Personal Influences Consumer Behaviour

Each individual receives the information and processes and evaluates the product in his own way. This is irrespective of the family, social class or cultural heritage etc. His own personality ultimately influences his decision. He has his own personal reasons for likes, dislikes, price,convenience or status. Some individuals may lay greater emphasis on price, others on quality and still others on status, symbol, convenience of the product etc. Personal influences go a long way in the purchase of a product. The personal influences can be linked to the following:

  • Age and life cycle stage

Bachelor, married.
Full Nest I, II
Empty Nest I, II
Solitary Survivor

  • Occupation, Blues Collar, White Collar.
  • Economic Circumstances

High Income Group
Low Income Group
Middle Income Group

  • Life Style --- Pattern of Living.
  • Personality --- It is an internal determinant which influence our consumption patterns.
  • Self concept --- How one perceives himself and his behavior.

Personal influence is the effect or change in a person’s attitude or behavior as a result of communication with others.
The change in behavior may be influenced by communication. It may be source initiated(by the influencer) or recipient oriented by the influence).

  • Communication may result in one-way or two-way influence i.e., The individual may influence while being influenced.
  • Communication resulting in influence may be verbal or visual.

Personal influence is synonymously used as word-of-mouth, although the word-of-mouths only a verbal communication. Word of mouth communication is more effective than advertising whether it is product or services. The executives of the Paramount Motion Pictures has remarked that “Word of mouth is the most important Marketing element that exists. “There can be ‘Synthetic’ or simulated word of mouth (When celebrities talk to us on T. V. It creates a situation as if they have entered our house and are actually talking to us). The other is the real word of mouth. Both can be very convincing. The communication should be positive, to be effective. The word of mouth of communications strong because:

  • Consumers view word of mouth as trustworthy information which helps in making better decisions.
  • Personal contacts provide special support and give a stamp of approach to a purchase which is not the case in Mass Media.
  • The information provided is backed by social group pressures and forces the purchase.

When choosing the products and services consumers are also influenced by advice fro mother people. Today 80% of all buying decision are influenced by some one’s direct recommendation .Decision such as which Air Conditioner to buy, which Movie to see. There are a lot of interaction which helps the individual to make decisions. An individual can also be personally influenced by neighbors, friends, co-workers, acquaintances. Those who influence are the opinion leaders and those who are influenced are opinion receivers.

Personal influences are dependant on the process of communication. For a long time marketing communication was a one-way process media which was dissipated by opinioned. Audience now are not passive receivers of communication but take active part in the two-way communication.

The verbal flow of communication and personal influence may take between a source and receiver in the following stages:

  1. Source initiated–one-way influence
    “Ram told me how good his Fridge was, so I decided to buy one”.
  2. Receiver initiated–two-way influence
    “I asked Ram what brand of Fridge he recommends”
  3. Source initiated–two-way influence
    “I showed my cupboard to Ram. He got interested and said that he would buy one bassoon as possible”.
  4. Receiver initiated–two-way influence
    “I asked Ram what he know about electric ranges. We had a nice discussion of the features of various brands”.

Opinion leaders exert their opinion on individuals
Opinion leaders are persons who informally give product information and advise to others.
Opinion leaders are persuasive and they influence the individuals in a number of ways:

  • The Opinion leaders are Credible and give free information which is genuine and can be trusted.
  • They give both Positive and Negative information.
  • They give neutral comments as well. The negative information is given only when it is very necessary.
  • They give information and advice. They may talk about their experiences with a product,give advice to others to buy or avoid a specific product. The advice, such as:
  • Which product is the best.
  • How to best use a specific product.
  • Where to shop.
  • Who provides the best service.

Opinion leaders give categorically specific information. They specialize in certain specific products on which they give information e.g., automobiles, white goods, consumable products etc.
Opinion leaders do a two-way job
An opinion leader may also himself get influenced and personal influences by word of mouth may be uncontrollable. Although, it is believed that word of mouth communication is extremely effective, but informal communication is hard to control.
There are certain rum our themes that adversely affect the personal behavior of the consumers, these can be:

  • The product was produced under unsanitary conditions.
  • The product has culturally unacceptable ingredient.
  • The product has undesirable depressant or stimulant.
  • The product has a cancer-causing element.
  • The firm was owned by a misguided or misguided foreign country etc.

Word of mouth is used by telephones to remove misconception of consumers who have been dissatisfied with the product. Their dissatisfaction removal is the job of the marketeer.All these are ways by which personal influences are affected and personal influences make the consumer to take his own decision.


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