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Discuss about the Influence of Integrated Marketing Communication.

Motivation behind buying Coca-Cola

The brand is Coca-Cola is a renowned name in the flavoured soda industry. It is being consumed throughout the globe and ranks third in terms of brand awareness shortly after Apple Inc. and Google. The aim behind conducting this survey is to gain a deeper insight about attitudes, perceptions, motivations and patterns about consumers of Coca-Cola. Understanding consumer behaviour has always been an essential aspect of a successful business. Entrepreneurs aim to understand customer needs and demands and then work towards offering them the same in order to ensure enhanced customer satisfaction. Understanding the behaviour of customers helps businesses get an acumen regarding their needs and preferences.

The survey was designed using Survey Monkey. The questions have been designed to ensure that respondents can answer the questions with an open mind. None of the questions are leading and different aspects of consumer behaviour have been covered.

The survey was distributed to people who have recently consumed Coca-Cola and hence can easily recall their attitude towards the product. A total of 34 respondents filled the survey. There has been no intentional bias while selecting the respondents.

The purpose of this question was to understand the inspiration behind buying Coca-Cola. Carbonated Soda industry is facing immense competition and it is important to understand exactly what is it that inspires people to buy Coca-Cola. Understanding the motivation behind buying a certain product can help marketers in putting efforts towards motivating customers further to buy the same. There can be various factors that inspire customers to make a purchase (Solomon et. al., 2014). This is why all the options were presented as checkboxes so that respondents can select more than one option.

In terms of Coca-Cola 50% of the people believe that the refreshing energy associated with Coca-Cola is what inspired them to buy the beverage. Besides this, packaging of the product (both bottles and cans) as well as its advertising and branding strategies also positive impacted the customers and motivated them to buy Coca-Cola. Brand ambassadors also play a significant role in influencing customer decisions (Liang, Lee & Muqaddam, 2018). 21% of the respondents agreed that the brand ambassadors of Coca-Cola also had a significant influence on their buying decisions.

Before buying any product, customers form a perception regarding the product. This perception is based on the advertisements they watch or what they know from their peers or friends. This perception largely helps in understanding if the customer will make the purchase or not. Understanding customer perception before the purchase helps in understanding about the efficiency of the advertising and promotion strategies adopted by the brand. Similarly, the packaging and the overall look of the product also has an impact in forming the perception of a product even before the purchase is made (Zekiri & Hasani, 2015).

Consumer Perception of Coca-Cola

The effective marketing strategies including print ads, television ads and digital ads have created a positive perception of the brand Coca-Cola in the minds of customers. 59% of the respondents feel positively about the brand while 15% of the respondents feel very positively about the brand. It is also important to note that none of the respondents have a very negative perception of Coca-Cola.

In most circumstances there is a gap between the before and after purchase perception of the product. Consumer’s perception towards a product can either improve, degrade or remain the same. This is because the marketing strategies and promotional tools used by a business create certain expectations in the minds of customers (Mihaela, 2015). If these expectations are not fulfilled post purchase then the perception of the product becomes negative.

76% of the respondents hold a positive perception of Coca-Cola after the purchase as well. In fact the number of respondents whose perception is ‘very positive’ regarding the brand after the purchase has gone up from 14% before the purchase to 27%. This depicts that Coca-Cola is able to effectively live up to the expectations of customers after the purchase.

There are several factors that influence customer purchase decisions. Family values, family setting and the overall family lifestyle significantly impacts purchase decisions of a product (Rani, 2014). Understanding family culture of all customers is difficult. However, this question aims to identify which segment of family members consume Coca-Cola. The analysis of the same would help the brand in targeting these particular segments.

The survey depicts that none of the participants have skipped the question and hence at least some members in the family consume Coca-Cola. Over 55% of the respondents mentioned that everyone in their family is a consumer of Coca-Cola. It is evident that Coca-Cola has successfully reached out to all members of the family. The brand could curate more advertisements that throw light on the importance of strong family values. This would further enhance the product’s brand image.

Pricing strategies adopted by any product significantly impact purchase decisions by customers. It is important customers believe that they are receiving value for the money that they are paying. This is specifically true for FMCG products as people buy these products frequently (Kumar, 2018). In a price sensitive industry customers prefer products that offers them value for their money.

Over 91% of the respondents are satisfied with the value offered by Coca-Cola for their money. None of the respondents felt that Coca-Cola was offering poor value. This throws light upon appropriate pricing strategies adopted by Coca-Cola. The brand is known to offer discounts and evidently customers are completely satisfied with the price they have to pay.

Family consumption of Coca-Cola

Just like people, there are emotions associated with various brands. These emotions are important to identify because customers relate with these emotions. If people associate positive emotions with a brand then there is an increased likelihood of them buying that particular brand. Identifying emotions associated with brand also helps businesses in marketing their products in an effective manner (Wang, Pestana & Moutinho, 2018). Customers tend to associate with brands that have positive emotions.

Close to 80% of respondents associate positive emotions with the brand including Happy, refreshing, sharing and energy. The rest 20% also associate Coca-Cola with unhealthy depicting that they are aware and concerned about the fact that Coca-Cola is an unhealthy beverage. If this emotion is reflected to increasing number of people then it might lead to reduced purchases. In order to combat the same, Coca-Cola could introduce a sugar free and healthier beverage and enhance its own target market. The other emotions clearly reflect upon the positive brand image of Coca-Cola.

FMCG market is facing fierce competition. In the light on increasing competition, it is important that brands work towards differentiating themselves from competitors. Differentiation strategies may include any efforts by the brand that makes it stand out and be preferred over competing brands (Collie, 2016). There are various factors that can lead to customer preferring one brand over another.

Over 52% of respondents prefer Coca-Cola over other brands owing to its better taste. 14% of respondents prefer the brand because of the value for money offered by the brand. Besides this Coca-Cola’s packaging, brand image and brand ambassador are also small reasons behind people preferring Coca-Cola. It is important for the business to identify its strength over other competitors. This ensures that the brand can effectively and competently leverage this strength as and when required.

An FMCG product can be used on several occasions. Once a brand identifies these occasions then it becomes easier for the brand to mould its marketing and promotion strategies. This question is aimed at understanding exactly why people purchase Coca-Cola.

Over 44% of the respondents drink Coca-Cola every day as it feels very refreshing. While over 52% of the respondents consume Coca-Cola on special occasions. Coca-Cola had launched a campaign in Asia which advertised Coca-Cola has a beverage for every mood. The same strategy can be adopted in the rest of the world as well. This will not only enhance the brand’s target market significantly but will also position the brand in a similar manner.

Value for money offered by Coca-Cola

Every customer whether real or potential has a certain impression about the brand. This impression about the brand that customers hold is better known as Brand Image (Anselmsson, Bondesson & Johansson, 2014). For customers to be inclined towards buying a particular brand, it is primarily essential that customers relate to the brand’s image. If a brand’s image or a brand’s personality is loud, social and colourful then possibly a shy and introvert person will not relate with the brand. Therefore a brand needs t identify its customers, understand their image and work towards building the same (Hemsley Brown, 2016).

93% of the respondents relate with the brand image and personality of Coca-Cola. This could be an influencing factor towards making future purchases or establishing the brand’s image. None of the respondents mentioned that they do not relate with the brand image. This reflects upon effective brand building strategies adopted by Coca-Cola and excellence in their targeting policy.

This has been placed as the last question because at the end of the day customers are the best marketers for any product. Customers have the ability to make or break a brand. With the advent of social media and rise in technology, customers’ opinions can reach a large number of people and make a significant impact (Jain, 2015). This is why it is important to understand if the present customers of the brand would recommend the product to others.

Only 11% of the respondents answered that they are not likely to recommend Coca-Cola to others. This is a significantly positive attitude towards a brand as the remaining 89% of the customers can get more customers to the brand and play their role towards building a positive brand image of Coca-Cola.

References

Anselmsson, J., Vestman Bondesson, N. and Johansson, U., 2014. Brand image and customers' willingness to pay a price premium for food brands. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 23(2), pp.90-102.

Collie, D.R., 2016. Gains from variety? Product differentiation and the possibility of losses from trade under Cournot oligopoly with free entry. Economics Letters, 146, pp.55-58.

Hemsley-Brown, J., Melewar, T.C., Nguyen, B. and Wilson, E.J., 2016. Exploring brand identity, meaning, image, and reputation (BIMIR) in higher education: A special section. Elsevier Publications. United States.

Jain, S., 2015. Electronic word of mouth: antecedents and consequences. South Asian Journal of Marketing & Management Research, 5(4), pp.22-33.

Kumar, P., 2018. Exploring the price bundling portfolio in Indian FMCG markets. Asian Journal of Multidimensional Research (AJMR), 7(6), pp.218-233.

Liang, Y., Lee-Argyris, Y. and Muqaddam, A., 2018. Changing Brand Attitudes through Influencer Marketing. AISEL publishers. China.

Mihaela, O.O.E., 2015. The influence of the integrated marketing communication on the consumer buying behaviour. Procedia economics and finance, 23, pp.1446-1450.

Rani, P., 2014. Factors influencing consumer behaviour. International journal of current research and academic review, 2(9), pp.52-61.

Sharma, M.K., 2014. The impact on consumer buying behaviour: Cognitive dissonance. Global Journal of Finance and Management, 6(9), pp.833-840.

Solomon, M.R., Dahl, D.W., White, K., Zaichkowsky, J.L. and Polegato, R., 2014. Consumer behavior: Buying, having, and being (Vol. 10). London: Pearson.

Wang, W.C., Pestana, M.H. and Moutinho, L., 2018. The Effect of Emotions on Brand Recall by Gender Using Voice Emotion Response with Optimal Data Analysis. In Innovative Research Methodologies in Management (pp. 103-133). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Zekiri, J. and HASANI, V.V., 2015. The role and impact of the packaging effect on consumer buying behaviour. Ecoforum Journal, 4. Elviser publishers. United States.

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