Customer Analysis/Consumer Behavior on Major Term Paper

Total Length: 998 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: -4

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Needs and wants are identified

Needs include capacity, size, and presence of a dryer for washing machines. For oven ranges, electric vs. gas. For microwaves, wattage. Wants include top or front loading, color, the size of the appliance, and its ability to fit in with the desired room. Also, energy efficiency vs. capacity -- older couples might desire more energy efficient appliances to save money, while younger couples desire capacity for washing large loads of children's clothing.

Is decision high or low involvement?

Almost all appliances are high involvement decision, given that most couples will only buy a few washing machines or oven ranges in their entire lives, yet do not wish to be burdened by costly repairs or energy costs.

Describe decision process

The Maytag Homepage depicts a white, upper to middle-class couple marveling how the Maytag has a large capacity, which saves time (for the woman) and energy (for the man) as well as keeps clothes like new. If the decision process is gender divided thus Maytag covers all potential 'bases.' Thus decisions involve need, functionality, reliability, pricing and only then form. Maytag's perceived quality of customer care (Peterson, 2005) that extends to summoning user's opinions via a corporate weblog encourages customers to feel involved in the process.

If joint decision, describes roles consumers play in the decision

The partnership may be equal, and even in traditional couples, a woman may have more say because washing machines, ovens, etc. are seen as 'women's products.
' Men may have more concern and impact upon buying the good for price-conscious or efficiency reasons, while women will have more concern for product use.

Demand forecast

The demand forecast is mixed. Increased demand for durable goods are likely to coincide with the continuing spiral upwards in the real estate market, as new homeowners must buy new appliances. Concerns about the economy might cause an upswing in energy-efficient appliances. But for Maytag's smaller line of microwaves, vacuum cleaners, and non-necessary goods, the still shaky economy might cause these market bases to contract. Also improved technology will likely require fewer repairs, and the possibility of increased interest rates would cause the ability to borrow these goods to contract, for consumers who do not have 'ready cash' to purchase large appliances of quality.

Works Cited

D & R. International. (1998) Report Commissioned by the Department of Energy. Retrieved 14 Nov 2005 http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/manuf_res/buyingtrends.pdf

Maytag Homepage. (2005) Official website of company http://www.maytag.com

Peterson, Gary. (2005) "Maytag Case Study." Corporate Blogging -- Its it worth the Hype? Backbone Media. Retrieved 14 Nov 2005. http://www.backbonemedia.com/blogsurvey/51-maytag-case-study.htm

MYG: Maytag." (2005) Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 14 Nov 2005. http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=MYG&d=t.....

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