1) a tea bar, during your ritual

1)         How does the
consumer behaviour for impulse products differ from that for high involvement
products?

In a few words, consumer behaviour is the way a consumer
acts, through affect, cognition and behaviour to satisfy his needs and wants,
putting into factor his personal and environmental circumstances.  In reality the process is more complex than that,
and marketers use segmentation to target specific customers and customise their
marketing strategy accordingly. Marketers have also to take in consideration the
difference between an impulse and a high involvement product.

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An impulse product, to begin with, is derived by a positive and
internal motivation that urges pleasure and comfort. A perfect example is
having ‘pastizzi’ in a tea bar, during your ritual stop for coffee, on your way
to work. You are not usually hungry but that delicious smell urges you to take
an immediate decision to over indulge not in one but two or three at once. This
also shows the short span of time between the urge and the actual purchase. The
cost for a ‘pastizz’ is around 35c, much less than a bottle of water, therefore
there is no need to rob a bank in order to satisfy this need. Impulse purchases
also improve the mood despite some possible negative connotations to one’s
actions – having a ‘pastizz’ turns an unhealthy treat to a positive one by
linking this to breakfast even if according to a Loving Malta article you need
to jog for 40 minutes to burn the calories consumed in a single ‘pastizz’.
There are no regards for consequences with impulse buying. This concludes that
impulse buying involves hedonic temptation for immediate self-fulfilment
through consumption.

 

Similar to a painting, a tattoo is a piece of art with the
difference that human skin is used instead of canvas. This makes a tattoo a
product, a high involvement product to be exact. Unlike impulse, high involvement
products involve all the stages of the buyer behaviour process. First stage is
need recognition, the identification of a need or want. Tattoos are done for various
reasons, however the most common are to commemorate personal or shared experiences,
remind oneself of a personal milestone or achievement and to remember a loved
one. These needs fall under the psychological needs according to Maslow’s hierarchy
of needs. Information search and evaluation of the alternative are the next
stages. A tattoo is a work of art and here we are looking at a product with a
high value tag, with the cost of a tattoo possibly costing more than a couple
of hundred euros. The more talented the tattoo artist is, the higher the price.
Therefore a cognitive approach is adopted, comparing value versus benefits. Is
the tattoo value for money? It only depends on the perspective of the buyer. Is
it high risk? There are always risks, which include infection, removal
problems, granulomas, keloid formation and MRI complications. This is why Malta
is one of the highly legislated countries compared to the rest of European,
according to a European Union report of JRC. Due to its high price and high
risk involvement such products are not frequent purchases. If a tattoo is done
today, there would not be another purchase the day after as the process to
evaluate options and alternatives will take time and effort. The final stage
after purchase is post purchase, where a customer can have second thoughts,
which is referred to as post purchase dissonance. This is where the tattoo
artist must make sure that his client understands the full process by providing
all the information needed and even asks his client if he is comfortable with
the tattoo by providing a removable illustration of the discussed tattoo on the
skin.

2)         Explain how
Evans et al’s hierarchy of effects model can be applied to understand the
consumer behaviour of impulse product of your choice.

Evans et al’s hierarchy of effects model comprises the
following stages: exposure, attention, perception, learning, attitude, action and
post purchase. This is a method used by marketers to communicate their message
or offerings and access how the target customers responds and reacts. Getting
the stimuli to work involves challenges to overcome which include zapping,
zipping, opt in and avoidances of any advert especially TV ads. The market is
saturated with adverts, messages and stimuli, making it fragmented and very
difficult to penetrate. In this regard marketers use various activities such as
branding, packaging, POS material and web sites to get the attention of their
potential customers. Snickers’ “You’re not you when you’re hungry”
campaign has managed just that.

 

In order to be effective the message/offering is required to
be exposed in the right place and to reach the targeted audience, hence the
importance of segmentation, research and data collection. During such research
Mars Incorporated noted that from 2007 to 2009 growth for Snickers was falling behind
other global chocolates and their market share was shrinking. Further research,
an analysis of Snickers’ historical penetration showed that Snickers required
fame to succeed. On the other hand awareness would not have been effective as brand
awareness was at a high level. This was reconfirmed by data collected from Peter
Field’s analysis of the IPA database which confirmed that, the more people
talked about the brand, the higher the penetration which would eventually
relate to more sales. In later years Mars had restricted their target market to
young males, hence seriously risking losing their positioning in the market. Yet
how would Mars change this situation? They came up with a global and more
compelling creative campaign. In summer 2015 Mars UK set a mix of TV and online
video activity. Studies by shopper research expert Kantar Worldpanel (KWP)
shows the You Tube ads had steered more in-store Snickers sales and that investing
in higher frequency of You Tube ads would result in better ROI.

 

Attention reflects the amount of mental energy or effort that
we give to stimuli. This shows that even if the message/offering is exposed in
the right way, consumers may not pay attention anyway. Consequently a marketer needs
to create messages/offerings that are relevant to the consumer. They can use
various techniques to gain and hold attention such as use of colour, movement,
novelty, conditioned response, humour, participation etc.  In the 2017 film “Sully”, there was a
particular scene with the co-pilot sitting on his hotel bed with his phone in
one hand and a very visible bar of Snickers in the other. Similar product
placement can be noted in the award winning TV series “Orange is the new black’.
 On Valentine ‘s Day, passers-by at London’s
Waterloo could notice a billboard with the text ‘You’re forgetful, when you are
hungry’. The white forgetful word was covered with 48 valentine cards, ready to
be peeled off and sent in case it had been forgotten. This campaign enticed interaction
with the brand. The ‘Hunger Bars’ personalised packaging featuring words such
as confused, sleepy and feisty, maintaining the “You’re not you when
you’re hungry” positioning. Ambiguous participation has also been used
such as ‘Oh deer its hard to spel when your hungry’ ads printed on magazines.

Perception is the process whereby stimuli are received and
interpreted by the individual and translated into a response. At the perception
stage the consumer recognises, selects, organises and interprets the message.
They may not do so in the way marketers would like them to, but this reinforces
the value of exploring the psychology of interpretation, where different
individuals may perceive stimuli in a different way. Marketers use the five
senses to reach their customers and Snickers is no different. Snickers uses the
colour brown for packaging which symbolises seriousness, warmth, nature, as
well as reliability to fulfil one’s hunger. Adverts showing a sectioned Snickers
bar, visually describing a nougat topped with caramel and peanuts, enrobed in milk chocolate will
surely tempt a hungry customer. Their global TV campaign featuring local
celebrities, presents a super hungry person who turns into a celebrity like Betty
White, eats a Snickers and goes back to being a normal person. The ad with
Betty White was the first ad launched back in 2010, showing an American
football game. Betty White is the pathetic and weak player because she is
hungry and when she eats a snickers returns to be a young and athletic football
player ready to play the game. Other adverts featured a bad tempered, angry,
irritable, loopy, crazy or diva person being hungry, returns to being one’s
normal self after eating a Snickers. These ads all have the same message, whether
you are a celebrity, or the common bloke, everybody gets hungry and this
effects their behaviour. This sent a universal message that everyone can
connect with each other through hunger and the love for chocolate.

 

As already mentioned the message sent by the marketer may be
perceived differently by the receiver as how it was intended, depending on
their values, motives and attitudes. The Schramm model of communications shows
that the more we understand the perception process, the more likely we can make
sure that the receiver understands our message as intended. The Snickers Peace
lord campaign in Germany had difficulty in delivering its message. The printed
advert showed the peace sign as the face of Darth Vader from Star Wars. Below
was the slogan “You’re not you when you’re hungry”. Many interpreted
this as Darth Vader being peaceful because he is not eating Snickers, therefore
the message being: do not eat Snickers. Obviously, the intended message was
being hungry turns you in a different person.

 

It has long been established that everyone knows about Snickers
but due to its focused approach, Snickers Incorporated ended targeting only
young male consumers. The rest had almost forgotten about the brand by extinction
of reinforcement. There was nothing that reminded Snickers as a really satisfying
and filling chocolate bar. As soon as ‘Game’ the first advert (Betty White) had
been launched at the Super Bowl, it gained more than 91 days of media coverage.
Needless to say that after launch Snickers started to regain growth,
associating celebrity behaviour with hunger. During the second phase Snickers
enjoyed 3.1 times the value in sales growth of phase 1, ultimately reaching 9.4
times the value in sales growth of phase 1 or 3 times value of phase 2. Targeted
audience rediscovered the benefits of Snickers and changed their attitude
towards the brand.  The reason why “You’re
not you when you’re hungry” has been successful for the last seven years
is not only for Snickers to satiate hunger but it is the insight that people
don’t always act according to their “type” that keeps this big idea from
growing old. Information collected from a sample survey, carried out by InfoScout
shows that 46% purchase a Snickers bar while at a store. Questioned if Snickers
was out of stock, 27% replied that they would have gone to another store to
purchase it, whilst 25% would have waited until their next trip to the store. Snickers
is an impulse product where the span between the urge and the actual purchase
is insignificant but it is also a reminder impulse buying and the targeted customer
is constantly reminded by creative and humorous messages on all platforms of
communication. The consumer has no concerns for the 215 calories consumed per
bar, nor the price. Statistics show that in the United States 46.1% consume to
1-2 bars of snickers per week, amounting to over 140 million dollars in 2017.

 

Snickers Incorporated understood the importance of the sequence
of communications effect and engaged in a global campaign, prioritising local engagement
and creativity. In its first full year, it helped Snickers increase 15.9% of global
sales and grew its market share in 56 countries out of 58 in which it ran. It
is not necessary that all consumers followed the sequence in the same order or
any of it at all yet that they managed to integrate psychological concepts and
get an outstanding response from the market.