Fresh graduates often think abouttraveling to somewhere or take a gap year to do volunteer work before acceptinga job offer after graduation. A graduate realizes that he needs a new backpackthat is bigger and have durable base allowing him to live outside for a month.
Hemay think about a new car or a scooter to commute when he come back from thejourney. Recognizing a need simply happens when consumers are in need ofsomething such as a cup of coffee in the morning to stay alert, a durable backpackto travel and a vehicle for communication. Beyond needs recognized, there areother needs people will not know until other people remind them. Have you everthought of the reason why Pepsi, Powerade, and other beverage manufacturersplace the machines in gymnasiums so people can see them during an exhausting exercise?Marketers purposely show customers how their products and service add value andfulfill their needs and wants.
Stage 2. Search for Information For cheap products such as milk andbread, consumers may simply buy them immediately when they notice the need.Nevertheless, if a consumer is upgrading to a better and more expensive car orbuy it for the first time, he may put more effort into the evaluation process.Perhaps he has experience driving cars, and he knows what he likes and dislikesabout certain features or functions. Or there is a specific high-end brand thathe always wants to possess one. This is the great position that every brandstrives for in which the pre-purchase research stage is restrained, andconsumers simply purchase the brand.
If buyers do not acquire enoughinformation to make the final decision, they may go online to gather moreinformation from biased sources, such as advertisements, brochures, companyWebsites, and salesman. And/or they will get further independent informationfrom other channels, such as comments, reviews of other consumers, productratings, buying tips, and price information or ask opinions/experience ofpeople in their social circle. Stage 3.
Product Evaluation Apparently, there are hundreds ofbrands for backpacks and cars available on the market. It is impossible tocheck and compare all available choices. The fact that marketing professionalsknow that bombard customers with too many options will overwhelm them and theywill ultimately purchase nothing. As a result, the option heuristics will be applied to shortenthe solving problem process byfinding practical ways of dealing with them or learning from past experience.In other words, it provides consumers shortcuts in the decision-making process.Consumers may also construct a set of evaluative standards to cut off theoptions that do not meet their standards. Brands that meet the initialstandards of consumers before they move to the evaluation stage will show up intheir mind.
The set of evaluative standards are specificthings that are vital to buyers e.g., such as the price, size, functions, andcolor. Some attributes are more impactful than others that they are willing to giveup. However, they must determine the most important characteristics that meet theircriteria. Marketing professionals attempt topersuade their customers the evaluative standards considered present theoutstanding aspects of their products. For instance, the color and functions ofthe backpack is more important than its size and durability. Brands mayconstantly remind their customers about their key selling features throughmarketing communication mix.
Stage 4. Product Choice andPurchase Low-involved decisions are made relativelyvery quick, it starts with the need recognition and ends with the productpurchase. For high-involvement decisions, consumers must go through theevaluation stage in which different alternatives are evaluated and comparedagainst each other. Some consumers may put more weigh on the product availabilityand the payment method, and use them to evaluate the products.
The shirt at storeM is cheaper than N, but M is located in a shopping mall while N is storelocated on way to work, and they are too busy to go to the mall. This stagewill involve more decisions if they are high-involved goods. For instance, if aconsumer is buying an iPhone X, she may go to an official Apple Store with theguaranteed warranty service from Apple rather than a local unauthorizedelectrical device store which offers a lower price. Stage 5. Post-purchase Use andEvaluation At this stage, consumers will know ifthe product they purchased is what it was supposed to be. If it is, theysatisfy with what they bought and are likely to generate advocacy for thebrand. If it is not, the post-purchase dissonance (buyer’s remorse) is verylikely to occur. Obviously, dissonance happens if a product or service does notperform exactly like what they are advertised.
Attractive advertisements will pushconsumer’s expectations go beyond what the product can really offers.Dissonance often occurs with relatively expensive products that are onlypurchased on occasion. Consumers who suffer dissonance often wishthat they should have spent more time searching for more independentinformation, or waited to get a better deal, spend that money on something elseuseful. When this occurs, this is the problem for the sellers and may createadverse effect for the brand.
Consumers may end the relationship with the brandby stopping buying anything from that brand again. Even worse, consumers maycreate bad word-of-mouth by telling everyone how terrible the product was. Firms launch many programs to avoidbuyer’s remorse.
For relatively inexpensive items, companies may provide amoney back warranty, or they may inspire their salesman to compliment theircustomers for their choices. For bigger items, companies try to appear as muchhelpful as possible, e.g., quality guaranteed program, guideline booklets, atoll-free hotline to call when you encounter problems or a forum with severaladmins who are ready to answer all of customer’s questions.
Companies facilitate themselves insatisfying customers by purposely lowering customer’s expectations. Servicefirms such as restaurants often apply this technique. Consumers are moresatisfied if they are told that their table will be ready in 45 minutes, butthey are seat in 30 minutes. Likewise, if the waitress tells consumers that theirmeal will be finished in 20 minutes, yet consumers have to wait for 10 minutes,they will perceive that the service is quick and satisfied with it. Stage 6. Disposal of the Product Previously, nobody paid attention tothe disposing process of products, so long as people purchased them. Nowadays,it is changed.
The way products are disposed has become extremely vital topeople and the community. Products which are hard to self-destruct such aselectrical devices (computers and batteries) have been concerned most becausetheir chemicals damage the ground. Consumers and firms have become aware ofthis problematic situation. Take Crystal Light, it offers consumers theconcentrated form that consumers manually add water to make it drinkable. Hence,consumers no longer need to purchase and discard of the plastic bottle. Windexis another example of this practice. Consumers can buy the concentrate and addwater whenever they are run out of window cleaner.
Or in some supermarket suchas some supermarkets that now sell self-destruct shopping bags rather than usingand dispose of plastic bags. Companies with salesrevenue depends on the durability of their products. In other words, if theirproducts are too good, consumers will rarely replace them with newer versions.Therefore, these companies are more concerned about planned obsolescenceinstead of conservation.
Planned obsolescence is a policy of manufacturingconsumer goods that quickly become obsolete and need to be replaced. This canbe achieved by constant updates in design, termination of the supply of spareparts, and/or the use of non-durable materials. This can be seen as a strategicgoal of the company to boost sales by encouraging consumers to upgrade theirproducts. Constant innovation in design or functions, and release of new itemskeep themselves attractive in the eyes of consumers, and remind the marketplaceabout their existence. Take Google, the release of Google Pixel smartphone isthe dead announcement for Google Nexus generation. The approximate length of support or the end-of-life(EOL) dates were set for all of Nexus devices.
Google released new update ofAndroid e.g., version 7.0 Nougat and version 8.0 Oreo while Nexus devices areallowed to update to version 6.0 Marshmallow, this will lead to theincompatibility with the older software versions. Another obvious example ofplanned obsolescence is Microsoft Office.
Formatting functions in MS 2010 aredifferent from that of MS forced to upgrade the present software version