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Introduction: MKT9117M Consumer Behavior

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The report is made to discuss selecting contemporary trends and issues in consumer behavior within the food industry, for discussing this topic detail the report has selected McDonald's as case company. The report will critically evaluate consumer behavior frameworks and will develop actionable recommendations to advance marketing practice (Trudel, 2019). The report will highlight appropriate consumer research about MacDonald and its product category. 


Figure 1: McDonald's

Appropriate consumer research in connection to McDonald’s and its product category

Consumer behavior plays an important role in the promotion sector, as a consumer makes purchasing decisions in his daily. Consumer behavioris considered as individual thought and people's attitude, feeling, trust and experience, actions that they perform in the expenditure process, and also all the possessions that can influence the attitudes (Rajput and Gahfoor, 2020). Mcdonald's is the most popular fast-food company across the world. The company offersextremely different food products across its franchises, through consistent template such as happy meals and value meals to its customers which helps the firm to gain a competitive advantage. McDonald’s customers around the globe are diverse in age, income, gender, caste, education level, and society. Company’s Marketers need to investigate what affects diverse customers to prefer diverse services and products (White, et. al. 2019).The company have various group of customers with different taste and needs, analyzing appropriate consumer needs the company considers consumer behavior analysis, which shows the needs and demand of consumers. 

Factors influencing consumer behavior in Mcdonald's:

  • Cultural factors: this factor is the major cause of customers' behavior and wants. The company suspiciously identifies food items according to confined tradition. Each culture has subcultures such as different religions, racial groups, nationalities, geographic religions, and so on. The brand tries to restrict its food menu by launching new products according nationalities to diverse cultures and implicit customer buying behavior (Mothersbaugh, et. al. 2020). Moreover, McDonald’s advertising and marketing strategies are different for diverse regions. Their commercial reflects different subcultures, cultures, and racial and social classes which helps in analyzing consumer's behaviors.
  • Social factors: this factor also affects the buying behavior of customers. It also powerfully affects customer response, so it must be in use into account by the corporationwhileconniving a marketing strategy. The significant factors here are reference group, family, and status. If buying choice of some products is influenced by kids then Mcdonald's will goal kids in their commercialwhich will further work in attracting children (Gopinath, 2019). Reference groups have the potential toform a person’s attitude toward manufactured goods. The influence of reference groups vary across the product which tends to be strong when the goods are able to be seen to other customers. 
  • Personal factors: This factor has a great impact on consumer buying behavior. Some of the significant factors that influence customer behavior include occupation, economic situation, age, lifestyle, and personality concept (Sheth, 2021). The diverse age group of customers has dissimilar buying behavior of products. McDonald's targets almost everyone from students, kids, adults, and business people. For kids, the company offers happy meal with toys or additional things to attract them (Hervé, et. al. 2009). For students and teenagers, the company offers various meals which are cheap and less-expensive for teenagers. 
  • Psychological factors: These factors refer to motivation, learning, perception, and attitudes and beliefs. The point of encouragement influences the buying behavior of customers. Every individual has dissimilar requirements such as social needs, physiological needs, esteem needs, security needs, and so on. The nature of the requirements is that some of the requirements are more significant than others (Stavkova, et. al. 2008). Consequently, needs of consumer become an incentive when it is more imperative than the other and direct the customer to seek satisfaction.

Key issue which has major implications for an aspect of consumer behavior

The key feature of consumer behavior is promotion segmentation. Customers can be grouped into diverse sections including demographics, product usage, and psychological and way of life segments. In any business, marketplace research is very significant because it ensures that the manufacturer creates the customer's definite demand and not their thoughts or inferences on the customer. For the fast food industry, consumer behavior has a powerful impact on the growth of marketing strategy economic health, formulation, and government policy. Furthermore, considerate consumer behavior helps to devise public policy. Fast food operator must recognize consumers’ develop and issues efficient ways to educate them. For example, McDonald's can reduce food waste by requesting customers not to leave the food uneaten. By learning consumer behavior, the company can expand and put into practice distribution, pricing, and promotional strategy (Gajjar, 2013).The concept of consumer behavior impractical for the company to build up a unique marketing strategy to improve sales growth. Due to the fast change in consumers' preferences and tastes, MacDonald’s has formed the right marketing mix consisting of price, product, place, and promotion to manipulate demand for their goods. In terms of product, the company has been offering good superior products consisting of fries, burgers, coke, ice-creams, wraps, salads, and desserts.

For the improvement of its products the company is focusing on understanding issues which impacts the behavior of consumer. By viewing directly the customers’ behavior, the brand can add valuable imminent to customers' behavior and in detail feedback. After that, the face-to-face interview can be conducted by McDonald’s which enables the participant to converse openly and give remarks on the products offered (Pantano, 2011). For instance, permit the participant to try a new product and ask them to give suggestions and feedback. In addition, hosting a focus group allowthe brand to build and interact good relationships with their consumers.

Consumer behavioral theories which helps in analyze the problem identified

Psychological factor (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs)

Human requirements tend to be varied in content and also in length. Dr. Abraham Maslow has implemented an extensively accepted theory of human motivation based on a hierarchy of human requirements which is commonly accepted. This considers 5 basic levels of human requirements which position to significance from lower level needs to highest level physiological needs. This theory suggests that all persons try to satisfy the lower-level requirements before higher-level desires emerge. The lower level of unsatisfied needs that an individual experiences serve to motivate their behavior (Lichev, 2017).

There are major 4 factors that affect consumer behavior. These are perception, motivation, learning, and beliefs and attitudes. The rank of motivation can affect the buying behavior of customer. Every person has different requirements such as physiological, esteem, social, and safety needs and many other desires. The character of the requirements is that some of the requirements are more significant than others. Consequently,wants become a motivation when it is additional pressing than the other and expresses the customer to seek out satisfaction. 

Mcdonald's will generate a more diverse type of fast-food items which is tastyand includes fries, ice-creams, soft drinks, burgers, wraps, and many other products.Consumer possesses different beliefs and attitudes towards a variety of products. Such beliefs and attitudes make up a product image and impact customer buying behavior (Hashim and Tan, 2018). Consequently, marketers are involved in them and want to modify such attitudes and beliefs of the consumer through a variety of ad campaigns. The brand also provides good service to give its customers a good thought so they revisit and purchase backs its product again. 

Promotion of a firm’s services and commodities initiates the demand and reaches a high point when the amount of buyers’ satisfaction is addressed. because this exchange revolves approximately the capability of the seller to expect and convince the requirements of the buyer, the study of consumer behavior is very necessary and a requirement for the seller. In the snack food industry, customers have an enormousassortment of foodstuffs and fast-food outlets to choose from. The customer takes several internal and external factors before making the buying decision. 

Psychological factors are significant; these includes what picture the product provides or how the customer feels while purchasing it. The commercials of the product have to be connected with the realism of the customer buying behavior, if the poster matches the customer's sentiment then the result will be positive. It is known as a black box model in which McDonald's UK reveal their thought behind the ad of the brand they all the time try to be obvious and certain about what they stand for, and what they are. They express in easy language bearing in mind every single person to appreciate their message as the company has always been customer-oriented (Durmaz, 2014). Although it is necessary that the communication which is being communicated by the company to their consumers supports each one another and there should be a concise understanding of maintenance brand aspect in the communication and the target audience should be rolled out into action which may comprise the purchase of a product to their acquaintances or family etc, the core perception in customer buying procedure is to make the buyer feel positive about the brand or products. It is a moderate fact that promotion is the best foundation to influence consumer buying choices and construct a brand image.

Expectancy-value theory 

The theory explains the factors that influence the incentive behind an individual’s behavior. This theory state that the predictable accomplishment and worth that comes from the implementation of an action, and the normative worth of compliance to society’s principles, are what influence an individual’s decision to effort it. The way of thinking behind this theory is the consequence of decades of research in the field of communication, psychology, education, marketing, and economics trying to preparea way of thinking behind the action as the difficulty of culture continues to change. The theory has helped get bigger the extensive research completed in public relations campaigns in trying to appreciate the most efficient way to create behavioral change in aplanned audience. This continues to offer insight into the way of thinking behind the most unpredictable characteristics of natural human behavior. 

McDonald's can implement the expectancy-value theory to generate enlarged revenue in this marketing campaign (Mai and Liao, 2021).There are 2 components in this theory which include beliefs and evolution. In wide-ranging, citizens have several beliefs towards one object and they have whichever positive or negative estimate towards each belief. When the sum of all evaluations is more positive than negative, then people have more positive attitudes toward this entity and vice versa. For instance, parents normally think of fast food and the cheapness of McDonald's. Generally, product cheapness is a positive faith because it makesthe brand affordable. Though, many parents may grasp negative evaluations of fast food because of the anti-McDonald's crusade. This documentary recommended that eating nothing but McDonald’s might significantly diminish an individual's health. 

Therefore, the sum of the evaluation of the brand is more negative. To win back customers, the firm tried to transform individual beliefs by adding up eco-friendly and sustainable products as a new belief for people. Many McDonald’s eating places use many eco-friendly resources such as L.E.D. lights, solar panels, and eco-toilets. The modification of its design makes people think of the brand to be more environmentally friendly (Burcher, et. al. 2021). Consequently, the sum of evaluation of cheapness, fast food, and eco-friendly products and environment makes the case company more positive than negative so the public is influenced to go to McDonald's. As research shows, the sale of new eating places improved by half of the original in the first week and maintain all through the year with a one-fifth boost.

Critical appraisal on whether these 2 theories can efficiently explain the changes in customers' decision-making or attitudes toward McDonald's under the precise situation.

The theory of consumer behavior is the analysis of how people decide to buy marketing and other businesses to profit from these patterns by anticipating when and how customers will make purchases. It aids companies to discern what factors influence the decisions of customers, and also to identify strategies to positively influence the behavior of customers. The concept allows companies to understand more about their customers and to design products, services, and corporate culture that influence their buying behavior. Consumer buying habits are always changing, and the way of companies' perceptions about them has also changed. It is crucial to study patterns, for instance, the way individuals consume food has changed dramatically from meat and veggies to a craving for different cuisines all over the world. People are increasingly turning to veganism and there has increased demand for foods that are based on plant sources. The theory helps companies learn more about their customers and to design products, services, and corporate culture to influence purchasing behaviors. The buying habits of customers are constantly changing, and the way of companies' perceptions of their customers has changed as well. In the beginning, it was believed that customers were rational and behaved consistently. As time went on and more complex studies were conducted it became clear that consumers frequently act in a way that is not rational, with numberless factors influencing the buying behavior and decisions. Customers were further segmented and their experiences with consumers were studied to understand how they developed buying patterns. Post-purchase behavior and habits were also examined so that customers could be sketched out starting from the primary choice, and then the purchase, deliberation, and fulfillment of the purchase. It is crucial to study patterns, for instance, consumer habits have changed drastically from meat and vegetables to a desire for food across the globe. People are increasingly turning to veganism and there has been an increase in the demand for food that is based on plants. The study of approach is crucial for marketers due to the reason that it impacts consumers' perception of learning procedures, and ultimately, the decision-making process is included in these two theories.

Maslow’s theory 

Customer’s psychological factors like their desires, emotions, and motivation are significant to believe when creating advertising campaigns because such factor drives customer behavior. This means that emotional factors may root consumers to make or relinquish purchases and attach to McDonald's competitor products over the brand. There are a variety of psychological factors that manipulate consumer behavior daily.

  • Motivation: a person’s instinctive drive to take the initiative to satisfy exacting needs is a significant psychological factor to believe in marketing toward McDonald's consumers. Diverse consumers have varying levels of motivation geared in the direction of satisfying a wide range of needs. In all-purpose, aperson must set a precise goal as to how they will satisfy their requirements and take action to do so (Qazzafi, 2020). For a customer to entrust a purchase choice, the acquirer must assemble a need that the customer is motivated to satisfy.
  • Learning: introduction of new data or information that changes an individual's behavior from preceding experiences is extremely applicable to consumer marketing.The procedure of learning is constant and consists of two distinct phenomena which are experimental and non-experiential knowledge. Experiential knowledge is put into practice by learning through physically involved experience. Moderately, non-experiential learning is the practice of knowledge through examination and investigation.
  • Reinforcement: it is a psychological factor that is a division of learning; it is the procedure of aperson having their learning confirmed through rewards and punishments. Reinforcement can be extremely related to the field of marketing, as customers often return to the brandfaithfully when the information, they learn about products is completely reinforced through their experience with such goods. 
  • Socialization: it is the procedure by which individuals develop information and attitude, and is a psychological factor that combines knowledge and societal engagement. Persons are often socializing to learn detailed normalized behaviors that may be customizedall through their lifetime. In the majority of cases, persons learn these behaviors straight from socialization agents, or other citizens who deliberately or without thinking teach the beginner about behavioral patterns and cognitive analysis processes. 
  • Modeling: a person’s simulation of community behavior is a psychological factor that is built off of the groundwork of socialization. Throughout the procedure of socialization, people come to conclusions about detailed expectations, social norms, and opinions about performance. In most cases, socialized individuals look to bring into line their performance to get together these expectations and norms through emulate the standard set by others. 
  • Perception: This can considerably influence a customer’s behavior. Perception is known as what a person thinks or understands about a product that might impact whether they obtain the product or utter how they connect with a brand at. Perception is the psychological issue that leads 2customers with indistinguishable requirements to purchase diverse goods to meet those requirements. 
  • Beliefs and attitudes: these are essential emotional factors that can have an effect on how consumers behave. Individuals' reliable views of incredible, are collected of beliefs, defined views that persons have recognized about something, interrelate with, and emotional feelings.  Persons possess evaluative attitudes and beliefs concerning a variety of things which include places, people, politics, religions, brands, and more. If aindividual holds a negative approach or faith about a specific product or brand, it can detect customers from interact with said product or buying any products connected with that brand.

Expectancy value theory 

According to the expectancy-value theory, consumers frequently make some decisions about a product, its advantages, and the expected outcome of using the manufactured goods. People will study to carry out performance that they are expecting will guide to positive outcomes. Expectancy theory seems to acquire the maximum universal utility for improving consideration of the motivational factor concerned in consumer choice behavior. Considerable concentration has recently been manifested in utilizing anticipation models to partly explain customer choice behavior. The customer arrives at attitudes in the direction ofa variety of brands through a characteristic evaluation procedure (Fowler, et. al. 2021).The customer develops a set of viewpoints about where every brand stands on each feature. The expectancy-value model of approach configuration posits that consumers appraise products and services by merging their brand beliefs and the negatives and positives according to significance.

3 actionable recommendations flowing from analysis on MacDonald’s which could improve

With lots of rivalry in the fast food market, even durable brands cannot take customers for arranged and must continuously keep ahead of the market. In doing so, the business has required to recognize weaknesses in its business or consumer concerns. While possibly noticeable, the focus has been on the ease of the inexpensive tasty food, ordering experience, and responsive consumer service.

Basic menu: Eating at McDonald’s can be expensive, as the menu spin over at high speed, which makes for a series of ever-changing options, which can appear overwhelming. By getting back to its roots (burgers, and fries) the product can build up and carry on recognizing itself with its core customer (Anshari, et. al. 2019). Rapid and easy order means happy consumers and revolving consumers are the centers of each restaurant industry.

Customer service: At the organizational level, there appear to be a general need for a proposal that goes into providing satisfying knowledge inside the brand to match the service level of its competitor (Rita, et. al. 2019). This well-liked equipment permits precise and fast ordering, safe payment options, and frees up the personnel to carry out other everyday jobs and get better customer service, which is quite an automatic café like McDonald's, do not essentially require to be the human-to-human interface. 

Lower price: McDonald’s serves up expensive food rapidly, and customers who are enthusiastic to expendon a hamburger will go to a fast-casual restaurant in its place. McDonald’s is deteriorating its investor and the customers who recurrent the business for reasonably priced calories. By simplify the menu and implementing self-serve ordering, the company can lower its prices from the manual workshortage and element cross-utilization.


The report is made to discuss by selecting and identifying modern trends and issues in consumer behavior within the food industry McDonald's. To achieve the purpose of the report analysis has been made of consumer behavior frameworks to recognize issues. The report has critically evaluated consumer behavior frameworks and has developed actionable recommendations to advance marketing practice. The report has also highlighted appropriate consumer research in relation to MacDonald and its product category.


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