Consumers may form evaluations of brands based on their cultural influences such as religion, in which certain brands may not be up to their religious expectation. In today’s society, culture has been integrated into different levels, for instance sub-culture may consist of ‘rockers’ who may evaluate brands solely on the basis of excitement and adventure or adrenalin rush. ‘Goths’ who may evaluate brands that are dark coloured creating mystery and endangerment.
Health conscious consumer would evaluate brand on what company they associate with, that is company operating on “green” policies, such as the body shop. Other consumers may identify brands that relates to their ethnic origin or skin colour. This may be promoted through celebrity icons such as snoop dog – baby phat. The evaluation formed here, is acting out the desire or fantasy to be like that celebrity. Brands may also have a conditioned stimulus11 response towards consumer’s different emotions. A sexy woman would arouse men sexual desires, Chocolates, with romance and love.
Individual’s personality and self-concepts can be portrayed through the brand they purchase. Charles Cooley12 looking glass theory, shows that the individuals may perceive themselves, as the way they want society to view them. Arguing that there evaluation of a brand would portray a luxurious elegant lifestyle, as being adventurous or outgoing, fun or witty. Individual may prefer a unique brand with personal customized traits that stands out. Roles and Status Consumer’s evaluation may be reflected on the roles, and status they perform in society.
A bank manger would be fully attired in formal wear silk shirt, pants tie and jacket. A teenager on the other hand, may purchase the latest or trendy fashion in technology, clothing and music. This factor also brings in the argument that consumer may purchase brand because of peer pressure or emotional attachment of a brand. The situation, in which a consumer is in, may also influence their evaluation of brands. For instance a career-oriented woman, with a family to feed, may purchase simple and easily accessible meals such as Campbell’s soup or other prepared meals.
A single parent home with one income may not be able to purchase elaborate brands but purchase generic brands as a substitute. An individual’s social group, and the way they have been socialised, would affect their evaluation on brands. Their values, interest and behaviour would have been slanted, to seek approval of their social class. Their purchasing behaviour towards brands would be evaluated based on the group’s preferences, to reflect the individual’s occupation, level of income, education and wealth. A consumer purchasing clothes of high class may buy brands such as Gucci and Ralph Lauren.
Consumers of middle class or lower class consumer would purchase clothes on sale or bargain. Brands may also identify with functions and meanings that are symbolic for example Ford built for performance, Allstate -safety, Buckley’s for cough, Persil- white laundry. Consumer’s evaluation may also be based on ethnocentricity, where consumer may show loyalty to a particular country, such as Italy or France. Marketer’s influence on Nokia. Nokia13, originally Finnish product have been geared towards innovation. The business has spent millions of dollars on Nokia’s new research centre.
The company is interested in analysing and outlining, what influences consumer buying behaviour, towards their brand of telecommunication. The business first tries to understand what consumers want and then begin designing. The brand takes into account both affective and cognitive approach in analysing consumers purchasing behaviour. Nokia’s technical staff and design team is rotated at regular intervals. In this way fresh new exciting ideas of innovation would emerge. Nokia underwent serious transformation in the 1990’s. The success of the business was due to understanding consumer needs and wants.
By enhancing its services, better packaging and innovative telecommunications technology. In return the company gained a competitive edge over their competitors, adding value to the brand. Affective approach The company enjoys connecting people, fulfilling this need to help them feel close to what matters to them14. The business tries to understand the consumer as an emotional being; in this way marketers promote the brand as an emotional product. In which the need of human attachment towards others are taken full advantage off.
Consumer’s may evaluate or perceive Nokia, as a brand that helps them stay close to their loved ones, hence their slogan “connecting people”. Marketers can position the brand in consumer minds based on its attributes, a product with strong beliefs and values. The strong brand name of nokia can create awareness motivating customers in purchasing the products. Table1. 1 above shows the results of customer attributes rating good, very good and excellent, this test was randomly taken. When nokia was compared to other phones, Motorola had the competitive advantage as consumers rated most of their attributes excellent.
While Nokia and Sony Ericsson competes heavily against each other. The company was the first to realize that cell phones were personal gadgets, or in some cases as personal accessories. Each individual wanted some thing different, more than just a phone with basic features. Consumers demanded a product that matched their personality, attitude and sense of style. Nokia, jumped at the opportunity of customizing their products, to different colours instead of the plain black cell phones, which was boring and corporate looking.
To expand market growth and increase profits, the company introduced new phones with innovative features; these stimuli would attract consumer’s attention and adhere to their sense of style. Nokia continues to incorporate personality and a new degree of customization to differentiate its products. Some features are interchangeable face place, funky looking colours, built in camera, Internet capabilities and growing list of ring tones. These extrinsic attributes of Nokia’s product may motivate consumers in repurchasing.
The brand tries to appeal to consumer’s emotion as a product that stands out. For example Nokia 252 Art edition, marketers may use certain phrases “The art of conversation”. Appealing to consumers’ stimuli that are fashionable, trendy, artistic and modern. That evokes individual expression a blend of design sophisticated and limited. Cognitive Influence In today’s modern society culture have integrated into many levels. In which a number of sub-cultures have been derived out from. For instance, we are living in a technological era ruled by computers and other advanced technology.
Nokia tries to influence its product as a brand, connecting humans and technology as close as possible. Nokia has created a culture where innovation is built into the way the company operates. Nokia even has a watchword for its culture of continuous innovation- renewal. 15 This sub-culture is mostly popular with in teenage groups. Marketers can influence this behaviour, by targeting a large segment of teenagers and young individuals. As a product that is hip, trendy and fashionable with the latest innovated technology and design. Such as Nokia Series 60 platform smart phone.
That would be a brand-promising acceptance with in a social setting. Marketers are interested in social class, because people within a given social class, tend to have the same preference in brands. Individuals with in a high social class would be interested in expensive brands. As they have extra income to spare and would not mind indulging themselves in luxurious products. Therefore it is up to marketers, to create both awareness and interest, to lure consumers towards Nokia 7360 brand. Offering sophistication, elegance, grace and charm towards trend conscious consumers.
Designed with confidence from velvet lined pouches, amber, silk, for consumers of a high social standard; who desire and appreciate a luxurious design and pays attention to detail. 16 Nokia designed a phone that has basic standard features, poor craftsman ship and flexibility such as the Nokia 1100. To make affordable, and attract the attention of consumers, of the lower class and middle class, who earned low income. In Countries such as the United States and France, Nokia loosed major market share. Consumers experience cognitive dissonance as the phone did not live up to their expectations.
Marketing Mix stimuli It is marketers’ responsibility to identify and target the proper segments, by anticipating and satisfying consumer wants and needs. Manipulating the tools of the marketing mix, marketers can properly appeal to consumers’ stimuli. Taking advantage of their emotions, perception, beliefs and values. Marketers should bear in mind the shift in market demands. That would affect consumers purchasing behaviour. They should also consider fashion trends, culture, family size, economic situation and other personal factors, to assist Nokia in gaining an intimate knowledge about their consumer.
Understanding and identifying the different segments can answer; what do consumers want? What are there purchasing decisions? What would satisfy their needs and more importantly, how to keep them as satisfied loyal customer towards their brands. The company needs to incorporate an integrate mixture of strategies, that would attract consumer’s attention, interest and create awareness of the branded product, price, place and promotion. Price: Nokia’s strong brand name is the most valuable intangible asset to the company. Consumers may be attracted to the brand, thus adding value, allowing the company to effectively manage their prices.
Prices are also determined by the amount of outsourcing17, overhead and administrative cost in building the product. Other external factors are taken into consideration as well, such as technological advancement, competitors, political stability and environmental laws. Nokia have to take into consideration, how consumers would associate their purchasing decision towards nokia prices. Consumer purchases are strongly influenced by cultural, social, personal and more importantly economical means. Marketers have to offer the right cell phone at the right price, which would match the customer’s personality, values, beliefs and perception.
Products: Nokia has several innovative products designed to match the needs of their consumers. Marketers target both the young and the old, offering a wide range of mobile communication products to choose from. Sophisticated and elegant to sleek and seductive, cutting edge technology for fashion conscious individuals, to economical and conservative, to those who cannot afford the most trendy mobiles. Nokia products offer quality service, packaging of exotic style and patterns, innovative modern technology that cannot help but stand out.
Nokia brands are well known for their intrinsic and extrinsic attributes that attract consumer’s attention, for example, Nokia N95 multimedia computer. Customer loyalty may be promoted through a number of marketing strategies, such as enhancing customer service, after sale service and promotional packages. However marketers must work towards maintaining a good brand image, by always placing consumer needs first. In so doing a respectable and trust worth relationship would be built between Nokia and their loyal customers.
Customer loyalty can also be gained from positive feed back, or word of mouth from other consumers. Promoting a number of charitable events, the use of celebrities, consumer support hotline and social corporate responsibility can increase customer loyalty. Conclusion There is no one determinant factor that influence consumer towards brands. Marketers need to appeal to consumer’s psychological needs and emotional desires. Manipulating marketing stimuli, targeting consumer’s perception, learning, culture, beliefs and values toward brands.