Question1. The fundamental behavioral issue important to Campbell soup company marketers while introducing the canned soup to mainland China.
The Chinese people are a little bit conservative. They prefer to adopt the brands which are already out there especially those already circulating in the Hong Kong market. Another behavioral issue which Campbell Soup Company must put into consideration is the fact that most Chinese nationals prefer the traditional homemade soup which they have traditionally eaten with rice. All the misconception which would make the Chinese people not to buy canned soup is only because they have misgivings about the contents and flavor of the soup inside.
The behavioral aspect derived in this is that the Chinese people are a little bit cautious with what they buy and therefore for them to be induced to buy the canned soup, they must be convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the soup which is canned is actually the right soup they wanted in the first place. This would mean that Campbell Company starts off its marketing strategies in familiar territories with the natural home-made soups and then gradually graduate to the canned soup. The canned soup can first be given out as samples to those who buy the natural soup. With time then, they realize the convenience that comes with the canned soups.
While introducing these soup varieties into China, the marketers should also put into consideration the fact that change is slowly coming to the masses and more and more people are likely to become flexible with their tastes in future and therefore, a variety of the flavors in tandem with local tastes and ingredients are likely to capture more clients.
Question 2. The buyer behavior variables which are most likely to influence customer preference for soup flavors
Buyers prefer soups with ‘fresh ingredients’. Whenever the soup is labeled as made from fresh ingredients, it sells on itself.
Even if it is canned, the buyer gets the feeling that he/she is getting quality for money spent. The freshness of the ingredients used also makes the soup to appear to be ‘more real’ in the eyes of the buyers than those which are not labeled to have been made from fresh ingredients. The other issue is that of identity. Buyers tend to prefer a product which they can relate with in one way or the other. Even if it is exotic but uses locally available ingredients, the people will like it. In this respect, there is a pattern of customer behavior where commodities that are seen to be local and therefore linking in some aspects with the locals, are easy to market and sell. If the soup made by Campbell Company, makes use of local ingredients or are even made in a similar way the locals make their soup, they are more likely to identify with it, self-own the brand and make it a habit of buying it regularly.
The type of ingredients that individual consumers prefer also determines which soup flavors the individuals are willing and ready to purchase. There are those who like the soups when they are spiced up with ginger or even hot pepper. It is therefore worth saying that the cultural setting of people plays a significant role in determining people’s preferences for soup flavors. Modernization has seen more and more world population adopt different eating style. More and more people are finding it appropriate to eat something while walking around at work or just across the streets. This calls for sale of products like soups in convenient packages hence canning. Ones a population has been influenced by the rapid changing culture of eating while walking or carrying food and drinks to the office, the person may no be in a position to start making choices depending on the time, desire, price and packaging.
Question 3. Does the type of consumer problem solving process vary from one culture to another when it comes to buying soup?
Yes. First of all, the civilization or modernization process, also responsible for the tastes and preferences of soups, takes place in relatively different pace in different parts of the globe. There are those communities which still prefer the traditional tastes but some don’t. The perennial American favorite of chicken noodle soup is for instance loathed by the people in Argentina who prefer split pea soup. This is mainly due to the different levels of health cautiousness exhibited by different people. The types of flavors the soup lovers of Poland prefer are for instance very different from the soup that people in Hong Kong or Mexico like. Different cultural basis influence people’s choices and therefore the patterns of solving their problems with the available varieties cannot be the same.
There are those who would prefer to take some flavor just out of curiosity and in sampling the available varieties. Others would prefer some flavors to others simply because they believe that it gives them more health benefits than the remaining. In this sense, it would be logical to assert that the utility value of soup differ for different persons and in different cultures. Others also just take the soup because culturally, they have been taking soups and wouldn’t mind trying out the new canned types. In some cases, the problem solving process would be merely establishing the fundamentals that specific people consider while taking soup while in others, the process might include pricing analysis as well as cultural practices in regards to consumption of soups.