The paper "Consumer Decision-Making" is a perfect example of a Marketing Term Paper. Consumer decision making looks at the process which the consumers undergo when making a purchase decision. In order to make the decision, the consumers pass through several steps which are referred to as consumer behavior. The steps are problem identification, searching for information, evaluating the alternatives and making the purchase decision. Decision making is affected by cultural and psychological factors. These can be further categorized as internal and external factors. Consumer decisions are mostly based on anticipated outcomes.
The external factor plays an important part in decision making. They have the capability to affect how, when and where the consumers make their purchases. External factors include culture and subculture, reference groups, opinion leaders, age, gender, family, social class, public policy, diffusion of innovation and consumer protection (Peter & Olson, 2005). This report will look at the effects of the external factors on consumer decision making regarding iPhone 4s. iPhone 4s overview iPhone 4s was introduced on October 4, 2011, by Apple. Inc as an upgrade to the iPhone 4.
The Smartphone which is fully touch screen was categorized as the fifth generation of the iPhone and was closely followed by the launch of the iPhone5. The phone gained a large market demand after the launch with more than 200,000 preorders being placed in a record time of 12 hours. The Smartphone was a major breakthrough due to wide consumer acceptance and overwhelming sales (Joshua, 2011). The phone was among the first duo core processors. The processor was an upgrade from the single-core in the iPhone 4. This was combined with high-quality display with an imagination technologies graphics processor.
For the consumers, Apple had been able to offer efficient hardware and software integration (Joshua, 2011). External factors The process of making consumer decisions does not occur without influences from the external environment. These are the physical surroundings and the social factors that surround the consumer. When making a purchase for a Smartphone, the consumers have several external factors that will influence the final decisions. These factors are reference group, family, social class, culture, sub-culture, public policy, legislation, advertising, pricing and the consumer ethics.
iPhone 4s launch created a decision-making process in the consumers (Hawkins, Best & Coney, 2001). The consumers’ decision of placing an order for the iPhone 4s can be explained by the external factors. Reference group Reference groups are the groups which have the capability to affect the behavior of the individual who want to identify with them. These groups have the capability to influence the consumers in three main ways. The influence can occur when searching for the information, change of attitude toward the product and the manner in which the individual uses or buys the product.
The reference group can be subdivided into 4 types. The types are primary group, secondary group, aspiration group and dissociative group. The primary group consists of the people who interact with the consumers regularly. These may be friends, neighbors, family or fellow workers. Reference’ s group perception for a product or the type of usage has an influence on consumer. For the iPhone 4s, the primary group played a role in making the consumers react fast. The reaction to the launch experienced was propagated through the social media among other media channels.
The rise of social media has enabled people to socialize with their friends easily and share the opinions. This enabled the consumers to get the insight about what the reference group was saying about the product. Most of the reviews especially by the young people were positive. For an individual to feel a sense of belonging with those they closely interact with, they may make choices based on what others have made (Solomon, 2002).
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