MBA Consumers Individuals Social Context Question Practice Model Set in English
MBA Consumers Individuals Social Context Question Practice Model Set in English
Consumers as Individuals and in the Social Context : Consumer perception, Consumer altitude formation & Change, Behavio leaming theories and Cognitive learning theories to consumer beho Reference groups, Family, gender and Age Influences, Social clas Consumer behaviour, Cultural influences on consumer behaviour
LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS
Q.1. Discuss about the nature of perception. Describe the common perceptions of colours.
Ans Nature of Perception
Nature of perception is as follows:
- Intellectual Process: Perception is intellectual as it involves selection, organisation an analysis of data from the surroundings to gain some viewpoints.
- Psychological Process: Perception is echological which explains that how a per
or feels is influenced by the perception of his environment.
- 3. Socially connected: Every individual needs to understand the nature of other person and the wind-set keeps on changing with time.
- Subjective Process: Two or more persons might observe the same event in a different
m e which depends on their ability to choose what to understand, how to classify the information collected and analysis of the event
- Self-fulfilling: People behave selfishly in hard situations and hence focus on protecting themselves and their families
- Culturally influenced: Views of people can be influenced by their cultural values about the world.
Common Perceptions of Colours: Colours are often associated with moods, feeling emotions and can be separated into three main categories-warm, cool and neutral (with some
and rossover between them). Cool colours can have a calming effect, but when overused, can create a sterile, impersonal, almost antiseptic feeling. Warm colours can convey a broad range of emotions from loy to anger. Neutral colors typically serve to enhance the emotional impact of the warm or cool colour In this sense, black, white, Ivory and beige could be considered neutral colours. Some colours that are considered neutral can possess the traits of either warm or cool colours The following is an overview of some common perceptions of colours and their meanins with examples
- Warm Colours
(a) Green means growth, fertility and nature. freshness and a sense of the environment
(predominant in nature, soothing in lighter shades).
(b) Brown is an earthy colour, the colour of simplicity practicality, reliability and dependability wholesomeness and friendliness (leather, age, cigars and chocolate).
(C) Red is the colour of love and passion and can convey heat, power, anger or even Joy, Red can command attention and spur action. Red is believed to spur appetite stop sin, sports car
lipstick, fast food)
( d) Pink conveys a playful attitude, a delicate sweetness, sentiment, calmness or romance (bubble
gum, candy, valentines, blossoms).
(e) Yellow is a happy and cheerful colour that can inspire joy or remembrance. It’s also an
attention getter (like orange, the other colour of taxi cabs).
(f) Gold equates to riches and extravagance, with a sense of the traditional and is also associated with wisdom. Gold is notoriously difficult to reproduce as a design colour Cold metal jewellery, candlelight).
(g) Orange is the colour of urgency, excitement, vitality and energy and is very appealing to children. Despite being very eye-catching it commonly ranks as people’s least favourite colour warning signs, fire). Also common yet still eye-catching even in nature are fruit, vertetables, flowers
- Cool Colours
(a) White and Grey communicate a sense of calm, peace and tranquility (cotton, parchment, bedding, feathers)
(b) Blue communicates respectability, authority, intelligence, power, trust and dependability
(steel, rushing water), as well as a peaceful feeling in lighter shades (sky, calm waters).
(c) Purple is the colour often worn by kings.conveying elegance and malesty. It’s relatively rare in
nature. Purple is a complicated colour, where bright purple is a favourite amongst children while deep purple is a favourite of religious organisations (fruit, vegetables, flowers)
(a) Black is a conservative or formal colour that can be seen as sophisticated or myst luxurious and sophisticated (darkness, couloil, ink)
(b) White, silver, ivory and grey are considered formal in many circumstances, an
communicate elegance, purity, calm, and sophistication (silver metal, lace, Wed Jewellery, dassical architecture)
(c)Beige is a relaxing colour with emotional implications similar to brown dependingar
shade (sandy beaches, woods, textiles)
Q.2. Write a detailed note on Perceptual positioning and mapping Ans
Ans Perceptual Positioning
It is an elementary part of an organisation’s marketing strategies. Company’s percent positioning is usually based on factors like product design, price, distribution and marketing communication. Several aspects based on which the position of a specific brand can be established are:
- Lifestyle: it can help position a brand in the market. For example, Raymond is a brand formu matching with the lifestyle expectation of a male
- Price Leadership: Pricing strategy is also a commonly used strategy. For example, Neisome and Plenitude brands of the cosmetics company. L’Oreal are based on same chemical formula but Plenitude brand is available at around one-sixth of the price.
- Attributest Product attributes are used by the marketers in the positioning strategy. For example, Horlicks has launched a special product for junior group children.
- Competitors: Oral B is the most famous toothbrush brand launched by Procter and Gamble that positions itself in the market by asserting it is the toothbrush more dentists use.
- Occasions: The famous coffee brand Moccona Coffee is popular among customers for having special moments with friends and family
- Product Class: Some marketeers use product class to position themselves in the market. For example, Smart Roadster is a sporty convertible car.
- Users: Positioning is also done by placing it for specific user category. For example, Butterflow ball point pen was positioned in market as a pen that writes smoothly.
- 8. Quality: Many brands position themselves in market based on their quality of product. For example, world popular brand Audi has enough faith and trust in the quality of its product to offer ‘Audi Advantage
Perceptual Mapping: Perceptual mapping is a diagrammatic technique used by marketers in an attempt to visually display the perceptions of customers or potential customers.
A perceptual map is of the visual technique designed to show how the average target market consumer understands the positioning of the competing products in the marketplace. In other words, it is a tool that attempts to map the consumer’s perceptions and understandings in a diagram. The most common presentation format for a perceptual map is to use two determinant attributes as the X and Y axes of a graph, however there are also other formats that are sometimes used.
Some definitions of perceptual maps are:
Perceptual maps measure the way products are positioned in the minds of consumers and show these perceptions on a graph whose axes are formed by product attributes.’ –Kardes, Cronloy & Cline
“A perceptual map represents customer perceptions and preferences spatially by means of a visual display
-Ferrell & Hartline A perceptual map is designed to examine consumer perceptions and understanding, primarily of products and their associated positioning
It attempts to show the percene perception of consumers in a two-dimensional space. The manager is able how his brand is positioned in the customer’s mind with respect to other brands and also competition. The techniques usees used by the researcher to generate perceptual maps are factor analysis and multidimensional scaling Multidimensional scaling represents a two-dimensional presentation of consumers perceptions on brands. The dimensions of the space can be considered as attributes on which the consumer maps the brands. If the attributes are two, the number of dimensions will be two if they are three, then it will be three-dimensional space
. Features: Some of the features of perceptual maps are:
- Perceptual mapping helps to identify the dimensions which Positioning can be used to map the perceptions of the consumers for S maps show where various products and brands on the existing dimensions of existing products and the product services are positioned in
- The perceptual map helps the company to understand the market so that the where the consumers place it if there is competition on firms can decide where certain attributes. they would like to place their product
- The perceptual maps also generate the ideal points
Identified by the consumers which represent the ideal combination of the attributes that they seek
- The company can look at the ideal points of the consumers and decide to launch a position in
the perceptual space that is unoccupied at the moment to develop positioning op
new product that they are developing
Q.3. Give the various functions of attitudes. How are attitudes formed? Describe attitude behaviour consistency. Ans.
Functions of Attitudes
Attitudes serve four major functions for the individual. These functions serve people’s needs to protect and enhance the image they leuge B hold of themselves. The functions are as follows:
- Adjustment Functions: The adjustment functions directs attitudes are formed people towards pleasurable or rewarding objects and away from
on the basis of unpleasant and undesirable ones. The attitude of consumers experiences as well as depend to a large degree on their perception of what is need
Information received from
personal as well satisfying and what is punishing. impersonal resources of
- Ego Defensives Function: Attitude formed to protect the information that are ego and self image from threats help fulfill the ego defensive
retained in one’s memory function. Actually, many outward expressions of such attitude reflect the opposite of what the person perceives himself to be.
- Value Expressive Function: Whereas ego defensive attitudes are formed to protect a person’s self image, value expressive attitude enables the expression of the person’s centrally held values
- Knowledge Functions: Human beings have a need for a structured and orderly world and therefore they seek consistency, stability, definition and understanding. Out of this need, attitude developed towards acquiring knowledge. In addition, the need to know tends to be specific. Thus, out of our need to know come attitude about what we believe we need or do not need to understand.
Attitudes are basically learned.people are not born with specific atatudes rather they
Acquire tehm through the process of sources of attitudes in learning Attitude reflects a person’s previous reinforcement history. The sources of a person’s attitude are a mixture of:
- Personal Experience: people form attitude by coming in direct contact with an attitude object Through job experience develops attitude about uch factor as salary, performance review job design, work group affiliation and managerial capabilities, etc,
- Association: People are hiell influenced by the major group or association to whi belong Gearranh wrong. Geographic region relatadurational background, race, sex, age and income class all strongl influence attitude.
- Family: Family is the nimamaun that an individual belongs to Family exerts influen mitial core of attitudes held by an individual. Individuals develop certain attitudes from members like parents brother sister at the family characteristics influence the individual attitude patterns.
4.Peer Group and Society As neople approach their adulthood, they increasingly rely. peer group, for attitude. How other inde an individual largely determines his self image and an scelang behaviour. Social class and religious afiliation also play a vital role in forming attitude individualS
- Models: Some of the attitudes are developed through imitation of models. The proces something like thisInanarticular situation we see how another person behaves, we corre Incorrectly interpret his behaviour as representing certain attitudes and beliefs.
Attitude Behaviour Consistency: A positive attitude towards a product and even an intention purchase does not necessarily mean that purchase will result. It is determined by a variety of faste tention
- Consumer Influences: The relationship between attitude and behaviour is influenced hctors consumer at three levels
(a)Consumer’s Access to Resources: Thus, for a high priced items marketers adopt strateple
like instalment programmer, bank financing etc.
(b) Consumer Past Experience with the Brand: Attitude formed through personal expen
are stronger and more predictive of future buying behaviour than formed that advertising
(c) Action Inertia Orientation of the Consumer: They are always eager to act. The nema
oriented individual don’t wish to disturb the status quo unless strongly compelled.
- Situation influences: Three situational factors influence the relationship between attitude and behaviour
(a) Time Gap between Positive Attitude Formation and the Actual Opportunity to buy
Greater will be this time gap, less will be the action orientation
(b) Message Repetition: Higher repetition leads to reinforcement of attitude as it is likely
influence purchase behaviour.
(C) Social Influence: Peer pressure may change the attitude. For example, a consumer mave to buy Newport Jeans, but under peer group disapproval may not actually buy it.
- Measurement Factors: The relationship between intention and behaviour is influenced by the level of specificity of measurement, Attitude can predict behaviour only if it is measured with a hid measurement For example, attitude towards taking a holiday reason trin on a weekend is likely to be higher than during weekends.
Q.4. Explain the multi-attribute model of attitudes. What do you mean by attitude changer Ans.
Multi-Attribute Model of Attitudes
These models portray consumers’ attitudes with regard to an attitude object as a function of consumers’ perception and assessment of the key attributes or beliefs held with regards to the particular attitude object. There are several variations of these kind of models, a few of which are given below:
- Attitude towards Object Model: This model is especially suitable for measuring attitudes towards a product/service category or specific brands. According to this model, the consumers artitude towards a product or specific brands of a product is a function of the presence or absence and wvaluation of certain product, specific beliefs and/or attributes. In other words, consumers generally have favourable attitudes towards those brands that they believe have an adequate level of attributes which they evaluate as positive and they have unfavourable attitudes towards those brands they feel don’t have an adequate level of desired attributes or have too many negatives or undesired attributes
2.Attitude towards Behaviour Model: This model is individual’s attitude towards “behaving or acting with respect to an object rather than the attitude towards the object itself. The appeal of the attitude towards behaviour that it seems to correspond somewhat more closely to the actual behaviour than the attitude towards object model. For example. It’s important for the marketers to know the Individual’s attitude about the act of purchasing a BMW fattitude towards behaviour) rather than to know about his attitude towards the car(attitude towards obiect). This seems logical for a consumer who might have a positive attitude towards an expensive BMW but a negative attitude towards his prospects for purchasing the vehicle.
- Theory of Reasoned Action Model: This model is similar to the tri-component model of Reason-Emotion-Intention. In the tri-component model, all these components complement & supplement one another and the result is a combined one. But in the theory of reasoned action model, we have another component ‘subjective norms which additionally influences the intention. This subjective norm is the perception & belief of others about the intention or behaviour that are very close to the buyer. Thus, this theory says that the buyer weighs the behaviour by analysing all the conceivable outcomes of a behaviour or action and also by considering the opinion that other people around him have about such a behaviour. If both are favourable, then the buyer purchases the product. So, the final intention is the result of two distinct factors as given in the following:
(a) Beliefs that the behaviour leads to certain outcomes and the buyer evaluates each of them and if found reasonable & satisfactory, then he forms a positive attitude towards the
(b) Beliefs that the specific referents think he should / should not perform that behaviour will
lead the buyer to comply with the specific referents. If the compliance is complete & positive,then a favourable subjective norm is formed.
Attitude Change: Attitudes can be formed and so also they can be changed. Forming and changing both may slow or fast and may be easy or difficult. This phenomenon is very important and a big opportunity for the marketers to try to make the consumers’ attitude favourable to them and their product
Q.5. How can you measure the attitude? What are the strategies for attitude change?
Ans. Attitude Measurement
Psychologists have devised numerous methods for the measurement of attitude. The most significant ones are:
- Thurstone Type of Scale: It was developed by LL Thurstone and El Chave by collecting a large number of statements relating to the areas in which attitude were to be measured.
The scale is then presenting to the respondent who will make his selection based on his choice of the statement
- Likert Scale: Likert’s attitude scale uses five points. The statement of attitude is given to the respondent, who is then asked to check one of the
Measurement statement. These points show degree of agreement or disagreement with the
- Semantic Differential: This attitude scaling technique was developed by CE and P.H. Tannenboven. This technique calls for successive allocation of a concept to multidimensional space by selection from among a set of given scaled semantic alternativ
- Repertory Grid: The personal construct theory, developed by George Kelly has been con to be of relevance to the study of perception, personality and attitudes. The reperatory grid techni developed by Kelly for the measurement of constructs is frequently used in marketing in comparative study of attitudes.
Strategies for Attitude Change
Altering consumer attitude is a key strategy consideration for most marketers. For marketers who are fortunate enough to be marketing leaders and to enjoy a significant amount of customer goodwill and loyalty, their objective is to change to the attitudes of the market leaders, customers and win them over. The attitude change strategies that are available to the marketers are:
- Changing the Basic Motivational Function: An effective strategy for changing consumer attitude towards a product is to make new needs prominent. One method of changing motivation is known as the functional approach.
- Associating the Product with a Special Group Eventor Cause: Attitudes are related, at least in part, to certain groups, social event, or causes. It is possible to alter attitude towards products, services and brands by pointing out their relationship to particular social groups events or causes.
- Resolving two Conflicting Attitudes: Attitude change strategies can also take advantage of actual or potential conflict between attitudes. Specifically, if consumer can be made to see that their attitude towards a brand is in conflict with another attitude, they may be induced to change their evaluation of the brand
- Altering Components of the Multi-attribute Model: Altering component of the multiattribute model are that these models have implication for attitude change strategies. The following strategies are considered for bringing about attitude change: (a) Changing the Relative Evaluation of Attributes: The marketing for many products
category is structured so that different consumer segments are attracted to brands that offer different features or beliefs.
(b) Changing Brand Beliefs: A second cognitive oriented strategy for changing attitudes
concentrate on changing beliefs or perceptions about the brand itself. This is the most
common form of advertising appeals.
(c) Adding an Attribute: Another cognitive strategy consists of adding an attribute. This can be
accomplished either by adding an attribute that previously has been ignored or one that
represents an improvement or technological innovation. (d) Changing Beliefs about Competitors’ Brands: Another approach to attitude change strategy
involves changing consumers beliefs about the attributes of competitive brands o
Q.6. Define the term learning. Discuss its characteristics and principles elements.
Learning is the new acquisition behaviour. According to the dictionary of psychology learning means the process of acquiring the ability to respond adequately to a situation which may or may not have been preciously encountered, the favourable modification of response tendencies consequent upon previous experience, the fixation of items in memory so that they can be recalled or organised, the process of acquiring insight into a situation.
Thus, any relatively permanent change in haha
a result of experience ing. The implications of this definition are fairly subtle and are explained as ent.
1 The term behaviour is used to refer to o bservable cognitive activity as well as to over
actions. Therefore, it is very possible for l i t er without any change in observable
- Learning results in relatively permanent changes in behaviour. This exclude changes brought technique about by fatigue or other short-lived influences such as drag induced behaviour ng in the
- Since our definition of learning stresses experience, we must exclude the effort of physical
damage to the body or brain and of natural human growth
Characteristics of Learning eters who
Learning has the following characteristics: goodwill
- Strengths of Learning: It includes the capacity to bring about a strong and long lasting learner in them
Advertisement of most brands hammer into the consumer, the benefits and qualities of their respective
brands so that the customer does not forget them onsumer
Reinforcement is anything which increases the likelihood that a given response will be repeated in wation is
the future. Repetition increases the strength and speed of learning. Very simply, the more times are least in
exposed to information or practice a certain kind of behaviour, the more likely we are to learn it services
- Extinction: Marketers basically want consumer to learn and remember the features, feeling and
behaviour associated with their brands. For instance, if the advertisement for a particular brand are tage of withdrawn for a considerable period of time, both from the print and the electronic media, the at their probability of the brand being forgotten by the consumer is very high, their
- Stimulus Generalisation: Stimulus generalisation, often referred to as the rub-off effect, occurs
when a response to one stimulus is elicited by a similar but distinct stimulus. Thus, a consumer who has multi
learnt over repeated use, the surf detergent is effective and washes the best will assume that the owing surf-excel will also be very effective ducts
- Stimulus Discrimination: Stimulus discrimination refers to process of learning to respond offer differently to somewhat similar stimulus.
Principle Elements of Learning: Consumers learn in several ways. Primarily, there are four audes principle elements of learning most
- Motive: Motives arouse individuals thereby increasing their readiness to respond. This arousal function is essential, since it activates the energy needed to engage in learning activity. In addition, any
success at achieving the motivated goals or avoiding some unpleasant situation tends to reduce chat arousal
- Cues: A cue may be viewed as a week stimulus not strong enough to arouse consumers, but capable of providing direction to motivated activity. That is, it influences the manner in which consumer responds to a motive. The shopping environment is packed with cues, such as promotion and product colours, which consumers can use to choose between various response options in a learning situation
- Response: A response may be viewed as a mental or physical activity, that the consumer makes In reaction to a stimulus situation. Responses appropriate to a particular situation, are learned over time through experience in facing that situation
- Reinforcement: Perhaps the most widely acceptable view of reinforcement is anything that follows a response and increases the tendency for the response to recover in a similar situation because reinforced behaviour tends to be repeated.
Q.7. Discuss the various theories of learning Ans
These theorm learning,
Various theories have been developed to explain different aspects of learning. These theories, however can be grouped into several major categories which are as follows:
- Reinforcement: A portion fo this group, minimisese the importance of reinforcement to learning while others stress its crucial role. This can be explained by adopting the reinforcement viewpoint because of its attractiveness in explaning consumers learning behaviour. Reinforcement is employed in conjunction with two fundamentally different methods of learning connections: classical and parent conditioning.
- Classical Conditionig: It is a type of conditioning in which an individual responds to some stimulus that would no ordinarily produce such a response. Ivan Pavlav, a Russian bell. A simple surgical procedures allowed Pavlov to measure accurately the amount Secrcted by a dop. When Pauloy presented the dog with a piece of meat, he white noticeable increase in salivation.
When Pavloy withheld the presentation of meat and merely rang a bell, the dood Salivate, Then Pavloy proceeded to link the meat and the ringing of the bell. After hearing the bell before getting the food, the dog began to salivate as soon as the bell ran meat was an unconditioned stimulus, the reaction that took place whatever the condi stimulus occurred and was called the unconditioned response. The bell was an stimulus occurred and was called the conditioned stimulus. Classical conditioning has some important implications for understanding human behav Since, higher order conditions for learning by human being is important, its implication be recognised. A conditioned stimulus becomes reinforcing under higher order conditioning.
(b) Operant Conditioning: It is a type of conditioning in which desired voluntary behaviour
leads to a reward or prevents a punishment. People learn to behave to get something the want or to avoid something they dor,’t want. Operant behaviour means voluntary or learned behaviour in contrast to reflexive or unlearned behaviour the tendency to repeat such behaviour is influenced by the reinforcement brought about by the consequences of the behaviour. Reinforcement, therefore, strengthens a behaviour and increases the likelihood that it will be repeated. The Harvard psychologist BT Skinner did research for operam conditioning. Skinner argued that creating pleasing consequences to follow specific forms.cl behaviour would increase the frequency of that behaviour. People will most likely engaged
Desired behaviour if they are positively reinforced for doing so. In addition, behaviour that is not rewarded, or is punished is less likely to be repeated. The major difference between classical and operant conditioning can be summarised as follows:
- Cognitive Learning: Instead of viewing learning as the development of connections between stimulus and responses, cognitive theorists stress the importance of perception problem solving and insight. This viewpoint contends that much leaming occurs not as a result of trial and error or practice but through discovering meaningful patterns which enables us to solve problems. Cognitive learning can range from very simple information acquisition to complex creative problem solving various forms of cognitive learning could be as follows:
(a) Iconic Role Learning: It involves learning the association between two or more concepts in
the absence of conditioning
(b) Vicarious Learning: It is another important way in which consumer learning takes place,
not necessary for consumer to directly experience a reward to learn. Instead, the consumer can observe the behaviour of other and adjust that of his accordingly. Likewise, he may also
use imaginary to anticipate the outcome of various courses of action
(C) Reasoning it represents the most complex form of cognitive learning. In reasoning
individuals engage in creative thinking to restructure and recombine existing information as
well as new information to form new association and concepts.
(d) Social Learning Theory: People can learn through observation and direct experience. Much of what we have learned comes from watching models, parents, teacher. peers, motion picture, etc. Four processes to determine the influence that a model will have on an individual are:
(i)Attentional Processes: People learn from a model only when they recognise and pay attention to its critical features. We tend to be most influenced by models that are
attractive, repeatedly available and important to us or similar to us in our estimation
(ii) Retention Processes: A model’s influence will depend on how well the individual
remembers the model’s action after the model is no longer readily available.
(iii) Motor Reproduction Processes: After a person has seen a new behaviour by observingthe model, the watching must be converted to doing. This process then demonstrates that the individuals can perform the modelled activities.
(Iv )Reinforcement Processes: Individuals will be motivated to exhibit the model behaviour
if positive incentives or rewards are provided. Behaviours that are positively reinforced
will be given more attention, learned better and performed more often.
Q.8. What do you mean by reference group? Explain various types of reference groups. What are the factors that affect reference group influence?
Or Define reference group.
Ans. Reference Group
Reference group refers to groups that serve as a frame of reference for individual in their purchase decisions. A reference group may be defined as Any person or group that serves as a point of
comparison (Or relerence) for an individual in the formation of either general or specific values, attitudes of behaviour.
This basic concept provides a an individual’s consumption beliefs, attitude that can be used to affect desired changes in enhanced by the fact that it places no of the concepts hip, nor does it film stars, Sports cept provides a valuablenesnective for understanding the impact of other pe umption beliefs attitudes and behaviour Marketers can find insights into mect desired changes in consumer behaviour.
The usefulness of the con requires consumers to identify with a tangible group (ie the group e that it places no restriction on the size of the group on membership, nor in can be symbolic or film stars lly, the scope of cect basis (face to face heroes, political leaders or TV personalities.
heroes or prosperous businessmen)
those groups with which an individ in the beginning reference prouns were to include only interacted on a direct basis (face to face direct basis (face to face basisc.g. family and friends. However, gradually, the se
group influences. Indirect referen the concept has broadened to include both direct individual or groups are those with when an individual does
nose with when an individual does not come into contact on direct basis face to contact) such as cine stars, sports heroes, political leaders or TV per
Types of Reference Groups
- In Terms of Behaviour: We can classify the reference groups reference groups in terms of behaviour
- Normative Reference Groups: Reference groups that in
ce groups that influence general values or behavio person are called normative france aroune Such grouns are those with whom the persons came
intact direct. (i.. on face to face basis) almost daily and learn the early behaviour and attitude the An example of such a group is family which is likely to play an important role in moulding the chalet general consumer values a behaviour fee which food to select for better nutrition appropriate wa to dress for specific occasions, how and where to shop and what constitutegood valued
- Comparative Reference Groups: Reference groups that serve as benchmarks for specific narrowly defined attitudes or behaviour are called comparative reference groups. Such group may be neighbour’s family whose life styles may be admirable and worthy of imitation (the way they maintain their home, their choice of home furnishings, etc.).
- In Terms of Membership: Reference groups can also be classified in terms of membership degree of involvement with the group in terms of positive and negative effects.
(a) A Contactual Group: A contactual group is a group in which a person holds membership or has regular face to face contact and of whose value attitudes and standards he or she approves. Thus, a contractual group has a positive influence on the behaviour and attitude of the individual
(b) An Aspirational Group: An aspirational group is a group of which an individual wants to be a member. Here, he does not hold membership of the group or does not have face to face contacts. It also has positive influence on individual’s behaviour.
(C) A Disclaimant Group: A disclaimant group is a group of which the individual is a member of he has face to face contact but disapproves its norms, values and standards. Thus, it has negative influence on the attitude and behaviour of individual and he tends to behave opposite to the norms of the group
(d) An Avoidance Group: In such a group, an individual does not hold membership and also does
not have face to face contacts. Also he does not approve the norms of the group. He tends to behave just opposite of the norm of group.
Reference that a person might usein mitt use in evaluating his own peneral or specific attitudes or behaviour of an individual to association to a social class a profe several family members to a broader kinship, from a voluntary Sa profession, an ethnic group, a community or a nation Group may be formed on these bases.
1.Factors Affecting Reference Group Influence :The following figure indicates them
Indicates the major societal grouping that influence individuals. Consumer behaviour Includes in order as family, friends, social class and culture.
The factors that affect the reference group influence are as follows:
- Information and Experience: One major factor that affects reference group influence on the Individual is his knowledge and experience with a product or service. If the individual himself has first hand knowledge and experience with a product or service is less likely to be influenced by the advice of any other person or group. On the other hand, If he has little or no knowledge or experience about the product or service and does not have an access to objective information about the product on service, is more likely to seek out the advice or example of others whom he thinks how sufficient and reliable information about the product or service. Thus, if a person has insufficient experience or information concerning a product, he will be more susceptible to the influence either positive or negative
- Credibility, Attractiveness and Power of the Reference Group: A reference group that is perceived as credible, attractive or powerful can influence consumer’s attitude and behaviour change When consumers are primarily concerned with the acceptance or approval of others they like, with whom they identify or who offer them status or other benefits, they are likely to adopt their product. hrand or other behavioural characteristics.
When consumers are concerned with the power that a person can extent upon them, they might choose products or services that confound to the norms of the powerful person or group to avoid ridicule or punishment Power groups are not likely to make the attitude change. Different reference groups may influence the beliefs, attitudes and behaviour of an individual at different points in times or in different circumstances.
- Conspicuousness of Product A product may be visually or verbally conspicuous. I.e. which can be seen or described influence consumers. Products that are not conspicuous need no reference group
Q.9. What is family? Explain the basic functions of a family regarding consumer behaviour.
The term family is a very basic concept. However, it is not an easy task to define it precisely because the family concept and the role played by its members vary considerably from society to society.
However, a family may be defined as ‘Two or more persons related by blood, marriage or adoption reside together. The individual who constitute a family, may be described as members of the basic group who live together and interact to shopping their personal and mutual needs.
The term family must be differentiated from households. Though families are sometimes refe to as households, not all households are families. A household may also include individuals who ar related by blood, marriage or adoption such as family friends, room-mates, boarders. They live with family but are quite unrelated to it. Thus, a household includes the related family members and a unrelated persons who occupy a housing unit (whether house, apartment, group of rooms or other) this way, the term ‘family is used in a limited way.
In India, as in most other countries, three types of families dominate: the married couple, the nuclear family and the extended family. The simplest type of family in terms numbers is the married couple-a husband and wife. As a basic househol unit, the married couple is generally representatives of new married Family is Px who have not yet started a family and older couples who have alread the divine building raised their children. A husband and wife and at least one child block of society in
| constitute a nuclear family. This type of family is the corner stone of which a group of people the family life. The nuclear family together with at least one are related to each other. grandparent living within the household, is called an extended
family. The three generation family is very much common in India. It
has started declining in recent years because of increased mobility and increasing rate of divorce. There has been a rapid increase in the number of single parent family households consisting of one parent and at least one child.
Basic Functions of a Family
There are four basic functions of a family which are particularly relevant to a discussion of consumer behaviour. These are as follows:
- Economic Well-being: The one of the most important functions of a family in most poor countries like India is to provide economic security to the family members. How the family divides its responsibilities among its members for the provisions of economic well-being has not changed considerably in India since long. In India, the traditional role of the head of the family (e.g. husband) is that of economic provides. In India, joint family system still exists and therefore, all other grown up male members of the family also support the family economically, the wife of the head of the family and other female members of the joint family act as homemakers and child rears. As the joint family concept is declining in India, the majority of wives, mainly in big cities and metropolitan towns are working women and are employed outside the home. Husbands of working women also share household responsibilities, the economic role of children is almost negligible. They pass their time in studying and they are expected to support the family financially. They work only when they complete their studies and become major (above if 18 years of age).
As we know that India is a country of poors, and therefore children of poor families assist their school. families financially. They assist mainly their parents and grandparents in their trade and rarely go to
However, unlike Indian families, western affluent families are not formed primarily for economic security. Husbands and wives of majority of families in western countries work outside their homes and earn for their families. Both husbands and wives also share household responsibilities. The fact that most of the children work, they rarely assist the family financially. Instead, they are expected to complete their formal educational training and prepare themselves to be financially independent
- Emotional Support: The second important function of the contemporary family is to provide emotional and therapeutic support to its members. In fulfilling this function, the family attempts toAssist its members in solving their personal and social problems. For this purpose, a family is a training camp for them.
In western countries, if the family fails to route deste assistance when it is needed most, was to professional or psychologist as an alternative l sychologist centres are available that have been desired to assist parents who want to help them ast communities, many educational and hildren to improve their learning and communication skills or generally, better adjust environment However, such facilities are not available in India. It is the family only that gives emotional support to the children in coping with their personal and social problems
- Suitable Llle Style: Another important family function in terms of consumer behaviour is the establishment of a suitable life style for the family. Upbringing experience and the personal and joint determined goals of the spouses determine the importance placed on education or career, on reading on television voicing on the frequency and quality of food habits and the selection of entertainment and recreational activities. Life style commitments, including the allocation of time, greatly influence the consumption patters. For example, the increase in married women working outside the home has reduced the time available to them for household work and such life style has created a market for convenience products and fast food restaurants
- Childhood Socialisation: The socialisation of family members especially young children is the central function of the family. Under this process, the family imparts training to young children how to develop basic values or modes of behaviour consistent with their culture which may include personality development interpersonal competence, dress and grooming habits, appropriate manners and speech and selection of a suitable occupation or career. Thus, socialisation means to impart the children training for how to live and behave with others in the society. Such habits are developed in the children either directly through instructions by elders (parents or grandparents) in the family and indirectly through the behaviour of parents and elder sibling
The aspect of childhood socialisation that is most relevant to the study of consumer behaviour is consumer socialisation, which is defined as the process by which children acquire the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to function as consumers.’ A child learns consumption skills or behaviour through the behaviour of their parents or elders in the family who function as role models The pre-adolescent children learn most of their consumption habits from their parents and elder siblings. They rely on them. But adolescents or teenagers are likely to look to their friends as models of acceptable behaviour. Thus they are influenced for their purchase behaviour from their parent and friends.
Q.10. Explain the role of family as basic decision-making unit.
Ans. Role of Family in Decision-making
A family is considered to be the basic decision-making unitas regards to purchases. The decision to purchase a commodity or service is generally combined but there is only one or two members who influence the decision most. Marketers also acknowledge this fact and therefore, he examines the consumer behaviour pattern concerning his own product or service in terms of only one member who they believe will be the major decision maker. It is not necessary that the product will be purchased by a member of the family who uses it. Men’s formal wear, for instance, might logically be thought as a male dominated decision, but the wife strongly influences the decisions. Similarly, men’s underwear is more often purchased by women who independently select these items for their husbands and unmarried sons. Because the user is not always the decision maker or purchaser. Marketers should identify the family member who takes decision or who influences decision for their own product categories and should target their promotional efforts to that member who affects or selects the product purchase.
A family is a cohesive decision-making unit. The total functions of the family are performed jointly by members of the family. The family functions are distributed among the members such as setting the dining table, taking out the garbage or walking the dog are carried out by one or more family members
as per the family norms. Family related roles are constantly changing in the highly dynam Husband, wife and children do the family word and get them changing. As most of the w working women, husbands gets the responsibility of household task. In most of the India where both husband and wife are working, they share the responsibilities of household and othe Marketers used to be alert to how shifting family roles may be affecting the composition of their markets in order to make timely adjustments to their marketing strategies. In the context of con purchase decision, family members play a variety of roles.
A family purchase of a motorcycle might be subject to the different role influences. The te generates the interest of the family, the husband collects the relevant information from frien specialised media, both the spouses jointly agree on the amount to be spent to purchase the motorcvol all members agree on the product features or brand to be purchased, the husband or the son select dealer from which the product is to be purchased, and the entire family might accompany when th product is to be purchased and the entire family might accompany when the purchase is actually made Each member, of the family, thus participate in the purchase decision. The roles of members vary from family to family even for the purchase of some product. The role of each member is not certain and therefore, it is very difficult for a marketeer to develop a marketing strategy for all families. They should form their marketing strategy based on majority of family decision structure.
Thus, there are eight distinct roles involved in the family decision-making process which are as follows:
- Initiator: It is a family member who recognises the problem or need for the item. For example, a suggestion may come from the wife to purchase a food processor in order to prepare meals more easily.
- Influencer: It is a person who informs or persuades other in a purchase situation. He may also be referred as opinion leader in that he exerts personal influences on other family members with regard to a particular purchase situation.
- Information Gatherer: It is a person who gathers information about the purchase. The information may pertain to product or place of shopping. Often a person most knowledgeable in the product category, will gather information.
- Decision Maker or Decider: It involves one or more family members who has or have authority to decide for the purchase. Often decision to buy is a joint or shared one.
- Purchaser: It is a person who makes the actual purchase from the store. Sometimes, purchaser may be referred as the gatekeeper. The role of gatekeeper is to control the flow of products into the family. In other words, the purchase is blocked by the individual. More often, parents act as the gatekeeper in making the children’s purchases. For example, the child accompanying his mother to the sons, asks for a particular product to purchase. Here mother is in the gatekeeper position. She being disagreeing with her child’s demand, purchases another product or does not purchase the product asked for by the child.
- Users: These are family members who actually use or consume the product or service.
- Maintainers: They are family members who repair or service the product to keep it in workable order as that it will provide continued satisfaction.
- Disposers: They are family members who initiate or carry out the disposal or discontinuance of a particular product or service after its use.
The first six roles are played by family members in making a purchase decision and the last two roles in post purchase era. The different roles played by family members in the purchase decision process vary from family to family and product to product. In some cases, a family member assumes a number of roles. In some other cases, a single role is performed jointly by two or more family members They may be situations where one or more of the roles may not be required at all. For example a husband is buying through a store and picks up a tea jar which looked to him attractive; his decision to burchase the jar is not influenced by any other family member. He is decider as well as buyer of the tea ar for the family
Q.11. What are the variables that influence family’s purchasing decisions? Discuss the marketing Implications also.
Ans. Variables Influencing Family’s Purchasing Decisions
There are a number of additional variables that influence the nature of purchasing decisions made within the family. The factors are cultures, social class. reference groups, stage in family life cycle, mobility, geographic location. Their Influence on family’s purchasing decisions are as follows:
- Culture: The decision-making pattern of the family differs from culture to culture. In every culture, roles of husband and wife in family decision-making process differ. The basic family systems encountered by the marketers of the world fall into three general patterns which are as follows:
(a) In Muslim culture, the wife is generally in a subordinate and secluded position. She has few rights and very little control over the affairs of the family. In Muslim families, husband plays a dominant role and therefore he takes most of the purchasing decisions relating to the family.
(b) In the Latin American culture, the wife is free but still she is considered a junior member of the family. In such families also, husband who takes all the decisions expect a few minor decision which are taken by wife.
(C) In European and North-American culture, the basic pattern is equality. In North-American
culture, there is a substantial similarity with regard to husband and wife involvement for a
number of household activities.
(d) In India, Hindu culture is also male dominated. In different household activities, wife has little involvement and usually most of the decisions are taken by the male member of the family. Now the position has somewhat changed in urban areas where involvement of both husband and wife 18 considered equal in family related matters.
- Social Class: Several studies on the relationship of socio-economic class and joint participation in purchase decision-making have indicated that a curvilinear relationship exists. In upper and lower social classes, autonomy in decision-making exists, i.e. both husband and wives take decisions in their respective areas, while joint decision-making is most common among the middle class,
- Reference Groups: Although no research has been conducted on the influence of social groups in the family purchase decisions, it is thought that such relationships are influencial. Some authors indicate a positive influences of reference groups on the family in purchasing decision. They indicate the greater the extent to which spouses have social ties or connections with relatives or friends, the less the amount of joint or shared decisions. This is because certain decisions are taken by the husband or wife in consultation with friends or relatives with whom they interact very frequently.
- Stage in Family Life Cycle: The stage in family life cycle also influences the family purchasing decision pattern. For example, in the early stage of marriage, both husbands and wives take joint decisions. However, evidences show that joint decision-making declines our life cycle, wives in pre-school age children have considerably less independent responsibility for economic decisions. Decisions by wives and husbands are taken independently because of the increased efficiency or competence that people develop over a period of time in making purchasing decisions that are acceptable to their spouses. Side competence eliminates the need for active interaction.
- Mobility: Mobility both social and geographic tends to increase the extent of intra-family communications and the degree of joint decision-making. It has been established by researches that movement away from stable primary groups such as family and close friends throws spouses upon each other. Both share the decision-making process.
- Geographic Location: Place of residence also influence the purchasing decisions of the family. It has been observed that rural families are husband dominated and wife occupies a less influential role in decision-making in rural areas. In urban areas, mainly joint decisions are taken.
Marketing Implications of Family Decision-making: The marketer’s strategy is influenced at almost every turn by the nature of family roles and decision-making patterns. A marketer whether he is
Concerned with the product, promont channel or pricing decisions must well understand the family household purchase pattern Same of the marketing implications are:
1The marketers advertising and selling message is strongly influenced by family roles and decision-making process. How they decide the cerieria for the purchase of a particular product brand will be helpful in determining the advertising and sales messages. Howeer the criteria may vary between husband and wife. Where one of the spouses (husband or wife) dominates in decision-making. The promotion message must be developed with that segment in mind However where decisions are joint the marketers may need to develop separate massage attuned to each party’s buying criteria
- Each member of the family uses diffe to reach the dominant and influential family member
by family roles and ular product brand criteria may van a decision-makin where decisions ar s buying criteria nt channels in order v the marketers one purchases may For example, wivesn’s clothing one should carry on ate to both the ters should find it asers. As a result another compaign to reach female dominated channel to encourage the purchase orthe brand bearing to both segments with specific media and with appeals that are appropriate to be segments, would be ideal, but this approach assumes a rather large budget. Similar approach is required when children are involved in purchase decision of the family. The marketers should fi Decessary to appeal to children as well as to their parent because they are purchasers. As a erusement often feature people of all ages, with particular emphasis on families.
Q.12. What are the characteristics of social class? Discuss the factors responsible for social stratification
Ans. Characteristics of Social Class
Social class has the following characteristics:
- Social Classes are Multidimensional: Social classes are multidimensional, as they are based on numerous components. They are not equivalent to or determined solely by, occupation or income or any one criterion but they may be indicated by or be related to one or more of these measures.
- Social Classes are Homogeneous: Social classes may be viewed as homogeneous divisions of society in which people within a class have similar type of attitudes, activities, interests, and other behaviour patterns. For the marketer, this means that groups of people are exposed to similar media, purchase similar products and services and shop in similar stores.
- Social Classes are Hierarchical: Social classes have a vertical order to them that ranges from high status to low status. They exist as a position on the social scale. Individuals may be placed withina class according to this hierarchy, based on status criteria.
- Social Classes Restrict Behaviour: Interaction between the classes is limited as most of us are more comfortable and find reinforcement with those like us’ in terms of values and behaviour patterns. Hence, members of the same social class tend to associate with each other and not to any large extent with members from another social class, since, they share similar educational backgrounds, occupations, income levels or lifestyles.
- Social Classes are Dynamic: Social stratification systems in which people have some opportunity for upward or downward movement are called as open systems. People in closed systems have inherited or ascribed status, ie. they are born into one social level and are unable to leave it. Hence, the difference between a system based on earned or achieved status and that based on inherited status is significant with regard to social mobility.
Factors Responsible for Social Stratification
Following are the factors responsible for social stratification:
- Income: This includes the salary or income from various sources, perks and pay and the amo that is drawn in totality. For instance, a person may be the owner y and also the director/s
- Of other companies simultaneously. Further, the life style fashion, views and the consumption pattern of such a person will convey a message of sophistication hi=fi and sometimes insignia also. But the consumption pattern and life style of a middle level manager of a firm will not be anywhere ear to the former’s living style.
- Education: A professionally qualified person is given a higher status in comparison to an ordinary graduate, i.e. who come from families having elite professions such as civil vices, business executives, chartered accountants, lawyers, business owners, etc. are insidered as belonging to a higher social class. This also provides such people distinct ad over their lesser known counterparts.
- Authority: A person may have authority related to owning land and property or not uthoritative positions with various organisations. If he owns land and has also employed various workers to look after the property, he will have full access towards the means of production and ctrol over land
- Occupation and Achievements: An individual is ‘born into’ a class in most of the cases. to say he/she automatically becomes a member of the class to which his/her parents belong. This means that a child born to a doctor, public servant, lawyer and so on, are accorded the same status as their parents. But, there are possibilities for some social mobility, through sheer hard work and determination.
- 13. What is culture? What are the most important characteristics of culture?
- Culture: Culture may be understood to be the character of our total society in terms o language, knowledge, laws, religions, food customs, music, art, technology, work patterns, products and other artifacts which give the society its distinctive flavour. In a sense, culture is a society’s personality.
- Thus, culture can be defined as: ‘The sum total of learned beliefs, values and customs which serve to regulate the consumer behaviour of members of a particular society.’
- Culture is a distinctive way of life of a group of people and their complete design for living. Culture is everything that a member of the society learns from the society. Culture consists of material and non-material components.
- Non-material components include the words that people use, the ideas, customs
- they share and the habits they pursue.
- Material components include all the physical substances that have been changed and used by people such as tools, auto mobiles, roads and farms.
- In a marketing and consumer behaviour context, material culture would include every product and service that is produced and consumed by the society. Non-material culture would include the belief and values. Values differ from other beliefs in that, they meet the following criteria:
- They are five in numbers
- They are widely accepted by the society.
- They are enduring and therefore very hard to change.
- They serve as a guide for culturally appropriate behaviour.
- They are not tied to specific objects or situations.
Apart from beliefs and values, customs are also an important character of culture. Customs are overt modes of behaviour that constitute centrally approved or acceptable ways of behaving in specific situations. Customs have been called ‘behaviour’ at its most commonplace. Thus, while beliefs and values are guides for behaviour, customs are usual and acceptable ways of behaving.
Characteristics of Culture
The characteristics of culture are as follows:
- Influence of Culture is Invisible: It can be felt only when we expose to the people indire culture. The impact of culture is so natural and so automatic that its influence or behaviour is we taken for granted. For example, when consumer researcher ask people why they do certain things frequently answer that it is the right thing to do. When we visit a different region ora different count we become aware of how culture has moulded our own behaviour.
- Culture Satisfies Needs: Culture satisfies and cover psychological, personal and social needs.is offers order, direction and guidance in all phases of human problem solving by providing tried and to method of satisfying various needs. Culture provides standard or rules as to what to eat or when to eat
what is appropriate to eat at breakfast, lunch or dinner or snacks an 0 Culture 900 what and how to serve guests at a dinner party or a wedding. represents a slice
In a cultural context, the products and services of a firm are across all levels of viewed to be need satisfying if products and services of a firm are analysis at a particular viewed to be need satisfying and if a product is no longer time and place.
acceptable because a value or custom related to its use, does not
adequately satisfy human needs, the firm must be ready to adjust or revise its product offerings. Marketers who are not perceptive enough to note the changes in the values and beliefs of the society, general class their market share and in some cases, may be out of the market
- Culture is Learned: Culture is not innate or instinctive but it is learned early in life and charged with a good deal of emotion. We learn from our social environment a set of beliefs, values and customs that constitute our culture. Cultural habits are strengthened and reinforced by practice. Culture is learnt by the behaviour of our elders in the family, by Initating the behaviour of selecting others and in the educational institutions. Cultural elements are handed down from generation to generation thus, people do things comfortable in the customary way or through inculcation of culture cause it to persist even when we are exposed to new culture. No matter, where we go or what we do, we cannot escape our cultural heritage. Change in culture is quite often difficult because resistance to it may be strong.
- Culture is Shared: Culture (a particular belief, value or practices) is socially shared by human beings in organised societies and kept relatively uniform by social pressure. Culture, therefore, is considered to be group customs that link together the members of the society.
Various social institutions within a society transmit the elements of culture and the chief among them is the family that passes along the basic cultural beliefs, values and customs to society’s newest members. The other important institutions are schools, churches or religious places and mass media (print and TV both).
- Culture is Dynamic: To fulfil its need-gratifying role, culture must continually evolve if it is to function in the best interest of the society. There are many factors which are likely to produce cultural changes within a given society. These factors are new technology, population shifts, resource shortages, wars, changing values, customs borrowed from other societies/culture. For example, in our Indian culture, only males were allowed to work outside, but now with the changing values, females are now out to work Women are now playing increasing active roles in society. Now women take active role in purchase decisions. The marketers must consider these changes and reconsider who are now the real purchasers and the users of their products (males only, females only or both) when they do
Their shopping how and where they can be reached by media and what new product and service needs are emergin.
- Culture is Invented: Culture does not simply exist somewhere waiting to be discovered. Peopl their culture. This invention consists of three independent systems or elements:
(a) An ideological system that consists of the ideas, values, beliefs and way of reasoning that
human beings learn to accept in defining what is desirable and what is undesirable,
( b) A technological system that consist of skills, crafts and arts that enables human to produce
material goods derived from the natural elements.
(c) An organisational system (e.g. family system or social class) that makes it possible to adjust the behaviour of the members effectively with the actions or behaviour of others.
- Culture is Prescriptive: Culture involves certain ideal standards or patterns of behaviour so that the members of the society have a common understanding of the right and proper way to think, feel and act in any given situation. These ideal patterns of behaviour, thoughts and feelings which are shared by the groups are termed ‘norms’. When actual behaviour of a member deviates from the ideal behaviour or norms, he is opposed and certain types of pressures are exerted on deviant individuals so as to conform their behaviour to what society expects.
- Cultures are similar but Different: Most cultures exhibit certain similarities viz. atten sports, bodily adornments a calendar, cooking, education, dancing, enjoyment, having language, Even then, two cultures are not the same. There is a great variation from society to society in the nature of each of the above factors which may result in important consumer behaviour differences around the lare nger ljust The world.
Q.14. Describe in Indian context, the various categories of sub-cultures. Also explain the Impact of sub-culture on consumer behaviour.
Ans. Major Sub-Cultural Categories
Sub-culture may be categorised into many different classes. Here in this unit we shall consider some of the important sub-cultural groups and show how they affect consumption and marketing decisions.
- Ethnic Sub-culture: The ethnic subculture is based on the nationality of one’s ancestors who have migrated to a new country. It (nationality) may form a basis for sub-culture when the members of that nationality group identify with it and base at least some of their behaviors on the norms of the national group. Ethnic subculture is usually found in affluent countries where people migrate from other parts of the world with the hope of a better life and livelihood. Though ethnic groups may lose their nationality over time, but in fact, ethnic identification is held from one generation to the next through a number of institutions.
- Religious Sub-culture: An individual’s religious affiliation influences to a great extent his consumption pattern. Those who belong to a particular religion may buy/not buy and use/not use certain goods and services. Members of a particular religion constitute what we call religious subculture. Religious beliefs and rituals may dictate the use of certain items and may discourage the consumption of others. Muslims for example, buy and consume certain specific food items heavily during the month of ‘Ramadan’ and buy lot of gifts during the ‘Eid-Ul-Fitr’. Again, Islam discourages its followers the consumption of certain items such as alcoholic beverages, pork etc.
- Regional Sub-culture: The way people lead their lifestyles may also vary according to where they live or from which part of the country they have moved to the other part of the country. People
from a particular part of the country or people living in a particular part constitute wh regional or geographic subculture. On this basis, there could be two different types of geographic subculture. One could be based on geographic region of the country and oth based on urban, suburban or rural distinction.
- Sub-culture Based on Age: Sub-cultures may also be based on the age differences living in the same country and belonging to the same main culture. It is likely that those who the teen-age group will behave quite differently than those of middle age or elderly. Beca. outlooks, experiences, attitudes and other aspects vary among people of different age groups consumption patterns are likely to vary. The teen-agers are likely to be influenced more by po heroes and heroines and will display more materialistic life styles. The youth market is a signifi sub-culture for the marketer.
- Singles Sub-culture: The singles sub-culture consists of unmarried individuals. Th sub-culture is found to be increasing particularly in the urban and semi-urban areas. The size of thi sub-culture is gradually becoming prominent to call a special marketing attention. Quite a few reason are associated with the growing size of the subculture of the singles. They could be delaying marriage postponement of marriage, higher divorce rates; inability to find a suitable source of earning to bear family expenditures and so on. The singles have some special needs, which cannot be met through normal social interaction. Marketers who can recognize their specific needs and can develop products aimed at meeting those specific needs, can reap a considerable benefit.
- Sub-culture based on Gender Difference: Sub-culture may also be formed based on gender difference, such as sub-culture of males and sub-culture of females. Since every society emphasises distinct, specific roles for men and women, they are likely to behave differently. As their behaviours vary, they consume different types of products and respond differently to marketing appeals. Men for example, are influenced more by aggressiveness, competitiveness, independence, self-confidence and masculinity. Women, on the other hand, are influenced by neatness, gentleness, tactfulness, talkativeness, and feminity. There are products which are equally used by men and women. But, different appeals in the same product are needed for these two groups.
- Sub-culture based on Social Class: Social class may also be used as a determinant of sub-cultural differences. There could be sub-culture of the well-offs, sub-culture of the middle class. Sub-culture may also be formed based on gender difference. Social class may also be used as a determinant of sub-cultural differences. People belonging to the sub-culture of the rich will display altogether different buying behavior than those of middle class and poors. Rich will be very selective in their purchases; people of the middle class will have substantial control over their consumption decisions; poors, on the other hand, will be very careful and cautious in taking their purchase decisions.
Impact of Sub-culture on Consumer Behaviour
Following points describe the impact of sub-cultures on consumer behaviour:
- Unique Traditions and Behaviour: Every individual differs from another in terms of product consumption and life style within a sub-culture, so it becomes challenging for a marketer to target a specific sub-culture with specific type of products.
- Religious Affiliation: The consumption pattern of customers is greatly affected by their association with their religion. People are emotionally attached to their religion so, this religious
component should be dealt very sensitively by the marketers while implementing market strategies:
- Consumption as Per Age Group: Consumption pattern differs with age. If a com strategy which focuses on people of different age using the same product is ’employed, it is considered as the most effective strategy. It is important to have different types of marketing strategies different age groups of customers.
- Urban, Sub-urban and Rural Distinctions: Different dimensions of consumer behaviour are affected by the regional sub-culture. The rural, sub-urban and urban differences play a major role in consumption behaviour of individuals.