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Factors Influencing Consumer Decision Making Process Marketing Essay


The purpose of this thesis is to look into the factors that are act uponing consumer decision-making procedure in relation to fast nutrient eating house industry in the UK. It further purposes to analyze how McDonalds is reacting to altering environment and consumer behavior.

This is of import and at the same clip interesting to detect such subject, because of the high-profile political and public argument on fleshiness and other wellness issues that is UK presently confronting.

A better apprehension of the background and jobs related to the fast nutrient issue and context of decision-making procedure is foremost obtained via literature reappraisal, where assorted academic diaries were examined. Afterwards the qualitative focal point group was conducted with an purpose to research and estimate consumer attitudes towards fast nutrient and McDonalds. Key subjects from focal point group formed inquiries for the questionnaire. This quantitative study was so used to estimate whether the positions of the respondents from focal point group were representative of a larger group.

In order to analyze the context in which McDonalds is germinating, with add-on to place the cardinal drivers of alteration that might act upon fast nutrient industry in the hereafter, PEST model was applied. Changing consumer life style and Government intervention were highlighted as two possible drivers of alteration.

Key subjects from focal point group were quality of fast nutrient, ethical facets ( carnal public assistance ) , trust towards McDonalds and impact of media and Government on consumer behavior. These subjects were so tested to a larger group utilizing questionnaires. Respondents associated McDonalds and its merchandises with adjectives such as unhealthy, inexpensive, tasty and fatty. They ‘ranked ‘ their nutrient ( with exclusion of salads and fruit ) as of the worst quality. 25 % of respondents claimed that ethical issue sing lily-livered fusss them and that is the ground they do n’t eat chicken in McDonalds. Furthermore 28 % of those who were familiar with current high public fleshiness arguments in the UK issue it affected them in such manner that they now eat less fast nutrient as they used to. 35 % of respondents claimed that of all time since they saw the documental “ Super Size Me ” they do n’t eat in McDonalds any longer.

Most purchases of fast nutrient occurred as a consequence of impulse decision-making.

Since consumer ‘s knowledge/information acquired sing fast nutrient is largely negative, as a consequence their attitudes are besides negative. There are besides external influences that have negative impact on consumer decision-making procedure i.e. current high public fleshiness arguments in the UK. McDonalds is reacting on alterations in environment and consumer behavior by presenting healthier bill of fare. Consumers do non swear McDonalds, which besides negatively impact on their decision-making procedure. All factors above contribute towards hazard perceptual experience that consumers have with McDonald ‘s nutrient. Sellers at McDonalds seek to cut down perceived hazard by supplying consumers with information sing their nutrient. That is besides writer ‘s proposed recommendation- to increase consciousness of the quality of McDonalds ‘ merchandises and hence cut down consumer ‘s perceived hazard and increase their trust with McDonald ‘s trade name.

Consumer behavior

Mentioning to Solomon ( 2009, p.27 ) consumer behavior is the survey of the procedures involved when persons or groups select, purchase, usage or dispose of merchandises, services, thought or experiences. Consumer behavior focal points on how persons make determinations to pass their available resources on ingestion related points. That includes what they buy, why they buy, when they buy, where they buy it, how frequently they buy it how frequently they use it, how they evaluate it after they purchase and the impact of such ratings on future purchases, and how they dispose it. Schiffman and Kanuk ( 2008, p.8 )

1.1.2 Consumer attitudes

Harmonizing to Ajzen ( 1998 ) the attitudes are the first determiner of behaviour purpose. In consumer behavior context attitude is a erudite sensitivity to act in a systematically favorable or unfavorable manner with regard of a given object. There is a general understanding that attitudes are learned. This means that attitudes relevant to buy behavior are formed as a consequence of direct experience with the merchandise, viva-voce information acquired from others, or exposure to mass media publicizing. Internet etc. ( Schiffman and Kanuk, 2008, p.253 ) As erudite sensitivities, attitudes may impel consumer towards peculiar behavior or drive the consumer off from peculiar behavior. . ( Schiffman and Kanuk, 2008, p.253 )

1.2. Fast nutrient VS Junk Food

Fast nutrient is regarded as “ nutrient, as beefburgers, pizza, or fried poulet that is prepared in measure by a standardised method and can be dispensed rapidly at cheap eating houses for eating at that place or elsewhere ” . (, 2009 )

Junk nutrient is regarded as “ nutrient such as murphy french friess, Sweets and rings, which is mass-produced and is of low nutritionary value ” . (, 2009 )

Frequently the term debris nutrient is used to depict fast nutrient. Just late, the argument has been traveling on whether the term debris nutrient ( to depict fast nutrient ) is in fact justified. Writer of article argues that the “ debris nutrient ” ticket seem to be applied selectively, and frequently to nutrient mercantile establishments in urban and suburban countries but non to those in leafier parts. Hence, he points out that the term “ debris ” has become a manner of disapproving of certain nutrients. ( O’Neill, 2009 )

Fleshiness in the UK

The most recent research has shown that being overweight or corpulent is now the norm in the UK, with figures released by the authorities demoing that two- tierces of work forces and about 60 % of adult females are unhealthily heavy. ( Boseley, 2009 ) Furthermore UK has the highest degree of fleshiness in Europe. ( Datamonitor, 2009 ) Harmonizing to a study issued by the Department of Health, the findings for ‘Forecasting fleshiness in 2010 ‘ were grotesque. Within four old ages, it predicts, a 3rd of all grownups in UK ( 13 million people ) will be corpulent. So will 1million kids. ( Marrin, 2009 )

Fast nutrient industry in the UK

Definition of the fast nutrient industry:

The fast nutrient industry is defined as the sale of nutrient and drinks for immediate ingestion either on the premises or in designated eating countries shared with other foodservice operators, or for ingestion elsewhere.

Fast nutrient mercantile establishments are specialised in Burgers, bakeshop merchandises, poulet, ice pick, fish and pizza. ( Datamonitor, 2009 )

In malice of consumer concerns of fast nutrient being linked with jobs such as fleshiness, diabetes, bosom conditions, nutrient toxic condition and panics and unethical advertisement, the UK fast nutrient industry has enjoyed singular growing in recent old ages.

In footings of per capita outgo, between 2000 and 2005, the fast nutrient mercantile establishments have been turning at the fastest gait within the consumer nutrient service sector. ( Euromonitor, 2009b )

McDonald ‘s Corporation background

McDonald ‘s Corporation was the taking fast nutrient mercantile establishment in the UK in 2008, with an 18.3 % value portion and a clear lead over its nearest challengers KFC ( owned by Yum Brands ) and Burger King. ( Euromonitor, 2009b )

Figure 1.1: Market portion in UK ( 2008 )

Name of the company

Market portion ( % )

McDonald ‘s Corp


Yum! Trade names Inc


Burger King Corp


Pret a Manger Europe Ltd


Compass Group Plc


Nando ‘s Group Holdings Ltd


Beginning: Euromonitor, 2009b

McDonald ‘s is a innovator in the fast nutrient industry and today universe leader in the sector. The company has over 31,000 fast nutrient eating houses in over 120 states. ( MarketLine, 2009 )

The company operates chiefly in the US and the UK. It is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois and employs 447,000 people all over the universe. ( Datamonitor, 2009 )

McDonalds presently operates in more than 1,316 eating houses throughout the UK. Its net incomes grew by 55 % in 2008. ( Euromonitor, 2009b )

In 2003 the company was losing money for the first clip in its five-decade history, as it was functioning chiefly oily nutrient and hence fuelling fleshiness epidemic. Furthermore the company was losing of import consumers trust due to let go of of the documental ‘Super size me ‘ and critical book ‘Fast nutrient state ‘ . However, McDonalds introduced healthier bill of fares and merely late ( October 13th 2009 ) it has announced that its gross revenues had rocketed, directing its portions surging to a six twelvemonth high. British eating houses were singled out among the biggest humanitarians in public presentation. ( Clark, 2009 )

Research inquiry

What factors are presently act uponing the consumer decision-making procedure in the fast nutrient eating house industry in the UK, and how is McDonalds reacting to altering environment and consumer behavior?

The research inquiry can be farther divided into three sub subdivisions in order to clear up the aims of the research.

In order to show the context in which McDonalds is germinating

The PEST Framework will be applied to place the cardinal drivers of alteration that may hold an impact on the industry in the hereafter.

With the purpose of placing the factors that are act uponing consumer buying determinations in relation to fast nutrient merchandises:

The Consumer Decision-Making Process will be examined, in peculiar the psychological field- concentrating specifically on consumers ‘ attitudes towards fast nutrient and McDonalds. In add-on the socio-cultural environment, as external factors that have impact on consumers ‘ determinations will be investigated.

C. Corporate responses on above alterations:

How is McDonalds reacting on the alterations with regard to its selling mix and communicating scheme? The thesis besides seeks to suggest a set of recommendations for future actions by the company.

1.7. Plan of the thesis


This chapter will give the reader a clear statement of the research inquiry and the job statement that will be addressed in this research. Furthermore, the background information on definitions of cardinal footings and the chosen administration will be presented. Finally, the ‘route map ‘ will be illustrated in order to steer the reader to the remainder of the study.


This chapter sets the survey within its wider context and demo the reader how this survey supplements the work that has already been done on chosen subject. Therefore it identifies, analyses, comparisons and contrasts positions and theories of other authors in relation to the research subject. It besides provides the stepping-stone towards the methodological analysis chapter of the thesis.


In this chapter the research design and the research methodological analysis employed to reply the research inquiry will be explained and justified. In add-on, it provides the reader with a clear description of theoretical accounts and construct used for the analysis.


This chapter will supply a reader with elaborate presentation of facts and informations obtained utilizing tools described in research methodological analysis, go forthing out treatment for the concluding chapter. In order to pass on findings clearly, writer decided to brake down this chapter into to parts. First, the external analysis will be applied, in order to supply a reader with the context in which McDonalds is germinating. And secondly, the cardinal factors act uponing the consumer decision-making procedure will be analysed/explored.


In this chapter a set of proposed recommendations every bit good as back uping analysis of the options for McDonalds will be depicted. In add-on the execution program to back up the cardinal recommendation, including description of resources required will be illustrated.


In this chapter writer will reason his research with how the research inquiry has been solved. In add-on a brief re-cap of the whole thesis will be provided.


3.1 Research doctrine

Mentioning to Saunders et al. , ( 2007, p.106 ) in order to underpin the research scheme and the methods as portion of that chosen scheme, it is of import to understand the research doctrine one adopts. Within research doctrine writer chose interpretative, as it advocates that is necessary for the research worker to understand the differences between worlds in our functions as societal histrions. This emphasizes the difference between carry oning the research among people instead than objects. The function ‘social histrions ‘ dramas important function here. Saunders et al. , ( 2007, p.106 ) Writer believes that interpretive is more appropriate that positivism doctrine as consumer behavior differs from state to state. Furthermore it interpretative seeks to explicate why human existences react and behave in the manner they do.

3.2 Research attack

In this thesis writer will get down with roll uping the information foremost and so the theory will be developed, based on consequences of the information analysis. Furthermore the research will be peculiarly concerned with the context in which such events were taking topographic point. Writer is preponderantly interesting in understanding why something is go oning, instead than being able to explicate what is go oning. ( Saunders et al. , 2007, p.118 ) These are the grounds why this research will be undertaken inductively and non deductively. Deductive attack is used for scientific researches and it involves the development of a theory that is capable to a strict trial. ( Saunders et al. , 2007, p.118 )

3.3 The intent of the research

Harmonizing to Saunders et al. , ( 2007, p.133 ) exploratory survey is a valuable agencies of happening out what is go oning, to seek new penetrations, to inquire inquiries and to measure phenomena in new visible radiation.

The accent by explanatory survey is on analyzing a state of affairs or a job in order to explicate the relationships between variables.

In the first portion of this thesis, the research intent will be explorative and explanatory because the purpose of the research is to research consumer attitudes and factors that influence the consumer decision-making procedure in the fast nutrient industry. The intent of the 2nd portion of thesis, nevertheless, is to clarify McDonalds possible responses on altering environment and consumer behavior. From the analysis of the market and consumer behavior writer will seek to use constituted concern theoretical accounts such as marketing mix in order to bring forth a set of practical recommendations for McDonalds concern.

3.4 The research scheme

Scheme used in this thesis involves the empirical probe of a peculiar coeval phenomenon within its existent life context utilizing multiple beginnings of grounds. Furthermore it is of writer involvement to derive a rich apprehension of the context of the research and the procedure being enacted. On history of these factors the chosen scheme will be the instance survey. The instance survey has besides considerable ability to bring forth reply to oppugn “ why ” , which appears to be appropriate for the research inquiry ( Saunders et al. , 2007, p.139 )

3.5 Data aggregation techniques and analysis processs

To accomplish the research aims, a mixed-methods informations aggregation technique was adopted where both qualitative and quantitative informations aggregation techniques and analysis processs are used. ( Saunders 2007, p.147 )

Saunders ( 2007 p.147 ) justifies the acceptance of a mixed-method to accomplish an in-depth penetration in consumer behavior. Another advantage of utilizing such attack is that it enables triangulation to take topographic point. For case focal point groups may be a valuable manner of triangulating informations collected by other agencies such as inquirers. Baker and Goodyear ( 1998, cited by Verdurme and Viaene 2003 ) recognise that synergistic qualitative attack enables us to research and to see peculiar issues ( in our case fast nutrient ) through consumers ‘ eyes and to understand the footing for their attitudes and behavior. Qualitative consequences are sometimes bad and normally non general sable to the larger population. Nancarrow et al. , 2000, cited by Verdurme and Viaene 2003 ) Author hence intends to carry on a qualitative study to try to estimate whether the positions of the respondents in the focal point group were representative of a larger population.

Taking above facts into consideration writer decided, foremost, to transport out the qualitative focal point group, and secondly utilize its result to explicate inquiries for the questionnaire.

3.6 Sample choice

In this research the chance of each instance being selected signifier the population is non known and it is impossible to reply research inquiry or to turn to aims require writer to do statistical illations about the features of population. For that ground, Saunders ( 2007 p.207 ) suggests using non-probability or judgemental sampling technique. Nevertheless, writer will still be able to generalise from such technique, though, non on statistical evidences. For this ground non-probability sampling technique is more often used when following the instance survey scheme. Furthermore such technique provide writer with chance to choose sample purposively. ( Saunders, 2007 p.235 )

The chosen sample for the focal point group were undergraduate pupils from European Business School London in the UK. Three out of seven participants were British citizens, staying four were international pupils ; nevertheless, they have been populating in the UK for 3-4 old ages. Kraus ( 1995, cited by Schroeder and McEachern, 2005 ) back up the usage of pupils since they are more homogenous as a group than non-students, therefore ensuing in less “ immaterial fluctuation ” . As a cardinal mark market of the UK fast nutrient sector is between 17-25 old ages, a convenience sample of pupils is justified for this exploratory survey. Author realizes that socio-economic position of some EBS pupils for the focal point group might non be the same as one of typical fast nutrient consumer. However, participants eat in such eating houses and are hence appropriate for this survey.

Since there is about impossible to administer questionnaires physically in such a short clip, writer decided to administer questionnaires to pupils via electronic mail. Author acquired about 140 British electronic mail references that he got from a individual who lives in London. The questionnaires were sent so to people around the UK.

3.7 Data aggregation

In this survey, both primary and secondary informations beginnings were used. First, for a better apprehension of the background and jobs related to the context of the consumer decision-making, the literature reappraisal was written based on secondary informations aggregation. Then the primary information was gathered utilizing qualitative focal point group, which were so quantitatively validated through questionnaires.

Secondary informations beginnings used in this thesis include books, library databases, periodicals, McDonalds web site and other Internet beginnings. For roll uping primary informations beginnings, writer used foremost focus group and secondly questionnaire.

Time Distribution for Research

Data Collection 4 hebdomads

Data Analysis 2 hebdomads

Application Methodology 2 hebdomads

Writing Dissertation 3 hebdomads

Quality Analysis 1 hebdomad

In this procedure, I will maintain in touch with the adviser to demo my research work in faculties and for the quality cheques.

Gantt chart


Ethical Considerations ( How to Avoid Plagiarism )

In my research, to avoid the plagiarism, I will prefer to roll up informations merely merely for understanding and testing this information toward the quality work. I will avoid to copy and paste. I will prefer to compose and implement in my ain vocabulary. The best factor in my research, I can non presume and copy the research of others, that is already done, because largely I have checked, it is wholly different or uncomplete. I have to work hard to bring the information that will assist me to avoid the plagiarism. I will interview to do my research more dependable and valid.

If i use the mentions, I will utilize the manner of Harvard University that is really easy to avoid plagiarism, the manner of presenting is different to the mention defined on the books and given on the cyberspace.

I will portion my research with my chaps and my advisers but I will implement in my ain manner that I will non demo to anyone at the clip finalisation.

I will compose myself from start of my research to the terminal, it will do me to understand what i am composing and it will assist me to avoid plagiarism.