1. Smartphones are important tools for contemporary communication. They provide plenty of computing power on the go, enabling productivity. Since their introduction a few years ago, they have gained popularity with the world’s people. Currently, smartphones are in the growth stage. There are various factors explaining this. First, the sales are growing at an increasing rate. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the IDC reported a 36% growth on the global smartphone sales. Similarly, the growth stage is characterized by an increase in the number of competitors. Initially, the main smartphone manufacturers were RIM and Nokia. Since then, more manufacturers like LG, Sony and Samsung have ventured into the smartphone market.

During the growth stage, emphasis is on aggressive brand advertising, and building brand loyalty. Samsung and its Galaxy series provide a good example. With reference to the product life cycle, smartphones should shift to the maturity and decline stages. During the maturity stage, sales will increase at a decreasing rate, signifying near saturation of the market. More product promotion is needed at this stage, to differentiate it from the competition. A decline stage is signified by long drops in sales volumes. Here, less marketing is carried out as the organization phases out the product in question.

  1. There are a number of luxury vehicle manufacturers in the world. The most notable are Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz. In the Executive car segment, they compete with their A6, 5-series and E-class models, respectively. Audi’s base price A6 model costs around $41,700. The base price for the BMW 5-series is fixed at $50,425. On the other hand, the base price for a Mercedes E-class is $52,825. In their marketing strategy, Mercedes Benz targets an audience that prefers more luxury in a vehicle. Consequently, the company offers more refinement at a higher price than the market.

BMW targets enthusiast drivers in its marketing activities. For instance, the company’s maxim is ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure.’ At the price, BMW offers the 5-series with various refinements that affect the driving experience. For instance, a more responsive engine and good acceleration are offered. On the other hand, Audi offers a cross between performance and luxury, targeting reliability. Similarly, it offers the best in class technology, inside the A6 vehicle, such as its onboard computer’s integration with other devices.

  1. An evoked set can be described as the brands that a prospective consumer is aware of, as he/she proceeds to make a purchase. Because of the vast number of products sold today, consumers usually reduce their choice to a limited set. This is based on their experience with the product and their exposure to it. For a brand to be included in an evoked set, it has to be recognized in the environment or by being recalled from a consumer’s memory.

There are various benefits for a product to be part of a consumer’s evoked set. First, it builds brand loyalty. The relationship between a company and its customers is important in driving sales. For instance, consumers may keep on buying the brand in the future, as well as recommend it to friends. Similarly, being part of an evoked set is necessary for capturing greater market share. This is attributed to more brand visibility. Finally, a consumer’s evoked set is closely related to brand image and psychographic segmentation. Therefore, being part of an evoked set enables companies to position their products even closer to their customers.

  1. Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist, developed the hierarchy of needs. The table describes various needs ranging from the lower level physiological needs (such as food), to the higher-level self-actualization needs. Consequently, he stated that lower level needs must be satisfied before the higher needs prove useful. The various needs are useful to marketers. They enable them to target consumers better.

The need to be heard and listened to is part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is a high-level need grouped as part of the esteem needs. The aforementioned need is closely related to recognition. As a result, it becomes relevant to products and marketing. Marketers often translate such needs to alternative wants. Once an individual has satisfied the lower needs, the higher ones are approached. For instance, once an individual is relatively successful, he/she may purchase a status symbol such as a luxury car. Similarly, products need to be oriented towards the need for recognition by some consumers. Once such a product is owned, the consumer may attain their self-actualization needs.

  1. Human beings have a few critical needs. The other needs come after satisfaction of the fundamental ones. The rich brother described in the excerpt does not need several high-end vehicles for his existence. By purchasing the expensive cars, he is satisfying his need for status. The vehicles will give him recognition and allow him to stand out from the crowd. Similarly, buying the vehicles allows him to pursue his needs for self-development and realization. He will no longer worry about owning a high-end vehicle. On Maslow’s pyramid, the rich brother is placed at the top, on the self-actualization level.

From the readings, it is seen that marketers can integrate human needs and prospective wants. For instance, basic needs such as food can be satisfied by a simple meal. However, when a prospective consumer faces hunger, marketers scale the consumer’s want to a higher level. This enables them to convince the consumer to purchase unnecessary meals such as the Big Mac. Similarly, high-end vehicle manufacturers market their products as status symbols. They develop a want for the consumers, in relation to the consumers’ esteem needs.


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