Personal Consumption Journal Project
MK 385 Consumer Behavior
In today’s world of various products and services, businesses aim to excel and lead the competition by marketing the most number of consumers, which is a full time endeavor of business. To survive in the market, a firm or an organization has to be constantly innovating and understand the latest consumer trends and tastes. Marketers need to understand consumer behavior because the decision-making process for consumers is anything but straight forward. Consumers’ behaviors and their purchasing patterns is a huge advantage to understanding the way customers think and the reason for their purchases. Therefore, the study of consumer behavior is important because it allows the marketers to understand the factors which influence the customer’s thoughts while buying any products or services. There are many factors that can affect this process as a person works through the purchase decision, such as external, internal, and marketing influences. For example, culture, group, or purchase situation are just a few of external influences. Perceptual, attitude, personality, lifestyle, roles, and motivation are a few of internal influences that can affect a consumer’s purchase decision. Marketing strategies, such as price, product, place, and promotion influences the consumer as well. The number of potential influences on consumer behavior is endless. However, by understanding the key influences, marketers can adapt and improve their efforts to take advantage in a way that will satisfy both the consumer and marketer. Not only is understanding consumer behavior importance to marketers, it should be important to the consumer as well. Personal consumption journals are just one of the tools that consumers can use to understanding their own behavior. From the personal consumption journal many observations lead to crucial insights to make a better and informed consumer. For example, a crucial insight could be understanding motivation for the purchase. Motivation is the reason for behavior. A motive is a construct representing an unobservable inner force that stimulates and compels a behavioral response and provides specific direction to that response. A motive is why an individual does something. The terms need and motivation are often used interchangeably. This is because when a consumer feels a gap between a desired state and his or her actual current state, a need is recognized and experienced as a drive state referred to as motivation. Needs and motives influence what consumers perceive as relevant and also influence their feelings and emotions (Hawkins, 2010). This is important for consumers to understand because it possibly could reduce over-spending or impulse shopping. For instance, after observations from my personal consumption journal, I noticed that I am mainly an impulse shopper. However on line 5, page 1: March 12, 2012, I had a need for an oil change for my vehicle and wanted to see if anything else was wrong or could go wrong with my vehicle. In this situation, there was the need for consistency to save money and achieve my other plans for the vehicle. Cognitive motives focus on the person’s need for being adaptively oriented toward the environment and achieving a sense of meaning (Hawkins, 2010). The Need for Consistency (active, internal) is a basic desire to have all facets of one consistent with each other. These facets include attitudes, behavior, opinion, self-images, view of others, and so forth. Understanding the need for consistency is also important for marketers to structure advertising messages relating to attitude change. A need for internal consistency means consumers are reluctant to accept information that disagrees with existing beliefs. Thus, marketers wishing to change attitudes must use highly credible sources or other techniques to overcome this (Hawkins, 2010). In this situation, that is exactly what GMC did. Even though I believe that...
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