Impacts of Consumer Needs on Purchasing Habits
The needs of individual product consumers affect the decision to purchase a product or not. In most cases, consumers would not desire to purchase what they do not need or had not planned for. To the business manager, such impacts on consumer behaviors call for an understanding of what the consumer needs, manufacturing products or aligning services to consumer needs and determining the target market for a company’s products. Amaldoss and Jain (2002) reported that the needs of consumers such as those for conformity and exclusivity will motivate them towards making specific purchase decisions. Consumers who have a strong desire to be unique or to conform to social structure will purchase products because they give the impression of uniqueness and for social acceptance respectively. Durmaz (2014) described social factors that affect consumer purchase trends and one of the factors was mentioned to be motivation. While discussing the impacts of motivation on consumer behaviors, Durmaz (2014) opined that needs are the strongest motivation to purchase a particular product.
The manner in which needs affect customer decisions is described through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy begins at the bottom with physiological needs which include food, shelter, clothing and drink. A need in this regard is described as an activated internal feeling or perception which leads to a goal oriented behavior aimed at addressing the desire in one’s heart (Khan 2007). As lower levels of needs are addressed, the human needs move to higher levels. Any consumer would therefore only purchase goods that satisfy their needs where they are. For instance, no consumer can prioritize the purchase of a television set when they do not have food in their house. Deciding which product or service to buy therefore depends on the specific needs that a customer has at a particular time.
The Motivation behind Customer Purchases
In any business environment, being able to satisfy the needs of customers is paramount. This stems from the dynamic customer purchasing trends across the world today. For the marketer, understanding customer motivations is not only important for ensuring that the right product is marketed but also that the target market selected is the right one for the product. Bahhouth and Zgheib (2012) purported that various factors affected the customer purchase behaviors. Some of these factors include culture, religion, incomes levels and many more. Furthermore, consumers from different backgrounds with similar socio economic conditions could have different purchasing habits. Defining what motivates them in such instances is necessary for business managers to focus on meeting the needs of customers (Shethna 2017). It would be impossible to address needs that one is not aware of. It is only through studying consumer motivations that a business manager can effectively address the customer needs.
In addition to this, understanding the motivations of consumers also helps in structuring the marketing activities in an organization. Agrawal (2005) posited that company market through different strategies and that contemporary organizations, create adverts that appeal to different elements of the mind and those that address specific needs of consumers. Understanding customer motivations can help business managers realize increased sales by volume (Sokolowski 2011). The objective of any marketing activity is to attract new customers and to help retain the existing one. This implies that a marketing role is only effective if it adds value from the investor needs perspective. Marketing appropriately means choosing the right target market, making the right decisions when it comes to marketing approaches and language to be used and working within the constraints of ethical marketing practices (Xaxx 2018). By engaging in customer feedback activities and understanding the motivations behind customer purchases, it becomes possible for business managers to increase sales by effective branding, marketing and product designs since customers are a special group of stakeholders who influence the organizational profitability directly. A common trend in this respect is that of electronic marketing through which businesses can choose their target markets based on the fan group communities they have on social media.
Competitive business environment require aggressive advertising to be able to appeal to the customers. The structuring of business adverts would be determined by the cultural context in which that particular business operates. For instance, in Kuwait, the business environment is ethnocentric and also influenced by tradition. Getting the right mix of elements in such an environment can be challenging. An example of an advert that has been able to appeal to consumer need for affiliation is the Coke communities’ advert that was aired extensively in 2017. This particular advert is multicultural and addresses the needs of consumers such as those in Kuwait who are ethnocentric. Each consumer desires to have a sense of belonging, identity and an understanding of each others’ culture and tradition (Bahhouth and Zgheib 2012). This implies that by giving people a unique opportunity to see what they perceive themselves to be, the business managers create an environment for consumer growth and efficiency. The advert can thus be deduced to be effective in delivering its message. The consumers who use this product see themselves as part of a whole group, are in control of their thirst and achieve their goals.
Gillette Fusion ProGlide also offered another thrilling advert in which the Gillette Fusin Proglide razor is depicted as a powerful motorcycle through which the user gains control, precision and defense from irritation. The advert compares the product with other brands which bring about disappointment and laxity. The advert appeals to the consumers need for power by suggesting that those who use Gillette are above everyone else. In terms of the need for affiliation, the advert draws the audience or potential consumers into a circle of the sleek and the powerful. Similarly, Nivea for men advert also brings out the impression of a powerful, confident user who is capable of turning heads and is free to mingle with everyone they intend to. This is based on the cool scent associated with Nivea for men and its impacts on the skin. Not only is the deodorant portrayed as effective in eliminating sweat but it is also shown to help boost the confidence of the user.
The three adverts discussed have achieved their objective in communicating power, affiliation and achievement. Each of them moves the product user from a point of low self esteem or high needs to a level of confidence and perception of power among the product user. Such adverts turn out to be entertaining, informative as well as impactful. Thomas (2013), mentions creating powerful adverts as one of the strategies to keep people coming back to an organizational website. By extension, such adverts pull them to make repeat purchases. The best way to benefit from such advertising strategies is to enhance the cultural impacts of created adverts. For instance, when targeting only the Kuwait market as opposed to the global one, the objective would be to have the advert as portraying a native Kuwaiti product.
Agrawal AJ 2015. 10 examples of ads that pull on emotion. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2015/12/21/10-examples-of-ads-that-pull-on-emotion/#5859abca15f8
Amaldoss W and Jain S 2002. An analysis of the impacts of social factors on purchase behavior. Review of marketing Science Working Papers, vol. 2, no. 4. Retrieved from pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b9f1/ba6e265baec92cb111608bad16617903a508.pdf
Bahhouth B and Zgheib Y 2012. Effect of culture and traditions on consumer behavior in Kuwait. International Journal of Business, Marketing and Decision Sciences, vol. 5, no. 2. Retrieved from libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncp/f/Effect%20of%20Culture%20and%20Traditions%20on%20Consumer%20Behavior%20in%20Kuwait.pdf
Durmaz, Y. (2014). The impact of psychological factors on consumer buying behavior and an empirical application in Turkey. Asian Social Science, 10(6), 194 – 204. Retrieved from www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ass/article/viewFile/34697/19818
Khan M 2007. Consumer behavior. New Age International. Retrieved from books.google.co.ke/books/about/Consumer_Behaviour.html?id=BxGw27yTVHIC&redir_esc=y
Shethna J 2017. Why consumer behavior is important for business managers. EDUCBA. Retrieved from www.educba.com/consumer-behavior/
Sokolowski O 2011. Influences and attitudes within consumer behavior process. GRIN Verlag. Retrieved from books.google.co.ke/books/about/Influences_and_Attitudes_Within_Consumer.html?id=gspAqqZuBTQC&redir_esc=y
Thomas C 2013. eCommerce marketing: How to drive traffic that buys to your website. SRA Books. Retrieved from books.google.co.ke/books?id=9XzAAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA155&lpg=PA155&dq=adberts+that+address+need+for+power+and+affiliation&source=bl&ots=ST4-LTSg5f&sig=uD-y2vCljqo7U-2f_iT0933AXPI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjD0frVg8LaAhUEs48KHY7-AFEQ6AEwCHoFCAAQjQE#v=onepage&q=adberts%20that%20address%20need%20for%20power%20and%20affiliation&f=false
Xaxx J 2018. What factor is most important in motivating a consumer? Hearst Newspapers LLC. Retrieved from smallbusiness.chron.com/factor-important-motivating-consumer-24743.html