Hierarchy of Influence: Consumers Behavior

Introduction

While evaluating consumer behaviors, there are such attributes as selecting, buying, securing, disposing, satisfying a need, and accommodating an item. Primarily, Mallalieu (2006) defines consumer behavior as a study of people, groups, or organizations while targeting to identify, purchase, and order an item in a bid to meet a need.

They are aspects that influence each purchaser making an evaluation of the intensity on how they affect the decision making important. In this regard, this paper contains a report showing how factors vary while buying items. In a bid to perform this task, 5 factors have been discussed in an explicit manner showing the relevant ideologies.

Hierarchy of Influential factors

Hierarchy of Influential factors

Hierarchy of Influential factors

Strategy and Process Applied

The hierarchy of influences was established through a tentative approach where students needed to find whether there was any order of strength in the influencing factors. Therefore, the students were involved in a debating session. Ten student were to support the hypothesis stating that there was a hierarchy of influences determining which, when, how, and what products were bought. Essentially, Jerome and Algarra (2005) approve debating as method that triggers deep thinking and logical explanation for the individuals involved.

The evaluation process involved creating a question on each factor as the most influential aspect in the consumer behaviors. The following questions were used for the argument and classification. Each question was debated separately as listed.

  1. Are cultural factors the most influential aspects to the consumer buying behaviors? Classify cultural factors in a hierarchy of factors affecting consumer buying behaviors.
  2. Are psychological factors the most influential aspects to the consumer buying behaviors? Classify psychological factors in a hierarchy of factors affecting consumer buying behaviors.
  3. Are social factors the most influential aspects to the consumer buying behaviors? Classify social factors in a hierarchy of factors affecting consumer buying behaviors.
  4. Are situational factors the most influential aspects to the consumer buying behaviors? Classify situational factors in a hierarchy of factors affecting consumer buying behaviors.
  5. Are personal factors the most influential aspects to the consumer buying behaviors? Classify personal factors in a hierarchy of factors affecting consumer buying behaviors.

When answering the question, the proposers argued that each factor was the most important aspect. The student leading the debate requested the proposer to move to one side when answering each question to ensure that the arguments were recorded accordingly.

The opposing students suggested the appropriate classification of each factor they were discussing using the colors on the table presented under hierarchy of influences. In this light, the results were recorded alongside the explanations and tallied to make the hierarchy of influence. The following paragraphs present the importance of each factor with logistics to support why it has been classified in the chosen level.

Importance of the Factors

Cultural Factors

It was argued that personalities and characters of individuals were derived from how they were raised. For instance, a culture might motivate a person to be responsible on using money. It is the factor that teaches people how and what to do. A good attitude towards an item can be retrieved from these practices. Moreover, the common practices from people around a person might have a significant influence to the decision made. However, the opposing sides pointed out that even though the cultural factors were influential, the prevailing conditions could as well have changed the decisions made.

In a statement, a student argued that, “culture may be relevant, but how can it be relevant for upcoming devices. A tablet became popular recently. So, how will culture affect the decision of a discovered product? It can only apply for products that people have worked with for a long period. How can I think about culture when buying a tablet? Which culture was there about tablets 10 years ago?”. Logically, an individual might not rely on culture for new devices. This idea was discussed to raise new ideas, which proved that culture had rare influences.

Psychological Factors

The knowledge that the consumer has about a device is vital while making a choice. For instance, the consumer can buy a tablet because he or she knows how to use it. In other cases, it can be bought since the consumer has seen the features that the device possesses. This implies that there is a motivation instilled by knowing a particular product in terms of price, availability, efficiency, and durability among others. It is an essential factor that can affect the selection process in a higher manner than the cultural factor.

Social Factors

In an argument, a student elaborated that the appreciating rate of social civilization had paramount vitality to the purchase of commodities. In his argument, he described that the portable, cost effective, and efficient devices for social networking were factors to consider. The use of information technology (IT) motivated social networks being used globally to converse with people through the devices. In cases of other products, a person could decide to purchase a product that did not distract the peace of other people or that was compatible with all family members. For instance, a person could not buy an item that his or her partner as well as children were unable to use if it was meant for the family.

Situational Factors

These are more important than the social factors as per the debate. They can be triggered by simple aspect like lack of sufficient money to purchase a product, no access to where the product can be found, its accessibility, the urgency to attain it and its uniqueness in the present life.

For instance, products that have not created a well established marketing strategy may not be easily accessible. Probably, an interested person may have to travel for long distances in order to find a product. Otherwise, the consumer may decide to simply change the decision and buy the available compliment in the market. In most cases, finding the required product might waste a lot of time that may not be available.

Personal Factors

This is the most credited influence during the debate. The proposers argued that personal factors are beyond reproach. In this light, a person can buy an item after seeing it without any other apparent reason. This practice is called impulse buying where a person buys a product without planning.

In other cases, a product can be bought because a person liked it. Otherwise, some attributes are quite concrete like the age factor where a young person might decide to buy a product associated with the youths. For instance, a young person might buy a sporty-looking car while an elderly individual buys a decent and formal vehicle. Other factors may include the portability of electronic device including their weight and size.

Selection Mind Map

The mind map assisted in forming the hierarchy, which made it easier to combine and fit. The specific attribute assisted to determine the level of importance of each general factor. However, there were changes made prior to the debate. These changes were about the vitality of each influence as discussed when making the mind map.

New ideas arose and challenged the previous ones in the mind map. This was attributed to the differences in thinking capacities between the students and the diversity provided by the number of people arguing as well as the mood of debating that triggered perceptions. Furthermore, the group mind map assisted to figure out the overall idea of the influencing factors. Probably, it could not have been efficient to evaluate these aspects without defining each factor and the associated subcategories, which could be confusing.

Discussion of Debate

Essentially, a debate is not only motivating, but also cultivating in the sense that a person is able think beyond the ordinary. Initially, there were few ideas to argue my hypothesis from one perspective where I either supported or refuted a proposal. However, the debate provided two ways of thinking where I appreciated that each factor had strengths. In this light, my attitude and understanding was changed greatly. For instance, I was able to think fast while arguing and provided substantial arguments. Moreover, I learnt a lot from other students on what they knew about consumer behavior.

Finally, the debate provided reasons to accept that there was a hierarchy of consumer behaviors and allowed the group to identify how they could be classified (Pehlivan, Sarican & Berthon, 2011). My hierarchy was influenced by the factor of culture where new discoveries were affected rarely by the classification.

The opposing arguments contrasting with the placement of the factors within the hierarchy included paying attention to the prevailing factors. It appeared that the prevailing conditions during purchase were highly influential even though personal factors exceeded all in the selection.

Compiling the Paper

There were various challenges encountered when preparing this report. First, there were differences from scholarly materials, which pointed out why some factors were important than others. This contradicted when debating as students had read from different authors with different perspectives. Secondly, the groups required many people to facilitate effective debating session. However, the punctuality of the members and determination of the time to meet were challenging since student had differing commitments. However, the challenges were resolved eventually and the final document was prepared.

Ethics

The evaluation of consumer behavior might extend towards care for the surrounding. It is essential to ensure that a purchase does not become a burden to other people. For instance, a consumer should show appropriate behavior and avoid brutal disagreement with the seller (Woodall, 2007). Personal factors demand an ethical review as most people do not consider their manners while buying products. The most identified effects include cruelty, ignorance, rudeness and disrespect.

For instance, a person may ignore a hawker because he is too rich to buy from them. This discourages a seller especially when people he or she is trying to avail the products for are rude. In other cases, people falling under various religions may have differences in taste and believes. In this regard, the personalities of such a consumer may show his or her hatred towards a certain item through disrespecting the other seller. Even though these aspects are not too solid since most sellers avoid them, a consumer should appreciate when a seller is available to provide a product in the market.

Marketing

It is apparent that marketing is a vital factor that influences the decision of a consumer. A consumer may not purchase an item that he or she does not know well. Therefore, the commodities that are advertised have higher chances of being selected by a consumer. This does not only happen with the advertising, but also other factors as the display, accessibility, and availability among others (Mihart, 2012). The most popular products receive higher credits from the consumers due to their brand.

This factor is not covered within the five aspects chosen for this evaluation. However, the prevailing growth in marketing and research performed on this field shows that marketing determines which product is sold. The producers who market their items well attain high sales for products bought from supermarkets (Mihart, 2012). In fact, it is argued that people search for products which possess information. The current competition has changed the ways products are bought. If a company does not advertise its product properly, it is subjected to defeat where other organizations encourage consumers to avoid using items from it.

Conclusion

The consumer buying behaviors are subject to influences that identify which product is selected or denied. A consumer evaluates a product according to these factors before making a selection. Primarily, this assignment has taught me a lot about debating and gathering information through such strategies as discussions and reading. Even though each factor has a level of influence, some have decisive effects with negative or positive outcomes that mark their appropriateness in the purchasing traits.

References

Jerome, L., & Algarra, B. (2005). Debating debating: a reflection on the place of debate within secondary schools. Curriculum Journal, 16(4), 493-508.

Mallalieu, L. (2006). Consumer perception of salesperson influence strategies: an examination of the influence of consumer goals. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 5(3), 257-268.

Mihart, C. (2012). Impact of Integrated Marketing Communication on Consumer Behaviour: Effects on consumer decision-making process. International Journal of Marketing Studies, 1(4), 1-143.

Pehlivan, E., Sarican, F., & Berthon, P. (2011). Mining messages: Exploring consumer response to consumer- vs. firm-generated ads. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 10(6), 313-321.

Woodall, T. (2007). New marketing, improved marketing, apocryphal marketing: Is one marketing concept enough? European Journal of Marketing, 41(12), 1284-1296.