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Ethels Chocolate Lounge: Case Study - Essay Example

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This study will explore the case of Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge, opened in 2005 in Chicago by the Mars family. The scope of the case study will be to describe the consumer buying decision that best describes the choice to indulge at Ethel’s…
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Ethels Chocolate Lounge: Case Study
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"Ethels Chocolate Lounge: Case Study"

Download file to see previous pages Consumer Buying Decision at Ethel’s According to Lamb, Hair and McDaniel (2011) consumer buying decision types can be classified into routine response behavior, limited decision making, extensive decision making and impulse buying. Analysis of the case indicates that the consumer-buying behavior that best describes the Ethel shoppers is routine-response behavior, which involves high frequency and little decision effort. Some of the products observed to fall under this category include snacks and soft drinks which fit perfectly into the Ethel’s business of selling chocolate and hot and cold beverages. The passage on Ethel’s highlights the fact that the opening of lounges aims at attracting chocolate lovers in a similar fashion to the way coffee lovers flock to Starbucks, which indicates high frequency that is a characteristic of routine responsive types of decisions. Another perspective that supports routine responsive behavior in indulging at Ethel’s is the emphasis placed on the experience; the hipness, class, and neighborhood experience that encourages socializing will ensure undertaking of that little search effort with the place that provides such an experience being an almost automatic choice for buyers. Factors that influence Consumers to Indulge at Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge There are four factors that play a part in consumer's buying decision. To start with are the cultural factors, which encompass consumer’s cultural values. The others are social factors, which involve the context of interaction with reference groups specific to the consumer. Individual factors come third, and they include gender, age bracket, preferences and consumer's lifestyle among other personal considerations, and lastly the psychological factors such as motivation, attitudes and perceptions (Pride and Ferrell, 2010). In Ethel’s case, the factors at play include social ones where the reference group involves friends, workmates and age mates to whom the chit-chat experience is optimized for at the lounge. Gender comprises the individual factors where the experience provided by Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge is particularly attractive to the females. The age bracket is considerably a young one but most probably in the working class as the description of hip and classy and upward mobility reveal. The psychological factors at play here include the consumers’ attitudes, where we find that Ethel’s is attractive to individuals who perceive themselves to be on upward mobility in the society. Classy and hip find it fit as indicated by drawn parallels for chocolate and the “black” fashion image. The Most Important Factor in the Consumer Buying Decision Although each of the four factors discussed earlier plays a role in influencing consumers to indulge at Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge, the most significant factor appears to be the psychological aspect. In many ways, the management at Ethel’s has made conscious efforts to influence the consumers’ perceptions, motives and attitudes in a manner that will not only attract them to Ethel’s but also make sure they will be loyal. It is more of an indulgence than just another purchasing experience. For example, Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge has cultivated the image of being trendy, hip and classy. Mars has also taken steps to promote ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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