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Welcome to week 2 of Consumer Behavior Marketing 3050. This lecture will cover material from Chapters 3-5 in your text, CB3
We talked last week about why people buy. Consumers engage in a consumption process that’s all about getting value. Value is made up of basic benefits (the TV itself) plus the ‘feel’ benefits (a 60” TV means I’m successful, I’ll be more popular with my family). We talked too, that value incorporates what you give up to get these benefits.
People buy because they are motivated to address their needs – they want to either maintain their current state or status quo – they’ll buy another pair of jeans exactly like the ones they purchased last year – or because they want to improve – they’ll buy a more fuel efficient car.
Here’s the consumer value framework outlined in the text. On the left are all the internal influences that affect how consumers make decisions… how they learn, remember, their attitudes and personal values. Personality and lifestyles can also influence decisions. On the right are the external influences on decision making –culture, peers, social class and family can all affect how we make decisions – as can the situation – how much time we have for example. In the center of the framework is the consumption process itself – we talked about how needs turn into wants when we aren’t satisfied with what we have – we decide to make an exchange to get what we want – that involves cost and time – to get the value we seek.. We’re going to talk today about the types of values consumers have – utilitarian vs hedonic. Later in the semester we’ll discuss the quality of the consumption experience; whether it resulted in dissatisfaction or satisfaction, switching behaviors and customer commitment. So let’s go back up within the framework to the idea of value; as we mentioned, consumers buy because they are motivated to address their needs. To understand that idea, we need to answer the question: ‘what are motivations?’
There are several theories about motivation… one of the most common is Maslow’s hierarchy of human development… this theory says that we are first motivated to get our physiological needs met – we need food, clothing and shelter…. We aren’t motivated to get other needs met until this first, basic level is satisfied. Once we have food and shelter, then we become concerned about safety and security. When we feel safe, we’re motivated to have relationships that help us feel like we are loved and belong. Then we are motivated to think about our self esteem…. And finally, if we’re fortunate, we become motivated to reach self-actualization – all our fundamental needs are met and we can plan a vacation to Europe, or a trip to a museum, or take an art class. You’ll notice the value scale from the consumer decision framework is outlined to the right of this ladder – it starts with utilitarian value and moves up to hedonic value.
This Utilitarian vs Hedonic value scale is a more basic theory of motivation. It states that consumers are motivated based on purpose or pleasure.
Take a look at these images… would the china in the upper left serve as utilitarian (purpose) – or pleasure?Wouldn’t it be both??.... Plates for the purpose of eating – fine china for pleasure… And toothpaste?.. Yes, purchasing this has a utilitarian motive. How about scotch tape? … yes, this is utilitarian. What about the ring with diamonds?.... Likely a hedonic purchase, motivated to get pleasure.And the fishing boat? … this too, might be both – utilitarian if you are the owner – maybe hedonic if you are a passenger being take out to deep waters to catch the big fish. And the candy bar? This is largely hedonic – for pleasure – but how is Snickers advertising it’s chocolate bar? Snickers has been telling consumers that the candy bar provides a source of energy / protein. When we dig deeper, we see that this simple theory ends up giving us some muddy results.
So a more inclusive theory about motivation deals with low vs high involvement. The level of involvement – mental and emotional – affects behavior. Involvement is based on how important the decision is to you. If it’s a low involvement decision it tends to be quicker – you have few alternatives to consider – and importantly, there’s not much risk of making a wrong choice. In contrast, a high involvement decision takes longer to make – you have more alternatives to consider and you place a high level of importance on making the right choice. The ideas of utilitarianvs hedonic are still relevant – let’s think about the one of the examples we reviewed earlier: dishes – for someone just moving into an apartment, buying dishes may be a low involvement purchase – they need to make a quick choice at the store they’re in – without much risk of making a wrong decision. The purchase, for them, is –more utilitarian – it’s just about getting something to use when eating. But for a new bride, buying dishes may be much more high involvement – she’s looking at many options, she wants dishes that will be beautiful for entertaining, so there’s more risk around the choice – and because she’s seeking more than function, she’s looking at appearance too, the purchase is more hedonic for her.
How do consumers get involved? Well, they can get involved with the product itself – some people REALLY like Starbucks coffee. They can’t start the day without their Starbucks and will drive past other coffee shops to get that need fulfilled. Others get involved with the shopping experience – treasure hunting for the best deals motivates many consumers to get up at 3 a.m the day after Thanksgiving. Involvement with a situation tends to be temporary – choosing a hospital to deliver a baby gets consumers highly involved – but only until the baby arrives. Consumers get involved with emotional benefits of the product – ‘every Kiss begins with “K” advertising for Kay jewelers promises emotional connection. And finally, consumers can have a long-term relationship with the product – they are loyal – you’ll see this level of involvement with some car buyers – sticking with Cadillacs or BMWs – and even with more basic purchases – like foods, some people will only buy a certain brand of mayonnaise or cereal.
You may have noticed in the examples I just covered that emotion plays a role in motivation and involvement… emotions can drive a decision as shown in the graph on the left == for example, if a parent is concerned about their teenagers safety while driving, then they may buy a car like a Volvo or Ford – something highly rated for value. – OR a decision will be made to deliver emotions – for example, I’m going to join Lifetime Fitness because I need to be in better shape so I can feel better about myself so I can feel more attractive. Note that emotions are longer-lasting than moods!
As marketers began realizing the role that emotions can play in motivating purchase, they wanted to measure it. Thinking back about our consumer behavior timeline, here’s where marketers borrow from psychology == trying to measure emotions. If they could figure out consumer emotions, they could affect those emotions and motivate purchase! We can use galvonometers (lie detectors) to try to measure emotions…. Or even facial recognition patterns – but these measurements tend to be intrusive. Watch this video about a tv show that focused on measuring emotions. (:34)
Marketers also ask consumers to self report their emotions…. Asking them to rate the extent of their feelings using these adjectives and a positive / negative scale… .but this measurement is problematic – can you feel both ashamed AND confident??
So this led to the development of a different scale – anchored by a positive / negative on each side. Still, this relies on consumers to self-report – and sometimes we won’t be honest if we feel we’ll be judged on our responses… How do you feel about Crest toothpaste? – this scale isn’t likely to get very useful results.
So what’s next? Well if emotions lead to motivation and involvement – then as marketers, we want to tap into emotions so consumers will buy our product. How can we do that? We need to understand how consumers learn so we can deliver information that they’ll understand – and information that tells them about the value of our product – in a way that will evoke positive feelings.
Learning starts with awareness – we become aware through our 5 senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste, feel – this is called ‘sensory memory’ – it tends to be short term. Once we become aware, then we begin to perceive and comprehend or understand what we’ve noticed. Understanding reflects how we interpret the information – do we recognize what we notice? And is it similar or different from what we already know? And understanding also reflects how we organize information – this understanding results in a reaction ….
Let’s talk a bit more about how we organize information. Our brains are like a computer – we have lots of files where we store information… we organize our files based on a system that makes sense to us. Each time we become aware of new information, and perceive it, we try to find something similar in our files that is similar to this new piece of information – this is our workbench memory, where we label the new information. We will sometimes flip through our files looking for associations to this new information… this is our long-term memory. Long-term memory has unlimited capacity – our hard drive has unlimited space! Marketers can help consumers remember by making messaging consistent.
For example, we can use repetition to build associations for consumers. The commercial last week about the headache remedy kept repeating the name, “Head On” Head On” several times in the :15 spot. We can also tap into 2 or more senses – visual and hearing for example – remember the Maxwell House commercial from last week? The commercial showed the coffee percolating, and you heard the bubbling sound of the coffee pot. We can also show relationships between new and existing information – you may have seen signs in grocery stores that state: if you like Special K, then try Kroger’s Active Lifestyle. This message helps consumers remember that Active Lifestyle = Special K. They know what Special K is, so they encode Active Lifestyle with the same information. And finally, we can ‘chunk’ information for consumers – car ads will focus a few secondson the cost of the car, then the safety of the car, then the special features of the car – to help them remember.
Here are two examples of commercial campaigns that were memorable for consumers and used some of the techniques we just discussed. Take a look at first commercial. In the Charmin ad, marketers wanted consumers to remember the product is soft – a key benefit of toilet tissue. So they used two senses – visual and auditory – consumers heard Mr. Whipple tell shoppers not to squeeze the Charmin – and then saw shoppers enjoying squeezing the package because it was so soft. For the Maytag commercial, the marketers created associations. A lonely person has no contact with others -- the lonely repairman let consumers know the Maytag equipment didn’t need repairs very often – it was dependable. Notice that both messages required some level of engagement for consumers to ‘get the point.’
Improving long term memory can also be achieved by tapping into current associations – when asked about fast food, most consumers name McDonald’s – note that these ‘gold standards’ will vary based on your audience. For some, ice cream may be more associated with HaaganDaz or Baskin Robbins than with Blue Bell shown here.
We can also improve memory by tapping into episodic memories – showing families around the Thanksgiving table, or at the beach – will evoke feelings that marketers may want to have associated with their product. In this example, Stetson focuses on MatthewMcConaugheyplaying cowboy, along with the stereotype of cowboys as masculine – letting consumer elaborate through visuals and through memories – “I liked pretending to be a cowboy, cowboys are masculine – if I use Stetson cologne, I’ll be more masculine.” -- now this thinking process isn’t that deliberate for most consumers… it happens in seconds and many times without conscious thought – but the association of Stetson as masculine has been created – and will be remembered.
We’ve talked about how to improve memory… but how do we improve comprehension – or the understanding of information? We need to consider 3 elements: the characteristics of the message – the characteristics of the receiver (the consumers) – and the environment in which the message occurs. Marketers can take action to improve understanding across each of these elements.
First message characteristics – this includes graphic elements – the intensity of colors, the colors themselves, the size and type of font we use (in print ads), whether we use numbers and the overall spacing within the ad or commercial.
Some messages are more effective when simple – others need more complexity. Look at this packaging and assess it’s message characteristics. What does white convey? Did you pick up on the “Fat Free” label. Does this ‘message’ communicate good taste to you?
Message placement in media – print or tv -- is also important to helping consumers understand…. Placing 3 hair care ads back-to-back is less likely to encourage understanding than having different ads – in the first example, we see shampoo, shampoo, shampoo… it’s tough to see the brand name. In the second example, the hair ad stands out more – we see detergent and a car… we’re likely to differentiate L’Oreal from the other items.
The figure/ground principle puts the message in a context that helps consumers make associations… do you see that these are camouflage pants?
Finally, we can improve understanding by having a likeable, attractive, trustworthy source deliver the message.
The second aspect of improving understanding deals with the message receiver – the consumer. Marketers need to take into account the intelligence of our audience – how much do they know about our product? Is this a high or low involvement product? What do they expect from this type of product. Are they a visual or verbal target? –The answers to those questions will help marketers develop a message our audience will understand.
The third factor affecting consumer understanding is the environment in which the message is delivered… Marketers realize that playing advertising in a busy airport is less likely to be noticed than in a quiet doctor’s office. If we want to reach our audience in an airport, we may want to consider delivering it on the airplane (a captive audience), or through the in-flight magazine.
We want to link memories with emotions – because emotion leads to motivation and involvement (purchase!).We want to present information that evokes emotion. We want to put people into a good mood – this can be done through visual elements and music. We want to help them remember happy times – show families or couples together smiling / laughing for example, or we can link our ideas with favorable associations – showing beer being consumed at a picnic on a bright sunny day, or at a nightclub with beautiful, smiling people.
We can also link memory with emotions by linking with self-consciousness – is the ad at right showing a beautiful woman? Or one that needs beautifying? The ad causes readers to stop, look, think/ remember, and feel – And we can try to link the product with specific emotions. Take a look at this commercial as an example of linking products with emotions.
We want to make sure our message gets through to consumers! Remember, the first step in learning is generating awareness. So we need to consider the source, the message, the way we deliver it or the medium – like print or tv – and the receiver or consumer. We can increase the appeal of a message – helping boost awareness – using elements like sex appeal or romance, humor – remember, a consumer in a good mood is more likely to react favorably to the message AND remember it!. We can also use fear to generate awareness – think of some of the anti-smoking commercials on air today.
When you create a message, you can either present the conclusion first….. Or allow consumers to reach their own conclusion. Building to the conclusion is more persuasive when you have a high involvement purchase… for example, showing the jeep off-road, on a city street, on a beach – demonstrates to the consumer the vehicle is versatile. You also need to consider whether you’ll make comparisons to competitive products…. Think about where important information should be placed… if you’ll have a simple or complex message… and if you use a source, who you’ll use to create positive associations to your product.
Much of what we’re learning this week is about connecting with consumers. The Omniquest book this semester “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” outlines guidelines for interacting with others that has practical application for us as marketers. One of the discussion boards this week asks you to review several television ads – analyze how they are constructed, and talk with your classmates about whether the message effectively gets through to consumers and is persuasive. Do you feel connected to the product? You’ll also have an assignment to review print ads – again, to analyze how the ad is constructed and whether it’s effective at connecting with you…. And finally, there’s a short assignment to apply what you’ve learned to the new product you’re analyzing. How would you construct the message for this new product?This concludes the lecture for week two. If you have questions about any of this information or the assignments for this week, please let me know