The paper "External Factors Influencing Customer Decision Making" is a great example of a Marketing Term Paper. This analysis examines several external factors that affect the customer decision-making process. These external variables include the relevance of the reference groups: social class; family; culture and subculture; effect of cross-culture consumer behavior; the significance of opinion leaders and innovations as well as the role of the public policy and consumer protection in relation to Kopi luwak as the selected product for analysis. Kopi luwak is selected because of its uniqueness and its close relation to the identified external factors.
Kopi luwak undergoes unique processing which involves being ingested and excreted by Palm Civet, an Asian wild animal. Kopi luwak is perceived to be a high-quality coffee product and it is highly-priced in the market. This is the reason why it is selected for analysis in this case. Organizations are increasingly becoming aware of important variables that affect the customer decision-making process; there are both internal and external factors that influence customer decision-making process. These factors may vary depending on the customer and product in the market.
It is important to study these factors in order to properly align the product with the market. This analysis focuses on external factors that influence the customer decision-making process. These factors include reference groups, family life cycles, cultures, values, customer behavior, image, leader's opinions, and public policies among others. These factors are analyzed in-depth in this analysis with the aim of elaborating important theories and concepts involved. Kopi luwak, a specialty coffee product that is known for its unique story is selected for analysis in this case.
Background information Kopi luwak is a specialty coffee product that is uniquely processed. This coffee product undergoes animal assistance in refining it to a special product. Palm Civet (a wild animal) ingests the seed and defecates the undigested coffee seed which is taken for further processing and making of coffee. Luwak is the Indonesian name for palm civet and its scientific name is Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus (Miller, Vandome, & John, 2010). This coffee specialty product has gained popularity across the globe because of its unique processing and its perceived quality. Kopi luwak costs as much as $USD100 to $USD600 per pound.
This product is selected because of its uniqueness and its impact on the external factors of the customer decision-making process. External factors of the customer decision-making process are discussed in reference to this product (Miller, Vandome, & John, 2010). Relevance of reference groups and their impact on customer decision making process A reference group in sociology means a group of people that we associate with them as a benchmark for decision making process. These people are used as standard for comparison to ourselves.
As such, reference groups affect our decision making, desirability, thoughts, behavior, and feelings. According to Bygrave & Zacharakis (2004, p. 80) a reference group is an important external factor that has a direct impact on our daily decision making process. Almost every person has a reference group that influences several aspects of our lives. As an example, a reference group in football for soccer fans can be the current stars like Messi, Ronaldo and Bale. In politics and world leadership, influential people like President Obama and The Rockefeller are reference groups for people with political ambitions.
As such, whatever these people do influence other people’ s decision making process including the products that they buy. As an example, Nike brand is normally bought by many sports people because of the perceived image. Nike normally focuses its products on famous sports personnel and hence creating a reference group for other people to base their decision making.
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