What Are the Factors That Influence the Consumer Market?

Many external factors influence how consumers shop.

With the wide variety of products and services available on the market, consumers have many choices. There are many factors that influence how and why consumers make purchasing decisions. Marketing companies and departments usually consider several different factors when creating marketing and branding campaigns.


Cultural Factors

The cultural factor typically exerts the deepest influence on consumer buying behaviors. Culture may be described as how society contributes to a person's basic values, ideals, behaviors and attitudes. Within a main culture, there are subcultures and social classes. Where and when a person is born often defines his culture, and these perceptions are passed down through generations. An example of how cultural factors affect the consumer market is fast food and restaurant marketing in the U.S. American culture places an emphasis on time scarcity, and this affects how food and restaurants promote and market their products and services.


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Social Factors

Social factors, such as family, social roles, social groups and social status also influence consumer buying behavior and the market. Families, workplaces, religions and schools are examples of these types of factors. These types of groups often influence a person's behavior and attitude about many different consumer products, such as clothing, vehicles and housing. An example of this type of influence is a married couple engaged in joint purchases. Another example is when a person decides he needs a specific brand of vehicle to fit in with his co-workers or peers.


Personal Factors

A consumer's age, occupation, lifestyle and phase in life influences his buying behavior and the market as well. Most people tend to change their buying behaviors and tastes throughout their lifetimes. Specific items are important to one demographic but not to another. An example is the aggressive marketing effort of clothing and music companies directed toward teenagers and young adults who often have much disposable income. Another example of how personal factors affect the consumer market is home purchases. Advertisers typically target married people who are starting families.


Psychological Factors

Psychological factors influence the consumer market in many ways because a person's motivations, beliefs, attitudes and perceptions shape his buying behaviors. For example, if a child was raised in middle class America and his parents expressed love through gifts and money, he will be more prone to make purchases based on subconscious feelings of self worth associated with having material belongings and.