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The concept of consumer purchase behavior has received much attention from marketers, industrial players, and potential new entrants in the recent past. Companies strive to understand the thinking patterns of buyers when making purchase decisions to develop strategies on how to influence their buying choices to boost sales in the competitive market. Consumer buying behaviors consist of the actions and decisions made by consumers when determining the type of products to purchase. Moreover, among the many competing items in the market involves studying the emotions and reasoning that takes place when evaluating products concerning desirable attributes that meets their specifications. Different goods and services include varying evaluation process, and they consider factors such as social status, economic and financial ability, product functionality, marketing mix, personality, self-interest, and values (Solomon, 2016, p. 270). In enhancing understanding, this paper will analyze three types of products, namely soft drink, dinner at a restaurant, and an expensive item costing more than $1000 to enhance the understanding of consumer buying behavior.
Part # 1 – Analysis
The section will analyze the available data using the three major categories, namely soft drink, dinner at a restaurant, and items costing more than $1000.The aim is to provide insights on how consumers decide when advocating different products in the market. An individual may exhibit different behavior when buying various types of products depending on value, personality, and the intended purpose of the item.
Category # 1 – Soft Drink
Soft drinks are inexpensive products that do not involve a lot of information to search when buying. Popular brands of soft drinks such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper are always advertised in the mass media channels such as television commercials, and this aids consumers in creating opinions on the type of product to buy when the need arises. As a result, the use of soft drinks does not involve any information search, but instead, consumers’ make purchases, to fulfill their interests such as social status (Solomon, 2016, p. 270). For the most part, Coke advertisements create the urge to consume their specific soft drink, thus, creating the belief that one belongs to the category of individuals who are refreshed after consuming a Coca Cola drink as it portrayed as a lifestyle in society. The other type of people involved in the purchase decision were the marketers who were involved in advertising the various brands of soft drinks in the market. For example, manufacturers such as Coca Cola make appealing adverts regarding the refreshing ability of their brand, and this puts Coca Cola in the position as the best beverage to quench your thirst and offer refreshment. The purchase decision involves minimal risk since the drinks are readily available in local outlets, and they are economical. One of the core risks in purchasing soft drinks is making the wrong choice regarding personal values and interest between sugar-free and the sugary drinks due to the urgency of to refresh one’s thirst. In purchasing soft drinks, there is no apparent post-purchase dissonance since the consumer is evident regarding what to expect from consuming a product. The various attributes considered when purchasing the soft drink were the location of the outlets, desire to quench thirst preferences and tastes (Mirabi , Akbariyeh, & Tahmasebifard, 2015, p. 82). For example, in one scenario the client under investigation is seen, preferring Coca Cola over water since Coke has no sugar and water is readily available at home, hence, Coke is rare to find at home and thus he visits a nearby shop and orders for his favorite soft drink.
Category # 2 – Dinner
Buying dinner is a sensitive activity depending on the values and intentions of the person involved. It is essential to consider attributes such as individuals’ health before making a purchase decision. In addition, the economic and social status of the client matters when choosing the type of restaurant to select. Moreover, it is apparent that the individual or groups you are with play a crucial role in determining the type of food you order and the restaurant that is chosen by consumers. As a result, the primary information search involves the quality of services, the prices, type of food and drinks location, atmosphere, and additional services offered such as free internet and enough parking space. Additionally, individuals that were used in planning involve people accompanying the consumer in the restaurant. For example, the choice of a restaurant when going out with friends is different from when choosing a restaurant with a wife or family members. The need to belong and fit in society affects the purchase decisions (Clarke, 2002, p. 407). Some risks involved in making the wrong choice regarding prices and types of food and drinks as this could lead to greater dissatisfaction making the buyer rate the restaurant negatively. Instants of post-purchase dissonance can be seen where the individual accompanying the consumers to the restaurant indicates examples of dissatisfaction due to lack of their favorite wine and variety of foods available. The significant attributes considered were evaluated by reading reviews from other clients to determine the level of satisfaction they received while in various restaurants. Moreover, comments from Facebook and other social media platforms were also used to evaluate multiple attributes such as prices and quality of service.
Category # 3 – $1000 Purchase
Products costing $1000 and above are durable and sensitive, and thus they require considerable information search before making a purchase decision. Accordingly, an individual can use the product review by affiliate marketers who carry out independent research on the positive and negative aspects of items such as home appliances, vehicles, and other durable to gain the data on social media platforms such as blogs. Friend and relatives are used to giving information to individuals when making choices pertaining to buying expensive items as they strive, to seek an opinion from experts and experienced individuals (Solomon, 2016, p. 284). Consequently, the risk involved is that of purchasing defective items that do not meet client expectations. For example, the client in the case is seen struggling to complete some assignment with a defective laptop that causes a lot of inconveniences and this serves as a post-purchase dissonance. As a result, the fault is addressed by looking for convenient brands of laptops in the market. The primary attributes considered when purchasing expensive items are the prices and financing plan. Many of these items are purchased on credit using loans, and thus, individuals need to consider the level of income. Conversely, the other aspect considered is the quality and durability which are evaluated through information search and in looking at conducted product reviews to compare products from different manufacturers before settling on the best depending on consumer preference (Ghose and Ipeirotis, 2010, p. 1506).
Part # 2 – Summary of Category Differences
The difference in consumer purchase behavior occurs among the different types of products, and this aids in bringing out the differences which enhances understanding of consumer purchase decisions. The various aspects considered are level of involvement, type of decisions, type of data involved, and product categories.
Product Category Differences
The difference in the three products, specifically soft drinks, dinner, and items valued above $1000 arise from their characteristics. Soft drinks require quick purchase decision, and thus, they are easy to buy. Dinner is based on the preference pertaining to the guests involved in making the restaurant decision. Moreover, items such as vehicles, home appliances, and computers need time to make purchases, and additionally, they are expensive. As a result, the risk involved also differs among the three products categories, and this makes clients exhibit different behaviors.
Level of Involvement
Information search and level of involvement differ among the three products since buying soft drinks do not require an individual to seek information from various sources since an individual has a premeditated decision. However, making a purchase of dinner in a restaurant requires an individual to construct a substantial information search to come up with a purchase decision that meets consumer expectations (Erdem et al, 1999, p. 138). In contrast, the purchase of expensive items whose value exceeds $1000 requires high involvement to make sure that an individual makes the purchase decision through consultation from experts.
The intensity of decision-making depends on the nature of the products a consumer is purchasing. For example, when buying a soft drink, the choice is natural since the buyers have in mind their favorite drinks to serve the intended purses. During hot weather, an individual may need a cold Coke to quench their thirst and get a feeling of refreshment. However, when planning to go for dinner with a group, an individual must consider the relationship between the group members before choosing the restaurant and location. A dinner involving supervisors and senior management at work requires a quiet place with an atmosphere that can facilitate a productive discussion. Conversely, a noisy and lively environment are needed when hanging out with friends. Decision making involving expensive items is intensive because an individual must compare various brands before settling on the one that serves their needs better than those of competitors in the market (Shah et al., 2012, p.108).
Part # 3 – Marketing Implications
The marketing strategies that marketers should adopt when promoting the three categories will be discussed. Accordingly, products have varying levels of involvement, decision-making, and informational search, hence, there is no single advertisement technique that can serve them all. An individual or group of marketers can use an expert, attractive, celebrity, low involvement, high involvement, attitude changing, or a choice of their own advertisement sources in their marketing structure.
Category # 1 – Soft Drink
Soft drinks are classified as fast food that is less involving regarding decision-making and information search. Therefore, they are low involvement products, and thus, celebrity advertisement can help in promoting their items (Solomon, 2016, p. 285). For example, an advertisement involving a famous athlete requiring a Coca Cola beverage after a training exercise or after winning a game can influence the buying intention of consumers who would purchase to improve their social status by drinking what celebrities in the society consume.
Category # 2 – Dinner
The purchase of dinner in various restaurants is a high involvement product since it must meet the expectation for the buyers regarding prices, atmosphere, quality of food and services. As a result, a thorough information search is needed to determine the affordability of services in a restaurant, depending on the economic status of the consumers, in addition, individual taste and preferences are put into consideration. Therefore, the marketing technique used should aim at changing the attitude of buyers concerning a restaurant in town by presenting it as the best value provided to customers in meeting their dining requirements.
Category # 3 – $1000 Purchase
Many products costings more than $1000 are technical. In consequence, the risks involved are high and thus, consumers need advice from experienced individuals. Moreover, the use of experts in promoting such items can create confidence on the side of consumers. For example, the use of famous engineers to promote a brand of car can increase its sales in the market because buyers have trust in the person giving the information (Drummond and Ensor, 2006, p. 52).
The concept of consumer behavior in making purchases has received much attention from stakeholders in the recent past. The level of involvement and decision-making depends on the nature of the product. Fast foods and consumables are low involvement when durability is an issue, such as home appliances and vehicles are classified as high involvement products. Dinner at various restaurants is a high involvement product since it must meet the expectation for the buyers regarding prices, atmosphere, quality of food and services. As a result, the type of marketing and advertisement used should take this into account to achieve the desired results.
The major factors that have an impact on the purchase decision are social status, economic situation, and the marketing mix used by the company and personal values and interest. As a result, marketers should strive to understand how these factors are influencing the potential consumers and create appropriate products and marketing techniques that meets their client expectations. The promotion methods adopted by the marketers involve either the use of experts, attitude changing approaches, low involvement or high involvement techniques based on specific situations (Solomon, 2016, p. 284-285).
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- Ghose, A., & Ipeirotis, P. G., (2010). Estimating the helpfulness and economic impact of product reviews: Mining text and reviewer characteristics. IEEE transactions on knowledge and data engineering, 23(10), 1498-1512.
- Mirabi, V., Akbariyeh, H., & Tahmasebifard, H. (2015). A study of factors affecting customers purchase intention — Journal of Multidisciplinary Engineering Science and Technology (JMEST), 2(1).
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- Solomon, M. R. (2016). Attitudes and Persuasive Communications. In Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being (12th ed., pp. 263-307). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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