The paper “ External Factors Influencing Consumer Decision-Making Process for Coke Consumers” is a meaningful example case study on marketing. Consumer purchasing behaviour is sometimes influenced by factors emanating from the external environment, which may be outside of their control. These factors have an indirect impact on the lives and consumption choices made by consumers. There are numerous external that influences buyers purchasing behaviour including an individual’ s household structure, reference groups, culture and subculture (Lamb et al, 2011). Business owners and marketers refer to these factors as external influences since they emanate from the external environment and not from inside a person.
In the face of global competition, consumers are being faced with an array of product selection. It has, therefore, become vital for businesses and marketers to understand the internal and external factors that influence purchasing decisions made by consumers. These factors work together to influence consumer-purchasing behaviour and are key to the success of any business (Lamb et al, 2011). This paper seeks to examine the external factors influencing the purchasing behaviours displayed by coke consumers. Coke is a product of the Coca-Cola Company, the largest manufacturer of non-alcoholic drinks globally (Lantos, 2010).
This company has achieved tremendous success in the non-alcoholic beverages industry partly due to its effective strategies to understand and respond to consumer purchasing behaviours. According to Lantos (2010), Coca Cola Company keeps on monitoring any changes in consumer behaviours that may affect their profits and sustainability of their products in the market. In response, this company develops new innovative brands of coke to suit the diverse needs of different consumer segments. External Factors influencing decision makingCoke is a soft drink that is often taken to reduce the need for thirst.
However, other alternatives may be available to a consumer such as water and Pepsi. In such a case, the consumption of coke is mostly influenced by a consumer’ s cultural environment. People also consume coke to relax, to celebrate and to socialize with family members, playmates or age-mates (Wright, 2006). Sometimes, the choice to take coke is influenced by the feeling to associate with specific persons or groups in society. Therefore, the major external factors influencing purchasing decisions made by consumers of coke are the individual’ s reference group, family, culture and sub-culture. Reference GroupsA human being is a social animal who likes to live in groups.
Groups comprise of individuals sharing similar values, norms and beliefs that influence the behaviours of the member (Sahaf, 2008). Members of a group interact to achieve mutual or individual goals. The extent to which a group exerts influence on the behaviour of a member depends on his or her attitude towards the group (such as status and pride) and nature of the group (including cohesiveness, exclusive membership and frequency of interaction).
Groups can be categorized as either membership groups or symbolic/non-membership groups. Membership groups refer to groups that one belongs to such as family while symbolic groups refer to those that one aspires to belong to (Sahaf, 2008). An individual aspiring to belong to a given football club would be said to belong to that symbolic group. A person may also regard his membership to a group as either primary or secondary. Primary groups are essential to a person, are more cohesive and the members interact frequently.
These include family friends, business group, peer group and working colleagues. On the other hand, secondary groups are less valuable to an individual and are less cohesive. Examples of secondary groups are sports group and women kitty party. Furthermore, groups can either be formal or informal (Sahaf, 2008). Formal rules are guided by written rules of the association. Examples of formal groups are business groups and work colleagues. On the other hand, informal groups occur naturally and are not guided by written rules. They include sports group, women kitty party, peer group, friends and party.