Social Factors Influencing Consumer Behaviour (Philip Kotler Summary)


Social Factors are made up of :

  • Reference groups
  • Family
  • Roles/ Status

Reference Groups:

–          A person’s reference group consist of all the groups that have a direct/ indirect influence on the person’s attitude/ behaviour.

–          Reference groups are either

  • Membership Group.
  • Aspirational Group.
  • Dissociate Group.
  • Membership Group: Are groups having direct influence on a person.
    • Primary: Family/ Friends/ Neighbours/ Co-workers with whom that person interacts continuously/ informally.
    • Secondary: Formal/ Less continuous interaction such as professional/ relational/ trade unions/ religious groups.
  • Aspirational Group:
    • Groups in which a person would like to belong.
  • Dissociative group:
    • Groups whose values one rejects.

–          Reference group influence consumer behaviour in three ways.

  • Expose individual to new behaviour & lifestyle.
  • Influences person’s attitude & self-concept.
  • Create pressures for conformity that may affect the person’s actual product/ brand choices.

Opinion Leaders: Persons in informal product related communication who offers advice/ Information about product/ product category.

  • Marketers may try to reach out to opinion leaders.
    • Identifying demographic/ psychology characteristic associated with opinion leader.
    • Identifying media read by opinion leaders.
    • Directing message at opinion leader.

–          Group influence is strong for products that are visible to others whom buyer respect.

–          Influence varies with

  • Group cohesiveness.
  • Person’s esteem for group.
  • Group’s communication effectiveness.


–          Most important customer-buying organization in society.

–          Also most important primary reference group.

–          Each buyer has two families.

  • Family of Orientation (parents/ siblings). It gives a person
    • Orientation towards religion/ politics/ economics.
    • Source of personal ambition/ self worth/ love.
    • Family of Procreation (spouse/ children). It influences a buyer based on position:
      • Husband: may dominate decision related to insurance/ automobiles.
      • Wife : may dominate decision related to furniture/ appliances.
      • Equal : for decision related to vacation/ housing.

–          Above patterns may change due to societal changes.

–          Influence of children in buying behaviour is increasing.

Roles & Statuses:

–          Person participates in many groups throughout life.

–          Person’s position in group is defined by role/ status.

Role     : Activities a person is expected to perform.

  Each role would influence person’s buying behaviour.

Status   :Each role carries a status/ position.

–          People choose products that communicate their role/ status.

Ex:- Dress.

  • Farmer : Kurta/ Payjama or dhoti/ kurta + slippers/ sandals.
  • Factory worker: Shirt/Pant + sandals/ shoes.
  • Marketing Manager: Tie + shirt/ pant + leather shoes.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here