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Three people who purchased luxury watches were interviewed. Everyone had an individual reason for buying the goods. Consumer influencer maps are shown in appendices.
a. Who are the key influencers? Were they consistent across interviews?
In two interviews (with John Brown and Mary Dove) sales people were the key influencers. In case with Jane Smith, her friend was a key influencer.
b. Where they more professional or more personal?
Sales persons were professional influencers. They know the products well, and they can advise what to buy depending on the buyer desires and what price is appropriate for him/her. Jane Smith was influenced by her friend. She is not professional. However, the mate has already bought several similar watches and knows well about their functions and quality.
c. How did they influence the consumer? What roles did the play?
Sales persons influenced the final choices of John Brown and Mary Dove. They made a lot to affect the purchasers and to help in making a choice. First, sales persons asked what functions of the watch are necessary for the buyers. John Brown wanted to purchase a simple watch. He was interested only in a brand because his colleague (an initiator) said that it was of high quality and reliability. Controversially, Mary Dove was not interested in brand. She wanted to buy any that has a high quality. Her choice was based on the functions of the watch. She needed one that showed the date because she always forgets it. Therefore, a salesperson recommended a simple watch of a medium price but of a particular brand to John Brown and a watch that shows date and has a high quality to Mary Dove.
Second, sales people asked about the price. John Brown did not care about it, he wanted a particular brand. He bought one of the most expensive watches. Controversially, Mary Dove was recommended a watch for reasonable price that had required functions and high quality.
Jane Smith was influenced by her friend. The mate had already experience in buying luxury watches. She had bought several ones and recommended Jane a brand that satisfied her the most. In addition, she advised the style and the functions that would be suitable to Jane’s husband (the friend knows him well).
The sales persons and the friend played a bit different roles. The first ones are professionals. They recommended functions, quality, and brands, and they are familiar with those characteristics well. The choices of John Brown and Mary Dove were made for the best variants for them. Jane Smith’s friend recommended the brand and model she had already bought herself. She was not familiar well with other ones. Therefore, it is possible that the watch chosen was not the best alternative.
d. Were they quite influential in the consumers’ choice?
All influencers were very authoritative in the consumers’ choice. It is important to mention that all customers who were interviewed had not bought luxury watches before. Prior to the recommendations of initiators to buy watches, they had not known about the brands, quality, and functions well. Therefore, influencers helped a lot in choosing the right watch.
As it was mentioned above, John Brown and Mary Dove were influenced by the sales persons in the stores where they came to buy watches. Before the visit, they both had not known actually which one to purchase. Therefore, sales people helped them to make the right choice. John Brown was recommended the particular brand with high quality. Mary Dove was recommended the watch that had the functions she required. It can be stated that the sales people were very influential in the choices of John Brown and Mary Dove.
Jane Smith was affected by her best friend. She was very influential, too. Jane had not bought luxury watches before. Therefore, she trusted her friend. There were two reasons for her to be influential. The first one was important because the friend had already bought several similar watches. Very often, consumers tend to trust their mates who already have experience in using the product. Jane Smith behaved that way. The second reason was that the woman was the best friend of Jane. These psychological factors were important because Jane always trusts her best friend without hesitation.
e. Were they aware they were influencing this choice?
All people were aware of their roles in influencing the choices. As it was mentioned above, all customers had not bought luxury watches before. Both sales persons and Jane’s friend knew about that. Therefore, they all realized that the choice would be made on the basis of their recommendations.
f. What insights you might have gathered if you were a marketing manager in the product category?
If I were a marketing manager in the product category of luxury watches, I would have gathered more important information from those three interviews. The insights would help to know much about the common initiators, deciders, buyers, users, and influencers in the purchase of luxury watches.
The initiators can be different. For John Brown and Jane Smith this role played their colleagues who already had luxury watches. Both customers saw the watches and liked them. The colleagues also informed about the models and prices for their watches, as well as about the stores where they had bought them. For Mary Dove, her friend was an initiator. She liked the watch the mate had, and wanted to buy the similar one. Therefore, initiators are all the people whom the customers see often.
All people who were interviewed were the buyers of luxury watches. They all bought them for the first time. John Brown and Mary Dove purchased the watches for themselves. Only Jane Smith bought the watch as a present for her husband because her friend recommended it. Therefore, it can be stated that luxury watches can be purchased both for the personal use as well for a present.
Therefore, the decision to buy and the choice of luxury watches is usually initiated not by the customers, but by the people whom he/she knows well or by professionals (sales persons). Usually, brand, quality, and functions play the greatest role in the final choice. All people interviewed (and Jane Smith’s husband) have high positions in large companies. It can be stated that luxury watches are bought by people with high incomes in order to stress their positions in the company.