The paper "Consumer Decision-Making - Internal Factors" is an outstanding example of management coursework. With changes in tastes and preferences, marketing researchers have been concerned about how to influence the way customers behave in their buying process. This is after realizing that individuals, groups and organisations have a unique way in which they select, secure, use and dispose of products, services and experiences (Lynchjr, & Zauberman, 2007). The aim of marketers in conducting this kind of research is to find out how people make their buying decisions and know the factors that influence their buying behaviour.
Consumers buy products and services for their individual or household consumption that either satisfies physiological, sociological and psychological needs. Individual buying behaviour is influenced by various factors. These include the social environment, individual circumstances, and personal characteristics. This study discusses the influence of different internal factors on the customer’ s decision-making process. To be specific this study involves airline travel services. Consumer decision making takes five distinct stages. The first stage is the problem or needs recognition. At this stage, the buyer recognises a problem or a need that results from external and or internal stimuli.
In this case, the customer identifies the need to travel. Unfulfilled need to travel builds tension overtime on the buyer thereby acting as a drive or a motivator. According to Maslow’ s hierarchy of needs, there are five levels of needs. These are physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualisation need. These needs arise in a person following a systematic order. When one need is satisfied, it ceases to be a motivator (Lynchjr, & Zauberman, 2007). Physiological needs are first-level needs that are a person who cannot live without.
These include food, clothing and shelter. Lack of these needs acts as a big motivator to the buyer and therefore prompts a search for their satisfaction. On the second level are safety needs which consist of the need for security. When the buyer is faced with safety needs, he is motivated to look for security measures such as buying security dogs. On the fourth level are the esteem needs. When a consumer is faced with this kind of need, he searches for a means by which he can increase his recognition for example by buying an expensive car.
The highest level in the hierarchy of need is the self-actualization need. In this level, the need to fulfil one's vision or dream motivates the buyer to seek a service or a product that can satisfy his dreams or vision (Hutt & Speh, 2013). For example, a consumer can decide to tackle a social initiative like helping the poor in society. The drive to acquire a product that can satisfy a need becomes a goal.
The consumer uses cognitive material that has been stored over time based on previous buying experiences, own personality self-concept or attitude as a basis of satisfying the need. In this stage, the role of the marketer is to find out what brought about the need and respond accordingly. The second stage is the information search. When the consumer is aroused by a certain need, he is inclined to search for information. Sources of information include personal sources through friends, family neighbours or acquaintances (Bettman, Johnson & Payne, 1991). Personal sources are informative through the word of the mouth and are preferred based on the buyer's trust towards them.
Memories from past experiences also form an important internal source of information. Buyers gather public information from published magazines and newspapers. In addition, promotional messages generated by producers and sellers of products in the form of advertisements, presentations and sales literature are essential.
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