Poland: International Buyer Behavior

Introduction

In marketing products in the international market especially in a foreign country, the marketer needs to understand the culture and attributes that influence consumer behavior. Most consumers are influenced by various attributes which include personality, identity, and image, self-concept, personal traits, attitude, and lifestyle. Poland like other European countries is affected by these traits. For a marketer to be able to penetrate the Polish market, he must understand the attributes of these people such as social classes, personal traits, and self-concept of the people. The majority of Poles people have attributes that help them consider some products unique like the French people.

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In Poland, today attribute is one of the most fundamental determinants for one when deciding the type of Products to purchase. There are many international products; they also offer different quality of services. Most of the people due to their attribute influence have started preferring some brands. Children growing up in Poland prefer specific values that are crucial to Products. One of the values they like most is comfort. These values common in children remain in them even if they grow up. The Products produced in the country or western world have got desirable values that most Poland usually looks for.

Attributes influencing demand

Self concept

The polish community values a successive family unit, and it is an important factor in determining consumption. Any marketer planning to introduce a product to this market should be able to understand that Poland is one of the countries that there Is low divorce rates. This will affect not only penetration of the market but also advisement to be used in the market.

The individual reacts to the consumption activities of other members of the family. In addition he has an influence on the general consumption behavior of the entire family or even a household by way of his own personality traits, product evaluation criteria, attitudes and preference. Because the family constitutes a nuclear unit and must to a greater or lesser extent share a certain amount of disposable income, certain common need patterns and expenditure patterns of families and households. This in turn implies that, within certain segments of families and households. This in turn implies that, within certain segments of a market relatively homogeneous patterns of consumer behavior can be expected.

In practice the life-cycle of a family plays an important role in determining the nature of family need patterns and the effective demand for certain types of goods and services within specific segments on the market. In time most consumer units pass through some sort of situational cycle with concurrent changes in need patterns. Engel, et al. distinguished between nine phases in the family life-cycle and briefly explains the possible implications of each for marketing purposes.

Decision making within the family or household can be a complicated process, since in each unit the personality traits and individual needs of each member can play a distinctive role. The extent to which the different member or members of the consumer unit participate in the decision making process in respect of its expected need-satisfaction and the extent to which they influence one another will vary according to the nature of the composition of the unit at any particular point in time regarding both the individual members are exposed to interpersonal and group influences from outside of the family or household cycle. Differences in the family composition imply that differences in basic needs and differences in tastes and preferences will arise in that unit and that not only one or two but perhaps several consumers and thus decision-makers will exist, each with his own planned and expected lifestyle.

The ultimate act of decision-making on the “total” need-satisfaction of a consumer unit consequently rests on a variety of possible circumstances at a particular period in time. Together these factors imply a joint need, reappraisal, and priority pattern within the family or household.

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It is also of vital importance to have adequate knowledge of the circumstances of families in the different phases of the family life-cycle which could influence and modify their need patterns and buying decisions and, secondly, to know which members of the family typically act as purchasers.

Answers to the questions of who decides in the family unit and what should be purchased and by whom are also very important to marketing management for planning purposes, especially about product policy and development, media selection advertising messages and other marketing communication efforts, and retail outlets. The implications of the influence of family relationships on consumer behavior from a marketing management point of view mainly revolves around the need in consumer behavior studies for identifying the characteristics of consumer units for purposes of marketing specific kinds of goods and services. In Poland being a population with stable families this needs to be considered and females play an important role in purchasing decisions.

Personality

Human beings need to belong to and to be accepted by certain other groups of people. In the case of conspicuous consumption, the motivation is primarily a demonstration of self-distinction, whereas the need for affiliation is aimed more specifically at attaining acceptance within a group by emulating certain aspects of the consumption levels of particular individuals or groups with whom the consumer strives to be associated. Thus, the use of particular good serves to indicate or symbolize affiliation. Many people in Poland have this need of being recognized by others because of their social life.

This socio-psychological need finds expression in the well-known phenomenon that consumers strive to keep up with the pace. This type of consumer behavior differs only in degree from that of aspirations towards affiliation to the need to “belong” in the sense that the consumers involved not only strive to emulate reference and status groups but also strive to attain and demonstrate a level of consumption similar to that. One can also penetrate the polish market by adopting products that have some attributes attached to them i.e. social classes. This is because some Polish attribute is that they believe that they are way above the rest and that their globalization is the best hence the type of product that fits them is a prestigious product hence to penetrate this the market there is a need to position the product ahead of the rest as a market leader. To lure many people to adopt the product, personality has also a great impact on the type of media to use in communication of the product preferences to people of diverse attributes i.e. the way the company will advertise its products and services in Poland will be different from the way the product will be advertised in Poland and the advertising media to use. The advertising Media range from print visual, audio-visual, billboards and small adverts have done in between movies i.e. in between football matches. In Poland, the best media to use are print media and audiovisuals like T.Vs. However, billboards can also be used especially if they are to be set up in roundabouts in towns to remind the people of the product.

Image and identity

The majority of the people in Poland believe in image and identity therefore a product that helps them to show off will find being accepted in the market quickly. Advertisement being aired in the country should be able to cover this important aspect in Poland. The desire to show off is closely associated with the desire to appear successful or even on a par with others. The difference however lies in the fact that showing off is more particularly directed at consumption as such.

What need to show off boils down to it that the consumer wants to be considered to better than others. In fact the need and striving to be considered superior and even to serve as a status person or group, is sometimes stronger than the need for equality.

In this regard showing off serves as proof of status and success in any society and Poland is no exception. However, it is also true that conspicuous consumption is less important and obvious in developed societies where there is a more even distribution of income.

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This observation is to a considerable extent also true for the consumption habits of the higher income groups youths in Poland who would certainly be less inclined towards conspicuous consumption than would the traditional aged people. Consumption to show off would is more prevalent amongst individual consumers rather than amongst specific consumer groups.

Attitude

Beliefs and attitudes: most people follow some set of beliefs when deciding on the type of product to the consumer. A belief about a certain product will also influence consumption. These beliefs make up brand images and most people have been proved to act on these images. People always have a good attitude towards specific products and if this product meets the performance according to the needs, desire and attitudes consumption will be influenced

Attitude is an important factor in determining how the product will penetrate into polish market. Attitude is acquired and is described as thought of a person towards something. The polish people have negative attitude towards uncertainty if you bring a product to the market and you fail to articulate the benefits of the product well, it may not succeed.

Attitude towards the country of origin has taken route in Poland. This is because there is a current Wave of national belonging therefore the consumers in Poland will probably prefer a product which is locally made if it is selling at a price almost equivalent to international products. For one to penetrate such a market one must make sure that the product introduced to the market has the requirement which will fulfill the needs of these consumers.

Attitude influences advertising. Because there is a strong feeling of nationalism, therefore, advertising that will be used will need to reflect nationalism. This means that if a company is advertising a product that is internationally manufactured they should consider the use of national celebrities as opposed to celebrities outside the country. This will ensure the product is well received in the market.

If an international character is used in advertising the product may be viewed as foreign and its penetration in the market may find it very difficult. Brand personality is another factor that is considered in Poland. In Poland, most personalities that advertise products are made therefore a product that is being marketed in a country should show that they are rough and tough. Female who are passionate should advertise specific products but most products should be advertised by the face of roughness, tough and ruggedness.

Lifestyle

The lifestyle of the Poles, determines the consumption of products that will be used. In Poland majority of the people are Christians therefore when advertising a product the influence of the Catholic Church should be taken into consideration. As it were majority of Christians will prefer a product that is already tried and tested in the market and majority of the old people in Poland being conservative they will consider a tried adjusted product. This also goes back to the risk of a new product. As mentioned earlier people do not consider uncertain products they will prefer to stick with certain products.

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Apart from religious leisure activities such as going out shopping with the family watching television, listening to the radio and sports also has a great influence in determining the type of products that will be sold in Poland. On average majority of poles spend time at home during weekends and any person who is passively at home will watch television. This means that they watch television so often in advertising a product therefore the Television should play an important role in delivering the product to the market.

Human beings being social the poles also engage in other social activities such as going out to watch sports or participate, going to halls and entertainment joints and engaging in order recreational activities. This will have a great impact on a product that will be marketed in Poland. Take an example of marketing a soft drink like coca cola, social places should be the major target and delivering the product through promotional activities a Television should be given first priority.

Like Russia, Poland is determined a country where Alcohol is highly consumed. This means that most people in Poland spend most of their evenings in taking a drink therefore drinking joint maybe a better to introduce some product especially alcohol should be assured of market so long as the product meets some of the attitudes and believes of the people of Poland.

Poland has adopted a strategy of a 24 hour economy were citizens of the country shop 7 days a week as well as 24 hours that is day and night. This is another factor that should be taken into consideration when introducing a product into Poland as a market for your product.

References

Armstrong G. & Kotler P. (2007). Consumer Markets: Influences on consumer behavior, Principles of Marketing.

Kotler, P. (2005) Principles of Marketing. New York.Melbourne Press.

Kotler, P & Armstrong, G (1996) Principles of Marketing, (7th Edition), Prentice Hall.

Ries, A., Trout, J. (2006), Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, McGraw-Hill Inc., New York, NY.,.

Winer, R.S. (2007). Marketing Management, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

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