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Comparison of theories relating to consumer behaviour

Consumer behaviour is an analysis of the behaviour of people and homes who buy goods and services for personal use". (Elliot, et al 2010 pp. 103) Make Fishbein's Theory of Reasoned Action areas that "a consumer's consumption behaviour depends upon the individual's motive to execute the behaviour and that this behavior is a combination of the consumer's frame of mind and subjective norm. " (Abraham and Sheeran, 2003, pp. 271). Adapting this theory demonstrates a key facet for marketers is to interpret consumer behaviour, that can be achieved by understanding and adapting the basics of consumers' needs, motivations and goals Over the years of research, interpreting consumer behavior has improved from a simple hierarchal process to varying theories on communal constructs which yield consumption behaviour. The continuing variety of research in modern society has established that consumption behaviour is a complex marketing relationship which is often influenced by mental health, biological and social influences. Recognising these affects and their results provides marketers with the opportunity of surviving and growing in a highlight competitive market as seen through Commonwealth Bank or investment company and Apple gadgets.

Consumer Needs

A need can be categorized as a required daily need (Elliot, et al 2010). The need for a need is the fact it starts the chain reaction which results in usage behaviour. Consumption behaviour can be captured through steps within the consumer decision making model as stated by Gordon (2004). The initial step of this model is that of problem recognition. That's where a consumer, recognises a void exists in relation to an individual need or want whether in the required state or real point out. Gordon (2004) shows that a desired state identifies the manner where a person anticipates a need to be achieved, whereas a genuine status is a reflection of the true approach that has been taken to fulfill the current need.

Regardless of the industry, each maker aims to satisfy the needs of the consumer. As consumer needs vary between individuals, experts have found it difficult to make a link between different needs of the consumer and the effect it relays on utilization behaviour. A good example of providing such a web link is visible in Maslow's hierarchy of needs as mentioned in Elliot, et al (2010). This theory postulates that individual needs which may have yet to be satisfied impact consumption behavior, whether these needs be "physical or biological". In coherence to Maslow's theory, Cherrier and Murray (2004) demonstrate that regardless of differing ethnical and social ideals, all consumers try to complete these needs as a way to achieve self applied actualization. Green and Burke (2007) with regards to Maslow's theory, emphasise that self applied actualization is the best need that may be satisfied by a person. This notion is visible when analyzing the service of Commonwealth Bank or investment company. Over the years of its living, Commonwealth Bank has built up a reputation where the organisation classified customer service its main priority. Establishing a mission statement as a result, allows consumers to feel as though their specific needs will be attended to and that they will in the end reach an even of self actualization. The unwavering commitment and success of Commonwealth Bank in the past helps the consumer's values that these needs will be satisfied.

However, Pepper, et al (2009) demonstrates that the technique where individuals attempt to gratify their needs is closely inspired by societal values and the classification of public norms. Pepper, et al (2009) further state governments that the influence of sociable norms creates discord between individual interests and social hobbies. This ideology can be shown upon the products of Apple gadgets. The Apple trend is dominating the electronic digital industry in a way which reflects the movements and sociable norms of modern culture. Whilst there were several complex problems reported with each product released by Apple, this tendency appeal is one which has proven to be heavily influential as many consumers are purchasing the Apple range, disregarding the fact that there are other products in the marketplace, which may satisfy individual needs a higher level. Such an analysis demonstrates that brands which were categorised as the sociable norm, provide an influential effect on that of the buyer, and the manner where they consume something as a way to satisfy their needs.

Consumer Motivation

Elliot (2010) identifies motivation as the internal driving drive that sparks an individual to fulfill an unfulfilled need. Motivation occurs when the intensity of gratifying a need significantly increases forcing the given individual to rectify this personal disequilibrium. In conjunction, Maslow's hierarchy of needs illustrates the way in which where individuals try to satisfy their pending needs. Green and Burke (2007) parallel Maslow's idea with the ideology that once needs have been satisfied, drive no longer is out there. This immediately establishes the direct relationship between the two factors. Determination occurs therefore of any need and is also not much longer present once a need has been fulfilled.

The direct romance between consumer needs and motivations highlights the value of producers being aware of a consumer's motivation. Identifying the primary motivation enables the developer to provide the consumer with appropriate information which might source their satisfaction in a competitive software industry (Offer, et al 2007). Through recommendation of Maslow's theory, Pincus (2004) helps this promise as he demonstrates that individuals are motivated in every levels of Maslow's theory. However, the prevailing determination is dependant after which lower need in the hierarchy has been fulfilled (Pincus 2004). This ideology exists in the service of the Commonwealth Lender. As the Commonwealth Loan company caters for a broad customer bottom part, it is critical for the service to invoke a variety of motivations that stem from different cultures, genders and era as a way to persuade and attract customers to the service (McEachern and Warnaby, 2008). The high standard of customer service present within the Commonwealth Loan company establishes strong human relationships between your service and consumer. Therefore triggers the emotions of the buyer as the service recognizes their needs and therefore can further their inspiration. A recently available article in the Sydney Morning Herald "Customer Warm to the best Four" shows the upsurge in customer satisfaction with respect to the Commonwealth Loan provider which has been caused through successful motivational appeal. This service shows the need in figuring out the direct relationship between needs and motivations as both factors influence a consumer's consumption behaviour.

As previously mentioned, Offer, et al (2007), highlights the differing motivations fuelled by consumers. Rather than adapting to all varieties of motivations, Apple electronics has focused on two main types - brand and the function of the product. In coherence with the cultural norms that affect the needs of consumers, Apple has generated a positive psychological connection with the brand which causes consumers to submit to the image that they have created. This interpersonal influence sparks the determination of the consumer and provides Apple gadgets success in comparison to other competitors in the marketplace as consumers thrive to attain the status associated with the Apple image. Furthermore to image, the give attention to product functionality is accessible for the demographic who are not affiliated with public norms. These consumers can still reap the benefits of purchasing Apple products even though the spark for their motivation may vary than others. As this product's consumer base is growing, producers may need to develop the types of motivations that they appeal to, to be able to continually meet both new and current consumers. Such an expansion will regularly enable Apple gadgets to make it through and grow available on the market as factors which influence consumption behaviour continue being catered for.

Consumer Goals

Many theorists have argued that goals are increasingly becoming the primary influencer in utilization behaviour. A goal is a measureable final result which can contain one or more objectives, and is also achieved within a specific time frame, dependant on the individual. Mitchel and Zhang (2005) show that goals are cognitive key points which reflect the inner mother nature of an individual. In turn, it can be identified, that inspiration must be achieved for a goal to progress and eventually be accomplished, thus, demonstrating the direct relationship between the two factors.

A key facet to indentifying goals is establishing whether or not these goals are mindful or non mindful (Bargh 2002). A conscious goal is one where the consumer is aware of what they are attaining and what aspects in their environment are influencing their decision. On the other hand, and unconscious goal is one which stems from individual beliefs and beliefs that have often been passed down from generations and which affect a consumer's life, though, they may not be full aware of it. Huge amounts of research have proven the usage decisions created by individuals are in fact inspired by factors that are anonymous to the individuals. In addition, researchers have discovered that the goals made with a consumer contain a mix of both mindful and nonconscious aspects (Roberts and Pirog, 2004). Paralleling this theory, Abraham and Sheeran (2003) emphasises the main element cognitive aspect promotes goals setting up, hence further demonstrating the direct relationship that prevails within drive and goal setting and obtaining. Commonwealth Loan company is a example of a service which has recognized the concept of conscious and nonconscious goals within a consumer and the cognitive factors that energize a consumer. As previously discussed, Commonwealth bank or investment company successful attend to the motivation aspect of their consumers through guaranteeing high standard of customer service, which attends to all or any types of culture, genders and age range. Understanding such a wide demographic allows the service to recognize with the nonconscious areas of consumer goals. These aspects include varying beliefs, values, behaviour and needs, all which influence a consumer in some form or another. Furthermore, Commonwealth Standard bank thrives to provide their consumers with the best resources and technology. This is obvious through the lifetime of Commonwealth Bank's large IT basic, and implementation of smarter sourcing. Accommodating consumers with facilities such as internet bank and ATM's is vital as individuals are now aware that the service is equipped with the best technology or resources required to satisfy their all their goals. Hence forcing consumers to constantly use this service as opposed to others that may be within the competitive market.

Abraham and Sheeran (2003) found the often consumers fail to act on their intentions or improve their goals because of their external environment, creating goal conflict that occurs. This is obvious in the merchandise produced by Apple consumer electronics. Whilst there are extensive consumers who've made a mindful goal to acquire and Apple product, there are extensive who've not consciously made this decision, but are pressured to because of the nonconscious goals. As mentioned, this is due to the dominating image that is created by Apple electronics. The surrounding environment in society is heavily inspired by brands and image which affects consumer values and beliefs. When it comes to Apple, many consumers have made a mindful goal to purchase an electric, however, research has shown, that such a consumer purchases an Apple product over another electric, as there are swayed by nonconscious goals which can be inspired by current surroundings. This shows the direct link between inspiration and goals as the brand and image inspiration pursued by Apple, has effectively compelled their consumer to get a produce and therefore, provide Apple with growth and success in the competitive market.


Through the varying theories which may have been applied and the conversation of products and services, it could be seen that consumer behavior is a intricate relationship which depends upon a combination of factors. Fishbein and Maslow's theories form a foundation for marketers to interpret and understand the immediate and interdependent marriage between consumer needs, goals and motivations. Further research with regards to consumer behaviour demonstrates the various influences that manipulate a person's decision as they impact these three main factors. The differing public, biological and physiological affects which have been illustrated highlight the manner in which consumers can operate with regards to conscious and nonconscious decisions. Ultimately in the modern day society that people are in a consumer's decision to acquire something or use a service is heavily inspired by marketing. Therefore, responsibility rests after marketers to promote a communal environment and positive image, that may alter and persuade the intake behaviour or modern culture.

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