consumer behaviour e27

In order to build a successful business, you need to understand your customers. Of utmost importance is having an understanding of their attitudes toward products or services. Attitudes come from feelings and emotions that lead to the ways we act. Consumer behaviour has been a big topic of discussion for entrepreneurs.

I​t is a study of psychology, economics, and sociology designed to understand how our feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions influence our buying decisions, especially why consumers buy products, what they buy, and when they buy them. ​

Many startups and corporations​ strive to know what influences consumer behaviour so they will be able to set the right target market, find innovative products or services that fit in what consumer needs, set prices, and devise channels.

Economic and psychological influences, brands, media, motivations, perceptions, and cultural factors are the keys that affect consumers’ attitudes and behaviour.

Economic and psychological influences

Psychological factors, including perceptions of specific market situations, can determine how a person might respond to products or services. The lagging economy is the biggest threat to all businesses; it affects everyone.

Customers may change their purchasing patterns by choosing substitute products that offer lower prices. There is a correlational relationship between the economy and financial situation that affects low-income customers’ decisions to purchase products.

Also Read: Apple successfully changed customer behaviour. Here’s what entrepreneurs can learn from it

Brand value

Branding is valuable as it impacts how customers may think and feel towards a company. Many companies spend millions of dollars to persuade customers what to believe using various forms of media. Perception regarding a particular brand is important; it is through meaningful images that the customers decide how to see the company.

Media is a powerful source that influences people in society, affecting their lifestyle, perspectives, reactions, and decision making processes. When consumers have positive attitudes toward advertisements, they tend to stick with brands that they trust​. Advertisements are powerful; they can build a relationship between customers and a company.

Have you ever purchased a product because you knew that your favourite celebrity owned that item?

If yes, you are not alone, it happens to many of us. Persuasion is a way of getting customers’ attention to purchase products. Those persuasion messages influence one’s attitudes toward products and could lead to purchasing intention.

In order to purchase a product, many people tend to do research about that product including, reading a review online, discussing with family and friends, considering their past experiences, or watching commercial.

Today, media plays a significant role in our society; it influences our purchasing intention behaviour in different ways, persuasion message is an example. People are exposed to messages from the media all the time, through the Internet, television, billboards, and magazines.

Cultural factors

Culture, subculture, and social class play a major role in influencing customers’ purchasing patterns. We live in a world where our thoughts are highly influenced by others in society. We have different perspectives based on our varied cultural backgrounds.

Social norms are created by family, friends, and other people who surround us, and they can have a major impact on our perceptions of the marketplace and opinions regarding a particular commodity or brand.

Also Read: Coping with consumer behaviour during the COVID-19 crisis

Motivation and perceptions

An individual’s motivation is considered the base of psychological drive behind and purchasing decision. When an individual’s motivation is high, it leads the individual to make that purchase. Perception describes how an individual selectively views on things.

Customers have perceptions about themselves, and these perceptions may affect purchasing decisions. For example, a person who views themselves as having exquisite tastes is often more likely to be willing to pay for a specific brand​.

In conclusion, consumers’ attitudes and behaviours are heavily influenced by socio-economic status, economic and psychological influences, branding and media influences, individual motivations and perceptions, and various cultural factors.

Startup founders should be aware of the above factors that can effect consumers, especially before they launch a new product or service.

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Image credit: Roman Arkhipov on Unsplash

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