Identification of the needs and the preferences of the customers is one of the most crucial concepts that require a high focus of marketers. There are different implications of the consumer preferences that influence the buying decisions of the consumers. There are different factors that stimulate the purchase decision among the consumers. This information is hard to identify, but plays an important role among the area of marketing
because it helps to identify the behaviour of the consumers and the factors that influence the decisions of the consumers for making a purchase of the product.
In the way of assessing these factors, the marketers generally consider the behaviour of the consumers by making use of different theories.
The Reference Groups are those groups with which a consumer generally compares or associate himself. These groups are also considered to be as the opinion leaders in such a manner that will be able to display a potential influence over the behaviour of the consumers. These social influences are known to be one of the strongest social influences for the consumers who are making a decision in regard of a purchase. It is a considerable fact, that the consumers look for different opinions and the opinion of the reference group is an important influence. In this case, the preference of the consumers change if the product is supported by the reference group on the basis of their user experience, or if the product is disapproved, it is possible that the consumer wouldn’t prefer to buy that particular product.
A number of different individuals make up a reference group, which can be collectively categorised as under formal and informal groups. The informal groups include the people from clubs, relatives, family members, and peers. On the other hand, the formal groups involve the people from the religious organizations, associations, clubs, etc. Furthermore, there is another important reference Group which is known as an “Aspirations Reference Group
”. The Aspirational Reference Groups involve all such individuals that are imitated by the consumers. In this area, a consumer usually attempts to look like or follow the members of a particular group. The individuals start dressing, acting, and thinking in a similar manner as the member of this group does. From the marketing perspective, the people from these Reference Groups involve all such people that act as a frame of the reference for the consumer
that influences them to make a purchase decision.
The social class refers to the division of the society into various classes that have been divided into different sections on the basis of their income and lifestyle. A social class influence is an important variable while assessing the behaviour of the consumers in relation to the particular product. For instance, an expensive product is generally purchased by the higher income group people because they will be able to afford that particular product. Similarly, on the other hand, if an individual belongs to a lower class, he would always desire to have an expensive product, but couldn’t get it as he can’t afford it.
Moreover, social class can have a direct influence on categorising the individuals. For instance, a person from higher income group is consuming a particular product, the middle-class person would always try to access the same product because it is not only a luxury for him, but also it is his perception that he is consuming the same product as consumed by the higher income group people. The consumption of this particular product will help him to be a part of those people from the higher income group.
Motivation is a driving force that is developed internally in an individual which compels the people to perform a particular action. However, Motivation is developed due to unfulfilled needs. Motivation is an internal urge that stimulates a person to undertake a specific action which will help them to satisfy their needs. Motivation is directly influenced by four primary elements that include Learning, tension, drive, and cognition.
Learning is the process according to which an individual may acquire the overall knowledge and the level of experience which will be applied for the future purchase decision. Tension is a force that arises due to a particular unfulfilled need. This force drives an individual and compels a person to undertake a particular action which will help to satisfy that particular unfulfilled need. The process of cognition involves the perception, knowledge, and the beliefs of the consumer that he has in respect to an idea or product.
Every individual has different needs, perceptions, and preferences which converts a need into motivation. However, it depends on the level of intensity that is held by an individual for that particular need. For instance, for person A, the top most priority could be the need for a shelter, whereas the same for person B could be food to satisfy his hunger.
These needs are generally based on the overall goals that if the need arises and the individual is motivated to perform a particular action, what will be the goals that he will be able to achieve. Hence, the needs and the goals must be considered independent from each other. A human being has no end for their needs and it is likely that the motivation could be negative as well as positive depending on the various factors such as Physiological factors, emotional factors, cognitive factors, and environmental factors.
Perception in particular to the theory of marketing
, is a process where a consumer is able to identify, organise, and interpret information to develop a meaning based on their own perception. A prospective consumer will undertake information in a manner in which they will be able to satisfy their needs and wants. While considering the concept of perception, it is to be noted that a consumer perceives the world not the way it is, but the way he wants to perceive it. In this manner, each consumer will have his own perception towards a particular object.
These perceptions are developed on the basis of the observations of a consumer based on his past experiences, beliefs, and values. The area of perception is more than gathering the required information for a particular event at a specific interval of time. It involves the recognition of stimulus, processes, and storing these stimuli. The primary challenge that is faced by a marketer is the identification of the target consumers and to identify that how these consumers will perceive the world around them. These models will help the marketers to adjust their activities of marketing according to the target consumers. This provides that the concept of perception is a subjective matter and the people will develop a sense on the basis of what they see, hear, read, etc. for the marketers, it means that the can use these aspects of the consumers to involve them within the advertisements and the product.
Attitudes are generally defined as “A learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favourable or unfavourable way with respect to a given object.” The attitudes of the consumers are a combination of beliefs, feelings, and the behavioural intentions of the consumers. These factors are generally interdependent and influence the reaction of the consumers.
Beliefs: the first and the foremost component is Belief where a consumer is expected to have a positive as well as a negative belief in regard of a product or a service. Moreover, it is also possible that some of the beliefs could be neutral and are inaccurate. Since, a consumer can have different beliefs, he usually ranks each of the beliefs and then the collection of each type of belief helps the consumer to make decision in regard of the purchase.
Feelings: it is an undeniable fact that the consumers usually have a certain type of feelings towards the brand of the product and other different objects. Most of the times, the feelings are generally based on the beliefs held by the consumer, but it is likely that the overall feelings possessed by a consumer are independent of the beliefs. For instance, an environment-friendly consumer may possess a belief that cutting down of the trees is morally a wrong idea, but he may have a positive feeling towards the need for Christmas tree that is correlated with his feelings of being a child during Christmas.
Behavioural Intentions: the behavioural intentions of the consumers provide an insight toward their plans that what they are intended to do with respect to a particular object. This is sometimes referred to as logical consequences of the belief but possible may reflect some other circumstances.