Ever wondered why you or people around you drink coffee every morning? Choices and behavior related to consumption and purchasing are influenced by a large number of factors. We can classify these factors into four broad categories; these are cultural factors, psychological factors, social factors, and personal factors. Let’s go through them one by one and see what they can tell us about our behavior as consumers. Under the cultural factors category, we can include culture, subcultures, and the socio class system.
Geert Hofstede defines culture as “the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from others”.
Culture is a set of beliefs values and practices that are shared by most people within a relatively large group. Culture is passed on from one group member to another; from one generation to the next. It is learned and can change through time, although such changes tend to be slow. Subcultures refer to a set of beliefs shared by a subgroup of the main culture.
This could include nationalities religions and geographic regions. Subcultures make up important market segments and often products and marketing activities are tailored to their needs. The social class system refers to an ordered division in the society, where people are grouped into a set of hierarchical social categories, the most common being: the upper, middle, and lower classes.
Social class is measured as a combination of various factors such as income, occupation, education, authority. property.
lifestyles. consumption etc Under the psychological factors we can include aspects on motivation, perception, learning, and attitudes. A motive is a need that urges a person to act. Here the distinction we have made in a previous video between physiological and psychological needs is relevant. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs may also be applied here.
Perception refers to the selected organization and interpretation of information in a way that produces a meaningful experience of the world. In general, we tend to focus on certain information from our environment, while actively blocking or modifying messages that conflict with our values and attitudes. Beliefs and attitudes we hold as consumers will affect the way we interpret information and the way we act. Behavior also has a learning dimension that highlights the importance of past experience. Individuals are not born consumers; they learn to become consumers, they develop purchase behavior patterns that can involve through time.
The social context is also important; our behavior patterns, likes, and dislikes are influenced to a great extent by the people around us. Under this category, we can include reference groups, family, roles, and status.
We always seek confirmation from the people around us and seldom do things that are not socially acceptable. A reference group is a formal or informal group of people with whom an individual associates. This could include peer groups, membership clubs, and organizations.
Family is another important factor influencing an individual’s behavior. The person’s position in a group can be defined in terms of roles and status. A role points out the activities that the person is expected to perform. Each role relates to a certain status. People choose products that communicate their role and status in society.
In the personal factors category, we can include more personal characteristics of an individual such as age, life-cycle stage, occupation, economic circumstances, lifestyle, personality traits, and self-concept.
One way to understand how all these factors connect with each other is by considering the individual and his or her environment (that is a context context within which this consumer is situated). We can then distinguish between the personal characteristics of a particular consumer their immediate social environment which could include aspects such as family peers and significant others and the wider social context which would include social norms culture other social and economic conditions. Finally, sometimes situational factors may also affect our purchasing decisions, for example, a crowded shop or a busy call center. which of these factors influenced you the most when considering a morning coffee?