What drives consumers to choose a particular product over another?  This is a question which is often analysed by many in the marketing industry.

It is said that the process in which we purchase is purely down to emotions and personal reasoning – is the product a need or a want?

So let’s look at how we make a purchase? What factors affect our behaviour?

Social and Cultural factors – this plays an essential role in our buying decisions. Pressures within social groups can strongly influence what we may decide upon.

We as humans like to talk, who do we talk to? We talk to family members, maybe friends, our local newsagents, these all play a part in society, which in turn can strongly influencing us in making a decision.

We also look to reviews and blogs to help us make choices in purchasing, again this is an integral part of society which influence our views and opinions.

Emotional Benefits – have you ever bought something for the ‘feel good factor’? If we don’t get a positive, emotional benefit from a purchase we are quite unlikely to purchase that item again, certaining if it something we want rather than need.

Physiological needs – these have changed somewhat in recent times. Items we once deemed as a ‘want’ are now more a ‘need’. We used to consider a ‘need’ as something you cannot live without or an essential to living – such as water and food. We now regard a washing machine as a ‘need’ in the 21st century.

So why do we as marketers need to know what influences a consumer in decision making? When looking at a product we are essentially trying to sell, we need to know in what way we can influence our consumers.  Understanding the difference between a consumer’s needs and wants is the foundation of marketing knowhow – differentiating between the two is not as easy as you may think!

Next week we will be looking at How Social Media Influence Purchase Decisions.

If you would like to discuss how we could help your business understand your consumer behavior get in touch today on 02392 421 312 or email us at amy@helencope.com