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Summery of expected answer for the mid term paper

You can use examples of your choice

1 Describe the interrelationship between consumer behavior as an academic

discipline and the marketing concept.

The study of consumer behaviour is the study of how individuals make

consumption-related decisions. There are many academic reports on
consumer behaviour available
Academically should know consumption related behaviour, and marketer
use these knowledge for altering and changing behaviour

The key assumption underlying the marketing concept is that a company

must determine the needs and wants of specific target markets, and deliver
the desired satisfaction better than the competition. The marketing concept is
based on the premise that a marketer should make what they can sell, instead
of trying to sell what they have made. Thus, a company which adopts the
marketing concept must continuously research and monitor its customers’
and potential clients’ needs and consumption-related behavior in order to
develop, effectively promote, and deliver products and services which
satisfy clients needs better than the competition.

2. Discuss the ethical issues related to the statement “marketers don’t create
needs; needs pre-exist marketers.” Can marketing efforts change consumers’
needs? Why or why not?

a. Marketers do not create needs, though in some instances they may

make consumers more keenly aware of unfelt needs. The tact that many new
products take illustrates that marketers often do not recognize or understand
consumer needs and that they cannot create a need for products. On the other
hand, there are countless examples of products that have succeeded in the
marketplace because they fulfill consumer needs.

b. Marketing efforts are generally not designed to change consumer

needs but to create or trigger “wants” for products/services that consumers
would then purchase to satisfy needs that already exist. Market-oriented
companies use consumer research to uncover relevant needs, translate them
into “wants” by designing appropriate products and services, and position
their offerings as satisfying needs and wants better than competitors’

3. Describe the type of promotional message that would be most suitable for
each of the following personality market segments and give an example of
each: (a) highly dogmatic consumers, (b) inner-directed consumers, (c)
consumers with high optimum stimulation levels, (d) consumers with a high
need for cognition, and (e) consumers who are visualizers versus consumers
who are verbalizers.

a) Highly dogmatic consumers are likely to respond favorably to a new

product when the advertising message is presented in an authoritarian
manner (e.g., celebrity endorsement or expert testimonials).
b) Inner-directed consumers tend to use their own values and standards
in evaluating a new product; therefore, ads aimed at them should
depict the attainment of personal achievement and satisfaction.
c) Consumers with a high optimum stimulation level are more open to
risk-taking, more likely to be innovative, try products with many
novel features, and shop in new retail outlets. Consumers with high
OSL are likely to respond favorably to promotional messages
stressing more rather than less risk, novelty, or excitement.
d) Consumers with a high need for cognition are ones who often crave or
enjoy thinking. They are likely to be responsive to ads that are rich in
product-related information or description and are unresponsive to the
auxiliary or contextual aspects of an advertisement.
e) Marketers should stress visual dimensions in attracting visualizers
(i.e., consumers who prefer visual information, products that stress the
visual) and detailed descriptions and explanations in targeting
verbalizers (i.e., consumers who prefer written and verbal product

4. For each of these products—chocolate bars and bottles of expensive

perfume—describe how marketers can apply their knowledge of
differential threshold to packaging, pricing, and promotional claims
during periods of (a) rising ingredient and materials costs and (b)
increasing competition.

The differential threshold is the minimal difference that can be detected

between two stimuli. It is also called j.n.d. (just noticeable difference).
Weber’s law states that the stronger the initial stimulus, the greater the
additional intensity needed for the second stimulus to be perceived as
different. Also, an additional level of stimulus, equivalent to the j.n.d.,
must be added for the majority of people to perceive a difference between
the resulting stimulus and the initial stimulus.

In the (a) case, manufacturers and marketers endeavor to determine the

relevant j.n.d. for their products so that negative changes—reductions
size or increases in price , or reduced quality—are not readily discernible
to the public and so that product improvements are readily discernible to
the consumer without being wastefully extravagant.

Improvement in product and promotion is desirable

In the (b) case, marketers use the j.n.d. to determine the amount of
change or updating they should make in their products to avoid losing the
readily recognized aspects of their products. Marketers want to meet the
consumers’ differential threshold so that they readily perceive the
improvements made in the original product. This could create a
competitive differential advantage.
For example, the subtle incremental changes in product and changes in
labeling could produce changes and better meet competition.

5. Nivea, the cosmetic company, has introduced a new line of shaving

products for men. How can the company use stimulus generalization to
market these products? Is instrumental conditioning applicable to this
marketing situation? If so, how?

According to classical conditioning theorists, learning depends not only

on repetition, but also on the ability of individuals to generalize. Stimulus
generalization explains why imitative “me too” products succeed in the
marketplace: consumers confuse them with the original product they
have seen advertised. In extending its product line, the marketer adds
related products to an already established brand, knowing that the new
product is more likely to be adopted when it is associated with a known
and trusted brand name. Conversely, it is much more difficult to develop
a totally new brand.
Application of classical conditioning theory
Stimulus generalization
Product line , form, category extention
Family branding
Stimulus discrimination

What might be the reward from using the new product (i.e., instrumental
conditioning)? Because Nivea has a good reputation in skin care, the new
shaving line can build on this reputation and add skin care value to the
male segment. Like classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning
requires a link between a stimulus and a response. In instrumental
conditioning, however, the stimulus that results in the most satisfactory
response is the one that is learned. Instrumental learning theorists believe
that learning occurs through a trial-and-error process, with habits formed
as a result of rewards received for certain responses or behaviors.
Although classical conditioning is useful in explaining how consumers
learn very simple kinds of behaviors, instrumental conditioning is more
helpful in explaining complex, goal-directed activities. Therefore, for
company to use instrumental conditioning, they must provide consumers
the opportunity to try the product and then like what they try.