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Understanding the Behavior of Consumers (Essay Sample)

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This task was an essay on consumer behavior and how understanding the behavior of consumers can help companies develop suitable marketing strategies. The paper placed learning theories (behavioral approach and cognitive approach) at the center of business marketing. It demonstrated the importance of understanding learning theories for marketers and advertisers as the theories enable them to understand how consumers respond to advertising messages.

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CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
Course:
Tutor
Institution
City and State
Date:
Consumer Behavior
Introduction
The analysis of consumers helps companies enhance their marketing strategies through the understanding of critical issues such as the influence of media and culture (Rajagopal & Castano 2015, p.21). There are a lot of factors that affect consumer spending such as their information processing on market outcomes. In that regard, consumer behavior entails the study of people and organizations including the processes they utilize when choosing products to satisfy their needs. More so, it involves how consumers dispose products and how they acquire them. The behavior of consumers also has a direct an impact on society (Rajagopal & Castano 2015, p.23). For instance, marketing of unhealthy foods may create health and economic problems for consumers. When people see and listen to adverts, they perceive these messages, and everyone has their interpretation (Rajagopal & Castano 2015, p.11). There are those that may take to using whatever product is being marketed while others may not bother. More so, consumers utilize learning theories that directly influence how they consider the purchase of particular products. This essay will explore the behavior of consumers, their response to marketing messages and learning theories.
Understanding Consumer Behavior
People make a lot of product decisions daily where some require little effort and others serious considerations (Hoyer 2010, p.51). Some decisions are made on a routine basis, and this helps drive the economies of cities and countries at large. With that, it is imperative that organizations take the time to understand what consumers want and meet such requirements. Then, they can satiate their clients and make them come back to shop for products and services (Hoyer 2010, p.53). More so, producers will be in a better position to understand why consumers would opt for their goods and leave their competitor's. This knowledge is necessary as each business tries as much as possible to win the hearts of consumers. And with that, it would be easy to develop a competitive advantage which will allow a business to get more returns. Furthermore, it would be easy for a company to improve its products and services.
In business marketing, understanding consumer behavior is not enough, but with it, organizations can create advertising strategies that impact on society positively (Hoyer 2010, p.57). For example, a firm can convince its consumers to participate in charities, reducing drug use and promote healthy eating habits. Additionally, understanding of consumer behavior allows companies to expand their marketing knowledge. Therefore, they can tailor products and services to target specific or general users. As such, it would be possible to address the needs of various groups of people while maintaining good relations. The behavior of consumers can change at any time once they are convinced that certain products are better than others (Hoyer 2010, p.59). Therefore, organizations have to work hard to ensure that their marketing messages invoke the right response in consumers. More so, stress on marketing products that are beneficial to clients to maintain them rather than struggle to look for new ones.
Effects of Stimuli from Marketing Messages
In product and service advertising, certain stimuli are invoked in the minds of consumers, and they develop particular behavior (Rajagopal & Castano 2015, p.51). Therefore, for advertisers to be successful, they should try to work their way into the thoughts of their target groups. A buyer's characteristic influences how they perceive certain stimuli (Rajagopal & Castano 2015, p.51). More so, their decision-making process then determines they behavior they will adopt concerning buying the marketed products. After that, then consumers can decide the products, brands, dealers, and retailers to buy goods and services from. Then, their purchasing amount and timing, as well as the frequency of acquiring products, will improve. The first most important step for marketers is understanding the factors that influence consumers' characteristics. That entails having an idea of their psychological, social, cultural and personal attributes. A good example of user stimuli from advert messages is the "I'm no Angel" campaign by Lane Bryant.
Most of the beauty adverts in America and around the world are filled with pictures of models with perfect bodies. Therefore, the information communicated by these ads is that a woman with a model's shape has the perfect body. Such campaigns have elicited negative change in society about women with big bodies. More so, Lana Bryant's campaign that had plus=sized women suffered from negative criticism (Orbach 2014, p.12). Consumers perceived this campaign as conservative and traditional and that it was not trending in any way. Irrespective of their stimuli to the advert, the producer Charming Shoppes had something else in mind; his campaign was an opportunity. He wanted women with huge bodies to view themselves differently and accept that they are beautiful. Also, he wanted to communicate that these women can be seen differently despite how the society taints them.
Women are sensitive to their beauty and anything negative about their physical appearance demeans them (Orbach 2014, p.10). In the case of the Lane campaign, it addressed a major cultural concern that needs to change for large women to feel that they fit in society. That is the appearance of women and what they should look like to be considered beautiful should change. In that regard, the campaign aimed at challenging the negative perceptions invoked by beauty ads that use thin models as the symbol of beauty. In this case, the marketing team wanted a different kind of message to be invoked to the consumers. The message was that the idea that modeling is exclusively for the thin women is an outdated notion fashioned by the media (Orbach 2014, p.11). Therefore, such women should be given a chance to showcase their beauty.
In the contemporary world, people respond to the way they are marketed and develop stimuli to the message being communicated. In this case, people would start to appreciate plus size women as models apart from the usual skinny models. The idea has poisoned the society that the ideal model should be thin (Orbach 2014, p.6). However, people can always perceive ads such as Lane's with positivity. However, that only happens when they are motivated with positive information. In this scenario, it would be easy for consumers of beauty products to appreciate the role of fat women in advertising. Similarly, beauty appears in various forms and not only the usual skinny girls in bikinis. An understanding of this concept is necessary for a consumer to avoid the stereotype placed by the society on big women modeling. More so, it would be easy to understand that such women can do whatever makes them happy.
Learning Theories and their Applications
When consumers get used to certain products and services, they acquire certain experiences (Hoyer 2010, p.81). As such, the learned perceptions about their favorite brands helps them in making decisions about the use of new products in future. More so, in some instances, some users may avoid new brands based on decisions made from their learned experiences. On that note, consumer learning focuses on how people gather information regarding the use of certain products and how it influences their future purchasing behavior. Consumer learning is a continuous process acquired through observations, reading, thinking and discussing (Rajagopal & Castano 2015, p.71). When one has understood a campaign, then the right responses will be triggered. It does not matter whether they have experience or they are seeing or hearing an advertisement for the first time. In that regard, there are certain triggers that influence consumer learning.
Components of Consumer Learning
Consumer learning is triggered by various essential elements as they continue using their favorite brands. First, motivation acts as the force that initiates all their learning (Rajagopal & Castano 2015, p.88). This element allows consumers to increase their readiness and anticipation to learn while activating their energy. For instance, showing Christmas adverts before time motivates consumers to get prepared for the season. Second, cues dictate how consumers react to motive. For example, in a shop product packaging, display, prices and styling act as cues to help customers decide on the products to buy. Thus, marketers should provide the right cues to increase their sales. Third, consumer response is the element that shows how consumers react to given motives (Rajagopal & Castano 2015, p.91). While product promoters may not control consumers' attitude, they can create a positive perception of their brands. Lastly, marketers need reinforcement of their brands. The importance of this element is that it increases the chances of positive response towards particular motives to brands. As such, the likelihood of increasing sales for marketers is high.
Learning Theories
Behavioral Approach
In behavioral approach, attention is given to the outputs and inputs. As such, once the stimuli that a consumer develops gets exposed, their resultant behavior is studied. There are two critical theories under the behavioral approach to studying consumer behavior (Wood & Solomon 2009, p.64). They are instrumental and classical theories. The latter theory suggests that two closely linked stimuli produce a particular result and when one is missing the same result would still be achieved (Wood &...

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