Consumer Behaviour

Topics: Branding, Sociology, Brand Pages: 5 (1454 words) Published: May 20, 2013
Factors Influencing Consumer Psychology and Behavior|
Ye Yuan|
Douglas College|


This literature review focuses on the factors which influences consumer psychology and behavior by integrating two results of findings and one review of findings. It indicates that consumer’s behavior is not same in each country. External factors, which are national culture has influence on consumer behavior. Also, consumer’s internal factors, such as their own potential needs, needs of uniqueness, and extent to knowledge of quality of brands also have influence on their psychology and behavior.

Factors influencing on consumer behavior and behavior.
In people’s common sense, consumers always tend to buy the goods they need. However, consumer psychology is not such a general and simple topic. Do consumers from different countries behave in same way? What motivates consumers to buy luxury products which are “are characterized by premium prices and have the highest ratios of price to quality” (Zhan & He, 2012)? What factors influence the process of consumer decision making? This article will answer these kinds of questions. External factors, which are national cultural and social environment, manipulate consumers’ psychology in some extent. In addition, internal factors, such as consumer’s own individual needs, extent of knowledge about products, also have significant impacts on consumers’ behavior.

Consumer behavior varies in different national culture. Every country has its own tradition and cultural background. According to Hofstede, national culture can be classified into five categories: power distance, individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-/short-term orientation (Mooij & Hofstede, 2011). Tradition and cultural can be regarded as a rule or social norms that guide people’s behavior. Thus, consumers’ needs, purpose and motivations of consumption is based on their cultural and social norms. In recent years, luxury products have been growing popular in China. However, it does not imply that more and more Chinese people become so rich that they can afford those extravagant products. The real cause is China’s collective cultures, which “emphasize group harmony and individual responsibility to the group” (Zhan& He, 2012). People in the collective cultures cannot be isolated from other people and the social environment, so there is a social relationship between each other (Mooij & Hofstede, 2011). Furthermore, material possessions, such as luxury, are useful tools to develop social relationship. Thus, the psychology and motivation of Chinese people’s consumption of luxury goods are that they want to show their social status by using luxury. The results of Zhan and He’s study revealed that social benefits is the true motivation of Chinese consumers, rather than functional benefits (2012). This kind of behavior also can be found in masculinity and high power distance culture, which mainly value achievement and reflect social status (Mooij & Hofstede, 2011). Culture difference is a foundation factor which is linked with other consumer’s internal factors. Several studies showed that consumer from different specific culture attribute different brand personalities. For brand identity, brands should be regarded as a trusted product in collectivistic culture, while uniqueness is the main brand identity in individualistic culture. Furthermore, consumers from collectivistic are less used to conceptual thinking, so concrete product features more interests them. The process of information is also different from culture to culture. Members of Individualistic like to get information via media and friends, on the other hand, consumers in collectivistic acquire information through implicit communication. As usual, consumers in low power distance, low uncertainty avoidance, and individualism can get more complete information which affects their...
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