What kind of consumer am I? If I were to categorize myself I would say I am a loyalty-based consumer. For example, I will drive by several other establishments that serve coffee and go out of my way to go to a Starbucks. My loyalty to them is a result of the rewards program and my belief that they put corporate responsibility as a high priority. I also practice loyalty when I buy groceries buy shopping at the store I work for. I will try to find every thing I need at my company instead of going to Wal-Mart, even if it is cheaper sometimes. I always buy my store’s brand items rather than name brands because of the loyalty I have to my company. It is normally cheaper than name brands anyway. I am also not influenced by packaging very easily so neither of these are important factors in my buying decisions.
Because I choose products based mostly on loyalty, most of my purchase decisions stem from the problem recognition stage. This is where I recognize the issue and whether this is a need or want that needs satisfied. Once I make the decision to go buy the product, my loyalties usually make the information search and evaluating alternatives stages much easier.
I am most influenced by marketing research when I need to solve a new problem and I seek out product specifications and consumer reviews to compare different products. For example, I was recently shopping for a new face cleanser and wasn’t sure which one to go with. I looked at couple name brand ones at the store that I could do an Internet search to find which one was recommended the most by dermatologists and had the best consumer reviews. I was then able to find a product similar to the name brand under my store’s brand that was comparable.
If I am very displeased with a product or service I will try to contact the company or fill out a survey after the purchase. I work in retail and regularly receive customer comments. While some of them can seem like just someone complaining, they usually just want a better experience and feedback is the only way to know that a change is needed. If I am satisfied with a product or service I often just continue on as normal without thinking about leaving good feedback. I think this is the case for many consumers because they only feel the need to speak up if they were severely inconvenienced.