The Marketing Implications of the Buyer Decision Process of Nestlé Cookie Crisp

The marketing implications of Nestle Cookie Crisp were examined in relation to the stages of the buyer decision process. This report looked at the aspects of each stage in the process, and considered the implications of each issue on the marketing of Cookie Crisp. Since the process is guided in some stages by unexpected factors and the behaviour of other consumers it was found that marketing research must be done and the findings used to influence each stage of the process. Also a regular measure of customer satisfaction must be done to constructively determine the success of Cookie Crisp and other products from Nestle.

Terms of Reference This document reports the marketing implications of need recognition, information search, evaluation of the alternatives, purchase and the post-purchase evaluation stages of Nestle Cookie Crisp. Introduction In producing and marketing a new product, most companies research the buying decisions of the consumer to find; what consumers buy, where they buy it, how and in what quantity they buy, when and why they buy. The model in Figure 1, as found in Kotler et al (2005), shows the stages that the consumers pass through to reach a buying decision (see Appendix 1).

The five stages are need recognition, information search, evaluation of the alternatives, purchase decision and postpurchase behavior. In marketing Cookie Crisp, a breakfast cereal, it is important to influence each stage of the buying process to ensure a favourable response to the product. The next section will look at the marketing implications of the five stages. Need recognition The buying process starts with need recognition. According to Kotler et al (2005), this is where the consumer recognises a problem or need.

This need is triggered by internal stimuli such as biological desires and external stimuli which would be a desired state as opposed to the actual state of the consumer. Therefore, the marketer needs to determine the factors that trigger the consumer’s need recognition. Cookie Crisp is intended for consumers who enjoy chocolate chip cookies. One of the taglines for this is “You can’t have cookies for breakfast, but you can have Cookie Crisp. ” The desire of cookies for breakfast is intended to target younger consumers and create the need of hunger.

The image of cookies on the packaging highlights the bite-sized chocolate chip cookie cereal and creates the need of not only hunger but also the need for a cereal that gives the satisfaction of consuming chocolate chip cookies. The factors that trigger the consumer’s need for food implies that the marketer presents Cookie Crisp in a way that not only prompts the need but also makes information available to influence the buyer’s decision. Information search Now that the need has been identified, the consumer may or may not search for more information.

If the consumer does not search for more information, a satisfying product must be near at hand for him to buy. This factor implies that Cookie Crisp must either establish itself as ‘the’ chocolate chip cookie inspired cereal to give it an advantage over competitors or the consumer must be presented with the information from various sources that will persuade the customer to choose the product. Most of the information that a consumer receives comes from commercial sources which are controlled by the marketer (Kotler et al, 2005).

Therefore, the onus is on the marketer to utilise the avenues that would influence the consumer. This would include doing research to find out what would attract the customer and put those findings into advertising, packaging and displays. Cookie Crisp in using a mascot, a wolf who, in animated advertisements, makes attempts to steal the cereal from a group of children and also emphasises that the cereal is like a cookie. The use of animation and a fun wolf who schemes to get the cereal is targeted at attracting a younger market.

While commercial sources may inform the consumer, personal sources of information such as reviews or awareness of a product from family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances evaluate products for the buyer. Evaluation of alternatives According to Jobber and Fahy (2009), there is a criteria used to evaluate alternatives; technical, economic, social and personal criteria. For the marketer, the criteria needs to be in favour of Cookie Crisp to influence the buyer’s decision to choose it over another cereal or a similar cereal such as Kellogs Cookie Crunch which is advertised as containing Chips Deluxe and Keebler’s fudge striped cookies.

Technical criteria in this instance would be related to taste and looks of Cookie Crisp. Reviews on Cookie Crisp in terms of taste and style/looks on what is advertised to what the actual product is, can determine the choice made by the buyer. The economic criteria would encompass the price, the value for money and lifestyle costs. Price is a factor that determines for some people whether they would purchase a product but the perceived value for the money also influences the choice if it is a new product on the market.

Social factors such as belonging and status can also influence the buyer’s decision as well as personal factors including the morals, emotions and self image of the consumer. In marketing Cookie Crisp the marketer would have to take into consideration the target market, their personal needs, the price and taste of the product and the value of it over the competitor’s offer. When these criteria are met, the consumer would purchase the product. Purchase decision At this stage in the process the buyer actually purchases the product.

However, there are two factors that may sway this process. After the evaluation of alternatives there is intention to purchase the product but according to Kotler et al (2005), the attitudes of the other and unexpected situational factors may alter the purchase decision. These factors are based on a perceived risk in purchasing the product. The risk may lie in the price of Cookie Crisp and the consumer’s ability to afford it presently or in the future. The risk can also lie in what other people think of the Cookie Crisp which can sway the decision to buy Cookie Crunch instead.

These factors can lead to a repeat of the information search and evaluating alternatives stages of the process. For the marketer the implication of the perceived risk is to provide information and support that will reduce the risk factor to create confidence in the product and its sustainability which is dependent on the behavior of the consumer after the purchase has been made. Postpurchase Behaviour The buyer’s decision process does not stop when a purchase has been made. In sustaining the product and creating customer value the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the consumer is of great interest to the marketer.

The ability of Cookie Crisp to meet the expectations can lead to the consumer habitually purchasing the product because he is satisfied. However, if the product did not meet the expectations of the consumer, he is disappointed and will not purchase Cookie Crisp again. The postpurchase behaviour is important to the sales of Cookie Crisp as it forms two groups; new customer and repeat customers. The behaviour of the consumer who is dissatisfied may influence the decision process of a potential new customer in the information search and evaluation of alternatives stages.

The repeat customers may be influenced by their own satisfaction to purchase other products from Nestle and thereby recognising the brand of not only Cookie Crisp but also Nestle. Conclusion The buyer decision process has many implications for the marketer. From creating a need to measuring customer satisfaction the marketer has to be aware of the expectations of the consumer where Cookie Crisp is concerned. Ensuring that information is available to attract and influence the consumer’s decision as well as reduce perceived risks is vital to the success of Cookie Crisp.

In short, marketing research must be done to ensure that the needs of the consumer are met and that they are continually satisfied before and after Cookie Crisp is launched in the market. Appendix 1 Figure 1 Buyer decision process Postpurchase behaviour Purchase decision Evaluation of alternatives Information search Need recognition References 1. Jobber, D. & Fahy, J. (2009) Foundations of Marketing. 3rd ed. Berkshire: McGraw-Hill Education. 2. Kotler, P. , Wong, V. , Saunders J. & Armstrong, G. (2005) Principles of Marketing. Fourth European Edition. Essex: Pearson Education Ltd.