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Family, Gender & Age Influences

Family

The family is the main reference group that may influence the consumer behaviour. Nowadays, children are well informed about goods and services through media or friends circle, and other sources. Therefore, they influence considerably in the decisions of buying both fast moving consumer goods and durable items.

A person performs certain roles in a particular group such as family, club, organization, and so on. For example, a person may perform the role of a vice president in a firm and another person may perform the role of a marketing manager.

The vice president may enjoy higher status in the organization as compared to the marketing manager. People may purchase the products that conform to their roles and status, especially in the case of branded clothes, luxury watches, luxury cars, and so on.

Gender

Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity. Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological sex (i.e., the state of being male, female, or an intersex variation), sex-based social structures (i.e., gender roles), or gender identity. Traditionally, people who identify as men or women or use masculine or feminine gender pronouns are using a system of gender binary whereas those who exist outside these groups fall under the umbrella terms non-binary or genderqueer.

Sexologist John Money introduced the terminological distinction between biological sex and gender as a role in 1955. Before his work, it was uncommon to use the word gender to refer to anything but grammatical categories. However, Money’s meaning of the word did not become widespread until the 1970s, when feminist theory embraced the concept of a distinction between biological sex and the social construct of gender. Today, the distinction is followed in some contexts, especially the social sciences and documents written by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In other contexts, including some areas of the social sciences, gender includes sex or replaces it. For instance, in non-human animal research, gender is commonly used to refer to the biological sex of the animals. This change in the meaning of gender can be traced to the 1980s. In 1993, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started to use gender instead of sex. Later, in 2011, the FDA reversed its position and began using sex as the biological classification and gender as “a person’s self representation as male or female, or how that person is responded to by social institutions based on the individual’s gender presentation.”

The social sciences have a branch devoted to gender studies. Other sciences, such as sexology and neuroscience, are also interested in the subject. The social sciences sometimes approach gender as a social construct, and gender studies particularly do, while research in the natural sciences investigates whether biological differences in males and females influence the development of gender in humans; both inform debate about how far biological differences influence the formation of gender identity. In some English literature, there is also a trichotomy between biological sex, psychological gender, and social gender role. This framework first appeared in a feminist paper on transsexualism in 1978.

Age

Age is an important demographic factor that affects consumer behavior. As people grow, their needs change. Similar changes come to their buying decision making patterns. With age, our health needs change and so do many other needs.

Age brings changes to people’s lifestyle and with it their needs and personal values are also affected. When people are young, they spend more on their lifestyle needs from fun and movies to fashion.

As they grow older, their expenses on these things shrink. Elderly people mostly remain indoor, however, their health related expenses may rise.  In this way, age becomes one of the fundamental demographic factors affecting consumer behavior and buying decisions.

Age does not just affect buying behavior, it is also an important factor affecting market segmentation and marketing strategy. Marketers segment their target market on the basis of age. There are several products that are marketed only to the millenials.

Similarly, there are products meant for the elderly and which meet the needs of people past their middle ages. Lifestyle gadgets and magazines are mostly marketed to the youth or the millennial generation.

Since, the taste of this generation is vastly different and they are more digitally inclined, this affects not just the choice of marketing strategy but also the marketing channels used to market to them.

People’s choice of brands and products start changing as they grow older. A young man’s choices can be vastly different from the elderly since age brings changes that affect our flavor. An older person may have more serious choices and will be less fun loving than when he was young. Chocolates are meant for kids and young people.

Their consumption among the elderly is much lower.  Age determines several things and when we retire our consumption patterns also change according to the change in income.   Elderly people are less digitally inclined and therefore their consumption of digital products can also be lower.

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