Personal Factors Effecting Consumer Behaviour (Philip Kotler Summary)



  • Age/Life cycle stage.
  • Occupation.
  • Economic circumstances.
  • Life style.
  • Personality/ Self concept.

Age/ Life Cycle Stage:

Buyer’s choice in many products related to age & family life cycle.

Family life cycle stages could be:

  • Bachelor: Young/ Single people not living at home.
    • Few financial burdens.
    • Fashion opinion leaders.
    • Recreation oriented.
    • Buy basic kitchen equipment/ furniture/ vacations.
  • Newly Married Couple:  Young/ No children.
    • Better off financially than they would be in near future.
    • High purchasing rate of consumer durables- furniture/ auto/ refrigerator (may be highest purchasing rate).
  • Full Nest 1:  Youngest child under six.
    • Home purchase.
    • Low liquid assets.
    • Dissatisfied with financial positions & savings.
    • Interested in new products.
    • Influenced by advertisements.
    • Buy: washing m/c, T.V., Baby food, toys.
  • Full Nest 2:  Youngest child above six years.
    • Better financial position.
    • Lower influence of advertisements.
    • Buy large size packs/ multiple units.
    • Buy: Food, Cleaners, Educational Accessories.
  • Full Nest 3:  Older Married Couple with Dependent Children.Empty Nest 1:  Older Married Couples with NO Children Living with them.
    • Better financial position.
    • Children may start getting jobs.
    • Difficult to influence with advertisement.
    • But: Furniture, Magazines, Appliances.
    • Family head still working.
    • Peak home owners.
    • Most satisfied with financial position and savings.
    • Buy: Travel, recreation, self education, gifts.
    • Not interested in new products.
  • Empty Nest 2:  Older Married Couple
    • No children at home
    • Head of family retired.
    • Drastic decrease in income.
    • Keep home.
    • Buy medical care.
  • Solitary Survivor:  Working.
    • Income still good.
    • May sell home.
  • Solitary Survivor:  Retired.
    • Drop in income.
    • Buy medical care.
    • Needs attention/ affection/ security.

Marketers choose life cycle groups as target market.


Person’s occupation influences his/her consumption pattern.


  • Blue collar worker       : work clothes + shoes.
  • Senior Manager           : suits/ air travels/ club memberships.

Marketers try to identify occupational group that would have above average interest in their products. At times, company may specialize its products for certain occupational groups. Example: – miner cap, sports shoe for different sports.

Economic Circumstances:

Affects choice of products.

Components of economic circumstances could be

  • Spendable income       (level/ stability/ time pattern).
  • Savings & Assets        (including liquid assets).
  • Debts/ Borrowing Power.
  • Attitude towards ‘Spending Vs Savings’.

Marketers of income sensitive goods need to pay attention towards trends in

  • Personal income.
  • Savings.
  • Interest rates.

In a recession, marketers may need to

  • Redesign.
  • Reposition.
  • Reprice their products.

Lifestyle: (Psychographic):

Persons from same subculture/ occupation/ may lead different lifestyles.

Lifestyle: Person’s pattern of living in the world, expressed in the person’s Activities/ Interests/ Opinion.

  • Lifestyle portrays the whole person’s interacting with his/her environment.
  • Marketers search for relationship between their products & lifestyle groups (coefficient of correlation, r > 0.7).
  • Lifestyles classified through frameworks. – AIO Framework and VALSI Framework.

Personality / Self Concept:

Each person has a distinct personality that influences his/ her buying behaviour.

Personality implies a person’s distinguishing psychological characteristic & enduring responses to his/her environment.

Described by traits such as:

  • Self confidence.
  • Dominance.
  • Autonomy.
  • Deference.
  • Sociability.
  • Defensiveness.
  • Adaptability.

Personality may be variable in analyzing consumer behaviour provided personality types can be accurately classified & their direct co-relation to product/ brand choices indicated.

Related to personality is the person’s self concept.

Self-concept is a person’s image about him/her self (self image).

Marketers need to develop communication strategies so that:

  • Advertisements/ Communication appeal to personality traits.
  • Brand/ Products image relates target market’s self image.



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