Cultural & Social Factors Affecting Buyer Behavior

What is culture? The values, beliefs preferences and tastes passed on from one generation to another generation in the society are called culture. Culture is one of the broadest determinants of Buyer’s behavior. A marketer needs to understand the culture to be able to do successful marketing. Culture keeps changing and so do the values, beliefs, preferences and tastes of the people. The successful marketer needs to monitors these changes and inculcates them in the marketing strategy of the firm.
Culture is very important in Global marketing. To market a product overseas, one needs to understand the cultural taboos, social customs, preferences, religious outlook and other things.
Social Factors: Man is a social animal. Every person belongs to social group or groups. Group imparts a major influence on a consumer’s buying decisions. These influences may be informational or normative.
In psychology, it is referred to as conformity. Conformity is a process by which an individual’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are conditioned by what is conceived to be what other people might perceive. Solomon Eliot Asch, an American Psychologist, first explained this and it was known as Asch Phenomenon. The group influences may be the result of subtle unconscious influences, or direct and overt social pressures.
Informational social influence occurs when a person turns to the members of his/ her group to obtain accurate information. Normative social influence occurs when a person conforms to be liked or accepted by the members of the group. It usually results in public compliance, doing or saying something without believing in it.
The impact can be easily seen in children. The decisions of children are often based upon their groups – what the other children are wearing, eating and doing. The people who affect a group like the brand ambassadors are known as Opinion Leaders who have the capability to act as trendsetters and affect the buyer’s behavior.
Family Influences: Family is a group and one of the most dominant factor affecting the purchase decisions of person. Family often has a set of norms and has different role and status for its members. Household decision-making depends upon the role of the family members.

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    mule.srinivas yadav