When purchasing an item, there are a number of factors that influence the final decision of the buyer. Whether it is a good or a service, there is a process that drives an individual to go for an item and forego the other. He or she takes an evaluation of the product in regard to the market potential before buying, during the action of buying, and even after the final transaction has been made, that is after buying. In other words, it is worth noting that that this is a cognitive process that leads to a specific action among many alternatives. When identifying the decision making process, one notes that consumer behavior becomes the area of concern, in that selecting an item will have impact after transaction has been made, (Connell, 2008). In this essay, I am going to identify and broaden the explanation concerning how psychological, social and some external factors affect the consumer’s decision of purchasing an item such as a communication gadget.
These are factors that affect an individual’s mind before making the final decision of purchasing a communication gadget. They constitute of consumers thought, feelings, reasoning, likes and dislike of that product. Attitude, perception and personality are some of the psychological factor that influence the decision making process. On this note, I am going to have a brief explanation how these three factors influence the consumer behavior.
Attitude– According to Hogg, (2005), attitude refers to individual’s opinions or feelings within the context of marketing, usually expressed through behavior. These components are highly interdependent and will be among the final determinants of the overall forces that will influence buying. In a brief note, an individual may have a certain belief concerning the originality of a product. In this case, he or she is going to be selective basing argument on producers that is the country of origin. A consumer may argue that communication gadgets from a given country are known to be the best in the world, hence rejecting those from competing nations.
Perception– Perception is the unique way about how an individual understand or view something. Psychology bases arguments to the stimuli being exposed to an individual’s mind. A number of factors affect how one perceives products. Exposure, interpretation, subliminal stimuli and certain laws such as Weber’s law are used to give a psychological explanation of perception. Connell, (2008) says that the number of times an individual gets exposed to a given product will influence his or her purchasing decision. In this case, exposure links to final interpretation making an individual to prefer a mobile phone from a particular company to that of a competing company. This is due to personal views in terms of shape, color and size. Weber’s law supports perception involvement in decision making process with the argument that, even though there may be a little change between the current and the original product, an individual may not experience these changes. He or she will therefore insist purchasing one similar to the one originally exposed to. Closely linked to perception, there is personality, which I have independently explained below.
Personality-Every individual has that uniqueness, which makes him or her to behave in a particular way especially in social situations. For instance, if a person is willing to purchase a mobile phone, he or she is going to choose one reflecting his current status in terms of prestige or economic status. Personality is dynamic and involves a pattern of thoughts including feelings and social adjustments that will exhibit consistently hence influencing overall expectation which in turn link to attitude, values and self-perception, (Connell, 2008).
In the decision making process, social factors also has an influence. Among these factors are those fact and experiences influencing or controlling an individual’s lifestyle and personality. They are the factors that affect and direct an individual’s lifestyle dictated by societal expectations. Some of these factors are family, social class and reference groups one has identified him or herself with and the reference groups.
Family- This is the basic unit of companionship through birth, marriage or co-residence. A family may influence an individual’s decision of purchasing a product in a very convincing manner. Psychologists such as Karl Marx and Engel has put forward theories to explain the how families may change their structure and effects of such changes. According to their theories, an individual is always tied to decision making process on the basis of this basic unit of identification. For instance, if one is willing to purchase a new mobile phone, the number of people in the family who will be able to use it will influence the final decision. It may sound awkward incase an individual purchase an item and he becomes the only person who can use it with minimal coach maybe due to his or her education status.
Social class- Apart from the family, there is that social group or status one is identified with. For instance, an individual may have identified him or herself with a high class group, (Hogg, 2005). This will in turn limit his or her decisions in purchasing items since it must fit with the group requirement. In this case, one will be forced to purchase an expensive phone which might be the latest to be introduced in the market so as to reveal a rich status. On the other hand, an individual from the lower class will prefer a simple communication gadget that will be cheap and will successfully service his or her communication.
Reference groups– In addition, the kind of daily interactions an individual makes will also determine the type of mobile phone to purchase. There exist different types of groups that a person may interact with on daily basis and in the long run be the ultimate determiners of the model, type, price and even the performance of the item. In this case, one will try to associate him or herself with the group by purchasing a phone similar to majority of the peer.
Other than the internal factors, (Connell, 2008), there are other influences that can have an impact on the final decision concerning the purchasing of a mobile phone. They include technology, culture and political influences.
Technology– It refers to knowledge involved in making and modification of tools for effective usage. Technology may hinder, promote or limit an individual’s desire and ability to purchase an item, in this case a mobile phone. This is because the preference of the buyer may not be available in the market. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, an individual may purchase an item at certain moments so as to gain prestige or self-actualization. This therefore means if one wants the latest model of mobile phone, technology will limit what to purchase due to availability. For instance, a certain model may not be available making an individual to purchase the best offered in the locality though it may not be identified as the best model of his or her wish.
Culture-This is a set of beliefs, ideas and ways in which individuals in a particular group or organization behave. The above sets of conditions are the ultimate determinants of how a person will behave in a society. In the case of decision making process, there are situations whereby what one can purchase is limited to the likes and dislikes of the society. For instance, a person might be willing to purchase a mobile phone with a different country of originality yet their country produces phones and in turn limits import of other models. This will limit such a decision and in the long run, one will be required to promote the society one lives in.
Political influence– It is from politics where laws are amended and implemented. Political stability may promote or limits someone’s ability to move and acquire items of his or her wish. However, a given country may inhibit or promote entry of certain products hence influence an individual’s chance to purchase a product such as mobile phones.
Ranging from consumer’s own influences, it is now evident that the environment may also influence the ultimate decision of an individual to purchase a product. However, there is more other factor not explained in my essay. These include business ethics, brands, packaging, legal factors and ecological factors among others.
Hogg, M. K. (2005). Consumer behavior I: research and influences. London: SAGE Publications.
Connell, K. Y. (2008). Ecological Consumer Decision Making: Nature, Process, and Barriers in Apparel Acquisition. ProQuest.