Consumer (mis) behaviour
Undestanding customer (mis) behaviour
Ever think about what influences you, as a consumer to make purchase decisions? Think that you make independent decisions without external factors? Think again. Much research has been done into the area of consumer decision-making. Behind the visible act of making a purchase lies a complex process. Three psychological elements which have cropped up time and again as important factors in the decision making process are: attitudes, perception and motivation. | “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”- Winston Churchill |
An attitude isn’t just something your parents told you that you had as a teenager. An attitude can be defined as “an orientation towards or away from some object, concept or situation and a readiness to respond in a predetermined manner to these related objects, concepts or situations”. (Hilgard, quoted by Brassington & Pettitt 2006). An attitude satisfies a personal motive and affects buying behaviour. Attitudes play a key role in shaping learning and while they are fluid, they are nevertheless often difficult to change. Understanding how such factors drive consumer behaviour gives you a solid foundation for making decisions such as who to target and where a product should be distributed.
Consumer attitudes are both an obstacle and an advantage. Choosing to ignore consumers’ attitudes, while developing a marketing strategy guarantees limited success of a campaign. In contrast, top marketers leverage their understanding of attitudes to predict the behavior of consumers. Public relations and social media messaging can be adapted to address a certain attitude as the company tries to win around media and consumers.
| “Humans see what they want to see”- Rick Riordan |
Perception in marketing is described as “a process by which a consumer identifies, organises and interprets information to create meaning”. (www.boundless.com/marketing). Perception is a psychological variable involved in the purchase decision process that influences consumer behaviour. According to Seymour Smith, a prominent advertising researcher, people who like, buy or are considering buying a brand are more likely to notice advertising than those who are neutral towards the brand. (Burke Wood, 2007).
A key factor in influencing customer perception is exposure. The more information consumers have about a product, the more comfortable they are buying it. Xbox looks to provide 5-8 OTS per product (opportunity to see) which is widely accepted as the optimal level of exposure.
| Mr MotivatorMotivation is the 3rd key factor in the psychological influence on consumer behaviour. |
Motivation can originate from within oneself, or can originate from others.
The nature of needs is that some are more pressing than others. The need becomes a motive when it is more pressing to direct the person to seek satisfaction. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a well-known model which portrays the effect of motivation, Maslow proposed a hierarcy of human needs, where it is necessary for one need to be fullfilled in order to meet the next.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Source http://www.peakoilblues.org/blog/2011/03/02/beyond-maslows-hierarchy-of-needs/)
XBOX (mis) behaviour
Recently Xbox announced the next generation console. With the next generation, Xbox decided to make several key policy changes. Some were for the benefit of consumers, others for the benefit of the industry. For example, Xbox issued a policy that each game would be tied to one console and could not be re-used, which killed the 2nd hand game market. The gaming industry is in decline with many studios laying off staff or closing. The studio who made the game sees no revenue from 2nd hand sales and this policy was implemented to help them. However this was badly communicated by Xbox. They had not done enough