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					 Chapter 11: Situational

Consumer Behavior - A Framework
John C. Mowen
Michael S. Minor
Key Concepts
   Consumer Situations        Task definition
   Types of situational       Categories of gift-
    influences                  giving situations
   Influence of physical      Influence of time
    surroundings               Time differences
   Store location              across cultures
    effects                    Types of antecedent
   Store atmosphere            states
The Environment and the Exchange Process
             Cultural                      Economic
             Environment                   Environment

             Subcultural                   Regulatory
             Environment                   Environment
                           Group/ family

                    Situational Influencers

    Individual   Buying        Exchange         Marketer
    Processes    Unit          Process
Consumer Situations . . .
   consist of temporary environmental factors
    that form the context within which a
    consumer activity occurs at a particular place
    and time.
   include factors that:
       Involve the time and place in which a consumer
        activity takes place
       Explain why the action takes place
       Influence consumer behavior
      Table 11-1: Belk’s Situational

   Physical surroundings
   Social surroundings
   Time
   Task definition
   Antecedent states
  Physical Surroundings . . .

. . .are the concrete
physical and spatial
aspects of the
environment that
encompass a
consumer activity.
Effects of Music on Shoppers
                  In a supermarket
                   store study sales
                   increased daily by
                   38% when slower
                   music was played.
                  A restaurant study
                   found when slow
                   music was played,
                   liquor sales
    Effects of Music continued
 Playing  peppy music
  while on hold or
  waiting in line doesn’t
  make time pass more
 Louder music
  increases “pace of
  events” perception but
  raises estimates of
  time durations.
The Effects of Crowding
on Consumers
   Density - how closely packed people
    are (i.e., the physical arrangements of
    people in a space).
   Crowding - the unpleasant feelings
    that people experience when they
    perceive that densities are too high and
    that their control of the situation has
    been reduced to unacceptable levels.
    High - and Low-density...
   High-density situations may be beneficial -
       More perceived control in bar study, less in bank
       In “fun” situations, density enhances pleasure.
   There is usually an optimal level of density.
   Other elements (time, convenience) as
    important for shopping behavior.
Consumer Crowd Behavior
   In some circumstances consumers behave
    like hysterical crowds
       Large groups may cause high physiological arousal
        among each of the members
       The high arousal results in the tendency of each
        member of the crowd to act on a dominant idea or
       Each person in a crowd becomes inconspicuous
        and individual responsibility is lost.
Store Location . . .
    . . . influences consumers from several
   Consumers have “cognitive maps” of a city’s
    geography that may not match the actual
    locations of retail stores.
   Image transference exists: The image of
    anchor stores affects that of smaller stores in
    the same shopping center.
Store Layout . . .

. . . is the physical organization of a store
   that creates specific traffic patterns,
   assists retailers in the presentation of
   merchandise, and helps create a
   particular atmosphere.
Atmospherics . . .

. . . refers to how managers manipulate
   the design of the building, interior
   space, layout of aisles, texture of
   carpets and walls, scents, colors,
   shapes, and sounds experienced by
   customers to achieve a certain effect.
  Atmospherics and Shopping

Atmosphere                Emotional Response       Behavior

             Influences                   Influences

Layout                      Pleasure/              Time in
Sounds                      displeasure            Store
Smells                      Arousal/               Affiliation
Texture...                  Boredom                Buying
     Olfactory Cues...
   Shoppers perceive
    higher quality goods
    in scented stores.
   Odors should be
    consistent with store
   These cues are
    expensive to
Effects of Spatial
                    Space modifies/shapes
                    Retail store space
                     affects consumers
                    Retail stores affect
                     attitudes, images
                    Stores can create
                     desired consumer
Social Surroundings . . .

 . . . deals with the
 effects of other
 people on a
 consumer in a
The Task Definition . . .
    . . . the situational reasons for buying
    or consuming a product or service at a
    particular time and place.

   Usage situations form the context in
    which a product is used and influence
    the product characteristics sought by a
     Marketing Opportunities
   Sometimes a product
    is locked into one
    usage situation,
    limiting market
   Consumers may come
    to consider the product
    inappropriate for all
    other situations.
   Gift-Giving Motivations

                     Low           High

       Voluntary    Altruism
                    Ritual         Love,
       Obligatory   obligation     friendship

                     Degree of Self-Interest
Gift Behavior and Gender...
   Women start shopping earlier for
    Christmas (October vs. November)
   Spend more time shopping/gift (2.4 vs.
    2.1 hours)
   Are more successful (fewer of their gifts
    are exchanged)
   But men spend 50% more/gift.
                   Premeditated,
                   Rewarding an
                    therapy for
                   Baseball

   Individual differences in conception…
   Time as a product
   Time as a situational variable
 Time: Individual Differences...

People Can Use Time in Four Different Ways:

               Work
               Necessities

               Housework
               Leisure
    Individual Time Differences
    Are Influenced by Culture...
   Linear Separable. There is a past, present,
    future. The future is expected to be better:
    the idea of “progress”. Activities are a means
    to an end.
   Circular Traditional. The future is like the
    present. Do today only what has to be done
    today. Time and money aren’t related.
   Procedural Traditional. Task Orientation.
    Meetings take as long as necessary.
Time as a Product
     Many Purchases Are Made to Buy Time

           The “time-buying consumer” is a consumer
            who engages in buying time through these
           Time-saving qualities are a key promotional
           Time can act as a product attribute
        “Perception Management,”
        Time, and Lines

   In 1998, 70 Northern California MacDonald’s
    restaurants tried multiple lines vs. one line.
   The single, serpentine line is most popular -
       Multiple lines actually move people faster
       But jumping from line to line creates stress.
Time as a Situational Variable
                 How much time a
                  consumer has
                  available to do a task
                  influences the buying
                  strategy used to
                  select and purchase
                  the product.
                 With limited time,
                  there is less
                  information search.
Antecedent States . . .
 . . . are the temporary physiological and
 mood states that a consumer brings to a
 consumption situation.

      Physiological State: Hunger.
      Mood State: Happy feelings.
   Antecedent States . . .

. . . Can lead to problem recognition.
. . . Can change the “feeling” component
      of hierarchy of effects (Ch. 8)
. . . Mood states influence behavior, e.g.
     shopping to alleviate loneliness.
    Usage Situation, Person, and
    Product Interactions

   The Buying Act Results From Interactions
    That Occur Among:

        Consumption situations
        Characteristics of the buying unit/person
        The product or service being offered
Managerial Implications
   Positioning. Situational variables offer
    multiple opportunities for positioning.
   Research. May indicate which situations
    present opportunities for new products.
   Marketing Mix. Firms may be able to present
    time-saving attributes as a tradeoff for a
    higher price.
   Segmentation. An increase in the female work
    force presents opportunities to market to the
    segment of males doing more of their own
Situation-by-Product Interaction

 High                     Ginger Ale

 Low                      Gatorade

        Tennis    Party
        Match     Mixer

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