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Innovation Behavior Towards Consumer Goods of People in the age Group 50 and Above in Germany

Masterarbeit 2011 93 Seiten

BWL - Marktforschung


Table of Contents


1 Introduction
1.1 Problem Statement
1.2 Terminologies
1.3 Goals and Structure of the Thesis

2 The Socio-Demographic Change and its Consequences
2.1 The Socio-Demographic Trend in Germany
2.2 Reasons for This Trend
2.3 Impact on the German Economy
2.4 Impact on the German Retail Industry

3 Consumer Behavior
3.1 Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior
3.2 Types of Buying Decision Behavior
3.3 The Buyer Decision Process
3.4 The Buyer Decision Process for new Products

4 Innovativeness
4.1 Innovation
4.2 Innovativeness and its Forms
4.3 Individual Differences in Innovativeness
4.4 Influencing Factors
4.5 Innovativeness as a Necessary Factor

5 Characteristic of the Over 50s
5.1 Change of Values
5.2 Segmentation
5.3 Purchasing Power
5.4 Structure of Consum
5.5 Buying Motives
5.6 Current Possibilities

6 Spare Time Activities of the Over 50s
6.1 Tourism/Holiday
6.2 Media Usage
6.3 Cinema Visits

7 Innovation Behavior of the Over 50s
7.1 Healthy Food
7.2 Leisure and Tourism Services
7.3 Perfume
7.4 Reasons for Different Purchase Decisions

8 Empirical Study
8.1 Layout and Structure of the Study
8.2 The Results of the Study
8.2.1 General Purchase and Consumer Behavior
8.2.2 Brand Loyalty
8.2.3 Toothpaste
8.3 Final Remark

9 Conclusion and Outlook



Table of Figures

Figure 1: Age Structure of Germany

Figure 2: Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior

Figure 3: Four Types of Buying Behavior

Figure 4: Three Different Explanations of „Innovation“

Figure 5: Adopter Categorization

Figure 6: Values of the old and Young Generation in Comparison

Figure 7: Segmentation of Over 50s

Figure 8: Change of Different Classifications in the Next Years

Figure 9: Part of Private Consumption as Measured by Whole Income

Figure 10: Price- and Quality-Consciousness of the Generation 50plus

Figure 11: Internet Coverage Across the Different age Groups

Figure 12: How is the use of Social Media Split?

Figure 13: Partial Results of the Study

Figure 14: Comparison of Means of the Study About Margarine

Figure 15: Means of Customer Loyalty

Figure 16: Distribution of Gender Related to Their Age


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1 Introduction

1.1 Problem Statement

It is a widely spread fact that everybody wants to become old but the fewest want to be old. But it is also a fact that we cannot stop the age. It may exist ways and means to keep your mental and physical skills in a good shape but with every day we will become older one day anyway. The only alternative of getting older by the way doesn’t seem to be much tempting why people accept the tide someday. What in this case only is concerning the single one also applies to whole societies. “Tomorrow” everybody will be older, the group of the over 50s is continuously increasing. So the aged will become more, but will they also become older mental or physically as a consequence? Nowadays, an increasingly number of seniors is more healthy and powerful than their parent generation. And they are highly attractive for companies but were disregarded for a long time when for example addressing advertisements. May it be because they are seen as less open for new products or due to the fact that they are supposed to show less involvement when confronted with advertisement. The reasons are multifarious. But the same as our society will continuously change the over 50s have also changed in their behavior.

Companies haven’t dealt with the over 50s as a target group for a long period of time. Older people are often associated with gridlocked habits and a certain rejection to new things like already mentioned. But is this true? Do they act or react different due to their age than their younger counterparts? Are the above mentioned prejudices in fact only the opinion of some companies? This questions need to be answered especially when regarding the society change creeping over us.

1.2 Terminologies

All relevant terms concerning the title of this thesis will be explained in the following chapters. For example, the meaning of innovation is explained in chapter 4 “Innovativeness” and the meaning of consumer good will be explained in chapter about 3 “Consumer Behavior”. The idea behind this is to guarantee that the words are understood when they are needed in a logical way.

1.3 Goals and Structure of the Thesis

This thesis aims to answer several questions. First, the reader should get a feeling for the socio-demographic change we are facing in Germany and the consequential change not only for our society but also for our economy. In the following, it should be understood the over 50s main characteristics, how they live and what they desire. Furthermore, an understanding of some of their spare time activities and their interest for new and unknown products will be given to the reader.

Therefore, the thesis is structured in a way that all necessary knowledge will be explained before the particular chapter. First of all, the socio-demographic change concerning Germany’s society is shown. Thereby, the reasons for this trend as well as the consequences for the economy and retail industry will be explained. Then some theoretical background needs to be illuminated. This means that all relevant factors of the consumer behavior and the field of innovation will be explained. Here it is talked about influencing factors, forms and processes for example. After this, the characteristic of the over 50s is in the main focus. The reader will find information for example on how their values changed over the years, how they can be segmented when being a target group for companies but also some already existing possibilities regarding the place of purchase for over 50s. Then several examples for the spare time behavior of the observed group will be given whereby information of their innovation behavior towards different products is following up. In both cases the behavior of over and under 50s will be compared. The penultimate chapter deals with an empirical study conducted by the author of this thesis. Thereby, the reader can find information on the consumer behavior of different age groups. A conclusion then will summarize the key findings of the thesis.

2 The Socio-Demographic Change and its Consequences

The change in the age structure can be seen as a worldwide phenomenon but it’s mainly in the Western oriented societies, especially in Europe and Japan. Due to the fact, this thesis deals primary with Germany it will only be focused on this country.

2.1 The Socio-Demographic Trend in Germany

The change in the age structure of a particular country which is in our case Germany is shown by the so called population pyramids. This graphic presentation has changed more and more to a tree since the beginning of the last century and is likely to be seen as a mushroom in the year 2050.

As you can see in Figure 1 the part of the older people (seen in the upper part of the particular illustration) is continuously increasing whereas the number of younger people (in the lower part) is decreasing. In 2003, the average age of the German population was 40.9 years which will change dramatically in the coming 40 years. Then, in 2050 we will have an average age of 50.4 years.[1] The over 50s will represent around 45 % of the whole population whereas the under 20s only represent around 20%.[2] In the same period the population will shrink from 82.5 to 76.3 million inhabitants which equals a decline of 7.5 %.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Age Structure of Germany

Cp. www.zdwa.de1 (2004)

2.2 Reasons for This Trend

In general, a change in the age structure always happens when people are born, die or they move to another district, city or country. The following three factors are influencing the number of people who are living in our country in a dramatic way:

- Decline in Birth Rate

Around 2.5 children per woman were born in the last cohort of high fertility in Germany. But this is already 50 years ago and was in times of the so called babyboom-generation. Only a few years later, namely in 1965, the birth rate started to decline. Nowadays, we got an average of 1.4 children per woman but we actually need 2.1 children to “compensate the generation of the parents.”[3]

- Life Expectancy

The expectancy of life is steadily increasing in the industrial nations and Germany of course is not an exception. An improvement in the medical science, which leads to better hygiene standards and medical care, a healthier living and much more better working conditions for example are the reasons for this. Since this won’t change in the future we’ll have a continuous increase in the life expectancy what would be desirable.

- Immigration and Internal Migration

Since 1970, the birth rate is lower than the death rate in our country. This was always compensated by people who immigrated to Germany. For the last 6 years this wasn’t possible so that the population decreased slightly what not really was noticed by the people. The internal migration just means that people move from one place to another in the particular country. This happened for example after the reunion of West and East Germany when a lot of people from the new federal states moved to the old ones. This is not important in our case because it doesn’t change the number of people in our country.[4]

Summing up it can be said that in our country too little children are born to stop the obsolescence of our society, that the people are getting older and that the number of immigrants is far away from stopping this “negative trend”. In what way these factors can or should be influenced remains to be seen. Fact is, that all of them are in their way conducive to the trend mentioned earlier.

2.3 Impact on the German Economy

The fact that people are nowadays getting older than the people born at the beginning of the last century leads to some significant problems. Problems for the concerned governments and for the people living in the particular countries. The welfare system will get in trouble because of the fact that a constantly decreasing group has to pay for a constantly increasing group. So, people will have to take care by their own to be sure to have a financial security when they retire. A private provision for one’s old age is the keyword in this case. The spending for the health insurance funds will increase because much more people are older (see also Chapter 2.1). And it is proven that older people have a higher need of provision than younger people by trend. Also the working environment will suffer because a lot of well qualified workforce will retire in the future and because of the decline in the birth rate there will be no appropriate numeric compensation.[5] Since the economic problems arise because of the socio-demographic trend, it is not the given topic of this thesis this is just short information. Much more important and interesting for the topic is the following part - the impact on the retail industry.

2.4 Impact on the German Retail Industry

The German retail industry needs to adapt on the above mentioned changes. When a countries’ population is getting older it’s necessary to think of several things. In earlier days companies most time concentrated on the group of the 18 to 39 year old consumers. Nowadays, we got a rethinking in this relation and the industry starts to focus on the group of the over 50s. On the one hand we got a target group with a higher purchasing power than the average (see also Chapter 5.3) and on the other hand leads the change in the socio-demographic structure to different needs and required skills for the companies. This can be divided into requirements for the shopping facilities and for the sales staff. Basically, a store has to fulfill several things that older customers feel good there and tend to repeat purchase. Four different consumer needs are relevant for this: the mental, the physical, the social and the economical ones. Examples for these points are sufficient light intensity, clear and readable posters, a safe floor cover, short ways and a good reach ability of goods, seating-accommodations and of course an optimal price-performance ratio. The last point is for sure in most cases an important factor for choosing a product or a special retail store but is always worth to be mentioned. In order to guard against misunderstandings a lot of the just mentioned points are only relevant for people who got significant problems with for example their eye-sight. It’s also not possible to talk about a certain age because you cannot say that people start to get problems when they reach this certain age. But it’s a fact that in the group of the “over 50s” the people have more physical challenges than the younger ones in most cases. Coming to the other important point when dealing with older customers: the well-trained sales staff. This target group is very experienced in their consumer behavior. They expect sales people to be open, reliable, polite and of course full-fledged. As we can see the change in the age structure is a big challenge for the retail industry. They need to offer a wide range of services and think of several points, for example the design of a store. But this is also a big chance and possibility for them if they react to this change and become aware of this new target group.[6]

3 Consumer Behavior

Many buying decisions are made by consumers every day. Companies try to find out several points concerning this issue, for example what customers buy, where they buy or why they buy this or that product. In nearly every case the question about the “why” is the most difficult to answer. In this chapter relevant points regarding the consumer behavior will be illuminated in detail. For this, it will be revert to the book of Kotler and Armstrong in which we find a good overview of the theoretical background of the consumer behavior. The focus will be on influencing factors, types of buying decision behavior and the process of the buyer’s decision making.

Before we start with the main topic of the chapter some terms (e.g. consumer good) will be explained like announced in chapter 1.

Consumer goods can be used (e.g. a razor) or consumed (e.g. food). Characteristics of them are the high number of potential customers, an anonymous market and a low level of information of the customers. Most time the consumers of these goods don’t show a high involvement and need not much time to decided whether they buy the product or not. Often this decision is done when recognized at the point of sale.

Here, only the term is defined as later in this chapter services and the relevant markets will be described in detail. Services are intangible goods like insurances, consultations or a haircut.[7]

3.1 Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior

The human consumer behavior is influenced by several points. The marketer needs to consider these points but most time it’s not possible for him to control them. Figure 2 gives a quick overview of the influencing factors before they are explained on the following pages.[8]

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2: Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior

Cp. Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p.162

- Cultural Factors

- The culture is the most basic reason for a person’s wants and behavior. Human beings learn it from the family and other important institutions when they are a child. The buying behavior differs from country to country since every society has its own culture.
- When talking about subculture it is meant “groups of people with shared value systems based on common life experiences and situations”.[9] Some of them are very important for the companies and products are especially made for them, for example for the Hispanic or African American consumers in the United States.

Social Class: People from the same social class share similar values, interests and behaviors. It is measured by several factors like occupation, income, education, wealth and other variables and is more a combination of all these points. In some countries it is not possible for the people to change their social class whereas in nearly all Western countries social classes are not fixed. For companies it is interesting to know how people from the different classes behave because out of this it can be educed marketing methods.[10]

- Social Factors

Reference Groups: A person’s behavior is often influenced by groups he or she belongs to, wants to belong to or just admires. These groups have the same attitudes and beliefs in certain ways and often try to achieve goals together. Opinion leaders are an important issue in this connection since they have an influence on the conduct of the other ones. Nowadays, social networks are also playing an important role. With this way of communication several product information and opinions are shared very fast and can so influence a person’s attitude towards a product.

- The consumer behavior is strongly influenced by the family as a whole but also by different family members in detail. In the United States for example women now are responsible for almost 85 % of all family purchases why companies tend to address their commercials to this target group. And since research companies found out that a car purchase or a vacation is dependent of what the children say more and more advertising for these products is shown on child-oriented TV networks.

Roles and Status: Here it is meant that people basically act like they are seen in their different groups they belong to such as family, work or sports clubs.[11]

- Personal Factors

Age and Life-Cycle Stage: The age as a criterion for buying decisions is very important since people change the goods and services they buy when they are getting older. With the so-called family life-cycle and the life-stage segments companies try to classify their potential customers in different groups to address them in a better way.[12]

- The job a person is doing is also influencing the consumer behavior. A blue-collar worker for example tends also to wear more rugged clothes in the spare-time as a white-collar worker who wears more exclusive and elegant clothes.
Economic Situation: The buying decisions are of course also dependent of a person’s financial resources. Some companies for example think of their sales approach and especially the price when the economy is facing a recession.
- The lifestyle describes how a person lives what is not necessarily influenced by the social class or the occupation. Taken the major AIO-dimensions of a customer into consideration helps to measure this factor. Components are the activities (e.g. work, hobbies), interests (e.g. food, fashion) and opinions (about themselves, business etc.). Companies often try to make the customer to believe that they don’t just buy a product but a lifestyle. For example, BMW mentions when you drive this car that “skies never bluer”.

Personality and Self-Concept: “Personality refers to the unique psychological characteristics that lead to relatively consistent and lasting responses to one’s own environment”. In this context analyzing personality is a useful method to find out about consumer behavior. The idea behind this is that often people buy products which are seen as having the same “personality”.[13]

- Psychological Factors

- The needs a person got can be split into two elements: biological and psychological. These needs can become motives which are pressing the person to find satisfaction. Therefore, consumers tend to behave in certain ways when buying a product.
- The perception of a situation influences how a person acts. Perception is a selection, organizing and interpretation of information. Since this differs from person to person the consumer behavior is influenced by different reasons in regard to the individual perception.
- “Learning describes changes in an individual’s behavior arising from experience.”[14] Taken this into consideration it is clear that learning influences the buying behavior of people.

Beliefs and Attitudes: The people’s beliefs and attitudes towards products can influence the consumer behavior very strongly. If people for example have a positive attitude towards a company they would rather tend to buy their products than these of the rival business.[15]

3.2 Types of Buying Decision Behavior

The buying behavior of a person always depends on how complex the process is. Buying a tube of toothpaste for example is less complex then buying a new car. Four different types of buying decision behavior are mentioned by Kotler and Armstrong.[16]

- Complex Buying Behavior

When consumers are highly involved in a product and they see differences among these they undertake complex buying behavior. This can arise when a product is very expensive or it is purchased infrequently. Since it is in most cases that the consumer needs to inform and learn about the product marketers should be aware of this. They need to help the consumers to get the necessary information and to differentiate their product from other companies.

- Dissonance-Reducing Buying Behavior

Again the consumer shows a very high involvement but in this case he or she only sees little difference among the brands. An example could be the carpet purchase. People are involved due to the fact that carpet often is expensive but they cannot see any difference between the brands. As a result of this they buy very fast if they find a carpet at a good price.

- Habitual Buying Behavior

In this case consumers are few involved and see little brand differences. In most cases this behavior is common when a product is cheap and frequently purchased, for example salt. Companies are trying to differentiate their products often only over the price.

- Variety-Seeking Buying Behavior

When “situations are characterized by low consumer involvement but significant perceived brand differences”[17] consumers undertake variety-seeking buying behavior. Here people tend to switch a lot between the different brands. An example is buying cookies where people always try something new.

The following figure shows the four types of buying behavior in consideration to the two parameters involvement and brand difference.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 3: Four Types of Buying Behavior

Cp. Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p.177

3.3 The Buyer Decision Process

The buyer decision process doesn’t start with the purchase decision and also doesn’t end with it. Actually, it consists of five stages so marketers have to focus on all the stages to develop a substantiated knowledge about the consumer.[18]

(1) Need Recognition:

The first step in the buying process is when a consumer recognizes a need. It can arise from internal stimuli such as hunger or thirst and from external stimuli. An example for the second point could be an advertisement which creates a need for the consumer.

(2) Information Search:

The second step of the above mentioned process is the information search. A consumer might just buy the best product which is in reach but often it is different. When you once decided to buy a certain product you are paying more attention to advertisements of this product. Then the consumer is starting to search information and compare different brands before he or she decides for one product.

(3) Evaluation of Alternatives:

After searching information about the designated product consumers choose among the given alternatives. Unfortunately, it is not possible to mention a single method how consumers do this. It always depends on the personality and the situation. Sometimes a careful calculation is done, sometimes the product is just bought on impulse.

(4) Purchase Decision:

In this stage of the process consumers normally buy the product they have chosen for in the third step. But two things can come between the intention to buy and the decision: the attitudes of others and unexpected situational factors. The first factor could be for example when someone thinks that you should by the product with the lowest price you might think about it. The second factor on the other hand could be for example a recession and as a result out of this you decide not buy a product because it might require too much financial resources.

(5) Post-purchase Behavior:

In this stage the consumers show their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the chosen brand. This is evaluated through the relationship between the consumer’s expectations and the product’s perceived performance.

Of course, consumers not always pass through all of these five stages. In more routine purchases some steps will be skipped. When for example buying toothpaste you just recognize the need and buy your preferred brand without searching information or evaluating alternatives. The above mentioned model is used when consumer is facing a new purchase decision.

3.4 The Buyer Decision Process for new Products

In this case we talk about the process when a consumer is faced with a new product or service. The detailed explanation of an innovation will be given in Chapter 4.1. The so-called adoption process should be mentioned in this relation which is “the mental process through which an individual passes from first learning about an innovation to final adoption”.[19] The process consists of five stages which are:

- Awareness : The consumer gets to know the product.
- Interest : He or she seeks information about it.
- Evaluation : Consideration if it makes sense to buy the product.
- Trial : Consumer tries the product.
- Adoption : Decision of using it regularly.

Taking these stages into consideration companies should think of their customers and how they can affect them to try a new product. Giving discount coupons to the customers might be a solution to increase the possibility of a trial purchase or to awake the interest of the potential customer.[20]

4 Innovativeness

4.1 Innovation

To understand what is meant by innovativeness it is necessary first to explain what the meaning of innovation is and how it is defined in a scientific way. Since a standardized explanation does not exist it is useful to list some selected definitions. The following table, similar to the structure used by Busch[21], shows us three chosen explanations found in the literature:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 4: Three Different Explanations of „Innovation“

Compiled by the author

Although, we can only find three definitions in the table it is shown that it is obviously not possible to have a standardized one.

But we found out that an innovation always means something new and this not only in a way that a certain product is launched. It also means that it has to be perceived as new by the users.[25]

4.2 Innovativeness and its Forms

Since “innovativeness” is a created word by marketing it’s not possible to find a clear definition. It is nearly the same like in the case of innovation we talked about above: We got several approaches to research so that a standardized definition does not exist.[26] In different online dictionaries it can be found that innovativeness is the “originality by virtue of introducing new ideas” whereat originality is the “ability to think and act independently”.[27],[28] This can only be seen as a tendency of what is meant by innovativeness since these online dictionaries have no scientific background.

Three different fields can be mentioned connecting to innovativeness:[29] the innovative product, the innovative company in regard to the brand and the consumer as a user of the innovation. As this thesis deals with consumers and their particular behavior the first two fields will only be explained for the sake of completeness but only short in the following:

- Product-Innovativeness

The product-innovativeness is the degree of novelty comparing to the old product or status quo. It can be measured on scales with poles like “innovative – non innovative” or “really new – incremental”. “If the educed level of innovativeness is high or low isn’t clarified in the literature just as little as the fact in which context the degree of novelty has to evaluated: new for the world, new for the branch, new for the company or new for the consumer.”[30]

- Brand-Innovativeness

Also companies can become addressees of innovations, not only their products or services. Areas in which companies try to be innovative are for example the work organization, the human resources management or the market orientation.[31]

- Consumer-Innovativeness

Since the success of an innovation is very dependent of the acceptance of the customer the consumer-innovativeness plays a big part. As a result of this the factors which influence this phenomenon become very important. They will be explained in the following chapter why we spend more time on explaining the term consumer-innovativeness. Once again we have no clear definition for this so that two different ones will be mentioned. The first one of Midgley & Dowling (1978) says that it is “the degree to which an individual makes innovation decisions independently of the communicated experience of others.”[32] So they describe the consumer-innovativeness as the willingness to buy new products more often and earlier than other consumers. Goldsmith, Flynn & Goldsmith (2003) on the other hand say that “Consumer Innovativeness describes buyers who wish to learn about and own the newest products. They are knowledgeable, somewhat price insensitive and likely to be heavy users.”[33] As we can see, it is tried to define the consumer more exactly in the newer literature.

4.3 Individual Differences in Innovativeness

Of course the behavior towards new products differs from person to person. Some are always trying to get the latest products and others are deciding to adopt a new product when the majority is buying it. The following figure shows five adopter groups which are on the basis of the time of adoption (x-axis) are classified.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 5: Adopter Categorization

Cp. Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p.182

It is assumed that in general the younger consumers are more open for innovations than the older ones. Reasons for this are for example lacking brand loyalty, higher receptivity for new things and higher willingness to take risks.[34]

4.4 Influencing Factors

As we can see in the former chapter (4.2) the consumer-innovativeness influences the acceptance of a new product or service. This leads us to the question what is influencing the innovativeness in this case. Several studies deal with this question but unfortunately a lot of them didn’t consider the age as a factor which might influence the decision whether to buy a new product or not.[35] On the other hand Helm and Landschulze[36] included this factor in their study (see also Chapter 7.4). They created a so-called “Preference for Alteration-Model” (PfA-Model) where they took the age as a group variable and nine different predictors into consideration. These were divided into endogenous and exogenous predictors which are shown in the following:

Four Endogenous Predictors

First it should be said that endogenous means that these predictors are dependent variables which are influenced by the exogenous predictors and other variables, which is in this case the age.[37] In the above mentioned study Helm and Lanschulze used these predictors:[38]

- Loyal Attitude

Here we talk about the loyalty to a brand which is causal for a repurchase. A negative connection to a change of brand is assumed in all age groups. Customers tend rather to switch to another store than buying an alternative brand when they are faced with out-of-stock situations. On the other hand it can be said that this loyalty leads to a higher innovativeness when we talk about cross-buying-offers. These customers are more open to extend the relation to their favorite brand and can so be seen as “Innovators” and “Early Adopters”.

- Habitual Attitudes

A habitual and strengthened purchase behavior leads to a negative connection to change your preferred brand. We talk about a voluntary but unconscious customer loyalty which eliminates the perception of alternative brands. An important point besides the confirmed habit is the low interest in new products.

- Category Experience

This point only deals with the experience a customer has in the particular category. It doesn’t imply any deeper information of the product or the brand. A more experienced customer is then more able to appreciate different benefits of a product. This can lead to a reduced insecurity when facing new products or services.

- Perceived Risk

The degree of perceived risk when buying a new product is influenced by the probability of a negative outcome of the purchase (insecurity) and by the subjective relevance of this outcome (range of loss). A higher perceived risk leads consequently to a lower willingness to buy alternative brands. All age groups are influenced by this in the same way. To reduce the risk they tend to their regular brand (loyal attitude) or stick to their habitual attitudes.[39]

Five Independent Exogenous Predictors

The exogenous predictors are like the endogenous variables. But they are independent from the exogenous predictors and only influenced by the group variable age.

- Consumer Satisfaction

If a customer is not satisfied with the product or the brand he or she will probably not buy it anymore. On the other hand generates satisfaction a positive attitude towards a product. But primary this leads to a higher brand or product loyalty and not directly to a repurchase but of course as a consequence of it.

- Product Involvement

This predictor is influencing the tendency to switch to another brand in a positive way. This is of course because an interest in certain products is a requirement for even thinking of innovations or alternatives. It is assumed that the involvement increases with age, not for all products (for example not for automobiles) but at least for fast moving consumer goods. One reason is that older people got more spare time after retirement.[40]

- Perceived (Brand) Equality

A customer perceives different brands or products equal when they have a lot of the same attributes and seem to be convertible. Another word for this can be substitutability. This means, that a product should differ from the competing one and be seen as not convertible. As a result of this brand preferences arise because of an increased conviction. A homogenous perception of the products leads to a decreasing probability of a development of loyalty and that in all age groups. On the other hand, this phenomenon is also responsible for a lower perceived risk.

- Variety Seeking

This is the general pursuit of variety a customer has. A negative relation between it and the brand loyalty is assumed. All age groups are affected whereat older people obviously tend more to stick to their habits.

- Risk Taking

With this predictor the affection to a risky behavior which definitely stimulates the selection of new alternatives is meant. Therefore, it can be said that this behavior influences the perceived risk of a consumer. Again a negative correlation to the brand loyalty exists.[41]

4.5 Innovativeness as a Necessary Factor

Now that we know a lot about the forms of innovativeness and how it is influenced there is the need to talk about the necessity of it. This will show why scientists or research companies deal with this topic and why it is interesting to find out something about it. For Hirschman (1980), it is needed because otherwise “consumer behavior would be no more than a series of routinised buying responses to a static state of products”.[42] Some who are involved in the topic go even one step further. They say that “consumer innovativeness may be an important factor that drives a country’s economic progress and its position”.[43] So, the measuring of this behavior is of vital importance for all concerned groups. This importance is illustrated also with a view to the global market by the following examples:[44]

- Companies are getting more and more global which leads to a necessity to understand the consumer’s innovativeness across different markets.


[1] www.zdwa.de1 (2004)

[2] Cp. Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung (2009)

[3] Cp. (2006)

[4] Cp. (2006)

[5] Cp. Förderland (2010)

[6] Cp. Kollmann/Sieker (2006), p.6 ff.

[7] Cp. Esch/Hermann/Sattler (2008), p.9

[8] Cp. Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p.161 ff.

[9] Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p.161

[10] Cp. Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p. 161 ff.

[11] Cp. Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p. 168 ff.

[12] For further information on these segmentation please see Kotler/Armstrong (2010) on page 170

[13] Cp. Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p. 170 ff.

[14] Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p.175

[15] Cp. Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p. 175

[16] Cp. Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p.176 ff.

[17] Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p.177

[18] Cp. Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p.177 ff.

[19] Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p.181

[20] Cp. Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p.181 ff.

[21] Cp. Busch (2010), p.12

[22] Vedin (1980), p.22

[23] Cp. Hauschildt (2011), p.6 ff.

[24] Rogers (2003), p.12

[25] Cp. Busch (2010), p.13

[26] Cp. Busch (2010), p.29

[27] (2011)

[28] (2011)

[29] Cp. Busch (2010), p.29

[30] Busch (2010), p.30

[31] Cp. Busch (2010), p.36 ff.

[32] Busch (2010), p.41

[33] Busch (2010), p.42

[34] Cp. Kotler/Armstrong (2010), p.182 ff.

[35] Cp. Helm/Landschulze (2010), p.5

[36] The following explanations are taken out of Landschulze (2010) and Helm/Land-schulze (2010). Both papers deal with the same study respectively background. For a better understanding of the research approach the information has taken out of these two papers likewise.

[37] Cp. Landschulze (2010), p.104

[38] Cp. Landschulze (2010), p.104 ff.

[39] Cp. Landschulze (2010), p.106 ff.

[40] Cp. Helm/Landschulze (2010), p.9 ff.

[41] Cp. Landschulze (2010), p. 112 ff.

[42] Leek/Szmigin/Carrigan, p. 74

[43] Tellis/Yin/Bell (2009), p.1

[44] Cp. Tellis/Yin/Bell (2009), p.1


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Fachhochschule Gießen-Friedberg; Standort Gießen – Wirtschaft, Studiengang Internationales Marketing
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Titel: Innovation Behavior Towards Consumer Goods of People in the age Group 50 and Above in Germany