Consumer Buying Behavior
A good marketing plan is that which reflects the marketer’s knowledge of the market. To understand a product’s market well, one must understand his consumers well. This entails a thorough understanding of consumer behavior and central to this is how the consumer evaluates the product in question with respect to available alternatives. In purchasing a notebook computer, the consumer will consider a number of factors and attempt to relate these factors and qualities to those found in the alternative products. The attributes on which the consumer will often evaluate the product will depend on the intended use of the product in question. In the case of a computer notebook, consumers will look at such attributes as the computer memory which is very critical to the uses of such computers. It is therefore tied to the level of importance the consumer attaches to the computer.
When the consumer as identified the most important attributes, they will evaluate the alternatives to the product on the basis of these alternatives. The consumer would award scores to the product depending on the strengths of the different attributes identified for evaluation. To get the scores, the importance weight is multiplied by the score awarded on the attribute. The sum of the weighted score then determines the ultimate score of the brand. Taking the figures shown in the table bellow to be the scores with respect to a note book computer relative to those of alternative A, B and C, the scores can be calculated as shown below:
The score for brand A will be
A= (0.2X4) + (.5x 6) + (.1×5)+(.2x4)= .8 + 3 + .5+ .5+.8= 5.6
The scores for products B and C will be calculated as follows:
Score for product B
The score for product C
Given the scores above, the consumers would most likely choose brand C over brand A because it ranks higher in terms of the scores as shown.
This method can be used to evaluate alternative products provided that the most important attributes have been identified. It is these attributes that will be rated in terms of scores and used to determine the most suitable alternative. There are however other methods that consumers can resort to when it comes to the evaluation of alternative products when making decisions. These methods revolve around the evaluation of performance, safety and quality of the products but often include cost considerations as well.