Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge assignment

Published: 2021-10-04 02:40:16
essay essay

Category: Retail, Chocolate

Type of paper: Essay

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Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge was designed to be a high-end, upscale chocolate shop, similar to Godiva. Unlike Godiva, however, Ethel’s chocolates are meant to be eaten on site and accompanied by hot chocolate or tea. According to the company website, a simple chocolate bar is priced starting at $10, a far cry from the $0.79 one would pay for a Hershey’s bar. While very little thought usually goes into purchasing candy, purchasing chocolate at Ethel’s does require decision-making on the part of the consumer. The first step is the consumer’s level of involvement, which is high for luxury items. The consumer could decide to pick up an inexpensive chocolate bar at a convenience store, or to experience Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge – for a price. High-involvement decisions are made on products which are visible to others. Being seen at Ethel’s speaks of money to spare, a rarity in the current economic climate. While there is little personal or economic risk in buying chocolate, there is a social risk of exclusion if the consumer decides that Ethel’s prices are a bit too high. Ethel’s is an indulgence for only those who can afford to do so.

There are three factors which will influence a customer to purchase chocolate at Ethel’s, and they are personal, psychological and social. The personal decision stems from an individual’s own tastes, age, sex, race and other details. Ethel’s is currently located in Illinois and Nevada exclusively. The Illinois locations are the high-end areas, such as Michigan Avenue. A potential customer would choose to patronize one of these locations for one of two reasons. The first reason is that the consumer is already a part of this environment which includes routinely purchasing luxury items as a part of regular spending. The second reason is that the customer aspires to be a part of the world in which $10 chocolate bars are not considered outrageous. The second reason leads into the next factor, which are the psychological factors of consumer buying behavior. Aspiring to a different kind of life is a part of wanting to be loved and to belong, a part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Another psychological factor is perception. Many consumers perceive the purchase of high-end, luxury items to be a goal worth attaining, and often it is because these items are limited. Ethel’s is only available in two states, which makes it rather exclusive. The reason why it seems worth the price is because of the social factor. A consumer who discovers that an opinion leader is a customer of Ethel’s will find the shop that much more valuable. Individuals who come from an upper-middle-class family all the way through the elite will consider Ethel’s and shops like it to be the norm. Those who come from lower-income classes will see Ethel’s as something to aspire to, or a purchase to be made on a special occasion.

The core American value that leads to high-end purchases is stated at the end of the article: Americans want to have the best that money can buy. This is true for many reasons, one of the most important being a person’s social status. A consumer with a great deal of disposable income who comes from a higher social class is expected to have the best. For example, if Paris Hilton drove an old car, wore clothes from Target and costume jewelry, she would be a laughingstock. The same is true for most people: they want the best products that they can afford, and it isn’t considered unreasonable to go into debt in order to have these items. Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge is a place for consumers to indulge on chocolate, the atmosphere of being in an exclusive environment, and the temporary feeling of accomplishment that comes with making an expensive purchase.
Works Cited:
Chozick, Amy, and Martin. "A Place for Cocoa Nuts?." Wall Street Journal (2005): B1, B3.
"Ethel's Chocolate." Ethel's Chocolate Lounge. 2009. Mars, Inc.. 11 Jan 2009 .

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