Week 7 Discussion Question- KMGT-642-1: Consumer Behaviour 20th February 2016

Influence of reference groups on my purchased behaviors

In Kuwait, cultural dimensions play an important role in our decision especially buying decisions. Preferences are more influenced by the group think more than individuality. Personally, I find the collectivist cultural dimension more strong when it comes to my purchase decision especially reference groups such as friends of reputation, my bosses, customers and the people I interact with. Being in business, I often have to aligned my goals, behaviors, decision with those of my customers such that the social circle whether online circle through the social media and close families and friends. It is also clear that with globalization, trade (advertisements) communication technology (internet and smart phones) as well as reference group influenced my purchase behaviors equality. In conclusion, the social class influences my purchased decision more than the other groups followed by family values and culture (Tsai, (2006)

The relationship between family communication and relationships and purchasing decisions

Most of the shared meanings are constructed; just the same way cultural values are constructed. I find the argument of Epp and Price, (2008). That sub-cultures are increasingly being influenced by other forces and the forces have increasingly shaped culture, and the cultures have influenced other cultures. Therefore the cross cultural influences are as strong as subcultures and social class, reference groups, and the family. For families with strong ties, an individual purchase behavior is influenced by the family values, preferences, attitudes as well as beliefs. On the other hand, the influences of ties with weaker ties on individual purchase behavior is weak (Arnould and Thompson, 2005).

Most families that communicate more often have stronger family tries and inherently stronger relationship. When the relationship within families are stronger most purchase decision are made in groups as vice versa. Rituals, narratives, social dramas as well as Intergenerational transfers are important factors that must be understood by marketers as they subtly influences the purchase decision of each groups. The effects of these forces vary across culture, which is why it is a fallacy to transfer or generalize beliefs or precision about target markets (Peter and Olson, 2005). In conclusion, it is clear that the strength of her family ties, values, beliefs, perceptions as well as preferences is positively correlated to the purchase behaviors.

While purchase decisions are influenced by collective attitudes, beliefs and attitudes, individual purchase decision are influenced by an individual’s perception beliefs and attitudes with a little influence from outside sources (Brown, Broderick and Lee, 2007). Additionally, family shopping behaviors is influenced by culture more than individual purchased decision because of the difference impact of cultural dimensions such as Power Distance (PDI) Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV) Masculinity versus Femininity (MAS) Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI).

Implication of purchase patterns for organizations when developing strategy

Organizations are increasingly faced with new challenges when developing their marketing strategy as they are forced to imagine, or determine what the customers expect. However, with the advancement in technology, organizations can survey their customers or collect consumer purchase data to be used as basis for developing the marketing strategy.

Global organizations must understand the cultural dimension of each nation before developing the marketing strategy as each marketing strategy must be aligned with the target market’s culture. A marketing strategy or message may be acceptable in one nation or market but be considered as a taboo in other cultures (Epp, and Price, 2008, pp.50-70; Dijksterhuis et al., 2005). Understanding the cross cultural influences on cultures, subcultures as well as social classes is important as it may determine the success or failure of a company’s marketing strategy.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to measure the influence of each force on cultures and subcultures and determine how well to reflect their understanding about the market on the marketing strategy by aligning the marketing strategy with the target market’s values, attitudes, norms, beliefs as well as perceptions.

References

Arnould, E. and Thompson, C. (2005). Consumer Culture Theory (CCT): Twenty Years of Research. J CONSUM RES, 31(4), pp.868-882.

Brown, J., Broderick, A. and Lee, N. (2007). Word of mouth communication within online communities: Conceptualizing the online social network. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 21(3), pp.2-20.

Dijksterhuis, A., Smith, P., van Baaren, R. and Wigboldus, D. (2005). The Unconscious Consumer: Effects of Environment on Consumer Behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 15(3), pp.193-202.

Epp, A. and Price, L. (2008). Family Identity: A Framework of Identity Interplay in Consumption Practices. J Consum Res, 35(1), pp.50-70.

Peter, J. and Olson, J. (2005). Consumer behavior and marketing strategy. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Tsai, S. (2006). Investigating archetype‐icon transformation in brand marketing. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 24(6), pp.648-663.

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