Buyer behavior is normally considered the actions and decisions an individual takes when buying and utilizing services and products. Marketers should always focus on analyzing the buyer behaviors to determine the right strategies to adopt for organizations to remain successful and increase the competitive advantage. The actions and decisions of the buyers are largely influenced by the need to fulfill their preferences and tastes to achieve high satisfaction levels (Wong, Hsu and Chen, 2018). As a result, a study of buyer behavior allows marketers to comprehend the customers’ expectations and reactions towards the organizational products to adopt the right tactics to encourage return purchases and introduce innovative products. The paper analyzes the key influential elements that determine purchase behavior through the theory of planned behavior and the right consumer learning approach for marketers to influence consumer behavior.
Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior to the Purchase Behavior for a specific ‘Fast Food’
Various theories have been developed that help forecast how consumers make their buying choices and how marketers can take advantage of the foreseeable behaviors to boost the overall organizational performance. One of the primary buyer behavior theories is the theory of planned behavior which largely connects beliefs to behavior. Research holds that the theory is the most used social-psychological framework for predicting and comprehending the behavior of consumers. The theory holds that the instant antecedent of a specific behavior arises from the objective to execute the anticipated behavior. The intention is determined by three types of beliefs which extend to include behavioral, normative, and control beliefs, as shown in appendix 1. The behavioral beliefs entail the perceived undesirable and desirable effects of accomplishing the behavior and the subjective assessments of the associated effects (Rajagopal, 2019). The readily available behavioral beliefs in the memory yield negative or positive attitudes. For example, behavioral beliefs are related to the outcomes of the decision, particularly the benefits and negative effects that an individual may experience for the decision made.
Normative beliefs usually revolve around apparent anticipations and behaviors and are based on an individual’s motivation to make the relevant decisions. Readily available normative beliefs integrate to create a subjective norm or an apparent social pressure that guides the behavior’s execution. Consequently, normative beliefs lead to a subjective norm that compels individuals to determine what other people expect them to do or behave. Lastly, control beliefs are based on the perceived occurrence of factors that affect the capability of an individual to accomplish a behavior. These types of beliefs generate behavioral control by affecting the execution of behavior. Control beliefs coerce individuals to determine whether they have the right knowledge, confidence, and tools to support their decisions or behavior.
The theory of planned behavior is based on three key elements that greatly influence the product or service’s purchase behavior of any individual. Based on the theory, the elements that influence the consumer’s purchase behavior entail attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavior control (Demirtas, 2019). The purchase behavior of fast food products can perfectly be explained by using the theory of planned behavior. One of the popular fast food products is the French fries prepared from peeled potatoes cut into strips and cooked through deep frying, among other preparation methods. The two elements that are influential on the purchase behavior of French fries are attitude and subjective norms.
Attitude is defined as an individual’s stable way of feeling or perception regarding something. An individual’s attitude is a crucial element in determining the discernment of any item or service, thus having a direct impact on the behavioral intention. As a result, a person’s attitude plays a vital role in generating an intention to execute a certain behavior. The voluntary behavior of individuals to purchase French fries is largely influenced by the overall judgment of the product that depends on experience and anticipated outcomes. Customers’ experience determines their purchase of French fries where individuals that feel that the food item met their needs focus on making a return purchase (Wong, Hsu and Chen, 2018). For example, individuals that choose to consume French fries due to low cost and urgency consider making future purchases to save money and time, as revealed in appendix 2. On the other hand, individuals who had a poor experience with French fries, such as contributing to weight increase or obesity, have a bad attitude on the product, thus avoiding it.
Attitude is held to be a vital predictor of a person’s intention to purchase a product. Consumers are more likely to participate in a behavior that they have a positive attitude towards it. In most cases, the amalgamation of the characteristics and attributes of French fries determines the customers’ attitude. The positive attitude on fries among customers is mostly determined by good taste, satisfaction, enjoyment, and pleasure, which stimulate the intention to purchase (Kumar and Smith, 2017). The appealing taste and the capability of the French fries to produce high levels of satisfaction, pleasure, and enjoyment coerce a large fraction of customers to purchase them. For instance, based on appendix 3, the customer appears to have purchased the French fries to meet pleasure and enjoyment.
People’s behavior is highly affected by key external issues such as the perceived influence from colleagues, relatives, and family members to engage in a decision to make a certain purchase. Consequently, subjective norms are defined as the individual perception that relies on external factors like family members and colleagues to react in a certain way. The theory of planned behavior discloses that what other individuals behave and think usually influences a person’s behavior. The purchasing behavior of French fries is greatly determined by external factors like friends and family that offer crucial information on whether to consume or not (Demirtas, 2019). For example, family and friends that are highly concerned about maintaining healthy lifestyles influence individuals to reduce the intake of fast food products like fries to overcome chronic diseases. However, family and colleagues who are not focused on healthy lifestyles encourage other individuals to increase their consumption of French fries, as shown in appendix 4 (Jalambadani et al., 2017). Similarly, environmental factors like organizations with support groups that concentrate on controlling fast food consumption create a huge impact on the overall purchases of French fries.
Applying a Consumer Learning Approach to Influence Consumer Behavior for the Chosen Purchase
Consumer learning is an important aspect of buyer behavior that helps marketers comprehend how individuals make decisions that guide their purchasing patterns to determine how to capitalize on them. People should always be geared at gaining new skills and knowledge to help them make rational decisions and live better life. Consumer learning is considered the process through which individuals obtain experience and skills regarding the purchase and use of products and services. The learning process is primarily necessitated by reinforcement, motivation, response, and cues. Motivation drives consumers to gather information to fulfill their needs, thus spurring learning. Cues provide direction and guidance to the motivation for learning for consumers to acquire the right and reliable information. Some of the key cues entail pricing, advertising, and packaging, which assist consumers in addressing their needs to purchase and consume the correct products (Rajagopal, 2019). Based on the response, individuals react to the cues by either purchasing the product or services or choosing not to make any purchase. Lastly, reinforcement augments the probability of a consumer to make a return purchase due to high levels of satisfaction that may arise from rewards provided or outstanding product performance.
Marketers can use several consumer learning approaches to influence consumer behavior and achieve the anticipated objectives. The purchase patterns of French fries can be improved by focusing on the use of consumer learning approaches that aid in adopting the right strategies to boost the demand levels. This will help in refining the profitability levels from the sale of French fries to outshine the potential competitors in the market. The main consumer learning approach that marketers may utilize to influence consumer behavior for French fries is the behaviorist approach. This approach is normally linked with external factors’ effect on consumer behavior based on the famous experiments carried out by Ivan Pavlov that demonstrated how external events are positively correlated to behavior patterns (Kotler et al., 2019). The behaviorist approach is mostly associated with stimulus-response learning, where conduct normally arises from the interaction between response and stimulus. As a result, the model holds that the behavior of individuals accrues from the environmental stimulus, which produces a preferred response.
Learning transpires when an individual reacts to a stimulus by behaving in a certain manner while being rewarded for appropriate reactions and punished for inappropriate ones. Learning is largely recognized through repeated demonstration of appropriate responses to a particular stimulus. One of the key factors that lead to learning is drives which act as a force that compels an individual to react in a certain way. A drive happens to be a stimulus that allows an individual to respond towards meeting developing needs. In most cases, drives are classified as energized needs, forcing people to remain focused and avoid resting until the needs are fulfilled (Stanton and Porral, 2017). Therefore, marketers need to create a thirst for French fries, which will create energized needs, particularly by revealing the measures to boost healthy lifestyles and the potential benefits of consuming the fast food product.
The second fundamental factor that marketers should utilize is cues to influence consumer behavior by developing a stimulus that guides how consumers react. As a result, marketers should determine the right prices for the French fries and adopt the perfect promotional strategies to determine the reaction of the consumers. The cues can extend to entail other main marketing strategies like improving the quality and taste of the fries and the location in which they are offered, mainly by enhancing accessibility to improve purchasing behavior of the customers. The use of cues that are consistent with customers’ expectations allows them to learn more about the product, a situation that creates outstanding information for marketers to acquire the perfect strategies. The third factor crucial to consumer learning is responses that entail the behavioral reaction to the cues and drives (Stanton and Porral, 2017). Learning occurs through responses that permit the customers to comprehend the impact and role of the product offered in the market. Therefore, marketers should concentrate on offering consistent cues to improve the organizational reputation and encourage consumers to make reasonable purchases.
Reinforcement is also a vital factor for learning which arises when the reaction is satisfying. The desirable result arising from participating in a certain behavior tends to encourage positive reinforcement. Individuals enter into a learning predicament in the event the response fails to be reinforcing, coercing them to attempt other dissimilar responses until they fulfill their motivation. Marketers should consider utilizing positive reinforcement, especially when offering French fries to consumers, to inspire repeat purchases, create stronger relationships and increase the demand levels (Kotler et al., 2019). The use of rewards like discounts and offering exclusive customer experiences stimulate tremendous behaviors within the customers. For example, in appendix 5, Mcdonald’s utilizes Twitter to advertise the available discounts and rewards available to customers to influence customer behavior and increase the overall sales volume. Lastly, the use of punishment acts as an essential element to consumer learning which involves the use of adverse stimulus. In relation to French fries, marketers can choose to increase prices to discourage high consumption, which results in chronic diseases (Babin and Harris, 2017). This will help consumers learn the need to avoid high consumption of fries and alter their purchasing patterns.
Buyer behavior discloses how customers engage in decision-making before purchases to avoid any form of exploitation. Several theories are used to predict buyers’ behavior to allow marketers to adopt the correct strategies to boost organizational performance. The theory of planned behavior, through its key elements such as attitude and subjective norms, help in revealing how overall judgment and external factors like family influence an individual’s purchase behaviors. The behavioral approach to consumer learning demonstrates how learning arises from responses to external stimuli. Marketers should utilize the learning factors within the behavioral approach to consumer behavior and accomplish the projected objectives.
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