Consumer Behavior Theory and Practical Implications
Understanding customer is a concept that revolves around the proper examination of why individuals buy a particular product and their manner of decision making. The entire process that leads a consumer to use or decide to buy an item is consumer behavior. Client behavior related to tourism is essential to discovering travel motivations and demand for products among modern tourists. A proper understanding of the concept enables service providers to understand better consumer motives and design activities that meet their needs. This essay intends to explore significant aspects influencing consumer behavior alongside the practical implications of client behavior theory. Some of the essential micro and macro elements that help in client understanding include psychological and sociological factors.
To grasp consumer behavior, it is required to pay special attention to psychological factors that tend to influence the specific reaction of clients. In this regard, it is essential to realize that consumers, especially tourists, have complicated desires and needs. Therefore, if they only buy things based on choice criteria, it would be easier to convince them to purchase products or make a particular choice (Rhama, 2019). For this reason, there is no need to engage in intense advertisements and campaigns for a specific product. Consumers are greatly influenced by psychological factors that dictate when and what they acquire.
Psychological needs revolve around the common desire for respect, recognition, and political or family belonging. Whenever any of these factors become adequately strong for the client, it creates a necessity for satisfaction. Using Maslow’s theory, there is a hierarchy in fulfilling individual needs (Campos-Soria et al., 2021). The primary idea here is that a consumer will always strive to meet the need that has the greatest priority in the order.
It is essential to understand that motivated customers will always buy, and a proper understanding of the need driving a client at any time can help influence a sale. The psychological factor also focuses on consumer perception of all current happenings. Perception can explain how consumers organize, interpret and select available information forming a more complex image of their surroundings. Research has established that most potential clients are exposed to more than 3000 advertisements every day (Ansari & Gupta, 2021). However, it is nearly impossible for a consumer’s mind to retain such a vast chunk of details.
The retention, in this case, is influenced by other stimuli such as taste, conversation, and smell. For this reason, one’s brain can choose the most favorable stimuli. This helps in creating perception through brain processes such as selective distortion, attention, and memory. In this regard, marketers, especially in the tourism sector, have to make repeated campaigns to enter consumers’ minds.
The behavior and belief of a consumer is other significant psychological factor that can help understand consumers. Tourism marketers are charged with the responsibility of reminding and ensuring clients come to a proper realization of their needs. Since customers have to be motivated to satisfy their needs, the process can be triggered through the supply of objective information. For example, a ‘Visitor Center Network’ in tourism provides a wide range of services to visitors that include counseling and other tourist information that help them in making decisions.
Routine activities are known for building the demeanor and confidence of the client, hence influencing a decision to purchase. The behavior among learned habits of consumers can be changed by first shifting perceptions through daily activities (Liu & Jiang, 2020). By understanding this, marketers in tourism can direct their message correctly to the target consumer. This will help consumers to change their perception of a particular product or activity. Research has clearly illustrated that tourist traveling behavior is significantly influenced by personal decisions guided by psychological aspects (Guzzo et al., 2020).
A perfect example of this can be seen when a tourist uses everyday experience in making a travel decision. In this case, the resolution is made faster with minimal thought. On the other hand, when much time is spent reviewing a decision, psychological factors are likely to influence their choice. Sociological factors revolve around individual consumer values, beliefs, and norms that tend to influence their decision. Such aspects tend to create social classes where the society is clustered in terms of prestige and status.
In addition, occupation and education also influence one belonging to a social class. Every social cluster displays a unique lifestyle that differs from the rest (King et al., 2021). The group to which a consumer belongs can shape the person’s behavior, conception, and ideas. This dramatically impacts one’s interest which has the potential to influence the selection of the brand. Human communication theory provides that some people have more information than others, and this makes them control the purchase resolution of others.
Moreover, family is a significant aspect of sociological factor that has a significant impact on consumer decisions. Since families revolve around one’s parents, children and siblings, it is required for marketers to investigate which of the family players has a more significant impact on consumer’s decisions (Xu et al., 2021). The social status of a person helps in determining specific activities expected from an individual. Typically, consumers tend to prefer activities and products that confer their status. Therefore, tourism marketers must have a proper understanding of one’s status to design activities and products that meet specific needs.
There are varied ways through which tourists make their decisions. These differences are seen to have a complete model change in social factors. Sociological aspects, therefore, represent macro aspects that help in understanding other influencers of a consumer’s decision apart from his perception and choice (Akarsu et al., 2020). Consumers’ preferences are greatly influenced by others, family, and social status, which significantly helps marketers design marketing strategies.
Considering the above sociological aspects of consumer behavior, a perfect example of family influence can be seen in countries where children live with their parents at old age. In this case, children are likely to stand as primary determiners of their parents’ purchase or travel decisions (Vargo et al., 2020). In the event of a purchase decision, particularly of an expensive service or product, the marketer must investigate which member has a more significant influence on the decisions.
Additionally, different products have varied impacts on men and women. For example, men are more interested in TVs and cars, while women pay more attention to household facilities like carpets and furniture. The ‘BC Vocation Ferries’ gives a perfect example of this as it provides more than 100 travel packages in light of the different needs of people. It provides varied activities as well as adventures for travelers to choose from. This helps a tourist in creating a personalized choice of vocation depending on one’s status, preference, and taste.
In conclusion, the decision on what course of action one takes is greatly influenced by psychological and sociological aspects such as family, status, and friends. The social level of an individual significantly depends on the organization and association to which he belongs. Position held or, rather, the role in these groups is the primary determinant of the status. When one assumes the role, governing forces may influence a person to act in a particular manner, influencing the final decision as a tourist or potential customer of a specific brand. On the other hand, the psychological aspect mainly majors on one’s perception that is greatly influenced by existing knowledge and advertisement made on the product.
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