Consumer Buying Motives

Consumer behaviour basically starts with needs. Need may be of different types, at different point of time. The need hierarchy as given by Abraham Maslow classifies the needs into five types viz. Basic need, Safety need, Social need, Esteem need and Self-actualization needs. A person moves from one level need to another, as one need is satisfied, he moves on to next need. It is for this need that consumer shows some behaviour pattern.

When a need is sufficiently aroused, it becomes a motive. William J. Stanton points out that “a motive is a need sufficiently stimulated to move an individual to seek satisfaction”. He further adds that “the motive become the buying motive when the individual seeks satisfaction through the purchase of something”. According to D. J. Durian “Buying motives are those influences or considerations which provide the impulse to buy induce action or determine choice in the purchase of goods or services”.

Buying motives are those motives of consumer’s which are sufficiently stimulated so as to induce the consumer to buy the product. These are the needs, which are pressing needs, causing anxiety and restlessness to the customers, so much so that the consumer has to make efforts to buy a suitable product. Buying motive is a motive which can be satisfied by the purchase of the commodities.

Types of Buying Motives:

Buying motives can be grouped into different levels. First, when the need is recognised by buyer and he talks about the motives for buying the product (conscious). Second the buyer is convinced that he has a need to buy but is not in position to understand the motives (sub-conscious) and last buyer is not in position to explain the factors which influence their purchase decisions (uncon­scious). These motives are known as conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious motives.

Another classification of motives which is widely accepted is by Ramaswamy and Nama Kumari as:

  1. Product Motives
  2. Patronage Motives

1. Product Motives:

Product motives are those motives which are related to the product that induce the consumer to buy the product. Product motive may relate to different attributes of the product.

It can be further classified as:

  1. Emotional product motives
  2. Rational product motives
  3. Operational product motives
  4. Socio-psychological motives

Emotional product motives are those which invoke a person emotionally so that he buys the product, without analysing and evaluating its various attributes. Examples of emotional product motives are love, pride fear, comfort, ego, habits etc. Here consumer has the motive of only buying the product because he is emotionally attached to it. Other factors are absent here. As against the emotional motives, there are rational motives.

These are the motives which are concerned with the logical analysis of the various aspect of the product. Here the consumer makes a rational evaluation of different product attributes so as to determine its want satisfying potential, only then he buys the product. The various utility attributes of the product, credit facilities, transportation facilities etc. are included here.

On the basis of functions performed and socio-psychological benefit provided, buying motives are classified as operational product motive and socio-psychological product motives. Operational product motives refer to the satisfaction derived from the function or physical utility of the product. More efficiently the functions are performed, and more are the functions performed, better are the chances of product being purchased.

Socio- psychological motives are different from operational motives. Here the consumer buys the product because of the prestige attached to it. The product here is, evaluated on the basis of its social status and prestige. It must satisfy the psychological need of the buyer of having a product which is perceived high by the society.

  1. Patronage Motive:

Patronages motives refers to those motives which make a consumer buy from a particular shop.

Many time consumers have reasons to buy the goods from a particular shop only. The patronage of that shop attracts him. Patronage motive may also be classified as emotional patronage motive and rational patronage motive.

Many times the buyer buy goods from a specific shop for reason not clear to them also. Such motives are called emotional patronage motives. Here the reason for buying from that shop is purely subjective. Each buyer may have his own personal reason. On the other hand rational patronage motive are the logical reason that a consumer has for buying the goods from a particular shop only.

Here the consumer is aware of advantages of that shop in terms of wide variety of goods, wide selection, good quality, easy availability, good behaviour of salesman, after sale services etc. and therefore he is attached to the shop. Thus, we see that motives have significant influence on the consumer behaviour. A marketer should therefore develop a clear understanding of the product and patronage buying motives before he goes to attract the customers and develop their loyalty.

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