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MODULE 2 UNDERSTANDING THE CONSUMER

9.1 BUYING MOTIVES


Study of he influence of all factors helps marketers to reach the buyer
effectively & develop better marketing strategies. Buying motives can be
defined as all impulses, desires & considerations, which induce a buyer
to purchase a given product. Why does a person buy certain products?
What are his motives in buying these products?
Product Motives & Patronage Motives: Buying motives are basically of 2
kinds: (1) Product motives & (2) Patronage motives. It is often said that
the dissatisfaction of the human beings creates new products & new
markets. And a product is a bundle of satisfactions. Why does an
individual buy a particular product? Only his buying motives can
explain this, which can be defined as all the impulses, desires &
considerations of the buyer, which induce him to purchase a product.
Those impulses, desires & considerations that make people buy a given
product, are called product motives. The influences that explain why
they buy from particular firms/ shops are called patronage motives.
Product Motives: Product motives are of several types; and they can
be classified in several ways. One classification that is linked to the
nature of satisfaction sought by the buyer, is of 2 categories:
1. Emotional Product Motives AND
2. Rational Product Motives
Emotional product motives are those impulses that appeal to the

buyers pride or ego, his urge to imitate others or his desire to be


distinctive. The motional motives may persuade a consumer to buy a
certain product without evaluating the advantages/disadvantages of the
product. Careful reasoning or logical analysis need not be found behind
such purchases. Rational product motives, on the contrary, involve a
logical analysis of the intended purchase the purpose expected of the
product, the various alternatives available to the buyer etc. Relevant &
valid reasons that justify the purchase are characteristics of rational
product motives.

MODULE 2 UNDERSTANDING THE CONSUMER


9.2 PRODUCT/PATRONAGE MOTIVES
LIMITATIONS
OF
EMOTIONAL
&
RATIONAL
CLASSIFICATION: A major limitation with such classification lies in
the fact that a strict compartmentalization of product motives into
emotional & rational categories is not always possible. Again, it may
not be correct to say that an emotional motive is totally devoid of
reasoning or analysis.
A buyer may react quickly to a situation & buy impulsively, but it is
quite possible that there is some conscious reasoning behind such
purchase. This limitation has to be understood while classifying product
motives into emotional & rational ones.
ALTERNATIVE CLASSIFICATION: This is a more meaningful
classification of product motives. Products have a utility dimension as
well as a prestige dimension. A buyer can gain satisfaction from the
function or physical utility of a product &/or the socio-psychological
significance he attaches to the product.
The former is the operational product motive & the latter the sociopsychological product motive. This too, is not a perfect classification,
because in most purchases, the 2 motives are combined to a certain
degree.
PATRONAGE MOTIVES: Why does the buyer patronize certain
specific shops? What are the considerations or impulses that persuade
him to do so? These questions will take us to the patronage motives. Just
like product motives, patronage motives also can be grouped into
emotional & rational categories.
Emotional patronage motives are those that persuade a buyer to buy
from specific shops, without much logical reason behind that action. He
may like the place for purely subjective reasons & may consider the
shop as his favorite shopping place. However, if he selects a shop
because he knows that it offers a wide selection, then he is influenced by
rational patronage motives.

MODULE 2 UNDERSTANDING THE CONSUMER


9.3 BUYING HABITS
After understanding buying motives why people buy, marketers
should also know the buying habits of consumers how, when & where
they buy? Buying habits can be studied in relation to the types of
products purchased. For ex, consumer goods have been classified on the
basis of buying habits of the people as convenience goods, shopping
goods & specialty goods.
Convenience Goods: There are certain products, which consumers like
to purchase with the least possible effort. Such items are purchased
frequently & their unit price is low. There is not much planning behind
such purchases. Products of daily consumption like toothpaste, soap,
cigarette etc., come under this category. There is a recurring need of
these items & the consumer would desire to get it at an accessible place.
Shopping Goods: Items like clothing, shoes, electric appliances etc., are
not purchased so frequently. There is an element of planning behind
their purchase. They are not necessarily purchased at an easily
accessible store.
The buyer is ready top make one or more shopping trips to buy such
items. Unlike the purchasing of convenience goods, such purchases
involve considerable expenditure. The buyer would like to compare the
price, quality, design etc., in # of stores before finalizing their purchase.
Such products are normally not standardized items; they are
differentiated offers; they are termed shopping goods.
Specialty Goods: These are high priced goods & include products like
cars, luxury items, high priced goods etc., Purchases of specialty goods
involve substantial investments & the periodicity of purchase is less
frequent compared to the shopping goods.
Specialty goods are not purchased on the basis of instant decision. The

various aspects of the purchase the cost, utility, prestige angles, the
alternatives available & the experience of others who have purchased
the product are analyzed before any decision is taken. Normally, the
entire family takes part in the decision-making process for purchasing
specialty goods.

MODULE 2 UNDERSTANDING THE CONSUMER


9.4 BUYING PROCESS

Stages in the Buying Process:


Problem Recognition (Need Recognition)
Awareness
Comprehension (Evaluation)
Attitude
Legitimization
Trial
Adoption
Post-Purchase behavior

1. PROBLEM RECOGNITION (Need Recognition)


The process of buying normally starts with the recognition of a need by
the consumer. He recognizes a problem & develops a perception of the
problem. Then he seeks information for solving his problem.

2. AWARENESS
The consumer turns to his environment/world of information around
him. It makes him aware of the existence of the product that would
solve his problem.

3. COMPREHENSION (Evaluation)
Comprehension comes out of his ability to reason with the information.
The awareness & comprehension stages represent the information
processing stage. These 2 stages constitute the cognitive field of the
purchase process. Cognition refers to acquisition of knowledge.

MODULE 2 UNDERSTANDING THE CONSUMER


9.5 BUYING PROCESS (CONTD)
4. ATTITUDE
It is the sum total of the individuals faith & feelings towards a product.
As a result of his awareness & comprehension, the consumer develops
an attitude favorable or unfavorable towards the product. The
purchase process will continue only if he develops a favorable attitude
or a liking for the product.
5. LEGITIMISATION
The buyer must be convinced that the purchase of the product is the
legitimate course of action. This stage often stands as a barrier between
a favorable attitude towards the product & the actual purchase. Only if
the buyer is convinced about the correctness of the purchase decision,
will he proceed. At this stage, he may seek further information
regarding the product, or attempt to assess the information already
available. Attitude & legitimization constitute the attitude field of the
purchase process.
6. TRIAL
Conviction leads the consumer to try the product on a small scale; he
may buy a sample. He tries to evaluate the product from his own
experience.
7. ADOPTION
A successful trial leads him to buy/adopt the product. Trial & adoption
stages constitute the behavioral field in the buying process.
8. POST-PURCHASE BEHAVIOR
The purchase leads to a specific post-purchase behavior. Usually, it creates some
restlessness in the mind of the individual. He is not sure about the product. He may
feel that the other brand would have been better. He may even feel that the
salesman has taken him for a ride. As this dissonance is uncomfortable, the
individual, by himself, will seek all means to recover his conviction & poise. He will
seek reassuring advertisement of the products or he may deliberately avoid positive
stories about the competing brand.
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MODULE 2 UNDERSTANDING THE CONSUMER


9.6 BUYING PROCESS DEPENDS ON BUYERS PERSONALITY
Everett Rogers, in his book diffusion of Innovations, discusses how new
products spread through a society & how & at what rate, different
segments of people adopt them. People do not show the same degree of
readiness to buy & adopt new products. According to their readiness to
try new products/ideas, Rogers classifies people into 5 categories:
1. Innovators: Are ready to bear the risk of trying out a new
product/idea; in any community, they are a few in #.
2. Early Adopters: Early adopters are not venturesome; they adopt
products sufficiently early but carefully; they become opinion
leaders in their community.
3. Early Majority: The early majority (much larger in # than the
early adopters group) adopts new products ideas still later, but
ahead of the average person in the community.

4. Late Majority: The late majority is the cautious crowd; they will
accept a product only when a big chunk of the community have
already adopted for it.
5. Laggards: This is a large group to try out a new product, are
highly resistant to change, they are very traditional & will adopt
an innovation only when it has percolated the entire community of
buyers. It has also to be understood that a person who is an
innovator in a given context & for a given product category, need
not be so in all buying situations. He can be a laggard in a
different buying situation.
An awareness of the existence of such groups of buyers, with varying
dispositions toward buying will help the marketer to focus on the
appropriate segments while formulating the marketing program.
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MODULE 2 UNDERSTANDING THE CONSUMER


9.7 BUYER BEHAVIOR A DIFFICULT PUZZLE
The discussions on the buyer, his motives, his buying habits,
his behavior patterns & his decision-making process essentially
lead us to the conclusion that is not easy to solve the puzzle of
buyer behavior.
The behavior depends upon the buyers needs & such needs
keep on changing. Moreover, in many cases, the buyers
decisions can not wait for the evaluation of all the alternatives
available to him. He can not always pause to find out the causeeffect relationships of his decisions.
All that can be said is that he will normally take a decision
which he believes will meet his needs. And a marketer treads
on difficult ground when he tries to uncover the complex set of
needs of his customers existing & prospective.
But in spite of the difficulty, the job continues to be
undertaken by marketers, researchers & behavioral scientists.
That is why so many theories & concepts have been built about
buyer behavior.
At the same time, the more we study the buyer, the more
complex he appears. It is only natural that no theory of
buyer behavior has received universal acceptance among
marketers as a complete guide to the buyers decision-making
process.
And, the marketers job remains challenging, mainly because
he has to predict the unpredictable, the buyer.