Consumer Behaviour

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Describe and explain the characteristics that affect consumer behaviour and outline the consumer decision-making process as it relates to a product of your choice.

Section 1 Introduction

“Today’s market is characterised by highly competitive organisations which are all vying for consumer’s loyalty. Firms are faced with the challenge to maintain their own competitive edge to be able to survive and be successful. Behind the visible act of making a purchase lays a decision process that must be investigated. The purchase decision process is the five stages a buyer passes through in making choices about which products and services to buy” (www.rohan.sesu). This report will focus on the characteristics of the decision making process relating to Mascara. Mascara is a cosmetic used on lashes to darken, lighten, thicken or define the eyelashes. The main competitors in the industry of mascara would be L'Oreal, Estee Lauder and Maybelline. However, companies come up with different formulas for their products. This is to distinguish each one from their own competitors in the cosmetic industry (www.eye-make-up-tops.com). Eye make-up including mascara, eye shadow, pencils and kholes accounted for 30.1% of the value of decorative cosmetic sales in 2007.(Key notes 2008). Mascara is the largest subsector, accounting for more than half of the value of retail sales of eye makeup (Key notes). The target group for the product mascara is aimed at young female students from the age of 16-25 looking for affordable good quality brand mascara. This report will also provide discussion on the characteristics that affect consumer behaviour associated with mascara. This report will also discuss the consumer decision making process.

Section 2: The characteristics that affect consumer behaviour

“Consumer purchases are strongly influenced by culture, social class, personal and psychological factors. Marketers cannot control such factors, but they must take them into account” (Kotler et al 2005). Social class would affect the consumer purchasing mascara Social class are ordered divisions whose members share different values, interests and behaviours. Social class is determined by a single factor but a combination of occupation, income, education and wealth. A consumer’s behaviour is also influenced by social factors such as consumer groups, family and social roles and status (Bizcovering). Social class may influence a consumer within the target market, to purchase the product mascara, as social acceptance and social recognition can create a sense of security. Personal factors deal strictly with the individual, such as the buyer’s age, occupation, lifestyle, personality and economic situation. This is essential to the consumer as this ensures that they have a sense of individuality. A consumer’s economic situation will greatly affect the product choice. If the consumer’s income is low, she may purchase a cheaper brand, rather than a more expensive good quality brand. An additional characteristic that will affect consumer behaviour is the consumer’s own personality and self concept. Each person’s distinct personality will influence his or hers buying behaviour. This can influence the purchase of mascara, in terms of brands. As there is a brand personality for mascara, and the personality of the buyer.

Section 3 The Consumer decision making process

3.1 Type of Buying Decision Behaviour

“The consumer’s choice results from complex interplay of cultural, social, personal and psychological factors. Although the marketers cannot influence many of these factors, they can be useful identifying interested buyers, and in shaping products. Marketers have to be extremely careful in analysing consumer behaviour (Kotler et al 2005 A). The consumer decision making varies with the type of buying decision. Consumer buying decision differs greatly. More complex decisions usually involve more buying participants and more buyer deliberation. There are...
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