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1.Discuss with examples from the soft drinks industry, the marketing implications of cultural influences on consumer behavior.
2. Consumer on various stages relies on certain commodity to show their self esteem and it becomes a need to some extent – Explain in detail.
3. From the phallic stage to Adult human beings attach themselves with certain products, what are all the things that motivate them to buy those products – Explain in detail.

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Discuss with examples from the soft drinks industry, the marketing implications of cultural influences on consumer behavior.

Culture, Ethnicity, and Social Class
What is Culture?
Culture refers to a set of values, ideas, artifacts, and other meaningful symbols that help individuals communicate, interpret, and evaluate as members of society. Abstract elements include values, attitudes, ideas, personality types, and summary constructs, such as religion or politics. Cultural artifacts include the material component of a culture. Norms are rules of behavior held by a majority or at least a consensus of a group about how individuals should behave.
Macro-culture refers to values and symbols that apply to an entire society or to most of its citizens. Microculture refers to values and symbols of a restrictive group or segment of consumers, defined according to variables such as age, religion, ethnicity, or social class. The processes by which people develop their values, motivations, and habitual activity are referred to as socialization. Consumer socialization: the acquisition of consumption-related cognitions, attitudes, and behavior.
How Core Values Affect Marketing
Core merchandise: a basic group of products that is essential to a store’s traffic, consumer loyalty, and profits. Core values: the very basic values of people that, among other things, define how products are used in society, provide positive and negative valences for brands and communications programs, define acceptable market relationships, and define ethical behavior.
Changing Values
Changes in a society’s values can be forecast on the basis of a life-cycle explanation, meaning that as individuals grow older, their values change. Generational change suggests that there will be gradual replacement of existing values by those of young people who form the leading generation in value terms. Cohort analysis: a process that investigates the changes in patterns of behavior or attitudes in a cohort.
Ethnic Microcultures and Their Influences on Consumer Behavior
Acculturation measures the degree to which a consumer has learned the ways of a different culture compared to how they were raised. Transcultural marketing research is used to gather data from specific ethnic groups and compare these data to those collected from other markets, usually the mass market.
Social-Class Microcultures
Social class is defined as relatively permanent and homogeneous divisions in a society into which individuals or families sharing similar values, lifestyles, interests, wealth, status, education, economic position, and behavior can be categorized. Status groups reflect a community’s expectations for style of life among each class as well as the positive or negative social estimation of honor given to each class. People have high prestige when other people have an attitude or respect or deference to them. Association is a variable concerned with everyday relationships, which people who like to do the same things they do, in the same ways, and with whom they feel comfortable. Social stratification refers to the perceived hierarchies in which consumer’s rate other as higher or lower in social status. Those who earn a higher status due to work or study have achieved status, whereas those who are lucky to be born wealthy or beautiful have ascribed status. Social mobility refers to the process of passing from one social class to another. Parody display describes the mockery of status symbols and behavior.


Chapter 12 Family and Household Influences
The Importance of Families and Households on Consumer Behavior
Family: a group of two or more persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption who reside together. The nuclear family is the immediate group of father, mother, and child(ren) living together. The extended family is the nuclear family, plus other relatives, such as grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, and parents-in-law. The family into which one is born is called the family of orientation, whereas the one established by marriage is the family of procreation. The term household is used to describe all persons, both related and unrelated, who occupy a housing unit. Structural variables include the age of the head of the household or family, marital status, presence of children, and employment status. Three sociological variables that help to explain how families function include cohesion, adaptability, and communication.
•   Cohesion is the emotional bonding between family members.
•   Adaptability measures the ability of a family to change its power structure, role relationships, and relationship rules in response to situational and developmental stress.
•   Communication is a facilitating dimension, critical to movement on the other two dimensions.

Who Determines What the Family Buys?
Instrumental roles, also known as functional or economic roles, involve financial, performance, and other functions performed by group members. Expressive roles involve supporting other family members in the decision-making process and expressing the family’s aesthetic or emotional needs, including upholding family norms.  Family marketing: marketing based on the relationships between family members based on the roles they assume.
Family Life Cycles
•   Family life cycle (FLC): the series of stages that a family passes through and that change them over time.  
•   Household life cycle (HLC): the series of stages that a household passes through and that change in over time.
•   Consumer life cycle (CLC): the series of stages that a consumer passes through during life and that change an individual’s behavior over time.

Changing Roles of Women
A role specifies what the typical occupant of a given position is expected to do in that position in a particular social context.
Changing Masculine Roles
Androgynous consumer: a consumer who has the characteristics of both male and female consumers (or no distinguishing masculine or feminine characteristics at all).
Group and Personal Influence
Group and Personal Influences on Individuals
A reference group is any person or group of people who significantly influences an individual’s behavior.
•   Primary groups: groups that are sufficiently intimate to permit and facilitate unrestricted face-to-face interaction.
•   Secondary groups: groups that have face-to-face interaction, but are more sporadic, less comprehensive, and less influential in shaping thought and behavior than are primary groups.
•   Formal groups: social aggregations characterized by a defined structure and a known list of members and requirements for membership.
•   Informal groups: groups that have far less structure than formal groups and are likely to be based on friendship or common interests.
•   Membership: the act of achieving formal acceptance status within a group.
•   Aspirational groups: groups that the individual seeks to associate with by adopting the group’s norms, values and behavior.
•   Dissociative groups: groups with which an individual tries to avoid association.
•   Virtual membership groups: groups based on virtual communities in which individuals from different geographic areas share information without face-to-face contact.

Normative influence occurs when individuals alter their behaviors or beliefs to meet the expectations of a particular group. Value-expressive influence occurs when a need for psychological association with a group causes acceptance of its norms, values, attitudes, or behaviors. Informational influence occurs when people have difficulty assessing product or brand characteristics by their own observation or contact.
How Reference Groups Influence Individuals
The desire of an individual to fit in whit a reference group often leads to conformity – a change in beliefs or actions based on real or perceived group pressures. Two types of conformity exist: compliance and acceptance.
•   Compliance occurs when an individual conforms to the wishes of the group without accepting all its beliefs or behaviors.
•   Acceptance occurs when an individual actually changes his or her beliefs and values to those of the group.

Another consideration leading to diminished normative compliance is a weakened respect for social norms, referred to by sociologists as anomie. An expert is any person who possesses unique information or skills that can help consumers make better purchase decision than other types of spokespersons.
In contrast, the common-person appeal features testimonials from “regular” consumers with whom most individuals can relate.


Transmission of Influence through Dyadic Exchanges
Similar to opinion leaders are product innovators – individuals who are the first to try a new product. Market mavens gather much of their information from shopping experiences, openness to information (including direct mail and the Internet), and general market awareness, making them more aware of new product than other people. Another source of personal influence in the marketplace is the surrogate consumer (or surrogate shopper) – an individual who acts as an agent to guide, direct, and conduct activities in the marketplace. Whenever there is personal communication between a consumer and a marketer, a service encounter occurs, often a key to successful marketing.  Customer intimacy refers to the detailed understanding and focus on customers’ needs lifestyles and behaviors in an effort to create a deep cultural connection with the customers, but reverse customer intimacy – how well marketers facilitate customers knowing the marketer – may also be a key to customer loyalty. Trickle-down theory, the oldest theory, theorizes that lower classes often emulate the behavior of their higher-class counterparts. The two-step flow of communication model indicates that opinion leaders are the direct receivers of information from advertisements and that they interpret and transmit the information to others through word-of-mouth. Recognizing that mass media can reach anyone in a population and influence them directly, the multistep flow of communication model was developed. This model indicates that information can flow directly to different types of consumers, including opinion leaders, gatekeepers, and opinion seekers or receivers.
Diffusion of Innovations
An innovation can be defined in a variety of ways, but the most commonly accepted definition is any idea or product perceived by the potential adopter to be new. It follows then that a product innovation (or new product) is any product recently introduced to the market or perceived to be new when compared to existing products.
•   Continuous innovation: the modification of the taste, appearance, performance, or reliability of an existing product rather than the establishment of a totally new one.
•   Dynamically continuous innovation: the act of creating either a new product or a significant alteration of an existing one, but does not generally alter established purchase or usage patterns.
•   Discontinuous innovation: the act of introducing an entirely new product that significantly alters consumers’ behavior patterns and lifestyles.

The Diffusion Process
According to Rogers, diffusion is defined as the process by which an innovation (new idea) is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. Vertical coordination, a high degree of dependence and interlocking relationships among channel members, also increases the rate of diffusion. Some members of the social system are adopters – people who have made a decision to use a new product – whereas others are nonadopters.
•   Innovators are the first consumer group to adopt products. Consumers who are innovators for many products are said to be polymorphic, whereas those who are innovators for only one product are monomorphic.
•   Early adopters tend to be opinion leaders and role models for others, with good social skills and respect within larger social systems.
•   The early majority consists of consumers who deliberate extensively before buying new products, yet adopt them just before the average time it takes the target population as a whole.
•   The late majority tends to be cautious when evaluating innovations, taking more time than average to adopt them, and often at the pressure of peers.
•   Laggards, the last group to adopt innovations, tend to be anchored in the past, are suspicious of the new, and exhibit the lowest level of innovativeness among adopters.

Innovativeness is the degree to which an individual adopts an innovation earlier than other members of a social system. Cognitive innovators have a strong preference for new mental experiences, whereas sensory innovators have a strong preference for new sensory experiences.
Market mavens: Psychological influences
The marketing literature has identified three distinct types of influential consumers: the innovators, the opinion leaders, and the market maven. Innovators are defined as consumers who tend to adopt products comparatively early within a given social system. Opinion leaders are defined as individuals who influence the purchasing behavior of other consumers in a specific product domain. Market mavens are defined as “individuals who have information about many kinds of products, places to shop, and other facets of markets, and initiate discussions with consumers and respond to requests from consumers for market information”.  Market mavens are consumers who highly involved in the marketplace and represent an important source of marketplace information to other consumers.
Global self-esteem: an overall estimate of general self-worth; a level of self-acceptance or respect for oneself; a trait or tendency relatively stable and enduring, composed of all subordinate traits and characteristics within the self.
Tendency to conform: a global, enduring personality trait in which the individual is predisposed to acquiesce to social norms prescribed by reference groups that are relevant and important to the individual.
Consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence: the need to identify or enhance one’s image with significant others through the acquisition and use of products and brands, the willingness to conform to the expectations of others regarding purchase decisions and/or the tendency to learn about products and services by observing others and/or seeking information from others.
Consumer need for uniqueness: an enduring personality trait by which consumers pursue dissimilarity through products and brands in an effort to develop a distinctive self and social image.
Domain-specific opinion leadership: consumer influence on individuals in specific product areas.

Lecture 8: Dissatisfaction
Satisfaction:
•   A positive post-consumption evaluation that occurs when the consumption experience either meets or exceed expectations.
•   The customer’s fulfillment response. It is a judgment that a product/service feature, or the product/service itself, provides a pleasurable level of consumption-related fulfillment.

Expectancy disconfirmation model
•   Negative disconfirmation: the result that occurs when, after purchase, the product delivers less than what was originally expected.
•   Positive confirmation: the result that occurs when, after consumption, the product delivers more than what was originally expected.
•   Confirmation: when a product’s performance meets certain expectations.

Attribution: how individuals assign causes of events, other’s behavior, and their own behavior to the product/service, to the situation or to themselves.
Covariation model of attribution
Can product performance be attributed to the product, person or situation? Three main types of information:
1.   Distinctiveness: different from other products/brands?
2.   Consistency: Does it always perform?
3.   Consensus: How do other consumers feel about the product?

Reporting-bias: advertiser under-reports undesirable performances, while being much more open on desirable attributes (advertiser acts out of self-interest).
Knowledge-bias: advertiser is largely unaware of the alternatives.
Dissatisfaction: if a product falls short of expectations (negative disconfirmation) the consumer is likely to be dissatisfied.

Social Justice Theory (
Customer (dis)satisfaction:
•   Distributive fairness → compensation
•   Procedural fairness → responsibility & responsiveness
•   Interactional fairness → empathy

The service recovery paradox states that with a highly effective service recovery, a service or product failure offers a chance to achieve higher satisfaction ratings from customers than if the failure had never happened.
Service validity and service reliability of search, experience and credence services: A scenario study
Customer satisfaction: the number of customers or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a firm, its products, or its services (ratings) exceeds specified satisfaction goals. The better the match between service specifications and consumers’ needs, the more satisfied customers are.
•   Service reliability: Is the service correctly produced? The extent to which the service delivery matches the service specifications.
•   Service validity: is the correct service produced? The extent to which the service specifications match the customer’s needs and demands.

SEC-Classification
•   Search service: dominant product/service attributes can be validated before purchase and consumption.
•   Experience service: dominant product/service attributes can be verified but require consumption.
•   Credence service: dominant cannot be verified because consumers lack information/expertise.
Lecture 9: New products
Diffusion: the social process of diffusion of the new product, service, concept, brand…, after introduction, among consumers (throughout society)
Adoption (acceptance): the individual decision making process to adopt (accept and buy) a new product, service, concept, brand.
•   Continuous innovation: the modification of the taste, appearance, performance, or reliability of an existing product rather than the establishment of a totally new one.
•   Dynamically continuous innovation: the act of creating either a new product or a significant alteration of an existing one, but does not generally alter established purchase or usage patterns.
•   Discontinuous innovation: the act of introducing an entirely new product that significantly alters consumers’ behavior patterns and lifestyles.

Innovativeness is the degree to which an individual adopts an innovation earlier than other members of a social system. Three underlying dimensions:
1.   Socio-economic variables
2.   Personal & attitude variables
3.   Communication-variables

Diffusion of preventive innovations
Diffusion is the process through which (1) an innovation (2) is communicated through certain channels (3) over time (4) among the members of a social system.
The four main elements in the diffusion of new ideas are (1) innovation, (2) communication channels, (3) time, and (4) the social system.  An innovation is an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption. The characters that determine an innovation’s rate of adoption are:
1.   Relative advantage: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the idea it supersedes. What does matter is whether an individual perceives the innovation as advantageous.
2.   Compatibility: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with the existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters.
3.   Complexity: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use.
4.   Triability: the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis.
5.   Observability: the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others.

Innovations that are perceived by individuals as having greater relative, advantage, compatibility, triability, observability, and less complexity will be adopted more rapidly than other innovations. The innovation – decision process is the mental process through which an individual (or other decision making unit) passes (1) from first knowledge of an innovation, (2) to forming an attitude toward the innovation, (3) to a decision to adopt or reject, (4) to implementation of the new idea, and to (5) confirmation of this decision. Innovativeness is the degree to which an individual or other unit of adoption is relatively earlier in adopting new ideas than other members of a social system. Five adopter categories, or classifications of the members of a social system on the basis on their innovativeness, are: (1) innovators, (2) early adopters, (3) early majority, (4) late majority, and (5) laggards.
1.   Innovators are the first 2.5% of the individuals in a system to adopt an innovation.
2.   Early adopters are the next 13.5% of the individuals in a system to adopt an innovation.
3.   Early majority are the next 34% of the individuals in a system to adopt an innovation.
4.   Late majority are the next 34% of the individuals in a system to adopt an innovation.
5.   Laggards are the last 16% of the individuals in a system to adopt an innovation.

Preventive innovations are new ideas that require action at one point in time in order to avoid unwanted consequences at some future time. Preventive innovations are relatively low in relative advantage, compared to nonpreventive innovations. What strategies could be used to speed up the diffusion and use of preventive innovations?
1.   Change the perceived attributes of preventive innovations.
2.   Utilize champions to promote preventive innovations. A champion is an individual who devotes his/her personal influence to encourage adoption of an innovation.
3.   Change the norms of the system regarding preventive innovations through peer support.
4.   Use entertainment-education to promote preventive innovations. Entertainment-education is the process of placing educational ideas (such as on prevention) in entertainment messages.
5.   Active peer networks to diffuse preventive innovations.





Consumer behaviour deals with the study of buying behaviour of consumers. Consumer behaviour helps us understand why and why not an individual purchases goods and services from the market.
There are several factors which influence the buying decision of consumers, cultural factors being one of the most important factors.
What are Cultural Factors ?
Cultural factors comprise of set of values and ideologies of a particular community or group of individuals. It is the culture of an individual which decides the way he/she behaves. In simpler words, culture is nothing but values of an individual. What an individual learns from his parents and relatives as a child becomes his culture.
Example - In India, people still value joint family system and family ties. Children in India are conditioned to stay with their parents till they get married as compared to foreign countries where children are more independent and leave their parents once they start earning a living for themselves.   
Cultural factors have a significant effect on an individual’s buying decision. Every individual has different sets of habits, beliefs and principles which he/she develops from his family status and background. What they see from their childhood becomes their culture.
Let us understand the influence of cultural factors on buying decision of individuals with the help of various examples.
Females staying in West Bengal or Assam would prefer buying sarees as compared to Westerns. Similarly a male consumer would prefer a Dhoti Kurta during auspicious ceremonies in Eastern India as this is what their culture is. Girls in South India wear skirts and blouses as compared to girls in north India who are more into Salwar Kameez.
Our culture says that we need to wear traditional attire on marriages and this is what we have been following since years.
People in North India prefer breads over rice which is a favorite with people in South India and East India.
Subcultures
Each culture further comprises of various subcultures such as religion, age, geographical location, gender (male/female), status etc.
Religion (Christianity, Hindu, Muslim, Sikhism, Jainism etc)
A Hindu bride wears red, maroon or a bright colour lehanga or saree whereas a Christian bride wears a white gown on her wedding day. It is against Hindu culture to wear white on auspicious occasions. Muslims on the other hand prefer to wear green on important occasions.
For Hindus eating beef is considered to be a sin whereas Muslims and Christians absolutely relish the same. Eating pork is against Muslim religion while Hindus do not mind eating it.
A sixty year old individual would not like something which is too bright and colorful. He would prefer something which is more sophisticated and simple. On the other hand a teenager would prefer funky dresses and loud colours.
In India widows are expected to wear whites. Widows wearing bright colours are treated with suspicion.
Status (Upper Class, Middle class and Lower Class)
People from upper class generally have a tendency to spend on luxurious items such as expensive gadgets, cars, dresses etc.You would hardly find an individual from a lower class spending money on high-end products. A person who finds it difficult to make ends meet would rather prefer spending on items necessary for survival. Individuals from middle class segment generally are more interested in buying products which would make their future secure.
Gender (Male/Female)
People generally make fun of males buying fairness creams as in our culture only females are expected to buy and use beauty products. Males are perceived to be strong and tough who look good just the way they are.

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