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"consumer behaviour"
consumer behaviour
William Katz
1. Introduction

Consumers make many buying decisions every day. Most large companies research consumer buying decisions in depth to answer questions about what, where, when, why, how, and how much consumers buy. Marketers can study actual consumer purchases to find out what they buy, where and how much. But learning about the whys of consumer buying behaviour is not so easy; the answers are often locked deep within the consumer's head.

The central question for marketers is: How do consumers respond to various marketing efforts the company might use? The starting point is the stimulus-response model of buyer behaviour (Figure 1). It shows that marketing and other stimuli enter the consumer's "black box" and produce certain responses. Marketing stimuli consist of four Ps: product, price, place and promotion. Other stimuli include major forces and events in the buyer's environment: economic, technological, political and cultural. All these inputs enter the buyer's black box, where they are turned into a set of observable buyer responses: product choice, brand choice, dealer choice, purchase timing, and purchase amount.

The marketer wants to understand how the stimuli are changed into responses inside the consumer's black box, which has two parts. First, the buyer's characteristics influence how he or she perceives and reacts to the stimuli. Second, the buyer's decision process itself affects the buyer's behaviour. We look at buyer characteristics as they affect buying behaviour and then at the buyer decision process. (Kotler & Armstrong (2000), Marketing – An Introduction, 5th Edition, Prentice-Hall Inc, USA)

Figure 1

2. Characteristics Affecting Consumers Behaviour

The key factors affecting consumer behaviour are culture, social, personal and psychological. The sub-factors are defined under each of the following factors:

2.1. Cultural Factors

These may influence marketing strategy planning in terms of implementing your product on an international scale and having to localise the product and its benefits to...

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