Buyer behavior is the decision-making process and acts that are involved in the purchase and use of products. A firm needs to understand these behaviors to create marketing strategies for the sale of its products. This will help the firm in creating a marketing niche for its products and services while studying its potential clients. Phillipus (2003).
Image altering services
Listed below are six image-altering services that may be purchased by specific individuals according to their needs and interests.
This is one of the body modification procedures. It is done using a small needle, which is injected into the muscle tissue that surrounds a wrinkle. This injects a chemical that blocks the nerve impulses ensuring relaxation of the tissue. Most people use Botox to look young, particularly the women in society. Some of them are influenced by the social environment that requires them to look good every time, some have the money, some are influenced by their careers, for instance, models and actors find this service very useful. Their ability to afford this procedure requires them to keep up with the social status that motivates them to look vibrant and pretty.
This refers to the removal of excessive fats around the abdominal region and at times excess skin resulting in a flat stomach and a well-toned one at that. This surgery provides for a leaner body that most people strive to get, particularly the females in society through exercising and other physical activities. There are quite several reasons why people can get engaged in this type of surgery. Among the common reasons are that, after pregnancy, the abdomen tends to increase in size and most people tend to become loose and saggy. With aging, there is excess skin in the body, changes in the body weight, varying fluctuations particularly from being overweight to losing an incredible amount of body fats, some of the abdominal bodyweight is genetic, hereditary, and the only way to control it is through surgery. Most people do it to feel accepted in a society that is biased against people thought to be “fat”.
It involves the improvement of the dental formula of a person to perk up their dental appearance. It includes teeth whitening, which is the removal of stains from teeth, which would otherwise be removed by mere brushing of the teeth. It is the improvement of a persons’ dental appearance, the gums, smile and their teeth. This improves the confidence in a person by boosting up their self-esteem such that they are no longer cautious of how they talk, have radiant smiles and can speak publicly without the fear of being ridiculed or laughed at.
Laser eye surgery
This kind of body modification has seen to the movement of a person’s eyesight who would not have a clear vision without the help of glasses or spectacles. This kind of surgery corrects their vision such that glasses and contacts become outdated. It involves changing the focusing power of the eye by reshaping the cornea, which is the clear front part of the eye. (Polos, 2007) There are different types of this kind of surgery but the most common is LASIK; laser assisted in situ keratomileusis. (Polos, 2007)
These are decorative marks made on the skin by use of ink. They are meant to give one an edgier look. Some tattoos are, however, cultural based and have significant meaning to the person for example the Japanese used to wear facial tattoos as a means of expressing various emotions or beauty.
Laser hair removal
Most people have some significant amount of unwanted hair. For reasons personally known to them, this procedure is essential. Actors and models have generally found this kind of procedure relatively useful, as their professions require unlimited perfection. It is now commercially advertised and used by a wide range of people.
An interview involving three people of different ages, gender and cultural background was carried out, and each was asked to rank the above listed image altering options according to what they would most likely or least likely engage in. This activity was meant to find out the what would be the suitable consumers of a certain service and the reasons for the choice of the specific service.
The first person to be interviewed was a thirty one year old female who works as a receptionist in a five star hotel, and is currently expectant. When asked to list the options that she was most likely to have performed on her, she readily chose tummy tuck. This was for the sole reason that after having her baby, she would not like to have a “hanging tummy” and hence the procedure. She said it would help her maintain her figure, which is crucial to her.
Botox was the next on her list. She pointed out that she had some frown lines on her forehead that made her look a bit older. She was quite comfortable that the simple procedure would help her get rid of the hideous lines. She listed laser hair removal, as her third must have procedure that she would have done to reduce hair in some specific parts of her body. She described her legs, arms and armpits as being the most hairy part of her body.
The three that she was not comfortable with were tattooing, cosmetic dentistry, and the laser eye surgery. Tattoos to her were unnecessary at her age that the only people to her that engaged in tattooing were teenagers. She mentioned that cosmetic dentistry was not necessary since her dental health was in check thanks to her regular visits to the dentist. However, for the laser eye surgery, she says she would not mind getting rid of her contacts although the main problem was that the procedure was a bit too expensive for her to afford at the time and had more pressing issues.
The next interviewee was an eighteen-year-old high school graduate who runs errands for his parents at their shop. When interviewed about the procedures and those that he would like to have done to improve his appearance, he ranked cosmetic dentistry as the top on his list. He gave a vivid and concerned description of the crooked state of his front teeth and the discoloration which he attributed to his chronic smoking. He thus needed his teeth aligned and whitened.
Secondly, he listed laser eye surgery. From the information offered by his parents, it was found out that he had been wearing reading glasses for as long as he can remember. Being eighteen years of age, he had accorded the freedom to choose whether to undertake the procedure or not.
Thirdly, he chose tattooing. He says the idea of acquiring a tattoo was inspired by his karate teacher who had a quote tattooed across his chest in Chinese. He said that it looked ‘cool’ and wanted the same done on his chest although his would have to be accompanied by a portrait of a dragons head.
The choices the he was least interested in were Botox, tummy tuck and laser hair removal. His reasons for ranking them in the order were; he did not need Botox because his skin was still young and radiant probably when he will be much older. Tummy tuck was also not at all a necessity to him since he had no tummy to be tucked! He insisted that only women needed to have this procedure performed. He also did not require hair removal since he had no problem with the amount of hair in his body.
The final person to be interviewed was a businessperson, forty-nine years of age. She was subjected to the same kind of interview as the above people. Her top choices were hair removal procedures, tattooing and laser eye surgery. Her reasons for choosing hair removal procedures were that it was an activity that she had been undergoing for quite a while that has helped her deal with the excessive amount of hair that she has which has been kind of an issue to her. Being a businessperson who interacted personally with her customers, she says that body image is extremely necessary.
Tattooing was her next option citing that it was part of her culture. She mentioned that tattooing was a form of beautification that has been there for quite some time, and it is the choice of an individual if they wanted to have it performed or not she was yet to choose the kind of tattoo she would want placed on her.
Laser eye surgery was a necessity to her because as she advanced in age, the strength of her eyesight continued to diminish. Glasses and contacts were not her best preferences and, therefore, to avoid investing in one she dedicated some of her savings towards the service.
Tummy tucks, cosmetic dentistry and Botox were her bottom three choices. Her tummy did not present her problem to her since it symbolized the number of children she had and her ever-growing family. Again, she sighted that her culture did not allow such extreme changes to be done on the body unless it was for medical purposes.
Her slight wrinkles were also not an issue of concern because, to her it is merely nature beginning to take its course therefore Botox was out of question. Her dental hygiene was complementary as she always paid a visit to the dentist regularly hence her teeth were in good condition.
Analysis of decision-making strategies
There are various decision making strategies employed by consumers to help them decide on which products and services to buy and not to buy, and the brands to use or ignore. The focus here is to analyze and compare the various responses from the above interview with reference to the three decision-making theories that have directed them towards their choices. These are the theories of motivation, values and self-identity and are often associated with consumer buying strategies.. Polos (2007).
This is the driving force that directs a consumer to purchasing a specific product. Consumers generally have different motives for particular purchases and decision of purchases they make. Each of the above listed persons has his/her different motives and motivations for the different lists of procedures they have chosen Barney (2007).
The older woman and the young boy both chose laser eye surgery in their most likely to engage in list. However, they both had different motives. The teenager wanted to get rid of his glasses while the businessperson did not want to have to use them in the first place but still maintain a twenty-twenty vision.
The receptionist was motivated by the fact that she wanted to maintain her figure and youthfulness hence chose the tummy tuck and Botox procedures. There can be outside motivational factors that can drive one to engage in the purchase of a good or a service. For instance, the boy was motivated by his teachers’ tattoos that drove him to plan on getting one. Therefore, it can be keenly noted that different motivational aspects influences the choice of product of a consumer and can be personal, group or environmental motivation. Personal motivation entails the purchasing of a service according to ones personal needs and motives without any outside influence. Group motivation involves the continuous pressure from peers or availability of the products and this is mostly the main influencing factor that leads to a lot of impulse buying, which is the buying of unnecessary product or engaging in extravagant purchases. Environmental motivation is mainly the effect of one surrounding that leads to the buying of certain goods and services associated with the surrounding.
Different people have different values pertaining to a product or a service. These are mainly cultural values or behavioral values. These often determine what products, services consumers purchase, and the reasons for their purchase in line with the specific values and guide lines.
Nowadays, several people have adopted the culture of good health, freedom and individualism. Freedom has been the driving force of the above interviewees to choose what kinds of services and goods they would like to obtain and in this case, what kind of image altering procedures they would like to have.
In the case of the boy and the businessperson, again they have chosen the same product but for different reasons. Both would like to take to tattooing their bodies but the boy’s reason is that it would look good on him, merely decorative while the woman’s reason is that it has been a cultural practice that has been undertake by her people for a while and hers would be as a symbol relating to her cultural background.
Therefore, it can be keenly noted that culture cannot be ignored during the process of consumer decision making as gives the consumer the ability of distinguishing between wanted and unwanted goods and services.
Self and self-identity
Self and self-identity refers to an individual and how they relate to certain products and services. There is also the sense of self-regulation, which is the process where a consumer makes a list of the important to the least significant products or the most accessible to the least accessible. It is crucial that a consumer purchases product that are accessible at the moment and satisfy their immediate needs Michael (1979).
The above consumers have ranked the services from the least to the most important. The receptionist has listed her choices in the order of the most to the list important giving the specific reasons for her choices. She has however regulated herself to not obtaining a laser eye surgery procedure, as it is for the moment unaffordable to her. She has made a very important decision to cater for her immediate needs hence avoiding over stretching her financial limits and abilities.
The older woman wants to promote her culture by obtaining a tattoo. This will enable her to identify herself with her culture. These consumers are have portrayed a character of self-loving in that they all want to undertake these procedures in order to improve their current imperfections and add more to their appearances and to better their lives.
The significant influences causing the differences between the above participants were their demographic divisions that are there was a difference in their ages and genders. The choice of some of the products was based on the age of the consumer for example; Botox was chosen to remove the wrinkles that gave the aging look. The young boy did not see the need of purchasing Botox because his looks at his age did not allow him; also, he did not purchase the tummy tuck procedure because he referred it to as a procedure for the women.
The other aspect that caused the differences in the choice of the consumer was their self-awareness. Each consumer was well aware of his or her problems and the solutions to their noted problems. Hence, they individually listed the services according to their needs. This concludes that different people have different need at a specific time creating some kind of a market mix.
As mentioned above, it is important for a marketer to understand the behaviors of their potential customers in order to be able to employ appropriate marketing strategies. This will help the business in planning the kind of products to offer in the specific times and the target areas for the market of the produced goods and services Stokes (2006).
Recommended marketing strategies
For the marketers offering laser eye surgery as a service, the following recommendations might be useful in selling their products to the correct market niche.
Pricing should be particularly vital in promoting a product or a service. A marketer should regulate the prices of its services such that they are competitive to avoid undergoing losses and are fair to its target market that is enabling the affordability of the service. It should aim at producing quality services worthy of the prices associated with them Barrile (2007).
The marketer should find various and reliable ways of advertising the product such that it reaches a wide range of potential customers. The advertisement should include the benefits of the service and its guarantee that is, they should make it clear to the customers what it is that they offer and how it can be accessed. Providers for this service should be updated with the present technology that is associated with the provision of the intended service in order to provide satisfactory results. The provision of reputable services helps in creating and maintaining loyal customers Flip du (2010).
The business should aim at listening to the consumers needs and responding to each accordingly. It should create time to undertake consultations with its customers and to state clearly the risks that are associated with the performance of such a procedure. Marketing experts report that the biggest mistakes often committed by businesses is that when marketing their services they make things so difficult to understand or to relate to, and whenever a customer does not find an interest in a product he or she does not see the need to consume it. (Barrile, 2007)
The business should be well aware that whenever a marketing strategy fails to work, change should be implemented immediately to analyze and evaluate other ways of promoting their products and services including finding new markets for the products or changing the products completely Jeston (2006).
This refers to the characteristics of the consumers of a particular product or services, their demography and location. A business needs to analyze the characteristics of their probable consumers in order to produce such goods that would suit their consumption. The above service can be offered to consumers of all ages, gender, social class and profession. The marketer of this business should take into consideration the characteristics the above listed individuals and find a means of attracting these individuals creating a profile that can be identified by each of them.
They should try to divide their services in accordance the number of divisions in their marketing environment so that none is left out Williamson (2004).
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