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How Mindsets Unconsciously Influence Different Aspects of Consumer Behaviour

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Understanding consumer behavior is a broad and complicated task, but with the right research mix you can begin to get a detailed understanding of your customers and their motivations

Consumer behavior is the study of individuals and organizations and how they select and use products and services. It is mainly concerned with psychology, motivations, and behavior. As the motivations that influence consumer behavior are so wide, a research mix including a variety of data will be the most robust. Some are more cost effective than others.

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Using consumer choices model described in the introduction, some companies will seek to create in the eyes of target consumers a perception of need of e.g cooking spice, by advertising it as a miracle mix which will make every dish you make tasty and desirable by all family members. That perception of opportunity may trigger the consumer purchase decision. Knowing that information search for FMCGs is mostly internal, food producers try to make impression on the consumer e.g by making tomatoes look more healthy and appealable to potential consumers e.g we can see tomatoes with green stems or big ‘organically grown’ sign on the packaging that will trigger the consumer desire to eat healthy and even though those tomatoes may not be any healthier than the other 5 types that sit on the shelf. The perception of healthy / organic will arise in consumer mind and thus he will be more likely to purchase them.In relation to purchase decisions of consumers, many companies, especially those selling low involvement goods, use a marketing strategy which is directed at one of human’s basic motivation:- curiosity. By packaging a product with interesting and/or innovative pictures and images, they try to ”wake up” consumer curiosity and in this way win the consumer interest and encourage impulse to buy. Knowing that fulfilling original expectations of consumer will often lead to repeat purchase some products e.g Heinz Ketchup by introducing a claim of ”great thickness” and delivering on it better compare to other brands, can win consumer because consumer attention is drawn towards thickness only and satisfying this attribute alone give consumer overall perception of good performance

Emphasising consumer brand loyalty, many shops introduce loyalty cards, which give additional credits for shopping in particular shop, such as entitlement to discounts and promotions. Loyalty cards databases on the other hand enable understanding the clients better and give offers that best suit their behavior/habbits. Its a win-win situation for seller and buyer: the consumer has a perception of being special/appreciated and can see the reward for loyalty, while the shop has more information about the customers. For example, it was established that a buyer of full fat milk is 2.5 times more likely to purchase children orientated products. That is because a lot of parent buy full fat milk for their kids, and having kids means we buy for them more than just milk. Knowing that, a shop/company can send kids products brochures only to those people buying full fat milk rather than spend money on approaching adults who don’t have kids and are unlikely to purchase children’s products.

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Chartrand and Fitzsimons (2001) also highlight the benefit of exploring a broader view of consumer behavior research, especially with regard to nonconscious consumer behavior

Although researchers employing interpretative and introspective methods had been exploring the role of the nonconscious in consumption and branding activities for many years (as cited above), the traditional experimentalist paradigm had avoided public recognition of the role of the subconscious until a Choice Symposium in 2001 brought a number of experimentalist researchers together to share findings, frustrations and support. This highlights the need to not only look to each other as we continue to explore this complex and rapidly evolving area of nonconscious consumer behavior, but we must also be willing to look outside of our traditional research paradigms and embrace broader definitions of exploration into the issue. Second, unconscious processes include multiple dimensions that are to some extent unique from one another. Bargh (1994) describes some of these dimensions as ‘the four horsemen of automaticity’. They include lack of awareness, lack of intent, efficiency and lack of control. ‘These elements do not always go together and most, if not all, automatic processes have only a subset of them. For instance, typing is efficient (but does not have the other elements), performance on the classic Stroop task has lack of control, and most priming effects have lack of awareness and intent’ (Chartrand and Fitzsimons, 2001, p. 1). Therefore, exploring the nonconscious not as a monolithic unidimensional entity but rather as a multifaceted and complex process with aspects that can be more or less relevant to the particular research context is important.

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Generally speaking, we can say that nature of market is tricky and complex

The right strategy keeping consumers in focus can be correct strategy mix for M NC’s in future. Products specifically tailor made for Indian customers are likely to win. Even though it is true that MNC’s will change the nature of market but it is also true that for country like M NC’s need to bring change in their production.

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Chartrand, T.L. and Fitzsimons, G.L. (2001) Nonconscious consumer psychology. Journal of Consumer Psychology 21 (1): 1–3.

Bargh, J.A. (1994) The four horsemen of automaticity: Awareness, intention, efficiency, and control in social cognition. In: R.S. Wyer and T.K. Srull (eds.) Handbook of Social Cognition, Vol. 1, 2nd edn. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, pp. 1–40.

Boyatzis, R.E. (1998) Transforming Qualitative Information: Thematic Analysis and Code Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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