An Introduction: Consumer behavior is comparatively new field of study.

It is an attempt to understand and predict human actions in the buying role. It has assumed growing importance under market oriented or consumer oriented marketing planning and management.

Definition of Consumer behavior: Consumer behavior can be defined as how individual and group recognize and determine their needs and how they purchase and experience goods and services to meet those needs. It includes the what where why-when-and how they purchase and experience process.

Consumer is the king, therefore a sound marketing programme should start with a careful analysis of the habit, attitudes, motives and needs of consumers.

.yIn this subject we will study the purchase behavior of the consumer and the factors that can influence it.

Stages in Marketing: Since the study of consumer behavior is always propelled by the needs of marketing. . it is essential to see how the needs of marketing develop and evolve with reference to a particular product.

the consumer has only a basic choice whether to go for purchase or not.yIn the initial stage when goods or services are introduced for the first time by the marketer. .

.In the next stage when competition occurs. choices are introduced for the consumer who can select and decide as to which of the competing product should be bought.

.In the subsequent stage. marketers of products serving the same end product keenly watch. The products appear identical and it may seem that there is little to choose. However at this stage another phenomenon takes place in the shape of diversity.

What to buy. . Who to buy from. how to buy. Where to buy.The consumer exercises all the choices-namely. how much to buy. how to use.

Basically in the study of consumer behavior a marketer should find answer to the following questions: What are the product consumer buy? Why they buy them? How they buy them? When they buy them? Where they buy them? How often they buy them? .

From product to product and from individual of one region to an individual of another region. . Thus buying behavior is the decision process and acts of people involved in buying and using products.It must be noted that the behavior is likely to show variation from individual to individual.

Why there is a need for understanding consumer behavior: In a number of cases it has been proved that the better the firm understands its consumers. the more likely it becomes successful in the market place. Few reasons are as under-- .

Consumer do not always act or react as the theory would suggest.Consumer preferences are changing and becoming highly diversified. 3. Consumer dislike using identical product and prefer differentiated product. 2. .1.

Meeting of special needs of consumers require market segmentation. . 5.4. Rapid introduction of new product with technological advancement has made the job of studying consumer behavior more imperative.

Consumer behavior can be used to sell products that might not sell easily because some other product has been satisfying the customer. . 7. The shift in the age from selling age to marketing age meant that customer s need be given priority over the hard sell tactics.6. Implementing the marketing concepts calls for studying the consumer behavior.

It is realized that customer would buy only those products which satisfied his needs and wants. . Thus identification of target market before production become essential to deliver the desired customer satisfaction.

.Consumer behavior and marketing: Marketing and consumer behavior both are so closely related that the study of consumer behavior can be said to be the first step in refined marketing.

Marketing, over a period of time has seen several phases or approaches. The earlier styles like production oriented approach have proved to be inadequate. This has led to the current consumer oriented approach which is closer to ideal marketing. Since there can be no consumer oriented approach without a study of consumer behavior, it makes the consumer behavior science really important.

Consumer behavior helps to
Consumer behavior is a science that serves not only the marketer but also a variety of others-1. Marketers: The marketers , as already explained, depends heavily on the study of consumer behavior for achieving the objectives of marketing. 2. Entrepreneur: The entrepreneur who is essentially a future marketer, is helped to take correct and timely investment decisions and improve the chances of success by a study of consumer behavior.

3. Economist: The economist and planner takes note of consumer behavior forecasts while planning for communities and countries and while making cost benefit projections.

Firstly.4. misconceptions or illogical loyalties can be scientifically viewed and corrected. Consumer become more value-oriented and emerge as wise users. Consumer: It is the consumer who benefits most by the science of consumer behavior. any wrong attitudes. after an exposure to the science of consumer behavior. . Once this behavior is understood. they can get an insight and understanding of the rationale behind their own behaviors.

all households where persons live together are treated as families.Family Definition Family as a unit has always been given recognition in demographics and economics. . A simple definition of family will be that it is two or more person living together usually related to by blood. the emphasis is on the aspect of living together rather than being related. marriage or adoption. Therefore. For the purpose of our consumer behavior study.

view family as having three distinct stages: 1. . The elemental family. The nuclear family comprising a married couple and one or more children. 3. 2. The extended family includes one or two grand parents or other permanent live-in members. usually a married couple.comprising two persons.Three stages of family: Most experts in the west.

Influence of Family: Most consumer belongs to a family group. Personal values. The family can exert considerable influence in shaping the pattern of consumption and indicating the decision making roles. attitudes and buying habits have been shaped by family influences. .

.You can notice the brands used by a new housewife in her kitchen are similar to those favored by her mother.

and user in the buying process.yThe members of the family play different roles such as influencer. The house wife may act as a mediator of products that satisfy wants and desires of the children. decider. . purchaser.

yMarketer is interested in four questions relating to family purchases: 1. Who does the family buying? 3. Who uses the product. Who takes the buying decision? And 4. . Who influences buying? 2.

the individual is within the reach of other persons. At the place of residence or at the place of work. while in transit or while relaxing. .Groups y Very few people in this world live or work entirely alone.

yMost of the time different people are compelled or happen to be together as a group. . It is also true that certain daily functions of life and work cannot take place in isolation and require joint efforts of two or more individuals.

verbal or just visual but this interaction always leads to mutual influence.yAll these factors lead to formation of groups. certain amount of interaction happens naturally. In groups so formed. The interaction may be physical. .

.Definition of group A group can be defined as two or more person that come together to accomplish individual or common tasks and goals.

.To understand this broad definition one has only to see that even persons who travel together do constitute a group.

especially persons whom he admires.Reference Groups yAn individual is constantly and subconsciously reviewing important decisions of his own and comparing these with the decisions taken by others. .

yThis type of behavior is more evident for purchase decisions where high value or recurring purchases are involved. .

They become a sort of reference group though the individual may not be physically a member of this group. the individual has a set of people in mind that he generally admires or at least accepts.y Usually. .

yFor that matter the reference group need not have a membership or a definite boundary. . It exists more in the minds of people.

Influence of the group on the individual member: y An individual is likely to be a member of several groups. For example. one can be a member of a family (which itself is a group). a circle of friends. a workplace group. . a religious order or an interest group all at the same time. a union or association.

A good deal of these influences are reflected in the consumption and purchase behavior of the individual. .yWhat happens in each group has influence on the individual.

the group serves as a source of information. Therefore it is easy to see why the study of groups and their influence is important to the marketer. a referral body and on occasions as a tool to get collective bargaining power. The average individual looks for some advice and support from the group and feels obliged not to go against these. .y For the individual .

shared by them and transmitted from generation to generation within that society.Culture Culture is an aggregate of the learned beliefs. attitudes. . values. norms and customs of a society or group of people.

.yCulture too changes with time. The society that developed the culture is continuously being exposed to new experiences.

y Further. . subdivide and change. New generations are being brought into it and some new members from other cultures are being assimilated. flow of information and young persons joining the group. cultures expand. the society or group is not a fixed body of people. dilute. With the increased mobility of persons.

traditions . customs. moral. attitudes towards work.Influence of culture on consumer behavior: As culture refers to the social heritage of the society. . art. other capability and habits acquired by a man as a member of the society. law. language. belief. It encompasses the social values.

y Culture is one of the most important dimensions of consumer behavior. communication etc. advertising etc. It is pervasive in all marketing activities. . promotion. distribution. These cultural influences can provide an important basis for market segmentation. the product design. product development. pricing. packaging.

Brahamins have diverse cultures and need different products for their worship and even the type of utensils used and the clothing worn by them. Maharashtrians.For example gujaratis.P. . Tamilians and the U.

Americans. Japanese. However. and people from Argentina consume beef in large quantities. It is also considered improper to eat cow which supplies milk and helps in farming. food preferences and food preparation. eating's habits.y Culture is prescriptive and decides the consumptions habits. For example Indians do not eat beef because cow is religiously revered by Hindus. .

Thus a person living in Calcutta would feel that he is different from the one living in Bihar. The sub-culture exists with in large society.Sub Culture A sub-culture is an identifiable and distinct group that has unique characteristics. A sub-culture is a psychological religious. social or geographical source of group identification. .

yThe subculture makes it possible for a person to understand another culture with reference to his own sub-culture. . These subcultures are used by companies as a basis of segmentation.

brother of his sisters. and good citizen.Role and Status An individual has many roles to play. husband of his wife. A man is father of his daughter. . son of his parents. manager of work place.

For example. a professor s status is higher than a students. . a judge s status is higher than a lawyer and so on.yThe type of status one can have in the society depends upon the relative position at home. work and society.

Products must be prepared not only as per the customer s requirements.y Roles and statuses play an important role for marketers. .

He is not expected to be seen in a street corner to buy the daily requirements.yThus the role and status of a supreme court judge would take him to a place where he can get products of his choice. .

.Personal factors The personal factors of an individual such as occupation. income. life style etc are important determinants of an individual buying decision.

Life-style reflects the manner in which a person lives and spends time and money. .yThe income level determines the expenditure of a person.

It is a behavioral concepts that will enable a marketer to understand and predict a buyer s behavior. This concepts is also used for market segmentation to develop an effective marketing strategy. .

baby foods. soft drinks and educational facilities. toys. . Small children require milk powder.Age and life-cycle stage A person s age is important decider of the needs. games.

transportation etc.Young adults require trendy clothes. recreational facilities. Consumption behavior is also influenced by the specific stages of family life-cycle. .

papers etc. . pencils. means of communication.Occupation The occupation of a person decides the consumption pattern. computers. a teacher would buy simple clothes. For example. books.

visit by air.While a company executive would buy expensive clothes. It is duty of the marketers to identify such groups and target them. . get membership of resorts and club etc.

saving . decides the economic capacity of the customer to buy a products. borrowing power etc. assets. Income.Economic Condition: Marketers target customer needs that can be converted in to wants and demands. .

yThus marketers use trends and patterns in the income . saving and overall economic condition of the citizens to assess their capacity to buy the products. .

Life Style yIt has been observed that customers coming from different-cultures. . bear different life styles. occupation s etc. social classes.

opinions and demographics (AIOD) in to account as listed below: . interests.yLife styles are identified by taking various activities.

. Social events.yA Activities: Work. community. Shopping. sports. Entertainment Clubs. Hobbies. Vacations.

media. home. .Interests: Recreation. food. job. community.yI. fashion. family.

Business.yOpinion: themselves. educations. Social issues. economics. . future and culture. products. politics.

Demographics: Age. . education. income. occupation. and stage in life cycles.yD. city size. family size.

yThe marketer should look at the AIOD frame work for analyzing and looking at the marketing opportunities emerging out of it. .

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