What is final consumer? Definition and examples?

A final consumer may be either a person or entity that uses or consumes something or an advertising strategy. When it refers to somebody, they consume something. They do not buy it and then sell it on or give it to someone. We call that consumer the ultimate consumer. As a type of strategy promotion, it focuses on the ultimate consumer of a product or service.

The final consumer is the distribution channel’s last point. Sellers can reach this consumer directly or via multiple levels of channels.

Dictionaries and other sources define ‘final consumer’ either as a promotion strategy or the ultimate user/consumer of a product or service. Most of them have either one or the other definition. MBASkool.com appears to be the only one with both meanings.

MBASckool.com has the following definitions of the term:

“1. A final consumer is the last point in a distribution channel. The final consumer can be reached directly or through multiple levels of channels in between the manufacturer and the end consumer.”

“2. It is a type of strategy promotion that is primarily focused on the end users of the products and services.”

The final consumer consumes final goods, i.e., consumer goods.

Final consumer
As the image shows, sometimes the buyer (purchasing agent) and final consumer are different entities.

Ultimate or final consumer

When the final consumer means the person, group, or entity that ends up consuming something, we can also say ‘ultimate consumer.’

We call the buyer of something the ‘purchasing agent.’ The ultimate consumer is not necessarily always the purchasing agent, i.e., the one who buys something.

Baby food

Let’s look at the baby food market. Mary Smith goes out and buys baby food. However, she does not consume it. Amanda Smith, her 12-month-old baby, consumes it.

In this case, Mary is the purchasing agent (buyer) and Amanda is the final consumer.

Video game console

Let’s imagine that Jane Robinson, a mother, goes out shopping for Christmas presents. Her son, Jacob Robinson, is eleven years old.

Jacob has told his mother that he would like a video game console device for his Christmas present.

Jane arrives at the store and sees that they sell the Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation, and XBox.

Jane thinks the PlayStation is much nicer than the other two. However, Jacob has told her many times that he wants the Nintendo Switch.

If price is not a determining factor, and Jane is like most parents, she will get what Jacob wants.

She might decide differently if, for example, Jacob’s choice was triple the price of the other two. However, in this case, prices are not that different.

In this situation, Jane is the purchasing agent, and Jacob is the final consumer.

Identifying the final consumer

For marketing executives, it is crucial to know who the ultimate consumers are. It is vital to know because they are the ones who drive sales.

On whom should video console sellers focus their advertising? Should they focus on Jane or Jacob? Clearly, they must target Jacob because he is the final consumer.

Advertising that targets Jane will not push up sales as much as advertising that targets Jacob.

Knowing who to target in the baby food market is more difficult. A baby cannot speak and is more difficult to target.

However, what if a baby is sitting in a supermarket trolley? Couldn’t she indicate to her mother which food she likes the most? Yes, she could, and with each passing month, she would get better at it.

We can also use the term ‘consumer’ on its own to mean ‘final consumer.’