Consumer Decision Process

Influence of the Social Environment

• How does the family affect consumer behavior?
(consumer socialization)

• Roles in Family Decision Making • Who is the Decision Maker
(Husband dominant, wife dominant, and joint decision making)

• Family Life Cycle

Group/Family Decision Making
• Decision Roles:
– Influencer: influences the purchase decision. – Gatekeeper: Role to control as in organization. – Decider: makes the final decision regarding a purchase. – Buyer: engages in the actual transaction/ purchase. – Preparer: prepares the purchased goods for use. – User: uses the purchased good(s). – Maintainer: maintains or takes care of the good(s). – Disposer: chooses when and how to dispose of the good(s).


• Four roles of spouses:

Autonomic role— partners independently make an equal number of decisions. Husband-dominant role— husband usually makes certain buying decisions, such as purchasing life insurance.

Wife-dominant role— wife makes buying decisions, such as buying children’s clothing.
Syncratic role— buying decision made jointly.

(Increasing occurrence of two-income households increases likelihood of spouses making joint buying decisions.)

Family Influences

Families and Households
Households are composed of all those people who occupy a living unit
– – –

The Nuclear Family The Extended Family The Detached Nuclear Family

• Married couples • Married with children at home • Married with no children at home • Single fathers • Single mothers • Other families

Family Households:

Nonfamily Households:

• Men Living Alone

• Women Living Alone
• Other Nonfamilies

Some Household Trends
• Childless couples 45-64 have the most buying power.

Single parents/childless singles over 45 have the least. Increase in divorce: children leave home prior to marriage: older people maintain own homes.

• Size has shrunk from 3.14 to 2.67 persons.

• Later marriage. • 2-career families.

Relationships among Purchasers and Consumers in the Family

Traditional Family Life Cycle Stages Stage I: Bachelorhood- Young single adult living apart from parents. Spend their income on rent, basic home requirements, lifestyles, entertainment. Stage II: Honeymooners- Young married couple. Start-up expenses on appliances, utensils, accessories, vacations. Stage III: Parenthood- married couple with atleast one child at home. Expenses on education

Stage IV: Postparenthood- older married couple with no children living at home. Worrying about marriage of remaining children.
 Higher disposable income because of savings & investments.  Expenses on travel, entertainment, club fee, refurnishing home, market for new automobiles, luxury goods.

Stage V: Dissolution- occurs at the death of one spouse. Expenses on health, donations etc.

• Marketers use the family life cycle to
–Segment the market –Analyze market potential –Identify target markets –Develop more effective marketing strategies

• Developing marketing strategies for the bachelor segment is a challenge • Some stages in the family life cycle are more important markets than others

Family Life Cycle Stages
1. Young Single 2. Young Married with no Children (DINKS) 3. Young - married with children - divorced without children - divorced with children 4. Middle Aged a. married without children b. divorced without children c. married with children d. divorced with children e. married without dependent children f. divorced without dependent children 5. Older (i) older married (ii) older unmarried (divorced, widowed)
6. Other- SSWDs single separated widowed / divorced


Functions of Family

1.Economic Well-Being 2.Emotional Support 3.Suitable Family Lifestyle