The four main factors that affect consumer buyer behavior are: cultural, social, personal, and psychological. By understanding the needs of the culture, subculture and social class a marketer can target specific needs of a particular culture. Since human behavior is for the most part learned, where and how one grows up has an impact on their consumer choices. A consumers wants, values and perception is all shaped by their upbringing.
Consumers buying behavior is also impacted by their peers, family ties, and their roles and status in society. Social class is determined by a combination of factors and is usually broken down their class within society. Class can be broken down into seven categories: Upper Upper, Lower Upper, Upper Middles, Middle Class, Working Class, Upper Lowers, and Lower Lower Class. (Kotler, 2014, p. 141) In the United States, the lines are not as rigid as in other countries and people can move between classes. It is important for a marketer to understand what class they are targeting as behavior patterns are often similar within a class.
Personal factors such as age, occupation, lifestyle and personality also play a role in determining consumer buyer behavior. As peoples personal position changes, their buying needs and wants change too.
Psychological factors also have an impact. These include four major forces: motivation, perception, learning, and beliefs and attitudes. The motive is the drive that pushes a consumer to act. Perception is the way we organize and interpret information about our options and choices. Learning is the effect of information and changes that occur from personal experience. And lastly, the belief one has is an explanatory thought about something.
I’ll apply this concept using gym membership to a California health club as an example. More than likely this product would appeal to most every culture. The social groups it is likely to appeal to are those in the working classes and above. Since membership costs money and is not considered a need, I suspect most of those in the lower classes would deem this type of expense worthy in their budget. The personal factors are likely to be people in their 20’s and above, with most between the ages of 20 to 50. Their occupations will vary, but mostly they will be in sedentary are corporate type jobs. Their economic circumstances will fluctuate and affect their ability to going. Their lifestyle will be health conscious people, and their personalities will be varied among the primary traits of such as: self-confidence, dominance, sociability, autonomy, defensiveness, adaptability, and aggressiveness. Their psychological profile will be varied as well.
Illustration by: Susan Laccabue
Illustration by:Susan Laccabue