things like placement in a store, such as products that are placed on shelves at eye level or the racks of candy and magazines at most grocery store checkout lanes -- products that are called "impulse buys" for a reason -- can have a huge influence on consumer choice and purchasing behaviors. Other influential factors are more complex: manipulating price might seem to be a good way to affect consumer choice, and it works to some degree, but it does not work in a linear or even always in a predictable fashion. The most influential factor when it comes to consumer purchasing behaviors is information -- what the consumer knows about the product and its alternatives.

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This can easily be demonstrated by examining the basic model of consumer behavior. There are five steps in this model, the last two of which are the purchase and the post-purchase behavior, both of which occur after (generally speaking) the purchase decision has been made (Brown 1996). The first three steps of the consumer decision-making process are the identification/recognition of a problem, the information search, and the evaluation of alternatives (Brown 1996; Geoffs 2010; Kerin et al. 2008). Each of these steps, the culmination of which is the purchase decision and then the purchase (combined as one step by most), deals with information, making it the most powerful factor in consumer choice.

Getting Specific

Essay on Consumer Choice Factors Influencing Consumer Choice and Assignment

One could argue that "information" is too broad a description for a single influential factor, and indeed there are many different types and sources of information that can affect consumer choice, consciously and unconsciously, and purposefully and accidentally. Direct and conscious efforts to affect consumer choice can be considered marketing, and even the information that falls under the label of "marketing" can take many different forms (Kerin et al. 2008). Marketing can differentiate a specific product from others like it in positive ways, by promoting "special characteristics" of the product, or in a negative fashion by denigrating other products of the same class and type (Geoffs 2010). Marketing can also be used for many other purposes, but all of the have the same goal in mind -- convincing the consumer that they need to buy a particular product or service.

These efforts can be directed at any and all of the first three phases of the consumer's decision-making process. A lot of marketing actually defines the need for the consumer -- just think about any toy commercial. Kids didn't used to sit around saying, "Gee, I wish I had some sort hand-held video gaming console on which to spend hours every day," but through advertising the need or desire for such devices was created. Marketing aimed at the second and third stages of the decision process is relatively the same; this is where the product differentiation aspect of marketing comes into play (Geoffs 2010). The multi-tasking nature of information is what makes it so essential as a factor influencing consumer choice.

Marketing at Work

The explanation of information and the way it is utilized to affect consumer choice provided above is necessarily simplistic, but it is not at all inaccurate. Companies use marketing tactics and the spread of information -- and sometimes, usually illegally and always unethically, misinformation -- in order to influence consumers, attempting to get them to choose the companies' own products and/or services while avoiding those of its competitors (Brown 1996; Kerin et al. 2008). This provides increased profits for the company, enabling them to grow and often obtain a larger market share -- when marketing tactics are effective enough -- reducing their competition's profits at the same time. This works according to the principle that consumers, like everything else, are essentially a limited commodity, and that once a certain saturation has been reached increasing sales for one company will decrease sales for another… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Consumer Choice Factors Influencing.  (2010, June 9).  Retrieved October 25, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/consumer-choice-factors-influencing/488396

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