THE INFLUENCE OF CHILDREN ON FAMILY PURCHASING DECISIONS IN OTA, NIGERIA S. T. Akinyele*
Abstract Children constitute an important target market segment and merit attention from a marketing perspective. The role that children play in making decisions concerning the entire family unit has prompted researchers to direct attention to the study of influence of children. This research focuses on the influence of children on family purchasing decision making in Ota, Nigeria, a country with distinct cultural characteristics. The main objective of this study is that to what extent do children exert influence on various product category and stage of the decision making process. For some products, they are active initiators, information seekers , and buyers; whereas for other product categories, they influence purchases made by the parents. The purchasing act is governed by how they have been socialized to act as consumers. Hence, the aim of this paper is not only to explore the dimensions already investigated by previous researchers in Nigeria but to identify direction for further research. The study provides empirical evidence based on data, collected from 320 families. The general findings of this study suggest that the children’s influence on family decision making in Nigeria is limited to products of direct use to children. Findings also reveal that the children are more influential on need recognition, where to buy, when to buy and which to buy sub-decisions. On the other hand, the parents perceive children to have very little influence on family decision making, as they state themselves as the most influential units of family decision making. This study suggests that parents underestimate the role of their children on family buying decisions. Key words: Children, Family, Parents, Decision making, Buying decision ,Nigeria. INTRODUCTION Purchase decision making is a complex and multistage process, which is undertaken not only by the purchaser himself, but under the impact of other parties as well. Family decision making constitutes an important area to explore. This importance is frequently highlighted by marketing practitioners as well as scholars studying the area. Here, this study emphasizes on family decision making. There exist mainly two streams in family decision making studies: Dyadic studies investigate the effects of wife and husband on family decision making, whereas triadic studies include children to this dyad as a decision making unit in family consumption. However, the majority of scholarly works are dyadic, whereas the studies incorporating the effect of children on family decision making are relatively scarce. Additionally, most of the studies in the area are based on US data, which generates a need for the analysis of the subject in other cultural settings to allow the researcher make better comparisons and generalizations. Here, the study aims to identify the extent of influence of children on family purchasing decision making in canaanland, Nigeria and factors that has an impact on this influence. This research offers the researcher and marketers an opportunity to see how demographics and cultural differences affect the role of children on family purchasing decisions. The findings of the study are expected to provide marketing strategists and scholars with a better understanding of the causes and consequences of children’s role in family *
Covenant University, Ota-Nigeria
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© The Journal Contemporary Management Research 2010, Vol.4, No. 2
consumption. Such an understanding not only allows delivering more effective marketing strategies but also will help guide the development of future strategies. In recent years, there has been tremendous increase in attention paid to children and adolescents as a distinguished market segment both by the academics and practitioners. This was partly due to worldwide population increase...