There  are three components here ie.

Reference groups-a group refers to two or more people who interact  to accomplish individual or mutual goals groups have an influence on ones attitude and behavior they are categorized as;

  1. Primary group-this have regular but informal interctions e.g. friends, co workers etc.
  2. Secondary groups-they are more formal but have less regular interactions e.g. religious groups, professional associations etc.
  3. Aspirational groups-this refers to many kinds of membership groups ie scout, ymca and they may hope to join other aspirational groups.
  4. Membership groups-this is one which a person actually belongs including fraternities, sororities(society of female university/college students),social clubs and family.
  5. A dissociative group-this is one that a person wishes to maintain a distant from because of differences in values/behaviours.

Reference groups create  pressure to conform to certain behavior and lifestyles a marketer concern is to identify the reference group and target them with a specific marketing programme.

2.Family- this is the most influential social group because through it one acquires orientation towards religion, politics,sport club, education-ie when parents are book readers the children usually ends up doing the same, selfworth and buying behavior e.g. when making expensive purchases, a husband will influence the wife and vice versa.

3.Role and status-this describes the position a person holds in the society to which he/she belongs a role consists of the activities people are expected to perform according to the people around them each role carries a status which reflects the  general esteem given to the role by the society e.g. an mp, a chief, manager also influences the club or organization that one belongs.


There are several  variables here;

  1. Age and life cycle stage-buying is shaped by our age and the stage of the family life cycle e.g. young, singles and old will purchase different products from married couples with children.
  2. Occupation-blue collar workers tend to buy more work clothes while white collar workers will buy expensive suits.
  • Lifestyle-this are the activities, intrests and opinions which potray the whole person they are influenced by our hobbies and intrests.
  1. Personality and self concept-personality refers to the unique psychological characteristics that lead to relatively consistent and lasting responses to ones own includes self confidence, sociability, dominance, aggressiveness etc personality is useful for analyzing consumer behavior for certain products e.g. heavy coffee drinkers are said to be very social.

Psychological/physiological factors

  1. Motivation-a person has many needs at any given time some of which are biological e.g. hunger and thirst while others are psychological arising from the need for recognition, self esteem or belonging(maslows hierarchy of needs).

A need becomes a motive when it is driven to a  sufficient level of directs a person to seek satisfaction through a product or service. marketers must therefore uncover the deeper motives of consumers.

  1. Perception-a persons actions are influenced by his/her perception of the situation perception is a process by which people correct ,organize and interpret information to form a meaningful picture of the world people form different perceptions of the same stimulus because of the perceptual involves;
  2. Selective attention-this is the tendency to scream out most of information to which they are exposed.
  3. Selective retention-this is the tendency of people to retain information that supports their attitudes and beleifs.
  4. Selective distortion(change)-this is the tendency of people to interpret information in a way that will support what they already believe.
  • Learning-this describes changes in an individuals behavior arising from experience.the learning concept calls for a marketer to build up demand for a product by associating it with strong rives and providing positive reinforcement.
  1. Beleifs-this is a descriptive thought that a person has about something which may be based on knowledge, opinion,faith or emotional attitude a marketer will be interested in beleifs that people formulate about specific products and services that if the beleifs are wrong and prevent purchase, a marketer will launch a campgain to correct them.
  2. Attitudes-they describe a persons relatively consistent favourable or unfavourable evaluation, feelings and tendancies towards an object or gives rise to liking or disliking things, moving towards or away from products attitudes are difficult to change and a marketer should therefore try to fit his/her products into existing positive atitudes of consumers.

This concept is well understood using the concept of the maslows hierach of needs which is is a triangular representation.

  1. Self actualization needs; self development
  2. Esteem needs; sel esteem; recognition; status

Social needs; sense of belonging, love

  1. Safety needs; security protection.
  2. Physiological needs; hunger, thirst.

According to maslow; human needs are arranged in a hierarchy. Starving people will take little interest in latest happenings in the art world. A person tries to satisfy the most important need first when that need is satisfied,it will stop being a motivator and the person will then try to satisfy the next most important need

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