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‘ Consumer behaviour studies how individuals, groups and organisations, select, buy, use and dispose of goods, services, ideas or experiences to satisfy their needs and desires.’ (Kotler)
The buying process Psychological Factors Social Factors Demographic factors Behavioural Factors/Purchase situation Awareness of needs and wants Information search Setting criterion and evaluating alternative solutions Purchase decision Purchase Post purchase evaluation Postpone decision Routinised response The buying process is a ‘problem solving’ process.
Consumers motivations for purchasing a product are often
Complex and are not visible or discernable not only to
Marketers but often to consumers themselves.
Marketers can make consumers aware of needs by using
Various stimuli . (bad breath, body odour)
Needs change across life stages and are also influenced by
Psychological and social factors.
How are problems (needs) recognised? The ‘means-end chain’ (Gutman, Peter, et al) Weight management programme Exercises for Weight loss Body toning Better diet Can wear trendy clothes Look good Feel energetic Have a good social life Feel confident Feel positive
At this stage the consumer searches for solutions to her problem/
How much search a consumer undertakes depends on
-urgency of problem
-how much information she already has
-Ease of obtaining information
-time available to conduct search
-level of involvement in the purchase decision
The consumer may conduct an
-internal search: recall past experiences/info on product
-external search: friends, relatives, magazines, TV, newspaper, etc.
How do consumers process information?
Receiving information – attention
Storing and retrieving information – comprehension and integration
Evaluation of alternatives
Giving weightage to product attributes
Trade offs between attributes given limited resources
Salient and determinant attributes
At this stage consumers form attitudes towards the product
Evaluation influenced by social and psychological factors
During this process product solutions are divided into sets:
Marketing communication influences the evaluation process.
Purchase decision and actual purchase
After evaluating alternative consumers may discontinue the
Buying process or take a decision to purchase.
Purchase decision may be influenced by
-attitudes of others
Purchase decision is essentially about ‘product’ and ‘brand’ but
There are important sub decisions such as: vendor, quantity, timing
Post purchase evaluation Post purchase evaluation can lead to a feeling of satisfaction or Dissatisfaction. Feelings of dissatisfaction in the period immediately after Purchase are often the result of a phenomenon called ‘cognitive Dissonance’.
Information processing as well as decision making is affected by the following:
Age (‘physical’ and ‘psychological’ ?)
Income (spell length in a particular income category)
Family size and stage in life cycle
Impact of demographic factors cannot be isolated from other factors
Social factors-Social Class
Social Classes are permanent divisions in society wherein people in the same class share similar values, lifestyles, interests, wealth, status education and behaviour .
Income Education Occupation Family income, occupation Interactions Possessions Each social class has a particular status ascribed to it based on its life Style and positive or negative estimations of honour given to each Class. This influences consumption.
Social factors -Family
Many products are purchased for the family as a consumption unit
Buying decisions are heavily influenced by family
Members who may play a variety of roles (Initiator, influencer,
Decider, buyer, user)
A family is a ‘group of people who are related by blood, marriage
Or adoption who reside together’
Family influence in the buying process is dependent on the extent of
Cohesion and communication within a family
Family influences not only product/brand choice but also vendor,
Quantity and timing decisions.
Social Factors – Reference Groups A reference group is a person or a group of people that influence a buyers values, attitudes and behaviour. Reference groups reduce risk of purchase and consumption and are A trusted source of product/brand information as compared to other Sources.
A reference group exerts influence in 3 ways:
Conformance: the group frames norms of behaviour which
Includes consumption of products and individuals are expected to
Conform to group norms.
Reference groups – Contnd. 2. Information: Providing information on product/brand benefits and Criterion for evaluation (experts) 3. Aspirations: Sometimes buyers are influenced by a group to which They do not belong but aspire to belong to. (filmstars, sports persons) Buyers may simultaneously belong to several reference groups and Marketers have to find out which one yields more influence for their Product. Marketers also want to know the type of influence exerted by the Reference group and profile of the person/s (opinion leaders) Exerting this influence. Opinion leaders are early adopters of the Product who have a lower risk perception of product purchase and Usage.
Culture Culture is a set of values, artifacts, symbols and norms that help Individuals communicate with each other and interpret and evaluate Each other’s behaviour. Influences: Race, religion, region, nation Culture Abstract elements: Values, Norms, Rituals, symbols Material elements: Artifacts, materials, technology Cultural factors influence every stage of the buying process.
Psychological factors Learning: It is a relatively permanent change in behaviour Resulting from past experience. It influences the way a person Perceives the world around her in terms of people, objects Their context. (I-pod, search engines). Attitudes/beliefs A positive experience of product purchase and usage results in Positive reinforcement and vice versa. Marketers through their Marketing mix want to influence learning.
Understand the context (environment) in which decisions are
2. Provide stimuli to create a favourable response
3. Influence the process of cognition (problem solving)
Decision making in the buying process
Decision making in the buying process depends on the degree of involvement in the buying situation
‘ Involvement’ is determined by
-functional importance of product
-financial importance of the product
-Perceived risk of purchase
-emotional value attached to product category
-social significance of product
Types of buying decisions
Depending on the level of ‘involvement’, buying decisions can be categorised as :