Role of Family in Consumer Behaviour

No two individuals have same buying preferences. The buying tendencies of individuals vary as per their age, need, income, lifestyle, geographical location, willingness to spend, family status and so on. An individual’s immediate family members play an essential role in influencing his/her buying behaviour.

An individual tends to discuss with his immediate family members before purchasing a particular product or service. Family members might support an individual’s decision to buy a particular product, stop him for purchasing it or suggest few other options.

Family comprises of:

  1. Parents
  2. Siblings
  3. Spouse
  4. Grandparents
  5. Relatives (Cousins/Aunts, Uncles etc)

What an individual imbibes from his parents becomes his/her culture. In countries like India, where children are supposed to stay with their parents till the time they get married, the influence of parents on an individual’s buying decisions can not be ignored. What he sees from his childhood becomes his habit or in other words lifestyle. A female from an orthodox background would prefer salwar suits, saris instead of westerns or short outfits.

In India, parents expect their children to dress up in nice, colourful outfits during marriages, festivals or other auspicious occasions. Even if children want to buy something else, their parents would always prompt them to buy traditional attire, thus influencing their buying decision.

The moment an individual enters into wedlock, his/her partner influences his buying decisions to a great extent. In most families, wife accompanies her husband for shopping be it grocery, home appliances, furnishings, car etc. An individual would always discuss with his/her partner before any major purchase. After marriage, individuals generally do not like spending on himself/herself; rather they do it for their partner or family.

A young bachelor would not mind spending on alcohol, attending night parties, casinos but the moment he has a wife at home, he would instead spend on household and necessary items. No bachelor likes to invest money on mutual funds, insurance policies, mediclaims etc but for someone who is married buying an investment plan becomes his first priority.

Women generally are inclined towards buying toiletries, perfumes, dresses, household items, furnishings, food products while men would rather love to spend on gadgets, cars, bikes, alcohol etc.Both have different tastes but when they come together, they mutually decide on what to buy and what not to buy.

A Bachelor would never purchase Women’s Horlicks or Kellogg’s K special or a female perfume but when he has a wife at home; he would love to purchase them for his wife. A young girl who has never purchased shaving creams or men’s perfume all through her life for herself would not mind purchasing for her husband, father or father in law.

A working woman would have different needs as compared to a housewife. A woman who goes to office would prompt her husband to buy formal trouser and shirt, office bag, make up products etc for her while a house wife would not like spending on all these as she does not require an office bag and so on.

Children also influence the buying decisions of individuals. An individual spends happily on toys, candies, ice creams, chocolates. sweets when he has children at home. Children in the family prompt their parents to subscribe to Disney Channel, Cartoon network and so on.

Individuals do not mind spending on medicines, health supplements, vitamin tablets, protein drinks if they have ailing parents at home.

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