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Research Paperof your consumer experiences in terms of the literature in the field.

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Consumer Decision Making – Consumer experiences

Name of the unit

Name of the unit coordinator

Consumer Behavior

Is the process involved in an individual’s way of making decision regarding how to spend their available resources such as time, effort, and money on items that are related to consumption (Schiffman and Kanuk, 1997). It is the process and activities that people engage in while in search of, selection, purchasing, using, evaluation, as well as the disposing of products and services in efforts to satisfy their desires and needs (Solomon, 1996). This usually involves the decision process that precede and follows the actions consumers involve involved themselves in (Engel, Blackwell & Miniard, 1995, p.4). To better understand consumers together with their actions in the market economy, researchers have developed a range of conceptual models in this field.

This report aims at relating the models to personal experiences so as to show the correlation between the primary ideas and the models that underpin the subject which will be sport consumer behavior. In so doing, it will be possible to articulate how they can be used in explaining particular circumstances in consumer behavior. Consumer behavior remains one of the most researched field of study in the tourism and marketing fields and the terms used to describe this field of inquiry include tourist behavior and travel behavior.

Background of sport consumer behavior

There exists no established definition of sport consumer behavior but we can term Sport consumer behavior as the process through which individuals go out to select, purchase, utilize/use, and ultimately dispose of sport and sport event products and services in efforts to satisfy their needs and utilize the benefits. According to Funk, Mahony, and Havitz (2003), sport consumer behavior represents a consumer behavior that is relative to the services and products that are offered in sport and leisure industry. In their critique to consumer behavior, they outlined three general components in terms of sport event behavior; the first one being travel to participate in a sport event activity, the second as travel to watch a sport event activity, and the third being visiting a sporting attraction ( Gibson, 2003 ).

The process that emanates from the above components is created by a desire to seek an experience of sport consumption which and the end results in providing benefits as well as in the satisfaction of needs. Form the definition of sport consumer behavior, this process is viewed as a holistic one which describes how individuals end up making decisions on how to spend the available resources of money and time on sport and event consumption. In reference to the time resources, time resources is a representation of the time one devotes to watching a live event either in person or via the television, participation in sport competitions or the involvement fantasy league.

The time one devotes to sport events and any related consumption activities has no isolation from each other and it may include the interaction several sport and non-sport activities. Let’s take for instance a professional football fan, the fan can have an impact on the consumption of other sports spectators. The fan may be highly involved in home sport related decoration, food and dining, movies, education, the clothing and even the office supplies. The purchases is often with the committed bikers, the rock climbers as well as the diehard sport fans.

Moreover, there is the money resource factor that reflects the financial commitment for the actual sport consumption activities. The sport consumer behaviours in these kind of activities include the ticket purchasing to a sporting event, acquiring membership to clubs, the travelling to a sporting event, or even sport equipment. Consumers have to take into consideration the decisions that are related to finance and the budgetary process, this has everything to do with the financial position of the individual which again will impact on the ability of the individual to engage in sport as well as any sport related activities.

The five stage model in explaining sport consumer behavior

While using the five-stage consumer decision making process model, we find that the consumer is viewed as a problem solver as well as an information processor who has an ability to engage in mental processes to evaluate alternative brands and be able to be in a position to determine the degree to which they are in a position to satisfy needs or the motives. This five-step model is more or less a form of cognitive learning (Hawkins et al., 2001).

The five stage model

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Needs Recognition

Information search

Alternative evaluation

Purchase decision

Post-purchase evaluation

Needs recognition

This marks the first step in consumer decision making process. It is what occurs when the consumer perceives a need and by this, they get a motivation to enter into a decision making process in order to resolve the felt need (Hawkins et al., 2001). Marketers are tasked with the duty to know the specific needs that consumer are attempting to satisfy and how they translate that into a purchase criteria. With this information marketers are in a position to accurately portray these needs in their promotional messages and in an appropriate location.

The need recognition is caused by the difference in pattern that lies in the consumer’s ideal state and the actual state. Then with this they form a goal which maybe the attainment of a more positive situation from example, a negative situation wishing to get to a neutral situation. The causes of the need recognition maybe both internal and external factors. For example, a sports fan may be compelled to do a purchase by the unveiling of new products for the team they support during the start of a new season. This will mean that they need to do a purchase so as to be update with the team’s attire is paramount (Swait, 2001).

This stage is critical for it influences the consumer’s decision on the remaining processes. It is usually from the way the consumer perceives a given purchase situation and from that becomes motivated to resolve it. Let’s take for instance buying the team jersey for the team he/she supports, the end of a season usually means a change to the new season uniform and this means that the fan is obliged to move with time. This will ultimately force me as a fan to acquire the new kit. Also being the champions of that given season will prompt me to buy the winning color kits as a memory for the title the team won.

The travel consumer behavior is also determined by several things. One of them being the team the team is meeting as well as the history of their competitiveness. A weaker team may not have me travel for a sports event but the stronger teams will. I want to be part of the so called “derby” and see minute for minute of how events on the pitch unfold. Motivation is an underlying factor that goes hand in hand with this stage. Motivation relates to the consumer desire to achieve certain outcome. For instance, while trying to make a decision on making a jersey purchase the consumer’s motivation is affected by their financial position or time constraints.

Information search

This follows as the second stage of consumer decision making process. After the consumer has perceived a need to satisfy, they begin searching for information so as to be able to make the best decision (Kotler, 2000). This means searching information on past experiences with the team, what has happened when I followed the team for the away matches will affect the way product brand and how much it will cost to travel throughout the season with the team. Financial situation will play a great role on this as well the time it will take to get there and return. For this reason, I embark on understanding the team schedule and the matches it is bound to play other teams, to forgetting the scheduled time on the roasters so as to decide which of the season’s matches I will spectate in the stadiums and those that I will catch on a TV live coverage.

As I did my research, an internal factor which I agree with to have an effect on me in the information search and which I also found important was the consumer perception factor. This has everything to do with how I perceive the team’s performance at home and away. Perception is defined as the process through which individuals selects, organize and interpret stimuli into meaningful picture of the world. It is highly associated with the stage of information gathering in the consumer decision process for being the process of gathering information through the senses, i.e. hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, tasting and sensing. The information available regarding the team’s performances and the side events that take place at certain competition will create a given perception which influences my decision regarding various things.

Alternative evaluation

The consumer moves to alternative evaluation after acquiring information in the information search. Here, the consumer compares the various brands identified as having the capability of solving the need (Churchill & Peter, 1998). As a sport spectator, it is difficult to change your mind for another sports event besides the team one supports. I find it difficult to follow any other sporting even when the team I support is out there playing. This alternative information may not apply here. Nevertheless, the sport products for purchase is something that needs information search to be up-to-date with any special offers and discounts that may be offered on the available stock. To know about search happenings, I have to be abreast with information.

Product choice

The consumer here has recognized a need and gone out to do research regarding the products available and also the available alternatives and now ready to make a purchase which is the actual buying of a given product. For a sport consumer, this stage may involve the decision on which sport to get total involvement on and register as a member for the club. Many factors will evoke the decision to pay for this sport club among them the cost of registration, club performance and the internal factor of personal attitude towards the sport not forgetting what the friends and the family support (Wakefield, & Sloan 1995 ).

Post Purchase Evaluation

The customer at this point seeks for reasons to continue the support on the purchase decision that they made so that they can make a repeat purchase. This may not apply for the sport spectator who is a stunt follower/supporter of a given club since when they choose the club over the rest it was regardless of what happens in the future. I personally find it difficult to leave the club that I support even when they are on a losing streak for that’s what sport is all about. Sometime my team will win while other times it loses.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The marketing implication that the first stage has is that marketers need to make options attractive do that the consumers can learn about their product such as information on the internet. For other products free trial would motivate them more before they can commit to the purchase. From the second stage, perception is an aspect that marketers need in the formulation of a communication strategy (Engel, 1995). The information that they give the sport spectators should create a desirable perception so as to have me a a sport consumer remain with the team throughout the season. Marketers should repeat their advertisement to ensure that messages get through the consumer so that they can remember them. In the formulation of communication strategies, marketers are interested in the following processes as part of perception; how consumers sense external information, how they attend to various sources of information, how this information is interpreted and given meaning, how the information is retained. Perception is highly dependent on internal factors such as experiences, person’s beliefs, needs, moods, and expectations. As mentioned in the definition, stimulus such as color, size, and intensity influence perception.

For the stage on alternative information search, the marketers are tasked with making the goal of advertising which is achievable through increasing the likelihood that their brand will be included in the evoked set and also be considered in the alternative evaluation (Hawkins et al., 2001). There are subjective attributes a consumer will look into and that is the image or the style. This has to do with how fashionable the various products that are associated with the team are, this will make one go for the best style attired. The marketers here are tasked with ensuring that their clothing line has what the market is demanding to satisfy the consumer need.


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