Today, companies focus on consumer to reach success in the global competitive environment. In newmarketing approaches, focused on consumer activities take place of focused on product/service activities. The companies analyze consumer qualifications and form their marketing strategies based on them. The consumers are affected from some individual and enviromental factors, such as motivation, personality, perception, learning, values, beliefs, attitudes, life style, personal influence, reference group, family influence, social class and culturei in their buying decision process.The aim of this investigation is to focus on affecting factors on the consumer buying behavior in young consumer market, because young consumers are one of te important market segments of companies.
Key words:Consumer buying behavior, consumer qualifications, brand choice.
Global competition and technologic innovations bring novelties to marketing approach and today companies focus on consumer qualifications in their activities instead of their products or services. Also, companies act based on consumer qualifications to create niche market and take advantage of those opportunities (Fırat et all. 1995:44).
The general aim of all marketing activities is creating new loyal customers (Sheth 2002: 591). In traditional marketing, to provide loyalty of a customer, companies used some classical methods such as pricing strategies or placing strategies that are based on products or services (Gommans, Krishnan and Scheffold 2001: 44). However, today to reach the success, companies form their strategic management plan around consumers and they evaluate their success according to performance in the market (Günay 1999: 121 and Auken 2001: 38).
In this respect, consumer behavior that is affected by some individual and environmental factors, become the center of marketing activities. Therefore, the subject of consumer behavior is investigated frequently. The consumer buying decision is a complex process and it is under effects of several factors. Although there is not a model that explains all aspects of consumer behavior, all models state that several individual and environmental factor affect consumer behavior (İslamoğlu 2003: 52-53).
Companies segment their markets so they can respond more effectively to the needs and wants of groups of prospective buyers and thus increase its sales and profits. By the way of market segmentation, aggregating people or organizations in a market according to the similarity of their needs and the benefits they are looking for in making a purchase. Also, such needs and benefits must be related to specific, tangible marketing actions the firm can take. These actions may involve separate products or other aspects of marketing mix such as price, advertising etc. The process of segmenting a market and selecting specific segments as targets is the link between the various buyers’ needs and the organizations’ marketing program (Berkowitz et all. 1994: 232-233).
Nowadays, young consumers are one of the most important and strategic target segments for several companies from different markets. The centres of marketing strategies of these companies are young consumers so they try to determine the factors that affect consumer buying behavior (Ige 2004: 413).
CONSUMER BUYING BEHAVIOR PROCESS AND AFFECTING FACTORS
Everyday, consumers have to decide to buy products and services more than once. A consumer passes through in making choices about which products and services to buy, which is the consumer buying decision process. This process has the five stages; Problem Recognition, Information Search, Alternative evaluation, Buying decision, Evaluation after buying decision (Clow and Baack 2004: 61).
During the decision process of buying behavior, in recognition of the problem, the consumer begins to search information and then evaluates alternatives according to qualifications (price, quality, image etc.) of product/service or brand (Purinton, Rosen and Schroeder 1998: 2). When the consumer has enough information, they make a choice between the alternatives and then they buy it. After buying a product, the consumer compares it with their expectations and is either satisfied or dissatisfied. If he/she is satisfied, buying behavior is repeated (McQuitty, Finn and Wiley 2000: 7).
Several factors which are individual and environmental factors, affect consumers in buying decision process. Individual factors are motivation, personality, perception, learning, values, beliefs, attitudes and life style. Environmental factors are personal influence, reference group, family influence, social class and culture (Kotler and Armstrong 1999: 147-152 ).
For instance, buying behavior of consumers from same culture or social group are similar to each other because they have similar lifestyles, their learning, perception and motivation are close to each other (Schwartz 1981: 86 and Staff 1997: 223). Another affecting factor on buying behavior is demographic factors. For example, consumers are different ages, have different needs and wants, also their perception may change according to their ages. Comparing young consumers to adults, it can be seen that when adults pay more attention to price, in contrast to young consumers who are concerned with image in the buying decision process (Autio 2005: 333-339).
In this study, we focused on young consumers market and affecting factors on consumer buying decision. A survey that was prepared to determine which factors affect brand choice is conducted among university students. In the survey, mobile phone has been chosen as an example product, today young people have a mobile phone even if they do not need it. Family, friends, attitudes, advertising, seller and selling place, brand image/quality and price have been determined as affecting factors, and effecting degree of these factors are evaluated according to demographic factors of students.
The survey was conducted among 250 students, determined on judgement sampling method, of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart Unıversity Biga Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences. The survey’s data were analyzed with SPSS. We received 249 questionnaires back. First, with the survey, demographic characteristics of respondents were investigated and then effecting degree of factors in brand choice of mobile phone was measured with Likert Sentences.
ANALYSIS OF RESEARCH FINDINGS
Demographic characteristics of the research sample are given in the Table 1 and Table 2. They are determined according to gender, age, department, amount of monthly spending, daily hour of watching TV and residence of participants. There are more females (%62,2) than male respondents (%37,8). The sample are age of between 19-21 (%66,7) and between 22-24 (%20,9). Respondents are from different departments of the faculty and there is a nearly equal distribution of them. Almost of the sample (%77)’s monthly spending are under 500 YTL. %32,5 of respondents’ residences are İstanbul and others are from different cities in Turkey.
Table 1. Demographic Characteristics Of The Research Sample
Table 2. Demographic Characteristics Of The Research Sample
Brand choices of mobile phone of respondents are given in Table 3. The most chosen brand is Nokia (%67,5) and Siemens (%12).
Table 3.Frequency and Percentage of Mobile Phone Brand:
Respondents are affected differently from different factors. The effecting degrees of factors in brand choices are given between Table 4 and Table 10.
Table 4. Family Effect
Research results show that consumers are affected by families; 12,4 % have been strongly affected , 20,9 % has been affected, 12,9% neither/nor has been affected , 29% has not been affected, and 38,6% has not been strongly affected.
Table 5. Friends Effect
Research results show that consumers are affected by friends; 6,4 % have been strongly affected , 25,7% has been affected, 11,6% neither/nor has been affected , 18,1% has not been affected, and 34,1% has not been strongly affected.
Table 6. Attitude Effect
Research results show that consumers are affected by attitudes; 21,3 % have been strongly affected , 24,5 % has been affected, 12% neither/nor has been affected, 13,7% has not been affected, and 24,1% has not been strongly affected.
Table 7. Advertising Effect
Research results show that consumers are affected by advertising; 8,8 % have been strongly affected , 26,1 % has been affected, 14,1% neither/nor has been affected , 15,3% has not been affected, and 31,7% has not been strongly affected.
Table 8. Sales Point& Sales People Effects
Research results show that consumers are affected by families; 7,6 % have been strongly affected , 18,5 % has been affected, 12,9% neither/nor has been affected , 18,9 % has not been affected, and 38,26% has not been strongly affected.
Table 9. Brand Image and Quality Effects
Research results show that consumers are affected by families; 44,2 % have been strongly affected , 32,5 % has been affected, 4 % neither/nor has been affected, 5,6 % has not been affected, and 10 % has not been strongly affected.
Table 10. Price Effects
Research results show that consumers are affected by families; 27,3 % have been strongly affected , 30,5 % has been affected, 14,1% neither/nor has been affected , 10 % has not been affected, and 14,1 % has not been strongly affected.
Also effecting degree of some factors in brand choices differ according to demographic characteristics (gender, age, departments and monthly spending) of the sample.
Table 11.Differences Between Men And Women
|Factors||Mean||Std. Deviation||Mean||Std. Deviation|
|Sales point & Sales People||2,490||1,352||2,152||1,398||1,854||0,065|
|Brand Image & Quality||4,067||1,206||3,857||1,427||1,171||0,243|
There is a significant difference statistically in family effect and advertising effect between men and women (p< 0,05). Table 11 shows the differences between effecting degree of men and women from factors. According to these women are affected more than man.
Table 12. Differences Between Age Groups
|Factors||Under 19||19 - 21||Above 21||F||p|
|Sales point & Sales People||2,826||1,302||2,413||1,398||2,018||1,298||3,175||0,044|
|Brand Image & Quality||4,217||1,126||3,919||1,336||4,089||1,254||0,756||0,471|
Table 13.Result of Tukey Hsd Test
|19 - 21||160||2,413||2,413|
Table 12 and table 13 shows the differences between effecting degree of age groups from factors. There is a significant difference statistically in sales point and sales people effect between age groups (p< 0,05). To find the groups that cause differences, data are evaluated with Tukey HSD Test. According to the test respondents who are 18 years old and under, are affected more than above 21 years old.In conclusion, when we look at the departments and monthly spending of respondents, there is no significant difference between groups.
In consumer buying behavior process, consumers are under effects of individual and environmental factors. Consumer analyzes product qualifications before deciding what they buy, where they buy, how and how much they buy and why they buy it. Answers to these questions are hidden in their culture, economic situation, family life, perception, personality, motivation, beliefs and attitudes. Every one is affected from these factors differently. In general, consumers expect quality and image from the product, and then they are affected by other factors while they are looking for quality and image. The survey supports this idea, almost all of the respondents report that they are affected strongly by brand imagery and quality of the product.
Prof. Dr. Ali AKDEMİR
Prof. Dr., Canakkale Onsekiz Mart Unıversity, The Dean of Biga Faculty of Economics And Administrative Sciences. BA, MBA, and PhD (Anadolu University, Faculty of Economics And Administrative Sciences, Institution of Social Sciences). He is Author of many books and articles on leadership.
Research Assistant, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart Unıversity, Biga Faculty of Economics And Administrative Sciences, Departmant of Business Administration. BA (Ege Unıversity, Faculty of Economics And Administrative Sciences, Departmant of Business Administration), currently a master student Canakkale Onsekiz Mart Unıversity, Institution of Social Sciences.
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