External & Internal Influences Paper

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External & Internal Influences Paper

Learning Team A

Christopher Avery, Kristi Jordan, Matthew Land, Jeffrey Nelson,

Misty Roberts, Karla Rendon

University of Phoenix

MKT/435 – Consumer Behavior

Thomas O’Brien

February 6, 2009


Understanding the mind of a consumer is a puzzling process. It is important to consider that no single factor explains why consumers behave as they do. Rather, there are external and internal factors in addition to environmental factors that contribute to and help solve the puzzle. According to Perner (2008), consumer behavior is "the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society.” When marketing products, it imperative that Apple analyzes the impact of external and internal influences on consumer behavior and marketing strategies to connect with its target market. Team A will illustrate external and internal influences faced by Apple, and analyze the impact that these influences have on the Apples marketing strategy. Team A will also identify environmental factors that could influence consumer’s perception of Apples marketing strategies. To market its products more effectively, it is essential that Apple uses its resources to better understand consumer behavior.

External Influences

The external factors or influences on consumer behavior and marketing strategy that shape Apple’s marketing strategy for the iPhone are those of cultural, economic, and demographic. External factors are not directly under the control of the company, and must be taken into consideration by Apple to market and sell their products successfully. Examining the impact of external influences, reveals fundamental data on consumer behavior, that influences the techniques, tactics and marketing strategies of Apple.


Developing effective marketing strategies, requires companies to concentrate on several aspects of culture,. According to Hawkins, Mothersbaugh, and Best (2007), “culture is the complex whole that includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by humans as members of society.” To market products globally, companies should consider the varying values and beliefs that occur in different societies, within the area of culture. Apple needs to consider the varying acceptable social practices and customs in different cultures, to avoid marketing or promoting the iPhone through methods, which can be interpreted as culturally offensive. Additionally, Hawkins, Motherbaugh, and Best (2007) points out that, “there are sub-cultures across different societies based on common factors like the global teenage market.” The Apple iPhone appeals to many consumers globally ranging from teenagers to those in their 30s or 40s. The common appeal of the iPhone culturally is a consequence of consumers growing interest in technology, new cell phones trends, and ability to access the Internet from remote locations.


The next area of external influence on consumer behavior and marketing strategy is that of economics. Matters of economics are not under the control of the organization or the consumer, but affect both parties and influence the marketing decisions of companies. According to The Times 100 (2010), economic factors “relate to changes in the wider economy. A growing economy provides greater opportunities for businesses to make profits, so businesses welcome rising living standards.” The area of greatest impact with regard to economics would be that of pricing. Apple should pay particular attention to the consequences that economic conditions have on consumers, and create acceptable price points to maximize sales. As pointed out by Krazit (2010), Apple may have made a mistake in...
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