Chapter Four Notes
Developing a marketing strategy requires an understanding of the process by which consumers buy
goods and services for their own use and organizational buyers purchase business products.
A variety of influences affect both individuals buying items for themselves and personnel purchasing
products for their firms. This chapter focuses on individual purchasing behaviour, which applies to all of
Chapter five will shift the focus to business buying decisions. The study of consumer behaviour is vital to
understand how consumers make buying decisions. Marketers borrow from psychology and sociology.
Consumer behaviour is influenced by the interactions of friends, classmates, families and co-workers.
Consumer behaviour is a process through which buyers make purchase decisions.
Cultural, social and family influences
Culture is the values, beliefs, preferences and tastes handed down from one generation to the next.
Two types of cultural influences
1. Core values
2. Microcultures Core values are underlying motivations that move society forward. There are four Canadian core values
which include; a balance between individualism and collectivism, attitude of tolerance and acceptance,
heightened appreciation for the quality of life and a peaceful predisposition.
Microcultures are smaller groups within a society that have their own distinct characteristics and mode
Reference groups are those people or institutions whose opinions are valued and to whom a person
looks for guidance in his or her own behaviour, values, and conduct, such as family, friends or
celebrities. Influence of reference group depends on two conditions:
Purchased product must be seen and identifiable
Purchased product must be conspicuous, something that not everybody owns
Social classes include six different classes that are determined using occupation, income, education,
family background and residence information. Income is not always a primary factor.
Opinion leaders are trendsetters who purchase new products before others in a group and then
influence others in their purchases. Individuals tend to act as opinion leaders for specific goods or
services based on their knowledge of and interest in those products.
Family structure is changing over the last century due to:
A declining birth rate
An increase in the number of childless couples