The concept of family influence on consumer behaviour encompasses a range of consumers (family members) with different purchasing needs and desires. Therefore, the differences among different family members influence the range of buying decisions. In the decision making process, some consumers of small age make their presence felt among the other customers.
For example, children influence the buying decision of their parents as they have greater exposure and different types of information sources available to them. Such influence of children on the parents to buy a certain product works as most of the parents tend to respect the self-expression, independence and the views of their kids. However, there are several demographic factors which tend to lessen such influence.
According to traditional marketing principles, a customer fulfils the roles of both decision-maker and consumer. Family marketing encompasses a range of possibilities. In some cases, a single member or the entire family can impact the group decision making process, while in other instances, children alone can shape buying decisions. Moreover, there are situations where multiple individuals participate in the purchasing decision, with the consumer being a separate entity. Thus, the marketer needs to analyse family buying situations, the distribution of customers and the role of decision-makers in the family more intensively.
There is a usual comparison between family purchases and organisational buying decisions. These comparisons can help in gaining a deeper understanding, but they fail to extract the basic foundations of family decision making. The consideration of objective criteria, including profit maximization, guides organizational buying decisions. These sorts of clear and far-reaching objectives are not present in the families. The majority of industrial purchase is carried out by strangers or is little influenced by the participants of this process. The other family members are greatly influenced by the family’s buying decisions.
Primarily, the majority of family purchases are emotionally driven and can influence the relationship between the family members, Buying a toy or new school clothes for a child is far more than a mere possession. It represents the love and commitment towards a child. There will be an emotional aspect towards the other family members when a colour TV is bought or the family members are taken for dinner in a good restaurant.
The central factor contributing to the disagreement is the differing stance on the appropriate expenditure of money. The purchase decision process of a family and its outcomes significantly impact the well-being of both individual family members and the family as a whole. Thus, although there are some similarities in family decision-making and organisational decision-making yet both are different.
Family Decision Making
Family decision making is the process of deciding on matters that have an impact on one or more family members, either directly or indirectly. The decisions taken by the family as a group are different from that taken by an individual. For example, the family collectively choosing the breakfast cereal options for each member is a family decision.
It is important to note here that most of the decisions taken in the family are fundamentally emotional and influence the relationships between the family members. For example, the decision regarding buying a toy demanded by the child, or a new school uniform; has a broader meaning than mere acquisition. It reflects love and commitment towards the child.
Similarly, the decision regarding buying a new television set or dining out has an emotional meaning for the family members. The arguments regarding the expenditure act as the main reason for familiar disharmony. The process of making purchasing decisions within the family and the resulting outcomes from the chosen approaches significantly impact the well-being of individual family members and the family unit as a whole.