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Consumer behavior and marketing strategy Essay

Abstract

Pepsi Raw is a new product that has been developed by Pepsi Co for the soft drink consumers. The product is a carbonated and natural drink that contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or color, rather it is made of natural products. Consumer behaviors can be used to develop the marketing strategies suitable for the marketing of the product. The market of the product can either be internally influenced by the consumer behavior or externally influenced. The external influences can be used to identify the market segments of Pepsi Raw and eventually multimedia strategies can be used to advertise the drink. The multimedia strategies are dependent on the consumers of each target market.

1.0              Introduction

Consumer behavior relates to the study of the reasons why consumers buy or fail to buy products in the market. It studies the behavior of the consumers in a bid to understand the forces that influence the consumers during the buying process. Certain characteristics of the consumers are analyzed such as the demographic characteristics and the behavioral variables among others to better understand the behaviors of the customers while buying products in the market (Khan, 2007). The main objective of studying the behaviors of the consumers is to use the information to develop marketing strategies that will help attract and retain the consumers. It also helps in managing the relationships between the customers and the company’s products.

Pepsi Co is a global manufacturing, distributing and marketing company that is involved in the food and beverage industry all over the world. The company consists of various brands of companies that include Pepsi Cola and Tropicana Products, Gatorade, Frito-Lay among others (Pepsi Co, n.d). The company has been producing various soft drinks through Pepsi Cola Company which operates in over 200 countries all over the world (Pepsi Co, n.d). The company’s biggest market share is in North America and the United States.

The company recently introduced a new drink into the market known as Pepsi Raw (Pepsi Raw, n.d). Pepsi Raw is a carbonated drink that is made of natural ingredients such as cane sugar, natural caramel, apple extracts, sparkling water and coffee leaf among others. The drink does not have the regular artificial colors and high sugar content found in other Pepsi soft drinks that are in the market. This paper discusses the consumer behavior and marketing strategies that can be used by Pepsi Co for the new Pepsi Raw drink.

2.0              Consumer Behaviors and Related Marketing Strategies

Consumer behavior is a complex and dynamic process that is multi dimensional and that helps establish the marketing decisions and strategies to be used by companies (Khan, 2007). Marketing strategies are the plans that companies use to achieve certain objectives in marketing and selling the companies’ products. While formulating such plans, targeted consumers of the product need to be analyzed to ensure the strategies that are formulated fit in with the consumers’ behavior. The strategies can also be used to shape the shape the behaviors of the consumers in a manner that benefits the company and helps it achieve its goals.

2.1  Target Consumer Perceptions

Among the different consumer behaviors that are analyzed to develop marketing strategies is the perception of the consumers on the product. A customer’s perception is the approximation of reality about the product and its performance. The customer’s perception is influenced by several factors such as the exposure to the product and the attention given to the product among others (Sharma, 2006 ). The customer’s perceptions may be based on the quality of the product, its price or what the product can do for them. In the food and beverage industry, the perceptions of the consumers are an important element in the sustainability of the market. What the consumers of the products in the industry think and perceive about the product directly contributes to the sales of the product.

Pepsi Raw was created as a natural drink that is different from other soft drinks in the market made of artificial ingredients and lots of sugar. Pepsi-Co had the intention to produce a product which would be considered healthier compared to the other drinks in the market. Consumers in the recent past have become more educated about their health and the products that are good for them. Terms like natural, chemical free, no artificial preservatives have become very meaningful for the consumers as they give them a perception that the product is healthy (StarMedia, n.d).

The marketing strategies that can be used based on this consumer behavior include advertising the product in the market using TV commercials to constantly expose the product more to the consumers and stimulate their thinking. The advertisements can also raise more awareness on the product and shape the perceptions of the consumers towards the drink and what it can do for them. The company can also use the packaging of the product as part of the marketing strategies by including the ingredients of the product to relate to the consumer’s perception and their consciousness. The color of the product can also influence their perception by using colors that are harmonious with the environment and that will create a perception of the product being healthy.

2.2  Motivation Influence

Motivation is the influencing factor and reason why most of the consumers buy things in the market (O’Dougherty, 2007). They are motivated to buy something because they need or want it. Motivation in consumers is composed of a drive in energy and direction. It may be hidden or in multiples that are publicly addressed. It is usually influenced by internal and external factors. Internal factors include the characteristics of the consumer and their personality that may motivate them to buy a particular product. External factors that motivate consumers to certain products over others include the status that they get once they buy the product.

The Pepsi Raw consumers that are targeted to buy and consume the product may be influenced by various factors and motivated to buy the product for various reasons. The consumers may buy the drink being motivated by the needs and wants that they intend to satisfy (Natural~Specialty Foods Memo, 2008). This is a Means-End-Chain motivational approach that the consumers use to buy the drink. This is because of the benefits and attributes that the drink has over the other soft drinks in the market. The drink ultimately leads to the satisfaction of their needs and wants and also provides additional benefits to them since it is healthier.

To develop a marketing strategy that will relate to the behavior of these consumers an attribute needs to be identified of the drink. This is mostly a concrete characteristic that is unique and dominant over the other products in the market. Progress should then be made on the consequences of the drink and the ultimate value that is satisfied as a result of the product’s attribute. Marketing strategies that use the means-end-chain tend to be effective when advertising is used to market the product over other marketing activities (Sharma, 2006 ).

2.3  Consumer’s Attitude

Consumer attitudes are the opinions that the consumers have including the feelings about the products and the behavioral intentions towards it (Khan, 2007). It also refers to the overall evaluation that the consumers have on the products. The attitudes of the consumers lead to the feelings that they have on the product with some of the consumers having stronger attitudes than others (Sharma, 2006 ). Consumers do not however behave consistently and maintain the same attitudes of the product over time. The attitudes of the consumers can be changed even though this is a difficult thing to do. It even becomes more difficult when the consumers suspect the company intent to bring about change in their attitudes and get them to buy more of the product or switch to the brand.

The attitudes of consumers in the soft drink industry and other food and beverage industries have been changing over the years. Consumers have shifted to healthier alternatives that are benefit their bodies and also satisfy their needs (Hasan, 2008). The consumers have been demanding healthier drinks in the industry that add value to their health and that benefit their bodies (Pepsi Co, 2010). Pepsi Raw is one drink that will fit in with the current attitudes of the different consumers all over the world.

The marketing strategies that can relate to the consumer attitudes to Pepsi Raw should put more emphasis on the benefits and the ingredients that the product has that makes it a healthier option over other soft drinks in the market. The strategies should help capture the demands of the consumers by continually advertising the drink in a manner that exposes the benefits that the drink provides to consumers. The packaging of the product should include some of the details that the consumers are looking for and that can help change their attitudes about the drink (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004).

2.4  Decision Making Criteria

Consumer decision making process is a way that is used by the consumers to solve some of their problems when purchasing. A problem in this state is the difference between what the consumer has and his or her desired state that will be accomplished by the decision making process (Sharma, 2006 ). The problem or need is recognized through a comparison of the current and the actual situation. When making the buying decisions there is no particular rule that is fixed and that must be followed. The decision may however be influenced by various factors including the social environment and the marketing strategy used on the product. The decision making process normally involves several stages which include identifying the problem, gathering information about the product, gaining knowledge about the product, analyzing the environment among others (Pride & Ferrell, 2008 ).

Consumers are likely to be influenced by various factors when making a decision about buying Pepsi Raw drink. Some of the influencing factors include the needs that they want to satisfy and the qualities that the drink has to satisfy them (StarMedia, n.d). As the drink is an everyday product most of the consumers will be using a habitual approach to the decision making process and will tend to buy the same product over and over again based on the same criteria (O’Dougherty, 2007). The decision making process can be reduced with the appropriate marketing strategies. The consumers may be less likely to put a lot of effort in the search for alternatives if the marketing strategies used help define the drink as the best for the consumers (East, Wright, & Vanhuele, 2008).

The marketing strategies used should then seek to capture the interests of the consumers from the start and work to retain them. Product packaging is one of the best marketing strategies that can be used to help the consumer reach a decision of buying the drink. The packaging can include details that simultaneously inform and educate the consumer as well as attracting them to buy it. Other marketing activities can help establish the consumer’s trust in the drink and increase their chances of taking it again. The marketing strategy should also strive to develop some sense of integrity in the drink so that the consumers can consume and buy it often as a habit (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004).

3.0              Target Segment and Multimedia Strategies

3.1  External Influences on Target Consumer Segments

A target market normally represents the potential consumers of the product that a company is focusing on. These are the people who are most likely to buy the product and use it. They all have certain characteristics that are common in all of them that define them and their desire to consume the product. The characteristics may be based on their income levels, their ages, education levels or social levels among other characteristics. It is important for any company to segment the market and identify the potential consumers of the product. It helps conserve the resources of the company by focusing the marketing strategies to the consumers who are most likely to buy the product. It also helps the company to sell more of its product while using fewer resources. The selection of a target market is however influenced by various external factors which determine how the consumer segment can be determined.

(a)   Gender
Gender is an influencing factor when segmenting the market of Pepsi Raw. Various studies have shown that women are more health conscious about what they eat and drink when compared to the men. The women tend to take more healthy steps and are more concerned about what they eat or drink in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is due to the fact that the women are more prone to risks when they consume soft drinks than the men. Studies have revealed that the women who take soft drinks especially soda tend to have a higher chance of kidney diseases (Science Daily, 2009). They also become prone to diabetes and obesity.

 It is for this reason that the market of Pepsi Raw can be segmented on this basis to ensure that the women reduce the chances of getting some of these diseases. The study carried out did not reveal any elevated risks for the men or the women who took other soft drinks such as diet soda. The regular sodas contained high amounts of sugar that increased the risks of getting kidney diseases for the women. The women can therefore be targeted based on the results of this study and become potential consumers of the product since it does not contain high levels of sugar.

(b)   Age
The age of the consumers is an influencing factor when selecting the target market of Pepsi Raw. Older people are more conscious of their health and what they eat or drink. As people grow they undergo various life changing experiences that make them more concerned about their values and their lifestyle together with what they consume. They begin to analyze their life and make decisions that will help them live a longer and healthier life (Lake, 2009). The young people however are a contrast of the old people. They consider themselves healthy and are less likely to take a lot of concern over their health and what they consume.

Pepsi raw can be targeted to the older generation who are most conscious about their health and what they eat or drink. They could also be suffering from age related illnesses or have ailments that do not recommend the intake of other soft drinks in the market. The drink can be targeted to these kinds of consumers who are more likely to enjoy the product. The younger people may not be able to enjoy it as much as they are more about fun when they are consuming the soft drinks. They would prefer the other soft drinks that have sweeteners and artificial flavors that make them sweet.

(c)    Social class
The Pepsi Raw drink can be targeted to the consumers based on their social class. The social class is the hierarchical structure that is used to categorize people and stratify them depending on their characteristics and the social status. People of a certain social class tend to behave in a similar manner and they relate with people of their class rather than with people of other classes (Lake, 2009). This influencing factor can be used to categorize the target consumers of Pepsi Raw and target a certain class that is more likely to consume the product more than the other classes.

The upper class society has the highest social standing and is more likely to consume the product rather than the other social classes. This class of people tends to have high economic capability and can therefore be in a position to purchase the product no matter the price set. The other classes might be influenced to buy other alternatives to the natural drink like home made lemonades or home made juices. The middle class and the lower classes may be inclined to buy other cheaper alternatives that would allow them to save some money rather than buying Pepsi Raw. The upper class would not have trouble purchasing the product no matter the price.

(d)   Lifestyle
The lifestyle of a consumer refers to the way a consumer lives. It refers to some of the characteristics of the consumer that relate to how they communicate, their dressing, eating habits, values, beliefs and attitudes among others. All this characteristics are used to define the lifestyle of an individual and they can influence how the market of Pepsi raw can be segmented.  The influencing factors in the lifestyles of the consumers would be their food and eating habits and the values that they hold. The market can be segmented based on the influencing factors such as the vegetarians and the non vegetarians.

The people who are strict vegetarians are health conscious and they only eat and drink what is considered to be healthy. They would be more likely to consume the product than the non vegetarians. Consumers who are also dieting and trying to lose weight and those who are cautious about their weight are more likely to consume Pepsi Raw as it would not be detrimental to their bodies and their weight in general. The product can be focused on these consumers to ensure that minimum resources are used in marketing and the company is able to achieve its marketing strategies.

3.2  Multimedia Strategies

Multimedia strategies include the various approaches that are used by marketers and advertisers to reach the different targeted consumers. The strategies involve a lot of integrated approaches such as the use of the TV, Radio, Print media and the Internet among others. All these approaches are used in a manner that reaches the targeted consumers. The consumers in today’s market are more sophisticated, more educated and they have more options in terms of watching, listening or reading advertisements (Koeppel, n.d). The marketing approaches must therefore be more complicated to match the consumers. The choice and combination of the media strategies depend on their suitability and their effectiveness to reach the target market. The use of the different multimedia approaches allows the marketers to take advantage of the opportunities that are provided by the changing marketing media environment that is constantly changing and essentially reach the targeted audience. The product type also plays a major role in determining the best combination of multimedia approaches that can be used.

In the case of Pepsi Raw and the different target segments there are various multimedia strategies that can be used to market the product and ensure that it reaches the intended market. The multimedia strategies will depend on their suitability and how effective they can be on each of the targeted market segments. Multimedia strategies that can be used to reach the women and the men on different levels include magazines and the internet. These two methods can be used to selectively target the consumers based on their gender and the different needs they have for the drink.

Women and men magazines can be used to advertise Pepsi Raw and the different ways it can satisfy the needs of its consumers based on their gender. In the internet websites that re gender based can be used to advertise Pepsi Raw and also reach a wider market. The net would be more suitable for the consumers who do not read a lot and who spend most of their time on the internet. A commercial of the drink can be streamed online on the gender based websites and the official company’s website as a video.

The consumer target group that is being targeted based on can be approached through TV commercials, use of radio advertisements, billboards and the print media. The approaches are suitable due to their ability to reach the high numbers of consumers in this targeted market. One commercial advertisement can be used to reach the different age groups of the consumers and not be discriminatory. This is because the overall benefits that the different age groups will derive from Pepsi Raw are the same. Other outdoor advertising methods can be used such as billboards as they will also reach a bigger audience within the market segment.

 Strategies that can be used to reach the consumers based on their social class would include making the product available only in the high urbanized areas where these people can easily reach it. The marketing strategies should exclusively target these consumers only to ensure the marketing resources are well utilized and high sales are recorded. Marketing activities that would exclusively target this people would include outdoor advertising methods during the different events that the targeted consumers are involved in. This would ensure that they are effectively made aware of the drinks and its qualities.

For the different market segment that is defined by the different lifestyles of the consumers, the multimedia strategies that can be used to advertise the product would include the different forms of media. The print media can be used to advertise to the different consumers in this market segment who prefer reading rather than watching or listening. The advertisements can be placed magazines and other publications that are concerned with various issues that concern people’s lifestyle such as health magazines and journals, sport and fashion magazines among others.

4.0              Conclusion

Pepsi Raw is a natural carbonated drink that targets the health conscious consumers who are cautious about what they eat and drink and the contents of the different foods. These consumers tend to be influenced to consume products based on the ingredients they have and the ones they have omitted. The different consumer behavior can be used simultaneously to establish marketing strategies that can effectively market the product. The internal influences on the consumer behaviors can be used to develop marketing strategies that can be effective to market the product. The marketing strategies that should be used by the company should embrace the characteristics of these consumers depending on the unique features that define them.

5.0              Learning Outcomes

In the discussion, the new product by Pepsi Co, Pepsi Raw has been discussed. The product has been identified to be a product in the soft drinks industry that is different from other soft drinks in the market. It has been defined as a carbonated natural drink that is brown in color and contains natural ingredients. It lacks any preservatives, artificial ingredients or colors. Some of the ingredients include cane sugar, natural caramel, apple extracts and sparkling water among other ingredients.

The main focus of the paper is the identification of the various consumer behaviors that are in the market and how they can influence the marketing strategies to be used in marketing Pepsi Raw. The paper also discusses the multimedia strategies that can be used in the market to advertise Pepsi Raw. The consumer behaviors were identified and highlighted. The definition of consumer behavior was described as complex processes that consumers go through that help define the entire buying process. The different consumer behaviors were grouped according to their internal and external influences in the market and the marketing strategies were described as the plans that are used to help attain marketing goals.

The different consumers after being analyzed were used to develop the marketing strategies. Among the different influencing consumer behavior that was analyzed included the consumers’ perceptions, their attitudes, motivation and the decision making criteria. For each of the influencing behaviors marketing strategies were suggested and differentiated based on the different customer behaviors. External influences on the consumers and the market were also analyzed together with their impact on the marketing strategies. The external influences included the gender of the consumers in the market, the different ages of the consumers, the social class of the potential consumers of the drink and the lifestyle that most of the consumers were likely to follow.

The different external influences that were discussed played a part in establishing the consumer target segments in the market. Each of the influences was analyzed in relation to Pepsi Raw and how they affected the marketing and advertising strategies to be used in the market. Multimedia strategies were also analyzed and discussed on how they can be applied in each of the market segments identified. The use of the multimedia strategies was dependent on the external influences in the market and the different target consumer markets. Consumers in the modern world are more informed and more educated about the options that they have in the market when it comes to advertising. This has necessitated the need to use multimedia strategies to ensure that each of the consumers in the different market segments is reached.

Reference List

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Pride, W. M., & Ferrell, O. C. (2008 ). Marketing. Ohio: Cengage Learning.

Science Daily. (2009, February 12). Women Who Drink Lots Of Soda At Higher Risk For Early Kidney Disease. Retrieved July 21, 2010, from Science Daily: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090209125821.htm

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