Product and user interaction (and cultural differences)

If we are going to put emphasis on the end user, it is important to consider how consumers react and buy products and services. B2b companies can also learn about this customer interaction and apply to procurement managers, or consider how the decision making process works with the end user.

We purchase products based on our own needs, wants and desires. Many companies have tried to understand what fulfils these urges to choose by interpreting demographics, sales forecasting and other science-based methods to assist the guesswork.

The six key principles of human behavioral we use (Reward, Threat, Expertise, Liking, Scarcity and Social Proof) will apply in any technology format, but a well respected author ‘DiVanna’, uses his interpretation of a ‘new value proposition’ as something specific to on-line purchases, and a way of eliminating the guesswork in sales forecasting and other marketing activities. This understanding has many applications and is ideal to learn and use for different brand strategies.

The twentieth century had given us behavioural patterns as a result of various sales and marketing efforts. These efforts were very simple, and that was to create product awareness and then convince individuals that it was necessary to purchase these products.

DiVanna argues that necessity and luxury go hand in hand with the definition of one leading to the other.

Products take many forms such as commodities, luxuries and staples are culturally influenced. Product types and classes can be grouped by a variety of attributes and uses related to product and customers with different cultural boundaries. Internet products fall into three categories, which could also be used for many other brand and marketing strategies. These are described as:

  • Products that are purchased because we are familiar with them.
    (stationery, airline tickets, Cd’s, books…etc)
  • Products we have to experience once, such as clothing where we interact with the product attributes (quality of material, colour, design…etc) and we purchase the second item because we have knowledge of the first.
  • Products that we will not buy unless we have experience of them (car…etc) but these will be price compared, the features searched for options, and the final purchase decision made once we have experienced the product.

If we consider these perspectives and learn how consumers purchase, it is possible to relate these actions and apply to the vendor or in this case B2b brand strategy. Consumer behaviour is a fickle act with migration of consumers between the categories. Equally the product selection behaviour can be applied to these product categories to design customer engagement experiences.

Each purchasing experience can be divided into these categories of ‘products we know’, ‘products we need to experience at least once’ and ‘products we may not buy unless we have an experience or information to facilitate that purchase’.

Each product level has a corresponding level of customer engagement: Interactivity, intimacy and immersion. The author continually refers to the internet as a base for this application, but much can be gained from applying these virtual emotions and reactions to design and brand management.

Hope this is useful.

Andy Griib.
Griib Design Ltd

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