A Consumer's Buying Behavior
A consumer's buyer behavior is influenced by four major factors; cultural, social, personal, and psychological factors. These factors cause consumers to develop product and brand preferences. Although many of these factors cannot be directly controlled by marketers, understanding of their impact is essential as marketing mix strategies can be developed to appeal to the preferences of the target market.
When purchasing any product, a consumer goes through a decision process. This process consists of up to five stages; problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post purchase behavior. The length of this decision process will vary, ranging from a shorter routine response behavior, to limited problem solving and a more comprehensive extensive problem solving. A consumer may not act in isolation in the purchase, but rather may be influenced by any of several people in various roles. The number of people involved in the buying decision increases with the level of involvement and complexity of the buying decision behavior.
Consumers buyer behavior and the resulting purchase decision is strongly influenced by cultural, social, personal and psychological characteristics. An understanding of the influence of these factors is essential for marketers in order to develop suitable marketing mixes to appeal to the target customer.
CULTURAL factors include a consumers culture, subculture and social class. These factors are often inherent in our values and decision processes.
SOCIAL factors include groups (reference groups, aspirational groups and member groups), family, roles and status. This explains the outside influences of others on our purchase decisions either directly or indirectly.
PERSONAL factors include such variables as age and lifecycle stage, occupation, economic circumstances, lifestyle (activities, interests, opinions and demographics), personality and self concept. These may explain why our preferences often change as our `situation' changes.
PSCHOLOGICAL factors affecting our purchase decision include motivation (Maslow's hierarchy of needs), perception, learning, beliefs and attitudes.
Other people often influence a consumers purchase decision. The marketer needs to know which people are involved in the buying decision and what role each person plays, so that marketing strategies can also be aimed at these people. (Kotler et al, 1994).
initiator - the person who first suggests or thinks of...