In the lecture, I learned more about the self-concept (how people feel about themselves). I found this topic really interesting and valuable. Self-concept plays an important role in consumer behaviour, as people want to buy things, which are going to make them feel and look good. According to Carl Rogers, self-concept has three components: self-image (how we see ourselves), self-esteem (the value we place upon ourselves) and the ideal self (the self we would like to be).
I will talk in more details about how social media affect self-concept. Nowadays most of us use many kinds of social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I mostly use Instagram, so I will use it as an example. This platform acts like it is real, but in fact it is not. People obviously share only the good things, such as selfies where they are satisfied with their look, etc. Why they would post something that would make them look worse, right? And that is the reason why some of us look up at “Instagram models”, which could be our ideal selves, and want to look like them. However, we probably do not know that behind that perfect selfie is apparently a perfect work in Photoshop, tons of make-up, the right filter, etc. That affects our self-esteem to lower values.
From my experience, I obviously do post only the better pictures of me, share the good moments that happen in my life, where my self esteem value is higher. My question is: how do others see me then? If they would know me based on the Instagram, they would probably see my ideal self. And this is the thing that all of us need to think about. We really should not be stressed and compare our lives with ideal posts on social media.
In the lecture, we talked about how important is to pay attention to demographic segmentation. When talking about consumer behaviour, this is one of the important external aspects because it influences what people want to buy. Demographic segmentation includes five different areas: age, gender, family lifestage, generation groupings and social class. Today, I will specifically talk about the Generation Y, which is one of the generation groups of which I belong to, since I was born in 1999..
Generation Y, also called Millennials, consists of people born between 1980–2000. It is considered as the most technologically sophisticated generation in history with a huge advent of media and technology. According to the results of a study by Valaei and Nikhashemi (2017), brand, style, price and social identity are the most influential factors of this generation. In contrast, style, price and country of origin are irrelevant aspects for Millennials. Another fact that is these people cannot imagine their lives without the internet, and social media is their second nature. They communicate through them, posting pictures with the newest trends, while still trying to be original. Millennial consumers like to buy authentic, eco-friendly brands, as sustainability will interest them the most.
In my point of view, I can totally agree that social media has become part of my life. People there share the newest trends in fashion, recommend the best restaurants, etc. These are the main aspects that influence me when buying a product. I try to buy locally supported products.
Overall, members of Generation Y are important more than any other demographic because they are largest living generation. They are also the most profitable generation, as they are a well-educated generation with high salaries. So the best way to address Millennials is trough social media, while being authentic.
In the lecture, we talked about the consumer decision-making proces, so what it is actually? A buying process is the series of steps a customer takes to make a purchase decision. I learned that there are five stages needed, which are recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post – purchase evaluation.
I will share my own experience with buying my new running shoes how I went trough all of these stages. I had really old running shoes, they were not comfortable anymore, so I realised I needed to buy new running shoes. I started by looking for them online, visited many different online stores with a wide range of shoes, read many reviews, and I was even more confused than before. I also asked my friend who runs a lot, and she recommended Brooks or Asics shoes, so I stuck with these two brands and thought the best would be go the actual store and try them on. I asked the shop assistant, told her my requirements and she helped me find some. Visually, I preferred the Asics, but they did not feel that comfortable unlike the Brooks. After trying on the latter, I definitely knew I want only them! The only disadvantage was the high price. However, I decided to buy them, also thanks to the recommendations of the assistant and my friend. I definitely prefer in-store shopping rather than online shopping.
Now after a year of using them I can say I do not regret that I bought them, and I would buy them again as well as recommend them. From my experience, the worst thing when buying a product is the information search. Nowadays, people can find plenty of information sources, and it can be more overwhelming than helpful. What about you? Do you prefer online or in-store shopping? Before purchasing more expensive products, do you usually read reviews?
In our lecture, we talked about attitudes. I learned that attitudes can be consistent, learned or occur within a situation/context. So what is an attitude?
According to Hogg, & Vaughan, the definition of attitude in marketing is “a relatively enduring organisation of beliefs, feelings, and behavioural tendencies towards socially significant objects, groups, events or symbols.” This is a really important factor in consumer behaviour, as it influences consumer in reaction for a particular brand. Once the attitude is formed, it is usually difficult to change it. That means the attitude of a specific person determines their perception of a particular product or service.
From my experience, I prefer some brands over the others. For example, when buying clothes for sports, I usually seek for Adidas, Nike or Under Armour. I have had none concerns with these brands, and I will buy their products next time too. This behaviour is definitely influenced by my attitude, which I realised later in my age. The brands have built up my trust thanks to their good quality, nice design of their products or because I have seen that these brands are wearing famous people. These elements convinced me to buy more things from the brands in the first place. Most of our knowledge comes from our family and the customs passed on to us. Thanks to the advertisements, it is possible to change people’s attitudes and opinions about a particular brand or service, which is important in marketing.
Overall, I would rather pay more for a great product, which will last a long time, than a cheaper one with worse quality. What is your opinion about that? Do you also have your favourite brands and are you loyal to them?