Personal buying behavior and marketing decisions

Essay 2004 12 Pages

Business economics - Offline Marketing and Online Marketing





Analysis and Evaluation

Personal buying behaviour
Perceptions of the marketing decisions that ‘Sony’ had made
Suggestions how SONY could have better marketed the purchased item

Conclusions and other notes



“Compact and feature rich, the Sony DCR-PC109 MiniDV Handy cam is the perfect camcorder for people who demand quality and convenience. Featuring a large 2.5” hybrid Swivel Screen LCD display, Super Night Shot Plus infrared recording system, Super Steady Shot image stabilization, and a big 1.0 mega pixel Advanced HAD imaging device, the DCR- PC109 provides all the punch of a camera twice its size.”(Fortress leaflet´07/2004)

This statement taken from a ‘Fortress store’-leaflet, which was inside the South China Post newspaper, I was glancing through during my internship in Hong Kong last summer. Fortress is a well established, national company chain that specialises in electronic goods services, such as portable cameras, DVD players, Hi-fi systems, etc. all over Hong Kong. The leaflet was advertising the latest Sony hand camcorder, which was the smallest available camera on the market.

I decided to talk about this product because first of all I always wanted a unique hand camera that allows doing more than just take a picture and secondly I remember clearly all the various stages I went through before and during the purchase.

To begin with, I am going to describe and explain firstly the important buying behaviours I have exhibited or was involved in. Why did I buy the product? Did I do some intensive research prior to the purchase? What attracted me in this particular item? After that I will explain my perceptions of the marketing decisions that the organisation selling to me had made and finally I will conclude in what ways the selling organisation might have marketed to me more effectively and I will justify my suggested improvements.

The important buying behaviour I was involved in

The purpose of me purchasing this camera was so that it allowed me to record nice memories of my stay in the Far East. Several years ago my father bought various electronic goods which included a Sony TV, Video and camcorder. I was aware the fact that Sony was a well established and market leading company, but the camera my father purchased went out of date as newer and more efficient cameras were available. Therefore I had decided to buy a new camera that had to be small, high tech and maintain its market value. At that time only two brands were offering this type of gadget; Sony and JVC. As previous customers of Sony, myself and my family, we were fully satisfied with its quality and service and thus leading me to choose Sony over JVC.

After my friends returned from a recent vacation to the Far East they had bought back with them multimedia goods at which were 30% cheaper than they were in Europe. I have received an unexpected offer for a summer placement in Hong Kong which I wasn’t fully prepared for. Suddenly I was on the plain heading to Hong Kong, at that point I was more concerned with accommodation, the new culture, and of course the beautiful Asian girls waiting for me.

Few days later I had settled myself in quite nicely. During a lunch break at the office I came across a newspaper and decided to glance through it. The ‘Fortress leaflet’ came to my attention which was advertising the Sony hand camera. I confronted a colleague and asked general information about the ‘Fortress store’ and other places where I could buy similar products from. The colleague advised me that ‘Fortress’ is an ideal place to purchase electronic goods. On the same day after work the only thing on my mind was the camera and thus I became desperate to go to the city centre in order to distinguish and benchmark the electronic goods shops. I came to an area of the city centre where I noticed the products on display, however, I did not feel convinced, and the reason being for this was that the shops did not give a professional image to me. It was late in the evening when I finally found the Fortress store which was about to shut, the salesman told me to have quick look, so went straight towards the camera section and spotted this very exquisite and matchless Sony camera. Immediately, I requested the sales person to show me real working model, but he declined as it was already over closing-time and told me to come back the following day. I was delighted that I have seen the product that I desired, on the other hand was disappointed as the price was sky-high.

The same night I was asked by some friends to join them to a drink in local club I was still conscience about the camera until I met this wonderful Mongolian girl. Once I met her she drew my attention away from thinking about the camera.

The following week during my dinner in a superb Turkish restaurant I suddenly noticed a family recording with a camera in the restaurant. This provoked me in visiting ‘Fortress’ again.

I approached ‘Fortress’, I was not in a rush as I had plenty of time to think about my choice. This time when I went to the shop I had a general look around, and then I concentrated on the camera section where 3 brands were on display: Sony, JVC and Canon. I noticed that neither JVC nor Canon appeal to me as they did not have the desired size.

Only two Sony cameras out of 8 caught my attention, the camera that I had set my eyes on was quiet expensive, the other camera was at a reasonable price. The salesman approached me and I questioned him about the differences between the two Sony cameras that I had chosen. The camera which I desired, and at the same time the expensive one, had sophisticated features such as docking station which allows the user to connect the camera to a computer and transfer, edit, amend recordings which then can be transferred onto a CD. This was an outstanding characteristic of the camera that attracted me even more in buying the gadget. I was overwhelmed, and what made the situation all the more tempting was the fact the salesman was willing to give me a 10 % discount and various accessories for free if I purchased the camera on that day. I couldn’t believe what the salesman was talking about. I didn’t hesitate to purchase the camera with my credit card.

Figure 1-The consumer decision- making process

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Perceptions of the marketing decisions that ‘SONY’ had made

In the second part of this essay, we ought to analyse what marketing decisions Sony might have taken.

Therefore we shall rely on the Marketing mix and its “4-Ps” (Figure 1) as explained in Jobber (2004) p.16.

Figure 1- The Marketing Mix

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To begin with, I want to briefly describe the ‘4-Ps’ (Product, Price, Place and Promotion). Following questions can be asked with the ‘4-Ps’:

Product means: What does it do? What does it look like? Price means: What does it cost to the consumer? Are there easy payment terms? Are there discounts? Place means: How does it get to the consumer? Direct from the manufacturer or via intermediaries? And finally Promotion means: How does the consumer find out about it? What are they told?

Relating the ‘4Ps’ into my situation, the product is a video camera of Sony, which is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications, and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, motion picture, television, computer entertainment, and online businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world.

When I was in the Fortress store where I finally purchased the product, my first impression of the camera was that it was small, stylish and looked slick. Also I could recognize its LCD display and the docking station on which the camera was placed. Apart from me staring at the camera in the store, the leaflet provided the following information: Compact and feature rich, a perfect camcorder with quality and convenience, with a large 2.5” hybrid Swivel Screen LCD display, Super Night Shot Plus infrared recording system, Super Steady Shot image stabilization, and a big 1.0 mega pixel Advanced HAD imaging device.

Now moving on to price, initially I was satisfied with the cost I bought the camera which was 35% cheaper than in Europe. This would have cost me 1050 € in Europe whereas in Hong Kong I did purchase it for 680 €. The offer included a 10 % discount and various accessories, such as stand, case, five cassettes, two memory cards, Sony cap, lens cleaner and Sony earphones. The payment method I used was via Credit Card.

Next is promotion, the way in which I found out about the item was through a well advertised leaflet. Another manner was by discussing with my colleague.

As long as there have been people who had an urge for advanced technology in electronics, Sony has been there in the frontline providing it to the public. It is an instantly recognizable brand name, which traces its roots to Japan, post-World War II. Sony has marketed itself efficiently, whether that is on the TV or magazines and internet. Sony has a wide range of customers and has influenced them by successful marketing.

The final p, the place, will explain the reason why I purchased the item from a ‘Fortress store’ and why in Far East.

Sony has to distribute its goods to companies such as ‘Fortress’ which are well established. What this means for Sony is that they know their items will be purchased or sold in stores such as ‘Fortress’, us consumers have knowledge/information that quality products are available at quality providing stores.

Before I came to ‘Fortress’ I have seen other multimedia stores as well, which did not give a professional and welcoming look.

Pic 1 shows a typical ‚Fortress store’ from the outside. In general most stores are located in shopping centres, where it is a hotspot for people to wonder in. The store name is in white with a blue fortress on an orange placard. Most stores are double storey.

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Pic 1

Pic 2 shows the ‚Fortress staff’ and a glimpse of the store from inside. The staff has one orange-coloured uniform which is very formal and proficient image. This gives a warm and welcoming indication to the customer, which is quite nice. The customer service I received was excellent.

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Pic 2

Pic 3 shows the store at its peak time. Even though the store busy the staff has the capability to manage and organize the customer care and service.

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Pic 3

Suggestions how SONY could have better marketed the Handy cam

In order to have a better understanding of what Sony has done and to a acquire a good feedback to improve the effectiveness of its marketing strategy; SWOT analysis tool should be used. The SWOT analysis provides information that is helpful for matching company’s resources and capabilities to the environment in which it operates. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors while opportunities and threats are external factors. The SWOT of Sony can be seen in Table 1 below.

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Table 1



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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Lancaster University

Title: Personal buying behavior and marketing decisions