Consumer Behavior Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Consumer Behavior Case Study Solution


For the purpose of this case I have selected purchase of a product (car) for analyzing the purchase process and consumer decision making. I have selected this product because it involves diversification in the selection process due to financing levels and feature selections involved. Mostly, the individuals need and demand plays an important role in determining the features and qualities that this product should have. A car is an ideal example of how different individuals have different preferences for the cars according to the financial levels, the features they are looking for and their own personal situations.

A car comes with diversified features and at different levels. This means that consumers have numerous options and substitute goods available to choose from. Car industry has become more and more diversified to meet the needs of people of all class and the dealerships providing these cars have responded appropriately by employing value-added services for their customers.


Process of Purchase

The process of purchasing a car depends on several factors like:

  • Researching upon the vehicle including deciding upon the nature of the vehicle which an individual want to purchase.
  • Financing the vehicle either through loan or through self-finance.
  • Selecting upon the appropriate dealer, for introduction to required features and test drive.
  • Check the industry for the same product available at other prices.
  • Setting on the selling price and individual features.
  • Closing the deal.
  • Taking delivery including proof checking the features for which the car was selected.

Analysis of the Process

The product of this case which is car, is one of the few which enables deeper understanding of the purchasing process. This is due to the nature of the product which provides an extensive insight into the thinking process of consumer at individual level taking into account, the resources available to that individual. For purchasing a car an initial research has to be carried out. For purchasing a car an individual has the opportunity to create an extensive database regarding the features he/she wants to include in his/her purchase. Availability of high number of substitutes and various features and price that comes with each substitute allows a person to ponder over various options in front of him/her.

The second aspect of purchasing a car revolves around the financial stability of the individual. Naturally, the selling price of a vehicle is the main determinant of purchasing it. An individual will focus on means available to him to purchase the product and his decision will revolve around the finance method he has included; purchase on credit, purchase through loan or purchase through one-time payment with sufficiency in his own resources. Usually, most of the dealerships are trying to increase their customer base by enabling a lengthier warranty service, low cost replacements and creating financial schedules for spreading the payments to be made in installments. They are doing this to increase and maintain their consumer base. Provision of after purchase services and options of low-cost replacements and trade-ins are also the factors for which consumers are looking.

With increase in trend of enhancing services the consumers have put more focus on the level of services they receive in provision to the purchase of the product as various dealerships are responding appropriately. The aspect of ‘personalization’ has increased over the period of time leading to rise in demand of customization of the product according to the needs of the people. The enhancing of those features is done by the car manufacturers but additions of services and added components sales are done by dealerships. These sort of services include credit financing and expansive payment schedules as well as provision for spare parts at low costs for a specific period. The nature of customization sought out by the customers have also become an important factor which the dealerships try to exploit.

For a customer to have a flexibility in payment schedule and get their required features in a car. The advantage that customers have while purchasing a car is the level of substitutes available for the same product. This would allow them to not only make comparisons regarding the prices but also the features of the cars specifically which they are seeking.

Consumer Behavior Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


The final stages of the process include closing the deal and taking the possession of the product. Closing the deal ensures the follow on the contract including creation of obligations of warranty provisions and liabilities of providing spare parts for specific time period. This also allows the consumer to go over the product to check the existence of the features specified by him/her in the initial purchases...........................

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