Scope of Consumer Behavior Study
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The study of consumer behavior involves the knowledge of when, how, why and where consumers buy products or services and why not if they don’t buy them. It involves various fields of study chief among them being economics. Other fields include psychology, anthropology, social psychology and sociology. It involves the quest of understanding how a consumer makes the decision of buying a certain product or service and the process the consumer uses in reaching these decisions. This is applied to both individuals and groups and this is achieved through the use of demographics and variables in behavior. It also looks into how different consumers are affected in their consumption by various variables such as friends, family, social groups and the society (Ashdown, 2002).
Types of consumer decisions
Consumers have to make decision almost every day; however there are decisions which are very complex while others are not very simple. One of the decisions that a consumer has to make is known as Minor New Purchase. This decision is made by a consumer when the consumer decides to purchase something new which is not necessary and is not deemed as important in terms of necessity, economic needs or any other reason (Ashdown, 2002).
Another decision made by consumers is the Minor Re-Purchase decision which is mostly a normality of the consumer to purchase these products. When the consumer comes to these decision little or no effort is given to other substitutes and these may also be referred to loyalty to a particular brand. Another decision is the Major New Purchase and these are the most difficult decision because the product or service is very important to the consumer and at the same time, the consumer has not had any experience with the product before. This leads to the consumer having to put a lot of effort in the decision making because he is not confident on the purchase. The last decision is the Major Re-Purchase and these also are very important to the consumer. However, in these decisions the consumer is a bit confident and hence he does not employ a lot of effort in the decision making. This is because the consumers have had an experience of the product or service prior to the purchase. It is important for the marketers to have a clue of how the consumers arrive at the decision. This is because if a company is targeting consumers who are making the decision of Major New Purchase, they will use different strategies than the ones they would have used if they were targeting minor re-purchase consumers (Ashdown, 2002).
Benefits consumer behavior to managers
For marketers, the purpose of marketing is to increase the sales volume and this involves selling more products to more consumers. The traditional form of marketing used the theories of increasing the sales volume to more consumers at probably a higher price. However, in the modern times, the consumers are more knowledgeable and more informed and hence make a sound decision when buying goods and services. Consumer behavior trends will help the marketers to make a sound decision when marketing and it will the marketers in knowing what group of people to approach with their wares. This helps very much when the marketers have to make a decision on which group of consumers to appeal and this helps in advertising and promotion decisions (Ashdown, 2002).
Consumer heterogeneity means that consumers have different levels of utility and hence they have different processes of making a decision on their purchases. Consumer heterogeneity can be rooted to the fact that people have different personalities and hence they are opting to have their likes and dislikes. These can be rooted to the fact that people have differences and these are brought about by many issues including gender, religion, culture and many more. Hence a marketer should strive to have the knowledge of which group of consumers he is likely to be successful with. This paper will focus on the personality issue which affects the consumer’s decision making process in various fronts (Ashdown, 2002).
Personality in consumer behavior
Personality plays a very important role in consumer behavior. There are different personalities that are very evident in consumer and this affects a market’s consumer behavior. It is in this respect that marketers should try and understand the various personalities that exist in the market in which they are doing their marketing. One of the importance of this factor is that it greatly affects the consumer’s decision making progress. It is in this effort that the marketer should make use of advertisements and promotions that appeal to a wide range of personalities. This is the only way the marketer will be able to be successful in his endeavors to appeal to the consumers (Ashdown, 2002).
The products that the marketer is trying to market should also appeal to a large percentage of the personalities that exist in that market. For example when a marketer is introducing a new set of beauty products, it is important that the products appeal to both males and females and also be attractive to the wide range of the population ranging from the children to the elderly. This means that the marketer will endeavor to please the entire market instead of focusing on one group of the market. Personality plays a very important role in the decision making, so the marketer will have to use various marketing strategies that enhances the consumer’s change of attitude towards the products. Many people do not like trying new things and hence the marketer is at task of ensuring that the people come to know of the products as a household name. This ensures that many people will try the products and if it pleases them, then the marketer have succeeded in transforming the consumers (Ashdown, 2002).
The marketer should use the programs that will entice, attract and appeal to many people. In general the marketer must endeavor to please as much people as possible. The marketer will also try very much to reach as many people as possible. In this respect, the marketer must use various programs which are people friendly and which will attract various personalities. This can be achieved by the marketer using media that is acceptable to many people in his promotion effort. The marketer must first of all have a clue of the majority of the personalities in the market and especially the target group’s personality. This will enhance him to use the most favorable media to the group. The promotions should also appeal to the target group in terms of personality issues (Ashdown, 2002).
Ashdown, B.G., Bjornstad, D.J., Lapsa, M.V., and McKeown, R., “Assessing Marketplace Methodologies for Understanding Consumer Values Influencing Product Selection in Building and Other EERE Technologies.” ORNL/TM-2002/292, November 2002.