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Consumer psychology has come a long way in the past decade. One can’t only rely on a TV advertisement or a few posters to sell their products. Nowadays taking your targeted customer’s favorite attributes, values, and choices under consideration is extremely important. No wonder, big corporations pay so much attention to consumer psychology while basing their marketing strategies.
Whether you’re running a new business or an old one, consumer behavior is always hard to predict. One’s always supposed to make decisions with extra care when there are millions on the line. In recent years, corporations and small businesses have really started focusing on their customers on a deeper level. This involves, creating a sales strategy that considers several questions. A chosen few of these questions may include;
What factors influence our customers?
What was the thought process behind making that purchase?
Are there any extra perks our customers require?
What sort of situations stop a targeted majority from buying our products?
Which marketing strategies would be too controversial?
Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior
There’s a long list of factors that can influence the purchase of a product. Yet, we’ll only be going over some of the most basic factors that are prone to being ever-present.
1. Peer pressure and Its Influence
Let’s say you’ve been buying a specific brand of toothpaste for many years. Yet all of a sudden your vegan girlfriend suggests that you should try this new brand of toothpaste. Although you had no prior interest in changing the product you’ve been using for a while. You will probably try the new product. That’s because you’ve been peer pressured and influenced into making a new choice. You obviously don’t want to be judged by someone close to you for trying out a product that’s been unethically testing on products.
Another great example of this case is how changing social classes or friend groups can influence the things we do. For instance; Teenagers who want to appeal to a specific friend group would more likely try to look like they belong to that specific group of teens. Let’s assume that the kids in that group like dressing in a gothic manner. So, the new friend’s more likely to shop from places that are considered more “hip” by his friends.
2. Economic Status
For an LA resident, Whole Foods and Erewhon Market are two similar places that belong on the opposite spectrums. Both places are infamous grocery shopping marts yet one’s a little too expansive. The important thing to note here is that both sell similar items yet they’re marketed in entirely different manners. Erewhon appeals to those people that can actually afford to buy groceries at luxurious price tags.
Meanwhile, Whole Food’s more likely to be filled with people that can slightly do well for themselves. So, a consumer’s buying behavior’s highly influenced by their economical status. People with zero financial liabilities feel braver while they’re out shopping. Meanwhile, people with a house mortgage or rent to spare will think twice even before buying a pack of tangerines. In the majority of cases, a consumer’s economic standpoint takes the cake over some of the best marketing strategies. Who cares if the new iPhone X has been marketed in such an amazing way when some consumers can barely afford a roof over their head?
3. The Nature of The Consumer
The personality of a customer plays a huge role while making a purchase. Some customers don’t deem product attributes that essential meanwhile others pay great attention to every little detail. Brand executives employ a great deal of variety for each product because some customers desire multifariousness. That’s why a customer might skip out on buying your product merely because your product didn’t have enough variety. It all depends on a customer’s personality and how a brand can cater to each personality.
Moreover, a habitual buyer is always loyal to a single product. If a habitual consumer buys celery from a specific brand, he/she will always buy celery from that brand without giving a single thought to another option.
4. Other Preferences
These preferences are more personal in nature and vary from person to person. Not taking such preferences under consideration can change the game for corporations for the worst. Some of these preferences may include;
- Ethical Reasons: If a product’s been marketed, tested, or created in a way that goes against a consumer’s morals the sale will definitely not take place. No matter how many attractive products a cosmetic brand launches, many people will definitely not buy from them if they’re involved in unethical testing practices. Similarly, vegan customers would rather choose vegan soya bean milk over a popular brand of whole dairy milk due to their ethical beliefs.
- Religion or Community-Based Preferences: Our religious and social communities are what bind us together. Henceforth people always find ways to support their community even in some of the smallest ways. Based on one’s religious believes a Jew’s are more likely to buy kosher products over nonkosher ones. Hereby their religious preferences directly influence a corporation’s business. Similarly, a member of the Sikh community will more likely prefer to hire the services of another Sikh carpenter over someone belonging to some other community. That’s because our social backgrounds coerce us to support our communities for a better cause.
- Petty Likes And Dislikes: Believe it or not, people can be very petty even when it comes to some of their minor dislikes. Let’s pretend you’re out looking for a nice movie to watch. Before buying the tickets you’ll pay a decent amount of consideration to the cast of that movie. Once you decide, you’ll surely buy the ticket for the one that has one of your favorite characters as the main lead. Henceforth, your dislike for a particular actor directly influenced the box office sales of the latter film.
5. Persuasive Marketing Campaigns
As annoying as it might seem, corporations need to keep their products stuck in your mind. No wonder that telecommunication company keeps advertising their new data package on cable TV 24/7. These marketing campaigns continue to remind you that there’s a brand you need to purchase from when the time comes. On the contrary, brands with weaker marketing strategies fail to stay on your mind and miss out on a possible sale. When a marketing campaign is done right, it can force consumers to change their lifelong favorite brand to your brand. For instance; Ad executives always try to build a story while creating the ads for a product. If a consumer can create an emotional bond with a product they’re more likely to buy it.
Consumer Psychology: The Adequate Amount Of Care
Only a rookie in the world of business would become too experimental. It’s a great idea if one wants to revamp their entire business strategy by trying out various innovative concepts. Trying new ideas usually is great for business as it gives your products a fresh introduction in the market.
1. Consumer Psychology’s Role Behind Netflix’s Success
Netflix is known for its revamping strategies. Everyone can see how successfully that turned out as there’s no one on your block that wouldn’t own a Netflix membership. It’s a little-known fact nowadays that Netflix used to operate merely as a DVD rental business back in the 90s. Later on, the brand officials took a rejuvenating turn by turning the company into an online streaming business. Netflix chose to change with the times and it turned out quite well for their business. The streaming service specifically focused on what would simplify the movie streaming process for a large group of people. So, it’s pretty clear how being experimental while staying out of any controversy can actually be beneficial.
2. The Cons Of Paying Zero Consideration To Consumer Psychology
Stepping a little too out of the zone and having zero consideration for your consumer’s thought process can actually be dangerous. Running a successful business demands that you pay attention to what might seem too insensitive to your loyal customers. This includes paying attention to their religious sensitivities, political views, and ethical opinions. In the age of social media, consumers pay a great deal of attention to the people they’re buying from. So, it would barely require minutes to find out whether a brand official has been homophobic or racist in the past. Consequently, you’ll lose some very essential sales.
A prominent example of this case is a business mogul and celebrity Kylie Jenner’s make-up brand Kylie Cosmetics. This is a very recent example of how not focusing on consumer psychology and how your customer’s thought process works can harm your company’s brand value. Back in 2019, the brand was in hot water for using cheap labor from Bangladesh and the Philippines. The very idea of using cheaply paid labor and not paying your workers properly was too ethically wrong for a lot of customers. Henceforth people were really not planning to purchase from her brand for a long while.
Consumer Psychology: The Influence and Role of Satisfaction Surveys
Ratings do matter. Most of us might find it really annoying how after every Uber ride or WhatsApp call we’re asked to give a rating. Only a chosen few are aware of the reasons behind them. These minute surveys are one of the oldest strategies employed by companies to find out whether their customers are satisfied or not. It offers an immediate answer as to why this user has suddenly stopped employing your services and what could’ve possibly been the thought process behind that decision.
As a consumer of their services, you’re also presented with a few options that could explain the reason behind your low rating of their services. This is among the simplest ways, corporations usually use to deduce the reason behind low sales. A great thing about conducting field study through surveys is that it also increases sales in the wrong. You might be wondering, how?
The more a consumer feels coddled by a corporation the more likely they are of returning back to that same corporation.
Conducting surveys is a great way of showing interest in your customers. It’s an open testament to your loyal customers that you do care about their comfort. Furthermore, conducting wide-scale surveys can also expose your product or services in front of those chosen few that weren’t already aware of your presence.
What does consumer psychology focus on?
The main focal point for consumer psychology is the buying patterns shown by most customers. It’s deeply linked to the world of buying, selling, marketing, and product disposal. This branch of psychology calculates the preferences of the masses while keeping marketing under focus.
Why is consumer psychology essential?
With the budding rise of consumerism and capitalism, the focus on consumer behavior has vehemently increased. This increase is quite justified because nowadays every brand wants to establish a better marketing strategy than their competitors. Therefore, the best way to devise this strategy is by diverting focus on your ideal customer’s perception, patterns, and belief system.
Which factors can influence the purchase of a product?
Whether or not a customer will purchase your product depends on a few leading factors. These factors include; a customer’s political, religious, or ethical views, personality, social status, psychological state. The factors stated above decide how the consumer will react to your product and your company’s marketing campaign.
What are some popular ways of data collection employed by consumer psychologists?
Some of these widely regarded means of data collection are;
- Focus group studies
- Sales and social media monitoring