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Chapter 6

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Queen's University
COMM 131
Ethan Pancer

Chapter 6: Understanding Consumer and Business Buyer Behaviour Consumer Markets and Consumer Buying Behaviour  Consumer Buying Behaviour refers to the buying behaviour of final consumers o Individuals and households that buy goods and services for personal consumption  Consumer Market refers to all the individuals and households that buy or acquire goods and services for personal consumption What is Consumer Behaviour?  The consumer thought process when determining what to buy, where to buy, how and how much to buy, when to buy, and why to buy o Easy to find out what, where, and how much – the hard part is the why  Central question: Given all the characteristics (below) affecting consumer behaviour, how do we best design our marketing efforts to reach our consumers most effectively?  The study of consumer behaviour is an ongoing process that starts long before a good is purchased and ends much after it is consumed o Therefore marketers must be aware of a number of issues before, during, and after a purchase in order to build brand loyalty and lasting relationships Characteristics Affecting Consumer Behaviour Cultural Factors  These exert a broad and deep influence on consumer behaviour  Marketer must understand roles played by the buyer’s culture, subculture, & social class Culture  This is the set of basic values, perceptions, wants, and behaviours learned by a member of society from family & other important institutions  most basic cause of needs & wants  Culture varies from country to country, from province to province, and person to person  A failure to adjust to these differences can lead to ineffective marketing and mistakes Subculture  This is a group of people with shared value systems based on common life experiences and situations  includes nationalities, religions, racial groups, and geographic regions o Many subcultures make up segments that marketers tailor products to Social Class  These are societies relatively permanent and ordered divisions whose members share similar values, interests, and behaviours o Social class is not measured by a single factor, but by a combination of occupation, income, education, wealth, and other variables  Most Canadians are considered to be middle class  People within the same class tend to exhibit similar buying behaviour  Social classes show distinct product and brand preferences in areas such as clothing, home furnishings, leisure activity, and automobiles Social Factors Groups and Social Networks  Membership Groups: Groups that have a direct influence & which a person belongs  In contrast, reference groups serve as direct or indirect points of comparison on reference in forming a person’s attitudes and behaviours  Marketers try to locate reference groups of their target markets because they expose them to new behaviours & lifestyles, influence attitudes & create conformity pressures  Marketers of brands subjected to strong group influence must figure out how to reach the opinion leaders – ppl within the reference group who exert social influence on the others o Try to locate these people and direct their marketing efforts toward them Family  Family members can strongly influence buying behaviour  In all, women make almost 85% of all family purchases o Some “male” products, like electronics, are now being marketed toward the women in the family as opposed to the men  Children also have a major influence on buying decisions o People in all industries are not marketing children along with men and women Roles and Status  A person belongs to many groups (family, clubs, orgs) and the person’s position in each group can be defined in both role and status o A role consists of the activities people are expected to perform according to the persons around them  each role carries a status  People usually choose products that are appropriate to their roles and status Personal Factors Age and Life-Cycle  People change the goods and services that they buy over their lifetime o Tastes in food, clothing, furniture, and recreation often change with age  Buying is also shaped by the stage of the family life-cycle Occupation  Depending on your job, you will buy different things – based on money, image, etc.  Marketers try to identify the occupational group that have an above average interest in their products and services – may even specialize in making p/s for a particular group Economic Situation  For obvious reasons, a person’s economic situation will affect their product purchases  Marketers will watch trends in personal income, savings, and interest rates Lifestyle  People from the same subculture, social class, & occupation may have different lifestyles  Lifestyle is a person’s pattern of living as expressed in his or her psychographics o It involves measuring consumers’ major AIO dimensions – activities (work, hobbies), interests (fashion, recreation), & opinions (issues, business, products) Personality and Self-Concept  Each person’s distinct personality influences his/her buying behaviour  Personality refers to unique psychological characteristics that distinguish a person/group o Usually described in terms of traits ie. Self-confidence, autonomy, aggressiveness  Personality can be useful in analysing consumer behaviour for a certain product or service since brands also have personalities – consumers choose brands similar to them o Brand Identity is the specific mix of human traits that may be attributed to a brand  Five brand personality traits: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness  Self-Concept is the idea that peoples’ possessions contribute to and reflect their identities Psychological Factors Motivation  People have many needs all the time – a need becomes a motive when it is aroused to a sufficient level of intensity  it leads the person to seek satisfaction  Motivation Research refers to qualitative research designed to probe consumers’ hidden, subconscious motivations – trying to uncover emotions and attitudes toward brands  Interpretive Consumer Research refers to conducting therapy-like interviews involving hypnosis, dream therapy, and mood music to dig deeper into consumer psyches  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs o Physiological Needs: Hunger, thirst, shelter o Safety Needs: Security, protection o Social Needs: Sense of belonging, love o Esteem Needs: Self-esteem, recognition, status o Self-Actualization Needs: Self-Development and realization Perception  A motivated person is ready to act and how they act is influenced by their perceptions  Perception is the process by which people select, organize, and interpret information to form a meaningful picture of the world  People can form different perceptions because of three perceptual processes o Selective Attention: Tendency for people to screen out important information to which they
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