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Consumer Behavior. Professor Lawrence Feick University of Pittsburgh. Outline. Consumer decision process Interpersonal influences on consumer behavior Personal influences on consumer behavior Organizational buying. Consumer decision process. Personal Influences on Buyer Behavior.

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consumer behavior

Consumer Behavior

Professor Lawrence Feick

University of Pittsburgh

  • Consumer decision process
  • Interpersonal influences on consumer behavior
  • Personal influences on consumer behavior
  • Organizational buying
consumer decision process
Consumer decision process

Personal Influences on Buyer Behavior

Personal Influences on Buyer Behavior


decision &


Evaluation of








Interpersonal Influences on Buyer Behavior

problem recognition
Problem recognition
  • Triggered by
    • external inputs: car breaks down, pass a bakery, see an ad for a computer
    • internal inputs: hunger, thirst, etc..
information search
Information search
  • Internal information sources: memory for brands, attributes, importance weights
  • External information sources:
    • company sponsored sources: ads, brochures, direct mail, salesperson, etc.
    • experiential sources: in-store trial
    • independent sources: evaluation and enthusiast magazines
    • personal sources: Uncle Bob
evaluation of alternatives
Evaluation of alternatives
  • Needed to evaluate:
    • set of brands and attributes
    • brand performance on attributes
    • attribute importances
    • process for combining brand and attribute information
car choice often a staged process
Car choice: often a staged process
  • Stage 1: Narrow the set of all alternatives (in US, hundreds of brands) to a smaller consideration (also called evoked) set
    • often done on basis of meeting the threshold on one or a few attributes (noncompensatory)
  • Stage 2: Choose the best alternative from the consideration set
    • often done comparing the “weighted average scores” across cars (linear-compensatory)
example stage 1
Example: stage 1
  • Individual narrows choice to (forms consideration set that includes) small sedans based on objectives, price range, operating costs, etc
example stage 2
Example: stage 2
  • Choosing a best alternative from the consideration set
  • Formation of a brand by attribute matrix
purchase decision choice
Purchase decision (choice)
  • Outcome of evaluation:
    • preferred brand or brands
question what do you do
Question: What do you do
  • ...if you are Hyundai and a segment that you want to attract thinks like Mary?
purchase action
Purchase action
  • Impact of budget constraints
  • Impact of availability of product
  • Impact of immediacy of need
  • Impact of point of purchase:
    • presentation on shelf, displays, packaging, salesperson, price specials
  • Does the product meet expectations?
  • Does the product perform satisfactorily?
  • Dissatisfaction if either is no
some thoughts on consumer thinking how much thought

Limited Problem Solving


Routinized Response Behavior

Some thoughts on consumer thinking: how much thought?

Extended Problem Solving

some thoughts on consumer thinking where decisions occur
Some thoughts on consumer thinking: where decisions occur
  • Planned decisions (the brand-level decision is made prior to store visit)
    • specifically planned purchases
  • In-store decisions
    • generally planned purchases
    • substituted purchases
    • unplanned (impulse) purchases
influences on the decision making process
Influences on the decision making process
  • Personal influence
  • Interpersonal influence
personal influences
Personal influences
  • Needs and Maslow’s hierarchy
  • Perception
  • Attitudes
  • Learning
  • Self concept
a focus on needs
A focus on…needs
  • Needs: an imbalance between desired and actual states
  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
maslow s hierarchy of needs
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs






Physiological needs

marketing implications of maslow
Marketing implications of Maslow
  • For a brand to be considered it must satisfy some need
  • Hierarchical: lower needs met before upper needs
  • Countries, cultures, segments can differ in focus on needs
marketing implications of maslow s hierarchy text table 8 1
Marketing implications of Maslow’s hierarchy(text: Table 8.1)



Vitamins, herbal supplements, medicines, low-fat foods, exercise equipment, fitness clubs

Marketing approaches

Quaker Oatmeal--”Oh, what those oats can do!”

Boost nutritional drink--”Your body will thank you.”

Kaiser-Permanente--”More people turn to us for good health.”

Ginkoba ginseng--”The thinking person’s supplement.”

Advil--”Advanced medicine for pain.”




Car accessories, burglar alarm systems, retirement investments, insurance, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Marketing approaches

Allstate Insurance--”You’re in good hands with Allstate.”

Ford Motor Company--”Only your mother is more obsessed with your safety.”

Lysol Basin Tub & Tile Cleaner--”This is no place for germs.”

Merrill Lynch--”A tradition of trust.”




Beauty aids, entertainment, clothing

Marketing approaches

Carnival Cruise Lines--”The most popular cruise line in the world.”

Sears Mainframe Junior Dept.--”Got to have the clothes.”

Lady Foot Locker--”One store. Every woman.”




Clothing, cars, jewelry, liquors, hobbies, beauty spa services

Marketing approaches

Jeep--”There’s only one.”

Movado Museum Watch--”The making of a legendary classic.”

Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin--”Pour something priceless.”

BMW--”The ultimate driving machine.”




Education, cultural events, sports, hobbies

Marketing approaches

Nike--”If you let me play, I will like myself more.”

Outward Bound Schools--”The adventure lasts a lifetime.”

Danskin--”Not just for dancing.”

interpersonal influence
Interpersonal influence
  • Culture
  • Reference groups
  • Opinion leaders
  • Family
reference groups
Reference groups
  • Groups whose values affect individuals’ behavior
    • Membership
    • Aspirational
    • Disassociative
  • Examples? Implications?
opinion leaders
Opinion leaders
  • Individuals who:
    • know about a product category
    • learn about new products earlier
    • provide information and influence decisions
  • Examples? Implications?
  • Key influence
  • Family lifecycle
    • incorporates age, marital status, presence of children
  • Key trends
    • increase in sharing of decision rights
    • changes in family structure
    • influence of children
family life cycle
Family life cycle



Full Nest

Empty Nest

Solitary Survivor



summary what do we know
Summary: what do we know?
  • Purchase decision process
  • Influences on the process
    • personal influences
    • interpersonal influences