What Factors Influence Consumer Behavior
What goes on inside a customer’s mind – is perhaps the billion-dollar question every brand manager scrutinizes. They all want to know what customers think before deciding to purchase a product of their choice. They are always trying to find out what factors influence the buying decision of consumers.
Brand managers need to understand exactly why and how a consumer makes a choice when there are so many alternatives easily available. Only when they hit the nail on the head and determine exactly what these factors are that influence consumer behavior, can they work on improving their marketing strategies.
The buying decision of a consumer, or more specifically, consumer behavior, depends on a number of factors. In this blog, we have discussed in some detail factors that influence the consumers’ buying decision.
Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior
It is one of the most important factors that influence consumer behavior. As a child, a consumer is influenced by his/her culture that teaches him/her the basic values that shapes their preferences, opinions, attitudes and beliefs.
All these factors drive the purchasing decisions of a consumer. Brand managers and marketers try to pin down the “cultural shifts” that might lead to a new product or increase the demand of the existing product.
Social factors such as social status and social groups influence the buying behavior of a consumer. The social group usually refers to social origin, family, place of living, work, hobbies, etc. Family plays the most crucial role in influencing this behavior. For instance, if you never drank coke in your childhood because your parents steadfastly stopped you from doing so, it is less likely that you will indulge in this later on in life.
Social status is also equally important in driving decisions. You might want to buy an iPhone 6 and drive a Ferrari just to show off your social success and ability to buy these products.
Personal factors such as age and lifestyle have a great influence on consumer behavior. A consumer who is 20 years old will not buy something that is meant for a 50-year-old person. His/her diet as well as lifestyle will change significantly with age. He/she will not mind having junk food for dinner or for lunch when at 20, but certainly this behavior will change when he/she reaches 70.
In the same way, someone who is a sports freak will splurge on sports items and health apps; however, someone who hardly cares about sports, will never buy boxing gloves or bowling shoes.
Psychological factors can be broadly divided into motivation, perception, learning and beliefs. Motivation drives consumers to develop a purchasing behavior. It is difficult to measure it, as it occurs at a subconscious level. Brands try to motivate consumers so that he/she actually buys the product. Perception, on the other hand, is the process by which a consumer selects and understands the information he receives from brands.
Learning happens through action. If you are happy and satisfied with a certain product, you realize that the product is good. Beliefs and attitudes are a part of his /her personality and extremely hard to change. Brand managers need to spot the positive beliefs and attitude to make the most of it.
The Digital Age
The digital age has completely revolutionized the perception of consumer behavior. Brand managers are able to derive powerful insights from the data and plan their brand strategies accordingly.
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