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Furniture: Marketing and Consumers

Question 2: Using a multistage CDP model, describe how consumers in this market segment( Gen Y and young professionals) typically make furniture purchase decisions.In this case, it mentions 4 stages which include need recognition, search process, pre-purchase evaluation, and purchase.Need recognition occurs when consumers really need more furniture commonly.

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Actually, many situations will cause their needs. For instance, replacing their furniture, having more money, get ting married and so on.

After they decide to buy new furniture, if the need of new furniture is not very urgent, they intend to do external research to make sure. However, in many cases, they will be influenced by sales promotion and previous experience. Advice from friends and family will be a reference. Advertising, compared with that, is the most untrustworthy. They will go to real shops to see what they liked online and feel the comfort and workmanship in person. If they like a brand, they will find relevant products from that brand or another brand with similar styles.

After deciding which to buy, it comes to the purchase process. Most of consumers had used financing in the past, but now they prefer to pay in cash. But for Gen Y and young professionals, they have lower income and cannot afford to pay cash. They desire to feel the perception, that they can enjoy a lifestyle that is above what they can afford by spreading the payments over a long period of time. Therefore, they would like to pay it with interests for six months. Question 3: How should Family Furniture respond to competitors?

Over the years, Family Furniture has faced many big competitors. Some furniture store attract customers with “no, no, no” advertising, which means “no down payment, no interest and no payments until next year”. It was reported that an increasing number of Family Furniture’s customers went to other stores in other cities or nearby regions to buy furniture and some others were making their purchases through the Internet. This has put Family Furniture into a perplexing situation. In my view, Family Furniture should expand its target market to younger people, together with the old.

The fact that the city has many young consumers, unemployment rate is low are an advantage for the company. That consumers here are mostly white-collar and well-educated workers with a high level of income tells us that they are totally be able to afford their purchases in Family Furniture. With a strong historical business, the company can promote big advertising campaigns to recall customer awareness, such as offering big sales on special occasions or sending magazines to their mail boxes every month to show new products with new promotional programs.

These programs should always emphasize the familiarity of customers with Family Furniture over other competitors through a long period, well-known national brands and the quality of furniture. In addition, marketing techniques involving community involvement such as an official website or searching websites should also be improved, because they will catch customers’ attention and help them find information about the company and products much more easily. Question 4: What promotional strategy and media do you recommend for Family Furniture?

Family Furniture is a business-to-consumer company but not a business-to-business one. They sell furniture directly to consumers. So I recommend this company to use a “pull strategy” which means spending on advertising, sales promotion and direct marketing to induce final consumers to buy their furniture. Advertising will help Family Furniture to present their promotion of ideas, goods, or services to compete with others, like Ikea. Direct marketing concentrates on individual consumers to both obtain immediate response and cultivate lasting customer relationships, such as the using of internet.

According to the research on reasons of choosing a particular store, “previous experience” and “sale or promotion” account for 28 and 36 percentage respectively. It means these two reasons are the most important elements that make consumers choose a particular store. Family Furniture should choose both personal communication channels (two or more people communicate directly with each other) and non-personal communication channels (media that carry messages without personal contact for feedback) as their media to induce consumers to purchase.

The last channel of personal communication is word-of-mouth influence. People may influenced by their neighbors, friends, family members and so forth. Print media, for instance, newspapers and magazines should be remained, because it works and has lasted for decades. As Cult Advertising said recently, nontraditional marketing techniques need to be involved. Young generations use computers more often than older people, they will pay attention to fresh and new things rather than printed brochures.

Online media like company Web, e-mail should be used as well because most of their customers are older people, they should attract more young people. Then their consumers’ region will be broader. Using mass media often affect buyer behavior indirectly by causing more personal communication. If the products in Family Furniture are very good, consumers will spread this information by “word-of-mouth influence” channel.

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