a. Cultural Influences
CULTURE – the set of values, norms, attitudes, and other
meaningful symbols that shape human behavior and the
artifacts, or products, of that behavior as they are transmitted
from one generation to the next.
Elements of Culture:
Characteristics of Culture:
•Culture is pervasive.
•Culture is functional – gives order to society
•Culture is learned – from families and friends
•Culture is dynamic – it adapts to changing needs and an
A culture can be divided into SUBCULTURE –
a homogeneous group of people who share
elements of the overall culture as well as
cultural elements unique to their own group.
Once marketers identify subcultures, they
can design special marketing to serve their
SOCIAL CLASS – a group of people who are considered nearly
equal in status or community esteem, who regularly socialize
among themselves both formally and informally, and who
share behavioral norms.
Marketers are interested in social class for two (2) main
•It often indicates which medium to use for advertising; and
•Knowing what products appeal to which social classes can
help marketers determine where to distribute their products.
b. Social Influences
Many consumers seek out opinions of others to reduce their
search and evaluation effort or uncertainty, especially as the
perceived risk of the decision increases.
Consumers interact socially with the following:
1. REFERENCE GROUP – consists of all the
formal and informal groups that influence
the buying behavior of an individual.
(face to face
1.A DIRECT – face to face membership
• Primary Membership Group – a reference group with
which people interact regularly in an informal, face-to-face
manner, such as family, friends, and co-workers.
• Secondary Membership Group – a reference group with
which people associate less consistently and more formally
than a primary membership group, such as clubs,
professional group, or religious group.
1.B INDIRECT – non-membership group.
• Aspirational Reference Group – a group that someone
would like to join. To form this group, a person must at
least conform to the norms of that group. Norm consists of
values and attitudes deemed acceptable by the group.
• Non-aspirational Reference Group – a.k.a. ‘dissociative
group’, influences our behavior when we try to maintain
distance from them.
For marketers, reference groups have three (3) important
a) They serve as info-sources and
b) They affect an individual’s aspiration
c) Their norms either constrain or
stimulate consumer behavior.
2. OPINION LEADER – a.k.a. ‘group leader’, a person who
3. FAMILY – is the most important social institution for many
consumers, strongly influencing values, attitudes, self-concept,
and buying behavior
The family is responsible for the Socialization Process – the
passing down of cultural values and norms to children.
Family members assume a variety of roles in the purchasing
Roles of Family Members:
• Initiator – suggest, initiate, or plant the seed for the
• Influencers – are those members of the family whose
opinions are valued.
• Decision Maker – is the family member who actually makes
the decision to buy or not to buy.
• Purchaser – is the one who actually exchanges money for
• Consumer – is the actual user.
purchase situations along with the
distribution of consumer and decisionmaker roles among family members.
c. Individual Influences
A person’s buying decisions are also influenced by personal
characteristics that are unique to each individual such as:
1. GENDER – physiological differences between men and
women result in different needs, such as health and beauty
products. Trends in gender marketing are influenced by the
changing roles of men and women in society.
2. AGE and FAMILY LIFE CYCLE STAGE – how old a consumer
generally indicates what products he/she may be interested in
Family Life Cycle is an orderly series of
stages through which consumers’ attitudes
and behavioral tendencies evolve through
maturity, experience, and changing income
Marketers often define their target markets in terms of family
life cycle such as:
•Young married couples with children, and
•Middle-aged married couples with children
PERSONALITY is a way of organizing and
grouping the consistencies of an individual’s
reactions to situations.
SELF-CONCEPT – a.k.a. ‘self-perception’, is how consumers
perceive themselves in terms of attitudes, perceptions, beliefs,
and self-evaluation. Self-concept combines the following:
a.Ideal Self-image – the way an individual would like to be
b.Real Self-image – how an individual actually perceives him or
Consumer seldom buy products that jeopardize their self-image.
d. Psychological Influences
These are factors that consumers use to interact with their
1. Perception – the process by which people select, organize,
and interpret stimuli into a meaningful and coherent picture.
People cannot perceive every stimulus in their environment thus,
• Selective Exposure – the process whereby
a consumer notices certain stimuli and
• Selective Distortion – a process whereby a
consumer changes or distorts info.that
conflicts with his/her feelings or beliefs.
• Selective Retention – a process whereby a
consumer remembers only that info.that
supports his/her personal beliefs.
2. Motivation – a driving force that causes a person to take
action to satisfy specific needs. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is
a method of classifying human needs and motivations into five
(5) categories in ascending order of importance:
3. Learning – a process that creates changes in behavior,
immediate or expected , through experience and practice. There
are two (2) types of learning:
•Experiential Learning – occurs when an experience changes
•Conceptual earning – not acquired through direct experience.
The following are ‘learning boosters’:
•Reinforcement – can be positive or
•Repetition – a key strategy in promotional
campaigns because it can lead to increased
4. Beliefs and Attitudes – both are closely linked to values.
Belief – is an organized pattern of knowledge that an individual
holds as true about his/her world.
Consumers tend to develop a set of beliefs about a product’s
attributes and then, through these beliefs, form a Brand Image –
a set of beliefs about a particular brand. In turn, the brand image
shapes consumers; attitudes toward the product.
Attitudes – is a learned tendency to
respond consistently toward a given
object, such as a brand.
Marketers must strive to change target consumers’ attitude
Change can be accomplished in three (3) ways:
1.Changing beliefs about the brand’s attributes;
2.Changing the relative importance of these beliefs; and
3.Adding new beliefs.