ANALYZING CONSUMER MARKETS AND BUYER BEHAVIOR The aim of marketing is to meet and satisfy target customers' needs

and wants. The field of consumer behavior studies how individuals, groups, and organizations select, buy, use, and dispose of goods, services, ideas, or experiences to satisfy their needs and desires. Understanding consumer behavior and "knowing customers" are never simple. Customers may state their needs and wants but act otherwise. They may not be in touch with their deeper motivations. They may respond to influences that change their mind at the last minute. Nevertheless, marketers must study their target customers' wants, perceptions, preferences, and shopping and buying behavior: A MODEL OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOR The starting point for understanding buyer behavior is the stimulus-response model shown in Figure -1. Marketing and Environmental Stimuli enter the buyer's consciousness. The Buyer's Characteristics and Decision Process lead to certain purchase decisions. The marketer's task is to understand what happens in the buyer's consciousness between the arrival of outside stimuli and the buyer's purchase decisions.

FIGURE -1 Model of Buyer Behavior MAJOR FACTORS INFLUENCING BUYING BEHAVIOR Figure 6-2 summarizes the factors influencing a consumer's buying behavior.

FIGURE -2 Factors Influencing Behavior Cultural Factors Cultural factors exert the broadest and deepest influence on consumer behavior. The roles played by the buyer's culture, subculture, and social class are particularly important. Culture. Culture is the most fundamental determinant of a person's wants and behavior. The growing child acquires a set of values, perceptions, preferences, and behaviors through his or her family and other key institutions. An American's interest in computers reflects his upbringing in a technological society. He knows what computers are and he knows that the society values computer expertise. In another

Social Classes are relatively homogeneous and enduring divisions in a society. or Professionals who are successful. speech patterns. Family. self-worth. Middle academicians. these people tend to live in the present and have no concept of savings. which are hierarchically ordered and whose members share similar values. Their families are generally male dominated. sales people. 2. Due to their low income levels. and economics and a sense of personal ambition. and a sales manager has more status than an office clerk. Upper Businesses and Wealthy Corporate Executives. 3. and roles and statuses. They have a strong drive for success and indulge in shopping for goods that speak of their social status. Subculture will influence ones food preferences. racial groups. and many other characteristics. A Supreme Court justice has more status than a sales manager. and mainly product choice in such items as beer and cigarettes. say a remote tribe in central Africa. one's spouse and children. recreational preferences. eg. Many subcultures make up important market segments. Characteristics of Four Major Indian Social Classes This class consists of people who are rich and posses considerable wealth. and area of residence. This class consists of white collar workers like middle level and junior executives. Lower and emotional support. Subculture. It would simply be a curious piece of hardware. etc. organizations. Social Class. semi-skilled and unskilled laborers in the un organized sector. religions.Upper Middle Class This class consists of well educated people holding top class positions in middle size firms. their influence can be substantial. and there would be no buyers. This class is very important for marketers. recreation. and career aspirations. Social Factors In addition to cultural factors. In countries where parents live with their grown children. and it has been researched extensively. live in smaller houses in less desirable neighborhoods. These people are less or poorly Class educated. From parents a person acquires an orientation toward religion. interests. People are significantly influenced by their reference groups. clubs. Marketers are interested in the roles and relative influence of the husband. These people lead a conservative lifestyle and spend Class moderately. education.MB208 Marketing Management 06. Reference groups appear to strongly influence both product and brand choice only in the case of automobiles and color televisions. a computer would mean nothing. Each culture consists of smaller subcultures that provide more specific identification and socialization for its members. A person's Reference Groups consist of all the groups that have a direct (face-toface) or indirect influence on the person's attitudes or behavior. and children in the purchase of a large variety of products and services. and behavior. The following table describes the five social classes identified by social scientists. Social classes do not reflect income alone but also other indicators such as occupation. a consumer's behavior is influenced by such social factors as reference groups. and geographical regions. Each role carries a status. This class consists of blue collar workers like factory laborers. politics. mainly brand choice in such items as furniture and clothing. A role consists of the activities that a person is expected to perform. Consumer Behaviour Page 2 of 8 culture. The family is the most important consumer-buying organization in society. These people live in large bungalows in posh localities Class and tend to buy expensive products and patronize branded exclusive shops. and marketers often design products and marketing programs tailored to their needs. People with large 1. wife. Social classes differ in their dress. People choose . These people are more family oriented and depend on their family for economic 4. Reference Groups. small business owners. Subcultures include nationalities. which give more value for money. family. clothing choices. The person's position in each group can be defined in terms of role and status. Marketers try to identify their target customers' reference groups. A more direct influence on everyday buying behavior is one's family of procreation--namely. Roles and Statuses. A person participates in many groups throughout life--family. They leave in apartments or reasonably smaller houses and seek to buy products. and love.

They eat baby food in the early years. Motivation. A need becomes a motive when it is aroused to a sufficient level of intensity. Maslow's Theory of Motivation. from the most pressing to the least pressing. dominance. Abraham Maslow. Marketers of income-sensitive goods pay constant attention to trends in personal income. esteem. and opinions. People's taste in clothes. esteem needs. People buy different goods and services over their lifetime. interests. The marketer may then aim the brand more clearly at the achiever lifestyle. most foods in the growing and mature years. A motive is a need that is sufficiently pressing to drive the person to act. social needs. For example. and self. Some needs are biogenic. defensiveness. A blue-collar worker will buy work clothes. If economic indicators point to a recession. savings and assets (including the percentage that is liquid). In their order of importance. a computer manufacturer might find that most computer buyers are achievementoriented. Thus a person cannot fully understand his or her own motivations. furniture. lifestyle.MB208 Marketing Management 06. safety needs. and beliefs and attitudes. perception. A person's occupation also influences his or her consumption pattern. sociability. social class. Personal Factors A buyer's decisions are also influenced by personal characteristics. Age and Stage in the Life Cycle. Occupation. Freud's Theory of Motivation. thirst. Personality is a person's distinguishing psychological characteristics that lead to relatively consistent and enduring responses to his or her environment. borrowing power. Personality and Self-Concept. A person has many needs at any given time. Three of the best known--the theories of Sigmund Freud. air travel. and a large sailboat. Psychological Factors A person's buying choices are influenced by four major psychological factors--motivation. and personality and self-concept. People coming from the same subculture. and lunch boxes. Freud assumed that the real psychological forces shaping people's behavior are largely unconscious. they arise from physiological states of tension such as hunger. and Frederick Herzberg--carry quite different implications for consumer analysis and marketing strategy. Product choice is greatly affected by one's economic circumstances. A person's Lifestyle is the person's pattern of living in the world as expressed in the person's activities. occupation. Psychologists have developed theories of human motivation. Most psychogenic needs are not intense enough to motivate the person to act on them immediately. country club membership. or belonging. and recreation is also age related. work shoes. Consumer Behaviour Page 3 of 8 products that communicate their role and status in society. and adaptability. Personality is usually described in terms of such traits as self-confidence. and interest rates. Other needs are psychogenic. they are physiological needs. savings. People will try to satisfy . economic circumstances. learning. Satisfying the need reduces the felt tension. they arise from psychological states of tension such as the need for recognition. Lifestyle. stability. and special diets in the later years. deference. and time pattern). and reprice their products so they continue to offer value to target customers. Marketers search for relationships between their products and lifestyle groups. Marketers are aware of the status symbol potential of products and brands. and occupation may lead quite different lifestyles. and attitude toward spending versus saving. reposition. discomfort.actualization needs (Figure 6-3). Economic Circumstances. debts. People's economic circumstances consist of their spendable income (its level. autonomy. Maslow's theory says that human needs are arranged in a hierarchy. marketers can take steps to redesign. Each person has a distinct personality that influences his or her buying behavior. A company president will buy expensive suits. These include the buyer's age and stage in the life cycle. Abraham Maslow sought to explain why people are driven by particular needs at particular times.

and reinforcement. Attitudes put them into a frame of mind of liking or disliking an object. Learning involves changes in an individual's behavior arising from experience. clothes. For example. and people act on their images. A drive is a strong internal stimulus impelling action. and women choose food items. These beliefs make up product and brand images. cues. responses. Perception is the process by which an individual selects. and the steps in the buying process. marketers must identify who makes the buying decision. When a person succeeds in satisfying an important need. Selective attention means that marketers have to work hard to attract consumers' notice. Even people who are in the market may not notice a message unless it stands out from the surrounding sea of stimuli. politics. Second. Herzberg's theory of motivation has two implications. food. People are exposed to a tremendous amount of daily stimuli. or provide contrast to their surroundings is more likely to be noticed. Through doing and learning. Perception depends not only on the physical stimuli but also on the stimuli's relation to the surrounding field and on conditions within the individual. use bold colors. While these things will not sell the computer. Just as important as beliefs are Attitudes. Beliefs and Attitudes. the types of buying decisions. a poor training manual or a poor service policy). emotional feelings. Buying Roles It is easy to identify the buyer for many products. People have attitudes toward almost everything: religion. and action tendencies toward some object or idea. that need will cease being a current motivator. Because a person cannot possibly attend to all of these stimuli. Their messages will be lost on most people who are not in the market for the product. Selective Attention. and so on. the average person may be exposed to over 1. Consumer Behaviour Page 4 of 8 their most important needs first. Learning theory teaches marketers that they can build up demand for a product by associating it with strong drives. and the person will try to satisfy the next-most-important need. music. Frederick Herzberg developed a two-factor theory of motivation that distinguishes dissatisfiers (factors that cause dissatisfaction) and satisfiers (factor that cause satisfaction). These satisfiers will make the major difference as to which computer brand the customer buys. organizes. A motivated person is ready to act.MB208 Marketing Management 06. stimuli. people acquire beliefs and attitudes. the manufacturer should identify the major satisfiers or motivators of purchase in the market and then supply them. Learning. moving toward or away from it. Specifically. If some beliefs are wrong and inhibit purchase. A Belief is a descriptive thought that a person holds about something. Most human behavior is learned. Ads that are novel or larger in size. Herzberg's Theory of Motivation. the manufacturer will want to launch a campaign to correct these beliefs. using motivating cues. We can distinguish five roles people might play in a buying decision: • • Initiator: A person who first suggests the idea of buying the product or service Influencer: A person whose view or advice influences the decision . How the motivated person actually acts is influenced by his or her perception of the situation. An Attitude is a person's enduring favorable or unfavorable evaluations. marketers have to go beyond the various influences on buyers and develop an understanding of how consumers actually make their buying decisions. and interprets information inputs to create a meaningful picture of the world. they learn. they might easily unsell the computer. sellers should do their best to avoid dissatisfiers (for example. THE BUYING PROCESS To be successful. Men normally choose their shaving equipment. and providing positive reinforcement. Learning theorists believe that learning is produced through the interplay of drives.500 ads a day. First. most stimuli will be screened out--a process called selective attention. Perception. These in turn influence their buying behavior. Manufacturers are very interested in the beliefs that people carry in their heads about their products and services. When people act.

Marketers use four techniques to try to convert low-involvement product into one of higher involvement. they do not propel the consumer into highly involved buying behavior. the consumer may reach for another brand out of boredom or a wish for a different taste. or where to buy Buyer: The person who makes the actual purchase • User: A person who consumes or uses the product or service Buying Behavior Consumer decision making varies with the type of buying decision. they can link the product to some involving personal situation--for instance. The high involvement is based on the fact that the purchase is expensive. not strong brand loyalty. yet the buyer may consider most carpet brands in a given price range to be the same. chooses a brand of cookies without much evaluation. a personal computer. what to buy. Consumer Behaviour Page 5 of 8 Decider: A person who decides on any component of a buying decision--whether to buy. Think about cookies. Sometimes the consumer is highly involved in a purchase but sees little difference in the brands. how to buy. The decisions to buy toothpaste. They go to the store and reach for the brand. But next time. avoiding out-of-stock . Fourth. it is out of habit. These strategies at best raise consumer involvement from a low to a moderate level. and motivate store sales personnel and the buyer's acquaintances to influence the final brand choice. infrequent.• • MB208 Marketing Management 06. they might add an important product feature to a low-involvement product (for example. Consumers engage in complex buying behavior when they are highly involved in a purchase and aware of significant differences among brands. Brand switching occurs for the sake of variety rather than dissatisfaction. as when Crest toothpaste is linked to avoiding cavities. and a new car are all very different. and evaluates the product during consumption. This is usually the case when the product is expensive. Variety-Seeking Buying Behavior. frequently purchased products. Some buying situations are characterized by low consumer involvement but significant brand differences. they might design their advertising to trigger strong emotions related to personal values or ego defense. Four Types of Buying Behaviors HIGH INVOLVEMENT LOW INVOLVEMENT Significant Differences Complex buying behavior Variety-seeking buying behavior Between Brands Few Differences Dissonance-reducing buying behavior Habitual buying behavior Between Brands Complex Buying Behavior. use print media to describe the brand's benefits. they can link the product to some involving issue. The market leader will try to encourage habitual buying behavior by dominating the shelf space. a tennis racket. bought infrequently. the buyer will shop around to learn what is available but will buy fairly quickly. The market leader and the minor brands in this product category have different marketing strategies. carpet buying is a highinvolvement decision because carpeting is expensive and self-expressive. The marketer of a high-involvement product must understand high-involvement consumers' information-gathering and evaluation behavior. Complex and expensive purchases are likely to involve more buyer deliberation and more participants. Assael distinguished four types of consumer buying behavior based on the degree of buyer involvement and the degree of differences among brands. In this case. Consumers have little involvement in this product category. Here consumers often do a lot of brand switching. The marketer needs to differentiate the brand's features. Many products are bought under conditions of low consumer involvement and the absence of significant brand differences. risky. and highly self-expressive. Dissonance-Reducing Buyer Behavior. If they keep reaching for the same brand. For example. fortifying a plain drink with vitamins). Third. perhaps responding primarily to a good price or to purchase convenience. by advertising a coffee brand early in the morning when the consumer wants to shake off sleepiness. There is good evidence that consumers have low involvement with most low-cost. and risky. and that call attention to the high standing of the company's brand on the more important attributes. The marketer needs to develop strategies that assist the buyer in learning about the product's attributes and their relative importance. Second. Habitual Buying Behavior. First. The consumer has some beliefs about cookies. Consider salt.

MB208 Marketing Management 06. Clearly the buying process starts long before the actual purchase and has consequences long afterward. The consumer develops a set of brand beliefs about where each brand stands on each attribute. THE STAGES OF THE BUYING DECISION PROCESS Figure -3 shows a "5-stage model" of the typical buying process. Second. or she watches a television commercial advertising a Hawaiian vacation. the amount of information she initially has. Third. purchase decision. Marketers need to identify the circumstances that trigger a particular need. The milder search state is called heightened informa attention. The consumer's brand image will vary with his or her experiences as filtered by the effects of selective perception. she admires a neighbor's new car. By gathering information from a number of consumers. the ease of obtaining additional information. the consumer sees each product as a bundle of attributes with varying abilities of delivering the benefits sought to satisfy this need. We can distinguish between two levels of arousal. The marketer can then develop marketing strategies that trigger consumer interest. the value she places on additional information. the consumer is looking for certain benefits from the product solution. But this is not the case. marketers can identify the most frequent stimuli that spark an interest in a product category. That is. Problem recognition Information search Evaluation of alternatives Problem Recognition. The buyer senses a difference between his or her actual state and a desired state. and post purchase behavior. skipping information search and evaluation. and sponsoring frequent reminder advertising. FIGURE -3 Five-Stage Model of the Consumer Buying Process . deals. Some basic concepts will help us understand consumer evaluation processes: First. the consumer may enter active information search. and advertising that presents reasons for trying something new. especially with low-involvement purchases. and the satisfaction she gets from search. and selective retention. There are several decision evaluation processes. phones friends. free samples. they see the consumer as forming product judgments largely on a conscious and rational basis. Consumer Behaviour Page 6 of 8 conditions. and engages in other activities to learn about the product. At the next level. A person passes a bakery and sees freshly baked bread that stimulates her hunger. The set of beliefs about a brand make up the brand image. the most current models of which see the consumer evaluation process as cognitively oriented. Thus a woman buying her regular brand of toothpaste goes directly from the need for toothpaste to the purchase decision. The consumer passes through five stages: problem recognition. The buying process starts when the buyer recognizes a problem or need. Consumers may skip or reverse some stages. the consumer is trying to satisfy a need. The model in Figure -3 implies that consumers pass sequentially through all five stages in buying a product. evaluation of alternatives. coupons. selective distortion. information search. Evaluation of Alternatives. There is no simple and single evaluation process used by all consumers or by one consumer in all buying situations. An aroused consumer will be inclined to search for more information. How much search she undertakes depends on the strength of her drive. She actually looks for reading material. Purchase decision Post purchase behavior Information Search. Challenger firms will encourage variety seeking by offering lower prices.

postpurchase actions. and they are highly dissatisfied. The second factor is unanticipated situational factors. If the consumer is satisfied. the product is probably not very satisfying. Marketers must monitor postpurchase satisfaction. an upside-down page in the first edition of a famous author's book might make the book become a collectible item worth many times its original purchase price. However. Some buyers will no longer want the flawed product. Postpurchase Behavior. which lead to dissatisfaction. Postpurchase Actions.MB208 Marketing Management 06. A buyer's preference for a brand will increase if someone he or she likes favors the same brand strongly. Postpurchase Use and Disposal. They may take public action such as by complaining to the company. Dissatisfied consumers respond differently. friends. Consumer Behaviour Page 7 of 8 Purchase Decision. The marketer's job does not end when the product is bought but continues into the postpurchase period. Some consumers magnify the gap when the product is not perfect. Marketers should also monitor how the buyers use and dispose of the product If consumers store the product in their closet. make a decision to stop buying the product or warn friends. Consumers form their expectations on the basis of messages received from sellers. Some sellers might even understate performance levels so that consumers experience higher-thanexpected satisfaction with the product. The consumer may also form an intention to buy the most preferred brand. Thus preferences and even purchase intentions are not completely reliable predictors of purchase behavior. or a store salesperson may turn her off. Here the consumer's coping style comes into play. he or she will exhibit a higher probability of purchasing the product again. going to a lawyer. The consumer's satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the product will influence subsequent behavior. others will be indifferent to the flaw. After purchasing a product. a consumer may detect a flaw. The consumer might lose her job. the consumer forms preferences among the brands in the choice set. After purchasing the product. They may abandon or return the product. or complaining to other groups. some other purchase might become more urgent. These may erupt to change the purchase intention. and other information sources. In the evaluation stage. and some may even see the flaw as enhancing the product's value. the greater the consumer's dissatisfaction. two factors can intervene between the purchase intention and the purchase decision (Figure -4). The larger the gap between expectations and performance. the consumer will experience some level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. consumers will experience disconfirmed expectations.37 For instance. Postpurchase Satisfaction. and . and postpurchase product use and disposal. FIGURE -4 Steps Between Evaluation of Alternatives and a Purchase Decision The first factor is the attitudes of others. If the seller exaggerates the benefits. The importance of postpurchase satisfaction suggests that sellers must make product claims that truthfully represent the product's likely performance. The converse is also true. Other consumers minimize the gap and are less dissatisfied.

marketers should advertise these uses: . If consumers find new uses for the product.MB208 Marketing Management 06. Consumer Behaviour Page 8 of 8 word-of-mouth will not be strong.

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