Essay: Factors that influence consumer behaviour

By | April 27, 2011

Sample Essay

Branding & Brand personality

Consumers do not make their purchasing decisions in a vacuum. Their decisions are greatly influenced by a variety of factors. They include:  social, cultural personal and psychological factors (Quester et al 2007).

Cultural factors

Culture is the most basic determinant of a person’s wants and behaviour. Human behaviour is largely acquired through learning. Children growing up in a society acquire sets of values, behaviours and preferences through socialization processes. Some of the values that can be acquired include achievement and success, progress, material comfort, independence, efficiency, practicality, activity, external comfort, youthfulness, and humanitarianism (Saxena et al 2002). Every society has different cultures, and cultural influence on consumer behaviour vary from society to society and from country to country. Each culture has smaller subcultures with group of people who have shared value systems that is based on situations and experiences. Subcultures include nationalities, religious and racial groups and demographic regions. Many subcultures create crucial market segments. Societies also have social classes and divisions whose members have common values, interests and behaviours (Ratnehwar, Mick and Huffman 2000).

Social factors

Consumer behaviour is also affected by social factors like families, roles, groups and status. A person’s behaviour is greatly influenced by groups that have direct influence on that person. Some of the most common primary groups are families, friends, neighbours, associates and co-workers. Other groups like religious groups, professional associations and labour unions are secondary, more formal and have less regular interaction. Family members can greatly influence consumer behaviour (Ratnehwar, Mick and Huffman 2000). The family is the most crucial buying organization society. Marketers have an interest in the roles and influences of the husband, wife and children on the buying of various products and services. Different people have different positions in many groups, families, clubs and organizations. The positions in each group can be defined in terms of roles and status. For instance Mr. “X” plays the role of father and husband in the family, and in his organization he plays the role of the managing director. The roles comprises of the activities that a person is expected to perform in relation to the people around them (Quester et al 2007).

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