Oklahoma State University
Understanding Consumer Behavior
DHM 1433 Final Paper
Dr. Jane Swinney
December 9th, 2013
Understanding consumer behavior is anything related to how people buy or select products and how the companies are meeting consumer needs. This is important to the field of merchandising and the design field because the consumers are what make a company successful. If a designer or a merchandiser does not understand their consumer their company will not flourish. Understanding consumer behavior can be described through material learned in this class, the textbook used and information from recent NRF Smartbriefs.
In the first chapter of the textbook, In ...view middle of the document...
Geographics simply are where the consumer lives, including population size, climate and the region. A high-end New York City company would know not to try and sell to farmers in the middle of Kansas because that is not where they will please consumers. Secondly, knowing the demographics of the consumer require the designer to know the age group, income, occupation, gender, race and family size. The demographics are the factors that make up the designers chosen target market. Thirdly, understanding the psychographics of the consumer relates to what drives the people to their purchasing decisions (Stone 31). This is a factor that goes into more details on the consumers’ lifestyle to know why they are buying what they are buying. The last factor, behavior, is a way to understand why the groups of consumers are not satisfied with the garment or product. Taking into consideration each of these environmental factors will begin the process of understanding consumer behavior (Stone 32).
Understanding consumer behavior can relate to the chart process Consumer Buying Cycle vs. Consumer Use Cycle that was studied and discussed in class. This cycle has three different stages with two parts to each stage. The first is the innovation stage, including the introduction stage and the rising process. Introduction is the process of fashion innovators purchasing from head fashion retailers, while rise is the fashion leaders purchasing from traditional retailers in their departments. The second stage shown is the culmination stage, this includes acceleration and mass acceptance. This is the peak for both the consumer use and consumer buying cycle graph. Acceleration is the act of fashion followers purchasing from departments that are moderately priced and mass acceptance is those followers purchasing from mass merchants. Once those two stages have passed, over time the decline stage is put in action. This stage includes decline and obsolescence both of which are the lowest points on the chart. Decline is the purchase of the items from a discounter at an extremely low price. Finally, the obsolescence stage is the stage of no one buying the item and the item eventually seems to disappear. This chart accurately explains the process the consumer goes through when purchasing items. It is extremely important for a designer and a merchandiser to both comprehend and understand this process of their consumers (Stone 20).
The group discussion I had the chance to take part in, required me to read an article that was emailed to me by Dr.Swinney on how successful retailers in the future will have to be customer-led. This article explains the need for retailers to organize every operation around the customer first. Nordstrom is used as one of the best examples of this kind of customer-led organization. Four different competencies are explained in order to accurately achieve this customer-led organization that Nordstrom is successfully accomplishing. To achieve success, a...