Lecture 23 role of family

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  • 1. CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR LESSON 23: ROLE OF FAMILY Introduction malls often involve multiple family members buying clothing The family is a major influence on the consumer behaviour of and accessories, something with a heavy dose of influence by its members. There are many examples of how the family family members-children may buy clothing paid for and influences the consumption behaviour of its members. A child approved of by parents, whereas teenagers may influence the learns how to enjoy candy by observing an older brother or clothing purchase of a parent. sister; learns the use and value of money by listening to and Regardless of how many family members are present when watching his or her parents. Decisions about a new car, a items are being purchased, the other family members play an vacation trip, or whether to go to a local or an out-of-town important role in the purchase. Just because Ling, wife and college are consumption decisions usually made within the mother of two young children, is responsible for buying food context of a family setting. The family commonly provides the for the family and act as an individual in the market does not opportunity for product exposure and trial, and imparts mean that her decisions are not influenced by the preferences consumption values to its members. As a major consumption and power of other family members. Even when people live unit, the family is also a prime target for the marketing of many single, they may prefer the same (or perhaps the opposite) style products and services. of furniture or brand of peanut butter as the family in which Learning Objectives they were raised. Although marketing communications are After studying this lesson you should be able to: usually directed to individuals, marketers should consider the consumption circumstances and the family structure before • Define and explain the concept of a traditional and non- deciding on specific communication or advertising methods to traditional family attract their segment.2 • Explain the role family plays in buying Let us now try to define a family. 1. The Family If you are in charge of marketing breakfast cereal in the United What is a Family? States, India, Japan, or Brazil, to whom should you gear your A family is a group of two or more persons related by blood, marketing program and advertising campaign? After determin- marriage, or adoption who reside together. The nuclear family ing whether the cereal, muesli (in Europe), or mealies (in Africa) is the immediate group of father, mother, and child(ren) living together. would be eaten hot or cold, you would ask who determines The extended family is the nuclear family, plus other relatives, such which brand of cereal will be purchased? Is it mothers, fathers, as grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, and parents-in-law. The teens, children, or some combination of these? Kix cereal in the family into which one is born is called the family of orienta- United States appeals to both children (tastes good) and tion, whereas the one established by marriage is the family of mothers (is nutritious) with its tagline “Kid tested, mother procreation. As mentioned in the opening scenario, some approved.” consumers are stretching the definition of family to include The importance of the family or household unit in consumer family pets, as recognized in the tagline of the PETsMART behavior arises for two reasons: logo and brand, shown in Figure 12.1 1. Many products are purchased by a family unit. What is a Household? 2. Individuals’ buying decisions may be heavily influenced by The term household is used to describe all person, both related other family members. and unrelated, who occupy a housing unit. There are significant How families or households make purchase decisions depends differences between the terms household and family even on the roles of the various family members in the purchase, though they are sometimes used interchangeably. It is impor- consumption, and influence of products. Household products like tant to distinguish between these terms when examining data. food and shampoo may be purchased by on person but The term household is becoming a more important unit of consumed by many, whereas personal care items, such as analysis for marketers because of the rapid growth in nontradi- cosmetics or shaving cream, might be purchase by an individual tional families and nonfamily households. Among nonfamily family member for his or her own consumption. Homes and households, the great majority consist of people living alone. cars, on the other hand, are often purchased by both spouses, The remaining nonfamily households include those consisting perhaps with involvement from children or other member of of elderly people living with nonfamily members, “Persons of the extended family. As Davis1 explains, “A husband may buy a Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters” (POSSLQs), friends station wagon, given the reality of having to transport four living together, and same sex couples. Any of these households children, despite his strong preference for sports cars,” and a may or may not include children. Families are the largest father may choose to ask him daughter and son about color and category of households may or may not include children. style before he and his wife purchase a car. Visits to shopping Families are the largest category of households, but nonfamily © Copy Right: Rai University 208 11.623.3
  • 2. households are growing faster. One way to avoid the problem Sociological Variables Affecting Families and CONSUMER BEHAVIOURof whether to study families or households is to simply use the Householdsterm consumer unit (CU) or minimal household unit (MHU). Marketers can understand family and household decisionsIt is easier and sometimes just as useful to avoid the distinc- better by examining the sociological dimensions of howtions between each group and refer to CU or MHU buying a le k o s me e i i n . hsociological fmiisma ec n u rd c s o s T r e ebhvo. eair3 variables that help explain how family’s function include cohesion, adaptability, and communication.Structural Variables Affecting Pause for Thought!!Families and Households Japanese “Smart” HomesFamily or household variables affect consumer purchasing, Have you ever woken up in the morning to wonder, “What’sStructural variables include the age of the head of household my blood sugar level today?” or gone to the store only toor family, marital status, presence of children, and employment wonder whether you need milk or not. In Japan, homeownersstatus. For example, consumer analysts have enormous interest will soon be able to run their homes, monitor their families,in whether families have children and how many they have. and measure the needs of the household with the touch of aChildren increase family demand for clothing, food, furniture, button.homes, medical care, and education, while they decrease demandfor many discretionary items, including travel, higher-priced By the year 2003, the Matsushita Electrical Industry Grouprestaurants, and adult clothing. hopes to market HII-Home Information Infrastructure-to families and households throughout Japan. HII is a systemOther structural changes affect the types of products that are that connects homes through fiber-optic cables to the vastmanufactured. For example, in Japan, high-tech companies have world outside, including the Internet, cable TV, hospitals, andformed a consortium to standardize technology that has been travel agents. The system revolves around an HII station-thedeveloped to monitor and manage households. Consumer in central nervous system that serves as a depository for reams ofFocus 12.1 focuses on how households in Japan may be run in information. Through screens in every room, occupants canthe future. monitor appliances throughout the house, check securityActivity 1 cameras, and contract cyberspace. The bedroom, for example,As a marketing consultant, you were retained by Walt Disney contains a medical consultation kit through which consumersCompany to design a study investigating how families make can type in their ailments and call the doctor, who then makes avacation decisions. Whom within the family, would you diagnosis based on the information submitted and electronicinterview? What kind of questions would you ask? How would access to medical history from the household system.you assess the relative “power” of each family member in At the heart of the system is a wireless terminal that permitsmaking vacations-related decisions? remote access to the house. Consumers, therefore, can monitor household needs, such as what is in the refrigerator or in the pantry. These homes also feature smart toilets, which weigh individuals, monitor body fact, and measure sugar in the urine. And special high-tech perks inside the house cause lights to turn on when someone enters a room and allow family members to monitor each other’s movements, activities, blood pressure, weight, and schedules inside the home. For U.S. consumers, the nearest equivalent may be a home management system designed by IBM that allows people to operate all electronic devices using a universal remote control Source : “Japanese ‘Smart’ Homes Know All, “The Columbus Dispatch (April 28, 1999). 2F. • Cohesion is the emotional bonding between family members. It measures how close to each other family members feel on an emotional level. Cohesion reflects a sense of connectedness to or separateness from other family members. • Adaptability measures the ability of a family to change its power structure, role relationships, and relationship rules in response to situational and developmental stress. The degree of adaptability shows how well a family can meet the challenges presented by changing situations. • Communication is a facilitating dimension, critical to movement on the other two dimensions. Positive © Copy Right: Rai University11.623.3 209
  • 3. communication skills (such as empathy, reflective listening, Traditionally, family is defined as two or more persons relatedCONSUMER BEHAVIOUR supportive comments) enable family members to share by blood, marriage, or adoption who reside together. In a more their changing needs as they relate to cohesion and dynamic sense, the individuals who constitute a family might be adaptability. Negative communication skills (such as described as members of the most basic social group who live double messages, double binds, criticism) minimize the together and interact to satisfy their personal and mutual needs. ability to share feelings, thereby restricting movement in Though families sometimes are referred to as household, not the dimensions of cohesion and adaptability. all households are families. For example, a household might Understanding whether family members are satisfied with include individuals who are not related by blood, marriage, or family purchase requires communication within the family. 4 adoption, such as unmarried couples, family friends, room- Family Celebrations and Gift Giving mates, or boarders. However, within the context of consumer Marketers have used sociological research on “resilient” families- behaviour, households and families usually are treated as those that are better able to negotiate their way through synonymous, and we will follow this convention. transitions and tragedies-because they affect consumer demand In India three types of families dominate: (1) the married for many products. Families that place more importance on couple, (2) the nuclear family and C3) the extended family. The family celebrations, family time and routines, and family simplest type o f family, in terms o f member, is the married traditions are more likely to develop resilient families.5 Though couple-a husband and a wife. As a household unit, the married family celebrations help families survive crises, they also fuel couple generally IS representative of new marrieds who have retail sales. Hanukkah and Christmas generate about 50 percent not yet started a family, and older couples who have already or more of annual retail sales (and an even higher percentage of raised their children. A husband and wife and one or more profits) for many retailers, making gift giving and family children constitute a nuclear family. This type of family is still holidays an important area of study. 6 In recent years, Halloween the cornerstone of family life. The nuclear family, together with has become the second most popular holiday in the United at least one grandparent living within the household, is called an States in terms of retail sales of gifts and home decorations- extended family. The three-generation family, which at one time two consumer behavior activities that convey a family’s holiday was most representative of the Indian family, has been spirit.7 Other holidays that are being celebrated more frequently declining because of a variety of family lifestyles. In particular, outside their countries of origin include Cinco de Mayo the incidence of the extended family has suffered because of the (Mexico), Kwanzaa (Africa), and Chinese New Year. geographic mobility that has become commonplace among Some consumer analysts have been warning retailers about the young people. dangers of relying too heavily on year-end holiday sales to meet Not surprisingly, which type of family is most “typical” can vary their sales and profit forecasts. Traditionally, some retailers rely considerably from culture to culture. For instance, in an on Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah to provide as much as individualistic society such as the United Sates, the nuclear half of their yearly sales.8 But changes in family and household family is most common. In a kinship culture (with structures can be blamed in part for the decline in overall holiday extended families) such as India, a family would commonly spending. An increase in the number of divorced parents forces include a head of household, married adult children, and children to split holidays between two households, taking some grandchildren. of the joy out of the celebrations and making the physical movement of large gifts more difficult. With households in 2. Functions of the Family many industrialized countries having fewer children, fewer gifts Four basic functions provided by the family are particularly need to be purchase. And families tend to buy the items they relevant to a discussion of consumer behaviour. These include need when they want them rather than wait to receive them as (1) economic well-being, (2) emotional support, (3) suitable gifts. This also makes it difficult for family members to buy family lifestyles, and (4) family-member socialization. gifts for me one another because many consumers (especially 45-to 60-year-olds) already have what they want.9 2.1 Economic Well-Being Providing financial means to its dependents is unquestionably a There has been a shift among some consumers away from the basic family function. How the family divides its responsibilities commercialization of the holidays and toward the religious and for providing economic well-being has changed considerably familial meaning of traditions and celebrations. Advertisements during the past 25 years. The traditional roles of husband as attempt to relate a family’s holiday celebrations to consumption economic provider and wife as homemaker and child rearer are as do in-store and shopping mall decorations. Figure 12.2 still valid. The majority of wives in our country are not shows how Duracell relates to the holidays in an ad, whereas employed outside the home and their husbands don’t share egift relates to consumers’ need to buy gifts throughout the year household responsibilities. The economic role of children has in Figure 12.3. changed. Today, even if some teenage children work, they rarely To determine how the family makes its purchase decisions and assist the family financially. Their parents are still expected to how the family affects the future purchase behaviour of its provide for their needs. But some of them get enough pocket- members, it is useful to understand the functions provided and money to decide their consumption of discretionary items. the roles played by family members to fulfill their consumption needs. © Copy Right: Rai University 210 11.623.3
  • 4. 2.2 Emotional Support 3. Consumer Socialization CONSUMER BEHAVIOURThe provision of emotional nourishment (including love, The aspect of childhood socialization that is most relevant toaffection, and intimacy) to its members is an important basic the study of consumer behaviour is consumer socialization,function of the contemporary family. In fulfilling this function, which is defined as the process by which children acquire thethe family provides support and encouragement and assists its skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to function asmembers in coping with personal or social problems. To make consumers. A variety of studies have focused on how childrenit easier for working parents to show their love affection and develop consumption skills. Many children acquire theirsupport for their children, greeting-card companies have been consumer behaviour norms through observation of theirmarketing cards especially for parent to give to their children. parents, who function as role models. While preadolescentIf the family cannot provide adequate assistance when it is children tend to rely on their parents and older siblings as theneeded, it may turn to a professional counselor or psychologist major sources of cues for basic consumption learning, adoles-as an alternative. For instance, in most communities, many cents and teenagers are likely to look to their friends for modelseducational and psychological centers are available that are of acceptable behaviour.designed to assist parents who want to help their children Shared shopping experiences (i.e., coshopping-when motherimprove their learning and communication skills, or generally, and child shop together) also give children the opportunity tobetter adjust to their environments. Likewise in urban areas acquire in-store skills. Possibly because of their more hurriedtutors are engaged since working couples may not have enough lifestyles, working mothers are more likely. to undertake cotime to teach their children at home. shopping with their children than are non-working mothers. Coshopping is a way of spending time with one’s childrenSuitable Family Lifestyles while at the same time accomplishing a necessary task.Another important family function in terms of consumer Consumer socialization also serves as a tool by which parentsbehaviour is the establishment of a suitable lifestyle for the influence other aspects to the socialization process. For instance,family. Upbringing, experience, and the personal and jointly- parents frequently use the promise or reward of material goodsheld goals of the spouses determine the importance placed on as a device to modify or control a child’s behaviour. A mothereducation or career, on reading, on television viewing, on the may reward her child with a gift if the child does something tofrequency and quality of dining out, and on the selection of please her, or she may withhold or remove it if the childother entertainment and recreational activities. Family lifestyle disobeys. Research conducted by one of the authors supportscommitments, including the allocation of time, greatly influence this behaviour-controlling function. Specifically, adolescentsconsumption patterns. For example, the increase in the number reported that their parent s frequently used the promise ofof married women working outside the home has reduced the chocolate candy as a means of controlling their behaviour (e.g.,time they have available for household chores, and has created a getting them to complete homework or to clean their rooms).market for convenience products and fast-food restaurants. Consumer socialization has two distinct components: (1)Also, with both parents working, an increased emphasis is Socialization directly related to consumption, such as theplaced on the notion of “quality time”, rather than the “quan- acquisition of skills and knowledge concerned with budgeting,tity of time” spent with children and other family members. ‘pricing, and brand attitudes; and (2) Socialization indirectlyRealizing the scarcity of quality family time, Marriott hotels related to consumption, such as the underlying motivationsfeature a variety of weekend packages targeted to couples and that spur a young man to purchase his first razor or a young girltheir children. to want her first bra. Both types of socialization are significant. The indirect component of consumer socialization is often ofSocialization of Children and Other Family Members most interest to marketers, who want to understand whyThe socialization of family members, especially young children, people buy their products. The direct component of consumeris a central family function. In large part, this process consists of socialization is often of greatest interest to academic consumerimparting to children the basic value and modes of behaviour researchers, who have broader goals of understanding allconsistent with the culture. These generally include moral and aspects of consumer behaviour.religious principles, interpersonal skills, dress and groomingstandard, appropriate manners and speech, and the selection of Adult Consumer Socializationsuitable educational and occupational or career goals. The socialization process is not confined to childhood; rather, itSocialization skills (manners, goals, values, and other qualities) is an ongoing process. It is now accepted that socializationare imparted to a child directly through instruction and indirectly begins in early childhood andthrough observation of the behaviour of parents and older extends throughout a person’s entire life. For example, when asiblings. Marketers often target parents looking for assistance in newly married couple establishes a separate household, theirthe task of socializing preadolescent children. adjustment to living and consuming together is part of thisIt is important to recognize that the socialization of young continuing process. Similarly, the adjustment of a retired couplechildren provides a foundation on which later experiences who decide to move to their native place is also part of thecontinue to build throughout life. These experiences are ongoing socialization process.reinforced and/or modified as the child grows into adolescence, Figure shown below presents a simple model of the socializa-the teenage years, and eventually into adulthood. tion process that focuses on the socialization of young children, © Copy Right: Rai University11.623.3 211
  • 5. but that can be extended to family members of all ages. Note 5. Family Life CycleCONSUMER BEHAVIOUR that the arrows run both ways between the young person and STAGES IN ECONOMIC LIKELY BUYING other family members, and between the young person and his FAMILY LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES BEHAVIOUR or her friends. This two-directional arrow signifies that social- CYCLE ization is really a two-way street, in which the young person is Bachelorhood Earning reasonable Buy, basic kitchen both socialized and influences those who are doing the (Young, single good salary, no equipment basic staying alone) financial burdens furniture, two wheeler, socializing. Supporting this view is research indicating that vacation with friends children of all ages often influence the opinions and behaviour Parenthood (young Better off financially, Buys baby food, toys, of their parents. married just attained though home diapers, chest & cough parenthood) purchases at peak, less medicines liquid assets, not able to save more. Post parenthood Financial position Concentrates on home (growing children or improved with wife improvements. Buy grown up children) working, probability more tasteful furniture, of home ownership car, home appliances, on the higher side). and magazines. Interested in vacation packages. Dissolution (retired Income though good, Buy more medicinal & lone surviving not interested in products ant other spouse) spending. At times products like the retired drastic cut in income people. Seeks more of is likely. attention, affection and security conscious. Fig. 25.2 Stages in family life Cycle Family Life Cycles Families pass through a series of stages that change them over time. This process historically has been called the family life cycle (FLC). The concept may need to be changed to house- Figure – 25.1 : model of consumer socialization hold life cycle (HLC) or consumer life cycle (CLC) in the Activity 2 future to reflect changes in society. However, we will use the Select three product categories and compare the brands you term FLC22 to show how the life cycle affects consumer prefer to those your parents prefer. To what extent are the behavior.23 preferences similar? Discuss the similarities in the context of consumer socialization. Family Life Cycle Characteristics The traditional FLC describes family patterns as consumers marry, have children, leave home, lose a spouse, and retire. These stages are described in Figure 12.6, along with consumer behaviors associated with each stage. But consumers don’t necessarily have to pass through all these stages-thy can skip multiple stages Figure 12.6 Consumer Activities Occurring in Various Life Cycles Young Singles Young singles may live alone, with their nuclear families, or with friends, or they may co-habitate with partners-translating into a wide range of how much disposable income is spent on furniture, rent, food, and other living expenses in this stage. Although earnings tend to be relatively low, these consumers usually don’t have many financial obligations and don’t feel the need to save for their futures or retirement. Many of them find themselves spending as much as they make on cars, furnishings for first residences away from home, fashions, recreation, alcoholic beverages, food away from home, vacations, and other products and services involved in the dating game. Some of these singles may have young children, forcing them to give up © Copy Right: Rai University 212 11.623.3
  • 6. some discretionary spending for necessities such as day care and entertainment than either couples with children or singles in CONSUMER BEHAVIOURbaby products. their age range. Not only do they have fewer expenses, these couples are more likely to be dual-wage earners, making it easierNewly Married Couples for them to retire earlier if they sav appropriately.Newly married couples without children are usually better offfinancially than they were when they were single, since they often Older Singleshave two incomes available to spend on one household. These Single, ago 40 or older, may be Single Again (ending marriedfamilies tent to spend a substantial amount of their incomes status because of divorce or death of a spouse) or Neveron cars, clothing, vacations, and other leisure activities. They also Married (because they prefer to live independently or becausehave the highest purchase rate and highest average purchases of they co-habitate with partners), either group of which may ordurable good (particularly furniture and appliances) and appear may not have children living in the household. Single Againto be more susceptible to advertising. families often find themselves struggling financially due to the high cost of divorce and the expense of having to raise a familyFull Nest I on one income. They often have to set up a new householdWith the arrival of the first child, parents being to change their (usually not as big as their previous home); buy furnishingsroles in the family, and decide if one parent will stay to care for accordingly; pay alimony and/or child support; and sometimesthe child or if they will both work and buy daycare services. increase travel expenditures if the children live in another city,Either route usually leads to a decline in family disposable state, or country. They also pay for clothing and leisure activitiesincome and a change in how the family spends its income. In conducive to meeting a future mate. On the other hand, manythis stage, families are likely to move into their first home; Never Married Single households are well-off financially sincepurchases furniture and furnishings for the child; buy a washer they never had to pay child-related costs and often live in smallerand dryer and home maintenance items; and purchase new homes than large families require. This group now has moreitems such as baby food, cough medicine, vitamins, toys, sleds, available income to spend on travel and leisure but feels theand skates. These requirements reduce families’ ability to save, pressure to save for the future, since there is no second incomeand the husband and wife are often dissatisfied with their on which to rely as they get older.financial position. Empty Nest IFull Nest II At this stage, the family is most satisfied with its financialIn this stage, the youngest child has reached school age, the position. The children have left home and are financiallyemployed spouse’s income has improved, and the other spouse independent allowing the family to save more. In this stageoften returns to part-or full-time work outside the home. discretionary income is spent on what the couple wants ratherConsequently, the family’s financial position usually improves, than on what the children need. Therefore, they spend on homebut the family finds itself consuming more and in larger improvements, luxury items, vacations, sports utility vehicles,quantities. Consumption patterns continue to be heavily food away from home, travel, second homes (or smaller butinfluenced by the children, since the family tends to buy large- nicer homes than were needed to house large families), andsized packages of food and cleaning suppliers, bicycles, music product for their grand children. This group is also morelessons, clothing, sports equipment, and a computer. Discount educated than generations in the past and are looking for undepartment stores (such as Costco and Sam’s Club) are popular education opportunities, including eco-tourism and computer-with consumers in this stage. related skills.Full Nest III Empty Nest IIAs the family grows older and parents enter their min-40s, their But this time, the income earners have retire, usually resulting infinancial position usually continues to improve because the a reduction in income and disposable income. Expendituresprimary wage earner’s income rises, the second wage earner is become health oriented, centering on such items as medicalreceiving a higher salary, and the children earn spending an appliances and health, sleep and digestion medicines. They mayeducation money from occasional and part-time employment. also move to climates more suitable to their medical require-The family typically replaces some worn pieces of furniture, ments. But many of these families continue to be active and inpurchases another automobiles, buys some luxury appliances, good health, allowing them to spend time traveling, exercising,and spends money on dental services (braces) and education. and volunteering. Many continue working part time to supple-Families also spend more on computers in this stage, buying ment their retirement and keep them socially involved.additional PCs fro their older children. Depending on wherechildren go to college and how many are seeking higher Solitary Survivoreducation, the financial position of the family may be tighter Solitary survivors be either employed or not employed. If thethan other instances. surviving spouse has worked outside the home in the past, he or she usually continues employment or goes back to work toMarried, No Kids live on earned income (rather than saving) and remain sociallyCouples who marry and do not have children are likely to have active. Expenditures for clothing and food usually decline inmore disposable income to spend on charities, travel, and this stage, with income spent on health care, sickness care, travel © Copy Right: Rai University11.623.3 213
  • 7. entertainment, and services, such as lawn care and house father – sometimes leaving them paying for one child’s weddingCONSUMER BEHAVIOUR cleaning. Those who are not employed are often on fixed while paying for another child’s daycare. The FLC helps explain incomes and may move in with friends to share housing how families change over time; what’s more, modified with expenses and companionship, and some may choose to re- market data, including individuals’ life stage, it is useful in marry. identifying core market targets. Activity 3 Retired Solitary Survivor Which of the five stages of the traditional family the cycle Retired solitary survivors follow the same general consumption constitute the most lucrative segment(s) for the following patterns as solitary survivors; however, their income may not be products and services: (a) telephone party lines, (b) a club Med as high. Depending on how much they have been able to save vacation, (c) Domino’s Pizza, (d) compact disc players, and (e) throughout their lifetimes, they can afford to buy a wide range mutual funds. Explain your answer. of products. But for many, spending declines drastically due to lack of need for many new products and higher medical expenses. These individuals have special needs for attention, affection, and security. based on their lifestyle choices. When reviewing this informa- tion, think about how contemporary developments such as divorce, smaller family size, and delayed age of marriage affect the consumption activities of these stages.24 The family lifecycle can be depicted graphically by using a curve similar to that of the product lifecycle. Figure 12.7 show shows how income, on average, changes during life and how saving behavior affects income in latter stages. As household leaders enter their 30s and 40s, often their income levels increase (because they begin to reach higher earning positions and two adults are working), but so do their spending levels (especially if they have children). This decreases their disposable income during these life stages, making it more difficult for them to save money or splurge on luxury items. It is projected that between 1997 and 2002 the number of U.S. households headed by people between the ages of 25 and 44 will decline by 1.7 million, to 43 million, while householders between the age of 45 and 64 will increase 5.5 million, to 37 million.25 Changes in life stage and family life cycle will affect the demand for products from home furnishings to travel. Marketers use the descriptions of these FLC stages when analyzing marketing and communication strategies for products and services, but they often add additional information about consumer markets to analyze their needs, identify niches, and develop consumer-specific marketing strategies. Marketers can add socioeconomic data (such as income, employment status, financial well-being, and activities) to family life stages to improve predictions about product choices and help explain further consumer activities.26 Figure 12.8 shows how marketers might accomplish this task with a matrix of specific demographic or lifestyle factors, such as delaying having children or not having them at all.27 The data resulting from this type of analysis permit a quantita- tive analysis of market sizes. Additional data can be collected concerning preferences, expenditures, and shopping behaviors of each segment to identify and help attract core customers in the life stage most profitable to the firm. Keep in mind that life stage can be different for different consumers. For example, according to federal statistics, the number of older, second- generation fathers (men who remarry and have second families later in life) is growing. 28 Though these men may be in their50s, their life stage is similar in many ways to that of a 30-year-old © Copy Right: Rai University 214 11.623.3
  • 8. Figure 12.8 Family Market Segmentation Analysis Matrix CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR Other Empl Activi Financial Family A oyme ties Where How FLC Stage Well- Income In ge nt Intere Live Active Being Househo Status sts ld? Young Singles Newly Married Couples Full Nest I Full Nest II Full Nest III Married, No Kids Older Singles Empty Nest I Empty Nest II Solitary Survivor Retired Solitary SurvivorFamily and Household SpendingFamily life cycle stage is the most important predictor of family 3. _____ is defined as the process by which children acquireor household spending. The latter years of the 1990s brought the skills, knowledge, attitudes and experiences necessary towith them economic growth and prosperity to many industrial- function as consumers.ized nations, including North America. At first glance, one a. Socialization of family membersmight think that consumer spending must have sky-rocketedduring this time-especially since the number of households b. Consumer socializationgrew and baby boomers had entered their peak spending years. c. Consumer behaviorBut when examined from a household standpoint, the analysis d. Household consumptionrevealed that the average American household spent cautiouslyduring this time even though unemployment levels were downand wage rates were up. In fact, it wasn’t until the last few years 4. Children develop consumption skills in different ways.of the decade that spending by individual households was Preadolescent children acquire their consumer behaviorrestored to the levels of 1987. The average household spend 13 norms mainly through:percent less of food away from home, 25 percent less on major a. observation of their parents and older siblings.appliances, and 15 percent less on clothing in 1997 than in b. looking to their friends for models of acceptable1987.29 Figure 12.9 shows how household spending changed for consumption behavior.12 major categories during the last decade of the 20th century. c. seeking a celebrity spokesperson’s endorsement of aWhen examining these numbers, analyze why you think product.spending changed by thinking about demographic, lifestyle, andfamily issues. d. trial and error.Activity 4 5. Which of the following products is not likely to be a brandTick the correct choice that is transferred intergenerationally?1. A family that has at least one of the grandparents living a. mayonnaise within the household is called a/an _____ family. b. coffee a. nuclear c. peanut butter b. in-law household d. running shoes c. extended d. expanded 6. “I still buy the brands that my grandmother and mother used to buy. I am scared to try anything else, for it will not2. The _____ is central to family function. The process meet the standards.” This shows the importance of includes imparting to children the basic values and modes _____. of behavior consistent with the culture. a. adult consumer socialization a. socialization of family members b. child consumer socialization b. consumer socialization process c. intergenerational socialization c. technical learning d. consumer behavior d. reward process © Copy Right: Rai University11.623.3 215
  • 9. 7. According to our text, which of the following is not one Points To RemeberCONSUMER BEHAVIOUR of the three main functions of the family? a. to provide economic well-being b. to provide a venue for consumer socialization c. to provide emotional support d. to provide a suitable lifestyle FAMILY 8. Which of the following is an indication that the economic role of children in the family has changed in today’s society in comparison to the previous generation? A family is a group of two or more a. Children are expected to take part in household chores. persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption who reside together. b. Children are expected to have jobs after high school. c. Children are expected to pay for their own entertainment, and to contribute to the cost of their education. d. Children are burdened with making brand decisions in all different categories of products. 9. A family’s upbringing, experience, importance of education, TV viewing, learning of computer skills, and frequency and quality of dining out, are all aspects of _____ that a family instills in its members. a. culture b. values c. lifestyle d. norms Key Terms • Family Types of Families • Family Life Cycle • The nuclear family is the immediate group • Consumer Socialization of father, mother, and child(ren) living • Adult Consumer Socialization together • Single-Parent Family • The extended family is the nuclear family, • Socialization of Family members plus other relatives, such as grandparents, • Traditional family life cycle uncles and aunts, cousins, and parents-in- • Families versus Households law © Copy Right: Rai University 216 11.623.3
  • 10. CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR Structural Variables Affecting Types of Families (’contd) Families and Households • Family of orientation is the family into • age of the head of household or family which one is born is called the • marital status • family of procreation is the one • presence of children, and established by marriage • employment status Sociological Variables Affecting Families and Households • Cohesion HOUSEHOLD • adaptability, and • communication. The term household is used to describe all person, both related and unrelated, who occupy a housing unit © Copy Right: Rai University11.623.3 217
  • 11. CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR Stages in family life Cycle Functions of the family (‘contd) • economic well-being • Older Singles • emotional support • Empty Nest I • suitable family lifestyles, and • Empty Nest II • family-member socialization. • Solitary Survivor • Retired Solitary Survivor Stages in family life Cycle • Young Singles • Newly Married Couples • Full Nest I • Full Nest II • Full Nest III • Married, No Kids © Copy Right: Rai University 218 11.623.3