Assessment 3: Buyer Behaviour: Theoretical Analysis
Word length: 2500w, including tables, images (references are excluded).
Research paper: essay format
Buyer Behaviour: Theoretical Analysis:
This individual assignment is a practically oriented task that allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and
understanding of the conceptual foundations of consumer behaviour. The focus of the Buyer Behaviour:
Theoretical Analysis requires you to apply theories, models and concepts (TMCs) you have learned in the
course, as well as other secondary research (e.g.: Academic journal articles, trade publications, newspapers,
websites etc) on an applied basis to develop a deeper understanding of key areas of consumer behaviour. The
essay should link the concepts/theories or models to the chosen product to evaluate the consumer decision-
making process when purchasing your chosen brand
Remember this is an analysis of consumption behaviour, not a paper on marketing strategy or strategy
development. Therefore, any discussion on marketing strategy relates to the Recommendations: Implications
for Marketers section. The theme of the assignment is both theoretical and applied. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
Choosing a brand:
Choose a single brand within a product category which you can find and collect brand-related information (e.g.
advertisements, news/business articles, websites). You may use the same brand that you chose to analyse for
Assessment 1, or you may choose a new brand. See Assessment 1 for brand choice guidelines.
Buyer Behaviour: Theoretical Analysis essay structure:
Your essay will comprise of the following major sections: Ensure you use these headings which align with the
marking criteria. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
Brand overview and key theory identification (50 words)
a) Key theory explaining PROBLEM RECOGNITION (400 words)
b) Linking theory (300 words)
a) Key theory explaining INFORMATION SEARCH (400 words)
b) Linking theory (300 words)
a) Key theory explaining PURCHASE BEHAVIOUR (400 words)
b) Linking theory (300 words)
Marketing Strategy Recommendations (400words)
GUIDELINES: Buyer Behaviour Theoretical analysis
The focus of this assignment is to apply a theoretical lens to evaluate the consumer decision-making process
when purchasing your chosen brand. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
As consumption behaviour is integrative it is expected that you will analyse of a key theory/model/concept at
each decision-making stage, and then discuss a linking theory/model/concept. For example: you might use
attitudes as a key theory to discuss problem recognition, and then link personality for further explanation of
recognizing a need to purchase. This is where you need to use your textbook as a guide to remind you of the
concepts covered during the course. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
You must reinforce your discussion with clear evidence (i.e. scholarly articles) that support, explain and
critique consumer behaviour theory within your experiences of consuming the brand, as well as the brand
information that you have collected. The majority of references will relate to the theoretical concepts discussed
rather than the product/service/event category itself. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
It is critical that you EDIT your work as you need to make every word count! Apply theory to practice – do not
waste the word count by stating definitions!
Review the marking criteria prior to commencing this assessment task. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
It is expected that you will integrate aspects of marketing strategy, particularly branding and communications
materials into your analysis. You may include advertising and branding materials as an appendix to your
report. DO NOT include materials as an appendix if it is critical to the point you are making in your assignment.
An appendix is additional material that DOES NOT NEED TO BE READ!
What theories to integrate?
See the list at the end of this document to assist.
Discuss with your tutor.
Develop associative network between the key theory and other theories will be useful at each decision-making
stage will be useful. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
Prepare for this assignment:
DO NOT leave this assessment to the last moment as you will need time to consider the layout and
connections between the consumer behaviour topics. Drawing an associative map of the interconnections,
links between topics will guide your argument development; rather than simply attempting to write these
sections. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
Below is further information to assist you in preparing for your Buyer Behaviour Theoretical Analysis.
Section 1) Brand overview & key theory identification:
In this section you are required to succinctly overview the brand and specify the 3 key theories, models and
concepts (TMCs) chosen to explain consumption behaviour of your chosen brand. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
Edit the brand overview from Assess 1
o Opportunity to present a more succinct, tighter brand overview
o Enables opportunity to include additional information relevant for your Assess 3 analysis
Clearly identify the 3 KEY T/M/Cs explaining consumption behaviour of the brand.
o Simply identify the 3 theories (eg: Involvement, Perception, Reference Group)
o DO NOT explain the T/M/Cs in this section
This section is not marked
Sections 2, 3 & 4: Applying Consumer behaviour theory, models and concepts (TMCs):
Sections 2, 3 & 4 will each comprise 2 sub-sections:
a. Apply the three key consumer behaviour TMCs to stages of the decision making model:
• Choose one key theory to explain PROBLEM RECOGNITION
• Choose one key theory to explain INFORMATION SEARCH
• Choose one key theory to explain PURCHASE BEHAVIOUR
Each theory analysis is worth 15%, for a total of 45%
b. Link one additional TMC and discuss how it enhances understanding of:
• problem recognition
• information search
• purchase behaviour
Each linking theory analysis is worth 10%, for a total of 30%
NOTE: you are required to integrate into your analysis a total of 6 theories, models and concepts
Section 3: Key theory explaining Purchase Behaviour: ATTITUDES
The Affect Behaviour Cognition (ABC) Model of Attitudes is a concept which constructs consumer attitudes
used in consumer decision making processes (Dean, 2010), based on three core components: affect,
behaviour and cognition. Maybelline’s consumers generally consume and then formulate ideas and feelings
relative to the product. This represents the behavioral hierarchy process of the ABC concept, which involves
experiencing the product (behaviour), developing thoughts (cognition) and
constructing beliefs about the product and generating feelings (affect). Consumers attitudes are changing,
from the internal notion of ‘beauty to achieve one’s desired self’ to greater external concerns; such as
harmonizing their self-image, whilst representing their beliefs through their purchasing habits (i.e.
environmental concern), and furthermore achieving the perceived social benefits in which ‘green’ cosmetics
provide (Pudaruth, Juwaheer & Seewoo, 2015). In the cognition process, a portion of current consumers may
develop negative thoughts about Maybelline, due to their lack of ethical processes and at this stage, may
consider brand switching for products which do implement ethical practices within their cosmetic products (e.g.
The Body Shop or Covergirl). Moreover, consumer attitudes can be a key indicator for brand loyalty (Russell-
Bennett, Hartel & Worthington, 2013, p. 44). Therefore, demonstrating that negative attitudes towards
Maybelline amongst ethical consumers could lead to a rising volume of brand switchers. Hence, not keeping
abreast of the ethical era could impact the brand negatively. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
In such a competitive market, having high levels of consumer attitudinal loyalty is paramount for Maybelline’s
future success. Cognitive, emotional and behavioural loyalty are all theoretical dimensions of consumer
attitudes which affect consumer brand loyalty. The utilitarian function achieves cognitive and behavioural
loyalty of consumers, and the Value-Expressive function achieves cognitive, behavioural and emotional
loyalty. Therefore, when Maybelline’s customers purchase or re-purchase products, the Utilitarian function is
developing positive thoughts toward the products, whilst the Value-Expressive function develops positive
emotional connections with the brand and the products, causing the consumer to inevitably purchase.
Maybelline must continue to adapt its current strategies, to remain successful whilst attitudes change amongst
consumers. If Maybelline does not implement ethical practices, many consumers will associate negative
cognitions with the company; developing a sense of ‘emotional detachment’ in which will lead to the consumer
no longer having these positive experiences with the brand, and furthermore decide not to purchase. In order
for Maybelline to stay relevant among consumers for the next 10 years, it is crucial to remain ahead of these
trends and begin implementing ethical strategies now in order to appeal to future consumers. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
Linking theory: CONSUMER MOTIVATIONS
Consumer attitudes can be further analysed as a result of understanding one’s level of motivation to purchase.
McGuire’s (1974) theory of motives demonstrates 16 fundamental human motivations, suggesting that
behaviour arises as a result of three primary motives: ‘to acquire a product, to achieve satisfaction from a
desired product, or to primarily attain goals not related to product acquisition’ (Arnolds & Reynolds, 2003,
p.77). McGuire (REF) developed four key categories to further represent motivation: Cognitive–affective
motives, Preservation–growth motives, Active–passive motives and Internal-external motives. The internal-
external motives of McGuire’s theory are most relevant to Maybelline’s target audience as these motives focus
on one’s self, as well as a connection with the environment. Maybelline consumers’ have internal motivations
to look good and express their individuality, as well as external motivations to act according to personal beliefs
regarding the importance of the environment and ethical consumption. In addition, Maybelline’s target
audience tend to base their decision-making when purchasing to best reflect their expressed values – in order
to enhance the actual self to achieve their desired self. This relates directly to the value-expressive function of
Katz (1960) attitude theory, indicating a relative need to purchase in order to reflect internal values. This theory
further emphasizes that ethical consumption will become a motivation for consumer purchase in the future in
accordance with changing attitudes of present day consumers and the need to express internal beliefs with
products in which best represent these values. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
ELABORATE FURTHER EVIDENCING HOW MOTIVATIONS INFLUENCES BRAND PURCHASE
Another linking theory example:
Linking Theory: SELF CONGRUITY
In Maslow’s (1943) hierarchy of needs, the highest level of human beingness is selfactualisation,
which occurs when the ideal self is congruent with the actual self. Accordingly, Rogers articulated that self-
actualisation is the highest motive of life and, once achieved, we become a fully functioning person (Rogers,
1959). Therefore, it is also important for the consumer to experience congruity between self and brand
personality (self congruity) (Sirgy, 1982). This is dependent on the brand effectively connecting with the
consumer and fostering a strong emotional connection between consumer and brand (Thomson, Macinnis &
Whan Park, 2005). This connection is crucial as consumer consumption choices are generally
driven by this need to express oneself and reach a state of congruency between self and brand (Sirgy, 1986).
Through self-congruence, Grohmann (2009) purports that affective, attitudinal and behavioural consumer
responses to the brand will also be enhanced. Effectively, self-congruence is vital because it is the primary
determinant of consumer brand loyalty (Kressmann et al., 2006). Consumers will either purchase brands with
personalities that are congruent with their actual self or their ideal self (Aaker, 1999). Similar to Roger’s self
image, the actual self is based on the perceived reality of oneself (Malar et al., 2011). Given Maybelline is a
makeup brand that aims to enhance women’s image, they are likely to aim for ideal self-congruence.
Maybelline’s ideal brand image should encapsulate the New York City lifestyle subculture, specifically, the
sophisticated form of urban life living in New York City. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
ELABORATE FURTHER EVIDENCING HOW SELF-CONGRUITY INFLUENCES BRAND PURCHASE
Section 5: Recommendations: Implications for strategy:
Your brand strategy recommendations will be derived from your analysis. You are required to reflect on the
consumption analysis to make marketing strategy recommendations.
1. It is expected you will identify at least 3 key marketing recommendations and justify
2. The recommendations MUST evolve from the previous analysis
3. This section is worth 20% therefore each strategy recommendation requires significant justification
Think strategically about the presentation of your recommendations. For example: if you suggest a
repositioning of the brand you need to be specific elaborating on the details; just don’t say repositioning is
required. Are you referring to price point positioning to be more competitive in the market? Are you referring to
communications repositioning updating the logo (provide an example and justification revamping the logo and
related communications)? Has the brand lost market share (refer to Introduction to Marketing models to assist
you) – if so you will need to address key strategy issues the brand will need to address.
Use sub-headings in this section denoting key marketing strategy recommendations. It is critical that you use
marketing terminology demonstrating that you can apply marketing strategy knowledge. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
Recommendation 1: Enhancing market competitiveness:
XBrand of potato crisps leads the potato crisps product category by shaking up the competitive landscape and
disrupting the category with unique authentic flavour options and taste experiences. To further enhance
competitive innovativeness of XBrand the following marketing strategy recommendations are put forward:
Create a community of consumption:
• EXPLAIN THIS STRATEGY RECOMMENDATION AND IT’S VALUE TO BUYER BEHAVIOUR in 100w
In this example you may choose to identify 3 strategy recommendations that address ‘enhancing market
competitiveness’. Alternatively, your analysis may have identified other strategic areas to address eg:
Reposition the brand; Innovate the brand; Leverage new target audiences. It is critical that your
recommendations stem from your analysis. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
DO NOT REFERENCE TEXT BOOKS – go directly to the source of your knowledge.
Consumer Theories/Concepts – from text book
This list is representative of key TMCs discussed throughout the course. Of course the text discusses many
Involvement – high/low, group decision-making, elaboration likelihood theory
o Murray’s primary/secondary needs, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, McGuire’s Theory of Motives,
Deci & Ryan’s intrinsic motivation theory, Freud
Personality – trait theory
o Aaker’s Brand Personality Scale, The ‘big’ five theory of personality
Behavioural learning theories – classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, stimulus
Attitudes – link to self-image, to liking brands/consumption categories, link to values & self-perception
Influence of culture/globalisation
Influence of social class
Influence of socio-cultural factors,
Influence of status symbols,
Influence of trends (what’s cool! What’s not!)
Influence of reference groups on decision-making –
o informational, value-expressive, utilitarian, associative, online influence, aspirational reference
group influence, celebrities, subcultures
normative referent groups
compensatory / non compensatory rules
central/peripheral routes to persuasion
psychogenic needs theory
reinforcement response involvement
Discuss your TMC choices with your tutor.
Use only those TMCs discussed in this course!
Report submission (Overall):
Ensure you edit your assignment – assignments that engage deep analysis represent a process of significant
editing and critical thinking. As such, this assignment will require to you spend quality time and effort on your
analysis. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
You assignment will also include:
Presented in essay format (with required section headings and additional subheadings – to organise
your thinking as they provide structure for you (as writer) and a guide for me (the reader).
A maximum of 2500 words, with a minimum of 10 academic journal article references.
Include a cover page detailing chosen brand, your name and student ID.
Referencing style to be used is APA – guidelines are at Resource Bank on Navigation Menu at
Appendices can be included. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
Maintain within the word limits for tables and summary! This will be a challenge yet you need to learn
to write succinctly!
No table of contents or executive summary necessary
Writing quality is important, so please edit and revise your writing for careless spelling, formatting and
poor grammar as these give the reader the impression of carelessness and a lack of regard for the
assignment. Also, good sentence and paragraph construction helps with the presentation and flow of
your ideas and arguments.
Prior to submission your essay must meet these requirements: 1.5 spacing; 2.5cm margins; single
sided; 12 font. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
Submit your document with .doc or .docx file extension.
o Do not PDF your submission or submit as a google doc or a .pages extension or any other
file extension as the system does not support these formats. Any assignments that cannot be
opened will receive a mark of ‘0’.
Name your assignment as per the following requirement:
Lastname_Firstname_snumber_AssignmentName (eg Smith_Jane_s123456_Assign1)
Submission via Learning@Griffith by 4pm on due date.
Please consult your marking rubric as a guide. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
It is not necessary to identify definitions – you are expected to apply theory to practice. Cluttering your
essay with definitions demonstrates you are wasting words! Make every word count in your
Tim Tam – Marketing Theories
Tim Tam is one of the leading chocolate brands in the market that mainly targets young
people. The consumer purchase process of this brand can be explained through psychological
theories including Murray’s theory of needs, hierarchy of effects, and congruency theory. Tim Tam – Marketing Theories.
Theory of Problem Recognition – Need
The purchase behavior arises from the desire to fulfill a need. This means that a person
must first recognize an existing gap, which is the need, and then look for ways to fill this need.
Need and wants are basics desires that make people complete. While needs are basic for survival
in life, wants are optional desires that satisfy the basic needs (Hansen, 2005). These can be
influenced by different factors including individual motivations, family and friends, work
requirements, social requirements, and many others……
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