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Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategies

Importance of Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior is very important to the administrators at Pretoria University who use the marketing concept in providing quality meals at affordable prices for the students (Peter & Olson, 2010).

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The most puzzling aspect of consumer behavior is its dynamism. It causes wastage of resources (Shankar & Carpenter, 2012). For example, the tastes of the people in South Africa changed, making them desire products made from nature. Such a change affects marketing strategies underway: marketers will have to discard them in favor of new ones.

Decision Factors

Decision factors among consumers include product attributes, benefits, and value satisfaction (Peter & Olson, 2010). Many consumers always consider the attributes of a product before buying it. Attributes may include softness, sweet smell, sweet taste, and sharp-pointedness. On the other hand, benefits are, usually, the consequences of using a certain product while value satisfaction entails meeting the intangible goals of the consumers (Peter & Olson, 2010).

Consumers choose some goods and services depending on whether they can help them achieve their desires in life or not. They include ending hunger or thirst and feeling attractive among other benefits. These factors do not change because of the cost. The reason is consumers, usually, value the end more than the means. They only look forward to enjoying the benefits and attributes of the products and using them to satisfy their values (Paley, 2007).

For example, if a consumer believes that only Pepsi quenches his or her thirst, he or she will not worry about the increase in its price. Other characters that affect decision factors include consumer-product relationship and the reason for buying certain products. Some consumers have very intimate relationships with certain products such that they cannot think about other brands (Peter & Olson, 2010). For example, a consumer may be fond of BMW that he never thinks about other brands of cars.

Determining the Reason for Strategic Failure

Firstly, overt consumer behaviors entail many simple and complex actions, which make the analysis process difficult (Peter & Olson, 2010). The marketer requires lots of money and time to analyze all of them. Such behaviors include buying habits, usage behavior, and shopping behavior. Therefore, marketers may end up applying wrong strategies in analyzing the behaviors of the consumers of a certain product.

Secondly, the relationship between the effect, cognition, and overt consumer behaviors are not clearly described due to the lack of enough research (Peter & Olson, 2010). Therefore, it is difficult to ascertain whether the failure results from the effect and cognitive problems or overt consumer behaviors.

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Firms can minimize the likelihood of failure to influence consumers through positively influencing the effect and cognition of the consumers. The effect and cognition will then trigger overt responses from the consumers. This process involves products, brand marks, commercials, store signs, logos, and coupons (Peter & Olson, 2010).

For example, when Western Union used Usain Bolt in their commercial, it stimulated the effect and cognition of many consumers, making them approach Western Union and send money through it.

The Diversity of the Environment for Consumer Behavior

The Kinney Shoe Company mostly targets Americans of the Hispanic origin. However, this sub-culture is very diverse (Peter & Olson, 2010). It is made up of Hispanics with different characteristics. For example, some of them have adopted the American culture and abandoned theirs; others observe both cultures while the rest still observe their original culture. Therefore, the company must design ads that appeal to all these groups of Hispanics.

Such an ad should drop all elements that only appeal to one group and concentrate on elements that can appeal to both the integrated and the conservatives (Kim & Mauborgne, 2005). For example, ordering husbands is not part of the Hispanic culture but it is normal in the American culture. Hence, it should not be part of the ad.

The main difficulties that are likely to occur include the language to use and methods of determining the elements that appeal to all the three groups of Hispanics. Many of the integrated Hispanics may not understand some elements of Spanish. Worse still, there are many aspects of both cultures that all the three groups detest. Hence, coming up with ones that appeal to all of them is not easy.

The Relevance of Consumer Behavior in Promoting New Products

Consumer behavior is dynamic and involves interactions and exchanges (Peter & Olson, 2010). Therefore, when developing a new product, marketers should carry out regular market research to keep pace with the changing feelings and attitudes of the consumers (Peter & Olson, 2010).

Otherwise, companies may develop a product only to realize that consumers no longer like it. Firms should also consider that consumer behavior involves interactions between affective and cognitive aspects and overt aspects. Their product should, the first aim at appealing to the effect and cognition of the consumers, which will then trigger actions: overt behavior (Bradley, 2005). Finally, firms need to foster as many exchanges between buyers and sellers as possible.

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The exchanges are the main objective of marketing strategy. Firms should start in populated regions or near their target markets to get them in the proximity of consumers (Peter & Olson, 2010, p. 23).

The main pitfalls may include changes in the tastes and preferences of the buyers and loyalty to other older brands of the product. For example, Colgate came into the market in 1806 while Close-up joined the business in 1967. It was very difficult for Close-up to convince consumers who were loyal to Colgate that their product is equally good or even better than Colgate.


Bradley, F. (2005). International marketing strategy. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Kim, W. & Mauborgne, R. (2005). Blue ocean strategy: How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant. Boston, MA: Havard Business School Press.

Paley, N. (2007). The marketing strategy: Desktop guide. London, UK: Thorogood Publishing.

Peter, J. & Olson, J. (2010). Consumer behavior & marketing strategy (9th Ed.). Irwin, NY: McGraw Hill.

Shankar, V. & Carpenter, G. (2012). Handbook of marketing strategy. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc.

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