Consumer behaviour is the branch of marketing management where you study the activities related to the purchasing behaviour of individuals, groups of people and the organizations. In this field, you will know about the factors which help the customers to decide between buying something. The marketers study the mental and emotional responses of the customers, and according to them, the marketing campaigns are designed. It is an advantageous concept to decide upon the strategy of promoting a particular product or service of an organization.
The consumer behaviour is not studied as an isolated subject, but there are many concepts of other studies such as anthropology, economics, sociology and psychology are also blended with it. The primary focus of consumer behaviour studies is to understand the emotions and attitude which help or hinder the people translate them into a buying decision. There are many things which affect the behaviour of the customer towards a product which mainly includes the personality of the individuals, their demographics and lifestyle etc. It also includes other variables such as how often the consumer uses a particular product, whether the person is brand loyal or not, and whether he/she is willing to spread the good word of mouth about the company or not. The techniques of consumer behaviour attempt to research the influences which are particularly necessary to take the purchasing decision.
Every organization has to keep the data of its customers so that they can keep track of its current and potential customers. This information is kept in the CRM database of the companies and help them to take right decision when they have to launch certain product or service in the market or make changes in the current product to meet the expectation and demands of the consumers.
THE NEED AND IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR
The data which is obtained by analyzing the inclination and requirements of the customers helps the marketers to anticipate about the trends of the markets, and they can thus formulate their promotional and marketing strategies according to them. If we speak about its holistic approach then studying the consumer behaviour is beneficial for everyone including the individual and the companies because ultimately everyone is a consumer of one or other product or service.
Studying the consumer orientations is particularly essential for the marketing teams of an organization because they can understand the buying behaviour of people and the societies in which they are operating and gain the in-depth knowledge of the customer needs. This helps the organizations to survive in the fierce competition, and they can easily gain a competitive edge in their industry.
The study of consumer behaviour has a major significance in the day to day lives of our society, and therefore it has emerged as an essential branch of marketing. Every organization needs to know whether the consumers are interested in the product they are producing or not. BY studying the consumer behaviour, the marketers get the answer to many questions such as is the product meeting the expectations of the buyers or not and if there is any gap in that, they can work on improving the features of the products or service so that they can serve the purpose of buying it. There are so many factors which directly or indirectly influence the decision of purchasing something and therefore there is always a need to study those factors in detail.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CUSTOMER AND A CONSUMER
When we speak about the customers, then they are those people or organizations who buy the product or service from the companies or retailers. Therefore, the term customer is specific to a particular company or brand name. When a person likes to purchase the products of any particular brand, then he/she is called as the customer. For example, if a person buys clothes or accessories from Tommy Hilfiger or Calvin Klein, then he or she will be regarded as the customer of these brands. Whereas the consumer is the person, who uses that product and involved in all the activities concerning the purchasing such as researching the information, searching the product, using it and disposing it after use and experiencing its use.
The buyers can be broadly categorized into two main categories which are the organizational buyers, and the other group is of the individual buyers. These two have many distinctive characteristics, and if you want to understand them in detail, then you can read the article "differentiating factors of the individual and organizational buyers" You will gain insight about these two categories of the buyer and the purchase motives which help them to make buying decisions.
MOTIVES OF CONSUMERS WHICH INFLUENCE THE BUYING DECISION
The customers buy any product or service for a particular purpose, and therefore it is highly essential for the organizations to understand those motive. We can define the motive as a strong feeling or desire to buy something. These can include the impulses and emotions which lead the customers to purchase the products or service. Various factors such as economic. Psychological and economic which directly or indirectly influence the buying behaviour of people. Different motives are categorized broadly under two heads which are the product motives and the patronage motives.
THE PRODUCT MOTIVES
These are those emotions and impulses which make the individuals purchase a particular product. By customer satisfaction, the product motives can be divided into two other categories which are:
A. The Emotional Product Motives
These are those product motives which influence the behaviour by persuading the individuals by addressing his/her emotions related to that product. Here the individual does not pay close attention to the logic of buying that product and does not resin out its importance. The primary motive to buy the product here is to satisfy the ego, pride and a desire to be different and unique.
B. The Rational Product Motives
When a person analyses the value and importance of a product by rationalizing its need but yes logics are initiated by the buying impulses are called as a rational motive for purchasing a particular product. First, the buyer evaluates all the pros and cons and the availability the alternatives etc. for buying a specific product and then make a logical decision whether to buy that or not. The decision-making process here also involves the evaluation of the cost and its benefits after buying.
THE PATRONAGE MOTIVES
When a customer feels like considering giving patronage to a particular shop or brand that motive which influences his or her decision will be called as patronage motive. This type of purchase motive can also be categorized in the emotional and rational motive which are discussed as below:
A. The emotional Patronage motives
When a person likes to buy a product or service from a particular shop or showroom without having any substantial logic or reason behind it, then it will be termed as the emotional patronage motive. IT might be the favourite place of shopping for the customer, or he/she may like other aspects of the location or the brand.
B. The rational patronage motives
When the consumer makes a buying decision about the place form he/she wants to purchase the product or service by analyzing and weighing all the alternative logically, then it comes under the category of rational patronage motive of buying behaviour. The selection of the place or showroom for a particular product can be made by the availability of the latest model of the product, offers or discounts going on, and the after-sale services of that brand etc.