Last updated June 2016
There is no doubt that a number of factors may affect the buying decision of a customer. It is very important for marketing managers to understand how these factors work and impact on the decision-making of a customer. Why does a customer buy some particular products? Why does he/she prefer one product to another? A study of some factors will help the readers find answers to these questions.
As mentioned above, there are a number of factors that will impact on a customer’s buying decision. However, this article will on touch on the key 5 factors i.e. religion, culture, reference group, opinion leader, and life style.
Religions play an important role in consumer buying decision. For example, Muslims are forbidden to consume alcoholic products. They eat ‘Halal’ meat. Like Muslims, Jews eat ‘Kosher’ meat. However, Hindus do not eat beef as cows are revered in Hinduism.
Cultural influence is another factor to consider. For example, fashion in Europe is not the same as in Africa. Nigerians have their own fashion while Pakistanis have theirs. Buying food, clothes, and many other products and services may be well influenced by the cultural background of a customer.
These are groups of people customers may consider to have been influenced by. These groups may include but not limited to an individual celebrity e.g. Maradona, David Beckham, Messi, Imran Khan, Brian Lara, Angelina Jolie, J. K. Rowling or a musical band or the consumer’s immediate family members.
Opinion leaders are those whom a customer may respect and rely on due to their views based on their knowledge and expertise. It may be a friend who works in a library whom a customer may ask for feedback when it comes to buying a new book.
Life style also plays a big role in consumer decision-making. For example, when it comes to buying a watch, whether the customer will go for Rolex, Omega, Casio, Citizen or any other brand may be influenced by their life style.
Finally, factors affecting a customer decision-making are many. Although all the factors are important, they may not impact on the customer decision-making equally. For example, a customer may ask for an advice from an opinion leader to buy a computer. However, will the same customer usually ask for an advice to buy a pen? Perhaps, no.
Kotler et al. (2009) Marketing Management, 1st European Edition, Prentice Hall
Lancaster, G and Reynolds, P. (2004) Marketing. 1st Edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He is a graduate of Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.