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 Person or group that serves as a point of

comparison (or reference) for an individual
in forming general or specific values,
attitudes or specific guide for behaviour
 Comparative reference groups
- Benchmark for specific attitudes

 Normative reference groups

- Influence general or broadly defined values or
behaviour i.e. immediate family
 Types of reference groups
- Contactual
- Aspirational
- Disclaimant
- Avoidance
 Factors that affect reference group influence
- Information and experience
- Credibility, attractiveness, power
- Conspicuousness of product
- Reference groups and consumer conformity
- Selected consumer-related reference groups
- Celebrities and other reference group appeals
 Imparting to children and other family
members the basic values and modes of
behaviour consistent with cultures

 Manners, goals, values and other qualities

imparted through instruction and observation
 Consumer socialization
- Process where people acquire skills, knowledge, attitudes
and preferences relevant to their own functioning and
participation in the marketplace
 Child consumer socialization
- Family is instrumental in teaching children the
fundamental aspects of purchasing and
 Child consumer socialization (`cont’d..)
- Parent types in socialization process
 Authoritarian parents
 Neglecting parents

 Democratic parents

 Permissive parents

- Family types in socialization process

 Tactical families
 Easygoing families

 Autocratic families

 Malleable families
 Adult consumer socialization
- Transition process from childhood to adolescence
- Intergenerational consumer behavior as a cross
between generations i.e. parents to children and
vice versa
Young Person

Family Members

Influence more
Influence more expressive
basic values/behaviour
•Moral/Religious principles
•Interpersonal Skills
•Dress/Grooming standards
•Manners and speech
•Educational motivation
• Acceptable consumer
•Occupational/career goals
•Consumer behaviour norms

Pre-adolescent Adolescent Teens Older

A simple model of the socialization process

 Concept based on progression of stages which
majorities of families pass through in life
 FLC is a strategic tool of marketers to segment
families into a series of stages spanning the life
course of a family unit and thereby understand
their purchase and consumption behaviour
 Traditional family life cycle
- Singles
- Marriage
- Family growth
- Family contraction
 Spending patterns vary by type of household
depending on the age of household members,
marital status and number of children at home
 Spending patterns change during each stage of the
Stage 1: Young Singles

 Young single men and women who have established households apart from their parents
 Have own income

 Most likely have sufficient disposable income

 Engaged and soon-to-be-married couples are the target for many products and services i.e. bridal
Stage 2: Young Marrieds

 Start immediately after marriage vows and continues until the birth of the first child
 High combined disposable income that permits a pleasure-seeking lifestyle

 Have considerable start-up expenses in establishing new home i.e. appliances, furniture)

 Stable environment
Stage 3: Parenthood

 Young married stage moved to a close

 Referred to full-nest stage

 Can be divided into pre-school, primary, high school and tertiary phases

 Child-rearing and educational responsibilities gradually increase then decrease as children become self-
Stage 4: Post-parenthood

 Empty nest stage

 Traumatic or liberating rebirth

 Financial freedom

 The opportunity to pursue new freedom i.e. travel more frequently

Stage 5: Dissolution

 Dissolution of basic family unit with death of one spouse

 Dissolved family experience distinct changes in consumption behaviour

 More economical lifestyle

 Marketers examine attitudes and behaviour of
whom they believe would be the major
decision maker
 Marketers also examine the person most likely
to be primary used of the product or service
 How family members interact and divide roles
 Eight roles in the family decision-making process:
- Influencers
- Gatekeepers
- Deciders
- Buyers
- Preparers
- Users
- Maintainers
- Disposers

 Roles vary from family to family

 Western families encourage individuality and
individual decision making
 The larger the family the greater concentration
of purchases

 Family consumption decisions are husband-

dominated/wife-dominated/joint decisions
(equal or syncratic) or individual (autonomic)
 Three-step decision model:
1. Search for information
2. Shortlist
3. Final decision

 Influencing spouses and resolving conflict

through six influence strategies:
1. Expert
2. Legitimacy
3. Bargaining
4. Reward
5. Emotional
6. Impression
 Children attempt to influence their parents to
make a purchase (to yield)

 Children attempt to influence their parents in

- Purchases of special interest to them
- Purchases of remote interest
 Children and television
- Children with greater media exposure tend to
recall more advertising slogans
- Youngsters are influenced by actions of adults on
- Older children recognize symbolism on television
 Latchkey kids
- Children home alone for part of school day when
parents are at work
- Exposed to more television
- This group are more self-sufficient in use of
various household appliances
 Teenagers and post teens
- Ability to spend rather than save

 University students
- consume wide range of goods and services i.e. personal
clothing, petrol etc and are more opinionated