FAMILY INFLUENCE CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
Family is the most influential group for the consumer. The family members can strongly influence buyer behavior. It can be distinguished between two families in the buyer¶s life. One is the buyer¶s parents who make up the family of orientation. From parents a person acquires an orientation toward religion, politics, and economics and a sense of personal ambition, self-worth, and love. The other is the family of procreation-the buyer¶s spouse and children-exert a more direct influence on everyday buying behavior. Marketers are interested in the roles and relative influence of the husband, wife, and children on the purchase of a large variety of products and services. The purpose of this report is to discuss the role of the family in consumer behavior. There are three main elements directly affect the family consumption. They are family life cycle, the structure of the family and family decisions making process. Families change over time, passing through a series of stages called the family life cycle (FLC) (Blackwell, Mansard & Engel, 2001). The diagram below shows the eleven primary stages in the traditional FLC. In the stage of ³Young Singles´, people have relatively low in Family plays an integral role in influencing our purchasing behavior, as a child the choices are determined by parents based upon safety and need of child considerations. Similarly the child influences the decision making process related to whole family like color of family car etc. The family purchasing decisions can be examined from four perspectives - Role Structure, Power Structure, Decision Making Stage and Family culture.
Consumer Behavior involves the psychological processes that consumers must go through when recognizing their needs. Decision Making Stage Marketers today focused on understanding the whole buying stage rather than the final purchasing act. Most marketers today try to focus on few prominent cultures to segment the market. families are also structured of roles and each family member occupied his or her role. mother and father in the household. For example when a family decides to buy a car. Family Culture Each family has different internal culture which influences its purchasing decision. finding ways
. Each family member affects the purchasing behavior at different stages. the women usually specify the needs accordingly man usually decides upon the model of the car based on technological competence while children play a very important role in deciding the color of the car. for example in patriarchal societies man is the head of the family and makes most of the major decision while in the matriarchal society woman is the head of the family and makes all the major decision. While in equalitarian society both share equal decision making powers. These differences could be due to cultural background.Role Structure Like societies. Perception of these roles based on gender affects the decision making process and household decision process. For ex Gender role preferences reflect culturally determined attitudes toward the role of husband and wife. Power Structure There are various power structure which accordingly affect the decision making process in the family. social upbringing and family values.
what brand and where to purchase from. repairing the car. Individual family members often have different roles in the household. A used car is cheaper. but they make their thoughts known.
. also known as information gatherers. which brand. Family decisions are often subjected to a great deal of conflict. who does not usually have the power to decide between alternatives. This individual usually has a great deal of power within the family. and when. and secondly examines whether or not parents believe their child is ready to participate in such decisions. very few families are wealthy enough to avoid tension and conflict. following the purchase and return of the product due to dissatisfaction. which is the problem recognition. and if so. If the child does not participate. for example. used car. but may be more expensive And the long run with all the repairs needed. unlike the influencer.to solve these needs and making purchase decisions. Finally comes the purchase stage. The third step consists of the evaluation of alternatives. where. does the child¶s self esteem go down? When a family member first realizes their car is not running as well as it should be. like buying a new car. a car versus a tube of toothpaste. this is the first step. which rely of shared resources of the family. Consumers often face the decision of whether or not to purchase a certain product or service. and even a post-purchase stage. The second step is information search. which product. One family member might seek out information about products. The actual involvement of a consumer changes dramatically based on the product. It is of course the decision maker who has the power to determine whether to buy. This paper examines the process of family-decision making. etc.
In doing this. the family operates as an economic unit. Second. and also decide where these items are to be bought and how they are to be used in furthermore family members¶ goals. The family decision-making process is a communication activity²it rests on the making and expression of
. however are not the sole reasons accounting for the strength of the family¶s influence. Thus. earning and spending money. norms. often quite indelibly by the family¶s influence on its members and the way in which purchase decisions are made by members so that they may effectively program their marketing mix. Now we turn to the family. Also. not just as a type of small group. Table below Illustrates several ways in which families differ from other groups Decision making is a term used to describe the process by which families make choices. and come to conclusions that guide behaviors. Rather. the fact that the bonds within the family are likely to be much more powerful than those in other small groups. but one that is often predominant in its influence over consumer behavior. That the process is called family decision-making implies that it requires more than one member's input and agreement (Canzone and Pocono 1980). The family is both a primary group (characterized by intimate. face to face interaction) and a reference group (with members referring to certain family values. contrary to most other groups to which the consumer belongs the family functions directly in the role of ultimate consumption. family members must establish individual and collective consumption priorities decide on products and brands that fulfill their needs. determine judgments. consumers attitudes toward spending and saving and even the brands and products purchased have been molded. and standards in their behavior) These two factors.And this article we examined the topic of social groups in order to understand their relevance to individuals and how marketers could use this knowledge. it is first.
as James Atkinson and Timothy Stephen (1990) observed. and the deployment of limited resources. the family is also a prime target for the marketing of many products and services. the use of disciplinary practices. As a major consumption unit. In decision making "values are communicated within the family group and [they] will become part of a family's assumptive foundation as its members coordinate future action" (Atkinson and Stephen. including the purchase of products. learns the use and value of money by listening to and watching his or her parents. daily process. 5). Family decision making is a process that can be filled with tension. Introduction The family is a major influence on the consumer behavior of its members. Further. Thus. a vacation trip.
. There are many examples of how the family influences the consumption behavior of its members. A child learns how to enjoy candy by observing an older brother or sister. the selection of educational practices. In the decision-making process. or whether to go to a local or an out-of-town college are consumption decisions usually made within the context of a family setting. decision making is inextricably bound to values. Decision making is an unavoidable. the choice of recreational activities.meaning. both. families can address the differences among members (Galvin and Brummell 2000) and negotiate their needs for closeness and independence (Baxter and Montgomery 1996). Families are confronted with a myriad of decisions. extremely pleasant and rewarding. family decision-making spans many family goals and practices. p. The communication may be explicit (as when families sit down and discuss a prospective decision) or implicit (as when families choose an option based on their past decisions or some other unspoken rationale). or somewhere in between. Decisions about a new car.
consumption. and influence of products. Just because of being mother for two young children. such as cosmetics or shaving cream. Household products like food and soaps may be purchased by a person but consumed by many. Many products are purchased by a family unit. How families or households make purchase decisions depends on the roles of The various family members in the purchase. Although marketing communications are usually directed to individuals. it is her responsibility for buying food for the family and act as an individual in the market.THE FAMILY The importance of the family or household unit in consumer behavior arises for two reasons: 1. on the other hand. Visits to shopping malls often involve multiple family members buying clothing and accessories. It does not mean that her decisions are not influenced by the preferences and power of other family members. marketers should consider the consumption circumstances and the family structure before deciding on specific communication or advertising methods to attract their segment. whereas teenagers may influence the clothing purchase of a parent. the other family members play an important role in the purchase. something with a heavy dose of influence by family member¶s children may buy clothing paid for and approved of by parents. whereas personal care items.
. 2. might be purchased by an individual family member for his or her own consumption. Homes and cars. perhaps with involvement from children or other member of the extended family. Regardless of how many family members are present when items are being purchased. Individuals¶ buying decisions may be heavily influenced by other family members. are often purchased by both spouses.
uncles and aunts. performance. involve financial. which may be assumed by spouses. the individuals who constitute a family might be described as members of the most basic social group who live together and interact to satisfy their personal and mutual needs. plus other relatives. The extended family is the nuclear family. mother. Both multiple roles and multiple actors are normal.What is a Family? A family is a group of two or more persons related by blood. cousins. marriage. * Instrumental roles. In a more dynamic sense. whereas the one established by marriage is the family of procreation. FAMILY DECISION-MAKING Families use products even though individuals usually buy them. and other functions performed by group members. including upholding family norms. Individual Roles in Family Purchases Family consumption decisions involve at least five definable roles. which retail outlet to use. such as grandparents. Determining what products should be bought. and parents-in-law. or other members of a household. children. and child (ran) living together. and who should buy them is a complicated process involving a variety of roles and actors. The family into which one is born is called the family of orientation. also known as functional or economic roles. how and when products are used. * ? Expressive roles involve supporting other family members in the decision making process and expressing the family¶s aesthetic or emotional needs. Role Behavior Families and other groups exhibit what sociologist Alcott Parsons called instrumental and expressive role behaviors. The nuclear family is the immediate group of father. or adoption who reside together. Marketers need to communicate with consumers assuming each of these
Family Roles For a family to function as a cohesive unit. setting the dinner table. etc. car. and luggage. the purchase decision is likely to be joint or group decision. although the children may be important as Influencers and users. remembering that different family members will assume different roles depending on the situation and product. indoor paint and wallpaper. She is the decider. roles or tasks-such as doing the laundry. music systems. and many other products but may not be the buyers. Influences on the Decision Process How do husbands and wives perceive their relative influence on decision making across the decision stages? And what does this mean for marketers? Joint decisions tend to be made about vacations. toys. family-related roles are constantly changing.roles. In our dynamic society. refrigerators. preparing meals. walking the dog must be carried out by one or more family members. Children. marketers can being to
. clothing. taking out the garbage. While shopping in the market. Her decision to purchase does not directly involve the influence of other family members. buyer. televisions. and living room furniture. but she may or may not be the preparer and is not the only user. Autonomic decision-making tends to be present in decisions about categories that include women¶s jewelry. men¶s leisure clothing. By understanding where on this ³map´ the decisions to buy particular products fall. a housewife comes across a new variety of juice that she buys for the family. for example. Key Family Consumption Roles The roles played by the different family members will vary from product to product. There are eight distinct roles in the family decision-making process. furniture or any other product which is likely to be used by some or all the family members. In case of products such as television. One or both of the parents may be the decider and the buyer. are users of cereals.
especially for products with a long planning cycle. Prior studies showed that decisions regarding these products were usually reported as wife or husband dominant. marketers were able to refer to the traditional role structure categories to determine which family member was most likely to purchase a specific product. Qualls found overwhelmingly that joint decisions are now the norm for these products.
. with 80 percent of children¶s education and housing decisions made jointly. Qualls studied family decisions concerning vacations. insurance. Influence by Decision Stage Spouses exert different degrees if influence when passing through the different stages of the decision-making process. Movement is most pronounced for refrigerators. and savings. This movement from information search to final decision may be minimal in the case of many low-involvement goods but more pronounced for goods that are risky or have high involvement for the family. children¶s education. Influence of Gender As the gender gap narrows. Vacations are perhaps the most democratic of a family¶s purchase decisions. Influence of employment In the past. Separate campaigns may be timed to coincide with specialized interests. family autos. and working wives may drop the family car at the service station for an oil change. housing. Although traditional buying roles still apply. automobiles. upholstered living room furniture. husband and wife decisions are increasingly made jointly. husbands in dual-income marriages may be willing to stop at the grocery store to pick up a few items.determine which aspects of specific product to advertise to different household members and which media will reach the influential family member. Increasing resources of women and shift toward egalitarianism are producing more joint decision-making in product and service categories of perceived high risk. and carpets or rugs.
UDYOTTA KESHARI RAJA MUKESH BHUPENDER SINGH
FAMILY INFLUENCE ON COMSUMER BEHAVIOUR