Culture & Consumer Behaviour Thursday, Nov 27 2008 

CULTURE :

The study of culture is the study of all aspects of a society. It is the language, knowledge, laws, and customs that give that society its distinctive character and personality. In the context of consumer behaviour, culture is defined as the sum total of learned behaviours, beliefs, values, customs that serve to regulate the consumer behaviour of members of a particular society. 

Beliefs and Values are guiding principles while customs are the usual and accepted norms of behaviour.

The impact of the culture on the society is so natural and so ingrained that its influence on behaviours is rarely noted. It is like fish distinguishing water.

Culture offers orders, direction and guidance to members of society in all phases of human problem solving.

Culture is dynamic and gradually and continually evolves to meet the needs of the society.

Culture is learned as a part of the social experience. Children acquire a set of beliefs, values and customs, which constitutes the culture,from the environment. These beliefs, values and customs are acquired through formal learning, informal learning and technical learning.

Advertising enhances formal learning by reinforcing desired modes of behavior and expectations; it enhances informal learning by providing models for behaviour.

Culture is communicated to members of society through a common language and through commonly shared symbols. Because the human mind has the ability to absorb and to process symbolic communication, marketers can successfully promote both tangible and intangible products and product concepts to consumers through mass media.

All the elements in the marketing mix serve to communicate symbolically with the audience, Products project an image of their own, so does promotion. Price and Retail outlets symbolically convey messages concerning the quality of the product.

The elements of culture are transmitted by 3 pervasive social institutions; the family, the schools and the church. A fourth social institution that plays a major role in the transmission of culture is  the mass media, both through editorial content and through advertising.

A wide range of measurement techniques is used to study culture. The range includes Projective Techniques,attitude measurement methods, field observation,participant observation, content analysis and value measurement  survey techniques.

What are you Consumer Groups? What are their Cultures?  How are you understanding and leveraging that for your business development and client engagement?

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com;  manojonkar@gmail.com; 919375970812

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Social Class and Consumer Behaviour Thursday, Nov 27 2008 

SOCIAL CLASSES & CONSUMER BEHAVIOURS:

Social Stratification, the divison of memebrs of a society into a hierarchy of distinct social classes, exists in all societies and cultures.

Social class usually is defined by the amount of status that members of a specific class possess in relation to members of other classes. Social-class membership often serves as a frame of reference for the development of consumer attitudes and behaviour.

The measurement of social class is concerned with classifying individuals into social class groupings. These groupings are of particular value to marketers, who use social classification as an effective means of identifying and segmenting target markets.

There are 3 basic methods for measuring social class:

  1. Subjective Measurement
  2. Reputational Measurement
  3. Objective Measurement

Subjective Measures rely on an individual’s self perception.

Reputational Measures rely on an individual’s perceptions of others and 

Objective Measures use specific socioeconomic mesures, either alone or in combination with others.

Composite variable indexes sucha s the index of status characteristics and the socio economic status score, cominbe a no. of socio economic factors to form one overall measure of social class standing.

Class strucutres range from two class to nine class systems. A frequently used classification system consists of 6 classes: Upper upper, lower Upper, upper middle, lower middle, upper lower, and lower lower classes.

Profiles of these clases are reflected in differences in attitudes, in leisure activities, and in consumption habits. That is why, for the marketers, social class based market segmentation is of high importance.

Geodemographic clustering is a technique that combines geogrpahic and socio economic factors to locate concentrations of consumers with particular characteristics. Particular attention currently is being directed to affluent consumers, who represent the fastest growing segment in our population; however, some marketers are finding it extremely profitable to cater to the needs of non affluent consumers.

Research has revealed social class differences in clothing habits, home decoration, leisure activities, as well as saving, spending and credit habits.

Thus, smart marketeres tailor specific product and promotional strategies to each social-class target segment.

Which Social classes are your customers from? How are their behaviours impacted by these various factors?

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com; manojonkar@gmail.com; 919375970812

Consumer Behaviour Influencers Thursday, Nov 27 2008 

Consumer Behaviour & Purchase Decisions Influenced by Reference Groups and Families

Almost all individuals regularly interact with other people who directly or indirectly influence their purchase decisions. Therefore, the study of groups and their impacts on the individual is of great importance,specially for the marketers who want to influence the consumer behaviours in favour of their products and services.

Consumer Reference Groups are groups that serve as frames of reference for individuals in their purchase decisions. Reference groups include:

  1. Friends
  2. Work Groups
  3. Shopping Groups
  4. Virtual Groups & Communities
  5. Consumer Action Groups.

Normative Reference Groups are those groups that influence general values or behaviour.

Comparative Reference Groups are those that influence Specific Attitudes.

Consumer Reference Groups include groups with which consumers have no direct face to face contact such as film stars, sportspersons, other celebrities and social classes.

The credibility, attractiveness and power of the reference group affect the degree of influence it has. Reference group appeals are used very effectively by some advertisers in promoting their goods and services because they subtly induce the prospective consumer to identify with the pictured user of the product.

The 5 reference group appeals most commonly used in marketing are:

  1. Celebrities
  2. Experts
  3. Common Man
  4. Executive and Employee spokesperson
  5. Trade Spokes Character

Celebrities are used to give testimonials or endorsements as actors or as company spokespersons.

Experts may be recognized experts in the concerned product category or actors playing the part of experts.

The common man approach is designed to show that individuals who are just like the prospective customers are satisfied with the advertised product or service.

Companies are using their top executives as spokespersons because their appearance in company advertisements seems to imply that someone at the top is watching over the customer’s interest.

For many customers, their family is their primary reference group for many attitudes and behaviours.

The family is the primary target for most products and services. As the most basic membership group, families are defined as two or more persons related by blood, marriage or adoption who reside together.

There are 3 types of families: Married Couples, Nuclear Families and Extended Families. 

Socialization is the core function of the family. Other functions being economic and emotional support and the pursuit of a suitable lifestyle for its members.

The members of a family assume specific roles in their everyday functioning: such roles or tasks extend to the realm of consumer purchase decisions. Key consumer related roles of family member include influencers, gatekeepers, deciders, buyers, preparers,users, maintainers and disposers.

A family’s decision making style in influenced by its lifestyle, roles and cultural factors e.g.: husband dominated, wife dominated, joint, autonomic decisions etc.,

Classification of the families by the various stages in the family life cycle (FLC) provides valuable insights into family consumption related behaviour.

The traditional FLC begins with bachelorhood, moves on to marriage, then to an expanding family, to a contracting family and to an end with the death of a spouse.

Various other situations also exists like childless couples, live in couples, single parents or single person households.

Who are the influencers for your Customers? How does this show up in Corporate Purchase decisions?

How are you leveraging the various influencers?

MANAGMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com; manojonkar@gmail.com; 919375970812