Having described the decision-making process for the pickles, it is important to identify various elements from marketing theory which were determinants in my purchase and which were dismissed. Bainbridge (2007) offers an interesting marketing statistic which suggests that changing dietary habits in the UK have changed the methods by which marketers position their products. The authors suggest that new positioning strategies are often created which focus around health-conscious aspects of pickled products, somewhat negating elements such as price or the satisfaction of consuming exotic flavours. Upon reflection on the purchase, this was quite apparent that many companies had changed their marketing focus on healthy aspects, as many of the branded labels and existing promotional signs (in the market) were focused on lower sodium and low caloric content.
As a person with a high desire for health-conscious food products, their positioning strategies actually served to appeal to my initial method of evaluating alternative products, as I tended to select the healthy varieties first. During the process of buying, none of the elements of social influence or visual imagery on the branded products (such as colourful labels or cartoon characters) had any importance or relevance, as I remained focused only on sodium content and ingredients for flavouring.
For instance, I maintain previous experience with high-garlic content pickles compared to lower-levels of garlic and I am relatively secure that with the addition of garlic comes a better quality product. Thus, pre-existing attitudes of what constitutes a flavourful product was the largest factor which influenced my decision to make the final purchase; much more so than any other factor which might be theoretically discussed in marketing literature as elements which drive consumption or loyalty toward a specific brand.
For all intents and purposes, it would appear that pickle marketers have successfully researched the consumer market, identifying healthier eating habits, and focusing their advertising around low sodium pickle products.
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