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Consumer Behavior

Explain the classification of behavioral influences on consumer decisions.

      The behavioral influences in consumer decisions are classified

as either personal or interpersonal. These categories&-resulted from the work of Kurt Lewin, who developed a general model of behavior that has been adapted to consumer behavior.

Identify the interpersonal determinants of consumer behavior.   

      These are three interpersonal determinants of consumer behavior: cultural influences, social influences, and family influences. Culture, the broadcast of these influences, refers to behavioral values that are created and inherited by a society. The work ethic and the desirability of accumulating wealth were the original determinants of American culture. Some cultural norms change over time while others endure.

      Cultural influences are particularly significant in international marketing, but they are also crucial factors in domestic marketing. Increased attention is being devoted to the consumption behavior patterns of the U.S. subcultures of blacks, Hispanics, and Asians, which are rapidly growing market segments.

      Social influences concern the nonfamily group influences on consumer behavior. Some marketers take into consideration the social influences of the class system in the United States that was postulated by W. Lloyd Warner years ago. Opinion leaders, or trendsetters, are another important social influence on consumer behavior. Marketers must make special efforts to appeal to these flagships of consumer behavior.

      Family influences are the third interpersonal determinant of consumer behavior. FamiLy purchasing patterns vary. In some, cases the female is dominant, in others the male, and in still others, decisions are made jointly or separately. The traditional role for the female was that of family purchasing agent, but this situation is now in flux. For example, more teenagers are doing the household's shopping.

Identify the personal determinants of consumer behavior

      The personal determinants of consumer behavior are needs and motives, perceptions, attitudes learning and self&-concept. A need is the lack of something useful. Motives are the inner states that direct individuals to satisfy needs. A.H. Maslow proposed a hierarchy of needs that starts with basic physiological needs and proceeds to progressively higher need levels&-safety, social, esteem, and self&-actualization.

      Perception is the meaning that a person assigns to stimuli received through the five senses. Because most incoming stimuli are screened or filtered out, the marketer's task is to break through these perceptual screens, in order to effectively present the sales message.

      Attitudes are a person's evaluations and feelings toward an object or idea. There are three components of attitudes: cognitive (what the person knows), affective (what the person feels about something), and behavioral (how the person tends to act).

      Learning refers to changes in behavior, immediate or expected, as a result of experience. The learning&-theory concept can be useful in building consumer loyalty for a particular brand. The self&-concept theory has other important implications for marketing strategy, such as in the case of targeting advertising messages to agree with the ideal self&-image of various groups of people.

Outline the steps in the consumer decision process.

      The consumer decision process consists of six steps: problem or opportunity recognition, search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, purchase act, and post&-purchase evaluation. The time involved in each stage of the decision process is determined by the nature of individual purchases.

Differentiate among routinized response behavior, limited problem solving, and extended problem solving.

            Routinized response behavior, limited problem solving, and extended problem solving are the three categories of problem&-solving behavior. Routinized response behavior refers to purchase situations based on selection of a preferred brand or from a group of acceptable brands. When the alternative criteria are set but a new brand is encountered, limited problem solving takes place. Extended problem solving occurs when a new brand is difficult to evaluate or categorize Extended problem&-solving efforts are lengthy and involve considerable external search.