The automobile industry has grown over the last decade with every consumer needing to own a vehicle to save on time and increase income. This trend has resulted in many manufacturers coming up with various models designed to satisfy diverse tastes. The brand that is selected in this presentation is Mercedes and it will be analysed next to its competitors which are Audi, BMW, and Volvo. The analysis will be about the attributes about consumers who decide on which model they will purchase and not the other. The fishbein model of attitude determination will be incorporated in this presentation to assist in analysing the attitude scores after a survey of customers.
Attributes Customers use in assessing Mercedes
There are a number of attributes that make customers look to purchase Mercedes brand as opposed to the other ones. The top most attribute is social-economic status. In this attribute, customers want a vehicle that is linked to high economic status and affluence. Therefore, those customers who have reached a certain stage in life where they want to show their affluence, the best option is the Mercedes brand. The specific brand that has been manufactured by Mercedes to cater to the affluence category is the CL-class luxury coupe and the S-class luxury saloon produced in 2011.
The other attribute is multipurpose functions, where consumers want a brand that will provide multiple functions such as transportation, business vehicle, sports vehicle, luxury, and family. This has led to Mercedes producing a category satisfying that need; Viano multipurpose vehicle, and the B-class.
Stability/safety and longevity is also an attribute customers look for in Mercedes. Customers want a car that will have minimum service in the garage and consumes less fuel. While Mercedes has always performed excellently in the category of stability, it has been performing poorly in fuel consumption. However, brands such as the B-class and the E-class have been manufactured for these purposes on top of the luxury image it provides.
Lastly, the loyalty of the company to customers is an attribute looked by customers. The brand has been seen to offer excellent after sale services, advisory services, and great discounts for loyal customers. Their frequent research on negative trends in their brands make them able to correct any faults in their brands. For instance, in the nineties, the brand had a reputation of low quality cars. They rectified the situation since 2000 and in 2008 their quality was among the top three brands making the company obtain the platinum award of quality.
Survey Analysis of the four brands of vehicles
The questions that target customers were asked shown in the appendix section. 10 target consumers were given the survey to fill them and then four weeks later filled again after purchasing a vehicle brand. The survey was best analysed by the fishbein model to determine the attitudes of consumers on the models. According to the model the sum of the components of attitudes towards a brand are analysed (Fishbein and Ajzen 97). The two attitude components are individual evaluation of salient beliefs (x), and the strength of each belief (y). The summation of x and y results in attitude (A). This is summarized by:
- A= x+y where A= attitude, x= is salient beliefs, y= strength of beliefs
- Hence the results are BMW scored an average of 4.5 on design, 4.5 on safety, 5 on fuel consumption, and 4 on services. Therefore the A= 18
- Mercedes scored 5 in design, 3.3 safety, 1.3 in fuel consumption, and 2.67 in service giving an Attitude of 12.27
- Audi scored 2.5 in design, 4 in safety, 4.5 in fuel consumption, and 1 in services giving an Attitude of 12
- Volvo had a design score of 2, 4 in safety, 2 in fuel consumption, and 2 in services giving an attitude of 10
According to the survey Mercedes ranked second after BMW. Audi followed Mercedes with Volvo coming third. Mercedes was marked as a favourite amongst the wealthy hence a reason why BMW beat it at this rank as it is seen to be more inclusive of every customer. However, majority of females associated with Mercedes according to the first question in the survey. In the second question Mercedes scored the second highest mark to the BMW in terms of the length they used the car. Of the customers who chose Mercedes, their reason was that it represented luxury and affluence. The most attractive feature about Mercedes that was answered was its design and quality. The quality provides for minimum time in garages and service stations. The final question showed that Mercedes ranked second with only leading in design and quality category.
Relationship between attitude scores and purchase behaviour
According to the fishbein model, attitude is directly related to the purchase behaviour (Fishbein and Ajzen 98). This is related through summed up the attitude with the product of social normal beliefs and motivation to comply to come up with an index called behavioural intent (See equation below).
- BI=A+ SNB(MC); BI=behavioural intent, MC= motivation to comply, and SNB=social norms belief
Note that the behavioural intent is the purchase behaviour and that the higher the attitude score of a brand, the higher the behavioural intent/ purchase behaviour. Higher score signifies the highest probability of a customer to purchase a brand. From our survey, the BI of Mercedes was behind that of BMW. Volvo’s BI was the lowest. This shows that despite Mercedes attracting the wealthy consumers, it was a less popular brand compared to BMW.
Fishbein, Martin, & Icek, Ajzen. Predicting and Changing behaviour. New York: Taylor & Francis. 2010. Print. : 90-106
Appendix: Survey Questions