Consumer Behaviour: Potential Consumers Of Dell Inc.

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Question :

Details Purchasing a laptop can be a major consumption decision, subject to many competing influences. This assignment requires you to look at the laptop choices of 3 people, and provide your analysis on those factors leading to their decisions. Firstly, please download the 5 survey questionnaires completed by 5 different respondents (these questionnaires will be posted on Moodle from Week 5). After reading through these questionnaires, please pick 3 questionnaires/respondents (you can pick any 3 you like) as the target for your analysis. You will notice that these questionnaires are mainly about making decisions among 5 different laptop options. Secondly, please use the theoretical areas below to analyse the behaviour of your chosen respondents. Please explain the differences between their rankings of evaluative criteria and their choices of laptops, using theories from: • Personality • Demographics (age, gender, family situation, income, ethnicity etc) Lastly, please provide recommendations to the marketer of ANY ONE of the laptop options featured in the survey questionnaires - what are the characteristics of her/his likeliest customers and how might she/he best attract them by applying the theories of learning and memory? 

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Answer :

Science of Consumer Behaviour


Consumer behaviour is an important term in marketing referring to the study of the ways individual customers, groups or organisation adapt to prefer, buy, use and dispose of a certain good, service or idea for satisfying their needs and expectations. Concerning the study of Schütte and Ciarlante (2016), the study of consumer behaviour is one of the integral elements of marketing, where underlying motives, decisions and actions of consumers are broadly classified for their ability to influence favourable purchasing decisions. Key factors driving consumers to choose a particular product with respect to other available alternatives in a common marketplace is the specific area, which is often studied and examined by marketers in their course of achieving principal marketing objectives (Schütte and Ciarlante 2016). As part of this report, consumer decisions and their preferences regarding different models of a certain laptop manufacturer are analysed using definite theories of consumer behaviour. Responses obtained from three respondents, i.e. potential consumers of Dell Inc., with different demographic characteristics and personal priorities are compared and analysed in this paper to reach effective conclusion applicable for the marketer.

Analysis of Behaviour using Theories of Personality

One of the key purposes of consumer behaviour study is to understand needs and wants of individuals in an identified marketplace to turn them into customers, suggesting determining their personality based on conducting a proper assessment of individual habits and priorities. Considering the responses obtained from the first respondent, who is a 19-year old Korean male studying at a university while doing some casual work, the person is sympathetic and kind to others while depending on his mood to make buying decisions and experiencing new options. However, he admits that his attitude lacks proper care and efficiency. As proposed by the trait theorists, as part of consumer behaviour theories, personality of an individual is characterised by a combination of personal traits that the person is possessing, necessitating marketers to identify those traits (Horner and Swarbrooke 2016). Based on the quantitative approach, trait theory measures and determines personality of an individual using definite pre-dispositional attributes, which are known as traits. Despite considering price as the most important element of making a decision, two of the important traits such as moodiness and sympathy play an essential role for the first respondent in his purchasing decision, indicating a preference for the gaming laptop produced by Dell the most among others regardless of its higher price.

The second respondent is an Australian 26-year old female, who is working as a flight attendant and way more financially strong than the first respondent. She provides greater emphasis on weight of a particular laptop before making a buying decision, as she preferred option 4, i.e. Dell XPS 13 over other options from the same manufacturer. Further analysis of her habits suggests that she is highly extraverted, sympathetic to others and open to new experiences while being equally careful, efficiency and moody. Considering the psychoanalytic theory, which is a cornerstone of modern psychology and penned by Sigmund Freud, human motivation and personality lie on unconscious needs and drives of individuals, suggesting the initiation of socialisation process that takes place within people to influence individual behaviours (Carter and Yeo 2016). The behaviour of the second respondent and the choice of most light-weighted laptop among the other four alternatives clearly indicate basic concept of Freud’s id, which is a source of psychic energy seeking immediate fulfilment of biological or instinctual needs, which is the interest of a woman to a light-weighted device in this case.

The third and the final respondent, as considered for this study is a 38-year old male fashion designer from Australia, with the most financial strength in terms of individual annual income than the other two persons. Based on his preference on the efficiency of memory, hard drive and video card the most while purchasing a laptop, it is natural that the fashion designer selected the third option, i.e. Dell Inspiron 17 5000, which is the most high-priced model of the manufacturer. Given the analysis of his personality, it is observed that the person is highly moody, extroverted and open to new experiences while showing less care and efficiency in decision-making alongside sympathy and kindness to others. Personality of this respondent matches greatly with the concept of Neo-Freudian Theory, which mainly believes social interaction and resultant relationships as the driving forces for shaping up human personality (Biswas and Roy 2015). Unlike the theory of Freud, who believed human personality as a biological element rooted in genetics, apart from considering the result of childhood experiences, the Neo-Freudian theorists provided emphasis on the process of socialisation to determine personality as a result of social relationships. Example of the third respondent suggests an aggressive personality, which does not value sympathy for others while showing off the need of power and success at the expense of carefulness and efficiency (Yazdanpanah and Forouzani 2015). As a result of such personality, the third respondent preferred the third laptop option due to its superior configuration related to memory, hard drive and video card, irrespective of the highest price range.

Analysis of Behaviour using Theories of Demographics

Demographic refers to a group of consumers in a particular marketplace that shares relevant attributes, indicating any number of shared values, physical attributes, cultures, financial elements, beliefs, experiences or environmental conditions. These are used to increase awareness and interests among a customer group through developing personalised marketing campaigns, thereby promoting sales, loyalty, and product or service (Kaimann, StrohMaraun and Cox 2018). Several factors can affect consumer behaviour, where demographical characteristics vary from person to person based on age, income, education, sex and marital status. Buying decision and consumer behaviour of two different people from diverse economic groups, for example, can be highly different from each other, suggesting ease or difficulty of observing key differences. Some of the important demographic factors affecting consumer behaviour include age, sex, income and education.

As studied by Bigne et al. (2018), age is one of the most important demographic factors affecting behaviours of different consumers due to changes in patterns of buying decision-making with the progress of an individual’s age. Along with the changes in health and other relevant needs, personal values and lifestyle of people tend to change, as they grow. As a result, marketers need to consider age as an important factor for segmenting an identified market and customising the marketing strategy for ensuring attraction (Bigne et al. 2018). Given the scenario of three different individuals with their different age and priorities, it can be observed that people’s choice regarding brands and product is highly likely to change as they grow older. The choice of the 19-year old Korean teenager, is vastly different from an elderly person, such as the 26-year old young adult or the 38-year old middle-aged person, as age continues to affect flavours of life. The fashion designer in terms of his decision-making is more serious and less fun-loving than the teenager or the young adult.

In terms of fashion and lifestyle, difference in sex among individuals can bring about substantial variations to create differences in consumer behaviour. Similar to the choices of various household products are influenced by consumer behaviour patterns of women, the female flight attendant, in this case, gave most priority to weight of the technological device to make her decision, as compared to the male counterparts, who emphasised on other relevant features of different variants of laptops (Goworek and McGoldrick, 2015). As a result, marketers need to develop valid assumption related to priorities and expectations of customers from different sexual status if they want to grab attention of both categories of customers.

Another important element of consumer demographics is income that affects buying decisions and consumer behaviours to a great extent, highlighting different product choices and buying patterns of different customers across diverse income levels. With reference to the study of Gardner (2015), a person belonging to the middle-class income group would make his/her buying decision based on utility while a person from upper-class would prefer design, style and other additional features while making a purchasing decision. Considering the chosen scenario of these three respondents as well, buying decisions vary based on their annual income levels. Where the Korean student, working part-time and earning a limited income annually, preferred price as the most important factor for making a buying decision, the middle-aged fashion designer, with a strong annual income emphasised on features available with the product before making decision to purchase.

Lastly, based on the theories of consumer demographics, education affects how people perceive different events and scenarios around them by affecting the level of discretion they employ while making purchasing decisions, implying the more the educated a person is, the higher the level of discretion he/she will employ during decision-making (Adnan, Nordin and Rahman 2017). People’s preferences change with education, with more educated individuals taking more time and looking for more information before making purchasing decisions. As a result, the teenager preferred the gaming laptop despite its high price and comparatively lower utility while the fashion designer, a bachelor, selected the laptop with most features and highest utility arguably for fulfilling his business, as well as personal needs.


Based on the analysis of customer behaviours from different perspectives, the marketer of Dell has the opportunity to increase profitability by selling more items of Dell Inspiron 17 5000 by addressing the requirements of middle-aged professionals with strong annual incomes. Hence, the marketer is recommended to continuously add superlative features and benefits to the particular model for justifying its high price among the target market customers while promising to fulfil their needs and expectations as part of personal and professional lives. With a positive response from customers from corporate world and higher income groups, Dell can continue producing more items of the third options to promote business profitability and serve needs and requirements of a particular market segment.