This particular essay examines how brands use the theories of motivation, perception, personality and lifestyle to influence repeat purchase. Therefore, one of the key things that will be examined is consumer behaviors and how companies can influence these behaviors to their advantage. The study will use the case study of MAC’s Cosmetics Company. MAC’s Cosmetics is a Canadian firm that manufactures cosmetics. The company was established by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo in the year 1984 in Toronto. Currently, its headquarters is in the New York City after being incorporated as a subsidiary company of Estée Lauder Companies in the year 1996 (MAC, 2020). The company offers more than 100 shades of professional and quality cosmetics for all ages, races and genders. Moreover, it provides free shipping and returns on all orders. The vision of the company is being a global leader in make-up authority among professional make-up artists and consumers. The company aspires to meet all their customers need for superior quality services and offer secure and challenging work environment to all of its staff. The company has set itself on the right toe due to the fact that they embrace a diverse range of consumers. Their mission is working every day to meet nutrition needs of their customers particularly in terms of hygiene and personal care in an effort to ensure that their clients feel good. The company has committed itself to attain high standards and creative development to thrive against its competitors (MAC, 2020).
MAC Cosmetics uses uses Motivational Theories
Motivation plays a critical role in the operations and the success of any business; this is no different when it comes to MAC cosmetic company. The term motivation refers to the reason for actions, goals and willingness to do something. It entails a process that guides and maintains goal oriented behaviors that makes individuals to act. In simpler terms, it is the procedure that makes people to behave the way they do. Often, motivation in business comes into action when a need is aroused among the customers making them want to satisfy the need. Usually, the need creates a situation of distress that drives the consumers to try and minimize or eliminate the need by seeking the product or service of a particular brand (Tobon, Ruiz-Alba & García-Madariaga 2020).
Motivational theories on the other hand try to examine and explain the different factors that drive people to work towards attaining certain goals or outcomes. Often, businesses are interested in understanding motivational theories because motivated people are more productive or rather rewarding. Motivational theories also explain why individuals behave in certain ways. According to Dorsch, Törnblom and Kazemi (2017), there are two kinds of needs. The first need is the utilitarian need. This particular need refers to the wish by people to achieve certain functional or practical benefits. The second need is hedonic needs. This particular need entails the pressure that consumers feel and it is used for luxurious reasons and experience (Babin, Darden and Griffin 1994).
Babin et al. (1994) notes that any kind of consumption has both utilitarian and hedonic consequences. A wide body of literature has suggested that for businesses to influence their customers’ satisfaction and happiness, they have to ensure that the products and services they offer satisfy both the hedonistic and utilitarian needs. When this particular concept is executed effectively and efficiently, it has the potential of driving positive behavioral intentions among the buyers (Nejati and Parakhodi 2013).
MAC cosmetics provides the best customer service to its clients to motivate them into buying more and more importantly becoming loyal customers to the brand. Dixit (2017) explains that the nature of service being offered by a brand has to be hedonic with emotions and subjective experience. However, for the customers to have an enjoyable, pleasure-oriented trips, alongside with the hedonic factors such as social, emotional and epistemic elements, utilitarian goods and functional facilities in term of the relationship between monetary value and quality need to be featured throughout the consumption (Babin et al. 1994).
Usually, a customer’s needs are influenced by myriad factors such as individual characteristics and physical environment. On the other hand, customers’ wants are influenced by personal and environmental contexts. Many brands are currently employing marketing that targets self-actualization which entails the kinds of activities that people enjoy after all their other needs have been satisfied. The same case applies to MAC cosmetics. The company employs the concept of self-actualization while marketing most of their products. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is one of the most critical theories that can be employed to explain how MAC cosmetics brand uses motivational theories to persuade its target customers. The brand uses slogans like “Paint Your World” to target the fifth level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs since it calls consumers persuasively to take control of their world by creating the image that they desire (Solomon, 2020).
Another critical motivational concept is motivational conflicts. There are three kinds of motivational conflicts; approach-approach, approach-avoidance and avoidance-avoidance. Approach-approach conflict refers to scenarios that involves making decisions regarding two desirable options. On the other hand, approach avoidance entails a scenario where the decision is conflicting between two elements, one is desirable and the other is non desirable while avoidance-avoidance refers to situations when the overall decision to be made is not desired as in the case of buying a new vacuum. The brand of MAC’s Cosmetics lies within the approach-approach and approach –avoidance motivational conflicts (Nejati and Parakhodi 2013).
Buying new cosmetic products for some customers can be an exciting and thrilling experiences, however, the endless options that are available can make the process a very difficult one especially when it comes to decision making. In solving this challenge, MAC’s Cosmetics make products that offer solutions to numerous issues that consumers are interested in resolving. For instance, there are different kinds of foundations that have been created in a way that they act as both a foundation, water proof, concealer, sun protection and they last for long durations (Xiao, 2018).
There are also scenarios whereby MAC’s Cosmetics products may lead to approach-avoidance conflict for their consumers. For example, one of the major conflicting issues is the choice to buy a more expensive cosmetic brand over a cheaper one. Normally, the debate on quality and price often results to a lot of approach-avoidance conflict. MAC’s Cosmetics can put into practice strategies such as free samples, offers such as 2 for 1 incentives and loyal customer benefits. These strategies will play a critical role towards motivating customers since they help in minimizing buying risk and embolden customers to buy products by emphasizing their value for money and quality of the products (Lo et al. 2016).
How MAC Cosmetics uses Perception Theories
The term perception refers to the active mental process whereby people give meaning to stimuli by organizing and construing them. It is a common thing for different people to be exposed to a similar objective but end up developing varied perceptions regarding the object. The study of perception particularly in relation to customers is important since understanding how people perceive things can provide insight on how perceptions create behavioral reactions towards certain situations. Saeed (2019) defines customer perception as a marketing concept that includes consumers’ impression and awareness regarding a particular company or brand. Consumer perception and behavior theories are significant in predicting how customers arrive at their purchasing decisions and showcase marketers how they can effectively and efficiently capitalize on the behaviors that are predictable (Saeed, 2019).
Physical sensations such as sights sounds and smell play a critical role in how customers perceive products. Visual elements like colors, design and size are frequently used in the cosmetics and beauty industry to capture the attention of the targeted customers. MAC’s cosmetics uses color basing on the psychology of colors. Since cosmetics are usually used to enhance beauty, cosmetics products have to be very colorful. For this reason, the company’s website is very colorful and attractive to sight. Basing on the psychology of colors, blue is a color that is used to showcase aspects of uniqueness, spirituality and peacefulness (MAC, 2020).
Reasoned action theory
The theory of reasoned action stresses on the significance of pre-existing attitudes during the decision making process. The theory was formulated in the late 1960s by two theorists namely; Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen. The theory is grounded on the notion that customers on behavior based on their motive to generate or attain a certain outcome. According to this theory, consumers are rational actors who decide to act on their best interests. Basing on the theory, specificity is crucial during the decision making process. It can thus be deduced from the theory that a consumer only takes a particular action when there is an equally benefiting outcome that is expected from their action. The option of changing decision lies with the consumers, it is thus important for companies to understand the influence of perceptions on customers in order to be in a position of influencing how customers make their decisions. MAC’s uses this theory in their marketing. One of the things that the brand does is associating their products with a positive outcome (Groening, Sarkis and Zhu2018).
Another critical component of perception associated with MAC’s cosmetics is stimulus generalization. This is an aspect that is drawn from the theory of classical conditioning. Stimulus generalization asserts that it is important to associate positive perception of customers with the current brand to newly packaging design and brand. Donnie et al (2018) notes that packaging plays a crucial role in the success of MAC’s cosmetics. Just by looking, customers’ globally can identify the packaging of MAC’s cosmetics legendary black silver and bullet shaped lipsticks, an essential component of the company’s brand.
Moreover, MAC’s cosmetics has worked in collaboration with many artists around the world, for example, Ariana Grander, RuPaul and Rihana among others to come up with new makeup collections annually. The company also creates new types of makeup collection for the fashion industry. The reason for these make up collections is setting a trend in the beauty industry. Every lipstick collection has its own unique packaging design but all of them still maintain the bullet shape. It can thus be deduced that bullet shaped lipstick is the signature of MAC’s cosmetics and has been widely accepted by customers all over the world.
Figure 1. MAC Cosmetics different varieties of lipsticks (MAC, 2020).
A study conducted by Hoe, Dastane and Selvaraj (2018) show that cosmetic products are bought majorly due to emotional reasons especially when the customers associate positive feelings of beauty and the sensations of wellbeing and feeling good with purchasing and wearing make-up. Buying cosmetics can aid in strengthening the position emotions of caring about oneself and their appearance. It also helps in removing the guilt and stress of not caring about one’s self and appearance.
Odhiambo (2017) pinpoints in his study that some brand generate negative perceptions in order for the consumers to solve the generated negative perception by purchasing the brands products in as a means of attaining a positive feeling. On the other hand, the utility aspect also plays a critical role on customer satisfaction and emotional appeal. Nevertheless, this particular utility impact might be in association with skin products since it fosters individual hygiene and self-care. It also aids in evening skin tone, enhancing features by covering blemishes and improving the general appearance (Solomon, 2020).
Drawing from the expectancy theory, behavior is drawn by the expectations of attaining desirable outcomes such as appearing beautiful. Evidence shows that consumers may opt for one product over another on the grounds of their expectations that the products will have more positive outcomes for them. Therefore, it can be ascertained that the motivation for buying make products is an aspect of cognitive drive rather than biological need (Solomon, 2020).
MAC Cosmetics uses Personality Theories
The term personality refers to an individual’s unique psychological identification which constantly impacts the response of an individual to their environment or rather the marketplace. MAC’s Cosmetics is a brand that has been known to promote their products professionally by displaying make up as form of art. This results to customers perceiving the use of make up as a form of embracing and practicing art.
The millennials make up the biggest target market segment for make-up brands. Therefore, it is imperative for brands such as MAC’s Cosmetics to consider the motives of the millennials when purchasing cosmetics. Research has shown that the millennials prefer to have an interaction relationship with the brands from which they purchase their products. As a result, many millennials have the expectation to engage with brands that display a personality that matches theirs. Some of the common traits associated with the millennials are being open minded, social, creative, environmentally conscious, educated and multitasking (Mann and Rawat 2016).
The big five personality traits
Figure 2. The big five personality traits (Keith, 2019).
MAC Cosmetics uses some of the big five personality traits to impact the buying behavior of their consumers. For instance, one of the critical traits is openness to experience. MAC Cosmetics are always open to new ideas and it is due to this reason that they come up with new and different kinds of cosmetics. The company’s psychographic segmentation differentiates customers into varied units basing on factors such as lifestyle, personal characteristics and social class. The company’s psychographics incorporates fashion forward looking out for unique look, confident, beauty addict individuals since they are the individuals who are creative, spontaneous and innovative (Keith, 2019). Basing on the traits of this target market, MAC Cosmetics stands out to be one of the best company since it is always grounded on the idea of doing things uniquely and differently.
Also during marketing, the company usually uses techniques that support customers in planning. By doing this, they try to satisfy individuals who have the conscientious trait. The Conscientiousness trait describes individual’s ability to control their impulse so that they can engage in goal oriented behaviors. It is very challenging for businesses to sway people who score high in conscientiousness trait since they are always organized, thoughtful, disciplined and detail oriented (HR and Aithal 2020). Therefore, the best way that is applied by Mac Cosmetics is planning with this target market and providing a direction for them.
Freudian theory is also employed by MAC’s cosmetics to impress and satisfy its customers. According to the theory, the unconscious conflict between a person’s individual needs to please their biological needs and the urge to feel like an important person in the society.
The three mind systems provided by Freudian theory are Id, Ego and Superego. MAC Cosmetics satisfies these mind systems by branding their products with the image of a demigod. Many people, particularly the audience that is interested in cosmetic products have the desire of being demigods, as a result, they purchase the products so that they can attain the looks that they desire (Solomon, 2020).
Figure 1. MAC Cosmetics enhances beauty (MAC, 2020).
How MAC Cosmetics uses Lifestyle Theories
The term lifestyle refers to the consumption that reflects a person’s likings of how they can spend their money and leisure. Basing of lifestyle marketing perspective, customers tend to put themselves into niche groups depending on how they spend their free time. It is very imperative for marketers to comprehend and make it possible for consumers to pursue their lifestyle by conveying their social identity (Chouk and Mani 2019).
Figure 1. Linking products to lifestyles ((Chouk and Mani 2019).
It is important for MAC Cosmetics to understand varied kinds of lifestyles and cultures that led their consumers to cosmetics. Different kinds of lifestyles are employed by marketers to segment their consumers. Scientists on the other hand, employ the knowledge of qualitative approach of psychographics which applies psychological, anthropological and sociological factors to group their customers into segments (Chouk and Mani 2019).
Figure 3. Marketing demographics and psychographics (Chouk and Mani 2019).
The image above displays the variation in segmentation using psychographics and demographics. Nevertheless, the variables can work in con-cert to establish more operative promotional advertisements. Some researchers recommend the use of both sets of demographics and psychographics to come up with powerful campaigns for marketing within the beauty and fashion industry (Chouk and Mani 2019). MAC Cosmetics uses psychographic market segmentation to target individuals with the similar lifestyles, values and interests.
Additionally, marketers are put into practice and updating the different issues that are employed in psychographic study. According to a study conducted by Solomon (2020), one of the latest concept is AIO, which categories the variables in 3 divisions; activities, interests and opinions. The three variables are being employed by marketers to develop a general methodology; segmentation methodology. MAC’s Cosmetics develops products that target people who have different kinds of lifestyles.
Recommendations & Conclusion
MAC’s Cosmetics is currently doing very well in terms of targeting its potential customers. The analysis has shown that motivation, perception, personality and lifestyle play a critical role when it comes to consumers’ purchasing power. It is important for MAC’s Cosmetics come up with more strategies that will influence their consumers to buy more. Considering the fact that majority of the customers are millennials, cosmetic products should be decided to embrace the personality and perceptions of the millennials. The company should target their customers through the use of the consumer behavior theories. The discussed theories can be used appropriately to increase the amount of revenue that the company generates. Also, it is important for MAC Cosmetics to consider culture when creating products. This is important because different people in different parts of the world have different cultures. From the study, it has been shown that peoples’ perception, motivation, lifestyle and personality is highly influenced by the environment and culture. Therefore, considering culture when creating new cosmetics is very important as it will help in highlighting some of the key factors that are essential to suit specific cultures. Moreover, consumer behavior theories is integral in marketing strategies of the contemporary brands. MAC Cosmetics is currently employing varied kinds of models and theories to heighten the loyalty of their customers. Therefore, understanding the motivation, lifestyle, and personality and perception theory is imperative in understanding consumers and create marketing strategies that will attract more customers as well as retaining current customers.
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