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Consumer behaviour refers to the observation and study of the mental and psychological processes that occur in the mind of a buyer when he chooses one product and not another, in order to understand why it happens that way.
The first stage of the purchase always begins when the consumer identifies the good, be it a product or a service, that he needs and then selects it with the intention of satisfying that need.
This binomial need-satisfaction underlies the whole process of decision and purchasing action and the dynamics of consumer psychology.
In selecting the product, the individual estimates the amount he is willing to spend for it. Just before the purchase of the good the consumer analyzes the different prices of the range of offers among which he can select and satisfy his need. In addition to price, there are other relevant factors that influence consumer choice:
It is the way of life of a community or group. In order to fit into a cultural group, a consumer must follow cultural norms that are formally manifested and those that are tacit.
For example, to fit into an Islamic community the subject cannot consume pork. On the other hand, among the young people of any community it is expected that someone who wants to integrate the group will look like them.
In other words, cultural norms define what a consumer may or may not buy.
Each person’s lifestyle is usually determined by their amount of monetary income. If a subject has high incomes, he or she is expected to maintain a relatively determined lifestyle.
The influence of lifestyle on consumer behavior determines without mediation the fact that if the person has lower incomes than others, he or she will not have access to certain products and services that are above his or her socioeconomic scale.
Those with high incomes usually experience a decline in their socioeconomic status by consuming low-priced goods. The opposite effect also occurs: when a middle-income consumer ever acquires a product or service of greater economic value, he or she perceives that it goes up in his or her socioeconomic scale.
This is the variable that drives one person to consider one need more important than another. Congruent with this, the most important need demands to be satisfied first.
Motivation is a complex dynamic fed by different needs of a physiological, biological and social nature.
For example, when an individual is motivated by the need to feel secure, he or she will usually buy products or services that are aligned with that need, both functionally (objective) and perceptually (subjective, e.g. brand positioning).
Personality is a set of variables that are deeply embedded in a person’s mind. Personality differs from person to person, some cases notably, and is also influenced by external factors such as where the person is or the time of day.
Personality determines what you will eat, wear, study, groom yourself, and look at at points of sale. In short, personality has a strong impact on all decision-making processes, mainly because it is linked to people’s attitude or belief system towards different products.
This favour influences the behaviour of consumers in a quite direct way. For example, the needs of a 6-year-old are clearly not similar to those of an adolescent: consumers’ needs are basic in childhood but become more complex in adolescence and youth.
This process continues to articulate as the individual’s age advances.
The psychological needs of people in different age groups differ from one another, which explains the changes in consumer behavior over time. It is interesting to note that in old age the needs of consumers tend to return to a more basic nature.
Perception is the prevailing popular opinion about a product or service at a given time. It is emotional that perceptions are susceptible to change over time.
Being a strongly subjective mental construct, consumers may have the same need, but buy totally different brands because of their perceptual system.
Perception is a variable influenced by external stimuli such as other people’s comments or marketing communications, whether advertising or public relations.
These factors participate in the process of shaping people’s perception and belief systems and attitudes about brands.
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