Factors Affecting or Influencing Consumer Behavior

Factors Affecting or Influencing Consumer Behavior

Consumer purchases are influenced strongly by cultural, social, personal, and psychological characteristics, shown in figure. For example, marketers cannot control such factors but they must take them into account.

Social class
Reference groups
Roles and status
Age and life cycle stage
Economic situation
Personality and self-concept
Beliefs and attitudes

Cultural Factors

Cultural factors exert a broad and deep influence on consumer behavior. The marketer needs to understand the role played by the buyer’s culture, subculture, and social class.


The set of basic values, perceptions, wants, and behaviors learned by a member of society from family and other important institutions


A group of people with shared value systems based on common life experiences and situations.

Social Class

Relatively permanent and ordered divisions in a society whose members share similar values, interests, and behaviors

Social Factors

A consumer’s behavior also is influenced by social factors, such as the consumer’s small groups, family, and social roles and status.


A person’s behavior is influenced by many small groups. Groups that have a direct influence and to which a person belongs are called membership groups. In contrast, reference groups serve as direct (face to face) or indirect points of comparison or reference in forming a person’s attitudes or behavior. People often are influenced by reference groups to which they do not belong.


Family members can strongly influenced buyer behavior. The family is the most important consumer buying organization in society, and it has been researched extensively. Marketers are interested in the roles and influence of the husband, wife, and children on the purchase of different products and services.

Roles and status

People usually choose products appropriate to their roles and status. Consider the various roles a working mother plays. In company, she plays the role of a brand manager in her family, she plays the role of wife and mother; at her favorite sporting events, and she plays the role of avid fan. As a brand manager, she will buy the kind of clothing that reflects her role and status in her company.

Personal Factors

A buyer’s decisions also are influenced by personal characteristics such as the buyer’s age and life-cycle stage, occupation, economic situation, lifestyle, and personality and self-concept.

Age and Life-Cycle Stage

People change the goods and services they buy over their lifetimes. Tastes in food, clothes, furniture, and recreation are often age related. Buying is also shaped by the stage of the family life cycle, the stage through which families might pass as they mature over time. Marketers often define their target markets in terms of life-cycle stage and develop appropriate products and marketing plans for each stage.


A person’s occupation affects the goods and services bought. Blue-collar workers tend to buy more rugged work clothes, whereas executives buy more business suits.

Economic Situation

A person’s economic situation will affect product choice. Marketers of income-sensitive goods watch trends in personal income, saving, and interest rates. If economic indicators point to a recession, marketers can take steps to redesign, reposition, and reprice their products closely. Some marketers target consumers who have lots of money and resources, charging prices to match.


Lifestyle is a person’s pattern of living as expressed in his or her psychographics. It involves measuring consumers major AIO dimensions-activities (work, hobbies, shopping, sports, social events), interests (food, fashion, family, recreation), and opinions (about themselves, social issues, business, products). Lifestyle captures something more than the person’s social class or personality. It profiles a person’s whole pattern of acting and interacting in the world. When used carefully, the lifestyle concept can help marketers understand changing consumer values and how they affect buying behavior.

Psychological Factors


A need that is sufficiently pressing to direct the person to seek satisfaction of the need


The processes by which people select, organize, and interpret information to form a meaningful picture of the world.


Changes in an individual’s behavior arising from experience

Beliefs and Attitudes


A descriptive thought that a person has about something


A person’s relatively consistent evaluations, feelings, and tendencies toward ad object or idea


Anonymous said...

thank you.
have you any isi paper about external factors affecting consumer behavior?

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