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Introduction to Marketing and a Consumer Behaviour

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Customer loyalty is not a one-sided arrangement, with the company reaping all the benefits. The customers also expect to be rewarded for patronizing the company. Aside from assuring customer satisfaction, the company also has to devise certain strategies that will make regular customers buy more or try new products. (Go, 2001) One of these methods that relate to the fashion retail industry is to give benefits to loyal customers. Some of the examples are the following: sampling, discount coupons, rebates, price-off, bonus packs, sample packs, special packs, premiums, free trial, warranty, prizes, patronage card/reward, contests, and personality.

Consumer behavior is perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of marketing because it deals with the individual characteristics of consumers. It is basically the buying behavior of the final consumers which are the individuals and households who buy the goods and services offered in the market for their personal consumption (Kotler & Armstrong, 2001). The main concern in marketing in relation to this aspect is whether consumers actually respond to the marketing strategies employed for the product (Best, 2004) which also gives rise to the model of consumer behavior within which most market researches circle around.

A good consumer behavior model was introduced by Kotler & Armstrong (2001) which discusses the process with which the consumers respond to the different product features, prices, and advertising. Figure 1 shows that the starting point consists of the stimulus-response model wherein marketing-focused factors which involve product, price, place and promotion and other stimuli which include outside factors in the market environment enter the “ black box” . This contains the individual buyer characteristics and decision processes. The third component of the model involves the actual responses to the marketing efforts which can translate into product choice, brand choice, dealer choice, purchase timing and purchase amount among others.

It is congruent to the end goal of marketing which is to gain consumer loyalty (Chow & Holden, 1997; Ducques & Gaske, 1997; Levitt, 1986).

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