Consumers expect companies to understand their wants, needs and desires, which has been supported again by a Salesforce survey with 76% of respondents agreeing.
Consumers cannot verbally tell each and every brand what they want, why they want it, how they want it and how much they are willing to pay. Mainly because the consumers themselves don’t know. Some parts are subconscious levels which cannot be verbally explained, but must be researched by the companies. To do this, brands need to invest in market research, go out and observe consumers, talk to focus groups, work on their product, go back and again talk to focus groups and consumers, go out and observe some more, go back and work on their product…. its a continuous cycle.
There are several consumer behaviour theories out there that different professionals follow
The famous triangle of needs based on each level being fulfilled to move higher and higher to self development: Survival, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualisation. Taking the ‘esteem’ level as an example, we can see an interconnectedness with its lower levels. One must truly love and know oneself (internal acceptance) before we can seek external validation as otherwise any external validation is not based on the foundation of esteem.
Freud is the grandfather of this theory, and according to him, our behaviour is formed through the interaction of three separate yet connected componenten of the mind – the ID, Ego and Superego. So in a way, a consumer gets motivated by unknown elements which are controlled by the individuals conscious and rational thought.
Reasoned Action Theory
This is one for all brands – consumers make a purchase for a specific outcome, and thus are rational at making choices to act in their own best interest. Marketers utilise the power of positive result with the product being sold, much like the Axe Body spray ads where the guy always gets the girl.
This five step process starts with the consumption of marketing and advertising on a consumer. This data is then processed in the consumers mind and they consider past experiences and expectations. Moving on, with this information a consumer decides if they want to make a purchase based on all their information, and expectations should they purchase it. This is certainly a pivotal element for luxury brands, as they focus on the first step, of marketing and advertising, and then come back for the last phase of after purchase effect.
This model certainly has picked up in recent years, as it is based on a societal elements that consumers make decisions based on the cultural and societal norms. These days supermarkets have not just products where are vegetarian, but vegan, gluten free, pesticide free, to even and aisle of plastic free products. Showcasing these on the package can make the decisions a lot easier for shoppers to make.
There is no right way or wrong way, but depends on the ability your company has to dot he research and understand their consumers. Without understand your consumers, you are selling blindly.