Why Buy Anything?
I remember when I bought my first car, my first major purchase an an ‘adult’, it was a 1995 blue Geo Prism. While my friends were buying Mustangs, pickup trucks and Impalas with custom rims, I bought a Geo Prism. Nothing fancy, just blue with roll up windows and not fast at all. It was great on gas, comfortable seats, four doors for friends without cars, and it was low maintenance. I traveled up and down the eastern seaboard with that car, with out worry. What made me purchase that vehicle? What was my thinking as a consumer that helped my decision on buying that vehicle?
Every consumer has their own separate reasons behind their decision on making a purchase. The decision can be cultural, social, personal or psychological. So, depending on your particular situation, will way heavy on your decisions to make a purchase.
Cultural factors have a deep influence on consumer behavior, and companies need to understand that dynamic. Culture is the most basic cause of a person’s wants and behaviors. Some cultures are heavily influenced by being more health conscious, so their purchases will reflect more healthier food choices or buying more sports clothing and exercise machines. For example, there are some cultures who do not eat fast foods, McDonald’s may not have them represented in their commercials to market to them.
Social factors can be addressed by social class or social network. Social classes are how people are grouped in status in a given society. Upper class consumers may purchase higher priced furniture than a customer in the working class. Their social class may effect their buying power. Social networks or groups may be influenced by the people in their reference groups. For example just say you’re apart of a running group, being in that network or running group may sway your next decision on which sneakers to buy next.
Personal decisions are influenced by the personal characteristics of the consumer. This includes the age of the consumer, life cycle stage, the occupation, economic situation, lifestyle and personality of the buyer. My personal decision to make a purchase is influenced on all of these things. My age tells me that I will not purchase skinny jeans, the life cycle I’m in tells me that I have to save money for my youngest child to attend college.Because I’m currently unemployed, purchasing a new vehicle would not be a smart purchase. These decisions on making a purchase affects the way consumers shop.
A consumers buying choices are also influenced their psychological decision to purchase. These psychological factors consists of; motivation, perception, learning and beliefs and attitudes. A person has many needs at any given time, like hunger, thirst, comfortableness, and these needs motivate a person to quell these feelings.
Like eating when hungry, drinking when thirsty and removing oneself from the discomfort. A customer may be motivated to make a purchase because they may be hungry, or have a hole in their shoe or tired of walking in the rain. Motivated consumers are ready make a purchase, they address the situation by interpreting the information they have of the situation and either make the purchase or fall back on the decision. It’s this perception and learning of the situation that consumers make before they make a purchase.
When I made my first big purchase of my blue Geo Prism, my decision was made while thinking culturally, because no one in my family had a vehicle. Socially, my friends had vehicles, but they spent so much money on their purchases that they could hardly afford gas for their cars. I stayed in my means, I was a lower ranked Marine, who learned to budget. My motivation was the North Carolina heat, while walking to work, to the gym, to the chowhall, to visit friends. I assessed the situation, and made a decision to purchase an affordable, reliable and great looking car. That’s why a bought it