Factors influencing consumer
Sunita Sen
Cultural influence:
A) Cultural and societal influence:
 Throughout his existence, an
individual will be influenced by his
family, his friends, his cultural
environment or society that will
“teach” him values, preferences as
well as common behaviours to
their own culture.
Basic values, perceptions, wants and
Learned from family and important
Cultural values:
widely held beliefs
that endure over
Instrumental values
Terminal values
Culture is a learned response
Culture is shared
Culture is adaptive
Dynamism in culture
B) Subculture
 Subcultures are groups of people who share the same
values based on a common experience or a similar
lifestyle in general.
 Subcultures are the nationalities, religions, ethnic groups,
age groups, gender of the individual, etc..
Group of people with shared value systems
Based on common life experiences and situations
Marketing to Subcultures
Procter & Gamble targets
Hispanics using print and TV and
has developed special Spanish
versions of some brands.
Age subculture
Generation Y (1977-94)
Generation X (1965-79)
Baby boomers (1946-64)
Geographic subculture
Religion subculture
Gender subculture
Age subculture
Generation Y
Generation X
Savvy, Pragmatic
Coming of age
Computer in every
every home
TV in every home
Price quality
Value oriented
Price oriented
Attitude towards
Brand embracing
Against branding
Brand loyal
Behaviour towards
Rebel against hype
Rebel against hype
Respond to image
building type
Gender subculture:
Women show superior affect and purchase intention
towards ads that are verbal, harmonious, complex and
catagory oriented whereas men show superior affect and
purchase intention towards ads that are comparative,
simple and attribute oriented.
C) Social Class:
Social classes are defined as groups more or less homogenous
and ranked against each other according to a form of social
hierarchy. Even if it’s very large groups, we usually find similar
values, lifestyles, interests and behaviours in individuals
belonging to the same social class.
Social comparison theory
We often assume three general categories among social
Lower class
Middle class
Upper class
Measuring social class
1. Subjective measures
Reputational measures
Objective measures:
Single variable indexes
Composite variable indexes
D) Cultural trends:
 Cultural trends or “Bandwagon effect” are defined as
trends widely followed by people and which are amplified
by their mere popularity and by conformity or
compliance with social pressure. The more people follow
a trend, the more others will want to follow it.
 For example, Facebook has become a cultural trend. The
social network has widely grew to the point of becoming
a must have, especially among young people.
Culture and marketing strategies
Identify key cultural values that affect the consumption of
the product
Ensure the marketing mix appeals to these values
Examine changes in cultural values and adapt the
marketing mix if needed
Modify marketing mix to subcultures if the culture is
Be aware of symbols and ritual
Measurement of culture
Content analysis
Consumer fieldwork
Value measurement instrument
Content Analysis
A method for systematically analyzing the content of
verbal and/or pictorial communication.
Frequently used to determine prevailing social values of a
Field Observation
A measurement technique that takes place within a
natural environment that focuses on observing behaviour
(sometimes without the subjects’ awareness).
Field Observation
Takes place within a natural environment
Performed sometimes without the subject’s awareness
Focuses on observation of behaviour
Researchers who participate in the environment that they
are studying without notifying those who are being
Value Measurement Survey
Rokeach Value Survey (RVS)
A self-administered inventory consisting of
eighteen “terminal” values (i.e., personal goals)
and eighteen “instrumental” values (i.e., ways of
reaching personal goals).
List of Values (LOV)
A value measurement instrument that asks
consumers to identify their two most important
values from a nine-value list that is based on the
terminal values of the Rokeach Value Survey
Indian core values:
Family orientation
Indian Core values
Shared beliefs or cultural norms about what is important or
Value system
Our total set of values and their relative importance
Cultural values directly influence how
Consumers view and use individual
products, brands, and services.
The List of Values (LOV):
• Self-respect
• Warm relationships
• Self-fulfillment
• Sense of belonging
• Respect from others
• Excitement
• Security
• Sense of accomplishment
• Fun and enjoyment in life
Values and Lifestyles (VALS):
 Identifies eight market segments that share similar
end values.
Social Factors:
Reference group and membership group:
The membership groups of an individual are social groups to
which he belongs and which will influence him. The
membership groups are usually related to its social origin, age,
place of residence, work, hobbies, leisure, etc.
More generally, reference groups are defined as those that
provide to the individual some points of comparison more or
less direct about his behaviour, lifestyle, desires or consumer
habits. They influence the image that the individual has of
himself as well as his behaviour. Whether it is a membership
group or a non-membership group.
Reference group:
Normative reference group that influence general or broadly
defined values or behaviour.
Comparative reference group that serve as a benchmark for
specific or narrowly defined attitude or behaviour.
Indirect reference group
Direct reference group
Major consumer Reference group
Opinion Leaders
Trendsetters – individuals who are more likely to
purchase new products early and to serve as information
source for others in a group.
Factors that affect reference group’s
Information and experience
Credibility, attractiveness and power of the reference
Conspicuousness of the product.
Reference group and consumer conformity
Market leaders are interested in encouraging conformity.
Non market leaders re new brands appeal for non conformity
In common marketing usage 5 major
reference group are:
Celebrity Appeal
Based on personal usage, a
celebrity attests to the quality
of the product or service
Celebrity lends his/her name
and appeal on behalf of
product or service with which
he/she may or may not be an
Celebrity represents the
brand or company over an
extended period of time.
The expert
The common man (slice of life commercials)
The executive and employee spokesperson
Trade or spokes-character
Other reference appeals
Seals of approval
Consumer reports
Many brands look to target opinion leaders (initiator or
influencer) to spread the use and purchase of their
product in a social group. Either through an internal
person of the group when it comes to a small social
group. Or through a sponsorship or a partnership with a
reference leader (celebrity, actor, musician, athlete, etc.)
for larger groups.
Family is defined as two or more persons related by
blood, marriage or adoption who reside together.
Nuclear family
Extended family
Single parent family
Eight roles in the family Decision-Making
Influencers: provide information to other members
Gatekeepers: control the flow of information
Deciders: have power to determine unilaterally or jointly
whether to buy or not
Buyers: make actual purchases
Preparers: transform products into form suitable for
Users: use the product or service
Maintainers: service or repair the product for continued
Disposers: carry out disposal or discontinuation of the
Family life cycle
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