The Concept of Consumer Behaviour

The Concept of Consumer Behaviour

Consumer Behaviour – Since the Basic logic of marketing concept is customer satisfaction, the process of effective marketing must begin with the careful evaluation of problems faced by potential consumers.  With this, goods that do not provide solutions to a consumer problem may not be looked for or accepted even if other aspects of marketing mix like, pricing, distribution, and promotion are perfectly designed.

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For a proper job to be done, the behaviour of consumers must be properly understood.

Okafor (1995.p 42) says that consumer behaviour like every other aspects of human behaviour is very complex, more than the modern space machine.

Udeagha (1995. p 25) says that marketing starts with research about the consumers in order to generate product ideas.

Onyeke and Nebo (2000. p. 41-44) says that the study of consumer behaviour will help a marketer to achieve his objectives, therefore, it is only when consumers behaviour are properly understood, that their needs and wants can be identified and satisfied.

He also states that stimulus variables, intervening variables and response variables, influence consumers in any specific situation.

The stimulus variable are those factor4s that stimulate, initiate or tiger off consumer behaviour.  These can be found within the individual or external to the individual.  Some of the factors within the individuals are need for food or thirst.  The external stimuli are marketing stimuli such as the product, (colour, size, packaging, weight) prestige, price, nearness, store image, design, advertising, sales  promotion.  Others are economic, political, legal, social, cultural technological and demographical factors.  All these stimulate consumer behaviour thus begins to make him search for goods to satisfy his needs.

INTERVENING VARIABLE: – These actually intervene between the stimulus and response variables.  This means that as soon as the consumer behaviour is stimulated there are other factors that intervene either to produce a response or non-response for instance a good and well packaged product may arouse consumer behaviour, this action may be stopped or continued depending on whether or not the consumer has the necessary income to purchase the product.

THE RESPONSE VARIABLE: – They are the resulting activities of individuals that are initiated by stimulus variables.  They includes observable actions such as gesturing, purchasing certain quality of products or brands from a particular dealer.

CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR MODEL: – According to Onyeke and Nebo (2000. Opiat 46).  A model is a simplified representative of reality.  It is also a small representation or copy of something.  The researcher also explained that a model could be seen at a person or thin that can serve as a perfect example of another but not of the same size.

ERNEEST (1998 : P.13) says that a model is a simplified, organized by incorporating those aspects that are of interest to the model builder only.

The researcher pointed out that it is not very easy for one to predict which factors are considered or that are interacted with another before a purchase decision is made.

To this end OLAKUNORI (1999.P.156) said that models help to simplify consumer by identifying the most significant factors or variables that extent influence on the consumer and using these to explain and predict this behaviour.

According to the researcher’s explanation of the rational for management interest in consumer behaviour models as follows;

–                     models, remind us of the inter-relationship between variables that is to say, as we concentrate on one particular factor, reference to model will then tell us to consider how the factor interacts with other factors to influence behaviour.

–                      Another reason of managerial interest in consumer behaviour model is that of identifying areas of information required for making marketing decision, if brand awareness and attitude affects behaviour.

–                      Provisions of useful behavioural aid in making forecast and stimulate formation of hypothesis, which could be tested statistically..

THE DEFINITION AND CONCEPT OF BRANDING

Pride/Ferell (1989, 9 146), defines branding as “a name, term, symbol, design or a combination thereof that identifies a seller’s product and differentiates them from those of competitors.

Here we can see that branding is primarily meant to identify a particular seller’s product from a lot of similar products.

Kenneth R. Davis (1990, p. 325) while discussing on product policy says that “product branding is part of product attributes that consumers buy” looking at this, more critically, we observe that product branding helps consumers to evaluate products among the various available brands.

Cundiff still Govonic (1973: p. 1810 defines branding as “the use of a distinctive name or mark on a product to differentiate it from similar products.

Also, the Nigerian marketing Association defined product branding as “a name, term, symbol, designs or a combination which is intended to identify the goods or services of one seller, group of sellers and to differentiate them from the competitors”

A ‘brand’ is a name given by a manufacturer to one (or a number) of its product or services.  this provides greater variety which entails brand preference which is, target customers will usually choose a brand over other brands, perhaps because of habit or fast experience.  A brand might be a name unconnected with the name of the manufacture.  Such as golden wonder or Horlicks.  Brands names are used to differentiate products, facilitate recognition and assist in the build up of customer’s royalty to the product.  Customers seeing a favoured brand may cut short the analysis of alternatives prior to purchase discussion and go more rapidly to its purchase.  One brand names may be used to cover a range of products or instead a number of brand names may be used within that range (e.g As in  groceries etc)  choice between these two strategies depends in part on the nature of the brand segment relationship and on the degree to which retailer own brands are in use.

Branding is a major issue in product strategy and in developing a marketing strategy for individual product, the seller has to confront the branding decision and it is whether the company should pu7t a brand name on its product.

In the past, most products went unbranded.  The producers and middle men sold their goods out of barrels, tin and cases without supplier’s identity,  the earliest sign of branding were in the effort of medical guilds to require credits people to put trademarks on their products to protect themselves and consumers against inferior quality goods.

Today branding is such a strong force that hardly anything goes unbranded since a powerful brand name is said to have consumer practice.  This is evidence when a sufficient number of consumer[s demand that brand and refuse a substitute.  As a strategy, brand extension is an effort to use a successful brand name to launch new or modified products.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BRANDING

          Branding is costly and entails risks.  However, it is pursued because the firms believe that its benefits will out weight the added cost of developing the brand through promotion and the risk and responsibility assumed in maintaining its quality image.

To bettress the significance of branding Mayero (1995,p. 87-88) explain that once a good brand image is built it can commend a premium process owning to the valuable psychological interferables associated with its name, such as the power of branding that in extreme situations customers adopt the brand as a generic product”.

Brands are used to differentiate products from their competitors and to facilitate recognition.  The abilities of branding are large, e.g nestle, well supported as they are by advert and promotion are market leaders in the growing field.

Indeed the use of promotional support of brand names is a major factor in sustaining manufacturers’ capacity to identify and market its own consumer goods in the face of pressure from retailer and their preference for retail (own brands).

Brand  effect consumers recognition and perception of different products as it will cause them to see broadly similar products or services in different ways.  People regard certain branded commodities and will pay more for them.

Brands names are important to consumers behaviours because they speed the potential customer through the kind of decision processes.

Brands are used mainly to identification.  Well recognized brands makes consumer shopping easier instead of evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of each 17,000 items every time one goes to a market.   Many consumers are willing to buy a ‘SURE THING’ and having gambled and won in the past they will always go for the new thing,  this creates room for brand preference.

Even on infrequent purchases, consumers often rely on well – known brands as an indication of quality.

A good brand name speeds up shopping for the consumers and reduces the marketers selling time and effort and when consumers purchase by brands, the brander  is protected against competition from other firms’ this increases sales, volume and reduces promotion costs.

Good brand can improve companies image thereby speeding acceptance of new products marketed under the same name. E.g. many consumers quickly tried direct coke products.

—-This article is not complete———–This article is not complete————

This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic

CONSUMER BRAND PREFERENCE IN THE PURCHASE OF BEVERAGE IN ENUGU METROPOLIS

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