Psychological factors generally include:
- Attitudes and beliefs.
(a): Motivation is an internal urge to do something. Why a person acts at all? The answer can be given by understanding those forces which affect these actions. A person acts because he wants to fulfill his needs. All the acts of a person are based on his desire to fulfill the needs and the need is the rationality of each and every action. The psychological, physiological, social, and other needs motivate the customer.
Abraham Maslow has presented the hierarchy of human needs to explain the behavior of the individual. Want is a recognized need and leads the buyer to act and satisfy it. Only unsatisfied needs result in action. Maslow, in his five level hierarchy, has explained his theory. He explained that if lower level needs are satisfied, the consumer aspires for the satisfaction of higher level needs. Buying motives are the reasons why the consumer buys a product and the marketing manager is interested to know these motives.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs states the following needs which a man strives to fulfill. These are as follows:
- Basic physiological needs.
- Knowledge and understanding
- Esteem of others and self-respect
- Beauty and aesthetics
- Achievement (self-actualization)
- Safety and security (freedom from worry)
- Belongingness and social relations.
Very often the marketing success of a brand depends on its ability to satisfy several needs at a time. Now motivation research techniques are available to identify the strength or weakness of a product in terms of the need it fulfils. The concept of basic need and the theory that the individuals normally try to satisfy them in some order are especially significant.
(b) Learning: Learning is the change in an individual’s behavior and perception. Most of the human responses are based on learning i.e., self learning or the learning of the group.
Learning process involves the following three steps:
- Drive: A drive is a strong internal stimulus impelling action. When it is directed towards a drive-reducing object, it becomes a motive. A drive (need) thus motivates a person for action to satisfy the need. The objects are stimuli, which satisfy our drives.
- Cues: These are weak stimuli. Cues determine when the buyer will respond. We have cues, for example, a product and advertisement and such other stimuli relevant to the situation and existing in our environment.
- Specific Response: The individual has to choose some specific response in order to fulfill the drive or the need, which was acting as a strong stimulus.
(c) Perception: Perception is the meaning which a person gives to a stimulus. Perception influences and shapes the behavior. It can be defined as a complex process by which people select, organize and interpret sensory stimulation into a meaningful and coherent picture. The marketer must know how a customer perceives a product as a whole, its features, its packaging, its price etc., and then formulate the broad plans.
(d) Attitudes and beliefs: Attitudes are the ‘emotional predispositions to respond positively or negatively to an object or class of objects. Predisposition is the result of constant learning influenced by the perception and personality. It is very difficult to change the perception because it is the result of continued learning. Attitudes lead people to behave in fairly consistent way toward similar objects. If a consumer is brand loyal then it is very difficult to change his attitude and belief towards that brand. The marketer must try to identify the attitudes and beliefs of the customer segment and then develop the appropriate positioning strategy.
Attitude governs or response to a stimulus and leads us to a certain behavior, usually to action. It is not neutral. It means to be involved emotionally and be ready for action. It indicates our position of favor or against, friendly or hostile. It induces us to take appropriate action. It is learnt through experiences. It interacts with perception, thinking, feeling, and reasoning. Through marketing-mix the marketer can confirm existing attitudes towards his producer, if it is doing well. He may change his present attitude, if the product is not doing well and even create new attitude, while introducing a new product. Advertisements and sale promotion devices are important tools to change, confirm or create attitudes in the buyer’s mind. Learn more about the various psychological factors that influence consumer behavior only at the University Canada West.
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