Consumer Buying Behaviour

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1. INTRODUCTION Today, marketing has become an increasingly complex process just like every other activity of our daily lives. The rising competition has forced us marketers to innovate our arsenal with new weapons such as internet marketing, SMS, in - film marketing, mobile vans and much other weaponry. However the consumer has always found a strong shield in the comfort zone of his loving family to which our most weapons can’t penetrate. He uses words like my wife will kill me, my son doesn’t like it, and my mother won’t approve of it. My attempt is to find out how today’s marketers can breach this jacket by understanding the psyche of the family members and how much does it influence our target - the buyer. Family as a consuming and decision making unit is a central phenomenon in marketing and consumer behavior. However, in the recent past, there has been a decline in interest in family as a unit of analysis. Yet, at the same time, the family -- as an institution -- is undergoing a metamorphosis and currently stands at the threshold of significant transformation. The family unit is usually considered to be the most important “buying” organization in society. As marketers we should be particularly interested in the roles and relative influence of the husband, wife and children on the purchase of a large variety of products and services. There is evidence that the traditional husband-wife buying roles are changing. Almost everywhere in the world, the wife is traditionally the main buyer for the family, especially in the areas of food, household products and clothing. However, with increasing numbers of women in full-time work and many men becoming “home workers” (or “telecommuting”) the traditional roles are reversing.


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The challenge for a marketer is to understand how this might affect demand for products and services and how the promotional mix needs to be changed to attract male rather than female buyers. In order to explore the various trends and variations going on in the Indian Family and its influence on the individual I will attempt to break it down in the following manner. Primary Research Secondary Research Analysis Examples in today’s scenario Recommendations


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Personal & Environmental Factors Personal Social

Psychologi cal


Problem Recogniti on

Informati on Seeking

Evaluation of Alternative s

Purchas e Decision

Postpurchas e Evaluation


Marketing Factors Pricing Promotion


What influences consumers to purchase products or services? The consumer buying process is a complex matter as many internal and external factors have an impact on the buying decisions of the consumer.


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When purchasing a product there are several processes, which consumers go through. These will be discussed below. a. Problem/Need Recognition How does one decide that he wants to buy a particular product or service? It could be that the DVD player stops working and now he has to look for a new one, all those DVD films he purchased he can no longer play! So he has a problem or a new need. For high value items like a DVD player or a car or other low frequency purchased products this is the process the consumer would take. However, for impulse low frequency purchases e.g. confectionery the process is different. b. Information search So we have a problem, our DVD player no longer works and we need to buy a new one. What’s the solution? Yes go out and purchase a new one, but which brand? Shall we buy the same brand as the one that blew up? Or stay clear of that? Consumers often go on some form of information search to help them through their purchase decision. Sources of information could be family, friends, neighbours who may have the product you have in mind, alternatively you may ask the sales people, or dealers, or read specialist magazines like What DVD? to help with their purchase decision. You may even actually examine the product before you decide to purchase it.


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c. Evaluation of different purchase options So what DVD player do we purchase? Shall it be Sony, Toshiba or Bush? Consumers allocate attribute factors to certain products, almost like a point scoring system which they work out in their mind over which brand to purchase. This means that consumers know what features from the rivals will benefit them and they attach different degrees of importance to each attribute. For example sound maybe better on the Sony product and picture on the Toshiba , but picture clarity is more important to you then sound. Consumers usually have some sort of brand preference with companies as they may have had a good history with a particular brand or their friends may have had a reliable history with one, but if the decision falls between the Sony DVD or Toshiba then which one shall it be? It could be that the a review the consumer reads on the particular Toshiba product may have tipped the balance and that they will purchase that brand. d. Purchase decision Through the evaluation process discussed above consumers will reach their final purchase decision and they reach the final process of going through the purchase action e.g. The process of going to the shop to buy the product, which for some consumers can be as just as rewarding as actually purchasing the product. Purchase of the product can either be through the store, the web, or over the phone.


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e. Post Purchase Behaviour Ever have doubts about the product after you purchased it? This simply is post purchase behaviour and research shows that it is a common trait amongst purchasers of products. Manufacturers of products clearly want recent consumers to feel proud of their purchase, it is therefore just as important for manufacturers to advertise for the sake of their recent purchaser so consumers feel comfortable that they own a product from a strong and reputable organisation. This limits post purchase behaviour. i.e. You feel reassured that you own the latest advertised product.



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Consumer behaviour is affected by many uncontrollable factors. Just think, what influences you before you buy a product or service? Your friends, your upbringing, your culture, the media, a role model or influences from certain groups? Culture is one factor that influences behaviour. Simply culture is defined as our attitudes and beliefs. But how are these attitudes and beliefs developed? As an individual growing up, a child is influenced by their parents, brothers, sister and other family member who may teach them what is wrong or right. They learn about their religion and culture, which helps them develop these opinions, attitudes and beliefs (AIO) . These factors will influence their purchase behaviour however other factors like groups of friends, or people they look up to may influence their choices of purchasing a particular product or service. Reference groups are particular groups of people some people may look up towards to that have an impact on consumer behaviour. So they can be simply a band like the Spice Girls or your immediate family members. Opinion leaders are those people that you look up to because you respect their views and judgments and these views may influence consumer decisions. So it maybe a friend who works with the IT trade who may influence your decision on what computer to buy. The economical environment also has an impact on consumer behaviour; do consumers have a secure job and a regular income to spend on goods? Marketing and advertising obviously influence consumers in trying to evoke them to purchase a particular product or service.

People’s social status will also impact their behaviour. What is their role within society? Are they Actors? Doctors? Office worker? and mothers and fathers also? Clearly being parents affects your buying habits depending on the age of the children, the type of job may mean you need to purchase formal clothes, the


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income which is earned has an impact. The lifestyle of someone who earns Rs 250000 would clearly be different from someone who earns Rs 25000. Also characters have an influence on buying decision. Whether the person is extrovert (out going and spends on entertainment) or introvert (keeps to themselves and purchases via online or mail order) again has an impact on the types of purchases made.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Abraham Maslow hierarchy of needs theory sets out to explain what motivated individuals in life to achieve. He set out his answer in a form of a hierarchy. He suggests individuals aim to meet basic psychological needs of hunger and thirst. When this has been met they then move up to the next stage of the hierarchy, safety needs, where the priority lay with job security and the knowing that an income will be available to them regularly. Social needs come in the next level of the hierarchy, the need to belong or be loved is a natural human desire and people do strive for this belonging. Esteem need is the need for status and recognition within society, status sometimes drives people, the need to have a good job title and be recognized or the need to wear branded clothes as a symbol of status. Self-actualization the realization that an individual has reached their potential in life. The point of self-actualization is down to the individual, when do you know you have reached your point of self-fulfillment?


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But how does this concept help an organization trying to market a product or service? Marketing is about meeting needs and providing benefits, Maslows concept suggests that needs change as we go along our path of striving for self-actualization. Supermarket firms develop value brands to meet the psychological needs of hunger and thirst. Harrods develops products and services for those who want have met their esteem needs. So Maslows concept is useful for marketers as it can help them understand and develop consumer needs and wants.

Types of buying behaviour. There are four typical types of buying behaviour based on the type of products that intends to be purchased. Complex buying behaviour is where the individual purchases a high value brand and seeks a lot of information before the purchase is made. Habitual buying behaviour is where the individual buys a product out of habit e.g. a daily newspaper, sugar or salt. Variety seeking buying behaviour is where the individual likes to shop around and experiment with different products. So an individual may shop around for different breakfast cereals because he/she wants variety in the mornings!


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To summarise: • There are five stages of consumer purchase behaviour • Problem/Need Recognition • Information search. • Evaluation of purchases. • Purchase decision. • Post purchase behaviour. • Culture has an impact on the company. • Marketers should take into account Maslows hierarchy of needs.


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4. FAMILY AS A DECISION MAKING UNIT Family as a consuming and decision making unit is a central phenomenon in marketing and consumer behavior. However, in the recent past, there has been a decline in interest in family as a unit of analysis. Yet, at the same time, the family -- as an institution -- is undergoing a metamorphosis and currently stands at the threshold of significant transformation. While it has been argued that consumption patterns vary across stages of the family life cycle, it has also been proposed that these changes can also be explained by differences in incomes. Similarly, though it has been established that decision roles and relative influence vary across products and stage in decision making, these differences are also due, in part, to differences in the occupational status of wife and sex-role orientation. Conflict minimization has been identified as a dominant agenda driving family decision-making, and the role of children has been found to vary by product category and by the personal resources of the child

Classification of Families Research that attempted to classify families on parameters that are meaningful from a marketing perspective appeared in the early years of the Journal of Marketing, with the first attempt at examining families through a meaningful classification scheme being undertaken by Kaplan (1938). Implying that families bear relevance to a marketer when an examination was based on their incomes, Kaplan examined consumption patterns across two classes of families -- high and low income families. Kaplan noted that food constituted the most important category of consumption across high and low-income families, followed by housing.


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While decision making behavior within family was not examined, this research was important all the same because of its attempt to consider family as the unit of consumption

Relevance of the Family Life Cycle As noted above, one dimension of the research on family consumption behavior has been the relevance of the stage in the family life cycle- While Schaninger and Lee (2000a,b) have attempted to investigate differences in various forms of the family life cycle, no standard framework has been found to be sufficient. "Second families" represent different consumption processes as the young child is very likely to be raised under conditions associated with greater material wealth, and the forty-some father will definitely be a different consumer from his same-aged counterpart just entering the empty nest stage. Family circumstances must be considered, but so must standard demographics such as age and income. More development of structures that combine family composition (including the ages of children as well as the number of them) with demographics is needed, and that structure which is most explanatory of consumption patterns needs to be adopted by the government agencies which provide the vast reams of secondary data on families. Also, it is time to look beyond the trajectory nature of the family life cycle and to focus more on the transition between stages (Gentry et al. 1995). Once families acclimate to a new stage, a steady-state marketing mentality may be applicable. However, the stress encountered during transition may well be associated with major changes in consumption patterns and, as such, there may be many opportunities for marketers to induce brand switching far more easily than once adjustment to the new stage has taken place.


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5. ROLE OF CHILDIN PURCHASE DECISION The first attempt, in marketing, to understand the role of children was made by Berry and Pollay (1968). They measured the assertiveness of the child (in favor of a brand preferred by the child) and the childcenteredness of the mother in the case of purchase of a brand of breakfast cereal. They found that high childcentered mothers purchased the child's favorite brand less frequently, implying that when a mother is child centered, she would purchase a brand that is good for the child and not necessarily one that is preferred by the child. Berry and Pollay also found that the assertiveness of the child enhanced the recall of the child's favorite brand among mothers. Examining shifts in such influence across age, Ward and Wackman (1972) found that attempts by children at influencing purchase were negatively related to the age of the child; however, the tendency of mothers to yield to such influence rose with the age of the child but varied across product categories. Mehrotra and Torges (1977) suggested that the extent to which mothers yielded to the influence of the child also depended on the extent to which mothers and children were exposed to advertising together. Attempting to refine the construct of influence by the child, Atkin (1978) found that while children do tend to make forceful demands at the point of purchase, their success depended on whether they "ask" or "tell." Atkin reported a greater success rate in the case of children that "tell" rather than "ask." Belch, Belch, and Ceresino (1985) later studied the diversity in the influence of children and reported that the extent of such influence varied with product and stage in the decision making process, thus supporting the assertions of Szybillo and Sosanie (1977) that the roles of husbands, wives, and children vary across stages of decision making. They found that while the role of the teenage child was most prominent at the initiation stage, it was limited thereafter. They detected that while children attributed greater influence in decision making to themselves, they consistently attributed more influence to the father than the mother.


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Research that addressed the parent-child interface in decision making found that influence varies across the age of the child, the child's personal resources, the product expertise of and usage by the child, the product, and the stage in decision making. Further, the pattern of influence depends upon how many members in the household are questioned and how many members are included in the evaluation process.

Role of child in purchase decision A full 67 percent of families buying a new car base their purchasing decision on advice given by their children -- who are too young to drive? That 62 percent of mobile phones and 65 percent of clothing brands are bought by parents under the influence of their kids' opinions? We're not talking only about American kids, but kids across the globe, in countries as diverse as India, Japan, Brazil, Spain, Turkey, Germany, Thailand and Denmark. The power this young generation wields over their parents has been shown to be nothing less than mind blowing The data comes from the world's largest study on kids and their relationship with brands. It was conducted for BRANDchild, the book written by Patricia Seybold. I call this emerging generation the tweens. They fall, roughly, between the ages of 8 and 14. Research institute Millward Brown interviewed thousands of kids in 14 countries and 70 cities for the study. Among many startling findings that emerged, overwhelming evidence shows brand purchase decisions are


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increasingly being made by the children of the household. This is true across the board, in almost every product category from snacks and soft drinks to cosmetics and house wares. In light of these findings, every message targeting the adult market must be reconceived and reframed. Marketers will increasingly have to consider how to capture the attention of two very distinct audiences in one message. They must appeal to the adult purchaser, as well as to the kid who influences them. What does all this mean for your online strategy? As it's becoming increasingly clear you ignore this young audience at your peril, it's vital you structure your message to appeal to both markets. This will be challenging, but it must be part of your site. Obviously, some features appeal more to parents, others to their kids. The challenge is to determine what appeals to each age group, then let your site reflect this somethingfor-everyone. At the same time, maintain the integrity of your core message. One method would be to build in a separate section where kids can explore your products in a more dynamic way. Language would be kid-friendly and graphically appropriate to secure their full attention. The BRANDchild survey shows that combining a structured product presentation appeals to the adult segment, whereas a product presented in its environment appeals more to tweens. If your brand belongs the 80 percent of all product categories heavily influenced by tweens, your site should combine both product presentations. If you sell cars, you'll need to place the car in its "natural" environment, as well as in a more "clinical" space where you can demonstrate the technical facts and features. The same applies to selling home decorations.


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Use of color is critical. The BRANDchild study found some colors are more appealing than others. This is dependent on what product category is offered, as well as the context in which the brand is presented. Colors you select should appeal to both audiences. It would be a mistake to think in greys. This dual marketing is breaking through. Year after year, Toyota in Australia has maintained a top-selling position using chicks, puppies and kittens in commercials. Strange as it may sound, it works. Remember bunches of balloons waving in front of car dealerships? A small example, but fairly obvious once you're faced with the statistics of how children influence parents' purchase decisions. Marketing to kids is so much more than simply pestering them (and their parents). It's about achieving balance. Be totally honest. Completely fulfill whatever it is you promise to deliver. This generation can detect "phony" from miles away. Youth deserves the highest ethical standards you can deliver. They're our future -- and your future brand customers!







The analysis of scientific references shows that consumer behaviour is a continuous process including actions of an individual ranging from appearance of a problem, which can be solved through acquisition of


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particular goods to reaction in regard of already purchased goods. Like any other phenomenom consumer behaviour can be described by certain peculiarities and characteristics. That is why the present paper seeks to analyse how the family as a social factor influences consumer behaviour. The analysis of the role of the family in consumer behaviour helps to forecast consumer behaviour in the future. The family forms the system of values and being members of the family we learn how to create the environment of cognition and learning and develop our role in social life. Certain consumer behaviour of the family members develops already in the family. The family being a social unit of the community is important both as a unit of influence on the consumer and as an economic unit. Lately it has been more and more often classified as a separate consumption unit as most of goods are purchased for the whole family and purchasing decisions depend on the influence of other family members. There are numerous particular roles related to family consumer behaviour. D. Statt distinguishes six types of roles, which are more often found in scientific references: initiator, influence maker, decision maker, purchaser, consumer and watcher. The roles, which are played by the family members at a particular time, would also depend on who of the spouses dominates. The dominance of one family member quite often depends on the type of a particular product (e. g. car, household object). The article presents four strategies for solving conflicts which arise in the family, solving disagreements regarding decisions to purchase one or any other object. It also depicts the characteristics of family consumer behaviour at particular stages of the family lifetime. To summarize the views of researchers dealing with consumer behaviour it can be asserted that the family


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plays the most important role in the formation of consumer behaviour of an individual. If to follow scientific references the influence of the family on consumer behaviour would depend on the family situation, a number of children and their age, stage of the family lifecycle, employment status, the roles related to consumer behaviour, dominance of family members, strategies applied in the family for the settlement of conflicts. Indirect influence of parents in selecting goods is felt during the entire lifetime of an individual.

7. THE INDIAN FAMILY In India, people learn the essential themes of cultural life within the bosom of a family. In most of the country, the basic units of society are the patrilineal family unit and wider kinship groupings. The most widely desired residential unit is the joint family, ideally consisting of three or four patrilineally related


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generations, all living under one roof, working, eating, worshiping, and cooperating together in mutually beneficial social and economic activities. Patrilineal joint families include men related through the male line, along with their wives and children. Most young women expect to live with their husband's relatives after marriage, but they retain important bonds with their natal families. Despite the continuous and growing impact of urbanization, secularization, and Westernization, the traditional joint household, both in ideal and in practice, remains the primary social force in the lives of most Indians. Loyalty to family is a deeply held ideal for almost everyone. Large families tend to be flexible and well-suited to modern Indian life, especially for the 67 percent of Indians who are farmers or agricultural workers or work in related activities . As in most primarily agricultural societies, few individuals can hope to achieve economic security without being part of a cooperating group of kinsmen. The joint family is also common in cities, where kinship ties can be crucial to obtaining scarce jobs or financial assistance. Numerous prominent Indian families, such as the Tatas, Birlas, and Sarabhais, retain joint family arrangements even as they work together to control some of the country's largest financial empires.

The joint family is an ancient Indian institution, but it has undergone some change in the late twentieth century. Although several generations living together is the ideal, actual living arrangements vary widely depending on region, social status, and economic circumstance. Many Indians live in joint families that deviate in various ways from the ideal, and many live in nuclear families--a couple with their unmarried


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children--as is the most common pattern in the West. However, even where the ideal joint family is seldom found (as, for example, in certain regions and among impoverished agricultural laborers and urban squatters), there are often strong networks of kinship ties through which economic assistance and other benefits are obtained. Not infrequently, clusters of relatives live very near each other, easily available to respond to the give and take of kinship obligations. Even when relatives cannot actually live in close proximity, they typically maintain strong bonds of kinship and attempt to provide each other with economic help, emotional support, and other benefits. With Westernization and technological improvements, the world has been introduced with the concept of nuclear families where a newly- wed couple start their life alone. They have to nurture their children with their own knowledge and earnings. Though this fever has caught up in India to some extent, the rural parts, which form the main part of India, still follow the joint family norms. In such an Indian family the father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, sons, daughters, sons-in -law, daughters-in law, their children, etc all live under the same shade sharing the same food and earnings. Such a gathering of almost three generations is a common sight in many of India's villages. The men are the solebread winners and they are responsible for the financial security aspect of the household. The women do all the house chores without any hassles as they share their work of cooking, cleaning, doing the dishes, washing, etc. This is in sharp contrast to the nuclear woman, who has to do all the jobs, single-handedly, yet also attend to outside work to make both ends meet. The children have a wonderful time as they have lots of children to play with and elders to guide them both spiritually and physically. But the modern day nuclearkid comes home from school to find an empty house with none to move around with and he would be fast asleep when his parents return back from work.


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Mostly the Patriarchal system is followed throughout India, but in some states like Arunachal Pradesh in North -West India, the matriarchal system is followed where the house is ruled by the women members of the family and the men while their time by playing and gossiping! Kerala also follows this system to some extent, in that its female members control the decision making process in a family. The joint family system transfers its knowledge about the culture and traditions of the country to the new generations. So the younger generation learns to live a disciplined life. Financial stability is brought about in the family. Any imbalance between spouses is easily measured out since there are many elders to guide and hence India has a low rate of divorcees in the world.

8. CHARACTERISTICS OF INDIAN CONSUMER The Indian consumers are noted for the high degree of value orientation. Such orientation to value has labeled Indians as one of the most discerning consumers in the world. Even, luxury brands have to design a unique pricing strategy in order to get a foothold in the Indian market.


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Indian consumers have a high degree of family orientation. This orientation in fact, extends to the extended family and friends as well. Brands with identities that support family values tend to be popular and accepted easily in the Indian market. Indian consumers are also associated with values of nurturing, care and affection. These values are far more dominant that values of ambition and achievement. Product which communicate feelings and emotions gel with the Indian consumers. Apart from psychology and economics, the role of history and tradition in shaping the Indian consumer behavior is quite unique. Perhaps, only in India, one sees traditional products along side modern products. For example, hair oils and tooth powder existing with shampoos and toothpaste. The characteristics of modern Indian families now closely correspond with the concept of liberalization, individualism, tolerance of new roles, behavior and attitudes, with a newly seen empowerment of the individual and openness to new people and experiences. 9. PRIMARY RESEARCH Sample size - 300


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Objective - To understand how the Indian consumer behaves and how important is the role of the family in his purchase decision Method - Field survey Method of choosing the sample - Random Sampling




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15 - 20

20 - 30

30 - 40

40 – 50

Income 15k - 25k 25k - 35k Family size 2 3 4 5 5+ 35k - 45k 45k +


4. Marital Status Married Unmarried


How much are your expenses in a month? 10k-15k 15k-20k 20k-25k 25k-35k More than 35k


How often do you shop in a month?


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1 time

2 times

4 times

Do you consult your family while making purchases? Yes No

8. Do you get influenced by your family while making purchases? Yes No

9. Whom do you consider as the final authority at home? Father Mother Spouse Yourself


Who takes the decision while purchasing FMCG goods at home? Mother Father Children

11. Who

took the decision while purchasing your last white good?


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12. Who


Child / Self

took the decision while purchasing your car? Assuming you have one Mother Father Child / Self

13. Do

you often discuss products and brands with your family? Yes No Sometimes

Analysis of the Primary Research 1. Age?


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Analysis Survey was conducted with around 300 people. Out of which 30 people fall between 15 to 20 age group. Majority of them come under 20 – 40 age group. Majority of the purchase is done by this age group.

2. What is your family income?


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18% 37% 13%
15k - 25k 25k - 35k 35k - 45k 45k+

32% Analysis The family income of the majority households within the sample size lies between 15k to 35k p.m. which is around 69%. Due to the DINK families that are on the rise in the recent past new products such Single bedroom houses as well as many others luxury products have been on the rise. There has also been a considerable change in the spending habits of these young couples with larger disposable incomes and fewer responsibilities. However this may not be true for entire India as the research was limited to the urban pockets of the country.
3. What is the family size?


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Family size

32% 42%

2 3 4 5 5+

Analysis About 75% of the respondents have a family size of 3 - 4. however this may not hold true for the entire country as the research was conducted in Mumbai yet this seems to be the trend in the entire country as the newer generation have started to understand the benefits of a smaller family. The joint family concept is also fast fading away as the nuclear family gains importance the marketing and advertising has also concentrated on this changing trend e.g. McDonalds which always show one kid in the ad to substantiate the point the sales of smaller cars is on the rise, then there are ads of Maggi, Kurkure which also show the trend. 4. Marital Status?


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Analysis Around 60% of people interviewed are married. The size of the married people are bigger in size and therefore, the expenditures incurred by them is more as compared to those who are unmarried.

5.The Effect of Marital Status on spending?


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Marital status - Spending Power
240 Count of


160 Expenses 25000 - 35000 120 20000 - 25000 15000 - 20000 10000 - 15000 >35000 80



Marital Status




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The graph clearly indicates that no unmarried person has an expense of above Rs 35000 p.m. whereas the expenses of a married person increase with time. This gives marketer opportunities of marketing holiday resorts, as well as products like small cars. The major reason for this possible increase in spending power is due to the availability of double income families. This also gives us the insight that there is greater financial independence amongst each member of the family which thereby reduces the pressure or influence of the family on the individual.

6. Age group - Frequency of Shopping?


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The age group of frequent shoppers

Frequency of shopping in a month 4 2 1

0 15 - 20 20 -30 Age Group 30 - 40 40 - 50



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Shoppers in the younger age group of 15 - 20 have a higher frequency of shopping in a month. Whereas people in the various other age groups mostly shop around 2 times a month. There are very few people who shop only once a month. Hence this gives us a belief that there is a need for more brands and shopping malls hence there exists a huge opportunity for food chains as well as multiplexes as it is the people from the younger age groups whose frequent the malls. The consumption has also changed from need based products to a variety of shopping goods such as apparels, shoes, watches and other designer products.

7. Consultation with Family prior to Purchase?


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Analysis Around 80% of people do consult their family before purchasing any product. This leads to the change in the buying decision of an individual, because every individual will have their own likes and dislike and their own preferences. Only 20% of people said no for this. out of this 20% majority were unmarried. 8.The Influence of Family on the Individual due to Size of the family?


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Family size - Influence on the individual





do you get influenced by family


y n







Family size



Analysis The graph indicates that as the family size increase the influence of the family on the individual also increases. He tends to take the opinion of every member of the family before making an actual purchase decision. Hence there is a stronger bond that lies within larger families and it is evident from the Maruti Versa ad which was changed within a few months of its launch ad which had Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan. 9.The Ultimate Authority at Home?


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Age - Ultimate authority
250 Count of




who is considered as the final authority



Spouse self Mom dad



0 15 - 20 20 -30 30 - 40 Age Group 40 - 50

Analysis The major influencer in the youth of a child is the mother. He considers her as the ultimate authority at home and wants to emulate her. This makes the mother as the major influencer for the purchase of teen products as well many a times she is the purchaser. Hence in order to reach the kids it could be a viable option utilized by marketers if they talk to the mother. As the kid grows up his dependence on his mother deteriorates and he develops self confidence. He considers himself as the final authority or asks his spouse to help him decide


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the purchase of the product as the couple is recently married decisions are jointly taken and it would be important to talk to both of them instead of any one. As the person gets into his 30s he starts taking decision even more independently as considers himself as the final authority. At this point in the age life cycle the marketer can address the individual instead of talking to both of them. He shows more maturity and self confidence in the purchase of brands he prefers the influence of family for personal products tends to reduce at this stage in life. As the person enters into his 40’s the family once again starts taking an important part of his life here along with the spouse children become major influencers for making big ticket purchases such as cars, computers. At this stage again it would be important to address the entire family instead of the individual. The nuclear family matures into a complete decision making unit.

10.Purchasers and Major Influencers in the family Across Products?


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Fast Moving Consumer Goods

Mom Dad Child

59% 8%

Analysis For FMCG products the graph substantiates the marketing strategies currently used by marketers when they are mostly talking to the mother. even today about 60 % of the household purchases are done by the lady of the house. Whereas talking to the father would be absolutely a waste of time and effort as he does not make FMCG purchases neither does he influence the buying behaviour of the lady. However the other 33% which is the child or the teenager is also not ignored in the bargain as shown by the ad campaigns of Surf Excel, Colgate Max Fresh. This brings us to the conclusion that the most important person in the family to address for FMCG products would be the mother after which the confidence of the individual should be addressed.


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TVC storyboards >> Surf

A lady walks out Another man with two buckets of repeats the same. water. MVO: "Mrs. MVO: "Mr Sharma." Jingle: Kulkarni." Jingle: "Do bucket pani ab "Do bucket pani ab rozana hai rozana hai bachaana." bachaana."


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He is followed by another gentleman. MVO: "Mr. Mehta." Jingle: "Do bucket pani ab rozana hai bachaana."

Two girls on a scooty get two buckets. MVO: "Miss Rupali." Jingle: "Do bucket pani ab rozana hai bachaana...


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...hai, bachaana Shabana Azmi hai, bachaana." informs the public, Next shot shows "Agar apke pass hordes of people Surf Excel Quick gathering together Wash hai to aap with two buckets of bhi rozana do water. bucket pani bachaa...


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...sakte hain. Zara sochiye sare Hindustan mein kitna pani bachaga....

...Anya powderon se alag Surf Excel Quick Wash mein hai kam jhaag vala...


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...formula. Ab MVO: "Surf Excel daag bhi jayega, Quick do bucket pani bhi Wash." bachega."


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11.White Goods?

White Goods

47% 43%

Mom Dad Child/self

Analysis For the white goods categories there is no dominating majority in the family as the category is further divided into various sub categories like washing machine, computers, TV etc. and each category is talking to the different member of the family. However except for the refrigerator and the washing machine sub sector it is the father and the child that dominate the decision making of consumer durables. Here the child has a major say in the purchase of the product which again correlates with the increasing use of kids in the ads of consumer durables e.g. LG 12.Automobiles?


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20% 35% Mom Dad Child / Self


Analysis The concept of family consumer behaviour will not be as important in any other sector as in the automobile one. Purchase of a car has always been a family decision in India. Every member of the family is asked for opinion and his wishes before taking the final decision. However a very important voice is of the child, he is usually the initator and one of the major influencer while choosing a car. The father who is the purchaser will keep all the conditions into perspective and make the final purchase. The small car segment like the Maruti 800 as well as Esteem have caught upon this trend and communicated this behaviour through their ads -


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TVC storyboards >> Maruti Esteem

Sitting in her dad's car a little girl checks out the power windows and asks, “dadda, you got first rank in office?”

Getting a “no” from her father she comes with the next question, “then you got birthday present gift?” as she takes a look at the airconditioner.


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The repeated “no” does not stop the little girl from questioning her father again. This time inspecting the backseat central...

...armrest, she buzzes, “haan, you promoting?” At this the father first corrects her, “promotion” and then answers, “nahin baba”.


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Tired of her guesses now she innocently asks, “then whose big car is this?”

Listening to this the father breaks into a laughter. VO: "Maruti Suzuki Esteem...


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...The easy to own big car." Super: "Big on mileage. Big on savings." As the car stops at her school, the little girl grabs the... keys from her “dadda” and announces, “my daddy's big car!” leaving her father smiling on the other side of the car.


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13. Discussion with family regarding product or brand?

Analysis Majority of married people always ask their family members regarding PRODUCTS AND BRANDS. There are some unmarried people who also fall in this category. The decision of those who fall under ALWAYS AND SOMETIMES category are the one who get influenced a lot.


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11. CONCLUSION The research analysis gives us the clear picture of what role does each individual play in the family across products. To make it simpler for understanding the various roles played by family members across categories have been put down in a table format below. Product categories FMCG White Goods Cars Apparel

Family member Father

Watcher, consumer Decision maker, purchaser, consumer Influence maker, consumer

Influencer, purchaser, consumer Decision maker, consumer Initiator, Consumer


Decision maker, purchaser, consumer Influencer, consumer Initiator, influencer, consumer

Purchaser, consumer Influencer, purchaser, consumer consumer



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12.TODAY’s SCENARIO No study of the Indian consumer is complete if it doesn’t look at the Indian family. Unlike in the west, we are society of consensus - seekers. We rely a great deal on our family. Even our purchase decisions are made jointly. Is this because of the hangover of the past where we were used to living in large joint families have we not adapted to the nuclear family concept. Today, the situation is coming under pressure. Partly because of the media boom which has made us more aware about the wider opportunities out there. The dotcom boom and the frequent success stories of Indians who have made it big internationally make us believe we can too.

The head of the family: in the old days, the father was the unquestioned head. Today, there is recognition that even the parents don’t have all the answers. Kids prefer to go to their peers or seniors for career advice. However, there is greater appreciation of parental advice when it comes to areas like managing interpersonal relationships. The Evolving Father: In earlier days the father was almost an authoritative figure and his decision was considered final with no questions asked. However the scenario is changing in modern times today the father asks the family members before making purchase decisions. He allows his kids to take up their choice of careers and the opinion of his family matters to him. The Evolving Mother: The Indian mother is becoming more assertive, seeking a bigger role in life, today’s mother is educated is not just confined to the household chores. She moves out and has evolved




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into a smart consumer. She has begun to take her rightful place in the family and be heard. She has started influencing the family in purchase decisions such as cars, electronics as well as investment options, these decisions were pre - dominantly male in the past but things are changing now.

The Evolving Kid : Gone are the days when the kids were considered immature and their opinions as gibberish. The Indian kid has emerged as key influencer in purchase decisions within a household. Exposure to media like TV channels and magazines has made the current lot highly brand conscious, with strong brand preferences. The challenge marketers is to get a slice of this groups mindshare.


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13. FINAL CONCLUSION There have been numerous researches conducted in the area of individual consumer buying behaviour however there is not enough work done in the field of family consumer behaviour due to the complexity involved, the changing dynamics and the repetition involved from the previous works in the area. With this research I have tried to draw attention towards the influence exercised by the family on the individual across categories. While conducting the secondary and the primary research the important points that have come to light are :1. The larger the family the more is the influence on the individual 2. The role of kids in deciding the brands has been on the increasing trends due to the media boom as well the changing attitudes of parents. 3. The father has an important role to play when it comes to big ticket items as he is still considered the head of the family and will be the purchaser of the product. 4. We have witnessed changing trends in the FMCG sector which predominantly concentrated on the mother but as there has been a scope to address the individual companies like Colgate. 5. The frequency of shopping in a month has increased as opposed to the past where it was done once a month or two months it has come down to once in 2 weeks. The age of these frequent shoppers lie between 20 - 30. Also the shopper on the weekend is the family shopper. Hence there is a scope to put up stalls of household products during the weekends and during the weekdays youth oriented products can be on the display.


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Finally to conclude I would like to say that due to higher and double income spends, the size of the family becoming smaller and with every individual especially the kid having a greater say in purchasing brands, products such as small size family cars, smaller homes, vacation packages have a great scope to exploit this opportunity.


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BIBLIOGRAPHY Sources • • • (search engine) • (search engine) • Indian Management Magazine


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Response Sheet No: 1 Name: Sarvesh Agarwal ID NO: IIPM/FW/08-10/MUM/HR/133 Questionnaire: Basic structure of the thesis has been prepared. Date when the Guide was consulted: 02/07/10 The outcome of the discussion: Discussions were made on following 1. Understanding of the topic 2. Different players involved in the decision 3. Discussion on the theory related to the topic Discussion on above topics helped me to understand the topic in a broader way. The Progress of the Thesis: Introduction and abstract of thesis topic has been started, information for the same has been obtained from the Guide.


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Response Sheet No: 2 Name: Sarvesh Agarwal ID NO: IIPM/FW/08-10/MUM/HR/133 Questionnaire: Basic structure of the thesis was discussed. Date when the Guide was consulted: 09/07/10 The outcome of the discussion: Discussions were made on following 1. Basic structure was checked Discussions on above topics helped me to understand the different aspects of consumers.The shift in the buying decission. The Progress of the Thesis: Introduction and abstract has been finished and additional information has been gathered for main part of the thesis.


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Response Sheet No: 3 Name: Sarvesh Agarwal ID NO: IIPM/FW/08-10/MUM/HR/133 Questionnaire: Questionnaire has been prepared. Date when the Guide was consulted: 16/07/10 The outcome of the discussion: Discussions were made on following • Questionnaire was discussed • Maslow theory was discussed The Progress of the Thesis: Survey has been started. And also primary and secondary findings have been started.


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Response Sheet No: 4 Name: Sarvesh Agarwal ID NO: IIPM/FW/08-10/MUM/HR/133 Questionnaire: Questionnaire has been prepared. Date when the Guide was consulted: 30/07/10 The outcome of the discussion: Discussions were made on the findings from the survey, findings were analyzed, and sir examined the secondary data found by me. The Progress of the Thesis: Survey has been completed. Findings from the survey are being arranged in the thesis.


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Response Sheet No: 5 Name: Sarvesh Agarwal ID NO: IIPM/FW/08-10/MUM/HR/133 Questionnaire: Questionnaire has been prepared. Date when the Guide was consulted: 06/08/10 The outcome of the discussion: Discussions were made on the conclusion of the thesis. Sir checked my entire thesis and told me to make some changes. The Progress of the Thesis: Primary Findings and analysis has been completed and conclusion of the thesis has been started.


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Response Sheet No: 6 Name: Sarvesh Agarwal ID NO: IIPM/FW/08-10/MUM/HR/133 Questionnaire: Questionnaire has been prepared. Date when the Guide was consulted: 13/08/10 The outcome of the discussion: Sir went through my final thesis, made some changes in the structure and approved it. The Progress of the Thesis: Conclusion has been finished. Full thesis has been completed after making necessary changes in it.


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