The discovery of the internet has empowered the modern customer to be flexible, refined, and adventurous. The modern customers know exactly what they want and how it should be delivered by businesses. It is, therefore, the responsibility of an interesting business to shift from the traditional retail model to the modern, flexible platform to conform to the demand of the customers (Cheverton, 2009).
In the decision environment, customers are faced with three critical decision-making dilemmas on the parameters of actual need, a specific brand, and the location of buying to complete the purchasing process. In the recent past, there has been an explosion of internet-based retail business model. This could be attributed to the current busy lifestyle of customers. The invention of the internet has transformed simple online retail businesses into dynamic global ventures to serve the changing needs of busy clients. By a simple click of the button, it is now possible for clients across the globe to make purchases and wait for delivery from any part of the world via the internet platform (Brown, 2009).
As businesses experience the global platform shift, it is significant for online retailers to keep the larger picture of the custom and culture of the potential client. Besides, it is also important to review the usual ethical challenges and strategic business approaches for different customer and market segments (Kotler, 2007). The consideration placed on the business segment is informed by the fact that the preferences and wants of different customers are not the same in all markets. According to Hammond (2006), it would be impractical for businesses to completely and uniformly serve the desires of customers in a single platform. As a marketing concept, segmentation refers to simplifying the diverse market into a more specific market to effectively serve the desires of a group of customers in the most optimal way possible.
Hammond (2006) noted that the segmentation process is informed by the need to serve a specific group of customers falling in similar preference characteristics on a brand. Currently, companies use geographic, demographic, behavior, and psychographic segmentation approaches to identify consumers. The geographic segmentation consists of attributes such as weather, culture, and market magnitude. The demographic attributes are income, ethnic background, education, gender, and age, while psychographic segmentation consists of attributes such as lifestyles, personality, attitude, risk orientation, and motives when making the decisions to buy a brand. The behavior segmentation examines the relationship between users and nonusers for a product to that of a competitor and purchasing patterns in acquiring such brands (Kotler, 2007).
In shading more light to the above segmentation approaches, the case of the Randolph Eyeglasses Company is an ideal example of a company that has perfected segmentation to properly sell its eyeglasses to different customer and market segments. Through the celebrity eyeglass brand, the company has decided to target the celebrity market by directing the marketing needs to suit the lifestyle of these celebrities. The product comes with several customization options to suit the ‘idealness’ within the celebrity market segment. The eyeglasses are further segmented into underwater, athletics, and outdoor glasses. The strategy to offer series of sub-brands from the single product is aimed at serving different interests within the celebrity segment. The celebrity glasses are offered to the male and female gender of all the ages and sizes. There are different price tags for the high end and low-end customers within different social and economic classes.
Second e-activity: External factor with the greatest impact on social class and two ways that social class will affect consumer behavior in the next ten years
Basically, consumer’s behavior is a decision-making process and all the activities that a potential customer is involved in prior to the acquisition, evaluation, use, and disposition of goods and services. Consumer’s decision making is “complicated, dynamic, multi-dimensional process, and are generally influenced by two factors, that is internal influences and external influences” (Kotler, 2007, p. 36). The following external factors were identified as having an impact on social class in the US Census projection data.
Often, the customer tends to associate satisfaction and value or inclination in line with the preset societal mindset. Culture controls dressings, morals, and even associations in this communist nation. As long as a service or a good is associated with a positive result, the sales for such a good are likely to skyrocket. On the other hand, the reverse often leads to a damning or uncomfortable response from potential customers who may appear reluctant to play along, especially when the product is perceived to be against the conservative views of the Americans. Specifically, Americans are known for their unique culture of embracing products that appeal to family values and have fair prices since their purchasing behavior is often influenced by external factors and general perception (Kotler, 2007). Thus, this factor is ranked third.
The consumer’s behavior on purchasing and perception on a brand is determined by advertising through appealing to ideal infancy and catchy words that are easy to interpret. Hammond (2006) states that emotional branding determines the overall perception and purchasing behavior since most consumers would prefer to be identified with the ideal fad or fashion. Thus, this factor is ranked second in the US. For instance, a consumer may embrace brands that appeal and have an endorsement from renowned personalities in order to feign the feeling of optimal satisfaction.
The psychodynamic consumer’s behavior approach posits that ‘drives’ or ‘instinctive forces’ influence the decision to purchase or reject a product. These external drives operate outside the individual’s conscious thought. This approach supports the three psyche facets of ego, id, and superego that are often controlled by the unique psychological orientation, religion, and thought matrix of the environment (Brown, 2009). Thus, environmental stimuli are the driving force for a particular behavior of the consumer(s). For instance, attitude is the general evaluation that consumers engage in before deciding to purchase a particular product or service. The consumer’s engagement is essential towards winning and maintaining a client, especially in a competitive US market setting where the best offer carries the day. Thus, this factor is ranked first in the US market since most of the customers in this region are highly persuaded by psychological perceptions in accepting or rejecting different brands (Kotler, 2007).
Rationality in purchasing is influenced by awareness of different options available in order to maximize the gain from every bundle of purchases made. From these numerous options, the rational customer will correctly rate the best and will be in a position to pick the one with the highest level of satisfaction (Brown, 2009). The rationality to adopt or reject a product is solely determined by the satisfaction level as perceived by that particular customer. Thus, this factor is ranked fourth.
There has been substantial research on consumer behavior, examining the decision process, and influences upon it. These are in terms of store and brand characteristics and consumers’ behaviors. The buying process normally begins with the need for a particular product or good. The second stage, “in the decision making process is information search” (Kotler, 2007, p. 25). The internal search involves a search for information from the memory of the consumer and is majorly determined by past experiences with similar products. Thus, this factor is ranked fifth. An external search is employed when the internal search fails to provide the information necessary to help the consumer make the buying decision.
Marketing to the segment of stay-at-home dads will affect the buying behavior of their children in years to come since satisfaction and perception are the driving forces behind the purchasing patterns of the siblings in the future. The emotional perspective of the consumer’s behavior represents an effective view of the consumer’s decision making (Shar, 2010). For example, emotions are caused by exposure to a particular stimulus. Attitudes are direct personal experiences that are influenced by consumers’ personalities, advertisements, family, and friends (Olsen & Skallerud, 2011). Perceptions are unique ways through which the consumers internalize and interpret information about a product. Since the children are exposed to a stimulus that influences the behavior of the stay-at-home dad, the response will become part and parcel of their consumer attitude when faced with a similar situation that requires product intake or rejection decision (Weiss, 2008).
Repeated purchasing as behavior is influenced by the ability of marketers to develop a middle action level between repertoire and subscription markets (Sachs & Finkelpearl, 2010). Reflectively, this aspect allows for insightful gain in customer loyalty behavior. In the contemporary marketing strategy, balancing these two aspects will ensure that the customer base is maintained and provide further room for expansion at minimal conflict with current marketing strategies.
Besides, Weiss (2008) noted that markets are provided with rich knowledge on consumer behavior as dependent on the degree of perceived positive and negative beliefs on a brand. The beliefs are in the form of personal feelings and thoughts that include self-concept, motivation, attitudes, emotions, and perceptions (Sachs & Finkelpearl, 2010). Therefore, through improved advertising, balanced prices, and quality, the children of the stay-at-home dads will be in a position to monitor emotions and motivations, which serve as the emerging forces that activate certain brand relation behaviors (Shar, 2010).
The two ways to foster positive or negative influences for products that may be affected include alternation of the brand belief to suit the current need and ability to display the positive attributes of a product. This is meant to ensure that the decision to embrace or reject an item is based on its value (Sachs & Finkelpearl, 2010). There is a need for communication strategies, such as marketing, to cue the mind of potential customers to embrace a product as the ideal. The offer could be in the form of price, quality, and quantity. When information on attitude is verifiable, it is easy for a company to execute a well-researched plan within allocated resources (Sachs & Finkelpearl, 2010).
Since marketing messages are precise and presented in a catchy manner, it is easy to communicate product messages through a proper channel to reference groups such as primary and secondary users. Since mankind is a cognitive being, interpersonal stimuli events will be the primary and causative determinants of an overt purchasing behavior when processing any information that may influence his or her brand acceptance or rejection decision (Weiss, 2008). Since effective communication embraces the potential and benefits that are packaged as ideal, the result is expected to be positive consumption and acceptance of the product as conforming to the desires and needs of customers (Sachs & Finkelpearl, 2010).
Emotions control direct and indirect behavior inclination that arouses the instinct to purchase or refuse to purchase through strategic communication evaluation. Basically, the marketing strategy as a part of the consumer’s behavior analysis should be aligned to the ideal as perceived by the consumers (Weiss, 2008).
Generally, the catchier an advertisement is the high chances of uptake it has. On the other hand, less catchy advertisements may not work well with the consumer’s perception of a brand. Therefore, there is a need to review consumer engagement as an independent variable since it is essential towards winning and maintaining a client, especially in a competitive market setting where the best offer carries the day (Olsen & Skallerud, 2011). Since customers tend to associate satisfaction and value of a good on cultural belief or inclination in line with the preset societal mindset, effective communication directed towards primary and secondary users may include positive cue their minds to embrace brands that conform to the needs of each client (Sachs & Finkelpearl, 2010).
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