Most institutions observe the behaviors of their clients so as to develop strategic business models. In fact, institutions are keen to understand behavioral setups of consumers to facilitate the production of commodities that match their needs effectively. Evidently, consumer behavior studies how individuals or groups make decisions on product purchasing and usage. It is vital, especially in the current business environment. The study is significant since it enables the evaluation of the procedures that individuals or groups undertake when selecting, securing, and acquiring products or services. This enables product and service providers to understand consumers’ needs and design viable approaches that are sustainable to ensure their retention. Consumers in the present day make choices based on various factors. The factors that range from internal and external complications influence consumers’ purchasing power. The factors also influence their needs in the realms of identification and prioritization of various products that affect the sales of products in the market.
Researchers have noted that the study of consumer behavior enables institutions to understand how individuals make cognitive decisions on what product to buy, why, and where they make the purchases. It is also important to consider the frequency of purchasing and product use. Consequently, the study seeks to facilitate the development of a clear understanding of the consumers’ characteristics, for example, demographics and behavioral variables. The information holds the capacity of equipping producers and marketers with the consumers’ priorities or their key considerations on various products. It is set to equip them with the key variables that inform their decisions, where they make purchases, how often they make purchases, when, and why they buy certain items. This is fundamental since every action has its instigating element. The instigating element may be detrimental or sound, depending on the performance levels embraced within an institution. Therefore, the understanding of consumer behavior is paramount for institutions that seek to upscale their services and general performance. This paper discusses the basic elements and considerations that influence consumers’ behavior with a focus on Louis Vuitton handbags.
Purpose/ the need for the study
It is crucial to understand the provisions of consumer behavior. Contextually, consumer behaviors influence the decisions of clients when making purchases. Its significance is evident since it influences product sales and overall performance in institutions. Consumers are described as the end users of products and services. They have various factors that influence their interest and subsequent purchasing of certain products. The factors can be categorized as social, economic, cultural, and socio anthropology (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004). Indeed, the factors require effective evaluation and understanding by institutions to ensure the absolute satisfaction of consumer needs. In this regard, the paper is purposely set to equip various stakeholders with the main factors or issues that influence consumer-purchasing patterns.
It seeks to provide requisite incentives and knowledge on how to evaluate consumer needs, how to gather information, and understanding of purchasing decisions. Service providers are set to achieve the most valuable information that will streamline policy formulation on various aspects that influence a product’s sales. The guidelines that include pricing and quality policies are integral in attracting consumers and influencing their purchasing prowess. Consequently, consumers will understand the major research procedures that they should undertake before making absolute decisions on the type of products to purchase. That is, consumers will understand the key elements that define potential products and services and secure items that conform to specific standards or quality (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004). Therefore, the paper provides credible information that will be instrumental in advancing operations in the marketing sector.
Key factors that affect consumer behavior pertain to diverse products
Consumer behavior involves intrinsic and extrinsic psychological processes that influence individuals’ decision-making on the product needs, where to purchase products, when, and how to use the products. That is, individuals’ psychological set up is integral in shaping up their cognitive decisions and development of interest in certain products. Imperatively, social, economic, and cultural issues that are integral in decision-making influence psychological variations of individuals (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004). Consumers make their purchasing decisions in consideration of their social status, economic capacity, and cultural expectations. In particular, social issues are integral since various consumers prefer acquiring products, for example, handbags that match or elevate their social status. This is crucial, especially in the current environment, where individuals are keen on advancing their social status.
They are also keen on matching modern social needs by acquiring products that are of a certain value or quality. These include products that are of a certain design or fashionable items that are underuse. No one likes to become a laggard in contemporary society where status and fashion is the in thing. Customers prefer products, for example, cars, bags that are of great elegance with social attraction. They hold specific needs and expectations in terms of quality and design. In the modern times, consumers prefer handbags that are of great quality elegant, made of excellent material, color, durable and spacious. The bags must meet the set specifications for them to record excellent sales and attraction (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004). However, producers must fully evaluate consumer’s needs due to the evident need variations. There are consumers who may prefer spacious or big bags while others hold preference to small bags.
Economic factors also influence individuals or institutions’ product needs (Majumdar, 2010). Economic factors appertain to individual’s financial strength that defines their propensity to spend. It is recognizable that one can only spend what is available and sustainable. It is not realistic and advisable for individuals to spend beyond their means since this may lead to severe operating deficit that.is detrimental for psychological growth. In most setting financial capacity has been a major factor that influence product purchasing and needs. That is individuals prioritize their needs according to financial prowess and capacity. This makes them plan for affordable items that are achievable with minimal financial strain. When making purchases consumers must consider product pricing and the available cash. They should evaluate the pricing strategy and the worth of the item before making formal purchasing. They should also go for products that their financial strength can accommodate to avoid financial complications (Majumdar, 2010).
Clients should perform adequate analysis on the available products and go for items with favorable prices and qualities that match their strength. As noted by marketers, most individuals are incapable of acquiring products that are of great significance for their wellbeing due to financial constraints. Such individuals have low-income levels and cannot acquire products of high pricing. Others do exorbitant purchasing since they are capable and hold immense interest on the items under offer. Indeed, institutions should produce products that are of favorable prices especially in locations where the potential consumers are low-income earners. This is critical since the customers may hold immense interest of acquiring the products or services, but the price factor may deny them the opportunity as explained in the behavior model. This may also hinder the company’s performance that is dependent on the sales units that are made.
Managers in Louis Company should ensure that the items to be distributed in the market are of distinct quality and price value to ensure that every customer is able to acquire an item of choice. Ideally, consumers with the intention of making purchases of various products, for example, handbags are under obligation to acquire pertinent information pertaining to the product. This is to facilitate the formulation of informed purchasing decision. They should gather information about the product’s price, quality, quantity, durability, and availability of substitute items (Majumdar, 2010). This is to, enable them make credible purchasing decision that is within their financial capacity. Consequently, cultural practices greatly influence consumer behavior and decision making on product needs. Cultural practices that defines the shared norms and behavior that individuals are under expectation to conform to, contribute significant in shaping up individuals psychological strength. The shared norms influence individual’s needs, quality specifications, and elegant levels.
A model is a blueprint designed to provide clear interrelations between key elements that affect operations in diverse facets of operations. Operating models are instrumental in identifying how interrelated issues influence decision-making and how the factors contribute to overall performance in institutions. Individuals and organizations consider various factors in the formulation of decisions (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004). The understanding of the factors and their interrelations is critical in ensuring that viable decisions are made pertaining to various issues. In particular, consumers are individuals whose buying decisions are influenced by diverse factors that hold immense interrelations. Their interrelations are captured in various models and graphical representations. The representations enhance consumers’ cognitive capacity of product identification. A cognitive model on consumer behavior is shown below with pertinent explanations.
Consumer behavior model
The model that is adopted in this paper is to provide requisite knowledge on how various factors influence consumers’ choice and use of handbags with focus to Louis Vuitton handbags. The model seeks to focus on the key factors that influence consumers’ cognitive reasoning and perception to products with particular reference to handbags. This is to; facilitate the understanding of the key interrelated factors that coordinates individuals buying behavior. As indicated, the model presents various interrelated issues that hold the capacity of stalling or boosting buying patterns of consumers in various facets of operation (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004). The factors are fundamental in ensuring growth and provision of products and services that meets the consumer’s needs with limited complains. Producers are under obligation to understand and evaluate the impact of the factors to ensure that customer’s needs are met adequately. They should also focus on the consumer needs to gain competitive advantage especially in the current environment where firms are competition for the same customers (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004).
That is, they should analyze the key elements that meet the consumers’ product needs and design products with relevant incentives. This is to be done with an aim of capturing consumers irrespective of status. Key factors that are presented in the model focus on decision-making, pre-purchase evaluation of products and information gathering on the items specifications or quality standards. The factors that range from perception, cognition, affects, beliefs preferences and pricing can be categorized under social, economic and cultural elements that require superior understanding. Imperatively there is evident cognitive reasoning that influences purchase of bags (Netessine & Tang, 2009). The reasoning influences individual’s perception and needs that define the type of handbags that they require. Social issues, for example, clamor for status, fashion and space influences individual’s decisions on the type of bags that fits them. Institutions that produces and sell bags should understand the specific needs of consumers and produce handbags that satisfy them in respect to social class. They should segment their customers into definite stratus groups based on basic market variable to facilitate effective delivery of services. The major variables in the model are discussed below (Netessine & Tang, 2009).
Consumer choice making and decision making problem recognition
As noted, the need for products by individuals is preceded by problem recognition or fashion aspirations. Consumers are driven always to buy certain items when there is an evident deficiency or gap that requires mitigation. Problem recognition is a systematic approach that enables individuals to identify and recognize the importance of certain items in their lives. It prompts the need for an item then motivates further effort for acquisition (Netessine & Tang, 2009). The further effort entails performance of market research to establish the products ideals, decision on the type of the item to purchase, how to make the purchase and establishment of cash implications. Therefore, need recognition is a paramount element since it drives the psychological aspect of persons in ensuring absolute pursuant of a product.
In the consumer model, problem recognition involves fundamental steps that should be undertaken. This is to ensure that the right items are the ones that are purchased in apriority basis. The first step is the realization of deficiency or that something is missing in one’s product portfolio that may hinder efficiency or effectiveness in operations. This is critical, for example, in consideration to handbags, one may realize that the space in his or her bag is becoming inadequate to accommodate his or her belongings. Consumers especially women can also indentify that the bag she holds does not accentuates her beauty, is not of favorable color and lacks in-depth elegance (Netessine & Tang, 2009). The process of identifying the deficiencies makes one to develop anew thought of purchasing modern make of bags with specifications that they need. Critically this forms the first and vital step since one must know what his or her psychological needs are and match it to the financial capacity.
Comprehensive information search forms the second and crucial step that customers are under obligation to perform. Information search appertains to the process of acquiring information on various products that can help in mitigating the identified problem. This is to ensure that the right product is bought for the right purpose. Consequently, the consumer should perform a comprehensive market search to establish the price levies of the product identified, if there are substitute items, the quality nature, durability and availability. Consumers who are shopping for bags should perform the market search to establish the quality of the bag, color, space and elegance. Evaluation of the available alternative products or substitutes forms the third step in problem recognition process (Netessine & Tang, 2009). This is vital especially when the available products are of high prices that the consumer cannot afford. That is a consumer may perform his need assessment and identify the type of product that can best suit his need. However, cost implication can terminate his quest for having the item. This explains the reason why the establishment of substitute items that hold the capacity of serving the same purpose at a cheaper rate is recommended. This is to ensure that one’s operations continue without hindrance due to financial constraints (Netessine & Tang, 2009).
Ideally, the evaluation of the alternatives would enable handbag purchasers to secure quality items that meet their specification. The realization of this would be due to the wide range of the items to make choices on. The fourth strep is the purchase stage that requires individuals to make purchases at busy locations with a wide variety of products. Purchase location is vital since it defines the kind of a product that one is likely to acquire. That is consumers who visit small shopping malls may end up purchasing a product that is not of maximum quality (Netessine & Tang, 2009). This is due to low variety of product brands to making choices from while individuals in major shopping centers have a great exposure to various products. This enables them to make quality purchasing since they make their choices based on the wide range of product sales available.
It is imperative to note that consumer involvement and cognitive process of product assessment is vital in influencing their decisions when making purchases. Consumers tend to make their decisions in consideration to price, quality and durability. This is evident especially in products that hold higher price tags or expensive items. Their cognitive nature enables them to make concrete and credible decisions when making purchases, in identifying what product to purchase, why and when to make the purchase. This remains a strategic approach and potential consumers should adopt it to ensure that they receive value for their money.
Information gathering and decision-making
As noted in the model, consumers perform comprehensive search on various products before making satisfactory purchasing decisions. They engage in internal and external search processes that are integral in ensuring the acquisition of products that conforms to the specified standards (Netessine & Tang, 2009). Consumers of high quality, expensive and involving products are engaging in vigorous search processes before making purchases. They affirm that valuables, for example, cars that are highly involving in terms of monetary implications require proper search. This is to ensure that the product is of sound state and the right machine is in the realization. The search can be undertaken through reading of the products reviews in consumer reports and consultation of several websites. They can also acquire information by asking friends opinion on the type of the product and making visits to various car dealership. The search process that is regarded as an external evaluation system is crucial in ensuring that the right items are purchased by customers.
Majumdar (2010) noted that low involvement products, for example, handbags also require proper search systems that can be driven internally. This is achievable through comprehensive marketing programs to create “top of mind” awareness on the existence of the product and its features. Such products may not require consumers to visit yellow pages. However, the consumers in consideration on their perceptions can determine that. Most handbag purchasers are resorting to sampling of bags in the web archives to facilitate their choice making. They perform product search and identify the type of handbags that they need and the elegance level (Majumdar, 2010). Therefore, institutions especially in the modern world should perform web marketing to facilitate consumer search processes. The search process enables consumers to “trade off” excellent and bad attributes of an item before purchasing. This is critical, for example, a handbag may be of low price and elegant but fails to meet space or quality specifications of the consumer. The deficient specifications cannot make the bag satisfactory to the customer since need fulfillment is a holistic aspect. This explains the significance of performing an exploratory market search based on products attributes.
According to Hoyer & MacInnis (2008), the amount of effort individuals employ when performing market search on various products is dependent on key factors. The factors include the market dynamics that appertains to the establishment of the number of competitors and the brand differences between products. Product characteristics that establish the importance of the product, its complexity and indicators of quality form a major factor in consideration. Consequently, consumer and situational characteristics are critical in the cognitive process in product identification. They facilitate effective identification of consumer’s interest and perception on various products that influences their decisions when making purchases (Majumdar, 2010). Situational variations are driven by fashion or the need to change the pace of social engagement and impulse buying. It explains consumer-purchasing trends that are based on fashion and the perception that a product is of the best quality or better. That is some consumers make purchasing decisions based on the social motives with an aim of gaining modernity. The diagram shows consumers information-gathering process.
In the model, perception remains a key element that influences consumers buying behavior. Perception that appertains to individuals view and attitudinal aspect on a product shapes up decision making on product purchasing (Hoyer & MacInnis, 2008). Clearly, individuals taste, preferences and interest levels vary. This exposes most consumers to selective perception that influences their decisions when making purchases or executing needs identification process. Individuals formulate their perception based on the existing information about a product, for example, quality, price, and efficiency levels. They use such information to influence their decisions on the product they need whether the information is right or not factual. That is most consumers fall victims of selective perception where they only focus on the interesting things that they want to hear about a product with minimal concern to its setbacks (Hoyer & MacInnis, 2008).
The interest levels on the excellent attributes of a product expose them to making purchasing decisions based on selective facts that may be detrimental. Indeed, selective perception has made many consumers to lose or acquire products that cannot satisfy their needs. As noted, the practice may make a consumer who is seeking to purchase a handbag to focus on color and elegance of the bag with sheer neglect to quality or space attributes. That is, the customer may pay attention to inconsequential attributes by failing to putting into consideration the significant elements that defines a good bag (Hoyer & MacInnis, 2008). It is imperative to note that perceived risks of certain products contribute in putting off some customers from making purchases. This happens since some individuals are highly risk aversive people who fear the occurrence of risks. This explains why perception that is created on risk issues may hinder their effort of purchasing some type of items.
Perception of price and performance capacity of various items also influences individuals buying behavior. Consumers especially low-income earners tend to avoid certain products due to their exorbitant pricing. They do not engage in establishing more details on the products due the perception that they have on the items (Hoyer & MacInnis, 2008). This impedes their ability to know if the prices are reduced or if there are alternative sizes that caters for their needs. Therefore, selective perception on various products especially hand bags presents far-reaching effects to consumers and producers. The eradication of the selective perception is only achievable through comprehensive marketing and conveyance of credible information about the product to influence consumer’s mindset positively.
Attitude, beliefs, affect and behavioral intention
Indeed, consumers’ attitude towards a product influences their buying decisions. Their attitude set up is a composite of diverse elements that include beliefs, feelings and behavioral intentions about a product. This is within the preview of product category, marketing and retail store. The components are viewed holistically due to their interrelations and symbiotic nature (Hoyer & MacInnis, 2008). They form the key elements or forces that influence the decision of consumers on various products. In particular, belief that forms the first component is vital in shaping up individuals attitude on various products, where to make purchases and when to buy. That is consumers can hold positive belief, for example, “the elegance nature of handbags” and negative belief about a product, for example, “the small size nature of handbags”. Variably, some beliefs may be neutral and rationally developed. Such beliefs enable individuals to avoid selective approaches to product identification and decision-making. Affect and behavioral intention are also important elements that contribute in the formulation of individuals needs (Michman, Mazze & Greco, 2003). They are crucial elements since individuals hold varied feelings and intentions that informs their decisions. The feelings and intentions influence their choices since they must acquire equipments with the capacity of solving their problems. That is the products should meet their intentions and satisfy their feelings.
The reasons / significance of behavioral assessment of consumers
Due to the need variation elements, institutions have found it necessary to institute a systematic behavioral study to establish purchasing trends in various settings. They have also instituted the studiers to establish the factors that influence consumers purchasing power, their product expectations, the need levels, perception on various items and the parameters that they use when making buying decisions. The information is vital for any institution that seeks to leverage its performance (Michman, et al. 2003). It will enable such institutions to streamline their practices to ensure conformance to customers’ specifications. That is, the institutions will produce products and services that are acceptable by the people and that matches the quality expectations, as they demand. The information is also instrumental in policy formulation, development of effective pricing and distribution channels. Imperatively, consumer behavior attempts to blend the key human elements that influence their choices. The key elements that include sociology, social anthropology and economics are ideal factors that require absolute understanding (Michman, et al., 2003). Therefore, consumer behavior plays a critical role in understanding buyer decision-making processes pertaining to the established elements that control daily activities of individuals.
Indeed, the understanding of consumer behavior is an element that institutions should focus on due to its relevance. It acts as a performance measure since it enables proper understanding of consumer needs and the development of viable approaches to satisfy their aspirations. As noted, Institutions are keen to understanding behavioral set ups of consumers to facilitate production of commodities that provide great value to consumers. Consumer behavior that studies how individuals or groups make decisions on product purchasing and usage is vital especially in the current business environment. This explains the significance of this study since it seeks to facilitate a comprehensive evaluation of the procedures that individuals or groups undertake when selecting, securing, acquiring and disposal of products or services. This will enable product and service providers to understand consumers’ needs and design viable approaches that are sustainable to ensure their needs are satisfied. Consequently, consumers in the present day make choices based on various factors that require proper understanding. The factors range from internal and external complications. They influence consumers’ purchasing power, their need identification and prioritization of various products that are deemed to be of excellent quality.
Hoyer, W. D., & MacInnis, D. J. (2008). Consumer behavior. Mason, OH: South-Western.
Majumdar, R. (2010). Consumer behaviour: Insights from Indian market. New Delhi: PHI Learning.
Michman, R. D., Mazze, E. M., & Greco, A. J. (2003). Lifestyle marketing: Reaching the new American consumer. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Netessine, S., & Tang, C. S. (2009). Consumer-driven demand and operations management models: A systematic study of information-technology-enabled sales mechanisms. New York, NY: Springer.
Tyagi, C. L., & Kumar, A. (2004). Consumer behaviour. New Delhi: Atlantic.