Consumer behavior is the most interesting topic as it involves the study of how the customers, individuals, organizations make the buying decision in order to satisfy their needs and wants. In other words, the actions of the consumers in the marketplace refer to the behavior of the consumer. Every consumer has its own choices and tastes. Because of which reason it is very important to understand the customer's needs before going to target a new market.
In this report, the main focus is given on the consumer behavior theories and applied them with the strategic cases to enhance the knowledge in relation to the consumer behavior. The main purpose of this report is to understand the importance of consumer behavior towards the products and services of the company. There are two questions involved in this report. First question is related to the planned behavior and its relations with the innovation. The second question is based on the situation of McDonalds and developing the recommendation for the company by applying the consumer behavior theories.
There are mainly two main sources that influence the decision of the customers to buy a particular product. One is the time and energy devoted by the individual to make a good decision and second one is the degree of emotions and feelings that influence the purchasing decision of consumers. The consumer behavior theories are like a motivational theory because it also involved the study of the internal state of mind of the consumers.
Yes, it is true that marketers commonly use the theory of planned behavior to predict consumer behavior. In psychology the theory of planned behavior shows the link between the behavior and beliefs of the people. According to the theory of planned behavior, it is stated that attitude norms and control together, saves the individual behavior and their intentions. This theory was introduced by the Ajzen in 1973. There are many social marketing campaigns, choosing the theory of planned behavior.
Continuing with the marketing campaign for smoking, the relation between two theories is going to be discussed. As above it is clear that the smoking campaign has the main aim is to target the smokers and change their behavior towards the smoking by explaining them the impact of the smoking on the well being of the smoker. According to the theory of planned behavior, it is better to understand the attitude, norms and control and intensions of people who taking the Tobacco on regular basis. This campaign further grows and matures in terms of the diffusion of the innovation theory. The application of this theory in the health promotion and public health starts with the family planning programs and immunization campaigns.
There can be two levels seen in the marketing of the smoking campaign; First level is the adoption and diffusion of the reasons behind the smoking or habit of drugs. On the other hand, second level is the implementation of some innovative ideas and diffusion of some preventions and control of smoking, drugs or Tobbaco. (Shaw, 2013) From this practical example, it is clear that theory of planned behavior is mainly focused on the attitudes, norms and behavior of the people towards some serious issue and diffusion of innovation theory is focused on further application of some innovative ideas to solve the problems.
However, the example in the context of the smoking or health campaign is such as school based tobacco prevention programs. Talking about the relation between the planned behavior and diffusion of innovation, then it is clear that the diffusion of innovation is concerned with the innovative characteristics where has the theory of planned behavior is concerned with the three variables that affect the attention and behavior of the decision maker. Similarities between both the theories are that they both are concerned with the perceptions of the decision maker(Fishbein & Ajzen, 2010)
The second question relates to the development of strategic recommendation for McDonalds on the basis of consumer behavior theories. McDonald's have the strategic option to offer a new line of Organic food menu within McDonald's restaurant and label it as a healthier alternative. There are two theories have been applied in order to develop the recommendation for McDonalds. First one is the classical conditioning theory of consumer behavior and second one is involvement theory. Talking about the relation between the planned behavior and diffusion of innovation, then it is clear that diffusion of innovation is concerned with the innovation characteristics where has theory of planned behavior is concerned with the three variables that affect the attention and behavior of the decision maker. Similarities between both the theories are that they both are concerned with the perceptions of the decision maker(Madhavan & Kaliyaperumal, 2015).
According to the classical conditioning theory, learning occurs as a connection between the stimulus and response and the learning also occurs through the conditioning. This theory was given by the Russian psychologist named as Ivan Pavlov, who elaborates all the number of steps which we can apply on the McDonald's new strategic option. This is of behavior learning theory fall into which one stimulus is connected with another stimulus in order to produce the same response when they used alone. The three main basic concept drives from the classical conditioning theory which are reputation, stimulus generalization, and stimulus discrimination.
According to this theory, Pavlov proposed the fact that all the living facts are passive in nature and will respond to the stimuli after the repetitions and the trials of the stimulus. This theory is based on the reflections not on the cognitions, the cognitions is the learning of association that involves the reactions as well as the environment responses. Cognitive learning theories represent the learning about the behavior of the consumer(Levitt, 2015). There are some of the implications have been developed for the marketers of the McDonald’s which are as follows:
Relation to the case scenario
In relation to the strategic option to introduce a new line of the chain of organic food, then it is recommended that the organization should understand the customer’s tastes and preferences towards the healthier food. Every customer has the different perception and behavior towards stay healthy food. On the basis of the elements of classical conditioning theory, repetition increases strength of associations where customers will not be able to forget the product easily because of the continuous promotion of the products. It is recommended for the McDonald's also that they should focus on the 3 exposures of advertisement such as product awareness, product relevancy and benefits of the product.
Coming to the second element of the classical conditioning theory, which is a stimulus generalization that describes the making of the same responses with different stimulus. This involves the advertisement of the new product within the McDonald's restaurant, but labelled it as a healthier alternative. The concept of stimulus generalization is very similar to the strategic option of McDonalds as both are using the label of the alternative products but within the same organization(Ognjanov, 2009).
According to the stimulus generalization there are many ways to promote the product in the organization which we can recommend for the McDonald's also. These different promotional ways of promoting the organic product in the McDonald's are as follows:
The second Theory chosen for the development of recommendation for the McDonald's is the environment theory that helps to understand the behavior of the target audience as well as their psychology.
According to this theory there are mainly two main sources that influence the decision of the customers to buy a particular product. One is the time and energy devoted by the individual to make a good decision and the second one is the degree of emotions and feelings that influence the purchasing decision of consumers. This theory is like and a motivational theory because it also involved the study of the internal state of mind of the consumers. Involvement of the consumers can be processed through various sources such as external and agencies. There are two types of involvement of the consumers high and low involvement. Low involvement is generally found in the products having a short life such as bread.
A customer said to be of a low involvement because of the low satisfaction levels with the brand and there is a possibility that customers will purchase some other brand from the next time. High involvement is found in consumer durable products where the involvement of consumer in making the decisions is high(Rajmohan, 2017). Some of the examples with the degree of involvement and its life span of the product are shown in the below table:
Product or Service
Fast moving consumer goods.
Furniture, crockery, ordinary medical treatment
Automobiles, surgery, purchase of immovable assets, insurance policy etc.
Relation to the case
With regard to the case of McDonald's, it is analyzed that company can influence the decision of the consumers by increasing their involvement levels. There are many types of consumer involvement in the buying decisions of the company. According to this involvement theory, there are many factors that influence the decision making of customers such as the level of knowledge information, lifestyle, social system and psychology. Therefore, it is recommended that, to offer a new product in the organic field, the company should focus on all these factors in order to attract the maximum customers for the healthy products(Ognjanov, 2009).
Some of the forms of the customer involvement in the purchase decisions are:
The main purpose of the consumer behavior theories is to understand the motivational influences on behavior and to identify how we can change the behavior of the people. It is recommended that the organization should understand the customer’s tastes and preferences towards the healthier food. Every customer has the different perception and behavior towards stay healthy food. On the basis of the elements of classical conditioning theory, repetition increases strength of associations where customers will not be able to forget the product easily.
There are mainly two main sources that influence the decision of the customers to buy a particular product. One is the time and energy devoted by the individual to make a good decision and the second one is the degree of emotions and feelings that influence the purchasing decision of consumers. It is concluded that there are many factors that influence the decision making of customers such as levels of knowledge information, lifestyle, social system and psychology. Therefore, it is recommended that, to offer a new product in the organic field, the company should focus on all these factors in order to attract the maximum customers for the healthy products.
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Fishbein & Ajzen, 2010. Theory of Planned Behavior,
Levitt, G., 2015. Consumer behavior.
Madhavan, M. & Kaliyaperumal, C., 2015. Consumer Buying Behavior-An Overview Of Theory and Models.
Ognjanov, G., 2009. Theories of consumer behavior and methodology applied in research of products.
Rajmohan, R., 2017. Consumer behaviour theories and models.
Shaw, A., 2013. Theory of planned behavior.
Yakasai, A. & Jusoh, W., 2015. Testing the Theory of Planned Behavior in Determining Intention to use Digital Coupon among University Students. Volume 31, pp. 186-193,
Zielinski, Z., 2009. Consumer Behavior Theory: Excesses and Limitations.
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