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Case study buyer behaviour writer need strong knowlage about buyer behaviour Essay Example

  • Category:
    Marketing
  • Document type:
    Case Study
  • Level:
    Masters
  • Page:
    5
  • Words:
    3021

Buyer Behavior

Perception is a process whereby an individual receives, selects, and interprets stimuli to form a coherent and meaningful picture of the world. Perception involves two things inherent predispositions and physical stimuli. Examples of inherent predispositions are motives, learning, and expectations while those of physical stimuli are smell, sight, and audio.

In the North Face case study, the jackets were sold in the market everywhere in the city (Sheth 72). People used to hearing about the popularity of the jackets, and they were stimulated to buy one. This was a kind of perceptions as the consumers were persuaded to buy the jacket because of its popularity and comfort. In addition, people used to see the jackets all over as different people used them even in the campaign period. The other people who are consumers were stimulated to buy a jacket because whenever they go most of the people were wearing the jackets. Because of the perception strategy, North Face made more sales of the jackets leading to more profits. The theory of perception explains the extent, which perception relies on the information present or received in the stimulus. It also explains how an individual response to information received after hearing, seeing, and even sensing. North Face when trying to influence the consumer behaviour to buy its products applies this theory. This is because the consumers will have to see or hear about the products advertised such that they can respond by either buying or not to buy. In the case study;

  • The company used climbers and athletes to test the clothing by training both outdoor areas and regionally. This influenced many consumers because they would see the clothing physically and how it fits those training.

  • Another example in the case study is the display of the climbers and athletes on the television programs training while wearing North Face clothing. Physical display and those in the television would influence other people after seeing and hearing about the clothing. The consumers would buy the clothing for themselves such that they could test how comfortable and fit personally. North Face should make sure that the products are presentable and of better quality, such that when the consumer sees he/she will be influenced to buy.

Motivation is another method than can be used to influence and stimulate the buyer. The buyer can be motivated in various means such as after sales services, reduced prices, and better quality products. Motivation can be a rational, (positive, negative), and emotional. This is because not all the motivation methods will impress the buyer; other might even make the customer run away from buying the products from the company and move to the competitor of the company. In the North Face case, Columbia Sportswear used this strategy to win more consumers, and it has overtaken North Face in the market. Whilst Columbia clothing was sold at a discount in stores like T. J. Maxx; North Face shunned this strategy and their sales reduced drastically (Sheth 83). Columbia Sportswear offered the discount in its stores as a way of motivating and winning more customers. The theory of Human motivation was presided by Abraham Maslow. The theory explains how customers or any other person is persuaded to buy or accept the services offered by an individual or a company. The theory was widely used in the case study;

  • Committed athletes who were testing the North Face clothing confirmed that the company had improved the product quality and innovation. As a motivation tactic, North Face produced jackets, which contains Thermo Ball. This synthetic down enables the jacket to dry in 40 minutes even if it was soaked. The climbers and athletes would be influenced to buy this type of jackets as it can be washed and used in a short time.

  • North Face introduced Mountain Athletic clothing for training in the outdoor. The clothing was meant for hikers, trail runners, and those engaging in unconventional workouts. The clothing was designed with durable shoulder seams, and it came with more muted colours than the traditional gym wear from Nike Inc.

  • Another theory of motivation that was applied in North Face if J.S. Sheth theory. The theory explains how the buyer develops a purchase cycle. This is the length of time when a product is bought to the time another product of the same kind is bought. In the case study, customers were influenced to buy the product from the company when new mountain athletic clothing was introduced. The clothing had durable collars and seams that the customers would like to buy. This is because the customers wants durable products that will last long before another of the same kind is bought.

The physiological needs are needs we cannot do without like food, shelter, water, and clothes. These are the items which given first priority in the family. The ego needs are items, which bought for prestige. In the case of North Face, the consumer will have different hierarchies and priorities because other will prioritise jackets while others prioritize sportswear. In addition, the prices of the products were not much higher as compared to North Face and the products were of high quality. Discount, reasonable prices, and better quality products motivated consumers to buy from Columbia Sportswear.

Companies should use learning as a tool to influence consumer behavior. North Face Company used this strategy of learning. The company allowed the athletes, and mountain climbers to test the jackets, vests, t-shirts, and footwear when training or climbing. For the mountain climbers, heavy jackets were used to prevent cold at the top of the mountain. On the other hand, the athletes needed light vests, sport wear, and jackets for training. Social learning theory explains how people learn from others. People learn by observing what other people do and the achievements they get in the process of learning. As per the case study;

  • Many people who were influenced to buy the products of North Face learned about the product from other people. The product was dominating in public places. For example, it was posted on greensboring.com as a blogger that in restaurants or any public place North Face apparel dominated.

  • In addition, the athletes and climbers are used for other consumers to observe and learn from them. This is through how they are satisfied and comfortable in training sessions wearing the clothing.

  • Another learning theory used in North Face Company is experiential learning. The theory was presided by Carl Rogers between 1902 and 1987. The theory describes that those who are learning should participate practically such that they can understand what they are learning. In the case study, this theory was applied when the athletes were given the clothing and footwear to use in their training. This would make the athletes test how comfortable the clothing is a part from what they are told through advertising and other means.

  • In addition, seventy athletes were given the clothing and footwear to test before being released to the market. This was a practical means where they test the clothing personally and let other know about the fitness of the products.

Through learning, the athletes and mountain climbers established confidence in the brand, to the point that they have been happy to endorse products (Sheth 141). This is because the athletes and climbers will have product experience that is retained in memory, and converted to brand loyalty. The behaviour of the buyer will have been influenced because any time that they needs the same product he/she will not go to a different place but to North Face.

Attitude’s shape behaviors. To influence the buyers’ behavior, attitudes and perceptions must be influenced. “Attitude is a predisposition that is learned when one behaves in a consistently unfavourable or favourable way in respect to a given product.” In the North Face case study, attitude formation and change strategy is used. This is experienced when North Face decided to maintain the positioning of the product after realizing that the attitude of the consumers had been attracted and changed. Todd Spaletto North Face president described this as an experience that the company learned from other organizations offering the same brand in the market (Sheth 295). This is because when the competitors like Columbia Sportswear offering the same brand realized that their products were the best in the market, and they had attracted the attitude of the consumers, they the product positioning. This affected the attitude of the consumers and the popularity of the organizations offering the product decline. The organizations decided to change the positioning of the product for them to make more sales in the market, but it was opposite. North Face learned from this fate, which affected Columbia Sportswear, and they maintained their product positioning to avoid the losses, as a result, of the reduction in sales.

Fishbein’s Attitude theory is a model used to predict and change behaviour, spanning attitudes and behavioural intentions of individuals. Martin Fishbein and Ajzen Icek developed the theory. In the case study;

  • This theory was used when athletes, climbers, and snowboarders wearing the company clothing featured in the new national television, which was commercial sponsored by the company. The commercial televisions showed many athletes running near waterfalls, skiing perilous slopes, and staring soulfully from a sailboat.

  • People in the company and its holdings were speaking endlessly about participants in these fields wearing the company’s training clothing. North Face applied Fishbein’s Attitude theory because their intention is to change the belief and strength associated with their products in the market.

North Face was targeting to change the evaluative aspect associated with their products. After changing the evaluative aspect and belief of the consumers on their products, they would maintain the positioning of the products and retain their customers. The company was also trying to change the previous attribute, which was non-salient to cognitive structure. North Face focused on the three strategic changes when advertising and they succeeded in changing the attitude of the consumers.

Culture is important when it comes to ways of influencing buyer behavior. In various locations, worldwide people have dropped their cultures embrace the cultures of other people. There are other who resist the cultures of other people and maintain their beliefs, norms and values. This factor should be considered when designing marketing strategy to influence the buyer behaviour. In the case study, the Columbia Sportswear, which is the competitor of North Face, observed this strategy when marketing and influencing the consumers. Columbia Sportswear decided to focus on all consumers including the ordinary people in rural areas. This was a competitive strategy because North Face is focussing mostly on the athletes and the mountain climbers. Columbia sportswear used this as an opportunity and produced products, which were in line with the culture of the ordinary people. Columbia Sportswear influenced many consumers in this strategy because North Face did not consider the factor. Cultural theory has been used in various attempts to understand and conceptualize the dynamics of culture. The theory explains some arguments between nature and culture, culture and society, and split between low and high cultures.

  • In the case study, North Face is recognized as leading brand of outdoor adventurism. These are places where cultural norms and values are still observed, and the company presented brands as per cultural beliefs. The company was accepted widely as the sole pioneer of outdoor categories and it enjoys position one in all markets that it competes.

  • The theory was also applied when the company decided to visit selected rural areas over the weekends to offer their products to the rural people. This is because they felt that they had concentrated on the current clothing in the city and abandoned their culture. This was stimulated when they recalled the old days when they were observing their cultural beliefs and values.

Social influence is whereby one-person influences another to change and follow or do what he/she is doing. In the case study, North Face used this strategy to influence more consumers to buy. The company decided to sponsor by offering them their branded products like jackets, vests and t-shirts. The athletes would influence other people when they are participating in various athletic events in different parts of the world. Many consumers would be influenced to buy the products as they wish to be associated with the best athletes (Sheth 251). The consumers to be influenced easily are the fans of the athletes and their different sponsors. The company influenced many consumers using this strategy and the sales increased to the extent that the revenue increased from $242 million in 2001 to $1.9 billion in 2012. The consumers bought the products after seeing what the athletes were wearing, and they were influenced. Most of those who were influenced were comparing themselves with the athletes that if the athletes are trusting the branded product why no them as civilians. In addition, the athletes sponsored by the company advised the consumers to buy the product because the company had managed to innovation and control of the product.

Social comparison theory describes how people evaluate their own abilities and opinions by comparing their efforts and attitudes to those of other people such that they can improve their abilities.

  • North Face used this theory when targeting to influence more consumers. The company compared its strategies with those of the Columbia, which was ranked as the best. For example, when Columbia Sportswear changed the product positioning after getting more customers, North Face realized that this change was affecting Columbia Sportswear’s sales due to a reduction of customers. North Face responded to this by maintaining its product positioning to increase its sales influence more consumers and thereafter increase profits. The company noted various points are desiring an action to improve its strategies of persuading the consumers to select the better reference. The theory worked well for the company because after the improvements on its strategies more consumers were influenced to buy the products.

  • The theory was applied when the company compared its strategies and those of used by Columbia Sportswear. This is because North Face realized that Columbia Sportswear dominated and become popular after building its business since 2004. North Face realized that long-term strategies should be used as it will take time to be achieved but the company will succeed.

Consumer decision making is potentially important factor to be considered by the consumer before deciding to buy a product in the market. This is a process that the consumer follows step-by-step when deciding to buy and not to buy a product. In the first place, the consumer needs to recognize the need for the product. After recognition that the product is needed, the consumer will search for the product in the market (Sheth 184). In the market, there are many alternatives of the product and the consumer needs to evaluate which product he/she will buy. In the case study, North Face realized that the consumers who are the athletes, climbers, and other people needed the products like jackets, vests, and sportswear to be used in various outdoor activities. The company decided to produce these products basing their decisions on the needs of the consumers. The company was sure that the consumers would be influenced to buy the products because they needed them. The company fulfilled their target of influencing the consumer and thereafter making more sales leading to increased profits.

Situation influences are another strategy that influences the consumer behaviour. These are factors particularly on place and time of observation, which have systematic and demonstrable effects on the buyer behaviour. In the North Face case study, this strategy was used to influence consumer behaviour. The picture of President Obama dropping his children at school in the jackets influenced many people. Many consumers bought the product because they want to be associated with the most famous leader in the world.

In addition, information influence is used to influence the consumer behaviour. Various media stations display North Face products. For example, the athletes, mountain climbers and other people wearing the jackets are displayed on the television (Sheth 109). This is a kind of information situation where the consumer is getting information on the products. The brand visibility and its association with athletes and famous people influence consumer behaviour. Another form of information situation is the internet where the products were posted by the North face as a marketing strategy. Today being a digital era the company decided to use the website and the social media web pages as a marketing strategy.

Personality is the unique and dynamic organization of characteristics of a person psychologically and physically, that will influence the responses and behaviour to physical and social environment. The physical characteristics include how the products like clothing fits the person and it will influence the customer behaviour. Psychological characteristics are those, which influence the buyer after seeing or even hearing about the product. Trait theory of personality was used the case study. This theory describes how the individual responds similarly to a given characteristic overtime. In the case study;

  • The customers responded by buying the durable products which were introduced in the market. The customers would respond frequently by going for the same products in the company.

  • The customers bought the products, which would dry in forty minutes even if they are wet. Customers would go for the products every time because they can be washed and used after short time.

Diffusion of innovations is a process whereby an innovation is communicated through channels over some time among the members of a social system. This is whereby the new product in the company is communicated through a process before being released in the market. The product will be tested to make sure that it serves the customers’ needs. After it has been tested and proved, the products are released to the market for public to buy and use the product. In the case study, North Face tested each of their products before being released to the market. The company had selected a team of athletes and climbers who tested their products to make sure it fits to serve the customer needs before being released to the market.