UNIT 10 FAMILY BUYING INFLUENCES, FAMILY LIFE CYCLE AND BUYING ROLES Objectives At the end of this unit you should be able to: • Explain the nature of the family influences that operate on the purchase behaviour • Describe how family decision-making is influenced by the role specialisations of the members involved in the purchase decisions • Evaluate the impact of the family life cycle stages on consumption behaviour • Explain the implications of family decision-making for marketing strategy. Structure 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 Introduction: The Family as a Consuming Unit Family Buying Influences: Nature and Types of Influences Consumer Socialisation Intergenerational Influences Family Decision-Making Family Role Structure and Buying Behaviour The Dynamics of Family Decision-Making: Purchase Influences and Role specialization The Influence of Children The Family Life Cycle Concept Implications of Family Decision-Making for Marketing Strategy Summary Key Words Self-assessment Test Further Readings
10.1 INTRODUCTION: THE FAMILY AS A CONSUMING UNIT
Consumer behaviour is influenced not only by consumer personalities and motivations, as you learnt in the previous unit, but also by the relationships within families. You will find this illustrated in Figure 1. The family is such a familiar social unit that, it is difficult to discuss it without appearing to discuss the obvious. Nevertheless, in this unit we will look at the interaction of the individual within the family and examine those features that are of importance to marketing. A knowledge of family structure and its consumption characteristics is, in fact, a necessary precondition for successful marketing. From the marketing point of view, the family differs from larger reference groups in that the members must satisfy their individual and shared needs by drawing on a common and shared, relatively fixed supply of sources. And for the individual, the family is the strongest, most immediate, and most pervasive influence on decisionmaking. Family Types As a consuming unit to consider, the marketer is interested in the variety of living arrangements that exist in the population. There are several types of families and their buying requirements would differ subject to their structural variations.
There is the nuclear family, which is termed as consisting of the husband, wife and their offspring.
Family Buying Influences, Family Life Cycle and Buying Roles
There is the extended family in which the family structure extends beyond the nuclear family and includes other relatives such as the parents of the husband or wife, aunts, uncles, grandparents and in-laws. The traditional household set-up in India consisting of a. joint family is an example of an extended family. The term family is actually a subset of the more general classification of household, where the household comprises all those persons who occupy and share a housing unit. The household thus covers a variety of living arrangements such as roommates living in an apartment, single parent families, and joint family households, all of which are of value to the marketer as consumption units.
10.2 FAMILY BUYING INFLUENCES: NATURE AND TYPES OF INFLUENCES The Reciprocal Nature of Family Influence The family is not just a social group. It is also an earning, consuming, decisionmaking unit, and it is of importance to marketers because of the influence that family members have on purchase and consumption decision. In this section we will consider the various family related factors that have an impact on consumer decisionmaking. The family's influence comes from the fact that the bonds within the family are likely to be much more powerful and intimate than those in other small groups. Because of these bonds, the family has profound social, cultural, psychological and economic influence on consumers. Within the...