Consumer Behaviour – Mastering the art of influencing the Masses since 1940’s.

Key Takeaways:-

  • Satisfied customers are the key to any business as without consumers no business organizations can work.
  • Consumer Behaviour and consumer buying behaviour go hand in hand with each other as customers are playing the three distinct roles of the payer, user, and buyer.
  • Consumer Behaviour in Marketing has become an integral part of strategic market planning.

Consumer Behaviour is a study of the elements that influence an individual’s purchasing decision including environmental, psychological, and societal factors. The understanding of how the consumers choose products and services, the thought or emotional process behind those decisions and what motivates them to choose one product instead of another can be used as data by the marketers. Consumer Behaviour also depends on how much value statement has been provided to them to purchase the product or services and in this way the marketers can get hold of their targeted consumers. [Social Media Post – ]

Study of the Consumer Behaviour patterns can help the company to be successful by the marketers and in this way they can either retain the existing consumers or attract the new customers. The pricing strategies can also determine and impact the decision made by companies by understanding consumer behaviour. How to use brand identity to connect with the client base can be understood by the marketers who study the buyer’s behaviour patterns. Along with cultivating stronger relationships with current and potential customers, developing a deep knowledge of consumer behaviour can also help marketers forge communication and engagement strategies. To understand how consumer behaviour works, companies should understand the reason behind why customers have bought the product and what pushed them to make the purchase and they need to cope up with the trends that are developing in society.

Analysing Consumer Behaviour promises long-term sales stability for any company. Also, long-term sales stability does not only describe a great product, but it also talks about meeting needs, understanding what makes them stick and speaking to them in the ways that make them want to engage. So, how does consumer behaviour affects marketing? At first, the marketers have a proper screening process that takes place by the marketers for understating Consumer Behaviour in Marketing, a variety of surveys, reports and tools are used by the marketers to understand one thing – consumer behaviour. Consumer Behaviour insights can be used to inform all areas of marketing strategy to understand consumer behaviour in marketing.

Before understanding the consumer behaviour, marketers should first understand the factors that drive consumer behaviour and this can be anything, it can either be consumer’s perception about the brand, word of mouth, pricing of the product, quality/quantity of product etc. and these can affect the decision-making capacity of the consumers. Some of the factors affecting consumer behaviour are as follows:

1. Psychological Factors:

Many factors play a major role in consumer’s buying behaviour. There must be a clear understanding by the marketers as to what influenced the buying patterns, that is whether an individual would make buying decisions based on needs v/s wants. Their respective perception about a particular brand can also influence their buying decisions.

  • Brand Exclusivity and Perception  As mentioned, a consumer’s perception about a brand will often determine the buying decisions of a consumer. For example, some people love to shop for products from Zara, Louis Vuitton, or any other high-end brand. In this demographic, luxury items are perceived as the status symbols and the people who purchase such products and spend their money are the ones who are drawn to exclusivity.
  • Individual Thinking Patterns and Perception  The thought process of a particular individual and their perception also plays an important role. For example: If there are two friends Mike and Nigel, they might decide to take away for dinner as they are hungry. So here the primary factor is hunger, now Mike might place an order for a simple salad as he thinks that is a healthy meal and Nigel might place an order for some chicken and vegetables as according to him that is a healthy meal. Here, the concept of perception came into the picture which plays an important role in the buying decision.
  • Brand Perception and the desire to buy “the best” – Brand Perception means how the product and services are perceived by the consumers in comparison with their competitors. If consumers believe that Apple laptops are better than any other brand, then the consumers will opt for Mac laptop from Apple as the brand perception is well perceived by the consumers.

2. Personal Factors:

Personal factors can include factors like an individual’s culture, gender, preference and whether they understand how the product can be used to solve the problem.

  • Age  Different age group of people gets attracted to a different set of products or services. For example: New parents who are around 25 years of age will buy a different set of baby products as compared to new parents who are around 20 years of age. The marketers who master this demographic of age group are well-positioned and know their target audience. 
  • Culture  Nationality, religion, socio-economic, cultural factors play an important role in consumer behaviour. For example, in India initially, Kellogg’s did not succeed as it had launched a crispy flakes product to be eaten as breakfast with normal milk, but since in India people usually heat the milk and consume so the milk is either warm or lukewarm which made the flakes soggy and that was not accepted by the consumers in a wide range as it was against the Indian Culture, but later on Kellogg’s brought up new improvisation with was liked by the consumers eventually.
  • Gender – Usually in any household women will be the primary person for making the buying decisions and so the decisions taken by men and women would be different and so the marketers should analyse category, quality, and quantity-wise as to how their buying decision will be taken.
  • Habits, Interests and Lifestyle – Every individual have their preferences, interests and so the marketers should understand their target audience and must sell their products and services accordingly. For example, A waterproof backpack might prove to be more successful for marketers to sell it to the consumers who like to go for outdoor trek or hike rather than one who is staying at home.

3. Social Factors:

Consumer’s family dynamic, their income level, where they live can also be considered as some of the social factors that can be considered for the buying decision of a consumer based on the money they want to spend on a particular product or a service.

  • Income Level – There is a thin line of difference between wants and needs and in the case of income level if the income level of a consumer is low income will be concerned with buying based on needs versus wants whereas the high-income level consumers have a more expendable income and thus may be inclined to buy products based on wants instead of needs.
  • Living Conditions – Living conditions can include factors like whether they rent the house or have of their own, also the neighbourhood where they live, plays an important factor in the buying decision of the consumer. For example: If a person lives in a rented apartment the chances of them buying home appliances like microwave, oven, etc. will be comparatively less as to the one who stays in their own home.
  • Interactions with the community-driven environment Consumers desire to fit into the shoes of their friends, peers, family, and neighbours often play an important role in the buying decision of the consumer. For example: If most of the employees in a company buy a particular brand of a luxury car, then the other employees who will buy the car in the future will also prefer to buy the car from the same brand, they are likely to choose something similar.
  • Family Dynamic – Family members have a strong influence on each other for their buying decision. Children have the most influence on their parents over the purchase of clothes, toys, games, outings, events, dining out, holiday destinations.

Everyone has a different type of behaviour when it comes to buying behaviour. What are consumer behaviour principles? This depends on the different types of consumer behaviour. There are mainly four types of consumer behaviour which are complex buying behaviour, dissonance reducing buying behaviour, habitual buying behaviour, and variety-seeking buying behaviour. By studying these types of behaviour marketers can understand the principles behind their buying behaviour in each type. Following are the types of consumer behaviour:

  1. Complex Buying Behaviour: In this type of behaviour consumers take time to decide as to what to buy. When an individual buys an expensive and infrequently purchased product like a car, new home, etc. then the customers will take their time and will have a proper screening process and research the difference between the various brands. This involves a deep sense of buyer commitment based on the cost.
  2. Dissonance Reducing Buying Behaviour: In this type, the customer is inclined to purchase an item but is having a hard time understanding the difference between different brands. This mainly occurs when the customers are not sure about the purchase or when they are having a thought of regret in the future. For example: If the customer is going to purchase a TV but different brands have the same resolution, and this might cause trouble to the customer as they might find it difficult to pick one of them among the different brands.
  3. Habitual Buying Behaviour: This type of buying happens usually when the customer purchases a certain product regularly, and they are not emotionally attached to one particular brand for that. For example, Bread, butter, eggs, milk, etc.
  4. Variety Seeking Buying Behaviour: This type takes place when the customers are willing to experiment in their purchase of products, this necessarily does not happen because the customer is dissatisfied with the product but because they want to try something new. For example, If the customer usually buys a perfume from the X brand but now, he wants to get an experience from the Y brand.

There is a list of other factors as well that influence consumer behaviour, each of the buying behaviour is different from each other but there are some slight similarities between all the types. The purchasing process is often initiated when there is a need, want, or demand for a particular product be it basic grocery, appliances, or new vehicle. Another factor that influences consumer behaviour depends on the way payment is done. For detailed information about the needs and wants you can click here.

  1. Online vs In-store: The purchase done plays an important role in consumer behaviour which states whether the purchase is made through an online portal like google pay, phonepe, Paytm, or at a brick-and-store mortar store. For example: If Amazon uses its product recommendation algorithm, then the consumers will get the recommended option everywhere when they browse for various products but if the consumer goes to an in-store purchase then the targeted upselling is not always standard and then this can result in a difference in the choice of product one is opting for.
  2. Cash, Credit, or Internet Account: The debit or the credit card payment can make the life of a consumer easy, and consumers will not be reluctant to make a purchase compared to the one who makes payment via cash as the amount of cash given might waver their decision and they might restrict themselves to purchase because every purchase is interlinked with an actual parting with physical money.

As we know ‘Customer is the King’, it is especially important for all the organization to understand the needs and wants of the customers and satisfy the customer because when the actual product performance exceeds the buyer’s expectations consumers will highly be satisfied and this creates ‘Consumer Delight’.

Pradnya Kunder

Content Writer

Akanksha Saxena

Graphic Designer

Riha Parikh


3 thoughts on “Consumer Behaviour – Mastering the art of influencing the Masses since 1940’s.”

  1. Factors influencing customers buying behaviors are very nicely captured with. The contents were easy to understand with the given examples. All the best!!!

  2. Sathisha Shetty

    The content is very well articulated by the writer. Nicely described all the factors influencing consumer behaviour.

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