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3 Tutorials that teach Consumer Behavior
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Consumer Behavior

Consumer Behavior

Author: James Howard
Description:

This lesson explains consumer behavior and the major influences on consumer behavior.

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Tutorial

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Hello and welcome to this tutorial. Today we're going to talk about Consumer Behavior. Now, as always with these tutorials, please feel free to fast forward, pause, or rewind as many times as you need in order to the most out of the time that you're going to spend here.

Let me ask you a question, have you ever changed your mind? I know, it seems like a silly question, right? Well, the reason I ask is I want to know what it was that made you change your mind about something. Was it about a particular purchase you wanted to make? Or a lifestyle change, for instance? What were those influences that made you make that final decision.

Today in this tutorial, we're going to be talking about what influences customer behavior. We're also going to be discussing those four individual influences. And we're going to look at some examples of influence impact. The key terms for this lesson are going to be consumer behavior, psychological influences, personal influences, social influences, and cultural influences.

So let's define what we're talking about. Consumer behavior, the research and understanding of how human beings, singularly or as a group, consider and accept organizational offerings, as well as how these choices impact culture as a whole. So when we talk about consumer behavior, it's important that the business understand the consumer. Remember we talked about the four C's. You have to be able to get inside the consumers head and understand who it is you're targeting for your product.

And we're going to do this through psychology for the individual. And we're also going to look at sociology for a group as a whole. Let's talk about four particular influences. And the first one are psychological influences.

These are influences on a consumer opinion that are related to the scientific study of how human beings think and respond to their environment. For instance, am I hot or am I cold? And I hungry? Am I tired? These are all things that are going to influence you psychologically.

For instance, so you can see how psychology can have important impact on how a consumer makes decisions-- or we all make decisions for that matter. The next one I'm going to look at is personal influences. Now, personal influences are influences on customer opinions that are related to their interaction and response to the opinions of specific other people.

Now, these may be job related or age related, health related, or possibly even wealth related. Basically those things that would describe the demographics of a particular group. Take a look at the person doing the welding here.

The personal influences that he might make would include things like oh, I probably wouldn't want to wear ballet slippers to the job site. It's a personal influence. Also, it doesn't really fit my job. It's not really conducive to what I'm doing. Safety boots would be a much better option.

The next one we're going to look at is social influences. Now, these are influences on consumer opinion that are related to the opinions of groups or society, subcultures or subgroups for instance, reference groups or aspirational groups-- where am I at in my personal life as far as groups are concerned. Here we might look at things like Generation X'ers or Generation Y'ers-- or possibly hipsters. The decisions that I make can be influenced by the people that I'm around all the time.

For instance, if I'm around a group or part of a group that shuns the use of automobiles, and thinks bicycles are the way to go, I probably wouldn't want to be looking for a car. So as a business, I wouldn't want to target this individual group for car buying. Whereas if I'm a bicycle manufacturer, this is exactly the target market that I want to aim for.

Lastly, we want to look at cultural influences. Now, these are influences on consumer opinion that are related to the broad impact of a society in which they are living or have lived. For instance, if I asked you what was in that cup, what would you say? Would you say coffee? Or perhaps, tea?

Where we grow up or where we live has an effect on the choices or the decisions that we make. If I'd grown up in a place where tea was the hot drink of choice, I would automatically assume that that is tea. Or in a place where coffee is the norm, that would be coffee in that cup.

So we're looking at cultural norms here. Food habits of a particular culture or ceremony, perhaps religion that is a predominant part of that culture-- these are all things that are going to influence what I will or will not buy. Let's take a look at some examples and see if we can put this all together.

For instance, let's talk about a new car. How would psychological influences impact the car? Well we already mentioned if I don't have enough money for rent, I may not be buying a car. If I do, it's going to be a used one and pretty cheap.

Those personal influences, like my job or my age. Am I at an age, or a particular well status where I can afford a particular type of car, or one that fits my age? Social influences, for instance.

If I buy something that is completely radical for the group that I am a part of, how will that affect my standing with the group? If I'm in a place where Bentley's and Mercedes are the norm, what would it look like to buy a Honda? Or if I'm right around Detroit, what would an import car look like being driven around in a city where American cars are made?

And lastly, cultural influences. Would I want to buy something that is reminiscent of my home country? Or would I be looking for something else a little bit different? What about a cellphone?

Again, basic needs. Does it do the things that I need it to do? Does it fill a won't or a need for me? If it doesn't do everything I want it to do, well, it may not be the choice for me.

Those personal influences. Again, is this going to be used as part of my job? Is it important that it run for instance, Microsoft Office? Or can I use something that's Mac based?

Social influences. Does everybody I know own an Apple? Would I be ostracized or whether it be a connection problem if perhaps I got an Android or a Windows Phone?

And lastly, cultural influences. What's the norm in my society for what a cell phone is supposed to be or do? And lastly, what about a pair of shoes. Does it meet my basic needs?

Does it keep my feet warm? Or does it keep my feet cool? Do I buy a pair of sandals or do I buy a pair of insulated boots? Well, what about personal influences like my job or my age?

I may not be able to wear a particular set of shoes because of my health. My feet maybe bad-- I can wear high heels-- those are examples of things that will be a personal influence for me. It's a social group.

Does wearing high heels or flats or sandals not make me fit in with the personal group? Where I live, sandals are a big part of life. Where if I move somewhere else where it's a little colder all the time, then sandals might be looked on as kind of strange. That might affect what type of shoe that I buy.

And cultural influences, what's the cultural norm? Again, we're going to go back to what about the people as a culture around me-- not just the subgroup that I belong to. So you can see how these kind of interact just a little bit. There's some overlap there.

Well, what did we talk about during this lesson? Well, we looked at what influences consumer behavior. Those four influences like psychological, personal, social, and cultural influences that all play a role in the decisions that we make, and the decisions that we make as a consumer.

And lastly, we looked at some examples of that influential impact. For instance, buying a car, or a cellphone, or a pair of shoes. Does it meet my basic needs? Does it fit the job or the age or the wealth that I have? Could I even afford it?

Does it make me fit in or will I be thought of as strange by the social group that I hang out with, and the cultural environments? Is there something about that particular product that fits the ceremony of my culture, or the food habits, or even the religion of my culture?

As always, I want to thank you for spending some time with me today. It's been great. And you folks have a great day.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Psychological Influences

    Influences on consumer opinions that are related to the scientific study of how human beings think and respond to their environment.

  • Personal Influences

    Influences on consumer opinions that are related to their interaction and response to the opinions of specific other people.

  • Social Influences

    Influences on consumer opinions that are related to the opinions of groups or societies

  • Cultural Influences

    Influences on consumer opinions that are related to the broad impact of the society in which they are living or have lived.

  • Consumer Behavior

    The research and understanding of how human beings, singularly or as a group, consider and accept organizational offerings, as well as how these choices impact culture as a whole.