Decision making in consumer purchasing is defined as the psychological process of selecting a particular course of action among other alternatives. But for one to be able to do this, he must first go through various stages that will enable him be aware of the product and how to obtain it. These transactions are useful especially in determining the purchasing behavior of a consumer. The stages involved in this process are:
Awareness this is a stage where a consumer must be aware of the existence of a particular product in the market. The second stage is interest, meaning, the consumer must be interested in the product he intends to buy. This is then followed by understanding whereby, the consumer should be able to know how the particular product will meet his needs (Baker). The next stage is attitude under this the consumer must be able to develop a positive feeling towards the product. The final stage is the purchase which is the buying decision made by the consumer.
Though there are many goods to choose from in the market getting more information about the product by visiting different stores, discussing with friends and relatives, reading, listening and watching advertisements in media and on the Internet helps in the decision making process. Considering the advantages and the disadvantages of the products, the availability of the product in the market and the resources available and how the good will meet my needs is a big part of choosing which products to purchase. The evaluation of the product’s quality, durability and usefulness among others was considered. The following factors enabled me to come up with a decision in purchasing the listed products.
Need: The decision of the purchase of the official dress came as a result of need. It was recommended that to attend the meeting; one had to put on a particular kind of clothing. Research was used in discovering the most cost effective place to purchase the clothing and the particular brand others would be wearing in order to fit the group. The purchase of the perfume was due to the need to have a good fragrance after a shower. The decision making process in this was personal taste (Baker). It required sampling different fragrances to find the one that was the most appealing.
The need for a good toothbrush, tooth paste and the mouth wash was to maintain the good health of the mouth including the teeth, gums, and tongue and maintaining fresh breath throughout the day. Again the decision of a particular kind over another was the result of personal preference. Toothpaste and mouthwash needs to provide the most appealing taste possible. The need for communicating with colleagues and other members of the family or friends who are far away led to the purchase a mobile phone that would ease communication.
Brand loyalty can be a factor in buying a mobile phone, but the best package of services provided for the cost is usually a better deciding factor. The need for a television set was entertainment and to be informed on what is happening globally. Through television we are educated on particular areas of our social lives. The purchase of a television is often decided by brand loyalty. People often go back to the brand they have had good luck with in the past. The need to keep my self healthy by avoiding headaches during the day is why the medicine was bought. This is decided by what works the best on each individual’s headache. If it does not get rid of the headache, it is not worth buying.
Motives: These are personal forces that make an individual engage in various purchasing activities which therefore satisfies his needs. Since actions are normally affected by motives, the following motives brought the need to buy these particular products. Love, safety, self actualization and esteem were the basic factors that contributed to the purchase of the listed products.
Knowledge: Under this, the ability to learn is applied, whereby a persons’ behavior is changed through the information given to the product purchased. In this case, my knowledge of operating the mobile phone and the television set led me to decide on the buying of these products knowing that there will be no loss or damage caused while operating them. Therefore the knowledge of the product to be bought must also be considered as a leading factor in a consumers purchasing behavior. It is also important to know which brands and models as well as service packages best fit the buyer’s needs.
Attitude: These are defined as the feelings towards a product this can be a negative feeling or a positive feeling this is normally learned through practice and communication with other people in society, through interaction with different people, including friends and family members. A positive attitude towards these products is one factor that leads people towards return purchases of the same product (Hoyer).
Personality: This is the characteristics that make an individual unique; this normally derives from inheritance and personal experience. Such characteristics include: Self confidence, friendliness, ambitiousness, and aggressiveness. In different aspects of
Lifestyle this is defined as a change towards an individual’s independence that leads to a preference for a particular type of life. For instance the buying of products such as a particular model of a mobile phone was decided upon by the type of mobile phones that a particular class of people in the country posses. This is often a large deciding factor for brand loyalty, because a person only wants to purchase the brand that the people around them or like them have. Designer labels are a result of this.
Culture and Sub-Culture: These are values, and attitudes accepted by family members and the society at large these factors determine what product is tolerable within the family. This is normally used to determine what people wear, eat, and how they travel. Packaging clothing to include the hang tags and labels that provide information on how to take care of the garment creates a positive attitude towards the garment leading to its purchase. Also, the fiber content and the place of its manufacturer led to deciding on purchasing the item that is probably going to last the longest, require less care and look better. The companies known for better production of these products are known to be implying the best marketing strategies that will enable them to achieve the targeted market these strategies include:
Pricing-the company uses the pricing methods to enable its product to reach its marketing standards. Whereby various pricing methods are applied such as Premium pricing this is where the uniqueness of the company product is defined. This pricing is normally high and is totally used where there is a substantial competition of the product in the market. For the company to be able to gain the market share, it therefore applies the penetration pricing whereby, once the company achieves the market share, it increases the price of its product. Also in situations where the company’s need to promote the product in the market, then it uses the promotional method of pricing in which a consumer is asked to buy a product and the purchase is accompanied by a free sample of the product (Hoyer).
The place or the channel of distribution, this is the activity that is used by the companies to move their product from the production to consumption. These companies are said to have come across various channels of distribution to enable their products reach the targeted market. This means that they either use the direct or the indirect channels, that is it may be to the consumers directly or through wholesalers. They normally consider the following, in deciding on the type of the distribution channel to use. They ensure that the market segment the distributor is familiar with in which therefore the distributor is made familiar with the company’s target markets. They ensure that their company policies, strategies and image match that of the distributor.
There are various types of channels the producers apply in the distribution of their products this includes: wholesalers, these are said to be buying goods in bulk from the company and selling them in smaller packages for resale by the retailers. They also provide storage facilities for the products. Wholesalers offer the companies a reduced physical contact cost between the producers and consumers. They also use agents who are normally used in international markets; they are used to widen the international market for the goods. Retailers are also used who have a strong personal relationship with the consumers through whom the products are exposed to the buyers, they offer credits to customers thus promoting and merchandising the companies’ products. (Brassington).
The internet is also used through which the companies have a geographically wider market and this has enabled their products to reach a wider audience. The other element used by the companies is promotion. This is the marketing communication that is used by getting the products into the market and pushing the consumers to the point of purchasing the products. The following is practiced; Personal selling, this is a way of maintaining personal customer relations in which the sales person acts on behalf of the companies. These sales people are trained and have the personal selling techniques.
Advertising is largely used to create awareness of the products by the consumers so that the companies may gain responses from their target markets. There are many advertising mediums including, print (newspapers, journals and posters.) and electronic(television, internet and radio). Mediums of communication the companies use to create awareness of the products by buyers. Public Relations are also applied by these companies, which has led to a sustained and planned effort in establishing and bringing understanding between the companies and its consumers.
Lastly, they use the exhibitions to make new contacts and renewing the old contacts, this is used to increase the awareness of the products to the consumers thus giving the companies an opportunity to meet both the trade and consumers (Kotler).
The other customers will not be able to have the same opinions since marketing opportunities increase when customer groups with varying needs and wants are recognized. Markets can be segmented or targeted on a variety of factors including age, gender, location, geographic factors, demographic characteristics, and family life cycle, desire for relaxation or time pressures. Segments or target markets should be accessible to the business and large enough to provide a solid customer base. Therefore, a business must analyze the needs and wants of different market segments before determining its niche.
Baker, M. (2000): Marketing Management and Strategy, 3rd edn: Macmillan Business, London.
Blythe, J. (2001): Essentials of Marketing, 2nd edn: Prentice Hall, New York,
Brassington, F. and Pettitt, S. (2000): Principles of Marketing, 2nd Edn: Prentice Hall, Harlow, New York
Hoyer, W.D. and MacInnis, D.J. (2001): Consumer Behavior, 2nd Edn: Houghton Mifflin Company, New York
Kotler, P.; Armstrong, G.; Saunders, J. and Wong, V. (1999): Principles of Marketing, 2nd Edn: Prentice Hall, New Jersey