Consumers do not buy products. They buy motive satisfaction or problem solutions. A person does not buy a sofa set but he buys comfort. A person does not buy cosmetics but he buys hope for looking good. Marketers therefore try to find the motives for buying, and build their products and marketing mixes around these motives. A person may buy a product for a number of motives. One of them could be rewarded for oneself or to self-indulge in them or for a gift.Multiple motives are involved in consumption. Therefore, a marketer tries to find out:

  • the motive for buying,
  • how to formulate a strategy to fulfil these motives, and
  • how to reduce conflict between motives.

Motivation in Marketing

How to Discover Motives
This is found out by asking questions from the respondent. Some motives are disclosed by the respondent, others are not divulged or are hidden. For instance, you ask a lady why she wears designer jeans. She can say that:

  • they are in style
  • they fit well
  • they are worn by her friends. These motives are disclosed. Latent motives may not be disclosed.
  • they show that I have money
  • they make one look sexy and desirable
  • they show I am young
  • they project my slimness, etc.

Manifest and Latent Motives
Another important method to find out the motives may be by “Motivational Research” where indirect questions are asked to elicit the information from the respondents. This is done by unstructured disguised interviews or questionnaires.
Once the motives have been known, the marketing strategy is designed around theappropriate set of motives. While designing the strategy, the target market has to be decided and the communication has to be chosen for the said target market. Since there is more than one motive, more than one benefit should be communicated by advertising and other methods of promotion.

Hidden-motives are shown by the dotted line

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Consumer Behaviour Topics