Consumer behavior has changed significantly in the past years. Given the technology revolution that has been experienced in the past decades, consumer behavior has changed drastically.
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People have replaced their daily newspapers with customized online editions of these media and are increasingly getting information from online sources. People don’t have to carry around laptops or desktops to do their routine work but rather carry smartphones, which prove to be more efficient, stylish, and convenient. The iPhone is a perfect example of technology, making its mark on consumer behavior.
Consumer behavior is defined as the behavior that individuals exhibit in looking for; buying, using, evaluating, and disposing of products and services that they think satisfy their wants. Consumer behavior centers on how consumers make decisions to expend their available resources (time, money, effort) on consumption-related goods.
This includes what they purchase, why they purchase it, when they purchase it, where they purchase it, how frequently they purchase it, how they assess it after the purchase, the effects of such assessments on potential purchases and how they dispose of it off.
Just like in any other organization, consumer behavior in Apple is rooted in its marketing concept. Its marketing concept is oriented through several alternative approaches towards doing business, and they are referred to as the production concept, the product concept, and the selling concept (Solomon, 2004).
Apple’s production concept assumes that its customers are typically interested in product availability at low prices, and its inherent marketing goals are inexpensive and have well-organized production as well as intensive distribution.
Apple’s product concept assumes that its customers will purchase the iPhone since it offers them quality performance and feature-filled services. A product orientation leads Apple to always endeavor to advance the quality of the iPhone and to add new features that are in principle viable without first finding out whether or not customers want these features.
Apple’s former boss, Steve Jobs, argued that consumers don’t know what they want; just give them a product and they will realize its worth. This belief somehow worked for the iPhone since nobody could foretell of such a product.
The selling concept is a natural development from both the production concept and the product concept. Apple’s main objective is selling the iPhone, and it assumes that its customers are not likely to purchase an iPhone unless they are aggressively convinced to do so – generally through the ‘hard sell’ strategy.
Consumer behavior is grouped into four types, and these are: routine response, limited decision making, extensive decision-making, and lastly impulse buying. Routine purchases are less costly, and they are made without much decision making due to the inexpensiveness and simplicity of the product.
Limited decision-making requires a more decisive mind and more time for one to purchase a product. Impulse buying is made randomly without any prior planning. The extensive decision-making involves expensive and unfamiliar products, and this is the perfect consumer behavior in the case of the iPhone.
The iPhone has revolutionized the way mobile users think of mobile phones and smartphones. The iPhone puts together the mobile phone, iPod music player, camera, text messaging, e-mail and internet browsing services while offering inventive features such as multi-touch screen, visual voicemail, and accelerometers that sense screen orientation.
Since its first release into the market in June 2007, the iPhone is certainly the most popular mobile device in the global market. iPhone has avoided stimulus generalization. It has distinctive features from other similar phone models, and this is known as stimulus discrimination in consumer behavior.
The primary objective of the marketing strategies is to focus on consumer needs and also recognize the high degree of diversity amongst consumers. Everyone has acquired needs which are shaped by the environment and culture, thus creating a commonality of needs or interests which constitute a market segment.
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Apple targets its consumers by specifically designing its iPhone models and promotional images that satisfy the needs of that segment. Apple positioned the image of the iPhone so that the target market segment perceived the iPhone as more satisfying to its specific needs than other competitive products. The three features of this strategic framework are market segmentation, targeting, and positioning.
Market segmentation involves dividing a market into subsets of consumers with similar needs or traits. Market targeting, on the other hand, is selecting one or more of the segments identified for the company to pursue. Positioning is developing a distinctive image for the product or service in the mind of the consumer. That image will distinguish the offering from competing ones and evenly communicate to consumers that the particular product or service will satisfy their needs better than other competing brands (Consumer Purchase Decision Process, nd.).
Roles of Learning and Memory Theories
Learning can be referred to as the knowledge or skills acquired through experience or by studying. It is a process in which behavior capabilities are changed as a result of experience. Consumers are exposed to new stimuli every day, and Apple uses the acquired feedback to modify behavior when seen in similar situations.
The concept of learning covers a great deal of ground ranging from a consumer’s simple association between a stimulus such as a product logo, for instance, iPhone, and a response, for instance, the perfect smartphone, to a complex series of cognitive activities. Understanding the learning theory benefits Apple since basic learning principles are at the heart of many purchase decisions.
Memory involves a process of acquiring information and storing the information over time so that the information will be used when needed. The three main stages of memory are encoding storage and retrieval. Many experiences that people have are encoded in the brain and stored, and they recall those experiences when incited by the right cues. This is a major implication of the cognitive approach to consumer learning theory.
Apple ensures that its iPhone models are impressively presented and rely on consumers to retain the information they learn about the iPhone trusting the information will be later applied in situations where consumer1 purchase decisions will be made.
Conclusively, the paper has looked into the consumer behavior principles and how they apply to Apple’s marketing strategies. Recognizing consumer needs is important in identifying the marketing strategies to adopt, and Apple has thus invested a lot of resources in marketing and marketing research. iPhone has gained much recognition in the phone industry due to its uniqueness and functions that are attractive to the consumers. iPhone has managed to capture the idea of a smartphone and has gone ahead to offer exceptional features that are enviable to its competitors. Apple has been able to utilize its knowledge of consumer behavior to its advantage.
Solomon, M. (2004). Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having and Being. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Consumer Purchase Decision Process. (n.d.). Consumer Behavior.