Home Random Page




Selling of hospitality services is a purposeful process, aimed to sell them with a profit for the company. But buying of these services by a customer is a purposeful process too, aimed to get more satisfaction from the transaction. The psychologists studied these conflicting processes and represented them as the model of consumer behavior. It works as follows. The sellers' stimuli (attempts to influence the consumers) enter the consumer's "black box" and produce certain responses (positive or negative reactions to these attempts). These responses take the form of a product choice, brand choice, purchase time and amount. The black box contains two sections: the buyer's characteristics (sociocultural and sociopsycho-logical), and the buyer's decision process itself. Sociocultural factors include the basic values, perceptions and wants that a person continuously learns in a society. Among the social factors most important are the influences of groups of people the buyer belongs or wants to belong to (aspirational groups). Reference groups have a direct (face-to-face) or indirect influence on the person's attitude or behavior. Personal factors include age, occupation (profession or job), role and status (activities a person is expected to perform and the general esteem given to it by society), lifestyle (a pattern of living, as expressed by interests and opinions), and self-image (the mental picture the people have of themselves). And psychological factors include motivation (a need strong enough to make a person buy smth), peculiarities of perception (the process by which a person receives information about the products), beliefs (what a person thinks about smth) and attitudes (consistent positive or negative evaluation of smth).

The purchasing decision process consists of five stages: problem recognition (when the buyer recognized his need to buy), information search (need for information about the products that may meet the need), evaluation of alternatives (when the buyer makes a choice between the similar products), purchase decision (when the chosen product is actually bought), and postpurchase behavior (satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the product purchased). The feeling of discomfort the buyer has during the postpurchase stage is called cognitive dissonance.

The process of becoming a regular user of a new product is called adoption. It consists of five stages: awareness (the consumer learns about a new product), interest (the consumer seeks information about it), evaluation (the consumer decides to try it), trial (the consumer tries it to estimate its value), and adoption (the consumer decides to become a regular user of the new product). The adoption process is a long one because people differ in their readiness to try new products. In this respect, they may be divided into several groups: consumption pioneers (venturesome customers who try new products at some risk), early adopters (opinion leaders who adopt new ideas early but carefully), early majority (deliberate people who do not want to lag behind the leaders), the late majority (skeptical people who adopt new things only after all their acquaintances have tried it), and laggards (suspicious to changes traditionalists who adopt the innovation only when it has become a sort of a tradition itself).





The structure of society is usually represented by sociologists as a pyramid divided into three unequal parts:

1. Upper classes(less than 3%) are the social elite who live on inherited wealth and/or have earned high incomes through skills in the professions or business. The first group often buy and dress conserva­tively rather than showing off their wealth. While small in number, "upper uppers" serve as a reference group for others. The second group includes the "new rich" who consume conspicuously to impress those below them. They tend to be active in social affairs and buy for themselves and their children the symbols of status.

2. Middle classes(about 42%) have neither family status nor unusual wealth. They are primarily concerned with "career". Usually they are divided into the "upper middle class" (bankers, merchants, corporate managers, etc.) who make market for good homes, clothes, furniture, and the "lower middle class" (well-paid intellec­tuals, white-collar workers who live on "the better side of town". To keep up with the trends, they often buy products that are popular, seeking the better brand names. Better living means owning a nice home in a nice neighborhood.

3. Lower classes(about 55%) include the "upper lowers" (average-pay blue-collar workers and those who lead a "working-class lifestyle", whatever their income, school background, or job. They depend heavily on relatives for financial and emotional support, especially in times of trouble, and the "lower lowers" (7%) are poverty-stricken. Often they are not interested in finding a job and prefer "to be on welfare" (receive social security benefit).

People from the same social class, and even occupation may have quite different lifestyles.Life-style studies capture something more than the consumer's social class or personality. They profile the person's whole pattern of acting and interacting in the world. The technique of measuring lifestyle is known as psychographics. It involves measuring the major personality dimensions: activities, interests, and opinions. According to their lifestyles, the consumers are classified into "principle-oriented" people whose purchases depend on their own views of the world, "status-oriented" people who base their purchases on the opinions of the others, and "action-oriented" people who are driven by their desire for activity, variety and risk taking. During his lifetime, a person may go through several of these lifestyles or even may play several roles. But this concept, when used carefully, can help the marketers understand changing consumer values and behavior.




1. Find in the text the following topical words and phrases, make sure that you are able to explain in English what they mean, and add them to your working vocabulary:

the social elite, the new rich, to consume conspicuously, a career, to keep up with the trends, a white-collar worker, a blue-collar worker, to be on welfare, occupation.


2. Write out from the text the parts of the sentences which contain the following words and phrases and translate them into Russian:

inherited wealth, poverty-stricken, principle-oriented, status-oriented, action-oriented.


3. Answer the following questions using the topical words and phrases:

1. What term is used by American sociologists to refer to social elite?

2. What differences have been noticed in the buying behavior of the aristocrats and of the "new rich"?

3. What segments are the middle classes usually divided into and what is typical of the buying behavior of each segment?

4. What do the members of the middle class mean by "living on the better side of town"?

5. What people are usually referred to as "working class"? What is typical of their buying behavior?

6. Where is the dividing line between the "upper lowers" and "lower lowers"?

7. What does psychometrics study?

8. What personality dimensions are especially important for this science?

9. How are people classified according to their lifestyles?






In the same situation, two people may act differently because they perceive it differently. One person may perceive the waiters at TGI Friday's as casual and familiar, while another person may view them as friendly and cheerful. Individual perception differs because it is "selective". The psychologists say that there are actually three processes in a single act of perception, which are responsible for our selectivity of perception: selective exposure, selective distortion, and selective retention.

Selective exposure.The average person may see more than 1.500 advertisements a day. Most will not be noticed unless it stands out from the surrounding ocean of other ads. The marketers call this trick "positioning": it is necessary to position the name of their products in the mind of potential consumers so that they are quickly and repeatedly recalled.

Selective distortion.Even the ads that we do notice are not always remembered in the intended way. Each person tries to fit incoming information into his mindset. The term selective distortion describes the tendency of people to adapt information to personal meanings. If a person reads a bad review on his favorite Chinese restaurant, he may decide that the reviewer did not like the seasoning in this restaurant because he prefers localized Chinese food to authentic Chinese food served in this restaurant. In such a way, a negative review would support your positive feelings about the restaurant the reviewer writes about.

Selective retention. Itis well-known that people forget much of what they learn. They tend to retain information that supports their attitudes and beliefs. Because of selective retention, a business traveler who prefers to stay at Sheraton Hotels will remember the article in a business magazine praising Sheraton. Someone who prefers Hilton is not likely to pay attention to this article.

Marketers pay so much attention to customers' perception of their messages because they are concerned with the customers' attitudes, and the formation of right attitudes is the goal of marketing. Once negative attitudes are developed, they are hard to change. New restaurant owners often want quick cash flow and start without proper quality. A new restaurateur complained that customers are fickle. When he opened, first there were lines of people waiting for a seat. A few months later, he had plenty of empty seats every night. Obviously, he had not satisfied his first guests. Even though he may have subsequently corrected his early mistakes, his original customers were not returning, and probably were reporting negative comments to their friends.




1. Find in the text the following topical words and phrases, make sure that you are able to explain in English what they mean, and add them to your working vocabulary:

casual, to target customers, selective exposure, positioning, ads, selective distortion, authentic (localized) food, cash flow, selective retention.


2. Write out from the text the sentences or their parts which contain the words and phrases given below and translate them into Russian:

to be repeatedly recalled, to adapt smth to smth, fickle, subsequently.


3. Answer the following questions using the topical words and phrases:

1. Why do people often act differently in the same situation?

2. Why are most of advertisements seen but not noticed by the people?

3. What conditions necessary for a particular ad to be noticed?

4. What is meant by positioning?

5. What is meant by "adapting the information to personal meanings"?

6. How does the principle of selective distortion work, if we come across a bad review of our favorite restaurant (film, book, etc.)?

7. What kind of information do we usually retain?

8. Why do marketers pay much attention to the laws of human perception?

9. How does the author explain the failure of the restaurateur in the story he tells us? Can you offer some other explanation?





A person has many needs at any given moment. Some are biological, arising from hunger, thirst, and discomfort. Others are psychological, arising from states of tension, such as the need for entertainment. Most events in our life include both biological and psychological needs. For example, family's visit to the restaurant for a "lovely treat" includes a release of both biological need (hunger) and psychological need for entertainment. A decision to go out for a meal the marketers would call a "buying decision", and they see in it a very complex group activity.

A buying decision may be looked upon as a little play in which several people take part, and each plays a particular role. A person who first suggests the idea of buying something is the Initiator, a person whose views have some weight in making the buying decision is the Influencer, a person who makes a final decision to buy is the Decider, a person who makes an actual purchase is the Buyer, and the person for whom the purchase is made is the User, though very often they may be the same person.

Very often the choice of a destination for the family vacation is a group decision. For example, the suggestion to go on a vacation might come from the oldest child. A friend who just took her family to Las Vegas might recommend it as a vacation spot. The husband might want to go to the mountains in Utah, while the wife wants to go to the beach in California. The final decision is usually taken jointly.

A company needs to identify these roles because they affect product design and advertising. A resort for scuba divers might be aware that males age 25 to 40 are usually the decision-makers concerning selection of the destination, i.e. the particular island or the place on the coast. The marketers might also find that companions of the divers usually produce a great influence concerning the selection of an actual resort hotel to stay in. That is why the marketers should not exclude either party in their advertisements since both play the role of decision-makers. Knowing the main participants and their roles helps the marketer to fine-tune the marketing program.




1. Find in the text the following topical words and phrases, make sure that you are able to explain in English what they mean, and add them to your working vocabulary:

a state of tension, entertainment, group activity, purchase behavior, to go out for a meal, a vacation.


2. Write out from the text the parts of the sentences which contain the following words and phrases and translate them into Russian:

a "lovely treat", a vacation spot, scuba divers, a companion, to fine-tune a program.


3. Answer the following questions using the topical words and phrases:

1. How do biological and psychological needs interplay in making a decision to go to the restaurant instead of eating at home?

2. What do they call a person who comes up with an idea to buy smth?

3. What is the function of the Influencer? Do you think it is an important role?

4. Why is it necessary to differentiate between the Decider and the Buyer, the Buyer and the User, if very often they are the same persons?

5. What roles do the people play in the situation of a family vacation described in the text?

6. Why is it necessary for a tourist company to identify these roles?




1. Discuss the following concepts and notions:

a reference group, a lifestyle, beliefs, attitudes, the buyer decision process, post purchase behavior, adoption of the new product, family planning, a cultural shift, group dynamics, the Influencer, the Decider, the Buyer, the User, cognitive dissonance.


2. Give your definitions of the following topical words and phrases:

an occupation, a self-image, motivation, consumption pioneers, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards, the social elite, the new rich, to consume conspicuously, to keep up with the trends, to be on welfare, principle-oriented buyers, status oriented buyers, action-oriented buyers, selective exposure, selective retention, positioning, to affect revenue, a buffet section, a "lovely treat", a companion, a parking lot.


3. Choose a topic for Project Work or an Essay from those given below:

1. Choose some American restaurant concept that you would like to work in Moscow. How will cultural and social factors work for or against the success of this restaurant? Arrange a talk show on this issue.

2. Apply the five stages in the buyer decision process to your selection of a destination for your summer vacation.

3. Why is the post purchase stage included in the model of the buying process? Discuss its importance and the possibilities of hospitality industry to make this stage more enjoyable for a guest.



Date: 2016-01-03; view: 4431

<== previous page | next page ==>
doclecture.net - lectures - 2014-2024 year. Copyright infringement or personal data (0.01 sec.)