2. Chapter 2: Situational influences
Part 1: Consumer decision process
3. The next six chapters discuss the
consumer decision process
4. Chapter 2: Situational influences
Objectives – after studying this chapter you
1. Situations influence decisions
2. There are four main types of situations
3. The nature of situational influences
4. Situational influences can be categorised
into five classes
5. Situational influences have implications for
6. The usefulness of the person-situation
5. The Nature of Situational Influence
Situational influence includes
all those factors particular to a
time and place that do not
follow from a knowledge of the
stable attributes of the
consumer and the stimulus
and that have an effect on
Consumers often behave very
differently depending on
6. Situational influences
• Situations influence consumer behavior
– Four main types of situations
– Can be categorized according to five
– Implications for marketing strategy
7. The Nature of Situational Influence- a General Model
8. Four situations
• Communication situation
– Where? Alone or with others? Surrounding noise?
• Purchase situation
– Where? Alone or with others? In a hurry?
• Usage situation
– With guests or alone? For pleasure or for work?
• Disposal situation
– Before the next purchase? Trade-ins?
– After the purchase, e.g. packaging
9. The Nature of Situational Influences
The Communications Situation
The situation in which consumers receive information has
an impact on their behavior.
Marketers attempt to place
ads in appropriate media
contexts to enhance
Movie ads are strategically place so that
consumers see them on their way to
and from work 2-9
10. The Nature of Situational Influences
The Purchase Situation
The situation in which a purchase is made can influence
Marketers must adapt
strategies to the purchase
Home purchases occur in a
unique social situation.
To succeed, realtors must take
the opportunity to develop
11. Consumer behaviour is
12. The Nature of Situational Influences
The Usage Situation
Marketers need to understand the usage situations for
which their products are, or may become, appropriate.
Research indicates that expanded usage situation
strategies can produce major sales gains.
Classic: Arm and Hammer baking soda, where
many uses have been found and marketed resulting
in increased sales.
13. The Nature of Situational Influences
The Disposition Situation
Consumers must frequently dispose of products or product
Disposal can create significant
social problems as well as
opportunities for marketers.
Some consumers consider ease
of disposition an important
Appliances at a dump in the 2-13
14. Role of situation in consumer
15. Five dimensions of
1. Physical surroundings
2. Social surroundings
3. Temporal perspectives
4. Task definition
5. Antecedent states
16. Examples of physical surrounds
• Store location
• Interior decor
• Temperature (air-conditioning or heating)
• Choice provided
(by product category or across the
17. Situational Characteristics and
Atmospherics is the sum of all the physical features of
a retail environment.
Atmospherics influences consumer judgments of
the quality of the store and the store’s image.
Atmosphere is referred to as servicescape when
describing a service business such as a hospital,
bank or restaurant.
18. Typology of service environments
19. Situational Characteristics and
Certain colors and color characteristics create feelings of
excitement and arousal which are related to attention.
Brighter colors are more
arousing than dull ones.
Warm colors such as
reds and yellows are
more arousing than cool
colors such as blues and
20. Situational Characteristics and
There is increasing evidence that odors can affect consumer
shopping. Several aroma studies have found the following:
1. A scented environment produced a greater intent to revisit
the store, higher purchase intention for some items, and a
reduced sense of time spent shopping.
2. A pleasantly scented environment enhanced brand recall
and evaluations particularly for unfamiliar brands.
21. Situational Characteristics and
Music influences consumers’ moods, and in turn, influences a
variety of consumption behaviors.
Firms exist to develop music programs to meet the
unique needs of specific retailers.
An emerging trend is having music more in the
foreground so it becomes part of the shopping experience
and drives store image.
22. Impact of background music
on restaurant patrons
23. Situational Characteristics and
Most consumers find feelings of crowding to be unpleasant
•Less time in the store and less buying
•Faster decisions and less use of information
Crowding can lead to less satisfactory purchases, unpleasant
shopping, and reduced likelihood of returning to the store.
Marketers need to design outlets to reduce crowding
24. Impact of physical density (crowding) on shopper
25. Situational Characteristics and
Social surroundings are the other individuals present in the
Social influence is a significant force.
Individuals tend to comply with group expectations,
particularly when the behavior is visible.
Shopping is a highly visible activity.
The use of many publicly consumed brands are
subject to social influences.
26. Examples of social surroundings
• Types of customers in the store
• Queues and crowding
• Whether the consumer is likely to be known
• Whether there are high-profile
people/celebrities shopping at that store
• Whether the product will be consumed
privately or in the presence of others
27. Effect of social situation on desired
28. Situational Characteristics and
Embarrassment is a negative emotion influenced both by the
product and the situation.
Certain products are more
embarrassing than others, and
Embarrassment is driven by the
presence of others.
For extremely sensitive products,
strategies include home delivery
29. Situational Characteristics and
Temporal perspectives deal with the effect of time on
Limited purchase time often
Internet shopping is growing
rapidly as a result of the time
pressures felt by consumers.
30. Examples of temporal influences
• Whether the product is seasonal
• Whether the product is urgently required
(snack between lectures)
• Time available for shopping limited/excess
(the product may be an excuse for shopping)
• How long the previous product lasted or was
expected to last
31. Temporal perspective of purchase
32. Situational Characteristics and
Task definition is the reason the
consumption activity is occurring.
Major distinction between
purchases for self versus gift.
Consumers give gifts for many
•to elicit return favors
33. Examples of task influences
• Is the product utilitarian or used as a status
• Is it a gift or for oneself?
• Must the product be long-lasting/tough?
(e.g. an everyday watch)
(e.g. a dress watch)
• Is the product intended for several uses?
(e.g. a family computer for study and internet
34. Buying factors in gift-giving purchase
35. Situational Characteristics and
Antecedent states are
features of the individual
person that are not lasting
36. Examples of antecedent states
– Feeling sad triggers buying sweets or seeing a
– Feeling rejected triggers buying games’ software
• Momentary conditions
– Can’t eat ice cream because teeth hurt
– Can’t buy a book because the credit card was left
– Buy more groceries because hungry before
37. Situational Characteristics and
Moods tend to be less intense than emotions and may
operate without the individual’s awareness.
Although moods may affect all aspects of a person’s
behavior, they generally do not completely interrupt
ongoing behavior as an emotion might.
Consumers actively manager their mood states,
often seeking situations, activities, or objects that will
alleviate negative moods or enhance positive ones.
38. Situational Characteristics and
As with moods, individuals attempt to manage their
momentary conditions, often through the purchase or
consumption of products and services.
Thus, a great deal of
marketing activity is directed
39. Using positive mood influences in
40. Ritual situations
• A ritual situation can be described as a set
of interrelated behaviours that occur in a
structured format, which have symbolic
meaning, and that occur in response to
• Important to marketers as they define
consumption, e.g. anniversaries, seasonal
• Traditions and rituals being continued and
developed, e.g. Valentine's Day
41. Applications in Consumer Behavior
The Bigelow tea ad
is a great example of
presenting a product
as a ritual.
Courtesy R.C. Bigelow: Agency: Mason, Inc.
42. Situational influences and
• Developing a situational influence matrix
• Positioning the product based on situation
• Segmenting the market based on usage
– in combination with other segmentation variable
– person/situation segmentation
43. Situational influence matrix
44. Usage situations and product positioning
45. Situational Influences and Marketing
Identify the different situations that might involve the
consumption of a product
Determine which products or brands are most likely to be
purchased or consumed across those situations.
One method of dealing with this question is to jointly
scale situations and products.
46. Situational Influences and Marketing
Five Steps for Developing Situation-Based Marketing Strategies
1. Use observational studies, focus group discussions, depth
interviews, and secondary data to discover the various usage
satiations that influence the consumption of the product.
2. Survey a larger sample of consumers to better understand and
quantify how the product is used and the benefits sought in the
usage situation by the market segment.
3. Construct a person-situation segmentation matrix.
4. Evaluate each cell in terms of potential.
5. Develop and implement a marketing strategy for those cells
that offer sufficient profit potential given your capabilities.
47. Situational Influences and Marketing
48. Topics covered in this chapter
• There are four types of situational influence
• The nature of situational influence
• Dimensions of situation
– Time (temporal)
• Situational influences and marketing