Sustainable Marketing – Desirable Products – Reflection 5

Sustainable marketing promotes products that are beneficial to the consumer and society as a whole.  These beneficial products can either have an immediate appeal or long term benefit.  Products that have an immediate appeal do not necessarily have a beneficial long term benefit.

These products are referred to as pleasing products.  An example of this may be the Sprite example that was used by the group who presented practicum 4.  Sprite may quench the thirst in the short term, but its sugary content may put on unwanted weight.

Products that have lower immediate benefit, but are beneficial in the long term are called salutary products. A good example of this might be vitamins and supplements.  These have no immediate benefit, but taken over time, it could have a positive effect on ones physical well-being.

A deficient product is one that has no immediate appeal or long term benefits.    An example of a deficient product would be a poorly constructed wrench that breaks apart on its first use.

A desirable product is the goal of the marketer.  This is a product that produces both high immediate pleasure and high long term benefits.  A good example of this would by our teams Muddy Buddy bars.  Because Muddy Buddy’s are both delicious and nutritious they meet the requirement of a desirable product.  Our marketing campaign has been geared toward making Muddy Buddy not just a tasty treat, but also appealing to the health minded consumer.  We have made our product gluten free and organic in order to promote long term benefit.



Factors of Consumer Buying Behavior – Reflection 4

The four main factors that affect consumer buyer behavior are: cultural, social, personal, and psychological.  By understanding the needs of the culture, subculture and social class a marketer can target specific needs of a particular culture.  Since human behavior is for the most part learned, where and how one grows up has an impact on their consumer choices.  A consumers wants, values and perception is all shaped by their upbringing.

Consumers buying behavior is also impacted by their peers, family ties, and their roles and status in society.  Social class is determined by a combination of factors and is usually broken down their class within society.  Class can be broken down into seven categories: Upper Upper, Lower Upper, Upper Middles, Middle Class, Working Class, Upper Lowers, and Lower Lower Class. (Kotler, 2014, p. 141)  In the United States, the lines are not as rigid as in other countries and people can move between classes.  It is important for a marketer to understand what class they are targeting as behavior patterns are often similar within a class.

Personal factors such as age, occupation, lifestyle and personality also play a role in determining consumer buyer behavior.  As peoples personal position changes, their buying needs and wants change too.

Psychological factors also have an impact.  These include four major forces: motivation, perception, learning, and beliefs and attitudes.  The motive is the drive that pushes a consumer to act.  Perception is the way we organize and interpret information about our options and choices.  Learning is the effect of information and changes that occur from personal experience. And lastly, the belief one has is an explanatory thought about something.

I’ll apply this concept using gym membership to a California health club as an example.  More than likely this product would appeal to most every culture.  The social groups it is likely to appeal to are those in the working classes and above.  Since membership costs money and is not considered a need, I suspect most of those in the lower classes would deem this type of expense worthy in their budget.  The personal factors are likely to be people in their 20’s and above, with most between the ages of 20 to 50.  Their occupations will vary, but mostly they will be in sedentary are corporate type jobs. Their economic circumstances will fluctuate and affect their ability to going.  Their lifestyle will be health conscious people, and their personalities will be varied among the primary traits of such as: self-confidence, dominance, sociability, autonomy, defensiveness, adaptability, and aggressiveness.  Their psychological profile will be varied as well.

Differentiation and Positioning – World Class Auto Detailing – Reflection 3

Positioning and differentiation are two strategies marketers use to make products stand out.  Positioning is where the product fits into a target market.  Differentiation is how the product sets itself apart from other products. Not only must a target market be identified, but segments within that market must be determined.  Marketers must plan their positions in order to give their product a greater advantage against its competitors, the do this by differentiating themselves.

For example, in our team’s practicum presentation we created an auto detailing company called World Class Auto Detailing (WCAD.)  This product was marketed to the service oriented image conscious consumer.  There are other auto detailing shops to choose from, but WCAD is the only one that offers a host of services at an affordable cost, provides fleet service discounts, and offers pickup and delivery service.  By promoting quality affordable service we create the idea that our service will fulfill a consumer’s budget and convenience needs.

We are also positioned on image.  We say, “[we] will not only transform the look of your automobile, but [we] will also transform how you feel when you’re driving.”  By promoting the position of image, we can create the idea in the minds of the consumer that their well-being is tied to a clean car. We tie their perceptions, impressions, and feelings about their image to our service.  With this psychological and behavioral impact, they are more inclined to have their car detailed and to do it quite often.

Macro- vs. Micro-Environments – Reflection 2

Macro vs. Micro Environments

            Understanding the marketing environment will assist the marketer in its efforts to serve its customers. The marketing environment consists of all the players and forces that are outside of the marketers and its management’s control. Understanding these external forces is imperative in order to follow trends and changes within an industry. By following trends, a marketer can determine if their product is in line with current trends as well as give insight into new opportunities.  Marketers use two specific aptitudes for following trends.  These two disciplined methods are: marketing research and marketing intelligence.  With this careful study, strategies can be developed to meet challenges and seek opportunity.  Marketing research and intelligence is gained through understanding of two types more specific types of environments. These include: the micro- and macro-environments. 

The micro-environments are the people close to the company that have a direct effect on its ability to serve its customers.  They include: the company itself, suppliers, marketing intermediaries, customer markets, and competitors.  It is the job of the marketer to build relationships with these groups in order to establish clear understanding of the wants and needs of consumer demands. 

The macro-environment includes the larger societal forces that have bearing on the micro-environment.  This includes such things as: demographics, economics, natural, technological, political, and cultural forces.  The company and these other influences act within the macro-environment.  Understanding these relationships help gain insight into the forces that shape opportunity or may pose threats. All companies can be impacted by external forces.

Although are marketing planning assignment is still in the preliminary stages, we are attempting to gain understanding into the macro- and micro-environments through research and field study.  Our field study includes a survey.  This survey and its results are being analyzed and evaluated in order to determine if our product will be marketed effectively and if our target market is properly identified. Based on preliminary feedback, we have already made some adjustment to our target market and our product specification. 

Needs As Demands – Reflection 1

Understanding Customer Needs

            In order to understand customer needs, we must first define what needs are and the different kinds of needs. True human needs are things we can view as the basics: physical needs, social needs, and individual needs.  Physical needs include things such as food, water, clothing, warmth and safety.  Social needs include things such as the feeling of belonging and affection.  Individual needs include things such as knowledge and self-expression.   These basic needs are shaped by wants and demands.

            Wants are human needs with a personal touch.  These needs are impacted by individual personality and shaped by societal culture.   Demands, on the other hand, are wants that are requested by people with the purchasing power to command its demand.  Products with benefits to match the purchaser’s request generate the most value.  The goal is to determine consumer demand as defined by wants which are generated from basic needs.

            Our team presented Practicum 2 which covered consumer markets and consumer buyer behavior.  In the development of our support for these topics we had to use a company which became the demonstration for presenting the concepts.  We chose an auto detail shop.  By choosing an auto detail shop we were able to present our points and get back to the basics of understanding basic customer needs.  We recognize that people have the need to project a healthy image and the need to belong, because of this, our product became relate-able.  It is important to come back to the very basic of needs when selecting and developing a product.