A Business Encyclopedia

Psychological Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior

Definition: The Psychological Factors are the factors that talk about the psychology of an individual that drive his actions to seek satisfaction. Some of the important Psychological Factors are:

Psychological Factors of consumer behavior

  • Motivation: The level of motivation influences the buying behavior of the consumers. It is very well explained by Maslow through his need hierarchy theory comprising of basic needs, security needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs. Usually, the basic needs and the security needs are more pressing needs than the other and hence, these needs become a motive that directs the consumer behavior to seek satisfaction.
  • Perception: The consumer perception towards a particular product and the brand also influences his buying decision. The perception is the process through which the individual selects, organize and interpret the information to draw a meaningful conclusion. Such as, Apple iPhone is perceived as a premium brand and consumers are motivated to buy it to get associated with the elite class of the society.

    The marketers lay emphasis on managing the perceptual processes, Viz. Selective Attention, Selective Distortion, and Selective Retention. In selective attention, the marketer tries to gain the attention of the customer towards his offerings. Different people have different perceptions about the same product depending on their individual beliefs and attitudes which give rise to selective distortion. Thus, the marketer should try to understand the attitudes and beliefs of individuals and design the marketing campaigns to retain the consumers.

  • Learning: The individual’s learning depends on the skills, knowledge and intention. The skills are developed through practice while the knowledge and intention are acquired with the experience. There could be a conditional learning or a cognitive learning.

    In the conditional learning, the consumer derives learning from being conditioned to particular stimuli, i.e. when he is exposed to the similar situation, again and again, he develops a particular response towards it. While in the cognitive learning the individual applies all his knowledge, skill, attitudes, values and beliefs to find the solution of a problem and derive satisfaction out of it.

  • Attitudes and Beliefs: The individuals have certain beliefs and attitudes towards products on which their purchase decisions rests. These attitudes and beliefs are the tendency to respond to a given product in a particular way, and these make up the brand image that influences the consumer buying behavior. Thus, the marketers try to understand the attitudes and beliefs of the individuals and modify these through several marketing campaigns.

Thus, these are some of the psychological factors that the marketer must take into the consideration before undertaking the strategic marketing decision.

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