Consumer Decision Making

Consumer Decision Making

Learning Team C


May 29, 2017

Dr. Maria Church

Consumer Decision Making

Starbucks is introducing new protein-based, nutrient-rich drink options in their stores, grocery chains, and convenience markets. The goal for this addition is to increase market share of the health conscious on-the-go customer. Understanding the decision-making process used by consumers will help in the successful the launch of this new product, specifically as it relates to situational influences. The marketing and development teams must research and gather data regarding market awareness of the need for readily available healthy drinks must be conducted. Additionally, the Starbucks’ team should develop an understanding of the contributing factors to an external information search and reduction of information obtained from those searches. Finally, there must be a review and consideration of the importance of specific evaluative criteria to the market segment.

Situational Influence

There are important situational influences that Starbucks will identify as the product marketing strategy progresses.  Communication is considered to ensure the messaging is delivered at the right time and not lost. Summer is a great time to bring the product to market as consumers are looking for health conscious choices as they prepare to look good at the beach, or want to feel confident doing summertime activities.  Starbucks will address the purchase influence by making product placement prominent, and available in-house and convenience stores. Addressing the usage communication piece is done through the addition of a new product line available to the Starbucks consumer. This addition is to increase incremental sales.  Finally, the disposition influence is addressed by serving the product in recyclable containers and clearly identified recycle bins.


Market Awareness

The problem that this product solves is the availability of protein-based, nutrient-rich drinks for the on the go, who enjoy coffee and tea beverages.  The target market for this product is active, health conscious adults. While this group of people enjoys readily accessible drinks, the trend is toward consuming something healthier.  Starbucks started as a retail coffee chain, and as their menu grew, they added more drinks with high sugar content. There has been a push to move people away from these kinds of beverages, and some cities are even adding extra taxes on sugary drinks (Jansen, 2016).  The health-conscious adult is aware of the challenges that high sugar drinks can cause to their wellbeing (Health Effects of Sugary Drinks, 2017). Utilizing the strength of the Starbucks brand and providing the consumer with another choice, are the things that the marketing campaign will be exploiting.  The consumers will now have a healthier option and still get their caffeine fix, without all the sugar that they are trying to eliminate from their diets. The marketing and placement of the bottled version of the product, in non-Starbucks locations, such as grocery stores and convenience markets will assist the consumers in having increased access to the healthier drinks.

External Information Search

Before purchasing any product from the market, customers consider many factors including the health benefit and price. Customers research information about a new item before they buy if the product is entirely new to the market. They do not buy a newly launched product without conducting an external search (Fuller, 2016). The main reason consumers tend to carry out this research is to establish whether the product is healthy for consumption and identify any dangers associated with the product. In this case, a consumer will search for a professional opinion about the product on whether there are any side effects before adopting the product. They will only consider purchasing the new product if they feel Starbucks has clearly stated its health benefits. It means that the product must meet a particular need in the market (Kim & Slater, 2013). Moreover, consumers will purchase the product with conducting external information if they feel they are getting value for their money.

According to Fuller (2016), the factor that will reduce external information search is a powerful brand image. Since customers trust Starbucks and its products, they are less likely to conduct an external market search because the firm has an excellent reputation. Secondly, if the protein based drink is similar to other products in the market, customers are less likely to conduct external market analysis because they know of a similar product in the market.

Evaluative Criteria

Evaluative criteria are simply the measurements by which people decide to purchase our product. This product is ideal for a select group of individuals which can have an impact on sales. Since this is a health-based selection of drinks, health conscious people will likely be the first to purchase. This purchase behavior should account for more than seventy percent of sales initially and should be the target group to consider. Along with this being the select group Starbucks should target stores in the most active cities and towns to see how sales will do before releasing these drinks in every store.

The other portion of the segmented sales will come from word of mouth, and from people who want to try something different. Twenty percent of sales will come from word of mouth, and ten percent will come from impulsive buys or people wanting a change in what they drink. Advertising signs will be made for the ordering screens that are short, sweet, and to the point and describe the product to anyone who walks up in detail to specifically target the impulse buyer.

Another marketing process that can help is putting up the health information of each drink. People who are dieting, calorie counting, or just interested in their overall health may be likely to make the switch while in line just from reading the menu. Showing facts such as what is in each product, calories per serving, and possible benefits of drinking these products will also help.




Fuller, G. W. (2016). New food product development: from concept to marketplace. CRC Press.

Health Effects of Sugary Drinks. (2017). Retrieved from

Jansen, B. (2016, November). 4 cities vote to tax sugary drinks, soda. Retrieved from

Kim, N., Im, S., & Slater, S. F. (2013). Impact of knowledge type and strategic orientation on new product creativity and advantage in high‐technology firms. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 30(1), 136-153.


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