Q: Determining the demand for a product is often the responsibility of the strategic marketer. (a) Define and describe the “demand curve”.
(b) Assess what information may be helpful to the strategic marketer in order to determine demand. (c) Discuss the factors that may create a fluctuation in demand. The demand curve is the graph depicting the relationship between the price of a certain commodity and the amount of it that consumers are willing and able to purchase at that given price. It is a graphic representation of a demand schedule. The demand curve for all consumers together follows from the demand curve of every individual consumer: the individual demands at each price are added together. Demand curves are used to estimate behaviors in competitive markets, and are often combined with supply curves to estimate the equilibrium price (the price at which sellers together are willing to sell the same amount as buyers together are willing to buy, also known as market clearing price) and the equilibrium quantity (the amount of that good or service that will be produced and bought without surplus/excess supply or shortage/excess demand) of that market. In a monopolistic market, the demand curve facing the monopolist is simply the market demand curve. According to convention, the demand curve is drawn with price on the vertical (y) axis and quantity on the horizontal (x) axis. The function actually plotted is the inverse demand function. The demand curve usually slopes downwards from left to right; that is, it has a negative association. The negative slope is often referred to as the "law of demand", which means people will buy more of a service, product, or resource as its price falls. The demand curve is related to the marginal utility curve, since the price one is willing to pay depends on the utility. However, the demand directly depends on the income of an individual while the utility does not. Thus it may change indirectly due to change in demand for other commodities. Information to determine demand
Levels of income
A key determinant of demand is the level of income evident in the appropriate country or region under analysis. As a generality, the higher the level of aggregate and/or personal income the higher the demand for a typical commodity, including forest products. More of a good or service will be chosen at a given price where income is higher. Thus determinants of demand normally utilize some form of income measure, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Population is of course a key determinant of demand. Although all forest products do not necessarily enter final consumer markets, the actual markets are largely presumed to be functionally related to population. Growing populations are positively correlated to timber demands in the aggregate, as well as specifically to individual forest products. Frequently, population and income estimators are combined, as in the case of the use of Gross Domestic Product per capita. End market indicators
The use of end market indicators as determinants of demand is frequently incorporated into demand analysis. For example, much of the final use of forest products is linked to construction (residential and total). Indicators and trends related to construction activities, or which are determinants of construction, provide indirect estimates of the influence of these activities as the source of derived demand for wood. Housing starts, public investments, interest rates, etc. can be highly correlated to timber demand. Availability and price of substitute goods
Consumption choices related to timber are also influenced by the alternative options facing users in the relevant marketplace. The availability of potential substitute products, and their prices, weigh heavily in determining the elasticity of demand, both in the short run (static) sense and over time (long run). Fuelwood, as a dominant use of timber in the Asia Pacific Region, reflects...
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