You to apply and demonstrate their knowledge of the unit material up to and including the buyer decision process. The assessment requires you to consider a fictional consumer and to document the consumer journey of the fictional consumer through the 3 time zones of the buyer decision process. The fictional character gives you the freedom to demonstrate your knowledge of a number of concepts.
It is suggested that a product with high customer involvement is chosen, as a product with low customer involvement is unlikely to enable you to fully showcase your learning.
This is not a buying story. It is a demonstration of your learning, what this means is that students should focus on the unit material; the fictional consumer and the selected example are a vehicle to demonstrate learning of the unit material.
Consumer Case Study
Every business process depends on the involvement of buyers in the process (Reisen, 2008). The attraction of the buyers towards the products can increase the sale of products and that can be possible with the analysis of decision making process. The decision of buyers depends on the various situations. To increase the sales of all products an organization needs to ensure that they are succeeded in convincing buyers by providing their quality products. On the other hand, the decision making process of the buyers can depend on various things such as pricing, quality, longevity of the product or brand and so on. After making choices with the help of decision making process buyers take a step to buy a product. The decision of buyers not only depended on an experience of them which they gather from the products but the services of an organization as well (Kengthon, 2010). The scope of the current report is focused on demonstration of consumer decision making process where consumer involvement is high. A marketer designs and makes his product offering according to consumer choice and preference so that they can attract the customers towards their products and influence them to buy the good as well.
This case study is about Peter and Sarah. Peter is a teacher and he is doing his teaching job in a school, the school is close to their house. Sarah, the wife of Peter and is a housewife, she does all the work of the house, and takes care of their three children. Besides teaching profession, Peter has a hobby to travel in many parts of their country driving his own car. Not only Peter but Sarah has also the same interest. In order to fulfill their interest, they decided to buy a car. After getting an opportunity to buy a car they went to a nearby showroom. In a showroom, they visit cars of different companies with different features and quality (Liao, 2009). There are so many cars in a showroom that it was impossible for them to decide one particular car for buying. After thinking a lot, he decided one car for buying, though Peter and his wife did not have any they proper knowledge about cars. Moreover in this situation they also have not any kind of knowledge about car driving, thus they asked their one friend for a driver who can drive their car.
In the time of purchasing a car they go through the several steps of the decision making process thus that helps them to buy an appropriate car. Purchasing a car includes several steps of the decision making process.
Buyer Decision Process
When a consumer gets satisfied with a product and services of an organization, that customer can make another decision to buy that product from that particular company. The buying process of a product is dependent on decision-making stages of buyers (Ford & Richardson, 2013). It is a very common thing that while buying high involvement products and which is for a long term use. Buyers think many times before buying it. The decision making process before buying products is based on five stages as detailed out below.
Before buying any product it is a very important to recognize the problems or necessity of a product, that can be helpful for the buyers to choose products. However the problems can be quality, pricing, feature of the products (Maity & Dass, 2014). There are various kinds of product quality problems that can provide impact on the choices of the customers for that particular product. Prices of the products can also impact on the choices of the customers. In the case of Peter and Sarah, do not have any knowledge and experience about buying a car, so it is essential for them to recognize the need that can be met by the purchase of the car (Kannan et al. 2013). In this case of Peter and Sarah, uses several steps of decision making process, in order to identify an appropriate car for them post evaluating other cars.
The next step of buyer’s decision making is information searching. It is important for the buyers to search information’s about the product and company of the product before buying it (Lerner et al. 2015). The quality of products is depended on their brand. The information about the market place of the company, quality and pricing scale of their products helps a consumer to take a decision (Hollensen, 2015). In the case of the car company, buyers need to collect information about the internal and external environment of that particular company. In the time of searching information about their service system and the process of a company, it is necessary for them to respond to the consumer which can satisfy the customers. Gathering information about companies and comparing difference in the products of companies enables buyers to take the right decision regarding the product. Peter and Sarah can collect information about companies and products that they see in the showroom. The right information can help them to choose the right company and their right product. Peter and Sarah for their purpose collected information whether the car has proper features or not for long drive as fuel efficiency, engine features and so on.
This stage is about a comparison between the product of different companies and different price rate. In the market, there are so many companies who deal with same products (Mardani, Jusoh & Zavadskas, 2015). In order to stay in the competition and to get leading position in the market, every company tries to attract consumers by providing the substitute in products and maintain their price rate. In case of a car, in a market, there are large numbers of companies which produce cars. Consumers can make the comparison between different brands and their product qualities. Pricing of a product is important to justify the quality. Comparing products of the different company and their maintenance of pricing as per market value enables consumer to take a decision (Govindan et al. 2015). In the case of Peter and Sarah, as they were confused about company and product brand, so they need to conduct market research to collect information, in order to make compare between product brands and pricing. Through such information search, they can take the right decision in order to buy a particular product. The consumer also can consult with other customers, who have already purchased similar products of various companies.
The fourth stage is the decision making to buy products. The decision of the customer can be both positive and negative. The decision of consumer is depended upon the process of above three stages. Recognizing problems, collecting information and comparing different products of various companies, then the consumer takes decision of buying. Any kind of negative information or negative feedback of other customers can change the mind of customers. The first three stages of decision making are vital to take the proper decision (Hartman et al. 2014). In a case of Peter and Sarah, they recognized problems and gathered information about products and based on their information that they collected for market and from various other customers, they compare products of other companies and at last choose the right product. The whole process of decision making is conducted by them in order to get right products for their use. On the other hand, the decision of Peter is taken depended upon positive feedbacks of other customers and market research (Chai Liu & Ngai, 2013).
Buyer decision is not only based on the information before buying any products, there is importance of their experience with a product after using it. It cannot be possible to understand if consumers are satisfied with product or not without getting any proper feedback from the same. The bad experience provides negative impact upon the customer acquisition process of companies. Upon the satisfaction of buyer, the positive and negative feedbacks can be achieved which allows marketers to give feedback further to their designing or product development team. Companies always try to satisfy their customers in order to get positive feedback from them (Choudhary & Shankar, 2014). The positive feedbacks of customers provide the positive impact in customer acquisition process of companies and they can easily improve their business process. Thus, the post purchase behavior of a consumer is related with the decision-making process while conducting any kind of information searching.
Figure: Stages of decision process
(Source: Hartman et al. 2014)
According to Utility model, the consumer makes their decision based on future outcomes of the products. Searching information about the possible outcomes can be helpful for the customers to make their decision for buying any products. In a case of buying a car, customer search for various things in a car (Beach, 2014). First, they search for the longevity of the car. The longevity and service continuation of cars are important for them to get proper service system of it for many years. In the time of buying a car for their dream, Peter and Sarah also search for various features and quality that can provide them positive outcomes in future. Their expectation is to get a car which can provide them proper service till a long time period. In time on their buying process thy focused on the possible outcomes that can they receive in future. Two important part of Utility theory is value and endowment of products. Though consumers focused on the future outcomes of the products but they also provide attention of the value of the products. In order to take any decision, they search about the different of the produce value with products of their companies. Apart from this consumer calculate the loss or gain by providing such price in order to buy the products. Getting proper information about the chances of their gaining they take their final decision (Huang & Sarigöllü, 2014).
Figure: Decision Making Model
(Sources: Huang & Sarigöllü, 2014)
While there are several utility models available which can describe the several aspects of consumer that they go through in their decision making process, Nichollas model has been high effective. The model helps to explain the consumer decision making processes in respect of low involvement products and takes into consideration several factors.
According to theory of Simon, customers do not think twice after taking the decision of buying the products. In order to buy any product the customers always try to identify the quality of the product which can satisfy them (McCain, 2015). For example to buy a car the customers at first see the features and pricing of the car, and identify that match their requirement or not. After getting all features and evaluating them in order to get proper outcomes, customers to think about more and take the decision. This theory focuses on the satisfaction of the consumer. In the case of Peter and Sarah, in the time of their decision making to buy a car, they first of all searched for the features of the car which they expected to have. They also focused on the pricing of the car with the proper features as well (Dalal et al. 2015). After getting satisfied with a proper product that matched their entire requirement, they took a decision to buy it, after go through all these stages they took the decision to buy the car, and did not think twice about their decision of choosing the product.
Figure: Customer Satisfaction
(Sources: McCain, 2015)
Thus, a consumer is more likely to purchase a product that will satisfy his needs. The model is effective in determining consumer choice for products in a highly competitive market as against another.
After conducting this assessment it can be concluded that before taking any kind of decision about the buying products the decision process go through five stages. After getting satisfied with the first three stages the buyers can take their decision of buying. On the other hand experience of the consumer after buying any products also has impact on the buying behavior of the consumer as well. The positive feedbacks of customers about the product and its outcomes help other people to take buying decision. The buyer first recognizes problems that are related to products and company. Collecting information from the market and getting feedbacks of the customer they need to compare products of different companies. With help of comparison between brands of the company, buyers can get information to take their buying decision. On the other hand based on some models and theories, it also can be said that buying decision can be depended on the possible outcomes of future. In order to get proper outcomes buyers search for the products which have longevity. Not only positive outcomes but they also focus on the value of products. In order to take any decision the value of the products need to be similar with features and quality. Apart from this as per the theory of Simon the decision-making processes depended upon this satisfaction. Get satisfied with products and finds their requirement is the product the consumers easily take their decision to buy products.
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