Family plays an integral role in influencing our purchasing behavior, as a child the choices are determined by parents based upon safety and need of child considerations. Similarly the child influences the decision making process related to whole family like color of family car etc.
The family purchasing decisions can be examined from four perspectives – Role Structure, Power Structure, Decision Making Stage and Family culture.
Like societies, families are also structured of roles and each family member occupied his or her role. For ex Gender role preferences reflect culturally determined attitudes toward the role of husband and wife, mother and father in the household. Perception of these roles based on gender affects the decision making process and household decision process.
There are various power structure which accordingly affect the decision making process in the family, for example in patriarchal societies man is the head of the family and makes most of the major decision while in the matriarchal society woman is the head of the family and makes all the major decision. While in equalitarian society both share equal decision making powers.
Decision Making Stage
Marketers today focused on understanding the whole buying stage rather than the final purchasing act. Each family member affects the purchasing behavior at different stages. For example when a family decides to buy a car, the women usually specify the needs accordingly man usually decides upon the model of the car based on technological competence while children play a very important role in deciding the color of the car.
Each family has different internal culture which influences its purchasing decision. These differences could be due to cultural background, social upbringing and family values. Most marketers today try to focus on few prominent cultures to segment the market.
By Adam Harris