Many different things affect how we behave. These are categorized by Kotler and Armstrong (2008) as:
1- Psychological Factors (motivation, perception, learning and attitudes)
2- Social Factors (reference groups, family, roles and status)
3- Cultural Factors (culture, subculture, social class )
4- Personal Factors (age and life-cycle stage, occupation, economic circumstances, lifestyle, personality and self-concept)
Cultural, social, personal, and psychological factors have a big impact on consumer purchasing. Most of the time, marketers have no control over these issues, but they still need to account for them.
1- Psychological Factors
These factors are difficult to measure but are powerful enough to influence a buying decision.
The psychological factors that affect purchasing behavior are:
Motives are driving forces that causes a person to take action to satisfy needs.
What motivates the consumer to purchase a product?
Basic needs, security needs that is medicines motivates the consumer to purchase a product.
It is a major factor that influence the consumer behavior. Consumer makes a meaningful image about the product. Customers perception towards products, package design, brand name may effect their buying behavior.
- Advertisements, promotions, customer reviews, social media feedback etc.
Example: Sensodyne is used for teeth sensitivity.
To change consumer behavior towards your product you need to educate them or giving away new information.
Example: Free sample , repetition of a advertising messages.
Every time customer purchase a product he would get a deeper knowledge through personal experience or getting reviews online.
Attitudes are the feelings of like or dislike towards an idea or object.
Understanding consumer’s attitude and beliefs become useful for marketers to design their marketing campaigns.
Example: Your friend prefers tea over coffee for health while you believe that caffeine energizes us.
2- Social Factors
Members of society have an influence on consumers buying decisons. People try to intimate other humans also wish to be socially accepted in the society.
Due to their social nature, humans are constantly surrounded by people who can affect their purchasing decisions. Humans attempt to mimic other people and also strive to fit in with society. Their purchasing decisions are therefore influenced by those around them.
The social factors that affect consumer buying decision are:
A person develops his preferences from his childhood by watching family buy product and continues to buy the same product.
Family has a big impact on how people behave when they go shopping. When a person is young, their tastes are formed by observing their family purchase particular goods, and as they get older, they continue to do so.
b) Reference groups
Reference groups are the groups of people with whom we associate ourselves. It includes group of friends and colleagues.
In establishing a person’s attitudes or behaviours, reference groups can either be direct (face-to-face) or indirect sources of comparison or reference. People frequently have influence from reference groups to which they do not belong.
Reference groups have at least three different effects on an individual. They expose the individual to new behaviors and ways of living. Because the person aspires to “fit in,” they have an impact on their views and sense of self. Additionally, they generate conformity pressures that may influence the individual’s brand and product preferences.
c) Roles and Status
Role that a person holds in a society. If a person is in a high position his buying behavior will be influenced by his status.
A individual has a lot of affiliations, including family, clubs, and organizations. Role and status both play a part in defining a person’s place within each group. Each role has a status that reflects the overall respect that society accords it.
People frequently select goods that reflect their social status.
CEO of a company and a normal employee would choose different products that would show their status in their society.
3- Cultural Factors
A group of people are associated with set of values that belongs to the particular community. When a person comes from a particular community his behavior is highly influenced by the culture relating to that particular community.
The most significant and widespread influences on consumer behavior are cultural ones. The buyer’s culture, subculture, and social class must be understood by the marketer.
The cultural factors that affect consumer buying decision are:
The most fundamental reason for someone’s wants and behavior is their culture. The majority of human behaviour is learnt. A child learns fundamental beliefs, values, desires, and behaviors through their family and other significant institutions as they grow up in a society.
Marketers always look for cultural shifts in order to anticipate potential demand for new products. It includes basic values, needs, wants, preferences, perceptions and behaviors that are observed and learned by a consumer by their near family members and important people around them.
A vast market has been established for exercise equipment and clothes, lower-calorie and more natural meals, as well as health and fitness services, as a result of the cultural shift toward more care about health and fitness. Due to the introduction of its “new age” iced teas and fruit-flavored beverages, Snapple was able to completely transform the US soft drink market.
Each culture is divided into smaller subcultures or groups of individuals who have similar value systems based on similar conditions and experiences in life. Subcultures include nationalities, religions, racial groups, and geographic regions. Important market sectors are made up of numerous subcultures, and marketers frequently create goods and promotional strategies that are suited to their requirements.
Here, Burger King has been used as a simple example. The platform’s advertising campaign wished users “Ramadan Kareem,” which implied having a generous Ramadan.
By depicting a burger that has been mostly consumed and is presented in the shape of a crescent moon, Burger King has adapted to Muslim culture and made an advertisement in the Ramadan style.
c) Social class
Every society has some form of social class. It includes income, occupation, family background, education and residence location.
There is a social class structure in almost every civilization. Social classes are the structured, comparatively stable divisions within society that are comprised of people who have similar values, preferences, and behaviours.
Social class is measured as a combination of occupation, income, education, wealth, and other characteristics rather than being determined by a single element, such as income.
4- Personal Factors
Other factors that affect a buyer’s choices include their age and life stage, occupation, economic situation, lifestyle, personality, and self-concept.
a) Age and Life-cycle stage
Over the course of a lifetime, people modify the items and services they purchase. Age is frequently a factor in tastes in cuisine, clothing, furnishings, and leisure activities. The family life cycle, or the stages a family may go through as they develop over time, also has an impact on purchasing.
Marketers frequently categorise their target markets according to the stages of the life cycle and create products and marketing strategies that are suitable for each stage.
The goods and services that are purchased depend on a person’s occupation. White-collar employees tend to purchase more suits and ties, whereas blue-collar employees prefer to purchase more work attire. Marketers look for professional organisations with greater-than-average interest in their goods and services. Even better, a business can focus on producing goods for a specific occupational group. As a result, computer software developers will create unique products for brand managers, accountants, engineers, lawyers, and doctors.
c) Economic Circumstances
The purchasing habits of a customer are in some way influenced by the economy of a nation. A country with a healthy economy has more consumer spending power, which raises the amount of money available on the market. A country’s market is weak, its consumers have minimal purchasing power, and those who are unemployed negatively affect it.
People from the same socioeconomic class, occupation, and subculture may lead very diverse lives. A person’s hobbies, interests, and ideas serve as an expression of their lifestyle. A person’s lifestyle encompasses more than just their socioeconomic status or personality. It depicts a person’s entire pattern of behaviour and interaction with others.
e) Personality and Self-concept
The distinctive personalities of each person have an impact on their shopping habits. The term “personality” refers to the distinctive psychological traits that cause a person to react to their immediate surroundings in a predictable and long-lasting way.
Characteristics like assertiveness, dominance, sociability, autonomy, self-defense, adaptability, and aggression are frequently used to describe personality. The analysis of customer behavior for specific product or brand decisions can benefit from a consideration of personality.
For instance, coffee makers have found that people who consume a lot of coffee have a high level of sociability. Nescafe advertisements thus feature gatherings of people sharing cups of coffee.
A personality-related term that many marketers employ is a person’s self-concept (also called self-image). According to the fundamental self-concept concept, “we are what we have,” people’s possessions both shape and reflect their identities. In order to comprehend consumer behavior, a marketer must first comprehend how a consumer’s self-concept and assets are related.