Customer and Product relationship- The psychological phases
Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 3169
, Published on 27 September 2011
Customers are the most important aspect of any business. It is very necessary for companies to understand their target group, what customer needs they want to fulfill, which segment they want to launch their products etc. Companies must ensure they do an exhaustive study about their target audience in terms of demographics, psychology and needs. But there is one aspect of business where the relation between the customer and the product must also be understood in order to understand psychology and brand loyalty.
Apart from product life cycle or a brand life cycle, there is also a tendency of human beings of having a relation with their products, which is very essential for organizations to understand. The relation or the psychology of an individual goes through various phases from the time he purchases a new product to the time he uses it extensively to the time he discards it. Thus, it is important for organizations to understand these phases so that they can improve on their offerings in the long run with creating brand equity.
The first phase in the relation between a customer and a new product is that the customer is all inquisitive and eager to use and try out the new product. The attitude of the customer towards the product, whether it’s a new car or a new laptop or a new cell phone, it to take utmost care and handle it properly. The user makes sure that only he himself or only close trust worthy people use the product and that too under his supervision. Thus, at this early stage the customer has a protective attitude towards his product. This is also the same time when the user spreads a maximum word of mouth, since he wants everyone to appreciate his new product.
The next phase is when the customer becomes dependent on the product, uses it regularly and it becomes an integral part of the customer's life. By this time the customer knows the valuable features and the negative aspects of the product, hence he spreads a word of mouth in which he has evaluated the product and passes on a judgment regarding the product, which has a weightage amongst his friends and colleagues. Hence, the customer at this stage influences the purchasing of a lot more people.
Once the customer regularly uses a product, the value of the same product seems to fall down. The customer looks for additional value, upgrades and innovative features. This is the time when organizations must understand what new product developments can be made so as to innovate offerings and create breakthrough products. Since the product is an integral part of customer’s daily life, he pays no special preference or thought regarding the product.
The last phase of the customer and product interaction is when the product has been excessively used and it gives very little value addition. The same product which once was a life line becomes a burden on the customers as its features become obsolete; customers want to dispose them and are look out for newer brands and products. This is the time for companies to influence brand switching and an opportunity to new players to introduce better and cheaper products.
The product life cycle is an essential instrument in understanding the position of the product in the market. But another important way of inspecting product position in the market is by studying how the human psychology changes with the lifetime of every single product.
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