Influences upon Purchasing Shipping Container Houses

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The use of shipping containers as construction modules has increased over the past years because of their qualities, including natural durability, modular structure, and sustainability. Most of the containers are used within the standard age or beyond the time of active utilization, which makes them no longer suitable for shipping. However, they can still be successfully used for building residencies, as containers are capable of serving this purpose after the official expiration date. Research shows that using them again for houses results in a notable reduction in embodied energy associated with traditional structures. However, various influences might contribute to customers’ perception of the buildings. Therefore, studying external, group, interpersonal, situational, culture, subculture, and internal motivations might positively contribute to the comprehension of customers’ needs, motives, and perceptions. The latter can help market specialists to choose the appropriate learning technique that can be used in promotion.

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External Influences

The container building is well-received as it is more ecologically sustainable than traditional architectural elements with an exhaustive carbon footprint. There are over seventeen million recalled containers accumulated in the ports around the globe (Shen et al., 2019). The global warming impact of the container residence is considered 14.2 kg CO2 m2 a year, which is considerably less than that for wood and concrete buildings (Shen et al., 2019). Overall, one of the most important external influences for building such a house is a positive impact on global warming.

Group and Interpersonal Influences

Reference groups involve people that affect an individual’s views, feelings, opinions, and actions. They usually are regarded as role models and motivational support. Moreover, marketers consider reference groups vital as they determine the way customers understand information and purchasing choices. They affect the types of goods the public will be interested in buying. Reference groups can be classified in several ways. However, the critical difference is between formal and informal ones. The first type includes different organizations, religious associations, and interest clubs. Moreover, the second is usually comprised of friends, family, or colleagues. Sometimes, a reference group can primarily be shaped by opinion leaders, including celebrities, sports stars, politicians, and more.

The primary group that influences the segment of container buildings is the informal one. Buying a house is an essential step in a person’s life; therefore, the approval of the closest people is particularly important. Thus, this reference group can affect the decisions of a potential customer by recommending the container housing option or supporting the client’s desire to purchase one. Thus, the informal group can positively influence the segment by considering such types of residences as acceptable by using interpersonal communication.

Situational Influences

Situational influences are temporary circumstances that influence customers’ behavior. Mainly whether people will buy a particular product, acquire supplementary goods, or purchase nothing at all. Such influences incorporate factors like physical, social, time, reason, and the individual’s mood. Housing marketers should be able to comprehend these constituents to influence the behavior of potential consumers. For instance, the time of day, year, and the amount of hours people shop has a direct effect on what they buy. Therefore, it is essential to emphasize the time it takes for customers to obtain shipping container houses. They have a modular structure that makes it faster for the sellers to arrange the desired residence. Moreover, the reason for shopping also influences customers’ options. Thus, marketers should capture the particular motivation behind the purchase to assist each individual’s specific needs. Some clients might be interested in sustainable housing, while others tend to be influenced by the low prices of container buildings.

Culture and Subculture

Culture has a direct influence on the customer’s purchasing choices and the segment as a whole. Schwartz’s theory of basic values identifies ten fundamental individual conditions that are accepted across societies and cultures (Schwartz, 2012). At the core is the idea that values constitute a circular structure that indicates the urges one represents. The author distinguishes ten values, at a more fundamental level; they develop a group of similar motivations. The four categories include “openness to change, self-transcendence, self-enhancement, and conservation” (Schwart, 2012, p.9). Therefore, the identification of values related to the market can enable better marketing.

Some of the central values of the market are self-direction, achievement, security, and universalism. The most important goal of self-direction is to make autonomous decisions, and buying a house is one (Schwartz, 2012). Moreover, the primary purpose of achievement is to reach individual success according to social norms, which includes purchasing property (Schwartz, 2012). Furthermore, the security goal is defined by stability in a given society, and housing is an essential part of every community (Schwartz, 2012). Lastly, although universalism might not be a core value of every potential customer, many clients might find it vital. It is defined by the protection of nature, which reflects on one of the main external influences of shipping container residencies (Schwartz, 2012). Most of these values prevail in American society; however, the container’s materials differ from those used for traditional housing. Therefore, the targeted customers belong to a group of early-adopters, as they are eager to try new trends.

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Internal Influences

The core internal influences on consumer buying choices include their beliefs, self-concepts, emotions, attitudes, lifestyles, and motives. These internal influences may also be interpreted as psychological motivations. Lifestyle indicates the ways certain groups of customers use their finances and time. For example, in a possession that demands an exceptional level of commitment, such as a house, buyers will analyze different options and form opinions about each of them. Furthermore, individuals develop attitudes about the outcomes, and lastly, they work on the behavior and determine whether they want to buy the product or not.

Needs and Motives

Maslow proposed that personal needs are organized in a range of levels or a pyramid of importance. Some of them can be influenced by different goals. Buying a house is considered to belong to a second layer of the hierarchy, which is safety, as it includes the security of the property (Jonas, 2016). Another need that is satisfied by buying a container house is esteem, as owning a place to live is met with respect by others and is considered an achievement. Overall, as the primary need and motive for purchasing a product is safety and success, the service is readily available to satisfy these requirements.

Perception

Perception is the method by which people choose, plan, and comprehend incentives to create a meaningful and distinct understanding of the world. Perception has necessary indications for marketers since customers make choices based on what they perceive instead of relying on objective truth. Consumers usually view the products they need to prevent the perception of useless, destructive, or unpleasant stimuli. Thus, consumers frequently estimate the quality of a commodity based on a mixture of informational leads. Some cues are central to the product, while others can be foreign. Consumers frequently rely on monetary value as a quality indicator when they have no personal knowledge or other information. Therefore, customers need to have a good perception of shipping container houses, which can be achieved by appropriate marketing strategies.

Learning

Respondent and operant conditioning are fundamental notions in behavioral psychology. These theories represent two kinds of learning, utilizing a behavioristic method. Respondent conditioning means matching a previously impartial stimulus with an unconditioned one. Whereas, operant conditioning is the system of learning to develop or weaken specific voluntary actions applying reemphasizing or punishing. Based on a profile of a target segment, the preferable learning technique for promotion of shipping container houses is a respondent conditioning. It is vital to create positive associations with using this type of buildings, for instance, by emphasizing the positive stories of people that purchased the product previously.

Conclusion

To summarize, shipping container houses are a part of the developing industry that has already attracted various people worldwide. Marketing specialists should understand all the possible influences of the segment. The external forces are primarily related to Global Warming, as this factor leads contemporary consumers to choose products based on their sustainability. Moreover, the interpersonal influence is based on the primary groups of customers, including family and friends. The situational reasons are based on the time a client is ready to spend on waiting to receive a purchase and on the reasons behind buying this type of house. Culture has a direct influence on purchasing a property, based on self-direction, achievement, security, and universalism. Furthermore, an individual’s lifestyle, needs, and motives are a crucial factor of internal influence. Lastly, a customer’s perception of container houses can be positively influenced by a respondent’s learning technique. Overall, various influences might contribute to customers’ final decisions, which is whether they want to purchase a shipping container house or not.

Reference List

Jonas, J. (2016) ‘Making practical use of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory to motivate employees: A case of Masvingo Polytechnic’, Journal of Management & Administration, 2016(2), pp.105-117. Web.

Schwartz, S. H. (2012) ‘An overview of the Schwartz Theory of Basic Values. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 2(1).

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Shen, J. et al. (2019) ‘Exploring the potential of climate-adaptive container building design under future climates scenarios in three different climate zones’, sustainability, 12(1), 108.

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