Understanding Consumer Behaviour

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Introduction:
This report will explore the consumer behaviour in general along with men’s buying attitudes towards clothes shopping and the bases for market segmentation and how these might be used in Men’s clothing market

Part1: Consumer Behaviour
Men are notorious for being reluctant shoppers, preferring to browse stores where they can indulge their hobbies or interests, rather than look for clothes. (Mintel)

According to research almost two in five men do not enjoy shopping for clothes and many men display a low interest in clothes, with six in ten only buying to replace old or worn-out garments and many wanting timeless styles. 68 % of men especially under 35 (Fledglings) think it is important to look attractive to the opposite sex.

Understanding consumer behaviour and the importance of different consumer preferences provide clues for developing new products, products features, prices etc. According to Kotler (2003, pg. 183), the starting point for understanding buyer behaviour is the motivation-response model shown in figure 1. Marketing and environmental stimuli enter the buyer’s consciousness, and then the buyer’s characteristics and decision process prompt with a need for something which leads to certain purchase decisions. Here, the important thing is to understand what happens in the buyer’s consciousness between the external motivations and the purchase decisions.

|Marketing stimuli |Other Stimuli | |Buyer’s characteristics |Buyer’s decision | |Buyer’s decision | | | | | |process | | | |Product |Economic | |Cultural |Problem recognition | |Product choice | |Price |Technological | |Social |Information search | |Brand choice | |Place |Political | |Personal |Evaluation | |Dealer choice | | | | | |alternatives | | | |Promotion |Cultural | |Psychological |Purchase decision | |Purchase timing | | | | |  |Postpurchase behaviour| |Purchase amount |

Figure 1 : Model of Buyer Behaviour

Bases of Needs
Palmer (2004, pg. 90) states that Maslow (see figure 2) recognized that once, individuals have satisfied basic physiological needs, they may need to satisfy social needs. For instance, take a young men, he wants to purchase a pair of jeans. The rational behind the purchase for a need of a pair of jeans may not jut be functional. Also, he may seek to satisfy some of the below needs from this purchase. -to gain status in the eyes of peer group or

-to project a particular image of themselves.

5Self actualization needs

4Esteem needs
(Self esteem, recognition, status)

3Social needs (sense of belonging, love)

2Safety needs (security, protection)

1Physiological needs (food, water, shelter)

Figure 1: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Buying Situations
Buying situations can be identified in three categories. (Palmer, 2004, pg.88) They are;
-Routine rebuy i.e. the buyer is making his decision almost instinctively without giving any thoughts. -Modified rebuy i.e. here the buyer is familiar with his choice of product yet he wants something a little different so he will likely to do some research and evaluate the alternatives. -Completely novel i.e. the buyer is completely new to the product so the research process will likely to be longer.

Market size and buying habits
The market for menswear grew by 1.5% in 2009 to reach...
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