978-0077861063 Chapter 3 Lecture Note 1

Document Type
Homework Help
Book Title
A Preface to Marketing Management 14th Edition
J. Paul Peter, James Donnelly
Chapter 3
Consumer Behavior
High-Level Chapter Outline
I. Social Influences on Consumer Decision Making
A. Culture and Subculture
B. Social Class
C. Reference Groups and Families
II. Marketing Influences on Consumer Decision Making
A. Product Influences
B. Price Influences
C. Promotion Influences
D. Place Influences
III. Situational Influences on Consumer Decision Making
IV. Psychological Influences on Consumer Decision Making
A. Product Knowledge
B. Product Involvement
V. Consumer Decision Making
A. Need Recognition
B. Alternative Search
C. Alternative Evaluation
D. Purchase Decision
E. Postpurchase Evaluation
Detailed Chapter Outline
I. Social Influences on Consumer Decision Making
Behavioral scientists have become increasingly aware of the powerful effects of the social
environment and personal interactions on human behavior.
In terms of consumer behavior, culture, social class, and reference group influences have
been related to purchase and consumption decisions.
These influences can have both direct and indirect effects on the buying process.
A. Culture and Subculture
Culture is one of the most basic influences on an individual’s needs, wants, and
Cultural antecedents affect everyday behavior, and there is empirical support for the
notion that culture is a determinant of certain aspects of consumer behavior.
Cultural values are transmitted through three basic organizations: the family, religious
organizations, and educational institutions.
Marketing managers should adapt the marketing mix to cultural values and constantly
monitor value changes and differences in both domestic and global markets.
In large nations such as the United States, the population is bound to lose a significant
amount of its homogeneity, and thus subcultures arise.
Subcultures are based on such things as geographic areas, religion, nationalities, ethnic
groups, and age.
Many subcultural barriers are decreasing because of mass communication, mass
transit, and a decline in the influence of religious values.
However, age groups, such as the teen market, baby boomers, and the mature market,
have become increasingly important for marketing strategy.
Marketing Insight 3–1 provides a summary of American cultural values.
B. Social Class
Social classes develop on the basis of such things as wealth, skill, and power.
The single best indicator of social class is occupation.
For marketing purposes, four different social classes have been identified:
oUpper Americans comprise 14 percent of the population and are differentiated
mainly by having high incomes.
This class remains the group in which quality merchandise is most prized
and prestige brands are commonly sought.
oThe middle class comprises 34 percent of the population, and these consumers
want to do the right and buy what is popular.
They are concerned with fashion and buying what experts in the media
oThe working class comprises 38 percent of the population, people who are
“family folk” who depend heavily on relatives for economic and emotional
The emphasis on family ties is only one sign of how much more limited
and different working-class horizons are socially, psychologically, and
geographically compared to those of the middle class.
oLower Americans comprise 16 percent of the population and are as diverse in
values and consumption goals as are other social levels.
Some members of this group are homeless and penniless although most
work part-time or full-time jobs at low wages.
The primary demands of this group are food, clothing and other staples.
C. Reference Groups and Families
Groups that an individual looks to (uses as a reference) when forming attitudes and
opinions are described as reference groups.
Primary reference groups include family and close friends, while secondary reference
groups include fraternal organizations and professional associations.
Secondary reference groups include fraternal organizations and professional
A person normally has several reference groups or reference individuals for various
subjects or different decisions.
The family is generally recognized to be an important reference group, and it has been
suggested that the household, rather than the individual, is the relevant unit for
studying consumer behavior.
It is important for marketing managers to determine not only who makes the actual
purchase but also who makes the decision to purchase.
It has been recognized that the needs, income, assets, debts, and expenditure patterns
change over the course of what is called the family life cycle.
The family life cycle can be divided into a number of stages ranging from single, to
married, to married with children of different age groups, to older couples, to solitary
The lifecycle is a useful way of classifying and segmenting individuals and families
because it combines trends in earning power with demands placed on income.
II. Marketing Influences on Consumer Decision Making
Marketing strategies are often designed to influence consumer decision making and lead to
profitable exchanges.
Each element of the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and place) can affect
consumers in various ways.
A. Product Influences
Many attributes of a company’s product, including brand name, quality, newness, and
complexity, can affect consumer behavior.
One of the key tasks of marketers is to differentiate their products from those of
competitors and create consumer perceptions that the product is worth purchasing.
B. Price Influences
The price of products and services often influences whether consumers will purchase
them at all, and, if so, which competitive offering is selected.
For some offerings, higher prices may not deter purchase because consumers believe
that the products or services are higher quality or are more prestigious.
Many of today’s value-conscious consumers may buy products more on the basis of
price than other attributes.
C. Promotion Influences
Advertising, sales, promotions, salespeople, and publicity can influence what
consumers think about products, what emotions they experience in purchasing and
using them, and what behaviors they perform, including shopping in particular stores
and purchasing specific brands.
Since consumers receive so much information from marketers and screen out a good
deal of it, it is important for marketers to devise communications that:
oOffer consistent messages about their products
oAre placed in media that consumers in the target market are likely to use
D. Place Influences
The marketers strategy for distributing products can influence consumers in several
oProducts that are convenient to buy in a variety of stores increase the chances of
consumers finding and buying them. When consumers are seeking
low-involvement products, they are unlikely to engage in extensive search, so
ready availability is important.
oProducts sold in exclusive outlets may be perceived by consumers as having
higher quality.
oOffering products by nonstore methods, such as on the Internet or in catalogs,
can create consumer perceptions that the products are innovative, exclusive, or
tailored for specific target markets.
III. Situational Influences on Consumer Decision Making
Situational influences can be defined as all those factors particular to a time and place that
have a demonstrable and systematic effect on current behavior.
These influences may be perceived either consciously or subconsciously and may have
considerable effect on product and brand choice.
oPhysical features are the most readily apparent features of a situation. These features
include geographical and institutional location, decor, sounds, aromas, lighting,
weather, and visible configurations of merchandise or other materials.
oSocial features provide additional depth to a description of a situation. These include
other persons present, their characteristics, their apparent roles and interpersonal
oTime is a dimension of situations that may be specified in units ranging from time of
day to season of the year. Time also may be measured relative to some past or future
event for the situational participant.
oTask features of a situation include an intent or requirement to select, shop for, or
obtain information about a general or specific purchase. Task may reflect different
buyer and user roles anticipated by the individual.
oCurrent conditions make up final features that characterize a situation. These are
momentary moods (such as acute anxiety, pleasantness, hostility, and excitation) or
momentary conditions (such as cash on hand, fatigue, and illness) rather than chronic
individual traits.
IV. Psychological Influences on Consumer Decision Making
Information from group, marketing, and situational influences affect what consumers think
and feel about particular products and brands.
However, a number of psychological factors influence how this information is interpreted
and used and how it affects the consumer decision-making process.
Two of the most important psychological factors are product knowledge and product
A. Product Knowledge
Product knowledge refers to the amount of information a consumer has stored in her or
his memory about particular product classes, product forms, models, and ways to
purchase them.
Group marketing and situational influences determine the initial level of product
knowledge as well as changes in it.
The initial level of product knowledge may influence how much information is sought
when deciding to make a purchase.
Product knowledge influences how quickly a consumer goes through the
decision-making process.
B. Product Involvement
Product involvement refers to a consumers perception of the importance or personal
relevance of an item.
Product involvement influences consumer decision making in two ways:
oIf the purchase is for a high-involvement product, consumers are likely to
develop a high degree of product knowledge so that they can be confident that
the item they purchase is just right for them.
oA high degree of product involvement encourages extensive decision making by
consumers, which likely increases the time it takes to go through the
decision-making process.
V. Consumer Decision Making
Consumers recognize a need for a product, search for information about alternatives to
meet the need, evaluate the information, make purchases, and evaluate the decision after
the purchase. The process by which consumers make decisions to purchase various
products and brands is shown in Figure 3.2.
There are three types of decision making, which vary in terms of how complex or
expensive a product is and how involved a consumer is in purchasing it.
oExtensive decision making requires the most time and effort since the purchase
involves a highly complex or expensive product that is important to the consumer.
oLimited decision making is more moderate but still involves some time and effort
searching for and comparing alternatives.
oRoutine decision making is the most common type and the way consumers purchase
most packaged goods.
A. Need Recognition
The starting point in the buying process is the consumers recognition of an unsatisfied
Any number of either internal or external stimuli may activate needs or wants and
recognition of them.
Internal stimuli are such things as feeling hungry and wanting some food, feeling a
headache coming on and wanting some Excedrin, or feeling bored and looking for a
movie to go to.
External stimuli are such things as seeing a McDonald’s sign and then feeling hungry
or seeing a sale sign for winter parkas and remembering that last years coat is worn
A well-known classification of needs was developed many years ago by Abraham
Maslow and includes five types.
Maslow’s view is that lower-level needs, starting with physiological and safety needs,
must be attended to before higher-level needs can be satisfied.
Maslow’s hierarchy is described below:
oPhysiological needs—this category consists of primary needs of the human
body. Physiological needs will dominate when all needs are unsatisfied.
oSafety needs—these needs consist of such things as protection from physical
harm, ill health, and economic disaster and avoidance of the unexpected.
oBelongingness and love needs—these needs are related to the social and
gregarious nature of humans and the need for companionship.
oEsteem needs—these needs consist of both the need for awareness of importance
to others (self-esteem) and actual esteem from others. Satisfaction of these needs
leads to feelings of self-confidence and prestige.
oSelf-actualization needs—these can be defined as the desire to become
everything one is capable of becoming. This means that the individual will fully
realize her or his talents and capabilities.

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