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There are basic five stages in purchase decision-making process. The stages are as follows:
- Need identification: This is the most important step in the decision making process. A consumer will not buy or purchase anything till there is need or the recognition of the product. The need can be generated either by internal stimuli or external stimuli. Internal stimuli will be thirstiness or appetite. External stimuli will be advertising etc.
- Information Hunt: once the customer has recognized his needs the next step will be to look out for the options that are available to fulfill the need. For this the buyers mostly believe on magazines, visuals, word of mouth, online advertisement etc.
- Assessment of Options: There are number of brands available in market for same product, so the buyer will assess all the options before taking any decision of buying (Sheth, 2011).
- Purchase decision: Once all the above three steps are done, the customer will take the purchase decision, but again his decision can be altered due to some external advises from friends or family.
- Post Buying Behavior: When the product is bought, there are two options either the customer will like it or do not like. If he likes it will come to the company again and if not next time he will try the other brand.
Buyer behavior is defined as the study of a person as an individual or in a group and the manners which they use to decide to select, buy or reject a product, service etc. There are different theories help the marketers to study and understand the buying behavior of the consumer. Two of theories from various theories are as following:
- Generic theory of buying behavior: There are several purchases for which the consumer goes through the generic process of buying. This means that the buyer will identify the need to purchase and then will start the research on the available products and prices of it. Finally after all the researches he will buy a product and if he is satisfied with it, the possibility is that he will again go for the same brand in his next purchase.
- Cultural theory of buying behavior: It is found in many of the cases that cultural influences affect the buying behavior of an individual (Bush and Hunt, 2011). A person’s culture is defined as the set of values and beliefs which he got to learn from his community and these definitely have a direct effect on buying behaviors. The other factors which affect the buying behavior of the person under cultural theory are his occupation, his group friends or professional, society etc.
The two major factors that affect buyer behavior are:
Personal Factors: The most important factor which has a direct impact on the buying behavior of the person is the personal factor. The various variables under this category are like age, profession, economic condition, personality etc. The variables which have a significant impact are the lifestyle which includes interests, hobbies, demographics etc. The personal factors keep on changing as the situation of the individual changes, for example if today an individual is poor and he can’t afford a particular brand, tomorrow he might get a better salaried job and then his buying behavior will change and hence he will buy the costly brand now (Bonoma & Zaltman, 2011).Social Factors: The variable which are included in the social factor are the reference groups which can aspirational groups and reference groups, family, status etc. Social factors have an external effect on the buying behavior of an individual.
Brand is defined as any of the differentiating patterns which can be in the form of symbol, logo, design, tag line which a company uses to distinguish its product from the other competitive products available in the market. Brand loyalty is defined as the behavior of the consumer to buy the same product again and again instead of the competitive products available.
Corporate image is the picture which comes in the consumers mind as soon as they listen to the name of the company. It is the impression of the firm which is formed in the customers mind. Repeat purchase is the process of the buying the product of same brand which is being bought by the customer previously (Malhotra, 2010). Repeat Purchase is the sign of brand loyalty of an individual.
Brand loyalty is associated with the repurchasing, but it is little more than that. An individual repurchase some product due to circumstances or situation but his loyalty towards a particular brand will make him to look out for the same brand and then buy the product. It is duty of the relationship mangers or the marketing managers to create such a corporate image of the company that the customer is forced to try out the product of the company and become a loyal customer.
Market research is defined as the collection of the data and information about the prospective consumers. It is a research done to get an idea about the requirements and likings of the consumers. Market research helps the company to understand that what kind of products are going to be profitable for the company. It helps to analyze the consumer’s reactions about the product. They will come to know whether the customers are satisfied with their product or not. Market research plays a very significant role in the success of any business. It helps in improving the competitive nature of the company and also helps in reducing the risks involved (Malhotra et al, 2013).
There are basically two types of market research prevalent one is quantitative research and the other is qualitative research. Quantitaive research is the one which provides all the information and data in the numeric form. These are mostly presented in the form of graphs, charts etc. On the other hand qualitative research is one which provides the data and facts about the perception of the customers. The quantitative research tells that how the customer feels about the product, whether they liked the product or not, what they feel about the product or what are kind of expectations they have from the product.
Secondary data is defined as the data which is collected by someone other than the person who is actually involved in the research. This information is usually used to gain the added understanding of the research work. The examples of secondary data are census, literatures, journals, case studies, government periodicals, housing registers, social safety records etc. It is always advised to start any research work with the help of secondary data as it rules out the unnecessary ideas and hence save lot of time. In marketing research there is an internal secondary data (Malhotra, 2010). This is the data which provides all the details of the current and the previous customers. The internal secondary data is f two types one is created internal data, existing internal data. The created internal secondary data is the one which is specially created for the research and the existing is the one which exists as a part of management information system. The existing internal secondary data is usually a part of any direct promotion works of the company.
It is very important to know the validity and reliability of the outcome of the research work which is done. Reliability is defined as the degree up to which the outcome of the research can be trusted upon. The best way to check the reliability of any research is to check or measure the consistency of the outcome over the period of time. This means that if the same researcher conducts the same research over a period of time, the same result should come. If this happens the researcher will be more confident in taking up some conclusions for his study. If the result is different both the time then the researcher need to be cautious while deciding the conclusion.
Validity is also very important in market research studies (Aaker et al, 2012). There are mainly two types of validity; one is internal validity which ensures that the cause-effect relationship found in research is real. The other is external validity, which covers the outer world. According to this, the result which comes from the experiment from the sample should also be applied to the people who were not involved in the experiment and were not the part of the sample. There is one more type of validity called as ecological validity which states that the outcome of the research should make some sense in the real world.
There are no doubts about the fact that there are certain limitations in any research work. The market research is said to be giving suggestions and not the decision. It gives an idea about certain thing; it cannot predict anything in a perfect manner.
Background: Our Company is the one of the biggest market player in the telecom industry. We are planning to launch a new product for the smart phone users. It has been a record that till date we have successfully launched our every product with the help of marketing principles and excellent market research. The researches till now were able to provide us the best information which helped us to plan the development of our product according to the needs of the consumer.
Objective of the research: The objective of the research is to get the best market research agency which can bring the relevant information for the launch of our product.
Methodology: For this research the methodology used will be both qualitative as well as quantitative. Quantitative method will help us to know about the clients statically and qualitative will help us to know about their behavior and perception.
Data Analysis: After market research there will be analysis of the data. Sampling is the best way to do it.
Time: the time period which we need for this research will about 56 months of the time.
Budget: The budget allotted will be depending on the number of questionnaires required and the amount of travelling required.
Market size is defined as the number of individuals in the market who can be the potential buyers of the product. The companies are always interested in getting an idea about the size of market before launching the product. Market trend is the tendency of the market to move in a particular direction (Mayor et al, 2011).
The market which I chose for the analysis was the smart phone market. The market size for smart phone is huge. There is no one who is not interested in getting a smart mobile phone. Their reasons vary to buy the mobile but they all want it. This is because today the market trend is like that only. Even a small kid is looking out for a smart phone. The market is full of technical people and hence starting from kids to oldies, everyone is looking out for a smart phone.
This is really a huge market size and if a company is able to design a smart phone which can draw everyone’s attention then the profits are really going to be high because today’s market trend is completely towards the use of smart phones.
Competitor analysis is defined as the valuation of strong and weak points of the competitors who are present in the market. It is a very important tool to assess ones position in the market. Strategic group is the group of companies that are into similar business models and are following similar kind of business strategy ((Berry & Waldfogel, 2010). I chose a food joint called as Pret the Manger for my analysis. The most significant competitor of this food chain is EAT. The strategic group of my organization is restaurants which are further divided into coffee-lounges, fine dining etc. Both the food joints are in the same field and serve almost the same items. The strength of the EAT is that they are located in almost every location and thus are easily accessible. The weak point is that the staff is not friendly and courteous enough to attract the customers and make them to come again.
UK market is growing at very fast rate in the direction to make use of smart phones. Everyone is looking for a smart phone so that their life becomes much easier. Since there is lot of demand of the smart phones in the market, china will have lots of opportunities to get their product in the UK market. There are customers of every generation who are looking for these kinds of products so, Chinese mobiles are going to be successful if they are able to grab the attention of people who are not much brand loyal and can get the smart phone in fewer prices. The only threat which the organization will have is that, there are already big players present in the market and it is going to be very tough to enter such a market.
It is very important to assess the response of the customers. There are various methods by which the assessment can be done. Following are the two main methods:
Face to face questionnaire: Face to face interview is the one in which the researcher asks the questions to the customer in person. This can be done through video conferencing, Skype etc. The main advantage of this kind of method is that the researcher gets his answer immediately (Grooves et al, 2013). The other important positive point with this technique is that incase if there are any confusions or doubts to researcher with the answer he can immediately clarify it. Along with the advantages there are some disadvantages of this method too like if the question is too long or complex it will be difficult for the consumer to understand the question and answer it given period of time. Sometimes there are some personal questions which the consumers do not feel to answer in person.
Online questionnaire: Online questionnaire includes emails, replies via mobile messages etc. The positives of this method are economical, easy to administer, number of responses can be increased and number of questions can be more. This is a standardized form of survey hence there are less chances of errors. The main drawback of this method is customers may not feel very encouraged in responding to messages or mail. The responses are limited only to people those who have access to mails or phones (Mooji, 2010). The customers may not remember all the points related to the question as the questionnaire is send to them after a period of time. Many a time’s customers ignore such kind of messages and mail and no show interest in completing the questionnaire.
Customer Satisfaction Survey
How much are you happy with the product / service?
- Very Happy
- Very Unhappy
Would you endorse our product / service to anyone?
- Not sure
- Maybe no
- Surely no
Would you like to try our service / product in the future?
- Not sure
- Maybe no
- Surely no
How frequently do you use product / service?
- Once in a week
- Once in a month
- 2-3 times in a week
- 2-3 times is a month
- Never Used
What feature of the product / service you liked the most?
- Buying Experience
- Usage Experience
- Customer Service
What feature of the product / service you did not like?
- Buying Experience
- Usage Experience
- Customer Service
In the range of similar products / services, how would you our product?
- Don’t know