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(MKM58) Buyer behaviour assignment on the influence of cultural characteristics on purchase preferences of consumers


Task: Develop a critical understanding of the established and contemporary theories on buyer behavior. Understand and demonstrate an ability to critically assess the influences on the behaviour of buyers in a variety of marketing contexts in your buyer behaviour assignment.


1. Introduction
The concept of consumer behaviour generally highlights a wide range of phenomena and the cultural characteristics or factors have the potential to influence most of the phenomena of consumer behaviour. The central idea of this buyer behaviour assignmentis to establish that cultural characteristics influence purchase preferences of consumers.Culture indicates common goals consumers have and it also indicates how the customers will respond towards prices, advertising elements and brand images. The concept of culture is generally recognised as a shared set of beliefs or practises between a group of individuals within a particular time as well as place.

2. Significance of culture in buyer behaviour assignment
Culture is considered as one of the most crucial factors to determine consumer behaviour. It has been highlighted by Auf et al. (2018), cultural characteristics are crucial to explain why some specific products have good selling margins in specific geographical regions as well as specific groups. Cultural characteristics mentioned in the buyer behaviour assignmentwere not only capable of impacting the purchasing decisions but also determining how customers utilise the purchased products and the disposal of the products are also determined by cultural characteristics. Cultural factors or cultural characteristics determine their behavioural pattern of the customers or individuals. Culture is important to understand the value of an individual. Business organisations generally utilise their cultural characteristics as well as values of the society within the marketing initiatives. For instance, joint family culture is not popular in western countries and countries like Australia. The concept of an old-age home as per the buyer behaviour assignmentis very popular in the western countries and Australia. Business organisations have understood this strategy and food manufacturing organisations like Dominos have started to prioritise the sales of small and medium sized pizzas in the western countries and Australia (, 2019).

On the other hand Asian countries like India and Pakistan provide comparatively higher value towards joint family systems. As per the buyer behaviour assignmentpopular brands like Spotify have introduced the Spotify premium plan for the family members under one roof. Up to 6 family members can access the service of premium accounts while adopting this service (, 2022). Food manufacturing organisations like Dominoes have provided comparatively higher attention to words promoting medium and large sized pizza in the Asian countries. Based on this information it can be understood that cultural characteristics play a significant role to determine the overall strategy of the business organisations.

The concept of culture according to the buyer behaviour assignmentis crucial to influence what feels normal, desirable and right. It is not a good example of a retailer to ask consumers to flow against the existing socio-cultural characteristics as it makes it hard for the consumers to select the products or services of the retailers. It is more effective to make it easy for the consumers to select the product of the retailers through providing desirable as well as normal products based on the socio-cultural characteristics.

3. Traditions and influences on consumer behaviour
Traditions were generally recognised as the central idea of the approaches that culture influences to consumer behaviour. As per the opinion of Aryaniet al. (2021), it is crucial for business organisations to evaluate or examine the belief system as well as values of the people while defining the culture of a nation. For instance the concept of culture as per the buyer behaviour assignmentis generally recognised as the total average values, beliefs as well as traditions which are directly linked to the consumers as well as members of the specific society. Religion influences the overall cultural characteristics but there are differences between the people from different regions. For instance Christianity is one of the main religions in both the US and the UK as per the buyer behaviour assignment data. Thanksgiving is one of the popular traditions in the Christian religious system. Turkey is recognised as a traditional food according to mainstream American culture (Maddox. 2018). It influences the business organisations to produce poultry within the specific time period in a comparatively higher amount and the retailers also sell poultry items during that time period.

However, this tradition is limited only in the US as the concept of Thanksgiving ceremony is not very popular in other countries like the UK. For instance, based on the British tradition it can be understood that they do not celebrate Thanksgiving as they think no one had to be thankful for their ocean trip as well as new land. However, British people generally celebrate the harvest festival at the time of Thanksgiving and sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing; cornbread, cranberry sauce and pumpkin or pumpkin pie are the main traditional foods for the harvest festival (Czarneckaet al. 2020). The business organisations addressed in the buyer behaviour assignmentof the UK need to focus on storing these elements more than other elements during the time of the harvest festival. Traditional patterns are changing continuously with time as culture evolves with time. As per the opinion of Batalla-Bejeranoet al. (2020), it is the responsibility of the marketers to analyse the market trend and identify the patterns as it helps to provide comparatively higher competitive advantages to the business organisations. Eating halal food items as per the buyer behaviour assignmentis one of the main cultural beliefs as well as tradition of Islam. Companies from Islamic countries like the UAE provide comparatively higher focus to produce more halal foods to gain competitive advantages (, 2018). On the other hand, Christian based countries like France and the UK do not provide the highest priority to produce halal foods. However, halal food items are available in the UK and France based on the geographical characteristics of the locations.

4. Horizontal or vertical cultural orientations in the buyer behaviour assignment
As per the buyer behaviour assignmentcultural classification is related to individualism as well as collectivism. Individualism and collectivism are two important elements of Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory. For instance confidence, self esteem, respect of others achievement and respect by others are major elements of the esteem stage of Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory (tefanet al. 2020). According to the cultural characteristics mentioned in the buyer behaviour assignmentof the US it can be understood that European Americans have the tendency to horizontally collectivists and they have comparatively lesser tendency in the sector of vertical individualists. Horizontal as well as vertical cultural characteristics are portrayed in the marketplace into multiple ways. For instance, advertisements or marketing campaigns our cultural artefacts and it highlights the values as well as goals of a society. The US and Korea were recognised as the followers of vertical culture and other countries like Denmark and Poland are recognised as horizontal cultures. Based on the analysis of 1200 magazines of Korea, it is analysed in the buyer behaviour assignmentthat Denmark, the US and Poland it can be understood that vertical cultures put comparatively higher emphasis on luxury prestige and status on advertising activities compared to horizontal culture (Czarneckaet al. 2020). Vertical as well as horizontal orientations of culture or related to the distinct cognitive processes as well as mindsets and all these factors can influence the overall judgements of the consumers. Socio-economic status, linguistic characteristics and childhood background of an individual determines the overall structure of cultural characteristics. All these factors mentioned in the buyer behaviour assignmentare capable of making an impact on the overall purchasing activities of the customers. For instance, the sales of luxury products are comparatively higher in the US compared to other developed countries like the UK and Denmark (Czarneckaet al. 2020).

5. Link between marketing characteristics and cultural characteristics
The concept of culture as per the buyer behaviour assignmenthas the potential to make a huge influence on the marketing characteristics of a business organisation. It has been highlighted by Masuda et al. (2020), cultural characteristics determine the lifestyle of consumers and brands provide comparatively higher attention to the cultural values of their target consumers group to develop customer oriented products or strategies. Segmentation as well as Marketing Mix is two important theories to develop a successful marketing strategy. The overall success of the implementation of these two theories mentioned in the buyer behaviour assignmentis not only dependent on marketing characteristics but also dependent on cultural characteristics. For instance, cultural characteristics are crucial as they can influence psychographic analysis through assisting to understand the emotional drivers which explain behavioural drivers of market segments. For example, linguistic characteristics as well as religious characteristics of both the US and the UK are similar. However, Tesco, the most successful retailer in the UK has failed in the US significantly (, 2019). Tesco has failed to analyse psychographic characteristics of the US market as the people of the US do not like small stores and they do not prefer to go to the supermarkets on a daily basis. Tesco operates its business in the UK through its small Tesco stores in every corner of the UK and selling fresh food items is the main USP of this brand. However, the people of the US like to go to the supermarket once in a month and store all the required elements and small stores of Tesco were not capable of providing this facility. According to the facts of buyer behaviour assignmentcultural characteristics influence the content choice as well as advertising strategies of the business organisations. The structure as well as budget of marketing activities depends on the consumption style as well as habits of the consumers. Advertising strategies and selection of platforms are related to the marketing mix theory. Popular social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp are not available in China. Business organisations need to select the appropriate advertising platform based on the existing cultural characteristics of the host country.

6. Importance of demographics and culture for setting target market
Demographics as per the buyer behaviour assignment has been one of the most important factors for other business organisations based on which the companies tend to attract customers throughout the market. Demographics factors include aspects like family size, religion, gender, cultural ethnicity, education as well as income. These are necessary factors based on the companies engaging in developing a better understanding about the customers and showcase necessary products according to the different demographic factors. According to Blutet al. (2021), the main aim of targeting through marketing is beneficial as a clear picture can be developed about the different traits and characteristics of a typical part of the population. Based on analysing different kinds of demographic data in the buyer behaviour assignment, business organisations engage in understanding the different characteristics of people and provide them with proper products or services that can be fit for them. Based on understanding different demographic factors like income level, gender, age group, race and ethnicity, business organisations can develop proper understanding related to that particular target market and create products for improving personalised experience of that particular population.

7. Role of different marketing strategies in influencing consumer choices
The main role of different marketing strategies for influencing consumer purchasing behaviour is related to better promotion of products and services to the potential customers and developing a relationship with them. As per the views of Anshariet al. (2019) in the buyer behaviour assignmenta strategy for influencing buyer decisions is related to proper engagement with the audience in both online and offline platforms where proper connectivity can be developed with the customers, through proper communication establishment. Apart from that, it is important for the business organisations to understand the potential needs of the customers which can be efficient for providing them with the proper product or service that are desired by them. It is not possible for the business organisations to completely understand the requirements and demands of the customers as their choices are dynamic and change from time to time based on different external influences (Chen and Farias, 2018). However, the Theory of Reasoned Action by Martin Fishbein and IcekAjzen mentioned in the buyer behaviour assignmentthat the customers act on the behaviours that they receive from the companies based on which they act in making purchasing decisions. This theory highlights the rational decision making process which specifies that every customer engages in rational and critical thinking before buying a particular product thus the behaviour of the companies must be true to the customers for increasing their sales rates (Koechlin, 2020). On the contrary, with the current improvement in business Technologies it is anlayzed in the buyer behaviour assignmentthat artificial intelligence based Big Data Analytics softwares have been able to understand and evaluate the different customer buying patterns through analysing their click through rates.

8. Impact of culture on consumer choices
The retailers in the current market engage in motivating the customers to act according to the social trends and making it harder for the customers to choose their products and services. As opined in the buyer behaviour assignmentby Colleoniet al. (2021) culture plays one of the most influential rules based on which the consumers make decisions for buying goods and services from the market. Society's culture is mainly a reflection of its traditions, norms, values and customs and the shopping habits of the consumers are particularly guided by these factors. The consumer behaviour mainly depends upon different aspects like attitude, experience, perceptions, values and others depending upon which a consumer chooses a particular product for buying. On the contrary, the Theory of Cross Cultural Buying Behaviour Theory about the current approaches related to multinational marketing whichfocuses on the international market which is a globalised ability of the consumer brands to target the global population based on analysing human behaviour and perceptions in a unified manner (Peña-Garcíaet al. (2020). As per the buyer behaviour assignmentthe companies mainly engage in analysing the humanitarian psychological understandings of the individual behavioural traits and developing product attraction for the customers. This theory has been completely contrasting to the concepts of differentiated marketing approaches based on demographic differences.

9. Factors influencing consumer decisions


Figure 1: Major factors influencing consumer behaviour
(Source: Busalimet al. 2019)

The Global business organisations for targeting international audiences have been mainly concentrated on analysing psychological international audiences. It has been mainly concentrated on analysing psychological factors in the buyer behaviour assignmentwhich are mainly motivation development of perception learning as well as attitude and beliefs of customers based on which the buying perception depends. It is the responsibility of the business organisations to provide proper motivation to the customers based on which they can understand the basic social and securities needs of the customers for influencing the decision making process (Zhang et al. 2018). Customers engaged in observing advertisements, promotions, different customer reviews as well as social media feedback generate an impression or perception related to any particular product or company and then engage in making the buying decision (Bleieret al. 2019). On the other hand, learning about products and services are also important in the buyer behaviour assignmentand it is the role of organisations to provide proper knowledge to the customers about their different products and brands. In the country it is also important for the business organisations to learn about the customer behaviour choices and requirements based on understanding their needs and providing them proper experience for providing them proper satisfaction.

10. Conclusion
Thus, it can be concluded in the buyer behaviour assignmentthat international business development is an important factor and the role of cultural perspectives in evaluating the customer behaviour patterns is one of the most important factors through which, stability in organisational business performances can be ensured. The cultural perspectives play a key role in shaping the customer behaviour. The organisations engage in analysing different demographic factors before launching a product based on which the significance of market analysis can be understood. Through understanding the different cultural perspectives mentioned in the buyer behaviour assignment, the companies understand the behaviour and attitudes of the customers and take necessary decisions for influencing their buying behaviour.

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