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WHAT INFLUENCES CONSUMER

BEHAVIOUR?

Consumer behaviour is the study of how individuals, groups and organizations select,
buy, use and dispose of goods, services, ideas, or experience to satisfy their needs and
wants. Marketers must fully understand both the theory and reality of consumer
behaviour. It is the study of when, why, how, and where people do or do not buy product.
It attempts to understand the buyer decision making process, both individually and in
groups. It studies characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics and
behavioural variables in an attempt to understand people's wants. It also tries to assess
influences on the consumer from groups such as family, friends, reference groups, and
society in general.

Customer behaviour study is based on consumer buying behaviour, with the customer
playing the three distinct roles of user, payer and buyer.
Consumer Behaviour Model

ENVIRONMENTAL
BUYER'S BLACK BOX
FACTORS BUYER'S
Marketing Environmental Buyer Decision RESPONSE
Stimuli Stimuli Characteristics Process
Problem
recognition
Economic Attitudes Information
Product choice
Product Technological Motivation search
Brand choice
Price Political Perceptions Alternative
Dealer choice
Place Cultural Personality evaluation
Purchase timing
Promotion Demographic Lifestyle Purchase
Purchase amount
Natural Knowledge decision
Post-purchase
behaviour

The consumer behaviour model shows the interaction of stimuli, consumer


characteristics, and decision process and consumer responses. It can be distinguished
between interpersonal stimuli (between people) or intrapersonal stimuli (within people).
The marketing stimuli are planned and processed by the companies, whereas the
environmental stimuli are given by social factors, based on the economical, political and
cultural circumstances of a society. The buyer’s black box contains the buyer
characteristics and the decision process, which determines the buyer’s response.

The consumer behaviour model considers the buyers response as a result of a conscious,
rational decision process, in which it is assumed that the buyer has recognized the
problem. However, in reality many decisions are not made in awareness of a determined
problem by the consumer.
Buyer Behaviour in the Car Accessories
Market
Marketing mix influence:
The marketing mix influences- marketing mix is used to reinforce the advantages of the
car accessories carefully reflecting its core values and positioning. It confirms how and
why it will be of interest to various segments of the customers.

a) “Product”- reflecting the brand

In branding and market positioning, brands wishes to communicate a number of key


attributes of the accessories. The brands positioning statement is designed to convey the
product advantages and the character of the model in a way that will best attract the target
market.

b) “Place”- getting the product to the customer

In order to succeed at getting the product to the customer, the companies employ agents
or dealers who carry the product to the final consumers. This means that support should
be given to the dealers around to promote the model in a way that generates demand for
it.

c) “Price”- reflecting the positioning strategy

The company should have a clear understanding of its key target market for e.g. (young
people) for different segments of consumers and should design pricing strategy to best
address their needs.

d) “Promotion”- Communicating

Publicity in the form of demo or reviews are critical to the success of a trade launch as
this activity should generate sufficient consumer curiosity and interest in the products.
The choice of outdoor advertising makes a perfect market sense.
Socio cultural influences:
a) Cultural influences
Culture: An overall culture of Indian people with special reference to Delhites is
based on egoism. Example: Suppose one’s neighbor, friend or relative buys an
excellent brand audio system for his car, and irrespective of one having money or not
one would target to buy the same brand or a better brand just to outshine his
personality. This nature of people has also led to the increase of the car accessories
market in India (Delhi).

b) Social Influences:

The consumer’s behaviour is also influenced by (other) social factors as:


• Reference Groups
• Family
• Social rules and status

c) Reference groups

“A person’s reference groups consists of all social groups that have a direct (face to
face) or indirect influence on the person’s attitude or behaviour”
Two types of reference groups:
Membership groups are the groups, to which the person belongs,
• Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers (primary groups)
• Religious, political, professional groups (secondary groups)
Non-membership groups are the groups to which a person not belongs, but which
influence the attitude and behaviour of the person. E.g. A celebrity influencing the
personality and attitude of a person.
Family
Family members constitute the most influential primary reference group shaping the
buyer’s behavior. This family is the most important consumer- buying organization in
society.
d) Personal Influence:

A buyer’s decisions are also strongly influenced by personal characteristics, so the

• Age and life cycle stage


People buy different goods and services over their life time:
They eat baby food in the early years, most foods in the growing and maturing years,
and special diets in the later years. With reference to the car accessories a younger
person may demand a sportier looking car whereas an older person would go for a
more comfortable and spacious car.
• Occupation
A person’s consumption pattern is also influenced by his or her occupation. A student
would like to have a car with fully loaded accessories in comparison to a business
man who would go for a decent comfortable car.
• Economic circumstances
Peoples’ economic circumstances consist of their:
o Spend able income
o Savings and assets
o Borrowing power
o Attitude towards spending and saving

• Lifestyle
People coming from the same subculture, social class, occupation but may lead different
lifestyles. A person’s lifestyle in the person’s pattern of living in the world as expressed
in the person’s activities, interests, and opinions. Lifestyles portrays the “whole person:
interacting with his or her environment.
Psychological Influences

• Personality and self concept lead to the psychological factors.

Personality means the person’s distinguishing psychological characteristics.

Self-concept (or self image) means our image of ourselves. The self-expressive benefit
that a brand of accessory relates to the ability of a brand to help a consumer to
communicate his or her self-image. Since consumers have multiple roles, the consumer
has an associated self-concept and a need to express that self-concept. The purchase and
use of brands is one way to fulfill the need for self-expression. For e.g.:
Consumer, who may define him/herself as a successful and powerful by driving in a fully
loaded feature or accessorized car.

Three main psychological processes affect consumer behaviour:

1) Motivation: As a car accessory satisfies safety, security, and personal


need of the consumer, the motivation is basic in nature. Also due to underdeveloped
and erratic public transportation system and long distances in Delhi, Delhites pose an
inclination towards buying a car and thus the car accessories.

2) Perception: A positive experience leads to the formation of a positive


perception about a brand of car accessories and a negative experience with a brand of
car accessories would reduce the brand image and hence brand loyalty.

3) Learning: The purchase of a car accessory follows an experiential


learning process. This is so as the experience tends to alter the purchasing behaviour of
the customer. This is so because it concerns his or her family’s safety, comfort or
entertainment. So if the customer derives satisfaction from a particular brand of car
accessory it would go in for further purchases or recommend others about that
particular brand or else would switch.

MODEL OF PURCHASE DECISION PROCESS


The 5 stages are:
1. Problem Recognition (awareness of need)--difference between the desired state
and the actual condition. Deficit in assortment of products. Hunger--Food. Hunger
stimulates your need to eat. Can be stimulated by the marketer through product
information--did not know you were deficient? I.E., see a commercial for a new
pair of shoes, stimulates your recognition that you need a new pair of shoes.
2. Information search--
o Internal search, memory.
o External search if you need more information. Friends and relatives (word
of mouth). Marketer dominated sources; comparison shopping; public
sources etc.

A successful information search leaves a buyer with possible alternatives, the


evoked set.

Hungry, want to go out and eat, evoked set is

o Chinese food
o Indian food
o Burger king etc
3. Evaluation of Alternatives--need to establish criteria for evaluation, features the
buyer wants or does not want. Rank/weight alternatives or resume search. May
decide that you want to eat something spicy, Indian gets highest rank etc.
If not satisfied with your choice then returns to the search phase. Can you think of
another restaurant? Look in the yellow pages etc. Information from different
sources may be treated differently. Marketers try to influence by "framing"
alternatives.
4. Purchase decision--Choose buying alternative, includes product, package, store,
method of purchase etc. Purchase--May differ from decision, time lapse between
the two, product availability.
5. Post-Purchase Evaluation--outcome: Satisfaction or Dissatisfaction. Cognitive
Dissonance, have you made the right decision. This can be reduced by warranties,
after sales communication etc. After eating an Indian meal, may think that really
you wanted a Chinese meal instead.

CONSUMER PURCHASE DECISION PROCESS IN


CAR ACCESSORY
 Need Recognition:

The need for the car accessories emerges from a number of factors like:
1) Safety and comfort need
2) The basic entertainment need
3) Upgrading for a better technology
4) First time buyer of a car
All these factors help to satisfy the basic safety and comfort need, entertainment
need and Ego needs like status, respect and prestige.

Maslow’s Need Hierarchy

 Pre-purchase search: Information search


An aroused consumer will be inclined to search for more information’s. What sources
of information’s are used to help arrive at a decision?

Consumer information’s sources fall into four groups:


(1) Personal sources: Family, friends, and neighbours
(2) Commercial sources: Advertising, salespersons, displays
(3) Public sources: Mass media, consumer-rating organizations
(4) Experimental sources: Handling, examining, using the product.

Normally, the amount of consumer search activity increases as the consumer moves
from situations of limited problem solving to extensive problem solving.

The pre purchase search for the car accessories includes the survey of the options
available on the basis of the following:
a) Price
b) Comfort and safety
c) Easy availability
d) Brand
e) Features
f) Reputation of the company
g) Style/ looks
h) Quality

The external sources relied on the above data are:


1) Dealer’s guidance
2) Marketing efforts used by the Company
3) Word of mouth
4) Friends, relatives and pear groups
5) Family members
6) Past experience with a brand
The internal sources are the:
Psychological Field:
1) Motivation: As a car accessory satisfies safety, security, and personal need of
the consumer, the motivation is basic in nature. Also due to underdeveloped and
erratic public transportation system and long distances in Delhi, Delhites pose an
inclination towards buying a car and thus the car accessories.

The degree of the perceived risk involved in the purchase of the car accessories is
not much therefore the consumers does not use large and extensive search and evaluation
tactics. On analyzing the responses from the questionnaire I infer that the customers in
Delhi does not spend much of time in the search and purchase decision of a car
accessory.

2) Personality: Ownership of a car is a reflection of who you are and thus spending
a good amount of money to get it accessorized also reflects the same, especially people
between the age group of 15-30. Driving a particular feels it’s an expression of the
personality. Moreover Delhites believe that their personality is mirrored through the
choice of their cars and how much you spend on it to get it accessorized.

3) Perception: A positive experience leads to the formation of a positive


perception about a brand of car accessories and a negative experience with a brand of car
accessories would reduce the brand image and hence brand loyalty.

4) Attitudes: People buy car accessories for all sorts of reasons. Some just want an
entertainment or relaxing journey from one destination to another. For few, it is the
symbol of prestige, status and self-image.

5) Beliefs: Beliefs are a consumer’s subjective perception of how well a product or


brand performs on different attributes. Beliefs are based on personal experience,
advertising, and discussions with other people.
6) Learning: The purchase of a car accessory follows an experiential learning
process. This is so as the experience tends to alter the purchasing behaviour of the
customer. This is so because it concerns his or her family’s safety, comfort or
entertainment. So if the customer derives satisfaction from a particular brand of car
accessory it would go in for further purchases or recommend others about that
particular brand or else would switch.

 Evaluation of the Alternatives:


When evaluating the potential alternatives, consumer tends to use two types of
information:
1. A “list” of brands (or models) from which they plan to make their selection
(evoked set).
2. The criteria thy will use to evaluate each brand (or model).
The accessory industry is basically divided into three segments:
OEMs- Autocop, Minda
Private- Sony, JVC, Pioneer
Home made- Hyundai
Making a selection from sample of all possible brands (or models) is a human
characteristic that helps simplify the decision-making process.

 Decision Making:
The purchase of a car accessory is not extensive and extended decision-making process.

TYPES OF CONSUMER-SOLVING PROCESSES

Routenized
• Used when buying frequently purchased, low cost items
• Used when little search/decision effort is needed
• E.g., buying a quart of orange juice once per week
Limited problem solving
• Used when products are occasionally purchased
• Used when information is needed about an unfamiliar product in a familiar
product category
• E.g. Car Accessories which does not include much of risks and efforts.

Extended problem solving


• Used when product is unfamiliar, expensive, or infrequently purchased
• E.g. buying a new car once every five years

Involvements:

1. It is not expensive, and also does not hold a lot of risks attached to it. But still as
car accessories are relative products to the car thus involves risk of many factors
relating to car.
2. It does not entails extensive information search, consideration of several products
attributes and brands, the formation of attitudes, and word-of-mouth
communication.
3. Purchase Behaviour & Post Purchase Evaluation: It is inferred that the people in
Delhi uses the conjunctive decision rule and compare the various alternatives on
the basis of Brand and Price.

The output of consumer decision making is the post purchase Evaluation:


The car accessories seems to satisfy a no. of needs posed by the customer as
majority of replies showed its repurchase, post consumption (not necessarily the
same brand or model) if they had the resources to buy. This shows that:
1) Actual performance meets the promises made to the
customer.
2) Or its consumption has delivered the desired results.
Thus a positive experience leads to the formation of a positive perception about car
accessories. This helps to reduce of the pre-purchase search and also helps to reduce the
post-purchase cognitive dissonance. This would also result in learning through
experience and help to build in brand loyalty. With reference to Delhites there seem to be
prevalence of brand loyalty.