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Clients or customers are the final users of both goods and services. Consumer behavior can be referred to as the manner and the reasons why people make procurement decisions. It can be influenced by various elements like self reflection or image. This involves customers who go to amazing lengths of purchasing commodities to be recognized by others and in order to feel good about themselves after craving for high regards. They often end up purchasing the latest fashionable goods. On the contrary, consumers that are less concerned about what others think can make orders or buy goods that provide them with calm and their desired services (Frank, 1997).
Hawkins, (2003) explains that consumer behavior can also be influenced by cultural factors. For instance, in some places bargaining is not an issue while it is improper and even considered rude in other places. Another element that can influence consumer behavior is social behavior. Some consumers may decide to purchase goods after being motivated by the fact that people they admire have bought the goods. This can be done just to fit into the social surrounding and be recognized as part of the group. Education can also be considered as a factor influencing consumer behavior. This happens as most consumers become more aware of their options in purchasing, they tend to put aside the goods that they once desired and opt for other products they are attracted to in the same manner.
The above mentioned phenomenon has an impact and relevance especially to the client too as consumers' desires, requirements and preferences change over periods. This matter about consumer behavior raises concern and interest in the business because it is through understanding what can influence buying routines and behaviors that businesses or marketers can be able to produce goods that are likely to lead to large numbers of customers and later broadcast or promote them to the targeted markets. This has made companies to always calculate the achievement of their current efforts and implementing changes whenever there is need for them to maintain their success in business. In order to generate successful marketing campaign, the current companies are trying to understand the factors that influence consumer behaviors and make use of the behaviors in a manner that motivates consumers to buy products (Hawkins, 2003).
Hawkins, (2003) asserts that consumer theory and concepts have been used to explain consumer behavior in different ways. For instance, one explanation is that consumers seem to hold pictures of various commodities and the pictures can be analyzed as signs that communicate meaning about those who buy them. It explains the level at which a customer might really prefer some products because he recognizes their images as consistent with her own view or some other aspects of self-concept.
Another explanation is that consumers tend to form their own ideas through their societal mental and emotional interaction. This is because the person's self concept notion has value to oneself and so he will act to classify, secure and advance it. It also explains that products and brands are observed by customers as having pictures or representational meaning. The consumer behavior concept also explains that due to symbolic role, choosy possession, exhibit and use of these good symbols assists an individual in characterizing and improving his self concept for himself and for others too (Hawkins, 2003).
In addition the explanation given in the consumer behavior concept is that the behaviors of individuals will be encouraged or stimulated towards advancing and enhancing their self concept through the consumption of commodities as symbols. The brands that the consumer will prefer are the ones that he observes as having pictures that are most constant with the consumer's concept. In short the consumer's number one brands are identified through matching between his self image and his observation of various brand images (Murthi, 1999).
In fact the congruity theory suggests that the bigger the self image congruence, the more a brand will be chosen. Congruity can also exist along a number of self measurements. For instance, the product user may not recognize a strong counterpart between the brand's image and his real self concept but he may see a close match with his perfect self. The theory still foretells and explains that the consumer can have a strong choice for his brand due to the level of congruity that exists between the make image and what he wishes to become. The degree of congruence to both the real and best self may combine to apply a joined influence on the customer's attraction towards a brand. Hawkins, (2003) further explains that the concept of ideal-self seems to be an encouraging force behind the plan of advertisements .If self concept theory was valid, it could be so important in areas like product design, putting product images in position, and even foretelling the consumers' characters and behaviors towards various brands. In order to attain the potential, self image and product adequate steps are needed and various measurements have been expanded.
Summary of Consumer Behaviors
It is a study of how an individual buys products. It reflects the whole consumer's choices with respect to the gaining, utilization and disposal of commodities, activities, experiences, people and suggestions by individual decision-making divisions. It consists of the following important summarized elements.
It involves services, goods, experiences, activities, people and ideas. This means that it is more than just the way an individual buys tangible goods. The process also involves customer's use of services, ideas, experiences and activities like visiting a celebration, going to see a doctor, donating to UNICEF, checking for traffic before crossing the road or street (Murthi, 1999). Consumers also make choices about people. For instance, reading books written by different authors, watching movies by certain actors and voting for various politicians. They also make decisions about the utilization of time like whether to watch some programs on the television and for what duration. All these units about consumption of many things by the consumer can be summarized by the term offering (Murthi, 1999).
Consumer behavior involves more than buying. The approach in which customers or consumers buy is exceedingly significant to the marketers as they are also deeply interested in consumer behavior associated to using and disposing of an offering. Acquiring represents only one form of acquisition behavior. It also includes other kinds of acquiring commodities and services. There is also using after acquiring. An offering has to be used after acquiring that is why usage is at the very centre of consumer behavior. This means that whether or why we consume various goods can be a sign of something about who we are, what is worth for us and what we trust. There is also disposing after using or consumption (Murthi, 1999). This refers to how consumers get rid of an offering they have previously obtained and it can have significant allegation for marketers. Consumers who are Eco-minded often search for ecological goods that are made from recycled objects or select products that do not contaminate when gotten rid of. Municipalities are also concerned in how to stimulate earth- friendly disposition. Marketers notice income opportunities in communicating disposition concerns. For instance, consumers who repair their kitchens can fix new counters made from second hand materials like ShetkaStone that is made from used paper (Murthi, 1999).
Consumer behavior is a dynamic process which means that a series of attainment or acquisition, using up products and later disposition can occur over time in a dynamic order which include hours, days, weeks, months and years. The consumer behavior process or concept can also involve many people as it does not necessarily replicate the step of a single person. It entails a group of people like fellow workers, friends or even the whole family which may plan a birthday party or choose where to have lunch. To add on, the persons participating in the consumer behavior can take on one or more responsibilities. For example, in the case of a car acquisition, one or more family members might take on the responsibility of information collector by investigating various makes of cars while others might assume the role of persuader and try to affect the outcome of a decision. On the other hand, one or more family may take up the responsibility of being a purchaser by really paying for the vehicle and then some or the rest decide to be users. At last a number of members of the family may be occupied in the disposition of the car which is the very last step.
Consumer behavior involves many decisions to make. The following are some of the decisions included in the consumer behaviors: whether to acquire; utilize or get rid of the product; what offering is to be acquired; used or disposed; why to obtain; use or dispose of an offering; why not to acquire; utilize or get rid of an offering; how to acquire use or dispose the offering; where to acquire; utilize and get rid of the product; when to obtain, use and dispose the product; how much how often and how long to acquire, use and dispose the commodity (Murthi, 1999).
Moreover, consumer behavior involves feeling and coping which is associated with emotions. In this case, positive and negative feelings as well as definite emotions such as: fear; embarrassment; hope; regret; guilt and general moods have an effect on how consumers make decisions; think; how they feel after choosing; their memories and how much they enjoy occurrences. Other feelings like love at times explain what consumers believe about some brands or belongings. It is normal for consumers to use products to control their feelings. Most of the areas in the academic research on Consumer behavior do agree as they all emphasize and analyse the same facts concerning the consumer behaviors topic (Murthi, 1999).
This study of consumer behavior has various implications on the client and also assists firms, companies and organizations to develop their promotion and selling strategies by understanding different matters. Such matters to be understood include, the psychology of how customers or consumers reason, think, feel and choose between different alternatives. Secondly the issue of understanding the psychology of how the customer or consumer is motivated by his or her surroundings can also be understood. Such surroundings may include family, culture, signs and even media (Frank 1999).
Another area is the actions or behaviors of the consumers during their time of purchasing or shopping and making other decisions of marketing. Business firms can also be able to understand disadvantages in consumer awareness or information processing capabilities influence choices and marketing result (Frank 1999).
Through consumer behaviors study, organizations are also able to understand how clients' inspiration and choice strategies vary among products and differ in their degree of importance or concern that they require for the consumers. It is through the study that marketers can be able to be accustomed to their business and develop their marketing promotion and strategies to more efficiently reach the consumers (Michael, 2003).
Consumer behavior happens either for persons or in the situations of a group. For example, it can be an influence of friends like the kinds of dress one puts on or a company where people at work place decide the products that the organization sells (Michael, 2003). It also involves the utilization and depositing of goods as well as the revision of how they are bought and sold. Commodity use is normally of great concern to the marketer as it may influence how a commodity is best situated or how large consumption can be encouraged.
Other aspects related to consumer behaviors include problem recognition where by the marketers through research will be able to recognize the consumer problems. There is also judgment and decision making (Michael, 2003).
Hawkins, (2003) asserts that consumer behaviors can be manipulated or controlled by first giving consumers a motive that is acceptable. This is because it is in a way related to the thought of asking what kind of a person would buy a certain commodity in the process of assessing consumer behavior. Customers wish to feel they are doing something impressing, being a good person, eating balanced diet, keeping up their appearances, making friends and associates. Therefore if marketers can be able to convince customers or consumers that they require a good or service for some justifiable reason, then the customers will more be able to buy the product (Michael, 2003).
To add on, sensory stimuli are important to marketing. People always find the food that is related to positive traits and appealing to have a nice taste. For instance, they normally use their eyes to taste discriminating differences in products that they do not perceive any difference during a blind test. The best example is the test of loyal coca-cola who was entirely not willing to agree that any other soda was its equal. Through seeing whatever they were drinking, they were able to maintain the position but when it came to blind testing, they were unable to differentiate between coke and root beer. Customer's consumption is not about conformity anymore but it is all about variety (Frank 1999).
The other substitute of influencing consumer behavior is by offering specialized products. Most individuals are searching for variety in personal liking, tastes and living standards to avoid monotony. Examples of campaigns that are advertising the way their products stand out from the crowd consists of Dodge'" The rules have changed" and Abby's "This is different. Different is good." Most marketers are in fact fairly successful at targeting revolutionary and the counter culture because it is referred to in commodify your Dessent. Thomas Frank wrote, "Consumerism because they want to fit in but not to show and verify (Frank 1999).
Consumer behaviors by clients can be changed even though it is so difficult. One may try by first trying to change the affect. Change of behavior should also be considered. Another thing to be considered is the change of beliefs. This first involves change of currently held beliefs especially the strongly held beliefs even if they are not accurate. The next step is to change the importance of beliefs (Frank 1999). The beliefs have to be then added as clients are less likely to oppose the addition provided that they do not quarrel with the already existing beliefs. Consumer behavior is a character that can be controlled with cooperation of both the consumers and the marketers in order to meet the needs, requirements and desires of each other.
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