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MBA404 Consumer Behaviour and Marketing Psychology Management

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Tasks:

Based on the scenario below In this report you must demonstrate an understanding and application of various consumer behaviour concepts and theories by analysing the facts gathered from the video and the survey, and present strategic recommendations. You will be required to incorporate recent peer reviewed literature in order to justify your proposed recommendations.

Scenario: Imagine that you have just been employed by the company you analysed in your earlier assessments. You have recently learnt that the company’s customer loyalty has declined over the last year and that repeat purchases are at a historic low. You have now been asked to prepare a report outlining the issues you identifiedin your previous analyses, issues related to current marketing communications, and to provide at least three strategic recommendations to the board of directors, along with reasons for recommending further improvements, all of which must be based on scholarly sources.

Answer:

Selected product overview

The Samsung Gear S3 is the new edition of the smart watch series, which was being launched in the month of December in 2016. Some companies such as Apple, Fitbit and Huawei have already stepped into this segment of the market. On a same note, this is an upgraded version of Samsung Gear S3. This is just a smart watch, which promises to keep users hassle free from pocketing out the phone every time. This provides a real time experience of listening to music, attending to calls, setting up alarms and many other apps of the Smartphone without pocketing out the phone. However, the latest launch of Samsung has its certain limitations as well. It does not support any other phone, which makes this product incompatible with other phone brands such as Apple. It also lacks in performance, as some of the apps does not respond to the user in real time. It just requires the twisting of the bezel, which lets the user acquainted with the different inbuilt features in it. Users have also shown commendable interest towards the product as the attached survey suggest. The impressive rate is much higher, which is almost equal to 84%. However, the product has witnessed a comparatively low purchasing than other brands such as Fitbit. This may be because of the fact that Fitbit is also compatible with other phone brands, which is not the case with the Samsung Gear S3 (Samsung.com 2017).

Critical analysis 


Consumer decision making process

Consumer buying behaviour and their decision making process has in high numbers the involvement of psychology, which drives them for making decisions and ending up with the purchase (Solomon 2014). The decision making process consists of following stages that drives consumers for a purchase:

  • Need- This is the first stage of any purchase that the customers are involved in. Need in most cases acts like a catalyst, which initiate the purchasing decision. However, in some of the cases, it gets influenced by some other factors such as getting influenced looking at other’s purchase, the background of the purchasing zone and the sales person influencing selling skills. However, the biggest portion of the purchasing happens after when need for the same is realized. For example, if someone were feeling hunger the one would definitely look for something that satisfies his or her needs. On a same note, if someone were feeling cold the one would definitely purchase some warm clothes according to its budget capacity (Mullen and Johnson 2013).
  • Gathering of information- This is another very important factor when customers decide on purchasing the product or service of his or her desire. There are different resources from where they gather information such as their family & the relatives, their friends, their academic & business colleagues, sales person and some other resources such as websites. These resources provide a brief required idea of the product of the consumer’s choice. However, their continuation with the product as a long-term association depends heavily on the purchased product’s performance (Mullen and Johnson 2013).
  • Making evaluation of the alternatives of the required brand- Evaluation of some other brands with the same product line is another very vital factor that falls in the process of decision-making. Customers search a lot and make evaluation of alternatives available for the same product to attain a maximum value of their spent money. According to the attached survey on consumer buying behaviour for smart watch, it was found that there are some who look for cheaper brands for the same required product (Mullen and Johnson 2013).
  • Product purchase- Finally, they land up purchasing their required product after going through such a long process. However, the process involved in purchasing the required products depends on the nature of purchasing. There are different kinds of purchase nature such as impulse purchase and routine purchase. A routine purchase such as the buying of daily used products does not require going through such a long process. However, even in such kind of purchasing consumers seek for options that are offers the required product at the most cheaper rate (Mullen and Johnson 2013).
  • Evaluation of product after the purchase- This is not related to the purchasing; however, it plays a vital role in a sustained business performance of the chosen product. This is why because it is the tendency of consumers that they do a post evaluation of their purchased product. If the purchased product is up to their expectations, they would continue their association with the same product or else they would move to some other brand (Mullen and Johnson 2013).

Factors affecting consumer behaviour

Individual- This is the one kind of consumer behaviour, which is related to the individual needs for a required product. Customers into this kind of behaviour purchase the product realizing the need for the same (Rucker, Galinsky and Dubois 2012).

Psychological- Consumer’s psychology is perhaps the most useful factor, which different brand use to dominate with the help of consumer journey map. Consumer journey map is an important guide for the different brands as it tells about the entire processing of different factors before the purchase actually happens. Consumer’s psychology can be of various types according to the attached survey module. Some customers follow the decision making skills of others thinking that they always chose the best. For example, if a celebrity purchases a particular product and the other one who is observing and following his or her buying behaviour closely, the observer would definitely end up buying the same product. However, the celebrity might have made the decision as per his or her needs or desire (Kardes, Cronley and Cline 2014).

Cultural- This is another factor, which influence the buying behaviour of some consumers. For example, Muslims who have high devotion to their religion they would certainly consider their cultural essence while purchasing the clothes. They would certainly prevent them from purchasing such products, which are not allowed as per the Islamic laws. Such Muslims would certainly confine themselves with cultural outfits such as kurta paijama (Mustafar and Borhan 2013).

Social- This is another very important factor, which influences a good amount of purchasing. In such factors, its friends, families and academic& business colleagues affect consumers. Such consumers make decisions on being inspired by its social connections. For example, a customer might be confused in front of various Smartphones of different brands. Its families and friends might rescue him or her in making the decisions. However, it is not necessary that the post evaluation of the purchase is positive (Hantula and Wells 2014).

Recent marketing communications

The recent marketing communications related to the product or the service has taken some different route. For a Smartphone the different core features of the phone are highlighted during the different kinds of marketing communication. However, in case of a smart watch it has kept behind because they are rather trying to communicate it as a necessary accessory. It is being promoted as a good way for fashion. The smart watch according to the brand is primarily a fashionable stuff, which is also a gadget. The brand has denied high investments on its advertisements as it is focussing more on highlighting it as a fashionable stuff. It is sticking around some popular fashionable show, which could well raise the generosity regarding the product. The brand has also considered various press releases, as this is also very important for communicating with the public. It is also very important as it helps to raise the anticipation level in customers. According to the attached survey, it is evident that the amount of advertisements, which is being put to the product, has paid off. The first impression has mostly high ratings from the consumers (Wichmann and Kern 2015).

Current marketing strategy

Marketing strategy is one of the most significant factors, which different brands use before the launch of their product. The marketing strategies used for the product can be understood with the help of Kotler’s four Ps of marketing mix. Kotler’s four Ps of marketing mix has four components in it such as product, price, place and promotion (Kotler 2012). The attached survey does give brief the information about the marketing strategies for the product.

Product-

Samsung has chosen the Gear S3 smart watch to attract those who love fashion as well as gadgets. They have targeted such people who are gadget lovers as well as they love wearing to fashionable watches (Wichmann and Kern 2015).

Place-

They have targeted the same geographical locations, which they had done for their different Smartphone series. However, they are mainly focussing only those who love fashion and gadget (Wichmann and Kern 2015).

Price-

The pricing of the product is higher, which is also clear from the attached survey. The attached survey shows that Huawei is cheaper than Samsung, which is why some people have also considered the product. The pricing of the product is in the range of $375 to $622, which is as per the level of Apple watch. They have kept the premium pricing for giving it a premium look (Wichmann and Kern 2015).

Promotion-

They have gone differently for it as they have tried to raise the fashionable aspects of the product. They have rather suppressed the technical features, which they usually do with their Smartphone launch. They have tried to make this an important accessory for raising the fashion quotient (Wichmann and Kern 2015).

Strategic recommendations

Influencing the decision making process of customers would be the first recommendation. Samsung Gear S3 is low in performance, which makes it less worth for money being spent to purchase it. The problem is with some apps that do not function properly at times. This is indeed difficult for Samsung to fix it, as these are not any software issues, which is solvable. This indeed takes many research works for embedding different core apps of the brand. However, they may consider this recommendation for their future version of the series. Samsung needs to work on the quality aspects also as it lacks quality of Apple watch priced within the similar range. The consideration of technological advancement in the next version of Gear S3 is necessary to encourage the realization of customers towards the product. According to the decision-making process of consumers, it is necessary for different brands that they make customers feel the need of their products (Maity and Dass 2014).

 Influencing the consumer behaviour would be the second recommendation, which is very necessary for product as such of Samsung Gear S3. The product is low on quality as some apps trouble with their performance. The product has attractive design but lacks high in quality. The consumer behaviour is influenced by many factors such as individual. The product is especially designed for those who love fashion and gadgets as well. However, it lacks in inbuilt app quality. The company should target the Millennials customers with this kind of products, as they are highly addicted to the gadgets (Sata 2013). In addition to this, company should also focus specifically on quality inbuilt apps apart from its nice design. This is necessary to ignite the needs for the products in them. Moreover, Millennials customers love gadget the most. They are one of the biggest contributors in the success of Smartphone success.

An improved marketing communication would be the third recommendation for improving the sales of such products. The existing marketing communications used by Samsung has targeted more to those who love doing fashion. This is for such reasons as well that they also approached some famous fashion shows to make the product an important accessory of fashion. The company should rather change this strategy from the next time onwards. The existing strategy was used to prove that watches are made for fashion only. This is very much correct indeed. However, they are promoting a smart watch, which generally means that it has some smart features in it. This is why it is necessary for the company that they consider high performing specs in their next version of the smart watch. Nevertheless, an improved marketing communication combined with the power packed features in the product that are responsive as well, doubles the chances of catching the consumer’s attraction (Baker 2014).

Justifying the pricing of the watch is the last recommendation for the company. The latest Samsung Gear S3 is premium priced but that is not justified. It has a very attractive exterior design, which is indeed appealing the fashion quotient. However, to pay for a smart watch, which lacks in quality is a serious issue. The company should consider a justified pricing that could prove its worth for the money being spent on it (Juster 2015).

References

Ammi, C. ed., 2013. Global consumer behavior. John Wiley & Sons.

Baker, M.J., 2014. Marketing strategy and management. Palgrave Macmillan.

Belk, R.W., Askegaard, S. and Scott, L. eds., 2012. Research in consumer behavior. Emerald Group Publishing.

Brodie, R.J., Ilic, A., Juric, B. and Hollebeek, L., 2013. Consumer engagement in a virtual brand community: An exploratory analysis. Journal of Business Research, 66(1), pp.105-114.

Cetin?, I., Munthiu, M.C. and R?dulescu, V., 2012. Psychological and social factors that influence online consumer behavior. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 62, pp.184-188.

Hantula, D.A. and Wells, V.K. eds., 2014. Consumer behavior analysis:(A) rational approach to consumer choice. Routledge.

Juster, F.T., 2015. Anticipations and purchases: An analysis of consumer behavior. Princeton University Press.

Kardes, F., Cronley, M. and Cline, T., 2014. Consumer behavior. Cengage Learning.

Kotler, P., 2012. Kotler on marketing. Simon and Schuster.  

Maity, M. and Dass, M., 2014. Consumer decision-making across modern and traditional channels: E-commerce, m-commerce, in-store. Decision Support Systems, 61, pp.34-46.

Mullen, B. and Johnson, C., 2013. The psychology of consumer behavior. Psychology Press.

Muruganantham, G. and Bhakat, R.S., 2013. A review of impulse buying behavior. International Journal of Marketing Studies, 5(3), pp.149-160.

Mustafar, M.Z. and Borhan, J.T., 2013. Muslim consumer behavior: Emphasis on ethics from Islamic perspective. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research, 18(9), pp.1301-1307.  

Rucker, D.D., Galinsky, A.D. and Dubois, D., 2012. Power and consumer behavior: How power shapes who and what consumers value. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 22(3), pp.352-368.

Samsung.com. 2017. Samsung Gear S3 Smart watch - Classic & Frontier - Specs | Samsung India. [online] Available at: https://www.samsung.com/in/microsite/gear-s3/ [Accessed 12 Jun. 2017].

Sata, M., 2013. Factors affecting consumer buying behavior of mobile phone devices. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 4(12), p.103.    

Solomon, M.R., 2014. Consumer behavior: Buying, having, and being (Vol. 10). Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Wichmann, B.S.T. and Kern, S., 2015. Smartwatch: Curse or Blessing–Enrichment or Toy.    

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