Internal Influences and Consumer Decision Process
Consumers’ Purchase Decision: Motivation
Consumer motivation is an internal state that drives people to identify and buy products or services that fulfill conscious and unconscious needs or desires. The fulfillment of those needs can then motivate them to make a repeat purchase or to find different goods and services to better fulfill those needs (Peter & Donnelly, 2004). The behavioral aspect of consumer motivation concerns the actions someone takes before purchasing and consuming goods or services. A person might do a lot of research--evaluating alternatives, testing and sampling--before making a selection. Consumer might decide to buy something based on which goods or services most closely meet and satisfy motivational wants and needs. Marketers aim to gain the most impact and eventual sales by linking their products and services to clearly defined consumer needs and by understanding what motivates people to buy. Companies and marketers use a number of different tools to help them understand consumer motivation in relation to their products and services (Hawkins, Mothersbaugh & Best, 2010). This may help them orient their markets according to different buyer motivation. Marketers use pre-purchase and post-purchase focus groups, one-to-one interviews and online or postal surveys to develop their understanding of consumers' motivational drivers. Consumers’ Purchase Decision: Personality
An individual’s personality relates to perceived personal characteristics that are consistently exhibited, especially when one acts in the presence of others. In most, but not all, cases the behaviors one project in a situation is similar to the behaviors a person exhibits in another situation (Hawkins, Mothersbaugh & Best, 2010). In this way personality is the sum of sensory experiences others get from experiencing a person (i.e., how one talks, reacts). While one’s personality is often interpreted by those we interact with, the person has their own vision of their personality, called Self Concept, which may or may not be the same has how others view us (Peter & Olson, 2005). For marketers it is important to know that consumers make purchase decisions to support their self concept. Using research techniques to identify how customers view themselves may give marketers insight into products and promotion options that are not readily apparent. For example, when examining consumers a marketer may initially build marketing strategy around more obvious clues to consumption behavior, such as consumer’s demographic indicators (e.g., age, occupation, income). However, in-depth research may yield information that shows consumers are purchasing products to fulfill self-concept objectives that have little to do with the demographic category they fall into (e.g., senior citizen may be making purchases that make them feel younger). Appealing to the consumer’s self concept needs could expand the market to which the product is targeted. Consumers’ Purchase Decision: Emotion
Customers use both rational and emotional elements in their decision process. The rational elements are things like pricing and product quality (WIC, 2008). But pricing and product quality and even innovative products can be copied and replicated. Sustainable rational differentiation is, therefore, difficult to achieve. Marketing and advertising use emotion-based communication to great effect. Where consumers are more likely to take emotion-based decisions, stating mere facts often don’t work stating facts about a product. For instance, instead of stating what fruits and vegetables contain effective emotional communication would appeal to the mother’s desire to do extraordinary things for her children, like offering fruits and vegetables, which can keep them healthy and have the power to change their lives. Emotion-based approaches represent an effective way to capture attention, “hook” the parent with the benefits of taking...
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