Consumer Behaviour

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This essay critically reviews and discusses regarding the potential consumer needs and motivations that relate to a specific brand of Christian Louboutin’s lipstick-red soles. It then further discusses several definitions and theoretical concepts in order to assist and support the main evidence of: (1) how the needs and motivations of consumers are being linked to the luxury brand product as well as how it influences the purchase decision making process; (2) the analysis between generic goals and product-specific goals; (3) whether consumers are being rationally or emotionally motivated throughout the decision making; (4) how the marketing campaign that is being applied in Christian Louboutin motivates different types of arousal. The data and information used as evidence have been collected from published reports, articles, internet, and academic journals. This review also provided a concise recommendation as to whether it is more appropriate to apply positive or negative motivation in highly competitive fashion industry.

1- Introduction
The red-soled stiletto king, Christian Louboutin has dedicated his life in creating luxurious footwear for women. In the year 1992, the brand Christian Louboutin’s first store came into reality in Paris, France with different store locations in 50 other countries ideally situated in major cities. Christian Louboutin’s shoes became instantly recognizable to those fashion cognoscenti for the trademark of ‘red-lacquered soles’ (WeConnectFashion, 2011). The main purpose of this essay is to provide definition of terms being applied and further review of how consumer needs and motivations can influence in purchase decision making and the product choice of female dress shoes that is being related to a particular brand product of Christian Louboutin and last but not least, critically evaluate the current marketing campaign that is being used by the company for various arousal of motives.

2- Consumer needs and motivations
2.1 Relationship of needs and motivations
Human needs are being defined as “states of felt deprivation” (Kotler, Brown, Burton, Deans & Armstrong, 2010, p.6), which eventually lead to actions being undertaken to fulfill the different individual needs. Consumers tend to choose, purchase, utilize and dispose the products in order to satisfy their own needs (Solomon & Rabolt, 2009, as cited in Workman & Lee, 2010). Consumer needs usually create tendency to respond whereas, motivation requires active reaction (Mahatoo, 1989, as cited in Workman & Lee, 2010). There are two types of needs: innate and acquired needs. Innate needs are also known as primary needs which are required for basic needs to maintain biological life such as the need of water to fulfill the thirst. The latter needs are known as the psychological needs that are being learnt from our surrounding environment and cultures, for example, the need for Christian Louboutin shoes for desire of prestige, status, recognition, power and self-esteem (Schiffman, Bednall, O’Cass, Paladino, Ward & Kanuk, 2008).

Accordingly to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, it is mainly composed of five basic levels of human needs: physiological, safety, social, ego and self-actualisation needs (Schiffman et al., 2008) as appeared in Appendix, figure 1. Throughout the purchase of Louboutin’s shoes, consumers tend to satisfy their physiological needs for female dress shoes, social needs for peer pressure, self-belonging or attachment to their close friends, ego needs to reveal their status, prestige and high self-esteem as recent statistics on retail expenditure shows that American women tend to spend approximately $18.3 billion only on shoes itself in year 2006 (Karimi, 2007) and finally achieving self-actualisation needs by purchasing one of...
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