Behind Consumer Purchasing Decisions

By February 24, 2014Consumption

iStock_000023976063SmallAre you trying to sell a food-related product, but always seem to be beaten out by the competition? Perhaps you are not thinking of the end user. Here at KOR, we know how important it is to keep the consumer in mind when developing, marketing, and selling products for our clients. Below is a list of five factors that affect consumer purchasing behavior that you should consider when comparing your product’s performance to that of competitors. 

1) Fear of Food: Between the recent bacterial outbreaks for produce and product recalls for peanut butter or nut-based items, some consumers have developed a fear of food which has translated to their purchasing behavior. These frightened consumers are likely to steer clear of any product that was ever recalled or pulled from the shelves to feel more secure about their purchases. For example, people may forgo buying peanut butter altogether and opt for an alternative such as almond butter. Although consumers may be cost-sensitive or brand loyal to a specific peanut butter brand, they willingly change their usual purchasing behavior out of apprehension and distrust for their once favorite products.

2) Marketing: When consumers head to a grocery store to do their food shopping, many bring lists of the items they intend to purchase. However, most do not have a specific brand in mind. Although price is one of many factors that determine purchasing decisions, marketing also plays a huge role. How well a product is marketed — both in- and out-of-store — will influence whether or not consumers buy it. Whether all-natural call-outs, in-store displays, catchy commercials and campaigns, unique logos or touching packaging stories, all forms of marketing can ultimately influence buying behavior.

3) Brand Loyalty: Brand loyalty is special bond that consumers develop with certain brands over a sustained period of time. As you can imagine, this connection can have a huge impact on purchasing decisions along with other influences such as word of mouth marketing. Based on research, consumers that have a history of purchasing a product from a particular brand will be more likely to try a new product by the same brand than from a competing brand. In general, brand loyal consumers have more trust in a particular brand, even if they know another product is just as good.

4) Ingredients: Consumers that are concerned with their overall health and have tried eating all-natural diets tend to base their purchasing decisions on ingredients. For example, if one company makes tomato soup and another one makes the same exact soup with less sodium, regardless of price, the consumer is more likely to purchase the low-sodium soup. In addition, consumers with dietary restrictions and allergies usually buy products that list safe ingredients.

5) Price: The most important factor affecting consumer buying decisions — price — can be the end-all when purchasing food-related products. Since many store brands offer lower prices or in-store savings, consumers may forgo brand loyalty and ignore marketing influences just to save a few bucks.

As you can imagine, it’s important to develop a clear strategy to address each of the above factors when selling products to consumers. At KOR, we recommend conducting consumer focus groups and extensive market research prior to launching new products to ensure that your product will succeed in the marketplace.