Consumer behaviour in simple term can be explained as the actions, decision making process, that a consumer performs when purchasing a product of service. The consumer goes through several stages of decision making before purchasing any product or service. A consumer’s purchase decision behaviour is a complex procedure and consist of five stages from need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, product choice to post-purchase evaluation (Kanagal, 2016). The decision making for a high-involvement brand or product such as for laptop will be an extensive problem-solving type of decision.
Purchasing a laptop is an expensive affair. Thus, the consumer to decide between a number of competition options available. When a consumer decides to buy a laptop the he is at the first of the decision-making process i.e. need recognition. Need is the most important factor that motivates a consumer to buy a certain product or service. For buying a laptop a consumer might recognise the need to buy due to reasons like breakdown of old laptop, as a gift for someone, as a need in business or at home, etc. When a consumer recognises his need to buy a product he gathers as much information about that product or service. This information search is the second stage and in case of an expensive product such as laptop the consumer often spends more time at this stage. Consumers gather information using internal sources like from relatives and friends, external sources like internet, sales people, newspapers, etc. and from experiences from people. After gathering satisfactory information, the consumer assimilates and uses this information for the purpose of evaluation between alternatives.
This is the next step in the decision-making process and the consumers chooses the best option available in the market according to his taste, needs and wants like its brand, configuration, speed, graphics, colour, etc. as in the case of laptop. Consumer tends to spend some more time at this stage as this is a complex process. After choosing from the available options and going through all the above stage the consumer finally buys a purchase the product. After the purchase the last step in this process is the post -purchase evaluation or decision evaluation. Once the consumer purchases a laptop, he analysis whether the product (here the laptop) is useful for him or not. At this stage a consumer might experience cognitive dissonance at times if the purchased products are not as per his needs or are of new features in his knowledge. These inconsistencies are resolved once the consumer’s behaviour is modified.
As described earlier, a consumer tries to gather information about a product or service when he recognises the need to buy it using internal and personal sources like from family and friends and his experiences. The word of mouth about certain product is given by family, relative and friends. This word-of-mouth (WOM) communication greatly influences the buying decision of a consumer. It is a type of communication in which product information is transmitted from one individual to other individuals (Wang & Yu, 2017). Individuals generally share their practical experience about a product or service which impacts consumer’s decision. Information and reviews given by other consumer is more influential than advertisements. Word of mouth is reliable and important source of information when the product is a high involvement brand and expensive product such as laptop or of an unfamiliar category for the consumer. As a number of brands are available for a laptop in the market, the word of mouth about its features, speed, configuration, post sales service, etc. will help a consumer decide between options.
Perceptual process consists of series of steps from exposure to stimuli and interpretation to stimuli. Once a consumer is exposed to a stimulus such as realising various needs and selecting among those needs, the need to buy a laptop and choosing between different brands and variants or models, the interpretation of the information takes place for providing meaning to this stimulus (Achar, 2106). Consumers interprets this stimulus in order to acquire proper understanding about the product or service and to take appropriate decisions accordingly. This interpretation is important for high involvement brands as these products are expensive and are meant for long term use of consumers.
Changing customer preferences and demand require new ways of maintaining the current one and attracting the new one. Thus, businesses largely rely on advertisement of their products for this purpose. Consumer behaviour and their decision to buy a certain product or service is greatly influenced by external factors like advertisement campaigns and commercials. Advertisements and commercials are found to be most effective for promotion of food products such as aerated drinks and soft drinks (Mumbua, Stephen & Simon, 2019). Visuals and attractive sounds generally remain registered in human minds for longer periods. Thus, an effective advertisement campaign for a product is a key to register that product or brand and create a brand image in the mind of a consumer to influence his buying decision and making him brand loyal and gain competitive advantage. Advertising a product helps the companies in making a difference in the market place. Advertising a product involves communicating information, ideas, features, uses of a product to a target group of people or consumers with a view to motivate sales.
It is used to create brand awareness and provide specific information about a product linked to target audience’s needs and desires, and to encourage the consumers to purchase the advertised product rather than those of competitors. The effective advertisement campaign of a soft drink will give information about its taste, colour, feel, price. It will also talk about how it will cater to the needs or wants of a consumer. The advertisement of a soft drink will generally talk of how the consumer will feel fresh, energetic and refreshing after consumption of that soft drink, and how that product can be useful for him for different occasions. It is essential for businesses to build relevant and appealing image of the product to create a brand difference. Also, businesses nowadays employ celebrity endorsement for the advertisement campaign to create high brand equity. In such advertisement’s celebrities are often seen using the advertised product or sharing experiences about it and talking about its benefits. The target group for soft drink that will be influenced to purchase it will be the younger population as these people tend to prefer it more as compared to natural juices which is preferred by older population due to its fizziness and taste.
Thus, the advertisement must be created the needs, choices, preferences and attitudes of this younger population to increase sales among them. Consumers tend to relate to celebrities more and hence are motivated to buy that product. Use of creative visuals, sounds, appealing product images., real life experiences in advertisements greatly attracts consumer’s attention. Advertisements effectively build consumer consumer confidence in the company and product by building it familiarity (Chukwu, Kanu & Ezeabogu, 2018). The major aim of advertisement is to impact the buying behaviour of the consumer. Consumer’s buying behaviour nowadays depends on the information of the product disseminated through its advertisements. A good quality advertisement most likely influences consumers into buying that product and also is able to change the consumer’s opinion about the particular product.
Achar, C., So, J., Agrawal, N., Duhachek, A. (2016). What we feel and why we buy: the influence of emotions on consumer decision making. Current Opinion in Psychology, 10, 166-170.
Chukwu, B.A., Kanu, E.C. & Ezeabogu, A.N. (2018). The impact of advertising on consumer buying behaviour. International Journal of Arts and Commerce, 8(1), 1-15.
Kanagal, N.B (2016). An extended model of behavioural process in consumer decision making. International Journal of Marketing Studies, 8(4), 87-93.
Mumbua, M.L., Stephen, M. & Simon, M. (2019). Role of branding on customer preference in the soft drink industry. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 6(9), 489-496.
Wang, Y. & Yu, Chiahui. (2017). Social interaction-based consumer decision making model in social commerce: the role of word of mouth and observational learning. International Journal of Information Management, 37(3), 179-189.
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