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The application of consumer behaviour theory in the practice of Marketing - Essay Example

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The application of consumer behaviour theory in the practice of marketing Introduction Consumer behaviour is a broad management concept that addresses various stages a consumer goes through before they make a product/service purchase for their end use. The concept of consumer behaviour is influenced by the elements of psychology, sociology, and economics…
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The application of consumer behaviour theory in the practice of Marketing

Download file to see previous pages... Consumer behaviour is an effective approach to analyse the decision making process of consumers individually and in groups. This concept gives particular focus to individual consumer characteristics including demographics and behavioural variables in order to identify consumers’ needs. This paper will discuss the application of consumer behaviour theories in the practice of marketing. For this purpose, the paper will consider two theories including Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Noel’s consumer behaviour model. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a psychological approach developed by Abraham Maslow in his paper ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’ published in 1943. When human behaviour is influenced by culture, family background, and other relationships, consumer behaviour is shaped by different needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs gives a basic framework to evaluate why a consumer makes a particular purchase decision. The visual representation of the Maslow’s model is given below. (Source: Sorensen, n.d.) The Maslow’s model suggests that unmet need is the fundamental motivation for people’s every action. In addition, individuals try to meet their needs and desires in a particular hierarchy. According to the Maslow’s model, people should seek to meet their most fundamental needs before they can find solutions for their more sophisticated needs. In the pyramid above, most fundamental needs are portrayed at the bottom whereas the top part represents the need for self actualisation. Other layers reflect the need for security, love and belonging, and esteem. Maslow collectively calls the basic four layers of the pyramid as deficiency needs. Here, psychological needs represent basic physical requirements (air, food, and water) necessary for the human survival. Security needs may include personal security, financial security, health safety, security against unforeseen events like accidents (Koontz & Weihrich 2006). Likewise, the love and belonging needs represent relationships like friendship, intimacy, and family. The esteems needs indicate the human desire to feel respected. In the view of Maslow, self actualisation reflects the human desire to know what his full potential is and to achieve everything that he can (ibid). Referring to this model, psychological needs have the prime priority in an individual’s life. If an individual’s psychological needs are not met properly, he would de-prioritise all other needs and desires until these fundamental needs are met (ibid). For instance, breathing is more important for an individual to survive than financial security and friendship. If this highly prioritised need is not met, the individual’s physical condition will become worse and he will die eventually. In other words, an individual cannot try to satisfy needs like security and love and belonging unless his most fundamental need (here breathing) is not met. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can be used to explain consumer behaviour and hence it has greater applicability in the practice of marketing. This model is greatly assistable for marketers to determine what kinds of marketing efforts have to be taken to promote various products and services. Maslow claims that consumer behaviour and decision making are driven by any of the five levels of need in the hierarchy. Therefore, a marketer ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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