Understanding of the Consumer Behaviour


Important notes for candidates regarding the pre-issued case study:

The case study is designed to assess knowledge and understanding of the Consumer Behaviour syllabus in the context of the relevant case study. The examiners will be marking candidates’ scripts on the basis of the questions set. Candidates are advised to pay particular attention to the mark allocation on the examination paper and to plan their time accordingly.
In order to prepare for the examination, candidates will need to carry out a detailed analysis of the case material ahead of the examination. Candidates have sufficient time during the examination to answer all the questions, but this means that detailed analysis has taken place before commencing the examination. The examiners are looking for clear evidence that candidates have a good understanding of the case and can apply and interpret the concepts and ideas learned from a study of the syllabus when answering the questions.

Your prepared notes will count for 15% of the overall mark for this unit and therefore it is important that you ensure that these notes are included with your answer script.
The notes will be assessed as follows:

• Relevant and broad research into conceptual framework through recommended academic sources.
(5 marks)

• Broad and appropriate summarisation and abbreviation of main features of case study.
(5 marks)

• Clearly structured and effectively organised notes, providing evidence of sound analytical approach and clear focus on relevance and significance.
(5 marks)

If someone is determined to do something, they will find a way to accomplish it regardless of obstacles.

Mrs Solomon was born into a relatively poor family in Dublin. Due to the fact that she was the eldest of six children, she did not receive enough attention. She developed the habit of thumb sucking and putting things in her mouth. However, she was often caught and punished by her parents. As a result, the oral stage of her development was not satisfied. To a certain extent she became fixated at this stage and this has reflected in some of the habits she depicted later in her adult life.

After her schooling she received a scholarship from the University of London and graduated with a degree in Economics in 2011. She was adamant that she wanted to further her studies at the prestigious University of Oxford. So, she went on to do an MBA and specialised in marketing. After she fulfilled her dream, she returned to Dublin in 2014. She had meanwhile developed the habit of eating chewing gum and would often bite on her pen.

Mrs Solomon worked as marketing manager with the Hyatt Hotel group. Her job meant that she had to travel a lot around the world. She noticed that it was not easy to develop a good global marketing strategy and she found that she often had to adapt the promotional message to target audiences in each market even for something as intangible as the hospitality service. With the result of this she worked under constant pressure and took to smoking in order to ease the pressure.

On the personal front, Mrs Solomon got married to a businessman. She was determined to live in Killiney which is one of Dublin’s most exclusive residential areas, home to notable residents including U2 members, Bono and the Edge, singer Enya and former racing driver, Eddie Irvine. Her opportunity came in 2018 when she came across a property for sale in the coastal village. This was one of the few things she saw, liked, and bought on the spot. Otherwise, she has the habit of looking around, collecting maximum information before making a purchase. Her favourite past-time was writing songs and she always dreamt of having one of her songs sung by a professional singer. This will be her ultimate achievement.

Mrs Solomon and her husband are different in most respects when purchasing products and services. She always buys locally produced products if she can source them. She takes her time to decide on a purchase. She will never indulge in impulse buying; however, her husband will purchase a product on the spur of the moment and prefers big international retailers. She spends hours on the internet researching information on products and looking through customer reviews and asking friends and family about recommendations. However, she is most likely to believe in advertisements which provide lots of information rather than one with sophisticated models and nothing much as to information. She will be the last to purchase any new products whereas her husband will always be the first to buy them. After careful researching and before finally purchasing the product or service she will debate with herself about pros and cons of this purchase and she will continue questioning her purchase decision afterwards.

Another facet of her character is her obsession for security. She built a high wall around her home with electric gates and installed the latest alarm system to protect her premises. She bought three German shepherd dogs that are very protective family dogs. She has subscribed to several life insurance schemes and a medical scheme. She is managing her earnings carefully and her savings are in safe custody with several reputed financial institutions.

In July 2019, Mrs Solomon flew to New York in hope to meet with the multinational record label, Warner music group, in hope of fulfilling her most cherished dream: to have one of her songs sung and recorded.



Question One

Many organisations fail on the international market because they fail to understand Cultural differences when marketing their product or service.

a. Discuss this statement, illustrating your answer with examples from the case study.
(20 marks)

b. What is cross-cultural consumer analysis and why is it important to marketers?
(20 marks)

c. Discuss how Mrs Solomon could use technology to make her job easier to target potential customers for the Hyatt hotel group.
(20 marks)

d. Discuss what are the four major segmentation variables for consumer markets.
(10 x 4 marks)
Total: 100 Marks

Question Two

a. The consumer moves through five stages in arriving at an individual decision to purchase or reject a new product. Explain this process.
(5 x 5 marks)

b. Consumers can be placed into categories based on their innovativeness as to how quickly they adopt new products. Mrs Solomon and her husband belong to two different adopter categories. Identify the two adopter categories, justifying your answer.
(2 x 5 marks)

c. Not all Consumers within the same culture adopt new products at the same rate. Depending on their willingness to try out a new innovation or product, people can be placed in one of five categories. List the five categories from the diffusion of innovation theory and identify key characteristics of each adopter category. Give examples of each one.
(5 x 5 marks)

d. Discuss and list four types of information search that Mrs Solomon has undertaken once her need has been recognised to purchase a product.
(4 x 10 marks)
Total: 100 Marks

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