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Culture is the essence of traditional or stipulate norms that are carried on for periods over time. These might include purchasing culture, brand culture that include class, sub culture and culture itself. The culture varies in each community, and so do consumer behaviour (Jobber, 2006). The way of life of people and its dynamics are greatly influenced by people’s cultural behaviour. Consumers will mostly rely on the ways of spending and brands that were previously common.
According to Armstrong and Kotler (2003), the social strategies are originated from family systems and the status of an individual in a particular locality. The purchase is more oriented on the status quo, as all would want to be associated with classy and above average purchases. Adults of a minority group will want to be associated with the classy lifestyle to boost their earning preferences and to keep them in line with their social status. According to the ideas of of Shiffman and Kanuk (2004), the adolescents are more involved into tricky and more exciting purchases in order to suit their peer groups or to boost their morale.
This mostly relies on the attitudes and behaviour of individuals. The age group and sex mostly influence consumer society on the level of quality and purchasing mix as personality set in giving rise to self-understanding of particular needs and wishes (Keith, 2007). Personal characteristics are also associated with educational level and working hours in the daily lifestyle of the individual. He/she may choose to consume some product due to the level of life that he is going through or in accordance to occupational policies; Jobber summarizes this as the perception of individuals when they struggle to maintain their symbolic dynamism in the changing world.
Aaker (1999) suggested that some of the purchases are made purely based on the symbolic meaning they have, rather than their functionality. The personal factors such as lifestyle and economic situation define the consumer behaviour in a way that they provide the budget for consumers’ spending. For instance, in the situation of crisis, consumers can expect to be more concerned with their finances and would limit the amount of money they spend on shopping, significantly affecting their consumer behaviour. Given that, occupation is also a factor; the rise in unemployment during the recession must have also had a significant effect upon the purchasing intentions. Uncertainty, therefore, would push the buyers to postpone larger purchases until the situation clears.
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Psychology defines the way of living that is mentally restrained in the course of consumer buying patterns. These may range from the core factors of beliefs and attitudes that consumer takes. Most individuals are driven by motivational causes and the integration of the mind through continuous perception and on the total knowledge, they learn in their lives. Psychology constitutes mental behaviour, influenced by the mind on the day-to-day basis (Kotler, 2003). Under psychology, we discuss Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs explains consumer behaviour patterns in the study and organization of consumer wishes. Consumer society is influenced by the critique of overall stage of each need that a consumer has. For basic needs, purchase is on a daily schedule, these constitute the physiological needs; then follows the safety that is less associated with psychology compared to basic needs (Maslow, 1967). According to Maslow (1967), psychological needs are more on the verge for consumer satisfaction, affecting the consumer behaviour.
Evaluation of Consumer Society Forces
Model of consumerism involves steps inclined to environmental forces and business, which involve vigilant business, adaptive business and open business. Indeed, consumer’s critical thinking process is a learning curve, improved by reflective practice. Model of consumerism involves the ‘Black Box theory’ through stimulus and judgments of business and environmental forces, which assist in stimulating various responses from consumer’s society Black Box. Black Box assists consumer’s society to analyze the inputs, outputs and characteristics’ transfers of their professionalism without prior knowledge.
Table 1: Black Box Model of Consumerism
|FACTORS||CONSUMERS BLACK BOX||RESPONSE|
|Business/Marketing Stimuli||Environmental Stimuli||Consumer Society X-tics||Decision Process||
Consumer Society Relationship
Interpersonal factors influence consumer society purchase of services through characteristics such as age of consumers, economic situation of buyer, lifestyle they are accustomed to, type of job they do, and personality. Effective customer society assists to build relationships through interpersonal and social communications. Interest for any business service varies according to various lifestyles that capture social class or personality traits. In addition, the choice of services varies, depending on occupation and aspects of relationships that have been intentionally nurtured.
Socio-cultural effects that exert a major influence on the consumer consist of a wide range of non-commercial influences-non-commercial sources of information- such as an editorial in the newspaper, the comments of a friend, usage by a family member. The influences of culture, subculture and social class, though less distinct, are vital factors of input that are internalised and result in consumers adoption, evaluation or rejection of the product (Kotler, 2001).
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The unrecorded conduct codes determine which consumption behaviour is considered to be “right” or “wrong” at the particular point in time. The combined impact of a company is the influence of family, marketing efforts, neighbours, and society’s present code of Behaviour are all inputs likely to influence what consumer societies choose to buy while they make their purchases. Ethical considerations, while buying, are essential as consumer society tries to protect individual from being harassed by the market prices (Keller, 1998). Since these influences may be directed to the individual, or active sought be the individual, the two headed arrow is used to link input and process segments of the model (Kotler, 2001).
In conclusion, consumer society acts in essence of consumerism, protecting the consumers purchasing decisions. Consumer society regulates consumer’s behaviours and assists in bringing together economic, cultural and social integrity among various individuals and countries.
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