Consumer Who?


This week as a part of my coursework I have read chapter one of Consumer Behavior by Kardes, Cronley, and Cline. Moreover, I have been prompted to answer the following questions:

What type of consumer are you?
Kardes et al. (2015) describe consumers as being either individual or organizational. Personally, I am both an individual and an organizational consumer. I am an individual consumer because I purchase goods and services to satisfy my needs and wants. On the other hand, I also handle the inventory management for ATC Clothing. When I am acquiring products for the online boutique, the clothing I am purchasing will ultimately be resold to individual consumers.

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What influences your buying decisions, and how?
Many factors can influence customer buying decisions, such as price, advertisements, brand, packaging, access, etc. When I am making a purchase decision usually my primary influence is accessibility. I am a hermit, and if I can find what I need online, I would rather have it delivered then drive to a store. If I can’t find it online, I either reassess how much I want the product or locate it in the nearest store. Once I have found the merchandise, my decision is typically influenced by the brand, packaging, benefits, and price. Depending on the commodity usually brand familiarity is the most important factor. I am willing to pay a few dollars more for a brand I know and trust. The second most important factor is if there are any additional benefits between the versions of the products. Thirdly, the price is important because for most commodities I will not pay hundreds of dollars more for essentially the same functions. Finally, if there is not a significant difference in the versions of the products I will base my decision on the packaging. In other words, I will purchase the product that is the most aesthetically appealing.

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Which stage actually leads to your purchasing decisions?
There are five stages of the consumer buying process. Depending on how needed, costly, large, or luxurious the purchase is, any one of the five stages can lead to my purchase decision. For instance, when I need gas for my car I make the purchase decision to pull over at the next gas station I see immediately. When I made the decision to find a hair stylist, I researched one company and made up my mind based on their reviews and capabilities. Therefore I made a decision during the information search.
When it comes to making a decision for food, I make the decision during the evaluation of alternative stage. I evaluate what options are close to my location and decide on which is the most suitable at the time. When I am hungry, once I make the decision to purchase I buy the product. On the other hand for other decisions when I consider alternatives there may not be an immediate reason to acquire the product. This leads to the purchase decision stage, at this point the marketing for the selected product needs to convince me to not only stick with the chosen product but to buy it at that moment.
During the fifth stage of post purchase behavior, I will make the decision to purchase the product again based on my satisfaction with the product.
In conclusion, I can make the decision to purchase a product at any of the five stages. However, I am sure that one can also make the case that in reality, I am always making the decision at the fourth stage, I am simply shortening or automating the steps I don’t feel I needed. For example, with purchasing gas, the information search is locating the nearest gas station. The evaluation stage would be to continue driving or pull over to the first one I find. Step four would be if the prices and availability of the pumps are adequate for me to swipe my card and fill up.

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When making a buying decision, how are you influenced by marketing research and marketing design?
As an individual consumer, I rarely feel like I am influenced by marketing research and design. Overall I understand that many products, stores, etc. are not available to me in South Florida because of market research; however, I don’t feel directly influenced by that. For instance, Bob Evans is a restaurant that flourishes in the Midwest. Based on their research they felt it would be profitable to build a few restaurants in Naples Florida. Many of the people who live there are retired Midwesterners. On the other hand, there are no Bob Evans near Fort Lauderdale. So although Bob Evan’s restaurant’s market research doesn’t directly influence my decision, it certainly takes the option out of my hands.
As an organizational consumer, I conduct market research to decide on my business needs. Determining what my target market is looking for and how they want it provided is essential to determining how I market my products and what I purchase.

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Do you experience any post-purchase behavior?
Post-purchase behaviors typically have their route in cognitive dissonance (Boundless, 2016). Cognitive dissonance occurs when someone is experiencing conflicting ideas, beliefs, values, or emotions (Boundless, 2016). For instance, when I purchased my first car, I was thrilled that I was able to purchase a car on my own, however, I felt cheated by how the salesman rushed me. In the end, I wasn’t sure if the vehicle that I loved was worth the price that I paid. To ease my buyer’s remorse, I decided that since I had the car, I was going to love it regardless of how much I paid, and my overall dissatisfaction with the dealership. I also told anyone who would listen to avoid Northstar dealership. I gave the salesman so much bad press that the next time I heard about him, he was at a new dealership. Outside of large purchases, I haven’t experienced any notable post-purchase behaviors. I am usually satisfied with most of my purchases, and if not I buy a replacement.

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References

Boundless (2016, August 08). Post-Purchase Behavior – Boundless Open Textbook. Retrieved March 10, 2017, from https://www.boundless.com/marketing/textbooks/boundless-marketing-textbook/consumer-marketing-4/the-consumer-decision-process-40/post-purchase-behavior-204-10576/Reference

Kardes, F. R., Cronley, M. L., & Cline, T. W. (2015). Consumer behavior (2nd ed.). Stamford: Cengage Learning.

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