Buyer Behavior Analysis of Oral B

Buyer Behavior Analysis of Oral B

Executive summary

The purpose of this report is to evaluate the buyer’s behavior of Oral B.  The customer’s decision to purchase a product follows five significant steps, which are recognition, search for information, considering alternatives, purchase, and post-purchase evaluation. The report states that a company’s attention is dependent on how well it ranks in search engines such as Google. The visibility allows the customers to gain information about the company and the products. Hence amplifying the chances of settling on the product. Equally, the influence of competitors plays a role in customer’s decision making as a desirable alternative attracts the customers more. The study focused on models and theories, such as the Kano model, network theory, and social learning theory. The report concludes by recommending the need for Oral B to increase its online visibility by sponsoring online marketing and also segmenting the customers based on their needs.

Introduction

Customers are the center players for the existence of any business since they are responsible for buying products and services provided for by an organization. In the wake of dramatic innovation and increasing competition in the market environment, business leaders have the responsibility of understanding the needs of the customers to tailor goods and services that meet their present needs. As such, marketers have a massive role in establishing appropriate strategies to market the brand to potential customers and convincing them of the benefit of using the company’s products. Currently, buyers have a broad selection of products to choose from (Payson and Karunanithy 2016, p.1), which compels the companies to structure their operations to compete favorably with others. The authors further noted that modern customers choose to buy or not to, based on price, quality, and the value of service.

Buyers’ behavior depends on the marketing approaches adopted by a particular company, hence the need to have a proper idea of the nature of customers in the market. In this regard, the current report focuses on Oral B. The company specializes in the manufacture of hygiene products such as kinds of toothpaste, mouthwashes, and toothbrushes. Started in the years 1950, the company has tenured different market shocks in the industry of hygiene. The company has an established system of marketing based on segmentation, which has enabled it to reach international customers. Therefore, understanding customers’ behavior helps the company to make appropriate marketing steps, which results in product familiarization, thus allowing the customers to make precise decisions.

Need Recognition

Customers have a plethora of needs, which can be satisfied by evaluating the key aspects they need in a product. This information is not readily accessible for any company, but by use of tools of marketing, such as establishing a feedback platform, can extract intangible details regarding the customers. Most of the decision to buy starts with a need, thus requiring a solution to solve a problem. According to Malik et al. (2013, p.167), brand consciousness is instrumental in positioning the product in a competitive market. The author noted that retaining the image of the product in the minds of the clients is the winning strategy. This is useful to sustain the business. The phenomenon is actualized since it creates a love for the product. The assertion is supported by Sharp (2000), who argues that despite the customers having the will to buy, the awareness about the use of the product and its health benefits play a significant role in making the final decision.

Being a preface stage of product familiarization, the need for recognition of Oral-B would entail the use of marketing activities such as advertising, both in print and mainstream media. The company has been in operation for years, and it is already in the minds of the people. However, the emergence of new companies, in the industry of hygiene, has offered competition to traditional companies such as Oral-B. To retain the relevance, the administration should capitalize on the advertisement, and more so, leverage online marketing. Krizanova et al. (2019, p.5) noted that the use of modern technologies has a wide area of coverage, and is one way to win the new customers. Though perceived as a way to increase revenue to the company, it plays a role in winning the trust and satisfaction of the customers, which has a direct effect on influencing their decisions to buy a product. The figure below illustrates a marketing framework to improve recognition of the product (Campos 2019, p.26).

Figure 1: Marketing framework(Campos 2019,p.26)

The highest global population resides in the rural setting, and most of them are middle-income earners. They tend to demand affordable products, in line with their level of income. For quite some time, companies specializing in dental health products provide high priced products, which makes it difficult for low-income earners to access them. As a result, Oral- B can capitalize on this gap by providing affordable toothpaste and toothbrushes. According to Wong and Ho (2019, p.156), the Kano Model of analysis can help to establish the customer’s satisfaction and preferences, which later assists a company in delivering appropriate services to its clients. The model extrapolates on five attributes of importance in product development: must-be quality, one –dimension quality, attractive quality, indifferent quality, and reverse quality (Wong and Ho 2019, p.156). In regards to Oral-B, reverse quality is the dominant feature that it should apply. The latter affirms that customers are different, and it is essential to understand what they need and design a product that covers the significant demands from the market. For example, the formulation of toothpaste for the elderly should be different from that of children.  Elderly generation requires a formulation that would, for example, minimize tooth cavity, since dental problems increase with age.  Therefore, Oral-B can work on the principle that not all customers are similar, to provide quality products to the customers objectively.

Information search

Information about a product is key to making the buying decision. The customers are keen to establish the price, quality, and availability of the product. Due to the increasing number of competitors in the industry of oral hygiene, standing out in all platforms where the customer’s access information is elemental. For example, the current era focuses more on search engines, and Google is one of the widely used tools to increase the visibility of the product. Currently, information is regarded as vital because it’s a non-traditional factor of production (Dabrowski 2018, p.115). The author further noted that traditional elements of production are land, capital, and laborers. Still, due to the changes in demands among the customers, a new one(information) helps businesses to make tailored products and services (Dabrowski 2018, p.115). Oral –B has made data available about its products by publishing the qualities of the products on the website. In the same vein, the marketing department has leveraged on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and others, where a considerable number of potential customers consolidate. This way, the company can convince people to use its products, by remaining close to the customers, as well as responding to their concerns promptly. Network theory confirms that studying the behavior and pattern of people helps an organization to establish what they like most(John,2020). Measurement of human behavior happens through analyzing the content that they search most in the search engines, hence focusing more on the utmost trending aspect of the product. Therefore, Oral-B can consider utilizing the information regarding the most dental challenges people face and formulate products that solve society’s problem.

Evaluation of Alternatives

Once consumers decide on what they want, they tend to consider alternatives in the market. This decision comes by after comparing then prices, quality, and availability of the product in other competitor brands. This stage is psychological since the company that wins the customer might not necessarily be the best. Dabrowski (2018, p.120) is of the idea that the much public relation created by a company makes it top among the competitors, irrespective of the quality of the product. It means that an organization could be offering the best quality products, but due to lack of public positioning, it ends up losing a competitive edge. Oral-B has several competitors such as Colgate, Kolibree, Spinbrush, among others, which have a corresponding command in the industry. Campos (2019, p.3) suggest that adopting innovation in marketing and improving customer relation provides a favorable environment to attract new customers.

The study by Campos (2019, p.3), whose focus was to establish how innovation contributes to competitive edge, noted that meeting the current demands and finding solutions to unseen problems keep the business in the market, thus gaining the loyalty of the customers.  However, the study does not provide solid insight on how to manage the rising cost of creating new products in the market. Nevertheless, Oral-B can opt to alter its products by delivering unusual solutions to common problems, for example, offering toothbrushes and toothpaste based on age, since different age groups display peculiar dental challenges. As such, the company will have differentiated its products from those of competitors.

Purchase

Purchasing is the final decision that a customer makes, which is contributed by several factors such as influence from the peers, the level of marketing done by the company, among others. For the customer to resort to buying products from Oral-B, a considerable effort has to be done by the management, to shadow the competitors in the same market. The era of e-commerce has made it easier for people to share information and influence others on what to buy. Based on social learning theory, interaction provides a context through which social learning occurs (Akers and Jennings 2016, p.233). The idea propagated by this theory is that it is easier to influence others to copy the behavior due to mass inspiration. In consideration of Oral- B, positive reviews from the past customers, would eventually favor the company since they would orient others through social platforms. The company has an active Facebook page that engages the customers by product familiarization and addressing their concerns at a personal level.

Post-purchase Evaluation

The main goal of any company is to sustain the customers for a lifetime. A single negative experience with the product might scare away the customers from using the products, in this case, Oral- B, hence the need to have a post-purchase service, such as follow-ups, to ensure the customers get the desired experience. According to Dabrowski (2018, p.117), most of the customers have nowhere to complain to, in instances where they find the products they purchased does not meet the required standards. Instead, they tend to look for alternatives, and the main problem could be with the retailer rather than the manufacturer. As a way to show care to the customers, Oral B can provide recommendations to complementary products to meet the demands of the customers. However, such an approach is costly to the company, since creating alternative products consumes the capital invested.

Recommendations for the case study brand

Oral B should increase its product visibility in search engines such as Google, to attract a broad base of customers. Higher ranking in the search engine would, therefore, mean that the company should set aside funds to facilitate the marketing department to perform functions such as search engine optimization and online advertisement. The approach is practical to the company since it increases the traffic of customers, later converting to revenue. Similarly, the company should consider segmenting the customers based on needs. As alluded to in the literature, oral hygiene is unique to different age groups. The kind of toothpaste and toothbrushes that the younger generations use are different from those needed by the elderly. Understanding the requirement of each group-set would give the company an upper hand over the competitors. Equally, the company should leverage on the modern social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, among others, to directly address the challenges of the customers.  Adopting this strategy would be in line with the technological revolution happening in different companies (Malik et al. 2013, p.167) as a way to deal with the changing tastes of the customers.  There is an enormous amount of information shared across various social platforms, among them being the feedback concerning the quality and prices of the products. Analyzing such data provides insight into the direction of the market, hence allowing the management to make informed decisions in regards to costs and supply.

Conclusion

Customers play a significant role in completing the supply chain in any business setup. The patterns of buying and the behavior towards a product is partially contributed to by the seller’s intention and psychological compulsion of the buyer. The paper focused on Oral B, which specializes in the manufacture of hygiene products such as toothpaste, mouthwashes, and toothbrushes. The industry is dominated by other players such as Colgate, which have the conforming command in the market. In such an environment, Oral B has to adopt appropriate measures such as increasing the online visibility and enhancing customer relations, to win the customer’s intention to buy Oral B products.  The paper argues that the Kano model can be utilized to determine the preferences of the customers, hence helping Oral B to tailor products that directly address the needs of the market. In the same vein, social learning theory was pointed out and illustrated that social interaction of the people, influence what to buy, an area that Oral B should take consideration of, by engaging the customers directly. Overall, the intention to purchase is a conglomeration of individual perception and existing elements. The buyer’s behavior, therefore, is dependent on the marketing of the product.

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