Consumer Behavior and Marketing: Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior

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Consumer Behavior & Marketing

In their process of goods and services consumption customers are influenced by different factors that marketers study in order to satisfy customer’s needs. This research made on consumer behavior is important for companies in order to successfully establish their marketing plan, to sell their products or services and also to establish a good relationship with customers. In this paper work the three factors that were chosen to describe the impact on consumer behavior and on marketer’s decisions are family, age and ethnicity.

Before explaining the impact that the three factors have it is important to understand what consumer behavior is and how it relates to marketer’s decisions. According to Solomon(2010, p.6) consumer behavior “is the study of the processes involved when individuals or groups select, purchase use or dispose of products, services, ideas or experiences to satisfy needs and desires”. The process of buying a product or a service for a consumer which could be a person or a group of people implies much more than only buying and consuming that product. A consumer after identifying the need for a product will search for information about the product and after evaluating all the alternatives will make the purchase and finally will evaluate the satisfaction given by the product. This could affect the company’s sales or it could create a stronger relationship between the company and the customer. That’s why marketer’s in their plan of creating a product or service should study its target market and find out which factors influence the consumer’s behavior and how it impacts.

One of the factors that the marketers need to take in consideration when studying consumer’s behavior is family. In the past this term was defined as a group formed from grandparents, parents and children or as a nuclear family which was represented by parents and children. Today family is related to married couples with or without children, single parents, divorced people with or without children, and the person or group of persons who live together and share housekeeping arrangements. (Solomon, 2010, p. 425) The family cycle has a great influence on consumer’s behavior. (Foxall, 1998, p. 218) For example a family with children will have bigger expenses than one without children. Also parents are the ones who purchase the products that children use which will make the children buy in the future those products because their parents purchased as well. Another example is the fact that families without children tend to eat in restaurants and consume more alcohol while with families with children who eat healthy food which are also different from single parents who tend to eat more junk food. (Solomon, 2010, p. 430) Marketers have recognized the influence of family cycle and they have created products that fulfill the needs for every family cycle. For example Sprinkles Custom Cakes in Florida started to produce cakes for divorce parties, as the phenomenon of divorce is something that happens usually in our days. But families also influence through word of mouth. According to Foxall (1998, p.218) “many consumer decisions are taken within the environment of the family and are thus affected by the desires and attitudes of other family members”. Usually important buying decisions are taken after all the family members or the parents discuss the alternatives. For example when purchasing a new car parents are the ones who decide which to buy. That’s why Coca-Cola promotes the Coca-Cola drink with an ad that shows a bear family that consume this drink. Also AT&T which is a communication service business in U.S.A promotes a family talk plan called Rollover Minutes with an ad which shows a family in a car that explains that saving minutes will help saving the money. (ShareATT, AT&T FamilyTalk with Rollover Minutes Car Commercial, 2009) So family is an important factor that has to be taken into account by marketers in...
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