Consumer Perception Tuesday, Nov 25 2008 

Perception is the process by which individuals select, organize and interpret stimuli into a meaningful and coherent picture of the world.

Perception has strategy implications for marketers because consumers make decisions based on what they perceive rather than on the basis of objective reality.

Consumers selections of stimuli from the environment are based on the interaction of their expectations and motives wit the stimulus itself. The principles of selective perception include the following concepts:

  1. Selective Exposure
  2. Selective Attention
  3. Perceptual Defense   and
  4. Perceptual Blocking.

People usually percieve things they need or want and block the perception of unnecessary, unfavourable or painful stimuli.

Consumers organize their perceptions into unified wholes according to the principles of Gestalt Psychology:figure and ground, grouping, and closure.

The interpretation of stimuli is highly subjective and is based on what the consumer expects to see in light of previous experience, on motves and interests at the time of perception, and on the clarity of stimulus itself.

Influences that tend to distort objective interpretation include Physical apprearances, stereotypes, halo effects, irrelevant cues, first impressions and the tendency to jump to conclusions.

Just as individuals have perceived images of themselvs, they also have perceived images of products and brands. The perceived image of a product or service is probably more important to its ultimate success than are its actual pysical characteristics.

Products and Services that are percieved distinctly and favourably have a much better chance of being purchased than products or services with unclear or unfavourable images.

Service Marketers face several unique problems in positioning and promoting their offerings because services are intangible,inherently variable, perishable and are simultaneously produced and consumed.

Regardless of how well the product or service appears to be positioned, the marketer may be forced to reposition it in response to market events, such as a new competitor, new strategies of existing competitors, changing market dynamics, changing consumer preferences.

The quality of a product or services is judged on the basis of a variety of informational clues; intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic will be things like size, colour, flavour, aroma, packaging, look and feel. Extrinsic clues will include store image, price, brand image, service environment etc.,

In the absence of the first hand experience or other information, consumers often rely on price as an indicator of quality. How a consumer perceives a price – as high,low or fair has a strong influence on purchase intentions and satisfaction. Consumers rely on both internal and external reference prices when assessing the fairness of price.

Consumer imagery also includes perceived images of retail stores that influence the perceived quality of products they carry, as well as decisions as to where to shop.

Manufacturers or Retailers who generally enjoy a favourable image find that their new products are accepted more readily compared to those manufacturers or retailers who have less favourable or even neutral images.

Consumers often perceive risk in making product selections because of uncertainty as to the consequences of their purchase decisions.

The types of risk that the customers perceived are:

  1. Functional Risks
  2. Physical Risk
  3. Financial Risk
  4. Social Risk
  5. Psychological Risk and
  6. Time Risk.

Customers try for reducing the risk by increasing their information search, buying from reputable retailers, buying the expensive brands, and seeking reassurance in the form of money back guarantees, warranties, and pre purchase trial.

The concept of perceived risk is important implications for marketers, who can facilitate the acceptanc e of new products by incorporating risk-reduction strategies in their new product or service promotional campaigns.

How do your customers percieve you? How do your customers percieve your products? What are you doing to increase the perceptions in your favour.

Talk to us for further support:

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com; manojonkar@gmail.com; 919375970812

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Consumer Research – Personality & Consumer Behaviour Monday, Nov 24 2008 

Personality can be described as the psychological characteristics that both determine and reflect how a person responds to his or her environment. Although mostly the personality tends to remain consistent and enduring, it may change abruptly in response to a major life events. Personality also change gradually over time.

Theories:

3 theories of personality are prominent in the study of consume behaviour:

 

  1. Psychoanalytic Theory
  2. Neo-Freudian Theory and 
  3. Trait Theory

 

Freud’s psychoanalytic theory provides the foundation for the study of motivational research, which operates on the premise that human drives are largely unconscious in nature and serve to motivate many consumer actions.

Non- freudian theory tends to emphasize th fundamental role of social relationships in the formation and development of the personality.

Alfred Adler viewed human beings as seeking to overcome feelings of inferiorty.

Harry Stack Sullivan believed  that people attempt to establish significant and rewarding relationships with others.

Karen Horney saw inidividuals as trying to overcome feelings of anxiery and categorized them as compliant, aggresive or detached.

Trait Theory is a major departure from the qualitative or subjective approach to personality measurement. It postulates that individuals possess innate pyschological traits to a greater or lesser degree, and that traits can be measured by specifically designed scales or inventories.

Because they are simple to use and to score and  can be self-administered, personality inventories are the preferred mehtod for many researchers in the assessment of consumer personality.

Product and brand personalities represent real opportunities for marketers to take advantage of consumers’ connections to various brands they offer.

Brands often have personalities- some include “humanlike” traits and even gender. These brand personalities help shape consumer responses, preferences and loyalities.

Each individual has a perceived self image or images as a certain kind of person with certain traits, possessions, relationships, habits, behaviours etc., Consumers frequently attempt to preserve, enhance, alter or extend their self images by purchasing products or services and shopping at stores they percieve as consistent with their relevant self image and by avoiding products and stores they percieve as not consistent to their self image.

What are the personalities of your target consumers?

What is your company’s brand image? What is your product/services image?

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com;  manojonkar@gmail.com; 91-9375970812

RECESSION STRATEGY – Honour your Vision and Core Values Monday, Nov 24 2008 

What should you do when in Recession?

How to Create the right Recession Strategy?

Maybe, more than anytime else, Recession is the time for the companies to be true to their Vision, get more focused on fulfilling their mission and dedicatedly honour their core values.

This is the time, when the companies and their top management are tested by the employees, customers and all stake holders. 

Are they visionaries or are they just another bunch of opportunists?

Do they really have a Vision or they have a Vision Statement as a good PR exercise.

What are their Real Core Values? or are there any core values at all, except self preservation and survival.

The difference between great companies, visionary companies and ordinary companies is very vividly visible in the way they deal with the challenging times like Recession.

This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where the CEO and the board have to walk their talk.

Do all those hours spent in the vision mission exercises mean anything?  OR the vision the first casualty of the recession.

What is the value of the Core Values created by the top management, investing some huge amount of man hours and a great amount to time and money?

All the companies, who will dump their vision and their core values at this time, are being short sighted.

Next Quarter, next financial year, when you would have survived the tough times, when you look back at those people, will you be able to talk big? will you be able to get everyone aligned on any big vision? 

 

How do you honour your values and fulfill your vision – when you are worried about going down?

That is the time, more than any other time in your life, to honour your values and be true to your vision.

This is what differentiates the originals from the fake, the men from the boys, the winners from the also rans.

 

For support contact: MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS managementinnovations2020@gmail.com; manojonkar@gmail.com; 919375970812

Our Work in Education Field Sunday, Nov 23 2008 

As management consultants and advisers, we have had the privilege to work on various interesting and esteemed projects in the field of Education.

 

  1. Delhi Public School, Ahmedabad   – a K-12 CBSE School
  2. Calorex Institute of Technology – a VLSI Chip Design Institute
  3. DPS Prerna (DPS Nalanda) – A School for Dyslexic Children
  4. VISAMO – a Special Initiative for children from BPL families
  5. Zydus School for Excellence – a K-12 school from the house of Zydus Cadila.

 

 

Various Activities that we have provided valuable inputs and guidance include:

 

  1. Market Research
  2. Organizational Positioning
  3. Pricing
  4. Marketing
  5. Sales
  6. Staff Selection and Induction
  7. Teaching Staff ongoing Training & Development
  8. Admin Staff and Support Staff Orientation
  9. Customer Orientation
  10. HR & Employee Engagement
  11. Overall Growth and development

 

For further information contact:

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS ( erstwhile INNOVATIVE CONSULTANTS)

managementinnovaitons2020@gmail.com;   manojonkar@gmail.com; 91-9375970812

Consumer Motivation Sunday, Nov 23 2008 

What is Consumer Motivation?

Motivation is the driving force within individuals that impels them to action. This driving force is produced by a state of uncomfortable tension, which exists as the result of an unsatisfied need. All individuals have needs, wants and desires. The individual’s subconscious drive to reduce need-induced tensions results in behaviour that he or she anticipates will satisfy needs and thus bring about a more comfortable internal state.

All behaviour is goal oriented. Goals are the sought-after results of motivated behaviour. The form or direction that  behaviour takes-the goal that is selected-is a result of thinking processes(cognition) and previous learning(e.g. experience).

There are 2 types of goals: generic goals and product-specific goals. A generic goal is a general category of goal that may fulfill a certain need; a product-specific goal is a specifically branded or labeled product that individual sees as a way to fulfill a need.

Product-specific needs are sometimes referred to as wants.

What are Innate Needs?

Innate Needs are those an individual is born with. They are Physiological (biogenic) in nature; they include all factors required to sustain physical life (e.g. food, water, shelter, clothing, sex, physical safety etc.,).

What are Acquired Needs?

Acquired needs those an individual develops after birth are primarily psychological (psychogenic). They include love, acceptance, esteem, and self-fulfillment.

For any given need, there are many different and appropriate goals. The Specific goal  selected depends on the individual’s experiences, physical capacity, prevailing cultural norms and values, and the goal’s accessibility in the physical and social environment.

What is the relationship between Needs and Goals?

Needs and goals are interdependent and change in response to the individual’s physical condition, environment, interaction with other people, and experiences. As needs become satisfied, new, higher order needs emerge that must be fulfilled.

How do People deal with Failure in achieving the goals?

Failure to achieve a goal often results in feelings of frustration. Individuals react to frustration in two ways:”fight” or “flight”. They may cope by finding a way around the obstacle that prohibits goal attainment or by adopting a substitute goal (fight); or they may adopt a defense mechanism that enables them to protect their self esteem (flight). Defense mechanisms include aggression, regression, rationalization, withdrawal, projection,daydreaming, identification, and repression.

Motives & Behaviours:

Motives cannot easily be inferred from consumer behaviour. People with different needs may seek fulfillment through selection of the same goals; people with the same needs may seek fulfillment through different goals. 

Although some psychologists have suggested that individuals have different needs priorities, other believe that most human beings experience the same basic needs, to which they assign a similar priority ranking.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory proposes five levels of human needs; physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, egoistic needs and self actualization needs.

Other needs widely integrated into consumer advertising include the needs for power, affiliation and achievement.

What are the 3 common methods for identifying and measuring human motives?

  1. Observation and Inference
  2. Subjective Reports
  3. Qualitative Research – including projective techniques.

None of these methods is completely reliable by itself.

Therefore researchers often use a combination of 2 or 3 techniques in tandem to assess the presence or strength of consumer motives.

What is Motivational Research ?

Motivational research is qualitative research designed to delve below the consumer’s level of conscious awareness. Despite some shortcomings, motivational research has proved to be of great value to marketers concerned with developing new ideas and new copy appeals.

Consumer Research Friday, Nov 21 2008 

What is Consumer Research?

The field of Consumer Research developed as an extension of the field of Market Research to enable the marketers to predict how the consumers would react in the marketplace and to understand the reasons of the various purchase decisions taken.

What is Positivism ?

Consumer Research undertaken from a managerial perspective to improve strategic marketing decisions is known as Positivism.

Positivist research is quantitative and empirical and tries to identify cause and effect relationships in buying situations. It is often supplemented with qualitative research.

Qualitative Research is concerned with probing deep within the consumer’s psyche to understand  the motivations, feelings, and emotions that drive consumer behaviour. Qualitative research findings cannot be projected to larger populations but are used primarily to provide new ideas and insights for the development of the positioning strategies.

What is Interpretivism ?

Interpretivism, a qualitative research perspective, is generally more concerned with understanding the act of consuming rather than the act of buying. 

Interpretivists view consumer behaviour as a subset of human behaviour, and increased understanding as a key to eliminate some of the ills associated with destructive consumer behaviour.

Positivists generally used Probability Studies that can be generalized to larger populations.

Interpretivists tend to view consumption experiences as unique situations that occur at specific moments in time, and therefore, cannot be generalized to larger populations.

These 2 theoretical research orientations are highly complementary and, when used together, provide a deeper and more insightful understanding of consumer behaviour than either approach used alone.

The Consumer Research Process, whether quantitative or qualitative in approach consists of 6 steps:

  1. Defining Objectives
  2. Collecting Secondary Data
  3. Developing a Research Design
  4. Collecting Primary Data
  5. Analyzing the Data
  6. Preparing a Report of the Findings.

The research objectives should be formulated jointly by the marketer and the person or company that will conduct the actual research.

The finding from the secondary data and exploratory research are used to refine the research objectives. The collection of secondary data includes both the sources – internal and external.

Quantitative Research designs consist of 1. Observation, 2. Experimentation or Surveys, and, for the most part, 3. Questionnaires with or without attitude scales are used to collect the data.

Qualitative Research- data collection methods include 

  1. Depth Interviews
  2. Focus Groups
  3. Projective Techniques
  4. Metaphor Analysis.

Customer Satisfaction measurement is an integral part of consumer research.

In large, quantitative studies, the researcher must make every effort to ensure that the research findings are RELIABLE ( that a replication of the study would provide the same results) and VALID (that they answer the specific questions for which the study was originally undertaken).

The selection and design of the sample is crucial since the type of sample used determines the degree to which the results of the study are representative of the population.

After the data collection, the results are analysed and specific analytical techniques applied respectively to qualitative or quantitative data.

How are you applying Consumer Research in your business?

Talk to us.

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com; manojonkar@gmail.com; 91-9375970812

Market Segmentation Friday, Nov 21 2008 

Market Segmentation and diversity are complementary concepts. Without a diverse marketplace, composed of many different peoples with different backgrounds, cultures,environments,paradigms, thoughts processes, interests, needs and wants, there really would be little reason to segment markets.

Earlier Mass Marketing – selling the same product or service package to everyone, was the most widely used marketing strategy, before the widespread adoption of the marketing concept. In many countries this is still developing and yet to become the part of the marketing and management DNA.

Market Segmentation is to be followed as a logical way to meet customers needs. Market Segmentation is defined as the process of dividing a potential market into distinct subsets of consumers with a common need or characteristic and selecting one or more segments to target with a specially designed marketing mix or product, price, promotion, place etc.,

Besides supporting in the development of new products, Market Segmentation research also supports in the redesigning and repositioning of existing products and services and in the creation of the appropriate promotional materials, including the selection of the most effective media for promotion.

Market Segmentation Strategies benefit both the customers and the marketers, hence they received full support from both parties. Market Segmentation is now widely used by most of the organizations including manufacturers, retailers, channels and even the not for profit sector.

9 Major Classes of Consumer Characteristics serve as the most common basis for Market Segmentation. These include:

  1. Geographic Factors
  2. Demographic Factors
  3. Psychological Factors
  4. Pyschographic Factors
  5. Socio-Cultural Factors
  6. Use -related Factors (Application)
  7. Use – Situation Factors (Environment)
  8. Benefits Expected and
  9. Hybrid Forms of Segmentation like Psychographic-demographic profiles  or geodemographic factors.

Key Criteria for Market Segmentation include:

1. Identification

2. Sufficiency

3. Stability

4. Accessibility.

 

Once one identifies potential target markets, one must decide whether to target 1 segment i.e  concentrated marketing OR to target several market segments i.e. differentiated marketing.

One has to then develop a positioning strategy for each of the selected target segment.

In some cases, one can recombine 2 or more market segments into one larger segments.

How do you Market Segmentation in your company?

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managmentinnovations2020@gmail.com;  manojonkar@gmail.com; 91-9375970812

Customer and Consumer Behaviour Friday, Nov 21 2008 

The study of consumer behaviour enables the marketers to fully understand and be able to predict the consumer behaviours. It deals with not only with what the customer buy, but also with why, when, where, how, and how often they buy it.

Consumer Research is the Methodology that is used to study Customer and Consumer behaviour and it takes place at every stage/phase of the consumption process: before, during, and after the purchase.

The foundation fo the consumer behaviour is the Marketing Concept. Marketing Concept is the business orientation that evolved in the second half of the last century and is picking up more and more in the current environment. Marketing Concept was the evolution of the industry over the earlier concepts of production and product.

The 3 major strategies tools fo marketing are Market Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning.

The Marketing Mix consists of a company’s products and services offering(S) to customers and the pricing, promotion and distribution methods needed to accomplish the deal.

The Professional Marketers make the customers the core of the company’s culture and ensure that all employees view any interaction with the customers as a part of a Customer Relationship and not just a Transaction. The Top 3 drivers of successful relationships between marketers and customers are customer value, high levels of customer satisfaction, and building a  structure for customer retention.

Consumer behaviour is multi disciplinary, i.e it is based on various theories and concepts about people that have been developed by scientists in such diverse disciplines as economics, cultural anthropology, social psychology, sociology and psychology.

Consumer behaviour has to be an integral part of strategic market planning. 

Contact for further inputs:

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com;   manojonkar@gmail.com;  91-9375970812

Consultative Sales – First Step – Pre Sales Preparation Wednesday, Nov 19 2008 

Pre Sales Preparation is one of the most under estimated sales tool. Over a period of time, pre sales preparation gets compromised for one reason or the other. There is always some other urgent, seemingly more important work running the clock, and this foundation keeps getting neglected.

Consultative Sales is built on Credibility. Credibility is built on knowledge and mastery. Knowledge and Mastery of one’s own industry, products, services, past projects, difference made to the customers businesses, successes and breakdowns.

One also needs to know the competitors, their products, services, strengths, weaknesses, strategies etc.,

Most importantly, we need to learn the customer’s company, industry, the challenges, the opportunities and what are the best ways that we can make a difference to these potential or existing clients.

Every dollar invested in pre sales preparation will pay back atleast 100 times.

To know what and how you need to do pre sales preparation for your business, feel free to get in touch with us.

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com ;  manojonkar@gmail.com;  91-9375970812

Change Management – First Deal with Harboured Resentments Tuesday, Nov 18 2008 

The impact of Harboured Resentments could be the following:

1. You have traitors in the game, who pretend to be committed to what you are planning, but are secretly waiting for or even planning your failure. You trust them and they will betray you.  If you delegate to them, then it is your funeral.

2. Some of them will be vociferous about their upsets, of course, not the real issues, but some other issues, like why your plans will not work etc., It is good, that atleast these people have been identified by you. They may not be easy to deal with, but atleast you know who they are.

3. The real dangerous people are the ones, who have the harboured resentments, and do not say anything against you. They are the ones, who will pretend to play ball, and at the right time, not do what you expect them to do, or, work behind your backs and create strategic attacks on you. This is very difficult to deal with and almost impossible to address once they have begun their attacks. The only time, you can be effective is , if you can identify them and get them to be transparent and get their issues addressed. Otherwise you have neutralize them, marginalize them or even remove them – even if they are otherwise good capable people.

Ignore this at your own peril.

For help in identifying these kind of people in your organization, you can get in touch with us.

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com;     manojonkar@gmail.com ;     91-9375970812

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