Consumer Behaviour Assignment -
In any purchase of any product/services, consumers tend to go through five stages of the consumer decision-making process (CDMP). However, there are many internal factors (needs & motivation, personality & self-concept, perception and attitudes) and situational factors (retail or website environment) that may influence this process.
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Working individually, please select the following products/services: Zara (Woman or Men).
The history Zara begins in 1975, with the opening of its first shop in Spain and from that that Zara is working to bring new ideas, design and innovation in the clothing industry. In the whole journey, Zara created a strong relationship with its customers by taking care of their need and desires. The company always focus on working by setting clear and strong core values. Products of Zara always comply with the new trends in the market and pay keen focus on taking customers feedbacks to bring improvements in their products (inditex.com, 2018)
The core value of Zara include:
Zara is working with a clear set of goals which is a reason for its high success and reputation in the market and among the customers. Zara is one of the most liked brand in many countries of the world, has 2692 stores in 62 countries of the world. Reason for the success of Zara is its understanding about the behaviour of the customer which help the company to make an innovation that is admired by the customers (Lopez & Fan, 2009).
Once you have selected the brand, apply it to the consumer decision-making process, including the different consumer behaviour theories and concepts covered in the key lectures to produce a report. This report is about understanding the target customers of the selected brand in terms of their psychological profile (needs & motivation, personality & self-concept, perception and attitudes) and how the brand can influence the target customers' consumer decision making process (CDMP).
1. Introduction: Briefly explain why a good understanding of consumer behavior is a requirement of any organisation, including the selected brand. Briefly describe the product/services selected above including a brief background about the brand. Who are the key target consumers that the brand can focus on - think about the common characteristics of the key target customers? What are possible types of the decision making process that the target customers have with this purchase? Briefly define the scope of the report.
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2. Consumers Behavior
It refers to the mental and psychological behaviour of different customers when it's some to buying or paying for any product. It is the most important thing for the companies to understand if they want to increase the sale of their products and want to make their products popular among the customers in the market. For any product the user and buyer can be the same person or different persons, for example, in case of toys mostly the kids are the users but not buyers, and in case of purchasing a gift, the payer/buyer is not the user. This shows that the mentality of user and buyer can be different, so with a clear understanding of customer/consumer behaviour, a company can make its products successful in the market (Parvatiyar, 2001).
2.1 The scope of the report
This report aims to explain the importance to the consumer behaviour process in making any product successful. The report will be helpful to understand different stages of mental behaviour of the consumer in using or buying any product. By reading this report, the reader can find the following things:
- Theories about the process of consumer behaviour relationship.
- Models that can be helpful for the understanding of the consumer decision-making process (CDMP)
- Stages and Psychological factors that affect the CDMP
- Recommendations that can be made by the company to make a positive influence on CDMP.
Q2. Using the five-stages of the CDMP as an overall framework, you then identify and apply how the following psychological influences (needs & motivation, personality & self-concept, perception - including perceived risks and attitudes) may become active in a particular stage of the CDMP. For example, the first stage of the CDMP is the need recognition and thus, the needs and motivations of the target customers may become active in this stage. With the product/services and the key customers in mind, what are needs and motivations that they are likely to have or want to be satisfied? Explain.
3. The process of consumer decision making
At the time of buying any product, the buyer can be influenced by many factors that can affect its decisions. The companies try to find these factors that can cause the customer to buy the product or not to buy the product. Companies do various market researcher to make a relation with the customer through continuous communication that develops a strong understanding of the behaviour and need to customer. After understanding the mentality and need of the customer the company make innovation its products and various market strategies that can fit with the demand and need of the customer. Due to such high significance of CDMP, many theories had been developed by different researchers (Lindén, 2017).
3.1 Utility Theory
This theory is given Nicholas Bernoulli, John von Neumann, and Oskar Morgenstern, almost 300 years ago, which show the primary concept of the decision-making process of the customer. According to this theory, before buying any product, the customer thinks al the future outcomes of the products and then choose that product that shows him the maximum outcome and leaves the other choices.
3.2 Satisfying theory
This theory differs with the utility theory, according to this theory the customer or buyer will only evaluate the things until he gets a satisfactory level. Once he achieves the satisfaction, he will choose that option and will father think about the other choices. This can be understood by an example, a person looking for an apartment near a specific location, then he will stop his search when he gets an apartment close to from its desired location and will not look for the other option because they have achieved his satisfaction.
3.3 Prospect theory
This theory is given by two psychologists in the 1970s, which explain the CSMP in a more clear way. Amos and Daniel, further expand the other two theories to make a new theory, which they named as prospect theory. According to this theory, two main factors value and endowment have a great impact on the consumer decision-making process. A thing becomes more valuable when some have it, and others don't have it. This sense of value stimulates the behaviour of the customer decision-making process (Jordão, et al., 2017).
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4. Stages of the Consumer decision-making process (CDMP)
The process of making decisions may look simple, but it is not very simple. When a consumer wants to take a decision, he evaluates various aspects and then at the end he takes the final decision. There are five basic stages through which a consumer went through in making the decision.
4.1 Identification of the problem
This is the basic step on the consumer decision-making process. Need is the most important point that forcing someone to buy something. If the need is absent, then the purchase will be low. The basic aim of the companies is to find the problem of the consumer so that they can make formal changes in the product that will develop the consumer making process in a positive manner (Marciniak & Mohsen., 2016).
4.2 Information collection
Once the consumer figures out that what is the problem then the next thing that comes is the finding of the solutions. To find the solution the consumer will use all the possible sources in his/her reach. Various sources of information can be personal, commercial, public and experimental.
4.3 Evaluation of options
During the search, the company can find various option to solve the problem. After gathering the information, the consumer will evaluate all the option and try to choose the most reliable option. So this is important for the company to make its product the best option to make its brand/product easy to choose for the consumer.
4.4 Decision to purchase
After all the evaluation the consumer will make the decision that which product is to purchase. The consumer will buy the product that will best fit its needs and solve its problems best.
4.5 Decision after purchase
After the use of the product, the consumer will find out that either the decision was good or bad. When the product solves the problem, the consumer will develop a positive attitude towards the product due to the satisfaction that consumer gets after using the product. In the case of a bad experience, the consumer will develop a negative attribute towards the brand (Jordão, et al., 2017). All of these factors are effecting the working and operations of Zara and changing overall consumer behavior in national and international market. Zara has applied different marketing and advertisement methods that are effective to attract customers and to engage them in latest fashion products and clothes. Zara is targeted to set fashion trends in market that will attract customer from different countries. Online presence of company is making effective for people to increase their sales.
3. Also, some situational factors (retail/website environment) can potentially influence this process. In your opinion, how do these situational factors become active in a certain stage of the CDMP? Explain.
5. Psychological Factors affecting consumer behaviour
5.1 Time Available for making a decision
It is a very important factor that affects the power of making a decision of the customer, the more time he will have the better the decision he can make. More time means that the customer can analyse all the possible options in the market and can choose the option that has maximum outcome and benefit as explained on the Utility theory of CMSP. And if the time is short, then it means that the customer is in a rush for buying that thing. This also indicates that the consumer might be in a serious need of that specific product and can't lose more time. In this scenario, the customer will look at the option just to find the best option that can provide him satisfaction, and he finds that option he will leave no time in getting that product. For example, if a person wants to replace his television that he has time to look all the option in the market and choose the best option with maximum outcomes but if the TV has broken down than the person will have less and will only look in to option until he gets the option that satisfies him as explained in the satisfying theory.
5.2 Motivation and emotions
These factors are very important in understanding the process of consumer decision making. It is vital for the market and company to study and know about the buying behaviour of the customer for the future success of the brand or company in the market. Motivation can be termed as the force of energy that pushes some to do something. In the sense of customer and market is means the factors that force the customer to buy a specific brand or product (Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2010).
Motivation can be considered a force that affects the behaviour of a person. It basically has three major factors which are.
- Direction- is what some want to get and achieve, it shows the goals of a person, level of motivation depend open the importance of the goals for a person.
- Effort- is the amount of work and energy that the person is willing to put or already putting in the desired direction.
- Persistency- refers to time which a person is giving or willing to give to reach its set or desired goals.
The high motivation helps the customer to make the decision and select the product they want to buy. To increase the sale of the product the companies need to make such innovations that motivate the customers to buy their products. This can be done by giving a better look to the product or by increasing the durability of the product that can be a cause of motivation for the customer.
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6. The personality of the consumer
The personality of a person also affects the purchasing and decision-making process of the consumer. The customer chooses those products that fit with its personality. Analysts can look into the personality of the consumer and understand its behaviour, and this can help the market and brand to create diversity in their products to match with the different personalities of their customers.
It is not an easy task to analyze to the personality of every person because all human has their unique different personalities. But it is also important to understand consumer behaviour because when going out to buy something customer always look for the things and the products that fit well with its personality. Human personality is a combination of different traits of the person that do not change in the full life span of a person. Market planner study, understand and take care of this trait in strategy making process. There many theories and models about humans traits, one famous model is the Five Factor Model (FFM) that help the marketers to understand various dimensions of human personality (Del & Mothersbaugh, 2010). The five core traits of FFM are:
1. Instability- its show the swing in moods like a shift in mood from happy to sad or angry.
2. Openness to experience- show the personalities that have creative, artistic and imaginative nature.
3. Extroversions- are those people that don't like to be alone, rather than this they feel more comparable in public or in large groups.
4. Agreeableness- people with this trait are polite by heart and kind in nature.
5. Conscientiousness- people in this category are very caring and also precise and efficient in nature.
Emotion is also a driving force that affects consumer behaviour. It can be express as a strong feeling that can be uncontrollable. The emotions can be negative and positive, in the consumer behaviour the positive emotions develop when the need of customer is fulfilled by the product, and the negative emotions generate when the product is unable to meet the consumer needs (Costa & Morgado, 2017)
Brands use this trait of human to make and change their market strategies. The brand which arises the positive emotions in the consumer will be more successful. Building a strong emotional connection with the customer can help the product or brand to achieve success. Emotion is basically the human's behaviours and moods that are triggered by some factor (Yi & Baumgartner, 2004).
The consumer search for those products that bring positive emotions and the companies always develop the strong positive emotional relationship between their customer and their products, this an essential part of their market strategy (Vainikka, 2015).
6.1 The need of the consumer
The process of decision making depends a lot on the need for the customer and companies always take good care for the change in need of their customers. Customer enters the market to buy any product when there is a need for that product in his life and, chose the brand or company that better fulfil the need. Need is basically the gap or problem that the consumer is facing and, the market is the place where he is finding the solution. Therefore, it is important for the brands to identify the need of their customers. The better any company recognize the need, the better it can take the initiative to fulfil the needs.
When the brand or company is effective in meeting the consumer needs, then the consumer will trust the brand, and this will generate a strong relationship between the company and the consumer. Types of need can be of two types among the consumer, one is an actual need, and other is the desired need/state. Actual state is when the consumer is facing a problem with the present condition of the product, and the desired state is when the consumer want something new about the product for example, if a watch is causing a problem and not showing the right time is actual problem and desired state is when the consumer needs innovation and advancement in the watch to stimulate the process of decision making, Both the needs are important and must be addressed by the company.
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6.2 The attitude of the consumer
It is an important component of consumer behaviour. It is basically an experience of a consumer that develop its attitude towards any product. This term can be understood better by the definition given by Morris fishbein, which said that evaluation of ideas, people and objects are the attitudes [Fishbein& Ajzen, 1975]. All the other things mentioned above like emotions, motivation, needs and personality of the consumer contribute in the development of its attitude towards a specific brand or product and marketing managers take care of customer attitude in making their market strategies. There is model known as the ABC model that show the three major components of attitude:
- Affective- is related to the emotions of the consumer related to a specific product.
- Behavioural- show the response of consumer related to a product.
- Cognitive- shows the expectations of the consumer and its beliefs connected with the product.
Development of positive consumer attitude is a process that takes time and continuous effort, for example, attitude of the consumers that Coke is better than Pepsi, does not develop in the early times of coke. This is the result of the company's continuous efforts and innovation. If a consumer has a positive attitude towards any product and brand than it shows that the consumer is using that brand for a long time and in this whole time period consumer remain satisfied by the quality and other aspects of the product. Another means of positive consumer attitude is that the company is connected with its consumer and take care of the need and requirements of its customers (therobinreport.com, 2018).
7. CDMP and Zara (Women)
Company is agile when it focuses on the customers and Zara developed a strong relationship between its designers and consumers. The best way to create a positive influence on the consumer decision-making process is to keep searching the need and requirements of the consumers. Zara uses all the sources to identify the need of its consumers and then also evaluate its products that either they are fulfilling the needs of the consumer or further improvements are needed to be made. Zara always takes innovations to make the shopping of their customers pleasant to improve the decision-making process of the consumers, because the process of decision making becomes easier in a pleasant environment. Also, the company focus to create ease for the consumers by improving the management in the stores, so the consumers don't face the issues like keep waiting for the bill in the line. All these things develop a positive impact on the consumer's decision-making process (Danziger, 2018).
The decision making process of the consumer is depending on many things and can be influenced by many factors. The influence can be negative and can be positive. There are many theories and models that explain the CDMP which explain the steps factors that affect the process of consumer decision making.
4. Key recommendations: What recommendations would you make to the brand in order to facilitate/influence the target consumers to purchase and become satisfied with the selected brand?
Some recommendations are given below that can be used to improve the CDMP.
- The company must invest its times and resource to understand the ever-changing need and problems of its consumers. When the company have this data, then it can make useful innovations in the products that can effectively solve the consumer's problems.
- Must create variety and diversity in its products so that it can match with the choice a personality of more people. By doing this, the company become the right decision for the consumers.
- Try to develop a strong relationship with the consumer through positive emotions. It is known that people buy with emotions and justify with reasons. This is the reason that most of the brand link emotions in their market strategies. For example, Nike and other sports brand show success in their advertisement that brings positive emotions to the consumers.
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