Understanding Buyer Behavior
There is no doubt that one of the main elements of the buyer and consumer’s behavior theme is the issue of understanding the type of the former. It gives an opportunity to identify the motive and the origin of buyers’ decision about purchase. It enables to find effective motivations and apply efficient promotion strategies. Considering Mars Corporation, the company is specialized on the wide range of products. One of the main groups of brand is chocolate, including Snickers, M&M’s, Mars, Dove, Milky Way, Galaxy, and Twix (Mars, Inc., n. d.). The products are well-known on the market and have great amount of potential consumers.
In order to understand the consumer’s behavior, it is important to determine what type of product the Mars bars are. Considering the fact that the chocolate bars are usually bought unplanned without any preliminary preparations, they belong to the group of convenience type of products. The prices are low. The products have widespread distribution and convenient locations (Market Insider, n.d.). The Mars chocolate bars can be found in any store and supermarket as well as gas stations and small kiosks. Purchase of such goods does not require much from a customer, including the estimation of the market conditions.
Basing on the product characteristics, the conclusion about the buying behavior can be provided. The Mars chocolate bars are bought as the result of the behaviorism approach to making the buying decision. The behavioral approach to the analysis of the consumer behavior is based on the inputs and outputs as the core factors (Kasi, n.d.). On the contrary, the cognitive approach relies on the customers’ thinking process that is the key criterion of making the purchase decision. According to the cognitive approach, the purchase decision is done on the basis of the additional research process as well as the deep analysis of the internal and external factors. Taking into account the fact that the buyers of Mars chocolate are making the purchase decision without the preliminary preparation and deep analysis, the behaviorism theory is used. Usually, the chocolate bars as Snickers, Mars and Twix are merchandised on the case register zone. In such a way, when waiting in the queue, the buyer may make the spontaneous decision to buy the chocolate bar. In addition, such a desire may occur when the potential buyer sees someone else buying this product. Such a case will be an example of observational behaviorisms theory approach (Kasi, n.d.). Thus, the behaviorisms theory is the most suitable to the characteristic of the Mars products and efficient in its implementation.
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The market of the chocolate bars is very saturated, and the industry rivalry is very high. There are many companies and brands present on the market that are competing for the market share and the leading position. Analyzing the table called “Brand performance measures”, the conclusion is that the market of chocolate bars is represented by two major producers, namely the Mars Company that is producing Mars, Snickers and Twix chocolate bars and the Nestle Company that is offering Kit Cat and Nestle Gold to the customers (Nestle, n.d.). Considering the number of products and their market share, the Mars Company is more successful on the market. On the contrary, Nestle is offering only two products, although it is important to lay the stress on the fact that the Kit Kat product is very competitive and occupies 27% of the total market share. Thus, the Mars Company should take into account the competitive advantages of Kit Kat products and target the product strategy at acquiring the same competitive advantages in the chocolate bars of the corporation.
Regarding the Mars’ products, the most successful one is the Mars chocolate bar. It has managed to capture 37% of the market share. In addition, the product has the highest level of the customers’ loyalty with 22 points. The market penetration is also very high, namely 75%. The worst position on the marker among presented brands of the Mars Company is Twix. The product has only 12% of the market share and no customers’ sole loyalty. It makes the brand’s position rather unstable and unpredictable on the market. Regarding the Snickers product, it has the middle and stable position on the market. The amount of the market share is slightly less than the market leader and the market follower have. The penetration rate is rather high, which is 45%. The average purchase frequency is almost the same as the market leaders possess. However, the category buying rate is rather high. The following dependence is seen on the market: the higher general performance measure is, the lower category buying rate is (Martin, 2012). Considering the fact that the category buying rate includes the purchase frequency and the purchase amount, it means that the customers are buying several items of rarely bought chocolate bars at the same time.
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Analyzing the strategy offered by the marketing director, many details have to be taken into account. From the first sight, it is the fundamental and effective strategy. There is a problem with the customers’ loyalty to the Snickers brands. The sole loyalty makes the brand stable and prosperous on the market. That is why the customers’ loyalty should be increased with the smart promotion strategy. However, the offered strategy by the marketing director cannot be used because it will have negative effect on the brands of Mars, such as Twix and Mars chocolate bars. The loyalty of Snickers cannot be increased separately because the company has other products present on the chocolate bars market that may lose the profitability. It deals with the fact that promoting Snickers, the loyal customers of Twix and Mars may switch to this brand of chocolate. Thus, the general company’s position and customers’ loyalty will remain the same. In addition, the expenditures on strategy development and implementation will negatively affect the company’s profitability.
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The most effective way for the company to increase the customers’ loyalty for Snickers brand and not to lose it among other brands of the corporation is the development of the promotional strategy targeted for the promotion of the sole loyalty to all of the brands and to the Mars Corporation in general. It can be done with the development of public relations of all company brands. They should become sponsors and participants of different social and charity events in order to create positive perception of the brands. Considering the fact that all the customers are interested in the price decrease, there might be offered beneficial propositions of the price decrease for the 3rd bar (Swinscoe, 2014). In addition, the customers’ loyalty can be maintained with the constant delivery of high quality of chocolate products.
Mental availability is the key component of the buyers’ choice. Mental availability is probability that a buyer will remember and recognize the brand in case of buying situations (Sharp, 2011). It means that when the customer comes with the decision to make the purchase of chocolate bars, he or she will first think about Snickers, Mars or Twix. Mental availability is much more important and beneficial for the company than the brand awareness and customers’ loyalty. It is a characteristic of the buyers that motivates them to make the purchase now in the buying situation. That is why metal availability strategies should be intensively applied in the Mars Corporation.
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First of all, in order to make the mental availability of the brand high, the company should develop effective and memorable branding. The color should be bright, logo memorable, and design impressive (Acumen, n.d.). Hence, the customers will be easily keeping in mind the name and the appearance of the Mars Company’s products. In addition, the company should apply aggressive advertising strategy. The Mars, Twix and Snickers brands should be constantly reminded to the target audience through different means of advertising. In this manner, the products will be well-known to the customers and always remembered. There are ten entry points of the Snickers brand that should be included in the advertisement. They are the following: high quality of product, high production standards, great taste, high nutrition, useful for brain nuts content, high quality milk, high goodwill of the brand, long time being on the market, comfortable packaging, and considerable brand’s social responsibility impact. Moreover, it is critically vital to maintain the mental availability. It means that the brands need to have high market penetration rate. The Mars, Twix and Snickers chocolate bars should be easily found and bought. Thus, the physical evidence should support the mental one.
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Demographics and Segmentation
After the analysis of available market information, one can reach the conclusion that the chosen by the marketing director target group is the largest one. Females aged from 26 to 35 years who earn more than $70000 per year are the most numerous group of customers. However, it is important to lay the stress that other target groups should be also targeted by the Snickers brand in order not to lose the market share and possible company’s profitability. The target group of males is occupying 41 % of the market share, which is very high percentage rate. Therefore, males should be also targeted by the Snickers brand (Lorette, n.d.). As far as the age criterion concerned, the target group of 36-45 years old is very large and takes almost the same percentage as the 26-35 years old group. That is why it should be targeted as well by the company in order to increase the market share of Snickers. In addition, in spite of the fact that the youngest target group occupies only 18% of total share, it should be aimed to develop the loyal relations with them when they move into the following age group. Concerning the total household income criterion, the $50000-$70000 income amount group should be targeted because it takes 22% of the market share.
Another critical issue that should be taken into account is that the chosen Snickers’ target group has a trend of negative deviation. Females aged from 26 to 35 years who earn more than $70000 per year in all of the demographic segmentation criteria show the slight decrease in amounts. Probably, it is caused by the increasing trend of healthy way of life among people (Hartman Group, 2015). Women that are in the age group of 26 to 35 years start taking care of their health and appearance. Consequently, they reduce the consumption of sweets and chocolate. As a consequence, the chosen by the marketing director target group is the largest one, but it is not promising in terms of the future perspective.
Thus, the Snickers brand should aim at the several segments and target audience groups. It will give an opportunity to maximize the market share and company’s profitability. At the same time, it will increase the brand’s competitiveness. In order to reach it, the advertisement, promotion and distribution strategies need to be developed differently according to various target segments. Only in such a case, the multi segmentation strategy will succeed on the market for the Snickers brand of the Mars Company.
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