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‘Satisfaction is the name we give to conditions
produced by the experience of pleasure’ (Fitchett and Shankar, 2002:
P501). These satisfaction are though not from ‘Stuff’ that people own but in
the forms consuming of experiences rather than goods. In this essay, it will
discuss how future growth is looking into of consumers purchasing more
experiences than goods.

 

Auby (2008) explained on how the Generation X
and Y occurred, with age groups and different generations play into effect, in
which how consumption of experiences is being processed. There is also
considerations in income, celebrating different cultures and the young or old. They
tend to go differnet types of experience. Old people will prefer go somewhere
relaxing like a Wine-field tour wile younger generations are more extreme and
go for scuba-diving. They though, need to fill the needs before going off to
purchase these experiences.

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Hierarchy of needs (Maslow, 1954) in which
consists of the five needs that are categorized. First three are the psychological,
love and safety needs. These are the basic needs that are needs that the
individual and society need, such as food, water, friends and security. Love
from society and safety in forms of material things and a secure lifestyle that
keeps the individual, family and friends safe (Oved, 2017). Then there is
esteem needs, where feeling of accomplishment and being respected by society.
Individuals wanting to have recognition and fame to ensure to have high
self-esteem. This relates to blogging and social media, on how they share their
experience consumptions in order for other people to recognize who the way a person
is and wanting to be established in a stable level of ‘society’s formation’
(Oved, 2017: P537). Last is the self-actualization or self-fulfillment needs,
as an individual who has already covered the previous needs, a higher order of
need and focusing on their desire to have certain crave more. In this case, it
is experience than stuff, which the individual wanting to adventure more into society
to navigate their way to satisfaction in their lives.

 

Consumers are driven by continuingly striving for
time productivity, make progress and accomplishments. This leads to consumers choosing
collectable experiences that make consumers feel productive as they engage to ‘check
off’ items on their to-do list and building their ‘experiential CV’ (Keinan and
Kivetz, 2011: P9351).  Keinan and Kivetz
(2011) suggests that consumer are attracted by unusual and different consumption
experiences such as leisure activities or vacations that are predicted to be
less enjoyable and enjoyable. Consumers are attracted to these activities
because they view them as opportunities to collect new experience and wanting
to use their time efficiently and productively. By having these expansion of
experiences, consumers will feel like they have obtain a sense of
accomplishment and progress, relates to Maslow’s (1954) self-actualization
needs. These ‘collectable experiences’ (Keinan and Kivetz, 2011: P936) are intentionally
to create special memories for the consumer. Collection of experiences are for
acquiring memorable and importantly non-identical experiences as consumers have
low utility when repeating the same experiences, just like having the same
stuff in the collection.

 

The purchases with the intention of acquiring a
life experience are for ‘before satisfying utilitarian needs, they also provide
consumers with opportunities for fantasy, feelings and fun’ (Bosangit and
Demangeot 2016: P208). It has generated growing interest as it contributes to
greater well-being and happiness than material items. Outcomes such as ‘customer
learning, enjoyment, entertainment, skills, nostalgia, fantasizing and
evangelizing as part of the post-experience stage. This helps influence
consumers decisions, future actions and self-development. Experiential
purchases are used by the consumers to share their stories with others,
including through social media. This comes in form of blogs, and telling their
consumer accounts and reflect their perspective on the products or experiences
that relates to consumers lives. These blogs have ‘symbolic meaning’ to the
consumers (Bosangit and Demangeot, 2016: P209). Travel blogs provides rich
consumption accounts of life experiences, serve to explore the link between
narratives and learning. Consumers draw more value from ‘extending’ the
consumption experiences in forms of ‘sharing stories (written or oral); videos
and photographs of experiences with friends (online and offline)’ and these
usually occur straight after consumption or in conversion pieces. This also
include the use of social media and blog that consist of recollections of
experiences.

 

Experiential purchases contribute to greater
well-being than material items. Carter and Gilovich (as seen in Bosangit and
Demangeot, 2016) compared to material purchases, stated that these experiential
purchases are likely more personal to the consumer, be mentioned more when they
tell their life story and shows who they are as a person. Experiential
purchases provide in more enduring satisfaction that is more ‘deeply connected
to us to others’ (Gilovich et al. 2015, as seen in Bosangit and Demangeot, 2016:
p209). The experiential products is important that can afford new life
experiences, like running shoes for exercising that promotes a healthier
lifestyle, as this contributes more to well-being and happiness that makes
memories, which is crucial also for personal development. This also involves
emotions. Emotions plays a significant role in consumption experiences, it enables
learning and self-development that is considered highly valued by the
consumers. They reconstruct these experiences during extended consumption as a
process to enhance their identity by the reconstructing how they feel, think or
act about what they experienced in a self-awareness type of blogs. A consumers ‘re-experience’
of a past life experience.

 

Atmospherics in the service marketing context
has roles in which they pertain to consumer decision processes that has service
encounters that are set out – these lead to the three stages of consumer decision
processes which is pre-purchase, consumption and post-purchases evaluations. The
service experience can be systematically managed through effective use of atmospheric
variables. These variables are tactical developments to the service experience
and the consumer decision process. Kotler (1973) described the term ‘atmospherics’
as the intentional control and manipulation of environmental cues. Where Kotler
(1973: P48) considers the atmosphere of the place to be more influential than
the product in purchase decision, where the atmosphere is the primary product. The
use of atmospherics is to create environments as it influence the behavior of
consumer with the use of environmental psychology.  Atmospheric elements such as exterior,
interior design and more, compose the set of stimuli (Hoffman and Turley 2002).
This appeals to the consumer in an emotional state where pleasure and arousal responses
are triggered to create a behavior where consumers approach to explore or
interact with the environment. These environment includes employees and
settings that are characterized to exhibit and demonstrate combinations that
makes consumers stay or leave, approach or ignore, feelings of satisfaction or disappointment
by using service experiences. It also triggers a stimuli to the consumers who
talk back softly when lights are low, service environment is seen formal and
pace of the environment is slowed by light music. While in bright lights and
loud music makes the environment seem more informal, exciting and cheerful to
the consumer which communication exchanges are more frequent, for example a
music festival. The intentional control and manipulation of environmental cues that
serves the customer composed of both the tangible elements such as buildings,
signage or fixtures, and intangible elements such as colours, temperature or
scents, that completes the experiences. Hoffman and Turley (2002) states that the
atmospherics are can evoke variety of emotional reactions and influence the
nature of the experience. Kotler (1973) states that it makes consumers to
connect with their surroundings and make consumers recognized the establishment
that they consumed.

 

People generally desire and choose what they
predict is going to be enjoyable, for example in context of leisure, non-vocational
and hedonic consumptions like holidays. Consumers choose such collectable
experiences that produce utility derived from producing special memories (Keinan
and Kivetz, 2011: P9358). This can be further explained by the decision making
process when choosing the right experience. ‘Atmospherics are proposed to play
a critical role in forming customer satisfaction evaluations’ (Hoffman and
Turley, 2002: P36) by managing from the consumer exceptions in prepurchase to
perceptions during consumption and post-purchase. – help with using an example
of going to a restaurant.

Prepurchase stage – the activities occurring before
the purchase of the service. These activities usually includes the recognition
of the targeted and potential purchase. It will eventually lead to information
research and evaluating of alternatives. An example is going to a certain restaurant
that has a theme and comparing it to other similar restaurants. This is the
part where considerations takes place and the outcome is either uncertainty
leading to not purchasing or deciding to purchase.

Consumption stage – The decision to purchase
and consumption is usually the process of ‘buying, using and disposing’
(Hoffman and Turley, 2002: P37). However in service experience, consumers
evaluate their experience during consumption and during the post-purchase
stage, with atmospherics playing an important part in this process. This is
mostly determined by social and cultural variables, where satisfactory outcomes
are expected to be generated. These atmospherics include signage to show how
the experience works. For example, like looking at the menu in a restaurant and
employees suggesting what is best to eat. This is where the tangibles and intangibles
environment are activated to help with the consumer experience. There are also
signals to customers to where involvement in the process starts and stops.

Post-purchase stage – The post purchase stage
is when the customer satisfaction evaluations are finalized. This is seeing if
customer perceptions meet, failed or exceeded with the customer expectations. Continue
with the restaurant experience, did the atmospherics fit the consumer
expectation as a home-themed environment with the floors and the walls being
wooden, or if the music was family-friendly which complimented with the food
eaten there. The atmospherics variables are crucial to see if the perceptions
met the expectations.

 

However, consumption of experiences does not
grow into an individual because they want to, but they can pressured to do it.
Thomas and Wilson (2016) looked into low self-esteem in individuals that are
persuaded by socialization factors like peer pressure, social comparison and
social pressure to consumer, leading to development of materialism.  These is due to the interactive effects
caused by media that makes individuals to question themselves in what kind of
materials you own or what you need to do to be happy. These social pressure
controls and constructs the individual’s happiness. This has led to habits of
high consumption of materialism in order for the individual to feel like they
are part of the trend. There are always ‘feelings of insecurity’ (Thomas and
Wilson, 2016: P8) and believing if they follow the trend, it is considered a
sign of success. The high consumption cultures that are built are most
developed in western countries (Thomas and Wilson, 2016). Mostly in USA, where celebrities
and wealthy people show off their luxuries in their lives in social media like
reality shows or in Facebook or Instagram. They are people who are followed and
idolized, thus people wanting to be like them. Creating these materialistic
values with addition of peer and social pressures has people wanting new and
changing experiences in their lives. People are purchasing a status that are
associated like the people in the western world and a social status that they
hope to experience to achieve the same satisfaction as their idols.

 

Relating to materialistic culture, experience
can come from ‘Stuff’ too. For example, with many types of phones available,
phone users are usually holding an IPhone (Apple brand) or a Samsung phone,
which they are considered as the top two in the phone industry (Gadgets Now,
2017). With phone users globally, 22.3% are Samsung and 12.5% are IPhones users
(Statista, 2017) in the 3rd quarter of 2017.  Apple and Samsung with success on mostly
marketing and using top celebrities and exaggerating with its newest
applications and technology that other phone brands have similar functions. The
co-creation of value (Payne, Storbacka and Frow, 2008) of the IPhones and
Samsung devices create a different experience for users, that makes people buy
the brand and not necessarily for the product. It is also buying a status.

 

In conclusion, people nowadays prefer memorable
experiences can be are composed through the creating and collecting experiences
that the consumers document and preserving it to ensure they can share their
memories. Not only experiential consumption creates these experiences, ‘Stuff’
does have experiences when consuming them.

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