Chapter 6: Understanding Consumer and Business Buyer Behaviour (Pg. 201-224)
Consumer Markets and Consumer Buyer Behaviour
Consumer Buyer Behaviour: Buying behaviour of final consumer- individuals and households
that buy goods/services for personal consumption.
Consumer Market: All the individuals and households that buy or acquire goods and services
for personal consumption.
What is Consumer Behaviour?
Consumers make many purchasing decisions, some are more complex than others.
• (Ex. Consumer buying coffee would go through a different decision-making
process than someone buying a house).
Companies will research consumer buying behaviour: What consumers buy, where they buy,
how and how much they buy, when they buy, and why they buy.
• Learning the whys of consumer buying behaviour isn't easy- answers are in
• Consumers don't always know why they buy goods either.
Central question for marketers:
Given all the characteristics (cultural, social, personal, and psychological) affecting consumer
behaviour, how do we best design our marketing efforts to reach our consumers most
The study of consumer behaviour begins and ends with the individual!
Consumer behaviour was previously referred to as buyer behaviour, reflecting an emphasis on
the actual exchange of goods for money.
• The study of consumer behaviour is an ongoing process that starts long before
the consumer purchases a product/service and continues long after they
Characteristics Affecting Consumer Behaviour
Consumer purchases are strongly affected by cultural, social, personal, and psychological
• CULTURAL FACTORS Exert a broad/deep influence on consumer behaviour. Marketer must understand the role
played by the buyer's culture, subculture, and social class.
Culture: The set of basic values, perceptions, wants and behaviours learned by members of
society from a family/institutions.
• U.S. Values: achievement and success, activity/involvement,
efficiency/practicality, progress, hard work, material comfort, individualism,
freedom, humanitarianism, youthfulness, and fitness/health.
• Canadian Values: Beauty of natural landscape, beliefs in respect, equality, fair
treatment, our flag, social safety net, multiculturalism.
Failure to adjust to cultural differences results in ineffective marketing/embarrassing
• CULTURE IS NOT HOMOGENEOUS, too broad to say that Canada has one culture
and Japan has another.
• Multiplicity of overlapping cultural groups.
Subculture: A group of people with shared value systems based on common life experiences
and situations. (Ex. Nationalities, religions, racial groups, and geographic regions).
• Marketers will often tailor to subcultures (Ex. Specific products for the
• Culturally relevant advertising is important, (Ex. Multimedia approach for the
• Ex. Special products, appeals and marketing programs for black consumers (Ex.
Hair relaxer, Olay body lotion or black skin).
As the Canadian population ages, mature consumers are becoming an attractive market. Baby
boomers will move into 50+ category, controlling a large proportion of wealth, income, and
consumption than any other generation. Willing to shop around! (Ex. 25% of iPhones have been
bought by 50+ people).
Social Class: Relatively permanent and ordered divisions in a society whose members share
similar values, interests, and behaviours.
• Measured by occupation, income, education, wealth etc.
• Social class shows preferences in areas such as clothing, home furnishings,
leisure activity, and cars.
• SOCIAL FACTORS
Small groups, family, and social roles/status.
• Group: 2+ people who interact to accomplish individual/mutual goals. Influence
o Membership groups: Direct influence/a person belongs to.
o Reference groups: Direct/indirect points of comparison/reference in
forming a person's attitudes/behaviour. o Aspirational groups: Groups to which individuals wish to belong to
(young hockey player hopes to join NHL).
Opinion Leader: Person within a reference group who, because of special
skills/knowledge/personality, or other characteristics, exerts social influence on others.
• Marketers try to identify leaders for their products. Use buzz marketing by
enlisting or creating opinion leaders to serve as "brand ambassadors".
Online Social Networks: Online communities where people socialize and exchange
• Marketers work to harness the power of social networks/build closer customer
Family: Most important consumer buying organization in a society. Marketers are interested in
family member roles.
Roles and Status: People choose products appropriate to their roles and status.
• PERSONAL FACTORS
Buyer's age and life-cycle stage, occupation, economic situation, lifestyle, and personality/self-
Age and Life-Cycle Stage: People change goods/services over their lifetime. Tastes in food,
clothes, furniture, and recreation are age-related.
Occupation: Blue-collar workers will buy more rugged work clothes, executives buy more
• Marketers try to identify occupational groups that have above-average interest
in their products/services.
Economic Situation: Marketers watch trends in personal income, savings, and interest rates.
• Due to recent economic recession, marketers are redesigning, repositioning, and
repricing their products. Target places emphasis on 'pay less' promise.
Lifestyle: A person's pattern of living as expressed in their activities, interests, and opinions.
• People coming from the same subculture, social class, and occupation have
• Can help marketers understand changing consumer values/how they affect
Personality and Self-Concept: Each person's distinct personality influences their buying
Personality: The unique psychological characteristics that distinguish a person or group.
• Self-confidence, dominance, sociability, autonomy, defensiveness, adaptability,