The paper "Internal and External Factors Affecting Consumer Behavior " is a good example of marketing coursework. Consumer behavior is described as the study of the mental and physical processes that the consumers use to buy, consume and dispose of goods and services and its effect on the market and buyers (Ramachandran, 2009). Consumer behavior is a very vital concept for marketers as they are able to determine how to carry out their marketing activities (Malhotra & Birks, 2007). For the consumers to make a purchase, they have to undergo a decision-making process.
The steps that are involved in the decision-making process are; identifying the problem, looking for information, searching on alternatives and finally come to the decision. The process of decision making is affected by internal and external factors. According to Blythe (2013), internal factors are; perception, Learning, Motivation, Personality & Attitude while external factors include; Group Influence, Culture, family and social class. This report will look at both internal and external factors affecting consumer behavior based on a real-life case of my parents’ decision to buy a house. Case overview My parents have recently purchased a family home.
This was a decision that took the family a long time before coming to the final conclusion. The home was worth a lot of cash and hence required a lot of reasoning as a family. I involved my family while doing the research so as to get first-hand information on consumer behavior and decision making. External factors Group influence This is the group whose the consumer tries to identify with. The group is associated with the consumer current behavior and feelings (Ramachandran, 2009). Reference groups are most influential to young consumers as they act depending on the group they identify with.
Reference groups are categorized into three influential forms. The three influential forms are; normative, informational and identification. Normative form influences the consumer when they act in order to gain a reward. The reward can be informed of approval or improved level of esteem. Informational form influences the consumers in situations where they are in a difficult situation to choose a product. This occurs where the consumer follows the advice of the reference group.
Identification form affects individuals when they want to satisfy their needs based on group values and norms (Hansen, 2003). As for my parents, their decision was influenced partly by the information form. This is due to the fact that they failed to buy the house near a certain neighborhood as their friends claimed it to be too unsafe. This made them avoid the area without even assessing it. Culture Culture includes knowledge, art, law, customs and morals that are practised by people as members of a certain society. According to Hansen (2003), culture is able to influence our values and attitudes.
Every culture has its norms and breaking them may lead to disapproval and banishment. Culture is also learned as people grow up through observing others and leaning in society. Culture is comprehensive as it has the ability to i8nflucne everything in a person. This means it can influence thoughts, feeling and the way we behave (Jobanputra, 2009). Cultural influence also played a part in my parent’ s decision making. This was evidenced by their choice of location. They choose a neighborhood where they perceived that the family would be able to live without bad influences and will be able to acquire the desired values from those around.
Almeida, F. 2012, A psychological-institutional approach to consumers' decision making. Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang.
Blythe, J. 2013, Consumer behaviour. Los Angeles, Calif. London, SAGE.
Culiberg, B. 2009, ‘What makes a good consumer?: Discovering consumer ethical decision making’, Global Management, 1(5)405-409.
Hansen, T. 2003, Consumer decision making: a research note. London.
Jobanputra, K. H. 2009, Global marketing and consumer decision making, Jaipur, India, Paradise Publishers.
Kotler, P. & Keller, K.L 2009, Marketing Management, (13th ed), New Jersey, Pearson/Prentice- Hall
Malhotra, N & Birks, D 2007, Marketing Research: An Applied Approach (3rd ed.). Essex, Prentice Hall.
Noel, H 2009, Consumer behavior, Lausanne, Switzerland, AVA Academia.
Ramachandran, R 2009, Consumer behavior, New Delhi, India, Anmol Publications.
Solomon, M., Bamossy, G., Askegaard, S. & Hogg, M 2006, Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective, 3rd ed. Harlow, Prentice Hall.