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Consumer Behaviour Changing

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Rampf
Words 3033
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Individual Assignment

Changing a behaviour: Diminishing my consumption of plastic shopping bags

Course: Consumer Behaviour Professor: Luísa Agante Grader: Margaret Ferraz

Student: Rui Frias nr. 890

The behaviour I am changing: Wasting shopping plastic bags Disclaimer: I am trying to be as honest and straightforward as possible while also being entertaining and providing for an interesting read. I hope I have not come off in a wrong way. Before When considering which behaviour I would be changing in order to adopt a more sustainable one, I first decided to take some time and start by examining both my daily life and some of the most common non-environmentally friendly behaviours people may engage in: BEHAVIOUR Not recycling Wasting water Wasting plastic bottles Wasting paper Dropping smoked cigarettes on the street WHAT I DO I recycle paper, plastic, glass and batteries I take showers and close the faucets while I brush my teeth and shave I reuse two bottles which I fill with tap water and take to the University everyday I do not generally print my materials, and when I do, I print on both sides I do not smoke

Nothing seemed to come up. But there had to be something! I decided to go do something else while I was thinking. I had been needing to clean my room for some time so I took the opportunity and started doing so. It was then, upon looking at my desk, that something caught my eye and I was drawn to the overwhelming quantity of plastic bags that were on top of it (see Annex 1). The thing is, I am originally from the north of the country, more specifically from Porto, and this is the first time I am living on my own, having to do my own grocery shopping, my own cooking and my own cleaning, basically the first time I am assuming the role of head of a household. It is quite hard, especially in the first few months, to think of what to do for each meal and to think of what to shop for and when to go shopping. Essentially, what ended up happening is that I went shopping for groceries a lot more times than I actually needed and in a much less healthier way than I ought to. Here is what usually happens: Scenario 1: I am leaving the University and going home for the day. Do I still have something left to eat in the fridge? What to do? Go to Continente to buy some chicken and chips. Scenario 2: It is Sunday morning. I am ready to make lunch but I only have pasta and I don’t want to eat the meatballs that are in the freezer. What to do? Go to Continente and buy some chicken and chips. Scenario 3: I have to study until late for an exam and still need to have dinner but do not feel like cooking. What to do? Go to Continente to buy some chicken and chips (and a RedBull because it’s going to be a long night). I assume you are getting the point... and no, I do not always eat chicken and chips. So, I decided to choose reducing my consumption of plastic shopping bags as my behaviour. But how would I do so? I remembered that Continente had some of those reusable shopping bags made out of recycled materials next to the cashier’s so I decided to go to Continente and check them out. My initial excitement was gone as soon as I started looking at the bags (Annex 2) and understood that my choice was between strange (Photo 3), garish (Photo 1), small (Photo 2), and small and ugly (Photo 4). The image I immediately associated to most of these bags is that of a woman and a mother. The fact that on top of that I still had to pay between 0,50€ and 0,70€ to acquire one of them was not

helping either. I even considered using a frozen goods bag (Photo 5) but I ended up going back home with no bag and opting instead to use a bag I had from my previous faculty and that I had been using to bring food from home to Lisbon. During The process was not easy at first, and in the first couple of weeks, I occasionally forgot to bring the bag with me to the University (14th and 18th of February) but then, as I started making sure to always leave the bag inside my rucksack and have, as an additional measure of precaution, two plastic bags on top of my bed table to remind me in case I had forgotten to do so, that ceased being a problem. In Annex 3 there is a timeline that details my usage of shopping bags from December 1st 2011 to March 5th 2012. I built it through counting the shopping bags I had in my room and looking at the receipts I had from Continente (I normally keep these in order to calculate my monthly expenses). By the end of this small project, assuming my shopping habits would have remained unchanged had I not engaged in it, I believe I have managed to reduce my consumption of plastic bags in about 70%, saving about 14 bags in absolute numbers (I would have consumed more bags in February than in December and January due to the fact that I went to Porto for Christmas and from the 20th to the 30th of January). It may seem insignificant, but it is a start. After This was one of several behaviours that I have been trying to gradually change since I started living on my own. I actually quite appreciated having to do this individual assignment because it served as an incentive for me to adopt a more sustainable behaviour regarding plastic bag consumption in a quicker way than I would have otherwise. I plan to continue engaging in this behaviour because for once I have ended up enjoying the fact that I am wasting a lot less plastic bags and, secondly, it is useful to me personally because it forces me to be stricter regarding the amount and the quality of the things I buy in the hypermarket. Even if this was not the case, at the end of the day, it is just smart thinking and something that, once you get the habit of doing it, is pretty simple to follow. Analysing my behaviour I believe I was very influenced by the positive associations (my schema) I have regarding the environment and sustainability so I was more easily able to list the sustainable behaviours I was already performing and identify one which I had yet to adhere to. My process of choice of behaviour was very guided by visual stimuli, to which I was more receptive due to the fact that I needed to clean my room (perceptual vigilance):

Exposure to the visual stimuli (seeing the clutter of things on my desk)

Attention (focusing on the amount of shopping bags)

Interpretation (I am bringing too many shopping bags home)

Regarding my dismissal of the several options of reusable shopping bags that I had at my disposal in Continente, this was related to my perceptual process. I felt I needed to diminish my shopping bag consumption, so I was going to choose a reusable bag. I used several cues, including the colour of the bag and its size, in order to understand whether there was a fit between it and me, a male University student away from home. I decided that two of the bags were too small and would not allow me to take all the things I normally buy and the remaining two bags looked too feminine, and would leave me feeling self-conscious about my masculinity, which was why they also got a negative reaction from me. Essentially, I used the characteristics of size and colour

combined with my perceived conception of masculinity vs femininity to categorize the several bags, and then evaluate each alternative in terms of its relative standing on these dimensions. Also in agreement with the multi-attribute attitude model, the belief that the product might make some colleagues of mine mock me was something I considered, which was the reason why I ended up really giving a lot of importance weight to the attribute of design. In the development of my attitude towards the bags, I was then very influenced by their design and acted more on the basis of my emotional reactions, which is in accord with the experiential hierarchy of effects. My need to reduce my plastic bag consumption is of a psychogenic nature, as it is very related with the environmental values of today’s culture. However, I was motivated to choose the bag I ended up using because it provided me with both utilitarian and hedonic (I am proud to showcase I am an alumnus of the Faculty of Economics of Porto) benefits. My goal was of a negative nature, in the sense that I was seeking a product in order to avoid using as many plastic shopping bags as I was up to that point. Additionally, I faced an avoidance-avoidance conflict during my visit to Continente where I had to make the decision of either buying a reusable shopping bag that I would not be very satisfied with or going home empty handed. Within the context that this was an “imposed” behaviour change, my process of learning throughout this experience was both of a behavioural and of a cognitive nature. Behavioural in the sense that the work I developed was influenced by the feedback I received regarding the theme from those around me (including Professor Luísa Agante). Additionally, I am hoping for instrumental learning to happen in the sense that I will hopefully receive positive reinforcement in the form of a good grade for this assignment (☺). Regarding the cognitive part of my learning, this was more related to the process of acquiring the more theoretical concepts with which to do this analysis. The campaign In choosing the target audience to which my campaign would be directed to I took two things into consideration: the fact that I am a student who is not originally from Lisbon and therefore am living away from home and the fact that I am a male student, so my views regarding the act of using a reusable shopping bag and the current alternatives in the market to plastic shopping bags are certainly different from those of females. Therefore, I chose to focus on male University students away from home currently studying at NOVA SBE. Reduce, Re-use, the reNOVA program 1st step – Raising awareness For my Reduce, Re-use reNOVA program, I would first focus on raising awareness of the issue of shopping bag waste. For this, I would propose two activities: distributing condoms with environmental messages amongst the targeted students and placing a large container during a couple of weeks in the student’s lounge. Regarding the condoms, these would be illustrated with images of plastic shopping bags and have slightly cheesy (we do not want to sound preachy or have this backfire like the anti-smoking ads mentioned in class) sentences and would also direct people to check out the container in the student’s lounge. A couple of examples might be “Be safe… Be green.” and “Save plastic... Use rubber.” The condoms would be provided through a deal with either a health centre or an organization that normally promotes safe sex and we would attach stickers (made out of recycled paper) with the messages and illustrations to the condom wrappers. As for the large container, it would be more of a guerrilla marketing activity in the sense that it would have a message asking for people to bring the extra shopping bags they had at home and put them there. With the container full, the plastic bags would be taken out and spread throughout the student’s lounge on a Friday afternoon for a small photo shoot, with the photos being posted to Facebook and to NOVA SBE’s website a few days after. The general objective is to expose people to

the problem, get their attention and make them relate to it. The container would be provided by Valorsul and, at the end of the activity, the plastic bags would be reused for other purposes. 2nd step – Triggering the change in behaviour For the main event, and because I feel that in the same way that I was extremely reluctant to get a reusable shopping bag from the available options in the market others like me might also be facing that dilemma, a set of bags would be developed and would either be sold to the students at a symbolic price or be given for free (hey, if the faculty can afford to spend its money on buying two microwave ovens, it can certainly afford to give its students plastic bags). Since the bags would have the school’s colours and logo, you could include it in the marketing activities budget. This would be used to trigger the change in behaviour of the target audience. This effort could alternatively be taken on by the commercial entity. Since their current range of reusable shopping bags is clearly directed towards an older feminine crowd, they could introduce new bags to reach younger people in general and males in particular without alienating the existing customers. These bags could for example be associated to sports clubs or, for international students, their countries of origin. Here we would be capitalizing on the relative advantage of the importance of design for male students on the decision of whether to get a reusable bag and trying to strengthen perceived product/attribute linkages in terms of coolness and masculinity. The general objective would be to increase involvement by providing the targeted students with bags they would perceive as being cooler and more masculine and with which they could also express their pride in the faculty they are attending. According to the functional theory of attitudes, I would be dominantly stressing the ego-defensive function but also the utilitarian function of the product in my campaign. 3rd step – Measuring the results Taking into account that behaviour creates attitude and in order to bridge the attitude/behaviour gap, some further activities would be conducted. A few weeks after the bags had begun being distributed/sold, and so as to measure the effectiveness of the campaign and serve as a reinforcement mechanism, there would be two activities: a survey and two sets of focus groups with students would be conducted. The purpose of the survey would be to get feedback and specifically ask people whether they had been using the bags. As for the focus groups, one set would be the control group and the discussions would focus on general themes one of which would be environmental behaviours. In the other set the objective would be to discuss and present arguments as well as creating a series of videos in which they would convince their fellow students to change their behaviour and start reusing shopping bags. For those students who had not yet changed their behaviour, having them publicly advocate a belief that is inconsistent with their own behaviour would induce hypocrisy that can motivate behaviour change. The public commitment induced by the delivery of the speech in video would be an effective way to promote this change, as per the cognitive dissonance theory. Accompanying the commitment of the two sets of focus groups over time and seeing whether there were significant differences in the adoption of the behaviour would allow us to see whether this would be an effective way of promoting actual behaviour change. With this, I would be addressing the fact that knowledge of a person’s attitude is not a good predictor of behaviour and so I cannot simply inquire people regarding their attitudes towards reusable shopping bags. I would also be taking into account the theory of reasoned action, namely the potential effects of social pressure (mocking of the reusable bag adoption by friends) and of the intentions/behaviour gap (people may forget the bag at home or have lost it for example, thus having to keep using normal shopping bags, even though they intended to use the reusable one). The organization and development of all these activities would be carried out by Master students from the faculty either in the context of one of the more environmentally related classes or through creating a Green Club. The activities would start about a month after the beginning of the Fall semester.

Annexes Annex 1 – The problem

The Problem 1

The Problem 2

Annex 2 – Photographs of the reusable shopping bags

Photograph 1

Photograph 2

Photograph 3

Photograph 4

Photograph 5

Annex 3 – Project Timeline

Day of the Month (December) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Total

Shopping trips

Shopping bag consumption 2

X

X X

2 1

X

3

X X X

1 2 1

12

Day of the Month (January) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Total

Shopping trips X X X

Shopping bag consumption 3 1 1

X X

2 2

X

4 13

Day of the Month (February) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Total

Shopping trips

Shopping bag consumption

X

2

X X

0 0

X

1

X X

0 1

X

0

X X

0 0

X

0 4

Day of the Month (March) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Total

Shopping trips

Shopping bag consumption

X X

0 0

0…...

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...q Consumer Behaviour 1 q 1 Consumer Behaviour Customer is profit, all else is overload.... x This chapter provides an introduction to consumer behaviour. “Consumer is the most important person. The business revolves around the consumer.” After finishing this chapter one should be able to understand: q What is meant by consumer behaviour q Consumer decision-making process q Marketing strategy and consumer behaviour q Indian consumer and his characteristics x INTRODUCTION All of us are consumers. We consume things of daily use, we also consume and buy these products according to our needs, preferences and buying power. These can be consumable goods, durable goods, speciality goods or, industrial goods. What we buy, how we buy, where and when we buy, in how much quantity we buy depends on our perception, self concept, social and cultural background and our age and family cycle, our attitudes, beliefs values, motivation, personality, social class and many other factors that are both internal and external to us. While buying, we also consider whether to buy or not to buy and, from which source or seller to buy. In some societies there is a lot of affluence and, these societies can afford to buy in greater quantities and at shorter intervals. In poor societies, the consumer can barely meet his barest needs. The marketers therefore tries to understand the needs of different consumers and having understood his different behaviours which......

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Premium Essay

Consumer Behaviour

...Note: Solve any 4 Case Studies Case 1: Cub Foods In 2003, Cub Foods had 78 corporate and 30 franchised stores. The chain built its success by focusing on its primary market: families of four or five individuals with adults ages 24 to early 40s who are informed. Value-conscious consumers – consumers like Leslie Wells. Leslie Wells’s recent expedition to the new Cub Foods store in Melrose Park, Illinois, was no ordinary trip to the grocery store. “You go crazy,” says Wells, sounding a little shell-shocked. Overwhelmed by Cub’s vast selection, tables of samples, and discounts as high as 30 percent, Wells spent $76 on groceries - $36 more than she had planned. Wells fell prey to what a Cub executive calls “the wow factor”. A shopping frenzy brought on by low prices and clever marketing. That’s the reaction Cub’s super warehouse stores strive for and often get. Cub Foods has been a leader in shaking up the food industry and forcing many conventional supermarkets to lower prices, increase services, or, in some cases go out of business. With Cub and other super warehouse stores springing up across the country, shopping habits are changing too. Some shoppers must drive 50 miles or more to a Cub store instead of going to the nearest neighborhood supermarket and bag their own groceries at Cub Foods. Their payoff is that they find almost everything they need under one roof, and most of it is cheaper than at competing supermarkets. Cub’s low prices, smart marketing,......

Words: 4105 - Pages: 17