Professional Studies for Screen-Based Media
Foundation Degree South West
Consumer Buying Behaviour

External forces


External forces relate to cultural factors and social factors (interactions with others)

Cultural factors
Since culture is the lens through which consumers view products and services it has an important impact upon consumer behaviour. Culture is defined as the accumulation of shared meanings, norms, rituals, beliefs, morals and traditions by members of society. A consumer's culture will determine what product is to be purchased for what occasion and how the product is to be used. For instance a restaurateur catering for a Thanksgiving party will need to consider the food that is expected to be served during this ritual if she is to keep her American customers happy.

Social factors
Social influences like consumers' reference groups, family, roles and status will also impact on their behaviour. Belonging or aspiring to belong to a specific social group will motivate consumers to purchase those products and services that are associated with that group. Likewise a person's family can influence what products are to be favoured as well as determining what buying role each member of the family plays. Lastly, consumers' roles and status within society are closely linked to what is purchased. Roles refer to what tasks a person is expected to perform, while status reflects how society values a given role.