Buyer behavior is usually influenced by various factors
Buyer behavior is usually influenced by various factors in the market. These factors include social factors, cultural factors, personal characteristics and the motivational factors among others. The motivational factor describes the urge and drive that follows the buyers to move and satisfy their needs. Various theories and models have been used to define and explain how motivation influences the buyers’ behaviors. One of the theories is the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory which classifies the needs of people in different levels.
The different needs influence the buying behavior of buyers depending on the level of the buyer’s needs.
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The theory according to many authors is a simplified way of explaining the needs of buyers and how they influence the buying behavior. Other complex models exist that seek to explain how motivation influences the buyer’s behaviors. The model by Segmund Freud is one of the complex models that are used. The Coca Cola among other companies have used the motivational factor to influence the market to purchase its drinks.
The company has been developing drinks and marketing strategies that target particular consumers in the market to purchase it products. The company has over the years succeeded in becoming the market leader in the soft drinks industry. Other companies and organizations have adopted the theory to market their products and boost their sales. 1. 0 Introduction Buyer behavior is a process that involves both simple and complex mental processes and is defined by Krishna Naik and Reddy (1999) as the observable actions that are directly involved in the purchasing actions or lack thereof by the consumers.
It is usually different from consumer behavior which is defined as the process that involves the purchase, use, experiences and ideas to satisfy the needs and desires of consumers (Baker, 1998 ). Consumer behavior is also defined as the acts of buyers that are directly involved in the obtaining and securing goods and services. The behavior includes the decision making processes that are undertaken before the purchasing actions are determined. The buyer behavior on the other hand is limited to the action of purchasing of existing or proposed products or services (Armstrong, 2006).
Buyer behavior is usually influenced by several psychological concepts and other factors such as social factors, cultural factors, personal characteristics among others (Smith, 2003). All these factors influence the buying decisions that the buyers make within a particular situation. Social factors include the social status, friends and families who can influence the buying decisions. Cultural factors include fashion, foods, and beliefs among others while the personal factors include the age, income levels, the lifestyle, personality, likes and dislikes, self concepts among others.
All these factors can be used by the manufacturers to influence the buying decisions of most of the buyers. Other factors that can be used to influence the buying behavior of individuals include the psychological factors. These are the factors that include perception, motivation, learning and attitudes of the buyers (Armstrong, 2006). This paper reviews literature on motivation as one of the influencing factors of buyer behavior. It also discusses how Coca Cola uses motivation to influence buyers to purchase its products.
2. 0 Literature Review Several studies have been carried out on the topic of buyer behavior and more specifically the issue of motivation as a factor that influences buyers in their buying decisions. Motive is defined by the authors Cant, Strydom and Jooste (2009) as the needs or wants that stimulate one to move and seek satisfaction. Authors Krishna Naik and Reddy (1999) as well as Phillips, Doole and Lowe (1994) have described motivation as a factor that is related to motion.
They describe is as the drive or urge that follows buyers to move and satisfy their needs and that is strong enough compared to the will to service. They further explain that the drive to satisfy the needs is enhanced by the self image of the specific object and the buyers channel their consumer time, money and their energy into their defined purchasing goal. According to authors Cant, Strydom and Jooste, the best theory that helps to classify the diversity of needs and the different reasons or motives that influence the buyer’s purchasing decisions is the theory of classifying needs by Maslow.
The authors state the different needs that motivate buyers to include physiological needs, safety needs, social, ego and self actualization needs. Their views are backed up by Michale John Baker (1998) who elaborates the theory by Maslow stating its relevance and application to the motivation factor. According to the theory as described by Cant, Strydom and Jooste, individuals are motivated to fulfill the needs which they mostly feel at the moment. The needs are felt at different times as Maslow’s theory dictates, the basic physiological needs come first.
These are the needs all individuals seek to achieve first and they include hunger, thirst. Once individuals are able to achieve these needs they are then motivated to satisfy the safety needs. According to Paul Russell Smith, the safety needs include the need for security, protection, stability, physical well being and order among others. These are the needs that motivate the buyers to purchase things that provide them with the satisfaction of security and safety. These things may include things that offer the buyer security and protection from physical harm.
Once the buyers are satisfied with this level of needs they move to the next higher level which is made up of social needs. Paul Copley (2004) defines the social needs are those that motivate the buyers to purchase goods or services that provide them with love, a sense of belonging and acceptance as well as affection. The simple premise about the Maslow hierarchy of needs is that the lower level needs must be satisfied before the buyers move to the other levels. The buyers follow the trend that is set by the theory.
Once the social needs are satisfied the buyers move to the next level which is the esteem needs which are next to the self actualization needs. The esteem needs are those that motivate buyers to get a sense of accomplishment from their purchasing decisions and their buying behaviors. They also give the buyer a sense of status and respect from those around them. According to Smith and Jonathan Taylor (2004), esteem needs can motivate the buyers to purchase cars which act as status symbols and that appeal to a particular segment of people.
They also state that the Maslow’s theory can be cyclical since at some point buying a house can be due to the basic need to provide shelter and at some other point it might be because of the high level esteem need to act as a status symbol and show prestige or success. The self actualization needs are the highest level of needs that deal with the personal development and individuality. These needs motivate the buyers to purchase goods and services that help them to satisfy a need of self fulfillment.
According to Cant, Strydom and Jooste a buyer may be influenced to enroll to an art class as a way of expressing his or her individuality. All the authors who discuss the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs confirm that the theory is just a simple and useful theory that is used to explain in a simplified manner the buyer behavior. According to some of the authors there are other models and theories that can be used to explain how motivation influences the buyer behavior. One of the models that are discussed by Krishna Naik and Reddy is referred to as the psychoanalytic model.
It was founded by Sigmund Freud who provides some insights to the differences that lie between personality differences and resultant behavior. Their study is backed by Smith and Jonathan Taylor who explain that Sigmund Freud, according to his model explains that buyers are motivated by forces that are both conscious and unconscious. Many of the motives that influence the buyers are usually unconscious and they influence the daily buying decisions. Most of the brands that are in the market today carry messages that are understood in the subconscious level.
This is what motivates the buyers to buy a certain products over others. The approach used in the model breaks down the personality of the buyer into the identity of the buyer, the ego and the super ego. The identity of the person is made up of the instinctive drive or urge for example to eat or drink. The ego is the social learning process and that allows the buyer to interact. Examples of the social process include the buyer politely asking for food. The super ego provides the buyer with a conscience and moral reference. According to the model the actions of buyers are as a result of the antecedent conditions.
Freud stated that the childhood experiences affect the buyers buying behavior 30 or 40 years later. Authors Krishna Naik and Reddy stated some of the examples of buyer behaviors that are influenced by motivations that are not apparent to the casual observer. One of the examples included a buyer who buys a sports car stating that he bought it for the look and maneuverability. At the subconscious level however, the reason would be that the buyer bought it to look younger and to impress. At a much deeper level the motivation would be for surrogate gratification or unsatisfied sexual striving.
The casual observer or even the buyer himself may not be in a position to see the motivational factors. It may take time before the sellers and marketers can get into the minds of the buyers to continually have marketing success. However the research requires time, skill and lot of resources in times of money can lead to very exciting discoveries for the sellers and marketers and even the buyers. It bears noting that all the authors that have studied the topic of buyer behavior have covered the motivation factor in depth.
They have proven how motivation can influence some of the factors that influence buyer behavior such as perception, attitude, learning ability and personality. The motivational factor can be achieved through several methods. Some of the methods include learning about the need from a social perspective, while others are usually instinctive. In light of these perspectives from the different authors, this paper adequately matches up to the study of motivation as one of the factors that influences buyer behavior. 3. 0 Application of Motivation in Coca Cola Company
(i) Overview of Coca Cola Company Coca Cola is the world’s largest company that deals with beverage drinks. The company’s headquarters are found in Atlanta, Georgia. The company produces several drinks that are known to be among the top five leading soft drinks in the world, as it also engages in the marketing of its drinks. The products include Coke, which was the company’s original drink, Diet Coke, Fanta and sprite. The company also engages in other drinks such as Minute Maid, Dasani water and PowerAde among others (The Chronicle of Coca Cola, n. d).
It operates its own distribution system that is the largest distribution all over the world. This enables the company to deliver its products to its customers easily and in a very efficient manner. The company operates in over 200 countries all over the world with over 1 billion consumers consuming its products every day (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2006). The original drink of the company was developed in May 8, 1886 by Doctor John Stith Pemberton who by then was a local pharmacist (The Chronicle of Coca Cola, n. d). He produced the syrup which he later came to name as Coca Cola with the help of Frank M. Robinson.
Dr Pemberton started selling the drink through his business with sales averaging at 9 drinks per day. He later sold portions of his business to several partners and just before his death in 1888; he sold the remaining portion to Asa G. Candler who proceeded to buy all the rights of the product thereby gaining complete control. In 1892, Mr. Candler registered the Coca Cola Company in the U. S. He then started advertising the product seriously through promotions where he distributed complimentary glasses of Coca Cola, souvenir fans, calendars, clocks among other things that all had the trade mark of the company.
By 1895, Coca Cola had spread into every state within the U. S (The Chronicle of Coca Cola, n. d). (ii) Motivation as a factor used to influence Coca Cola Consumers The Coca Cola Company is known for its most recognized trademark and brand name all over the world. The drink Coca Cola is estimated to have a trademark value of over $25 billion (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2006). The company has undertaken extensive market research all over the world as a way to maintain its leadership role in terms of market share over its competitors.
The company has been increasing its market share and its profits of Coca Cola. It promises its consumers that it exists to benefit and refresh all persons that are touched by its business. It has therefore developed several initiatives that seek to portray social responsibility of the company as a way of enhancing its trademark. One of the initiatives is to inspire moments of optimum performance and creating value by making a difference in all the activities that the company undertakes. In this way, they are able to satisfy the needs and desires of their customers through its portfolio of brands.
The company has used the motivation factor as a way to influence the buyers to purchase its products. Motivation as a buyer behavior factor influences the perception and learning factors of the buyer and leads to influencing the buyer decision to buy a product (Smith, 2003). Using this knowledge and understand, the company has been engaging in extensive advertising of its products as a way of influencing the buyers behavior to purchase them. It has produced many advertisements that have been used to motivate the buyer’s decisions and that lead to an increase of its sales.
A recent example of a marketing strategy that the company has used to motivate the consumers to purchase its Coca Cola drink was during the recent World cup 2010 in South Africa. The company developed a marketing strategy that resulted to the development of a partnership between musician K’naan and A&M/Octone Records (Stanford, 2010). They developed a Coca Cola theme song that reached out to the young consumers who loved soccer and pop music. The marketing strategy led to the boosting of sales of Coca Cola as the song motivated the young consumers to buy the drink.
Marketing is about determining the needs and desires of consumers and skillfully conveying the products of the company in terms of their benefits to the consumers and proving this to them (Cant, Strydom, & Jooste, 2009). The message that is conveyed to the consumers about the products then motivates them to buy the product. The Coca Cola Company has used this approach to reach out to the market and influence the buyers to purchase its products. One of the products of the company is the Diet Coke.
The company launched the product with an aim of reaching out to the young adult generation that was mindful about its health. It also launched a marketing strategy that would motivate more buyers to stay extraordinary as they celebrate their daily achievements (The Coca Cola Company, 2010). The marketing strategy was used to show how the consumers of the drink would benefit from consuming the drink and get most out of their daily life. The marketing strategy would still portray the message of staying healthy to its consumers in a bid to promote its diet coke product.