Buyer Behaviour

Executive Summary

During the first half of the 20th century, a swift growth of the worlds market generated a significant surge in the number of products and brands available to end-users. In such dynamic markets companies are supposed to understand the essential reasons for frequent changes of the consumption tendencies as buyers are currently exposed to considerable varieties of choices.

It is important to understand how buyers behave towards different aspects of marketing certain products so as to ensure a solid competition advantage. The manner in which a buyer purchases a product is extremely important to the marketers. Consequently, the study of buyers behavioral patterns predominantly focuses on the ways an individual buyer or a group of buyers spend their available resources, such as money, time and effort to make a final decision in the buying process.

Global players such as LOreal are committed to understanding a buyers behavior before launching any kind of marketing campaign.

LOreal Group marketing strategy is based on human desire. It identifies a target consumer cohort and seeks to address its desires by applying appropriate marketing information, seemingly totally oriented on satisfying the needs of their potential clients.

The aforementioned marketing strategy entails proving to the buyers it is possible to attain their desired looks, such as those of models, for example, by using their products.

Introduction

Marketers and researchers have expressed their perceptions on buyer behavior in various ways. However, in conclusion, all the studies regarding a buyers behavior have resulted into a common attribute, which is dynamic, evolving and constantly changing over time. Thus, the clients behaviors tend to be restricted to a given period of time, specific product and individual buyer or group. In this regard, few similar products are successful in a certain market at a particular time. It is the effort of marketing to focus on a buyers desire tailored towards the consumption of a product.

The manner in which a buyer procures an item is of prime significance to the marketers. Marketing involves understanding an expected set of decisions that a buyer makes over a period of time. It is also important to understand how certain buyers react towards different product prices, features, and promotion, in order to ensure a marked competition advantage.

 

Factors such as social, cultural and psychological environment affect the buying incentives of some clients. The reasons behind the buyer behavior are in the prevailing majority of cases deeply rooted in their minds; therefore the purchasers do not clearly know what affects their buying process (Zhang 2009).

Therefore, the study of a buyers behavior is centered on how an individual buyer or a group spend their tangible assets such as money, and intangible ones, represented by time and effort, to make a final and supposedly essential decision in the buying process.

Since buyer behavior is a significant factor in marketing strategies, a number of global companies such as LOreal are devoted in understanding and developing it before launching a marketing campaign (Sriwaranun 2014).

LOreal

LOreal is a global cosmetic and beauty company established in 1909 by Eugene Schueller. The organization has since then noticeably developed and at present can be proud of the successful operation in more than 130 countries.

The current paper focuses on the significance of customer behavior as applied to marketing planning and understanding how LOreals commercial strategies are aligned to take advantage of purchasing behaviors aimed at achieving successful marketing campaigns (Ozuem 2014).

PESTEL Analysis

Political

LOreal is supposed to conform to all the government policies in running its businesses in the variety of countries it operates in.

LOreal is also expected to produce its products in adherence to environmental policies to ascertain there are no harmful substances contained in them.

Economical

LOreals main client-product categories are highly sensitive to the economic fluctuations and the levels of the development of economies

For the last decade, LOreals revenue has increased by 50% with its profit almost doubling.

Social

LOreal has been recognized as a Leader of Change by the Foundation for Social Change

It has additionally been acknowledged for its approach to responsible, sustainable and inclusive development and for influencing positive social impacts, while at the same time reducing the environmental footprint.

Technological

The research and development knowledge on hair and skin that has been accumulated by LOreal over the time has created the way for greater innovations.

Formulation procedure and active ingredients and assessment technologies are also crucial technological factors.

Environmental

Environmental challenge is the LOreal use of natural substances, that are mainly environmentally friendly

LOreal runs a programmed internal evaluation and establishes the indicators for monitoring and reporting on performance in terms of the environmental impacts.

Legal

LOreals legal department makes an important contribution in providing expert advice on legal matters.

The objective of legal section consists mainly in ascertaining that the company operations are legally secure.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Rich business heritage

Focus on the excellence in customer service experience

Weaknesses

Relatively low product awareness

Poor brand promotion

Opportunities

Potential business expansion in the mens brands

Influence on parent companys structure for global market penetration

Threats

High availability of substitute brands

Competitive market

To understand customer behavior, a marketer must understand how buyers view their product in face of an existing objective competition. Both internal and external factors, such as cultural, psychological, personal and social, should also be considered. According to Amstrong& Kotler, buyer behavior is a two-fold study involving a buyers own experience-related characteristics and their subsequent decision-making process. They also identified cultural, social and psychological issues of a buyer as significant elements affecting customer behavior, and hence, a marketer must engage all these aspects to attain successful marketing campaigns (Bajde 2015).

Company Marketing Strategies

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The LOreal Company is well known for its continual innovation in advancing tthe quality of the brands they offer to the buyers. A part of their marketing strategy involves catering for the interest of their buyers to meet their satisfaction. By providing a wide selection of products, the company offers the buyers a whole range of products to choose from that best meet their preferences (Kujala 2015).

The variety of their prices for beauty products considers the demands of female customers, from the younger buyers to the aging cohort, and from the affluent citizens to the clients with a lower budget. Through research development and the passion for innovation, the company best meets the demands of the purchasers from different cultures. Besides, LOreal ensures that they are up-to-date with the latest trend and involved in setting new trends in the market so as to attract a larger client share.

Factor Influencing Consumer Behavior

During the first half of the 20th century, a rapid growth of the worlds market experienced a significant raise in the quantity of products and brands available to users. Companies are expected to understand the essential driving forces for the alternation of consumption directions as buyers are exposed to markedly greater varieties of choices than they would in the past. This adjustment calls for the necessity for differentiation in order to remain at the top of competition by providing the products adding value to the clients desire. The purpose of any business is to permanently develop its image as a sign of quality and recognition. Affirmative memories instilled in customers minds ensure a fair share of loyalty, as customers are likely to return to the product providing trustworthy satisfaction.

Culture

Culture is a complex of ideas, values and attitudes that allows human beings to communicate and assess the other members of a society qualitatively. It is the primary drive that influences an individuals behavior. Though different social groups have different cultures effecting client behavior, the extent to which they have an impact on particular buyers tends to vary from one region to another.

Therefore, the traders should thoroughly consider the significance of culture in their marketing strategies. LOreal has been adjusting its products to satisfy the requirements of a dynamic global cosmetic market. For instance, during the 2011 economic meltdown that impacted the worldwide developing and developed economics significantly, LOreal concentrated on expanding its Brazilian market. This was mainly stimulated by the fact that the Brazilian economy was less affected and their high number of female buyers tends to have a higher purchasing power for the cosmetic products offered by the company. In addition, Brazilian like Indian women have a strong aspiration for quality beauty products (Noguti 2016).

To penetrate the Brazilian market, LOreal had to accommodate their promotional strategies opting for more traditional approaches, such as printed adverts, door-to-door sales, as well as visual and audio marketing channels. Despite of technological advancement in Brazil, a significant part of the population still prefer door-to-door sales, given the high level of competition in cosmetic industry. By including this approach, LOreal had a significant success in the Brazilian market (Rajagopal 2009).

To create awareness for their products, the corporation used the Carnivals that are an inseparable part of the Brazilian culture. In addition, they focused on the Brazilians love for music and the availability and popularity of radio channels to advance their marketing strategy.

LOreal in China

Unlike the Western cultures, the Chinese cultural environment prefers to use traditional medicines to achieve the balance in health and life. Regarding this, the companys business methods are oriented on using the Chinese cultural inclination to the usage of traditional medical practices including acupuncture, herbs and massage as health improvement and beauty enhancement tools. Therefore, LOreal has adapted their commercial strategies by incorporating natural ingredients in the products targeted for Chinese consumers. As a result, these approaches have been successful for LOreal in Chinese cosmetic market as well (Kang 2014).

Social Consumer Behavior

In addition to the cultural aspect of customer behavior, there is a social grouping practice. This is comprised of population stratus, status and social roles. Some of these population groups have a direct impact on an individual buyer, such as reference and membership groups. Certain purchasers are greatly influenced by the social groups which they belong to. The social groupings that have a direct influence on an individual are referred to as reference groups and the marketers are supposed to consider the practical value of such communities in implementing their marketing strategies (Zhang 2011).

LOreal commercial method has considered digital revolution and social media as the effective marketing tools having a notable influence on the companys communication with its customers. According to LOreal, digital platforms are the most significant phases of emerging marketing areas influencing customer behavior. In the modern world of technological advancements various digital marketing strategies available stimulate a clients buying and post-purchase decisions through sharing their views and experiences regarding the products online (Cardoso 2010).

This platform gives LOreal the opportunity to establish the relationship with its purchasers throughout the buying-sale process. With a pool of more than 20 million Face book followers, LOreal has an opportunity to establish the reference groups having an effect on the buyer behavior toward their products. This would also help the company to launch its new products and remain a global cosmetic leader.

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On the other hand, Corporate Social Responsibility has been an important factor in establishing a stable marketing strategy due to the increasing concern towards global environment protection issues. In the cosmetic industry Corporate Social Responsibility is an crucial concern, given the potential chemical pollution affecting the environment. Therefore, LOreal has been in the front line in implementing the ban on the usage of product testing on animals that was advocated by European Union in 2013. Instead, they have adopted the use of artificially prepared skins for chemical testing. As a result, this has helped LOreal to continue to produce environmental friendly products for their consumers, subsequently attracting even more clients (Scott 2014).

Psychological

According to Bouwman & Franzen, individual memories and perception are connected to their emotional behavior. The cognitive part of the human brain analyses, reflects and makes a decision, while the emotional part reacts immediately and impulsively on the external stimulations. When an individual receives new information, their brain determines the amount of attention to be accorded to that information (Riensche 2012).

Buyers tend to perceive marketing superficially and unconsciously, though they are still influenced by the marketing information during their future purchasing behavior. Therefore, the perception of the product can be seen as implicit and unconscious until it is linked to the stimulation of the experiences that result in explicit cognitive memories.

LOreal marketing plan is to trade LOreal as a wholesome brand as opposed to selling the individual product lines dispersing the holistic image of the company. This implies that when buyers make a decision to buy a product, they will remember LOreal as a brand, not just a separate item of cosmetics.

Creating multi-sensory experiences, any advertising technique is aimed at fostering the way a human responds to external stimulations and reacts to the emotional images that are consciously or unconsciously implanted into and determining the consequent customer behavior. Eventually, this may create a hedonic consumption experience related to the emotive and fantasy perception of an individuals experience with a brand (Lee 2012).

This is commonly experienced in the case of air color promotion by LOreal, as the products are promoted using the models demonstrating the match in their makeup, clothing and hair color. Therefore, LOreal seeks to display face as the part of the body that should be dressed just like the rest of the body to give a complete look.

As for hair care products, LOreals marketing strategy has been focused on emphasizing hair as a significant component of the appearance. By highlighting the hair above everything else, LOreal sends the signal that it is possible to attain the model looks by making your hair a more attractive or simply distinguishing feature (Hung 2005).

Naturally, the emphasis is on the hair that has been treated using LOreal products implying that the models have attained their look by means of using LOreal products, creating imagination in buyers minds that they might obtain the same effect if they buy LOreal brands.

Conclusion

In conclusion, LOreal Group marketing strategy is based on the human desire. It identifies a target consumer group and seeks to address its desires by applying appropriate marketing information.

The companys marketing strategy mentioned above entails proving to their buyers it is possible to attain their desired looks and all the attributes related to them, such as those of the models, by using their products.

LOreal has developed activities in the cosmetic field. They encounter certain opportunities and threats and they have to overcome specific weaknesses to remain strong in a competitive market. Although the corporation has powerful competitors, they have a good advantage over them. Anyway, the company is expected to deploy some policies such as internal evaluations and audit information and create the external opportunities that will guarantee the strengthening of the companys future operations.

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