There were numerous times when I was browsing through the items in the store and I’ve set my eye on one particular product. It had everything I needed and wanted but at the end of the day, I left the store with another product instead. It is a common phenomenon in a multi-branded store, but competition aside, there are many reasons why consumers may like but not buy your product. Often a consumer’s buying pattern is tailored by demographic factors, which sometimes surpresses even the consumer’s original preferences for what they really want to buy. But that’s not the only reason.
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As an entrepreneur you should know that consumers are governed by social and psychological needs. For some reasons, your product may not satisfy the consumer’s needs and he doesn’t buy, even though, the consumer might initially be attracted towards it. A prime example of this kind of consumer behaviour could be seen with middle class society, when they shop for expensive or luxurious items. Their buying decisions are guided by reference groups: the friends, close family members, colleagues; people whose opinion matters to the buyer. Thus, entrepreneurs have to figure out how to turn this into a win-win situation.
1. reference group Influence
How many times have you sought a friend’s opinion before buying a luxury or high-value product? Buying a new smartphone is a lot different than choosing a cup of jelly off the shelf. With the mobile phone, or any other tech gadget for that matter, you’d probably ask a colleague or someone who is more tech savvy than you about their opinions on whether it will be a worthy buy. That’s how reference groups influence consumer’s decision.
Reference groups have a bigger impact on shoppers from under-developed or developing countries. Technically, a customer may like your product, but he doesn’t buy it because someone else whose opinion matters to him, doesn’t think the product is worth buying. The customer loses his power to make a decision, even when it is for himself.
Make it work for you
To deal with this kind of scenarios, some companies float their own reference groups, and urge people to join them, to indirectly influence the purchase decision of consumers. Entrepreneurs can also offer special schemes, where customers get discounts on purchase by referrals. This actually negates the effect of outside elements when the customer makes a purchase. The offers allow him to justify making his own decisions in spite of what others think he should do; as a result, a personal decision is made based on his own preferences.
2. Brand association
Some customers have an affinity for particular brands, so much so that they’d forgo formal shirts and stick with T-shirts of their favorite brands even when meeting clients, which is not something I’d recommend you do. These consumers may come across equally better shirts from other popular brands, but their obsession with that one brand might prevent them from trying another brand’s product.
A penchant for a particular brand is one of the major reasons why consumers may develop a liking for your product, but may be unwilling to show their support financially.
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Entrepreneurs particularly face a hard time marketing their products in developing countries due to the consumer’s affinity for brands they have heard of for quite some time. For these buyers, even when they get a platform to select from a variety of options, they refuse to budge, preferring to stick to what they know, rather than try out a new product.
Make it work for you
Advertisements or billboards will not work in this aspect. Your products are fighting against the giants who have established their territory and are unlikely to budge even at the sight of an aggressive newcomer. Entrepreneurs, perhaps, will need to develop a program to make people aware of the benefits of their product. The best way would be to tie up with an established brand. Many manufacturers go this way, because they it easier to sell their product this way. Pairing can even be done with a brand that is not necessarily related to their product. The idea is to give exposure to the new brand so buyers can be more receptive of the new arrival.
3. Simplistic Lifestyle
Consumer lifestyle does have a strong impact on their shopping preferences. A person with a simple lifestyle will not try and experiment with his purchases. In fact, such people consider shopping a waste of time and effort. They have a lethargic attitude towards shopping. They would only buy goods that are absolutely necessary and also, which, they have been purchasing for a long time, at a price range they are comfortable dispensing. Such consumers believe that buying new products involves financial risks, and therefore, won’t even give a new product a second look. Advertisements on billboards, radio or TV won’t work on this group.
Make it Work for You
What does work is to have an extensive promotional campaign to incite consumers to buy their products. Using exciting discount schemes, giving free samples or discount vouchers will make them more receptive of attempting the new product. In situations like this, if your product works well enough for them are not much costlier than their usual buys, there is a chance that conversion can occur and you find yourself with a new loyal customer.
4. Obsession with social status
Some people are very careful with what they wear, and what they carry, and also with whom they are seen. They deem their clothes and choice in products as an indication of their social status. It’s part of the reason why luxury products like perfumes, cosmetic products and timepieces have celebrity spokespersons to do the marketing for them. If your product doesn’t relate to their social status or is portrayed like it is, then there’s no way you could put it on their radar. These kinds of people are frequently seen in the celebrity circles and are very status conscious.
Such consumers are brand conscious, but are not overly concerned with the quality of a product. They stress on the product’s appearance, and whether such products will help enhance their status if they are seen with it. They buy cars which they drive probably once a year. The satisfaction of having such cars in their porch is more important.
Make it Work for You
Alas for this one, the solution is very obvious. If your product doesn’t meet their demands, then there’s no point hankering for their attention. It is better to target your product to your target audiences, and spill all your efforts selling it to the buying batch.
5. Price factor
Price can be the most determining factor why consumers may let your product slip by, even though they might like to own it. Entrepreneurs should understand that pricing of a product is an essential element, which determines the degree of success a product is likely to achieve. It doesn’t mean, however, that they should lower the price of a product to appease everyone. Price may not be a factor, if the product belongs to a list of necessary goods. However, consumers have the option to take a stand when they make high involvement purchases.
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Consumers will like to think twice before purchasing goods such as a designer outfit, television sets, or other expensive electronic goods and gadgets. They will consider price as one of the factors, before making the final purchase. If the price of your product isn’t in a range that they can afford, they will be happy to go for one that is.
Make it Work for You
Entrepreneurs should, therefore, identify who their customers are, and market their products accordingly. They should also keep the prices very competitive. And if in case, they feel that the quality of their product is far superior to the rest in their category, then, they may keep the prices up, but will have to indulge in extensive advertising campaign to make it noticeable. Remember, buyers can be very choosy when it comes to shopping, and if you don’t project your product well enough, you will, perhaps, lose out on the market, and the business that could be.
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