This is the behavior exhibited by consumers in planning, purchasing and using economic goods and services. the concern of a marketer is what causes the act of  a purchase or a non-purchase. marketers  are therefore concerned with the who what how and why and when of consumer behavior.

Consumer market refers to all the individuals and households who purchase goods and services for personal use.

Organization market/behavior refers to when the goods or services bought are for production, own use or resale e.g. government agencies, manufacurers and the wholesalers.


  • Demand is organizational.
  • Volume of transaction is higher
  • Few customers are involved
  • Usually concentrated in a particular location and not dispersed like consumers.
  • Direct distribution is used as opposed to indirect method.
  • Professional nature of buying is used.
  • Complex negotiations are involved.
  • Personal selling promotion is used.
  • Buying is influenced by multiple actors ie initiators, deciders, final users and gate keepers(controls information) ie personal secretaries and technical personnel.


The way a buyer behaves dictates a companys marketing production and other strategies which has a great impact on success or failure of the business.

  • Consumer behavior is a major component of the marketing concept/customer focus ie a firm should create a marketing mix that satisfies consumer needs and wants given the changes in their behavior.
  • By gaining a better understanding of factors that affect consumer behavior, a marketer is better placed to predict how consumers will respond to the firms total marketing strategies
  • Exposure to external stimulus such as advertising has been known to activate the desired response in customers.
  • It helps a company to be continually profitable in business.
  • Understanding consumer behavior decreases the level of risks especially in launching of the new products.
  • Consumer benefit by knowing their own consumption pattern ie they are able to understand why they behave the way they do.
  • As scholars, it helps us understand why consumers act in a certain consumption way.


There are four main factors that usually influence consumer behavior ranging from;

  1. Cultural factors.
  2. Social factors
  3. Personal factors
  4. Psychological/physiological factors.


It consists of;

  1. Society culture-culture is the set of basic values, perceptions ,beleifs, norms and behviour learnt by a member of the society from families and other important institutions. Culture influences activities people enganging what is material comfort achievement and success Marketers should always try to identify cultural shifts inorder to discover new products that may be demanded.
  2. Sub-cultures-this consists of smaller cultures that provides more specific identification and socialization for its members they include nationalities ie Kenyans vs Ugandans, racial groups ie black vs white, religious groups ie muslims vs Christians geographical regions ie western vs eastern etc many sub-cultures make up important market segments and marketers often design products and marketing programs tailored to the needs of this segments.
  • Social class-these are the social stratification within a society they are relatively permanent with members sharing similar values, intrests and behavior e.g. the upper class, middle class and lower classes marketers are interested in social class because people within a give social class tend to have similar buying behavior and they show distinct product and planned preferences in areas such as clothing, home furnishing, leisure activities etc.
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