The title of this research paper clarifies that the focus of this research is mainly towards evaluating consumer behaviour towards dairy housing systems ands dairy products. The study is therefore aimed at analysing consumer behaviour with a view to identifying important strategies so that the enhancement in the performance could be achieved. It is mainly an important task to marketers that they should understand the behaviour of their customers so that important decisions can be undertaken by them to satisfy their customers. Consumer behaviour is all about understanding the actions and attitude as shown by them while making the purchases of their requirements. It is highly essential for the marketers to understand such processes so that they can efficient make adjustments to their strategies and products with a view to satisfy their customers (Nelson, 2002).
Consumers are the most important assets of an organisation, and it is essential that they should be completely satisfied by businesses with a view to earn higher profit and sustain their operations. In this respect, learning the behaviour of consumers is highly essential because it allows marketers in satisfying all the aspects of the products and services offerings by customising them as per the customer’s requirements and needs. It is therefore regarded as the beginning point to the marketers, and by having good understanding of their consumer behaviour and expectations, there could be better chances of satisfying them. There are various important strategies that could be considered by businesses in identifying the attitude of their customers towards the products and services as offered by them. This includes surveying customers for their products, or observing them while they make purchases and many more (Kim, Ferrin and Rao, 2008).
This research therefore aims at analysing the consumer behaviour towards diary products and housing systems across UK.
The main research objectives that will be focused by the researcher in achieving the main aim of this research are:
The research questions that will be answered from performing this research are:
This literature search is focused towards analysing the important aspects related to the consumer behaviour so that the research questions as posed above could be answered efficiently. As a part of performing analysis of the literature, there will be the evaluation of past studies concerning what it meant to study consumer behaviour and how this concept can aid marketers in performing their roles and responsibilities in a highly efficient manner. The important aspects related to this research are discussed below by examining the existing literature findings:
Concept of Consumer Behaviour: An analysis suggests that this particular concept of consumer behaviour is discussed extensively in the existing literature by the researchers in the past. The definition of consumer behaviour is provided by Hoyer and MacInnis (2008) by indicating that it is mainly the analysis of the decision making process of consumers concerning their purchasing decisions which includes activities such as acquisition and consumption of final goods and services. It sometimes includes the post purchase behaviour of the consumers as well mainly with regard to their experiences from the consumption of the product. Consumer behaviour is all about understanding the decision making process of the consumers when they considers for making the purchases of their requirements from market. This implies that consumer behaviour is identified as a process that involves more than simply the buying of products and services. As suggested by Lamb, Hair and McDainiel (2011) an important aspect in the entire consuming buying decision is the acquisition part which mainly indicates about the ways in which the actual acceptance of the product has been made by the consumers. The acquisition of products by consumers can take any of the forms such as trading, leasing or it can be sharing. Apart from this, the disposition behaviour of consumer implies the process by which consumer discards the offering as made to them. There can be many people involved in the process of consumer buying behaviour since it is regarded as a dynamic process.
The way explaining the process in which consumer makes decisions in buying products and services is explained by the consumer buying behaviour process. Kardes et al (2010) has provided explanation of the concept of consumer behaviour by explaining that the process includes a wide range of activities related to purchase and use and disposal of goods and services. The study of consumer behaviour also involves an assessment of the emotional, mental and behavioural responses as shown by the consumers during the actual purchases of the products and services as made by them.
Consumer behaviour as per Kumar (2009) is all about the starting point to marketers in understanding their consumers and thereby in devising important strategies aimed at achieving higher success levels in satisfying them. It is a highly dynamic process that keeps on changing and this makes it essential that marketers should make an effort to learn their consumer buying behaviour process on a regular basis so that they can devise strategies aimed at better meeting out the needs and expectations of their customers. Consumer behaviour is therefore the behaviour shown by consumers while making the search for products and services. The process is usually undertaken by consumers in a series of steps and all those steps need to be analysed in order to understand the process in a highly efficient manner.mportance in Studying Consumers: It is highly essential to study behaviour of consumers because of a number of reasons as identified by various such studies conducted in the past. According to Andrews and Currim (2004) a major difficulty to marketer is mainly with respect to the development of products and services that could achieve higher level of market success. This requires them a complete understanding of what actually is the requirements of consumers within the market. This implies that the most significant decision of launching a product in the market is highly influenced by the behaviour of consumers and it is therefore essential that efforts should be made to study consumer behaviour by them. The needs and preferences of consumers as identified should be incorporated within the products as manufactured, as this would allow marketers in satisfying the needs and requirements of their customers in a positive way and ultimately in satisfying them positively.
Studying consumer behaviour is also identified as highly important by Hoyer, Macinnis and Dasgupta (2008) as they have indicated that the knowledge about consumer behaviour is critical to marketers in designing and developing highly efficient marketing strategies and tactics which in turn is important to them to target their customers. The behaviour as shown by consumers helps marketers in designing the products and delivering and communicating them efficiently in a manner that suits their requirements. Degeratu, Rangaswamy and Wu (2000) asserts that understanding consumer behaviour enables the marketers in developing stronger relations with their customers, and this stronger bonding is quite essential to them in achieving higher success levels in marketing their offerings to their customers. Heitmann, Lehman and Herrman (2007) asserts that satisfying customers is highly essential and important to businesses, and this could be positively accomplished by way of making long term bonding with them through making efforts to meet out their dynamic needs and preferences for products and services. Businesses need to modify their offerings from regular time period in satisfying their customers and this could be positively accomplished by studying their consumers on regular basis.
Consumer Attitude towards Dairy Products: As consumer behaviour is identified as highly relevant to study, its impact is evident in respect to the all the fields. As for instance, with respect to dairy farming products, the attitude of consumer is essential to be measured, and there are various such studies that have attempted to measure the attitude of their consumers towards dairy farming products. According to a study as conducted by Young et at (2010) it has been evaluated that the most important factor that is given importance by the consumers while purchasing the dairy products is mainly the quality factor. The quality of dairy products has always been a major concern to consumers, and they often pay higher level of attention towards this particular factor. This is mainly because the study findings indicated that there are chances of diseases transmitted because of consuming dairy products. This leads to higher level of precautions by consumers while they purchase their dairy products from their service providers (Young, Hendrick, Parker, Rajic, McClure, Sanchez and McEwen, 2010).
Another important study by Tsourgainnis, Karasavvoglou and Florou (2011) is focused towards analysing the attitude of consumers towards GM (Genetically Modified) free products in the European Region. The focus in the study was mainly towards analysing the factors that impact the consumer purchasing behaviour and the conduct of the study revealed significant level of findings with respect to the behaviour of consumers in purchasing such foods. It has been assessed in the study that consumers pay attention to factors such as product certification, nutrition value offered by the food service provider, price and quality factor, and also the information about any kinds of marketing related issues associated with the company. These aspects affect their purchasing behaviour in particular, and thus, the marketers could consider for these factors in convincing their customers to select their dairy products (Tsourgiannis, Karasavvoglou and Florou, 2011).
A study by Butler, Wolf and Bandoni (2008) is focused towards analysing the consumer attitudes towards milk products that are being produced from cloned cows. The study findings revealed about the consumer behaviour with respect to the food as consumed by them. The findings suggested that consumers have similar kinds of purchase interest with respect to the full priced product or products offered at 25% discount even when the consumers are made aware about the reason for such discount which is mainly the application of biotechnology in producing them. However, the attitude and behaviour of consumer changes when they were informed about the product was from cloned cows. There is a slight reduction being witnessed with respect to their consumption level and this has been because of the fact that they are informed that the product is from cloned cows. This particular behaviour as shown by consumers is an important factor to the marketers in marketing their dairy products, as they could utilise efficient strategies aimed at targeting their customers that satisfies their needs and interest (Butler, Wolf and Bandoni, 2008).
Overall, a brief analysis as carried out with respect to the existing literature on consumer behaviour has reflected significant level of findings. It has been analysed in particular that consumer behaviour is affected by large number of factors and marketers could therefore devise strategies aimed at meeting out the needs and expectations of their customers. An analysis of literature in brief with respect to the dairy farm products also revealed that the consumer behaviour is largely affected by different major factors which provide marketers with the opportunity to make changes to their strategies in targeting their customers efficiently based on their behaviour and reaction.
An appropriate design to research is highly important from the point of view of carrying out the data collection process in this research. In order to accomplish the main aim of a research, data collection has been highly crucial and the researcher should pay adequate level of attention with respect to this particular aspect. A detailed focus in this area of data collection is significant from the point of view of collection the most relevant data which could ultimately contribute towards the attainment of main research aim and objectives. The research design is crucial in performing the collection of data because the research design provides the blueprint with respect to the data collection process that needs to be followed. In this research on examining the consumer attitude towards different dairy products in UK, the important factors related to the data collection as considered are analysed as follows:
Methodological Approach: The first important factor as a part of performing the collection of data is mainly the selection of appropriate methodology to perform the collection of data. The methodological approach explains the entire data collection process that will be performed in collecting relevant data in the research. This research on examining the customer attitude towards different dairy firms and products in UK will also apply a specific methodological approach to ensure the collection of most accurate data in this research. The methodological approach involves the selection of an appropriate research approach first which is followed by the identification of the nature of data that needs to be collected, and finally, the most appropriate data collection methods could be considered. These aspects are discussed as follows:
Research Approach: The researcher needs to selection appropriate research approach which can be achieved by selecting a specific approach from two available approaches such as inductive and deductive research approach. In inductive approach, the process followed in collecting data is specific to general whereas in deductive, the process followed is general to specific. This research on examining the customer attitude towards dairy firm products in UK will apply deductive research approach to collect data. This research approach will involve the collection of general data about the consumer attitude towards dairy firms and this will be followed by the collection of specific data in relation to UK dairy firms. This particular deductive research approach is highly justified because a brief analysis of the literature indicated that there are various researches that have examined the performance of dairy firms. As a result, by focusing on the findings of those past researches, it could be possible to gain an insight about the consumer attitude. This will be followed by the collection of data from UK based dairy firms to analyse the consumer attitude towards dairy products in UK (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2003).
Nature of Data: As the approach has been selected, it is also highly essential that appropriate level of consideration should be made with regard to the data type that should be considered in performing the collection of data. The data types that are available to researcher can be categorised as qualitative data and quantitative data. The qualitative data is collected by researcher when in-depth or subjective data is required to address the research questions whereas quantitative data is mostly utilised when the researcher is required to collect opinion of large number of respondents in achieving answer to research questions (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2003).
In this research on examining the attitude of consumers towards dairy firms and their products, the researcher is required to collect data from large number of respondents so that the consumer behaviour and attitude can be better evaluated. As a result, the approach that would be followed in collecting data would be the quantitative data whereby the focus would be on collecting viewpoint of so many respondents as possible. This will help in analysing the attitude of consumers in dairy firms and thereby in allowing marketers in taking better decisions regarding the strategies that they should consider in efficiently meeting out their customer needs from dairy products.
Data Collection Methods: The selection of appropriate data collection method is essential and the researcher can collect data by way of applying primary data and secondary data collection methods. In primary data, the researcher is required to collect data from the respondents by way of having direct interaction with them whereas in secondary data, the already collected data are utilised from searching different sources. Both these data collection methods are significant in the sense that they allows for collecting accurate data needed to answer the research questions. In this research on examining the consumer attitude towards dairy farm products, the researcher is likely to apply both the primary data and secondary data collection methods. As indicated above, primary data is the collection of data by way of interacting with the respondents directly, the researcher in the given research will also collect data by interacting with respondents (Marczyk, DeMatteo and Festinger, 2005).
Who to talk: The target respondents to whom the researcher will talk to are mainly the owners of dairy firms that are selling dairy farm related products. The most appropriate target respondents to talk to are mainly those dairy farm product sellers operating in UK because they can better explain the attitude as shown by consumers when they arrives and demands for various dairy care products. They will also better explain about the dairy housing systems that have been operational in UK. The interaction with the respondents is expected to be carried out by the researcher by way of surveying the dairy farm sellers with a specific questionnaire that would comprise of questions analysing the attitude of customers towards dairy farm and products. The specific way in which dairy housing systems function in UK will also be addressed efficiently through collecting data from them. In this way, the collection of primary data can be performed and this would ensure the most relevant research findings aimed at addressing the research questions.
The researcher would visit different retailers personally whereby the dairy retailers would be explained about the purpose of the survey and they would be asked to participate in the process. The respondents would then be provided with the questionnaire whereby they would be requested to answer the questions contained therein. Once completed, the survey form would be taken back and they would be analysed to reach appropriate
conclusion to the research. The researcher will adapt convenience sampling strategy whereby the dairy firm retailers that are convenient to the researcher would be visited and they would be surveyed. The survey would allow for the collection of quantitative data in the form of viewpoints of large number of respondents, and this would be beneficial in reaching appropriate conclusion to this research on the analysis of the attitude of consumers towards dairy farms. The dairy farm owners are considered for the survey because they could better explain the behaviour and attitude as shown by consumers while they make purchases of dairy products.
Sort of Questions to be Asked: The important question types that would be considered in the questionnaire include how consumer react to different brands of milk?, do they have different attitude towards different brand with different prices?. How they react to cloned cow milk, natural milk or technologically developed milk etc? The questions regarding the ways in which dairy housing systems in UK operates are also to be considered as a part of analysis. These types of questions will allow for the identification of attitude shown by consumers towards the dairy products while they make their purchases and also with regard to the operational process of dairy housing systems across UK. These questions in the questionnaire will help in collecting data about the behaviour and attitude as shown by consumers. As a result, they would account for positive level of contribution towards the main research aim and objectives for which the given research has been carried out.
Apart from the collection of primary data in the form of surveys with the dairy firms operating in UK, there would also be the application of secondary data collection method in performing the collection of relevant data in this research. The secondary data will be collected in the form of reviewing academic journal articles and books regarding the findings of the past researchers that have examined the attitude of customers towards dairy farm products. In these ways the collection of both the primary data and secondary data will be performed to analyse the consumer attitude with respect to the dairy farm products in UK, and the functional systems of the dairy housing in UK, and the resulting impact would be better opportunities to the marketers in devising appropriate strategies aimed at meeting out customer requirements from dairy farms (Mujis, 2010).
Data Analysis Plan: The data as collected need to be analysed in order to reach appropriate research conclusion. In this research, data collected through survey will be quantitative in nature and they will be analysed through diagrams and charts. This strategy will prove effective in analysing the viewpoints of large number of respondents. Apart from this, the cross sectional data analysis method will also be considered whereby the findings from primary data and secondary data will be analysed and they would be compared in order to achieve the triangulation of the collected data. In these ways, collected data would be analysed in reaching appropriate conclusion in this research (Berg and Latin, 2007).
Timescale in Doing this Research: There are different important sections that needs to be carried out in order to achieve appropriate research findings in this research. However, it is also essential that there should be timely accomplishment of all the major activities that are being carried out and the following time schedule will be followed in order to timely accomplish the research results:
Background and Introduction
Data Collection, Analysis and Findings
Conclusion and finalising the research
The performance of this research proposal has indicated the findings in the existing literature about the role and importance of examining the attitude of consumer behaviour. It has been analysed that consumer behaviour is an essential component for the marketers to study and by having appropriate understanding of this particular factor, it could be possible to organisations that they can better address their customer requirements. The analysis of the literature has also indicated that there are studies that have been conducted in order to analyse the attitude of consumers towards dairy farm, but the main gap as noted in the literature is mainly the lack of studies appropriate to analysing the consumer attitude in UK dairy firms. As a result, the given research is aimed at reducing the existence of this gap in the existing literature, as it will contribute in a positive manner towards the accomplishment of findings concerning the consumer attitude towards dairy farms in UK. Based on the findings, appropriate recommendations would also be identified aimed at enabling the dairy farms in meeting out the needs and expectations of their customers in a positive way. This research will therefore be valuable because it is likely to contribute in a positive manner towards accomplishing efficient findings and thereby in contributing towards the gaps in the existing literature in a positive way.
Andrews, R.L. and Currim, I.S. (2004). Behavioural differences between consumers attracted to shopping online versus traditional supermarkets: implications for enterprise design and marketing strategy. International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, Vol. 1 (1), pp. 38-61.
Berg, K.E. and Latin, R.W. (2007), Essentials of Research Methods in Health, Physical Education, Exercise Science, and Recreation, 3rd ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Butler, L.J., Wolf, M.M. and Bandoni, S. (2008), ‘Consumer Attitudes toward Milk Products Produced from Cloned Cows’, Journal of Food Distribution Research, Vol. 39 (1), pp. 31-35.
Degeratu, A.M., Rangaswamy, A. and Wu, J. (2000). Consumer Choice Behaviour in Online and Traditional Supermarkets: The Effects of Brand Name, Price, and other Search Attributes. International Journal of Research in Marketing, Vol. 17 (1), pp. 55-78.
Heitmann, M., Lehman, D.R and Herrman, A. (2007).Choice goal attainment and decision and consumption satisfaction. Journal of Marketing Research, 44(May),234-250.
Hoyer, W.D. and MacInnis, D.J. (2008), Consumer Behavior, 5th ed., Cengage Learning.
Kim, D.J., Ferrin, D.L. and Rao, H.R. (2008). A trust-based consumer decision-making model in electronic commerce: The role of trust, perceived risk, and their antecedents. Decision Support Systems, Vol 44, pp. 544-564.
Kardes, F., Cronley, M. and Cline, T.W. (2010), Consumer Behavior, Cengage Learning.
Kumar, S.R. (2009), Consumer Behaviour And Branding: Concepts, Readings And Cases-The Indian Context, Pearson Education India.
Lamb, C.W., Hair, J.F. and McDaniel, C. (2011), Essentials of Marketing, Cengage Learning.
Mujis, D. (2010). Doing Quantitative Research in Education with SPSS. (2nd ed.), SAGE Publications Ltd.
Marczyk, G. R., DeMatteo, D. and Festinger, D. (2005). Essentials of Research Design and Methodology. John Wiley and Sons.
Nelson, W. (2002). All power to the consumer? Complexity and choice in consumer’s lives. Journal of Consumer Behaviour , Vol. 2 (2), pp. 185-195.
Saunders, M, Lewis, P and Thornhill, A., (2003). Research Methods for Business Students. 3rd ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Tsourgiannis, L., Karasavvoglou, A. and Florou, G. (2011), ‘Consumers’ attitudes towards GM Free products in a European Region. The case of the Prefecture of Drama–Kavala–Xanthi in Greece’, Appetite, Vol. 57, pp. 338-358.
Young, I., Hendrick, S., Parker, S., Rajic, A., McClure, J., Sanchez, J. and McEwen, S. (2010), ‘Knowledge and attitudes towards food safety among Canadian dairy producers’, Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Vol. 94, pp. 65-76.
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