Consumer Behaviour Essay: A Conceptual Understanding
This individual assignment aims to deepen your conceptual understanding of consumer
behaviour. It involves writing an essay about the merits of key theories, where you will
integrate theoretical ideas, illustrate with examples, and then apply your knowledge by
developing a relevant advertisement.
The Learning Objectives:
a) to gain experience in developing a coherent argument taking into account the complexities of an issue within a consumption context
b) to develop skills in integrating ideas across areas of the course
c) to develop an ad using a creative execution which provides a contextually applied solution to a business issue
d) to independently develop clear written communication skills The assignment is in two parts but will be graded as one assignment. It is outlined in two
parts to make clear what is required and where you should place your emphasis.
Part A: Essay (20%) Involvement and Learning
Write an essay discussing why involvement has been regarded as a central construct within consumer behaviour theory, and whether it remains a useful concept for marketers given today’s changing media environment. In your answer discuss how involvement is related to consumer learning. Be sure to explain how theorists claim information is acquired (learned). Your explanation will also include a discussion of operant conditioning, classical conditioning, and cognitive learning theories. Although this is an essay on involvement and learning, the integration of other relevant consumer behaviour theories (e.g. memory, attitude change, the self-concept, perception, motivation etc.) should also be included to inform your answer. Illustrate your main points by providing marketing examples.
Part B: Design an Ad (9%)
Design an original advertisement for any brand (e.g. product/ service / social cause) that you are familiar with that is designed to change an attitude for consumers with a particular involvement level (High vs Low). You must state a marketing aim for your ad to frame the problem.
Write a brief paragraph (no more than half a page) discussing firstly, the aim of your ad; and secondly, justify through integrating theory why you think this ad will be effective for the level of involvement.
Your advertisement may use visual or verbal cues, or both. This is not a test of artistic ability, but rather a test of your ability to apply your understanding of involvement. You may hand draw or use existing pictures/images. However, your ad must be original – do
PART-A: Consumer behaviour essay
Consumer behaviour: Consumer behaviour is regarded as one of the most significant aspect of strategic market planning. Consumers play an integral part as they are the one who are the end buyers and purchase the organizational services and products (Munthiu, 2009). In this consumer behaviour essay, the developed study and analysis of the consumer behaviour is highly essential for the marketers in the present global environment. This study provided in the consumer behaviour essay helps the business organizations to understand and analyse the consumer’s buying behaviour. According to the researches, the marketing professionals believe that consumers are not likely to act solely as per the economic theory but there are other numerous factors involved (Stankevich, 2017). But after predicting the consumer’s behaviour, it is examined that in the buying decisions of a customer there are involved consumer’s emotions.
Consumer involvement as a central part of consumer behaviour
As per the cognitive theory, customers are regarded as they problem solver as well as thinker. According to the cognitive framework, consumers seek products and services which can both fulfil their respective needs as well as can help in enriching their lives (Calabrese, Iandolo, Caputo and Sarno, 2018). The cognitive buyers have their key emphasis upon seeking and analysing product and service related information. The consumer is likely to perceive certain risks such as time related risk, psychological risk, economic risk, functional risk, social risk, and physical risk. These risks noted herein consumer behaviour essay are handled by the consumers while searching for alternatives and examining brand loyalty. In the cognitive theory, these risks are the core components which are undertaken by the consumers as information-processing systems (Michaelidou and Dibb, 2008).
In deep understanding of the consumer behaviour as per the cognitive theory, there is one most important aspect i.e. consumer involvement. In present scenario of consumer behaviour essay, it is noted that marketers first consider the valuable feedback of the consumers before offering services and products to them. The marketers develop the products and services and then segment their market so that they can effectively communicate the regarded sustainability accordingly. In the consumer decision making process, there are several phases. The end buyer experiences a journey from low level to high level of involvement and the buying decision becomes too complex. Such involvement while purchasing any product or service is a continuum. It is essential to have a depth understanding of extended, limited, as well as nominal decision making in respect with the various types of decision making processes (Moisescu, 2009).
The behaviour of the consumer depends upon his involvement in that particular product or service. Such behaviour keeps on changing with the change in decision and majorly it can be explained in four different categories. These four categories include firstly the complex buying behaviour, in this category the consumers are highly involved and have an in-depth knowledge of the brands. The second category is dissonance-reducing buying behaviour, in this case, the buyers do possess the information of various and are also much involved but they make decisions on the basis of risk, frequency, and product’s price (Stankevich, 2017). Where the better price and convenience are provided, customers attracted towards those brands. Next category discussed in the present consumer behaviour essay is habitual buying behaviour where there is low involvement of customers. They do not have much knowledge of other brands and thus are habitual buyers. Fourth category is the variety seeking buying behaviour, in this category, the consumers switch on different brands on a frequent basis. Customers usually have a very low level of involvement as well as high level of involvement based on the situations but they do not have knowledge of brand differences (Lindahl, 2016).
Motivation is also regard as one of the key factor that plays a vital factor in analysing the consumer behaviour and to change their involvement towards the brand. It can be understand as a psychological incentive which influences the consumers to buy any product or service. From the involvement aspect, the behaviour of the consumer is highly impacted by several external and internal motivation factors (Webb, Soutar, Mazzarol and Saldaris, 2013). For example, P&G have its key focus on increasing the motivation of its customers through inclusion and diversity and also through motivation. With such intrinsic factors, there is always high level of customer involvement. In initiatives like 'Shisha', the company had promoted education of underprivileged children with sale of every product, customers can have their involvement in the fulfilment of the social cause and so their loyalty also enhances towards this brand.
Another key theory illustrated herein consumer behaviour essay is the change in the attitude, perception, and beliefs of its customers. As per the consumer behaviour theory, as per the attitude factor, the customers usually create a negative or a positive image in their mind of a specific brand by evaluating the idea, culture, activities, and other potential aspects of the brand. It makes a consumer likely to get involved with the brand through its attitude and beliefs (Bohner and Dickel, 2011). This is a difficult factor for any brand to analyse and measure but for this the brands create hypothetical situations. To change the attitude and perception of the customers to have a higher involvement from their ends, the brands take use of several strategies. For example, in present scenario, the companies take use of social media platforms in order to have a persuasive communication with its customers (Cohen, Prayag and Moital, 2014). This helps the customers to respond with their views for the brand. Such platforms to develop a connection with its customer certainly help in improving their involvement (Bohner and Dickel, 2011).
Self-concept is one major factor outlined in this segment of consumer behaviour essay that impacts the purchasing decisions of a buyer. The buyer relates himself with the brand and thinks how their self-image and self-esteem would be perceived by other people if they chose a particular brand. Such attitude brings a major change in the customer's involvement level (Webb, Soutar, Mazzarol and Saldaris, 2013). For example, a brand that plays a significant role in uplifting awareness towards social issues and contributing towards the development of the society are likely to have a better and loyal customer base with a high level of involvement. Therefore, it is essential for the brands to work upon analysing the behaviour of the consumers so that they can have a stronger involvement of their customers (Cohen, Prayag and Moital, 2014).
In global business market, it is significant to have a higher level of customer involvement so that they can widely differentiate the brands. The better understanding of the brand’s loyalty a customer would have, longer would be the association between them. Thus, as per the cognitive theory based on the aspects of consumer decision making, the marketers are required to work upon developing campaigns which can help in enhancing the level of involvement of the customers and so the brand’s visibility and recognition in the consumer market. In this consumer behaviour essay, it is also concluded that the various factors such as motivation, attitude change, self-concept, and perception play a vital role in influencing the consumers and have a change in their involvement level with the brand.
PART-B: Design an Ad
The primary aim behind designing this ad in the present context of consumer behaviour essay is to integrate the social cause of P&G of ‘Inclusion & Diversity’ in its products. This ad helps raising the awareness of the customers for supporting the social cause of higher level of diversity and inclusion by do not differentiating people based on various social factors. This ad presented in the above section of consumer behaviour essay would play an effective role in improving the involvement level of the customers from low to high as the customers would not only share their respective stories but can help support the cause. Thus, such initiative would help in brand awareness among the consumers. P&G have its key focus on increasing the motivation of its customers through inclusion and diversity. With such advertisement, there will be a high level of customer involvement. The buyers would not only buy the products for fulfilling their needs but also supporting a cause and performing their part in it.
Bohner, G., & Dickel, N. (2011). Attitudes and attitude change. consumer behaviour essay Annual review of psychology, 62, 391-417.
Calabrese, M., Iandolo, F., Caputo, F., & Sarno, D. (2018). From mechanical to cognitive view: The changes of decision making in business environment. In Social Dynamics in a Systems Perspective (pp. 223-240). Springer, Cham.
Cohen, S. A., Prayag, G., & Moital, M. (2014). Consumer behaviour in tourism: Concepts, influences and opportunities. Current issues in Tourism, 17(10), 872-909.
Lindahl, O. (2016). From exposure to purchase–Understanding the interaction of affect and cognition in consumer decision making (Master's thesis, Hanken School of Economics)
Michaelidou, N., & Dibb, S. (2008). Consumer involvement: a new perspective. The Marketing Review, 8(1), 83-99.
Moisescu, O. I. (2009). THE IMPORTANCE OF BRAND AWARENESS IN CONSUMERS’BUYING DECISION AND PERCEIVED RISK ASSESSMENT. Management & Marketing-Craiova, (1), 103-110.
Munthiu, M. C. (2009). The Buying Decision Process and Types of Buying Decision Behavior. Sibiu Alma Mater University Journals. Series A. Economic Sciences, 2(4), 27-33.
Sharma, M. K. (2014). The impact on consumer buying behaviour: Cognitive dissonance. Global Journal of Finance and Management, 6(9), 833-840.
Stankevich, A. (2017). Explaining the consumer decision-making process: critical literature review. Journal of.
Webb, D., Soutar, G. N., Mazzarol, T., & Saldaris, P. (2013). Self-determination theory and consumer behavioural change: Evidence from a household energy-saving behaviour study. Consumer behaviour essay Journal of Environmental Psychology, 35, 59-66.