Chapter 4
Motivation and Values
By Michael R. Solomon
Consumer Behavior
Buying, Having, and Being
Sixth Edition
The Motivation Process
• Motivation:
– The processes that lead people to behave as they
do. It occurs when a need arises that a consumer
wishes to satisfy.
• Utilitarian need: Provides a functional or practical
• Hedonic need: An experiential need involving emotional
responses or fantasies
• Goal:
– The end state that is desired by the consumer.
The Motivation Process
• Drive:
– The degree of arousal present due to a discrepancy
between the consumer’s present state and some ideal
• Want:
– A manifestation of a need created by personal and cultural
• Motivation can be described in terms of:
– Strength: The pull it exerts on the consumer
– Direction: The particular way the consumer attempts to
reduce motivational tension
Ads Reinforce Desired States
• This ad for exercise
shows men a desired
state (as dictated by
contemporary Western
culture), and suggests a
solution (purchase of
equipment) to attain it.
Motivational Strength
• Biological vs. Learned Needs:
– Instinct: Innate patterns of behavior universal in a species
– Tautology: Circular explanation (e.g. instinct is inferred
from the behavior it is supposed to explain)
• Drive Theory:
– Biological needs produce unpleasant states of arousal. We
are motivated to reduce tension caused by this arousal.
– Homeostasis: A balanced state of arousal
• Expectancy Theory:
– Behavior is pulled by expectations of achieving desirable
outcomes – positive incentives – rather than pushed from
Motivational Direction
• Needs Versus Wants:
– Want: The particular form of consumption used to satisfy
a need.
• Types of Needs
– Biogenic needs: Needs necessary to maintain life
– Psychogenic needs: Culture-related needs (e.g. need for
status, power, affiliation, etc.)
– Utilitarian needs: Implies that consumers will emphasize
the objective, tangible aspects of products, a desire to
achieve some functional or practical benefit.
– Hedonic needs: Subjective and experiential needs (e.g.
excitement, self-confidence, fantasy, etc.)
A tension!
• With the consideration of unmet needs, a
discrepancy exists between the consumer’s
present state and some ideal state. Tension is
created. The consumer seeks to reduce this
tension. The degree of arousal is called a
• Marketers try to create products and services
that will provide the desired benefits and
permit the consumer to reduce this tension.
State your ends!
• The desired end state is the consumer’s goal.
• Once a goal is attained, tension is reduced and
the motivation recedes.
• Motivation can be described in terms of:
a) Its strength
b) Its direction
Strength and Direction
• Motivational Strength
The degree to which a person is willing to expend
energy to reach one goal as opposed to another
reflects his or her underlying motivation to attain
that goal.
• Motivational Direction:
Motives have direction as well as strength. Most goals
can be reached by a number of paths. The specific
way a need is satisfied depends on the individual’s
unique history, learning experiences, and his or her
cultural environment. Particular form of consumption
used to satisfy a need is termed a want.
Conflicts can occur...
• Motivational Conflicts
A goal has valence, which means that it can be positive
or negative. Therefore goals can be sought or
Not all behavior is motivated by the desire to approach
a goal.
Consumers often find themselves in situations in which
different motives, both positive and negative,
conflict with one another - i.e. Conflicts can occur.
Three different types of goal conflicts are:
Approach-approach conflict, Approach-avoidance
conflict, Avoidance-avoidance conflict.
Instant Gratification of Needs
• We expect today’s technical products to satisfy our
needs – instantly.
Motivational Conflicts
• Approach-Approach Conflict:
– A person must choose between two desirable alternatives.
– Theory of Cognitive Dissonance: A state of tension occurs
when beliefs or behaviors conflict with one another.
• Cognitive Dissonance Reduction: Process by which
people are motivated to reduce tension between beliefs
or behaviors.
• Approach-Avoidance Conflict:
– Exists when consumers desire a goal but wish to avoid it at
the same time. Many products and services we desire have
negative consequences attached to them.
• Avoidance-Avoidance Conflict:
– Consumers face a choice between two undesirable
Three Types of Motivational Conflicts
Figure 4.1
A Gentle Approach...
• In approach-approach conflicts, marketing
communications should emphasize a “no-lose”
and/or “win either way” message(s).
• In approach-avoidance conflicts, messages should
accentuate the positive aspects and either downplay
the negative or provide some additional
counterbalancing information about the choices.
• In avoidance-avoidance conflicts, messages should
emphasize the need for making a choice and link it to
some other more attractive value held by the
Solutions to Approach-Avoidance Conflict
Discussion Question
• Do sporting events, such as a
college football game, satisfy
utilitarian or hedonic needs?
Which specific needs do
they address?
• Give some other examples
of utilitarian and hedonic
Classifying Consumer Needs
• Henry Murray need dimensions:
– Autonomy: Being independent
– Defendance: Defending the self against criticism
– Play: Engaging in pleasurable activities
• Thematic Apperception Technique (TAT):
– (1) What is happening?
– (2) What led up to this situation?
– (3) What is being thought?
– (4) What will happen?
– People freely project their subconscious needs
onto the stimulus
Theory of cognitive dissonance
• An illustration—a person purchases an expensive automobile
with the expectation that it will increase his or her status within
his or her social set. However, the increased status does not
occur and he or she begins to doubt that the purchase was a
wise idea. If unchecked, this doubt can create grave negative
feelings about the automobile and the dealer that sold it to the
person. However, dissonance reduction will occur if friends
compliment the person or make it known to them that the
purchase was a good one. In lieu of friends performing this
role, the marketer must sometimes perform the confirmation
role by running reassurance ads for their customers.
Classifying Consumer Needs (cont.)
• Specific Needs and Buying Behavior:
Need for achievement: To attain personal accomplishment
Need for affiliation: To be in the company of others
Need for power: To control one’s environment
Need for uniqueness: To assert one’s individual identity
• Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
– A hierarchy of biogenic and psychogenic needs that
specifies certain levels of motives.
• Paradise: Satisfying Needs?
– Distinct differences regarding the conceptualization of
paradise between American and Dutch college students
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Figure 4.2
Dutch Conception of Paradise
• A Dutch respondent’s collage emphasizes this person’s
conception of paradise as a place where there is
interpersonal harmony and concern for the environment.
All you need is love...
Appeal to
Criticisms of Maslow’s Hierarchy
• The application is too simplistic:
– It is possible for the same product or activity to satisfy
every need.
• It is too culture-bound:
– The assumptions of the hierarchy may be restricted to
Western culture
• It emphasizes individual needs over group needs
– Individuals in some cultures place more value on the
welfare of the group (belongingness needs) than the needs
of the individual (esteem needs)
• Involvement refers to the level of perceived personal
importance and/or interest evoked by a stimulus (or
stimuli) within a specific situation. Involvement can
be: product involvement, message-response
involvement, and purchase situation involvement.
Degree of involvement becomes a means by which to
segment a market and, therefore, devise strategies to
reach different involved segments.
Are you involved?
• Involvement can be viewed as the motivation
to process information.
As involvement increases, people devote more
attention to ads related to the product, exert
more cognitive effort to understand these ads,
and focus their attention on the productrelated information in them.
Your Attention Please....
• It is known that consumers differ in their level
of involvement with a product message.
Marketers use attention-getting factors to
ensure that messages get through the clutter
that constantly bombards the consumer’s
Technically Speaking....
The techniques cited in the text that can be used to enhance the
consumer’s motivations to process product information and
increase their involvement:
• (a) Appeal to consumers’ hedonic needs (e.g., ads using sensory
appeals generate higher levels of attention).
• (b) Use novel stimuli in a commercial, such as unusual
cinematography, sudden silences,or unexpected movements.
• (c) Use prominent stimuli, such as loud music and fast action, to
capture attention in commercials. In print formats, larger ads
increase attention. Also, viewers look longer at full-color pictures
than at black-and-white.
• (d) Include celebrity endorsers in commercials to generate higher
• (e) Develop a bond (i.e., brand loyalty) by maintaining an ongoing
relationship with consumers.
Consumer Involvement
• Involvement:
– A person’s perceived relevance of the object based
on his/her inherent needs, values, and interests.
• Object: A product or brand
• Levels of Involvement: Inertia to Passion
– Type of information processing depends on the
consumer’s level of involvement
• Simple processing: Only the basic features of the message
are considered
• Elaboration: Incoming information is linked to preexisting
Conceptualizing Involvement
Figure 4.3
Increasing Involvement through Ads
• The Swiss Potato Board
is trying to increase
involvement with its
product. The ad reads,
“Recipes against
Consumer Involvement (cont.)
• Involvement as a Continuum:
– Ranges from disinterest to obsession
• Inertia (Low involvement consumption):
– Consumer lacks the motivation to consider alternatives
• Flow State (High involvement consumption):
– Consumer is truly involved with the product, ad or web site
• Cult Products:
– Command fierce consumer loyalty and perhaps worship by
consumers who are highly involved in the product
Example of a Cult Product
The Many Faces of Involvement
• Product Involvement:
– Related to a consumer’s level of interest in a particular
• Message-Response Involvement:
– (a.k.a. advertising involvement) Refers to a consumer’s
interest in processing marketing communications. Television
is considered a low-involvement medium. Print is considered
a high-involvement medium.
• Purchase Situation Involvement:
– Refers to the differences that may occur when buying the
same product for different contexts. Social risk is considered.
Emotions versus Cognitions
• Many marketing
messages, such as this ad
for a cosmetic company
in Taiwan, focus on
emotions rather than
Measuring Involvement
• Teasing out the Dimensions of Involvement:
– Involvement Profile:
Personal interest in a product category
Risk importance
Probability of making a bad purchase
Pleasure value of the product category
How closely the product is related to the self
• Segmenting by Involvement Levels:
– Involvement is a useful basis for market
High Involvement
Underlying values
• Consumer motivations are often driven by
underlying values. In this context, products
take on meaning because they are seen as
being instrumental in helping the person to
achieve some goal that is linked to a value
(such as individuality or freedom)
Strategies to Increase Involvement
• Appeal to hedonic needs
– e.g. using sensory appeals to generate attention
• Use novel stimuli
– e.g. unusual cinematography, sudden silences, etc.
• Use prominent stimuli
– e.g. larger ads, more color
• Include celebrity endorsers
• Build a bond with consumers
– Maintain an ongoing relationship with consumers
• Value:
– A belief that some condition is preferable to its opposite (e.g. freedom is
better than slavery)
• Core Values:
– General set of values that uniquely define a culture
• Value system: A culture’s unique set of rankings of the relative
importance of universal values. What sets cultures apart is the
relative importance or ranking of universal values. This set of rankings
is a culture’s value system.
• Every culture is characterized by its members’ endorsement of a
value system.
– Enculturation:
• Process of learning the value systems of one’s own culture
– Acculturation:
• Process of learning the value system of another culture
– Cultural beliefs are taught by socialization agents (i.e., parents, friends,
and teachers)
Core Values
• Cleanliness is a core
value in many cultures.
Application of Values
to Consumer Behavior
• Useful distinctions in values for consumer
behavior research
– Cultural Values (e.g. security or happiness)
– Consumption-Specific Values (e.g. convenient
shopping or prompt service)
– Product-Specific Values (e.g. ease-of-use or
• Virtually all consumer research is ultimately
related to identification and measurement of
Emotions versus Cognitions
• The positive value we place on the activities of large
corporations is changing among some consumers who prefer
to go “anticorporate.” This ad for a coffee shop in Boulder,
Colorado reflects that sentiment.
Measuring Cultural Values
• The Rokeach Value Survey
– Terminal Values: Desired end states
– Instrumental Values: Actions needed to achieve
terminal values
• The List of Values (LOV) Scale
– Developed to isolate values with more direct
marketing applications
– Identifies nine (9) consumer segments based on the
values they endorse
– Relates each value to differences in consumption
The Means-End Chain Model
• Laddering:
– A technique that uncovers consumers’ associations between
attributes and consequences
• Hierarchical value maps:
– Show how product attributes are linked to desired end states
• Means-End Conceptualization of the Components of
Advertising Strategy (MECCAS):
Message Elements
Consumer Benefits
Executional Framework
Leverage Point
Driving Force
Advertising uses the laddering concept to develop
advertising strategy
Elements include
• a. Message elements—which attributes or product
• b. Consumer benefit—positive consequences of use.
• c. Executional framework—style and tone of ad.
• d. Leverage point—how to link terminal values with
product features.
e. Driving force—end value on which the advertising
will focus.
Chained to a Model...Hm...
• The Means-End Chain Model assumes that very
specific product attributes are linked at levels of
increasing abstraction to terminal values. The person
has valued end states, and he or she chooses among
alternative means to attain these goals. Products are
thus valued as the means to an end. Through a
technique called laddering, consumer’s associations
between specific attributes and general consequences
are uncovered. Consumers are helped to climb up the
“ladder” or abstraction that connects functional
product attributes with desired end states.
The Weight of your Chains....
• Example: a young man purchases a diamond
ring to symbolize an upcoming marriage to a
young woman. Concrete attributes like size
and clarity of the stone are parlayed into
abstract and emotional values of love and selfesteem (yes, carat weight and quality do
matter--especially to women).
• Materialism:
– The importance people attach to worldly
– Tends to emphasize the well-being of the individual
versus the group
– People with highly material values tend to be less
– America is a highly materialistic society
– There are a number of anti-materialism movements
Values of Materialists
• Materialists value visible symbols of success such as expensive
Consumer Behavior in
the Aftermath of 9/11
• Following 9/11, ads
addressed people’s fears
in various ways. This ad
was created as part of
the Advertising
Community Together