Consumer Behavior

Consumer Behavior

Question A

Nexba is a sugarless beverage that targets people looking to lead healthier lifestyles. It therefore uses consumer behavior to target the culture, motivation, and perception of different individuals to contribute to the development of the overall brand image. The product, Nexba, contains a variety of naturally sugar free drinks. The idea is to use the new emergent culture that has led people to living healthier lifestyles, use the motivation and attitude linked to the same, and create perceptions of a product that will make life better for consumers.

Motivation represents an inner drive, an attitude to attain a specific goal. It is an arousal that is objective-directed and goal oriented. In consumer behavior, the result is a desire to consume products and the entre experience. Nexba’s sugarless products are meant to motivate the target markets to change their purchasing behavior towards consumption of sugar free and healthier products. For example, individuals involved in sports are motivated to purchase the products because of the promise of a healthier body. Similarly, motivation can target status and esteem type of needs when the behavior of a consumer is influenced by the status quo and esteem needs.

Perception denotes a process through which people receive, select, and interpret stimuli to create coherent and meaningful interpretation of the world. Perception happens when stimuli come within the range of an individual’s sensory receptor nerves. There can be deliberate or random exposure that calls for immediate and/or long term decision making. Exposure leads to attention, then interpretation, storage of content (memory), and later influences purchase and consumption decisions. Attention is influenced by individual characteristics, stimulus characteristics, and situational characteristics. The promise of a sugarless and healthier beverage creates a perception of a superior product that is better than the market alternatives. The Gestalt principles of proximity, similarity, closure, continuation, constancy, and figure and ground then lead to cognitive and affective interpretation. Attention helps in creating retail strategies for marketers, in brand positioning, media strategizing, advertising, and interpretation of these elements. From a consumer’s perspective, perception helps to shape how a consumer perceives Nexba’s products through its image and how it is presented through marketing efforts.

Nexba also targets the culture of its variant target markets. Culture is defined as a unique pattern of the shared understandings or meanings in a social group. Culture is invented and includes knowledge, myths, customs, symbols, language, rituals, art, beliefs, myths, morals, and the law among other artifacts. Dimensions of culture include the fact that it is comprehensive, acquired, unconscious, adaptive, and creates boundaries for behavior. Cultural values create norms and sanctions. Norms are the ranges of what is considered to be appropriate behavior and sanctions are penalties for the violations of said norms. The end product is the consumption patterns. Cultural values consist of widely held values and belief systems that affirm what should be desirable in an individual. Terminal and instrumental values are important elements in shaping the perception of an individual in life. Terminal values include the primary end-states or goals of an individual (happiness, pleasure, equality, security, or wisdom) while instrumental values are the basic approaches to reaching terminal values (honesty, courage, politeness, and loving), define as the means. These values are used by consumers to create critical product attributes and shape the belief and attitude regarding a brand, leading to brand selection and product class selection. Therefore, culture is very influential in creating a brand image.

Question B

Culture plays a pivotal role in molding individuals to conform to certain societal standards and expectations. It helps in the creation of an environment that includes ways of thinking, methods of interacting with other groups, and shared belief systems. Culture leads to a way of perceiving life that is unique to a certain group of people based on their values and other cultural boundaries. It creates norms and limits people to thinking alongside these norms. For Nexba, a sugar free product, culture would influence how consumers perceive it and the image it creates in an individual’s mind. For example, in the American culture and context, issues relating to diabetes and obesity have led to cultural shifts in the way people perceive sugars. The perception in such cultures now leads people to value health and to create limits and norms that are driving people towards sugar-free products.

In marketing the product, perception has a number of strategy implications. First, the modern consumer makes decisions on the basis of what they perceive as opposed to basing decisions on objective reality. The selection of stimuli from the environment by consumers is based on the interaction of motives and expectations with the said stimuli. Therefore, the communication made by a product through branding and other activities such as advertising resonates differently with different markets, groups of people and individuals, all on the basis of perception. The way a consumer perceives a product, such as the sugar-free Nexba, is likely to influence their intention to buy, loyalty, and word of mouth marketing among other important marketing implications. For example, some consumers are likely to perceive sugar-free products, e.g. Nexba, as containing zero sugars and therefore very safe for consumption. Others are likely to see the marketing as fake, owing to the taste of sugar in the product or other factors influencing their decisions. Overall, the perception created through exposure and interaction with the product is likely to affect consumer behavior.

Motivation is very important for a brand as it helps in creating sustained relations between a product/brand and the consumer. It enables a consumer to decide the brand to buy, given the traits that are desirable and those that they want to embody. Motivation aids consumers in establishing a link to a brand as they can identify with both the product and what it communicates. For example, a consumer who is focused on leading a healthier lifestyle will be attracted to Nexba’s new range of products. Beyond the true value of the product, the consumer creates a liking for the brand, which helps to project his own goals and objectives through the product they consume. The marketing implications of motivation are that they help to match a consumer to the desirable product based on their goals and objectives.