In our opinion it is impossible
to change ingrained consumer behavior in a short time. Deep seated behavior
structures are usually connected to a lot of factors, not just such depending
on the individual also factors that depend on social aspects. Ingrained
consumer behavior is depending on social status of the individual and what is
seen as social acceptable. In case of the case study model this means for
example if the possession of a car ensures this social status or even secures a
higher position in society it is more likely that the person rather buys a car
to own it instead of using the car rental system explained before. Further
habits are an important factor in the decision if Flexcar should be used or
not. If the consumer is used to have an own car that he can use also
spontaneous without planning before, it is more likely that he sticks to that
habits and act as usual. Further psychographic aspects can influence the
decision taken to rent or possess a car. If the person is highly interested in
cars it is likely that he or she decides to buy a certain type of car and uses
it rather as an extension of his or her personality. So in this case the
preferences will lead to the decision to buy and own a car instead of renting
it. Even demographic factors can influence such a decision. In case the
customer is an elderly person it might be more likely that this person is used
to possess a car due to the social environment he or she grew up with. To this
time it was not usual to rent a car so maybe this person will not be open
minded for this concept of innovative car renting. So concluding it can be said
that it is not easy to change ingrained behavior overnight due to many facts.
So it is likely that a new launch of a product is depending on the customer and
therefore needs time.
To find a solution for this
occurring problem it is important “to carve out a profitable niche by finding a
very specific market that might be more conductive to change”.
(Entrepreneur.com, 2003) In this particular case mentioned above it could be
solved by focusing on smaller businesses that can not afford an own fleet or
organizations. For this specific target group it is important that their
consumer behavior is not reliant on individuals and the behavior is not seated.
There are different aspects that have to be taken into account to see if it is
truly possible to change the behavior to push a new product to the market
place. First of all the criteria for acceptance of innovation has to be fulfilled.
That means how likely is it that the target group accepts and adopts the new
product. Further compatibility is important. That means to which degree is the
product consistent with consumers values, cognitions and behavior. Additionally
it is important what advantage this product gives the customer compared to the
previous used product or concepts. There are lots of other factors, just to
name two more there is trialability and simplicity. Concluding it is to say, if
this car rental concept should be launched more profitable it should define its
target market or even customer more specific. Targeting small companies and
going to business to business trait is more efficient than focusing on private
customers. Further it has to be targeted in which countries it can be launched,
where people can afford to drive or even rent a car or further in which
countries it is more likely to possess cars.
2003. Case study – How do you change
ingrained consumer behavior ?. ONLINE Available at: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/63862. Accessed 13 January 2018