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4Marketing Principles


3Introduction 1.

3Consumer decision making 2.

4Five stage consumer decision making process 3.

5Factors that may impact consumer decision making behaviour 4.

5Maslow’s hierarchy of needs 5.

6Conclusion 6.


Marketing Principles

  1. Introduction

The Coca-Cola Company in Australia started in 1917 where the rights of production were acquired by an accountant by the name Perth. In the early days marketing in Australia of the products was difficult, since the capital city markets according to the international standards were small. In 1943 the head of the Coca-Cola Company made a decision to make the product accessible to the USA together with the Australian servicemen in any location at any price. These lead to the market breakthrough of the product. By 1950, the Company was granting franchises across Australia which saw the product at one point being bottled in 30 different locations. Electronic packaging systems and better distribution systems were introduced which helped the company grow across Australia from the 1950s (Rob Donovan, 2010). Currently, Coca-Cola Australia in partnership with bottling Coca-Cola Amatil provide over 250 brands of items which include water, energy drinks, flavoured milk, sports drinks and teas. The company’s top products include Sprite, diet Coke, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola zero, powerade, pump and Goulburn among others (Journey Australia staff, 20014).

  1. Consumer decision making

According to Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel,( 2011), consumer decision making is composed of consumers selecting a particular product among many different products which serve the same purpose. These are the steps a consumer will go through in making decisions between the alternative products that are in the market place. They decisions may include the product choice, the choice of the brand, the brand options like the colours and styles, and the payment options that are available like payment using credit cards or cash (Wells, 2011).

  1. Five stage consumer decision making process

Problem identification stage is where the consumer identifies an unsatisfied need or an unsolved problem. The consumer experiences a gap among the preferred state of affairs and the existent state of affairs. Information search is second where in this step the consumer seeks market place information on different products which can solve the existing problem. In this stage, the consumer begins with internal search where he or she tries to recall a satisfactory solution (Naik, 2014). The memory may include prior experience or market exposure about a product. When the internal search fails the consumer opts for external search which involves seeking information through wide research and identification of a particular direction on which to take while doing research (Reynolds & Olson, 2001).

The third stage involves alternative evaluation of the product by evaluating the price, the quality and the style. The consumer at this stage also importantly considers the brand of the products. When the consumer identifies a satisfactory brand, he or she develops a positive attitude towards the product. The second last stage is the purchase decision. The consumer may opt to purchase an expensive or a cheaper item depending on their financial capability. The final stage is the post purchase behaviour where the consumer if satisfied with the product makes a decision to purchase the particular product in future or opts for an alternative product (Hutt, 2005). Marketers and producers rely on post purchase behaviour therefore making an effort to make customer satisfaction top in their priority.

The Coca-Cola company products in Australia go through all the above stages which lead to the consumer purchasing the products or going for the alternative products which meet their needs.

  1. Factors that may impact consumer decision making behaviour

The following are factors that have been identified by different scholars that influence decision making of the consumers. These factors include social cultural factors which are composed of the consumer’s social status, social class, preference group, culture and the family. Another factor is the psychological factors which are composed of the consumer perceptions, attitudes, the consumer beliefs and the perceptions towards the particular brand or the product. Economic factors also determine consumer decision making factors which is mostly determined by the financial status of the consumer (Armstrong, 2014). Demographic factors also determine the consumer’s decision making factors like the geographical distribution, the population, age structure, occupation, the level of education, the number of family and household and family size. The race and sex of the consumers are also factors that determine the consumer decision making process (Stanciu, 2010).

The factor which may affect the Coca-Cola company brand and products is the economic factor and status of the consumer. This is because the financial position of a consumer determines what the consumer will buy. Coca-Cola products are not a necessity and therefore if the consumer cannot afford he may choose to do without them and use a substitute product like tap water (Gary, 2014). If the consumer is financially stable he may choose to buy the Coca-Cola products for luxury use.

  1. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory has existed for many decades and it is used to describe human beings behaviour and needs The theory describes how people have well defined needs which they desire to fulfil according to different degree of emergency. Physiological need is the first stage or the basic need stage which includes food, clothing, shelter, air and sex. Physiological needs are the factors that human beings cannot exist without and therefore they must be met (Lee, 2011).

Moreover, the next step is the need of safety or security is where a person needs to feel secure or no harm can occur to him. The need of affiliation is another step where a person desires to interact with fellow human beings. The higher step in the hierarchy is the need for esteem where a person feels the need to be appreciated by people around him as a valuable person. The need for esteem may occur in a family setting or in a group in which one exists. The need for esteem may occur in an organization which the individual works in. An individual’s esteem may be fulfilled through recognition by status, sex, performance, experience, duration in which the person has been in the organization or by bonuses. The final stage of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the indispensable requirement of self-fulfilment which shows a person’s desire to use all the abilities one has to reach the supreme level that can be reached to feel satisfied and comfortable (Dima, Man , & Kot, 2010).

From the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the Coca-Cola company products and the brands can be classified in self-fulfilment or accomplishment level (Donovan, 2003). This is because these beverages are not a necessity, but are used to achieve a need of fulfilment or luxury. Consumers use these commodities to make their lives more comfortable.

  1. Conclusion

The Coca-Cola Company is a known brand in Australia and it offers a variety of brands. Consumers use the five step process in making decisions on which products to buy by comparing the Coca-Cola products to other substitute products in the market before arriving to the decision of purchasing the products offered by the Coca-Cola Company. The factor that may mostly influence decision making in buying the products is the financial status of the consumer. This is because most people may not afford them therefore, foregoing the products or opting for a cheaper option. In the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the products can be classified in the self-fulfilment level since they are just needed to make the consumers more comfortable.


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