Before making that decision to get involved with sport products, consumers gauge a wide range of factors, which have to be put into consideration. These customers, normally, are quite rational before engaging themselves in sports and its products. A series of steps for consumer decision making are established; normally as a model. These constitute the consumer’s choice as to whether to become fully involved with the sports products or not.
Several indicators may as prevalent in a human being and his environment may give a likely indication for sports involvement, ranging from a person’s health, social affiliation, achievement or even a person’s self esteem. In particular team identification plays a much bigger role in building decision making in fans. (Bernard James Mullin, Stephen Hardy & William Anthony Sutton, 2007). Awareness or information search: Once the need has been identified, information as pertaining to the products concerned is sort.
Information at this stage may be sort from traveling to other places for the aim of sporting among other forms of sport involvement. At this stage, it’s alleged that consumers may not be quite aware of the product in the market. (Matthew D. Shank, 2004). Marketers are advised to keep this in consideration since it’s at this juncture that they may be termed as susceptible Customers at this level should not be left on their own to filter out their perceptions, but should be fed with the relevant information that shall strengthen their product need satisfaction.
It may be quite funny to realize that the customers at this stage may not even be aware that the products are sold in the neighborhood! This stage evolves into choice making. Making of choices: At this stage, choices may be made at different levels. At product family, one may get products falling within the health and fitness industry, those linked to nutrition and exercise. A consumer may also choose a product in regard to the product class (e. g. in the exercise class one may find those directly linked with jogging, calisthenics or even walking).
At the product line are products such as racquet sports and softball sports. Down the product line are product types such as tennis, racquetballs, football and even squash. Within the product type are product brands that encompass certain brands of rackets and balls. (Matthew D. Shank 2004). A customer, who reaches this level, is almost convinced to engage in the sports world. Such a consumer is then fit to move to the next level to buy. Purchase decision: Before engaging one’s mind to acquire a sports oriented product, several considerations have to be borne in mind as it’s at this stage that resources are involved.
Involvement of the resources is such a critical issues and should be considered and budgeted for by the person undertaking the task. This decision should be sports planned and calculated, and not impulsive. A good plan has to be input in place before engaging any resources. Good time planning should also be involved and should not be like a one day plan. (Matthew D. Shank, 2004). Sport experience: The period sets in when one has already undergone the purchase decision. The person has already made up his mind and acquired the said sporting product.
It’s said that it’s the period of anticipation; whereby one thinks of the sporting experience prior before the real day. Precisely, it involves the period when one has to prepare, then travel to the site of experience, on reaching there, gather or acquire the said experience and then prepare to leave. Evaluation of experience: The truth of this statement is explained in the analysis of the equation: Satisfaction equals Benefits less costs. In this, satisfaction may be derived from self concept, reliability and even social experience.
Benefits may be derived from quantity and duration, with costs consisting of money, time and ego. In order to balance the equation, benefits must outweigh costs (Matthew D. Shank, 2004). Marketers strive to achieve this concept of satisfaction through involving various aspects of the marketing mix. It should be noted that when consumers filter stimuli around them, usually, they develop either positive or negative attitudes towards sporting. In the world of sports, one can be competent as a fan or as a player.
The only concept that determines the capability for one to belong in either of these classes is whether the experience possessed by him has helped him to be what he is (Bernard James Mullin, Stephen Hardy & William Anthony Sutton, 2007). Post evaluation behavior: This stage sets in after a consumer goes through the evaluation process. Incase he/she is satisfied, then chances are that he may repeat the experience and builds a much more stronger affinity for the same activity undertaken. For example, PEPSI fans may reflect high levels, a condition that leads to a spill-over for the high brand loyalty to PEPSI sponsors!
Conclusion Generally, it’s worth noting that satisfied fans imply a confirmation towards involvement in future team’s activities. On the other hand, dissatisfied fans may either abandon all the activities that the team is involved in, or become totally inactive in the team’s activities. In cases where they are marginally satisfied or dissatisfied, they choose to reconsider information and decisions about product choices as at various levels earlier discussed, concerning family, class, line, type and brand. All the four are quite pertinent to the sports marketer.