Q.1 Answer all the questions.
(I) List the factors that influence consumer buying behaviour.
Ans. Factors that influence consumer buying behaviour: –
- Marketing Factors:- Each element of the market mix – product, pricing, promotion and place (distribution) – has the potential to affect the buying process at various stages.
- Personal Factors: – The personal factors of a consumer may affect the buying decisions. The personal factors include:
- Age Factor
- Income Level
- Status in the Society
- Psychological Factors: – A person’s buying behaviour is influenced by psychological factors such as follows:
- Situational Influences: – Major situational influences include the physical surroundings, social surroundings, time, the nature of the task, and monetary moods and conditions.
- Physical Surroundings
- Social Surroundings
- Time Factor
- Social Factors: – The social factors such as reference groups, family, and social and status affect the buying behaviour:
- Reference Groups
- Roles and Status
- Cultural Factors: – Culture includes race and religion, tradition, caste, moral values, etc. Culture also include sub-cultures such sub-caste, religious Sects, language, etc.
(II) Define reference groups.
Ans. A reference group is a concept referring to a group to which an individual or another group is compared. It is a collection of people that we use as a standard of comparison for ourselves regardless of whether we are part of that group. We use reference groups to evaluate the relative worth or desirability of our appearance, thoughts, feelings, and behavior and to judge the appropriateness of our appearance and behavior.
Reference groups are used in order to evaluate and determine the nature of a given individual or other group’s characteristics and sociological attributes. It becomes the individual’s frame of reference and source for ordering his or her experiences, perceptions, cognition, and ideas of self. It is important for determining a person’s self-identity, attitudes, and social ties. It becomes the basis of reference in making comparisons or contrasts and in evaluating one’s appearance and performance.
(III) What do you understand by innate needs? Give examples.
Ans. Innate Needs are those an individual is born with. They are Physiological (biogenic) in nature; they include all factors required to sustain physical life like food, water, shelter, clothing, physical safety etc. Goods that are purchased, based on innate needs, are simple things like food, water, clothes, shoes and other necessities. Some people would argue that goods like this would have to be really basic in order for their purchase to be based on innate needs, but whether a customer buys luxury versions of these products or not, the products are still required in their daily life. An individual, or a consumer, would simply be unable to go without these kinds of products in their life.
(IV) What is social stratification?
Ans. Social stratification is a concept involving the “classification of people into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions, a relational set of inequalities with economic, social, political and ideological dimensions.” When differences lead to greater status, power or privilege for some groups over the other it is called social stratification. It is a system by which society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy.
(V) List the stages of family life cycle.
Ans. Family Life Cycle is comprised with 8 different stages:
- The Bachelor Stage (singles)
- Young Couple (with no children)
- Full Nest 1 (couples with small children)
- Parents with Children
- Full Nest 2 (Middle aged Couples with dependent Children)
- Empty Nest 1(Middle aged Couples with no Children living at home)
- Older Couples with no children
- Empty Nest 2 (Older, Widowed, Single, divorced and retired)
Note: Answer any two questions. Each question carries 5 marks (Word limits 500)
Q.2 Discuss Nicosia Model of buying behaviour.
Ans. Francesco M. Nicosia a leading scholar in the field of consumer behaviour propounded a comprehensive model in 1966 to analyse consumer’s behavioural process.
The model concentrates on the communication process that occurs between a brand and a consumer. It uses a flow of events through different stages that are identified as fields.
The firms marketing communications, consumer’s attributes, consumer’s decision process and feedback are the main components that are represented in this dynamic model.
- Nicosia Field 1: The first field represents the output of a commercial message in the form of advertising or other communication tools and its effect on the consumer individual.
This field is the sum of two sub fields. Sub field one that represents the product’s attributes and the brand communication efforts and sub field two with the consumer’s attributes and represents the meaning he gives to the message wich effects his reception of the message.
- Nicosia Field 2: The message in field one produces a certain attitude on the individual that leads to the search and alternative evaluation phases in the decision process. If from this process results a motivation to buy we can now advance to Nicosia Field three.
- Nicosia Field 3: Field three represents the transformation of the motivation into the act of purchase or non purchase. This leads to a certain purchasing behaviour analysed in field four.
- Nicosia Field 4: Field four deals with the use of the purchased item and how it generates experience that will determine future behaviour towards the product as a relation of the purchase consequence stored in memory. The output in field four is feedback of consumption and sales to the company.
With this model Nicosia was able to represent consumer’s behaviour when receivers of a message and has agents in the buying process generated by that flow of information from a company.
There are a number of arguments that put this model in a difficult position to be widely accepted. This includes the influences and inter-relationships among the consumer attributes, the unspecified type of consumer, the possible existing relationship between the company and the individual or its unique use in first exchange situations.
Q.4 “It is important for marketers as well as for consumers to study consumer behaviour.” Justify the statement.
Ans. The study of consumer behaviour enables marketers to understand and predict consumer behaviour in the market place. It is concerned not only with what consumers buy but also with why, when, where, how and how often they buy it. Again, consumer research is the methodology used to study consumer behaviour and takes place at every phase of the consumption process. Study of consumer behaviour is the study of how individual makes their purchase decision with respect to their available resources (money). In this unit we are going to discuss the buying behaviour of household consumers or personal consumers, institutional consumers and industrial consumers. Generally, personal consumers buy goods and services for their own consumptions and institutional and industrial consumers buy goods and services in order to run their business.
Consumer behaviour has become an integral part of strategic market planning. The belief that ethics and social responsibility should also be integral components of every marketing decision is embodied in societal marketing concept.
Importance of Consumer behaviour
(i) The study of consumer behaviour enables us to become a better consumer. It will help consumer to take more precise consumption related decisions.
(ii) It helps marketers to understand consumer buying behaviour and make better marketing decisions.
(iii) The size of the consumer market is constantly expanding and their preferences were also changing and becoming highly diversified. So without studying it, marketers cannot predict the future of their business.
Marketing managers regarded consumer behaviour discipline as an applied marketing science, if they could predict consumer behaviour, they could influence it. This approach has come to be known as positivism and the consumer researcher who are primarily concerned with predicting consumer behaviour are known as positivists.
As the marketing research began to study the buying behaviour of consumers, they soon realized that many consumers rebelled at using the identical products everyone else used, for example in case of purchase of house, interiors, car, and dress material etc. people prefers unique products. Consumer preferred differential products that they felt reflected their own special needs, personalities and lifestyles.
To meet the need of consumers, marketers adopt market segmentation policy. They use promotional techniques to vary the image of their products so that they would be perceived as better fulfilling the specific needs of certain target segments.
Other reasons for the development of consumer behaviour includes the rate of new product development, growth of consumer movement, public policy concerns, environmental concerns and the growth of both nonprofit marketing and international marketing.