The paper “ Consumer Motivation - to Be Similar to Some People and Different from Others" is a great example of term paper on marketing. From a societal perspective of consumption, behavior, and purchasing behavior are influenced by a number of factors such as media and what people around us prefer. Economic influences, technological innovations, and marketing of the products are some of the other factors. In order to understand consumption and what makes consumers prefer certain products or services over others, there is a need to examine beyond the dominant economic understanding of consumers and their behavior and instead think on the origin of desires, needs, and preferences which are further influenced by people around us. Consumer behavior is viewed to be driven by rational decisions linked to individual preferences.
Nonetheless, this situation is far complex and we can argue that motivation to consume is our desire to be similar to some people and different from others as habits, cultural traditions, social norms, and habits plays a role in shaping the consumer's behavior. However, Biogen (1999, p. 119) in his study disagrees and points out that the key driver of consumption is basic needs.
Needs theorists like Maslow and Max-Neef concluded that human needs are universal, few and finite. They have further distinguished between material needs like protection and subsistence, psychological or social needs, like belongingness and self-esteem. Jackson (2005, p. 170) satisfiers of needs differ across cultures and maybe immaterial or material. For instance, the need for security could be met via community and social mechanisms but in most cases met through installations of alarms and home security systems. Slater (1997, p. 18) in his study argues that that the link between consumption and perceived needs is complex.
This is because the ways in which decide to satisfy their wants and needs are influenced by institutional and cultural factors and do not contribute to overall wellbeing for example consumption of alcohol or junk food. Social conversations and consumption: differentiation and conformityThe behavior of consumers is greatly influenced by the people living around them: lifestyles, families, friends, and colleagues both fictional and real portrayed in media such as TV, magazines among others. In addition to being responsible for constructing individual identity, it is important to note that human beings are social beings and thus continuously re-construct and construct their collective identities.
The mentioned is a paradox; consumers feel a strong desire to fit within their social groups so as to avoid rejection, but they also aim to differentiate themselves with an aim of highlighting their status within the identified social group. Hence, goods can be used to acts as a means of not only interacting with society but with the world at large in addition to contributing to personal differentiation in society. According to Biogen (1999, p.
120) attaining a certain status and maintaining membership in a given social group makes the consumers purchase so called-status goods. The mention results into conspicuous consumption and in most cases the positional goods are bought by richer people in the society and as a result, as time passes, the innovative product joins the mainstream products with masses of consumers being in a position to buy it. Instead, the mainstream consumers purchase the products if not wholly in part so that they belong to the social group.