1. Type of consumer buying decision
The buying decisions, which characterize purchases at Ethel’s can be best described by limited decision making (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2011). The reason for such categorisation lies in the characteristics of the consumers behaviour, when buyers are making a purchase. Firstly, most of the Ethel’s customers are already familiar with the taste of chocolate, however, they may not be aware of the Ethel’s chocolate brand. Secondly, although consumers feel involved with a particular chocolate brand or experience, it is highly unlikely that they will put extra effort in searching further information on the alternatives and make extensive analysis prior to making the buying decision. Moreover, the level of involvement for Ethel’s chocolate houses is far from routine, since people do not purchase chocolate because of the need, but because of their desire to indulge into a completely different experience. Therefore, it is possible to suggest that consumer choices for Ethel’s chocolate are driven by limited decision-making, which incorporates both the randomness and large potential customer base of the routine decision-making, but also possess characteristics of the expensive items, which are not frequently bought, and therefore require extensive decision-making prior to the purchase.
2. Factors that influence a consumer to spend money and time at Ethel’s
Ethel’s development model in America is different from the one anywhere else in the world. In a country, where chocolate has never been a luxury item, it is very hard to cultivate the idea, that the quality of some chocolate raises it to the level of a high-class treat, which is in the centre of the best social events and small friends’ gatherings. Ethel’s Chocolate Bars also base on the cultural desire of Americans to search for the most luxurious items, which are available at a reasonable price. Social interactions in the American society dictate its own rules for the development of Ethel’s Chocolate Lounges. The consumer behaviour in this case is based on the social interaction standards, which place the atmosphere and the socializing opportunities into the centre of the decision-making. Therefore, Ethel’s Bars often become the main “place for chocolate and chitchat” due to their appealing lounging atmosphere and exquisite chocolate variety. Moreover, for most Americans Ethel’s chocolate houses are not just a place to enjoy a cup of chocolate, but also an indicator of their social status and exclusiveness.
3. Factor you think will motivate a consumer the most
Social factor has the most significant impact on the consumer decision-making process. This fact can be supported by the success, that Ethel’s could achieve in America, but not in any other country in the world. While in some regions, like Europe, chocolate has always been a luxurious product, which is most appreciated, when it is home-made and served in a fine way, in the other countries, income level and customer priorities do not allow an expansion of expensive Ethel’s products. Therefore, the fact that Ethel’s operations are located in the USA is not a coincidence, but a careful analysis of American cultural traits and the aspiration to take advantage of the “desire to have the best that money can buy”.
4. Needs the Ethel's experience appeals to most
The needs, which are appealed to by Ethel’s chocolate are not biogenic, but psychological (Solomon, 2006). No person is born with the need to satisfy his/her primary needs by a fine cup of chocolate in a fancy lounge atmosphere on a soft pink sofa. Instead, psychological needs are dictated by the cultural standards in a particular society. Therefore, people strive for pleasure and status acknowledgement through selecting the best available product offerings. Moreover, sophisticated chocolate product by Ethel appeal to the Hedonic needs of the consumer, or the need to satisfy their craving for social approval, status recognition and the desire to obtain a unique and exclusive experience (Solomon, 2006). In the case of Ethel’s Lounges, product functionality, or the actual taste and quality of the chocolate, play less significant role, than the psychological experience these bars provide.
Lamb, H. W., Hair, J. F., & McDaniel, A. (2011). Essentials of marketing. (7th ed.).
Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Solomon, M. R. (2006). Consumer behaviour: a European perspective. (3rd ed.).
Harlow, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.