Sample Family and Consumer Science Research Paper on Consumer Purchasing Decisions


Consumer behavior has an impact on the decision to purchase a product. It is influenced by social, psychological, cultural, personal, and environmental factors and advertisement impact. Therefore, it is important for producers to understand it to remain competitive. The power of consumers might be depicted as a market circumstance whereby customers hold the direct ability to settle on the products that will be manufactured and consumed. Design acts as a means of creating strong, shared brand experiences. Since visual representations have attained high recognition in the market, brands hold symbolic indications that focus on the generation of experiences and influences. Because artistically attractive product designs elicit positive brand considerations and brand categorization, in addition to upholding customer affiliations, the artistic attributes of design can help generate satisfaction in the clients’ experimental approaches that may realize loyalty and a sentiment of exclusiveness or value.

Consumer Purchasing Decisions


Consumer behavior refers to the feelings, thoughts, and actions that influence the decisions of individuals or groups of people when acquiring, consuming, and disposing of a product, idea, a service, or experience. Gaining the understanding of consumer behavior enables the producers and marketers to identify the products that are necessary for the marketplace and the obsolete ones. Individuals’ behavior changes as they age or their income levels increase (Ampuero & Vila, 2006). Product packaging has a huge influence on consumer behavior. Therefore, companies use packaging as a marketing tool. The customers are drawn towards a product by its packaging color, quality, wrapper, and other packaging attributes. Attractive product packaging saves businesses the promotional cost and attracts impulse buying, which increases sales (Ampuero & Vila, 2006). Additionally, appealing packaging enhances the appearance of a product thus attracting the consumers’ attention and awareness of the brand. In essence, the attractiveness of a certain brand creates brand loyalty that is essential for continued sales. An analysis of factors that influence consumption trends and the overall effect that they have on the products and services purchased in the market is important to understand the impact of consumer behavior. This research focuses on how marketing approaches of companies and individuals affect customers’ decisions to purchase products. The study will enable companies to identify the branding and marketing techniques that appeal to consumers the most. As a result, businesses can use this information to highlight customers’ preferences and use branding and marketing approaches that address their specific concerns.

Research Questions

  1. What are the factors that influence consumer purchasing decisions?
  2. What are the effects of consumer behavior on the choice of goods and services?
  3. How does advertising and marketing strategies of companies and individuals influence consumer behavior?

Literature Review

Consumer behavior relates to the study of the trends that consumers consider in deciding on a product, which they intend to buy or use to satisfy their needs (Baker, Moschis, Rigdon, & Fatt, 2016). Dollar votes (which insinuates consumer voting) represent a practice of demonstrating the manner in which customers and entrepreneurs successfully ‘vote’ for goods and services as they purchase, and this shows the products mostly selected by consumers. Essentially, people have the liberty to choose to purchase a product or not. This research seeks to determine how people’s thoughts and feelings affect their actions of acquiring products. Product choice refers to the decision of a consumer to buy a certain commodity or service (Baker et al., 2016). These decisions are influenced by various factors ranging from the needs of a person, financial status, price of the product, brand, and the consumer behaviors.

The decision by a customer to buy a product begins with the identification of need. People’s needs are a great motivation for them to buy. Moreover, they can be narrowed down to a conventional hierarchy proposed by psychologist Abraham Maslow in 1943, in his publication entitled, “A Theory of Human Motivation,’ which argued that the needs of individuals fall into several categories. The hierarchy of needs comprises of basic, psychological, and self-fulfillment needs respectively. According to Maslow, people are motivated to attain particular requirements whereby some needs come before others (Maslow, n.d.). The most basic ones are physiological for physical survival; that is water, food, and shelter. When the primary level of needs is fulfilled, the safety needs can be met, and the order moves up. Maslow argued that it is difficult for a level to be achieved when the previous one has not. For instance, people cannot buy guns to feel safe when they are hungry.

Following the recognition of needs, consumers begin to search for information on the products that will satisfy their needs. The individual may access this information from print materials, adverts, word of mouth, and social media among other sources (Baker et al., 2016). On gathering the information, the consumer assesses the various alternatives. People make different decisions to buy the same product for different needs, while others buy various products to fulfill the same need. This difference is a result of consumer behavior that is affected by the attitude of the customers, their perception, and participation in the evaluation process (Baker et al., 2016). The fourth factor in decision-making is the purchase phase that could be influenced by some elements such as negative feedback. Finally, the post-purchase evaluation occurs after the consumer analyzes the product and compares it to their expectation.

Companies’ marketing strategies influence consumers’ decision to purchase. The use of mobile social commerce has helped in the promotion of products in less costly and faster channels. Additionally, the availability of information on cell phones and other portable computing devices has allowed consumers to access products easily (Baker et al., 2016). The existence of online sales that allow transactions on the internet has led to increased profits. For instance, the placing of ads on social media encourages customers to make impulsive buying of products (Baker et al., 2016). The ease of money transfer using the mobile social e-commerce platforms also contributes to the purchasing decision of a consumer.

Social factors such as family and friends’ interactions affect people’s purchasing decisions. The opinions of the people around a consumer profoundly influence their buying decisions. The consumers highly regard the social acceptability of the product they purchase. Families change people’s temperament, outlook, and assessment criteria in decision-making (Bagozzi, Gurhan-Canli, & Priester, 2002). Moreover, the role of particular people within a family is highly influential. For example, a husband affects the buying decisions of a wife, while a mother influences those of their children. Therefore, it is important for marketers to appeal to all aspects of people and household diversities while presenting products to avoid disparities when making joint family decisions.

Cultural factors are crucial to consumers while deciding on purchases. Role specialization entails tasks undertaken by an individual in a given social setting and swayed by the anticipations of what is suitable. The influence of role specialization is evident across various cultures with variation from one culture to the other (Bagozzi et al., 2002). The person responsible for purchases within the household, depending on their roles, determines what products are bought. Culture significantly influences a family’s decision-making process. It should be noted that cultural influence in purchase decisions includes the role of religion and nationality. Certain religions have restrictions on particular products and consumption of certain foods, which plays a critical role in the purchasing decisions amid people who ascribe to them (Bagozzi et al., 2002). The consumer behaviors of a culturally diverse people present a challenge to the marketer to appeal to the multiethnic society. It is especially important to consider culture when reaching international markets. In male-dominated cultures such as India, it is important for product promotion strategies to appease the men.

Consumer behavior affects the choice of individuals or groups of people when buying products, ideas, experiences, and services. These behaviors are as a result of people’s surroundings, upbringing, social situations, and the marketing of goods (Bagozzi et al., 2002). Companies have a role in influencing consumer behavior since how they package their goods and market the products affect the perception of the buyers. It is thus important for producers to understand the changes in the consumer behaviors while bringing in new products to the market as brand loyalty plays a critical role in consumers’ decision-making processes (Bagozzi et al., 2002). The willingness to purchase a product recurrently for its price, marketing, or packaging is an inclination by consumers that affects the choices that buyers make. The sources of information concerning products affect the choices consumers make. Therefore, companies should ensure that information reaching the market is accurate and easily understandable by the users.

Influence of the Power of Consumers on Their Purchase Behavior

Vital to comprehending the way power functions with respect to consumers are the market-anchored approaches to attract buyers in addition to all the hindrances and facilitating systems that companies could present to customers in search of change via consumer purchasing decisions. Certainly, power pressures in markets shape purchasing decisions through influences on consumer inclinations (Cha, Yi, & Bagozzi, 2015). Therefore, awareness of the power and influence is vital to an enhanced comprehension of the way companies could try to control and handle marketing and branding techniques, especially because these activities are frequently expressed at the major organizational operations.

Consumer preferences aimed at tackling alarms of communal and personal distress in association with consumption have been portrayed as consumer ballots. Consumption-anchored purchasing decisions can be observed evidently in the established marketplaces for products and services with clear pro-societal programs (Cha et al., 2015). Nevertheless, it is vital to consider that those quarters receptive to such alarms remain insignificant, and the impact of consumer purchasing decisions is enhanced by attractive branding, aggressive marketing, and ease of accessibility. This enquires on the stability of power in market connections as businesses still manage all that is accessible to consumers (Cha et al., 2015). Nonetheless, a lot of people have inquired on consumer voting since it aims at taking up the market network and business rooms that are considered very challenging.

Consumption has been considered to be liable for environmental difficulties, unjust trade ways, and well-being concerns. Additionally, there is a great need to understand the conditions underscoring how successful marketing operations and attractive packaging by businesses constructively influence the purchasing decisions of consumers, community, or other stakeholders. Whereas businesses consider the monetary advantages to the establishment, the disadvantages and charges to all those engaged in the broader exchange practice might not have been completely recognized. For instance, consumers are now able to select a huge quantity of untested produce grown in other countries (Cha et al., 2015). Even if this raises autonomy of selection for their plates, and generates employment and markets for products in developed nations, it does not essentially boost human rights for the cultivators and employees who generate them. Therefore, responses to implementation in marketplaces, for instance, the mainstreaming of trade goods have been considered to allocate a lot of power in the hands of leading market performers instead of the efficiency that enhances sustainable transformation. In fact, in the case of consumer voting, people need to connect with the marketplace, be it via typical or optional exchange rooms that have the potential of establishing paradoxical selection conditions (Cha et al., 2015). Consequently, the application of power and influence through market votes has to be assessed thoroughly.     

            Consumer purchasing decisions uphold the activities carried out by customers in reaction to certain features of the market system regarded as suitable or just. In this regard, both green and ethical consumption are deemed consumer voting utilizing the market as a location for political practices. Green consumption is mostly propelled by environmental inclinations of consumers and their efforts to decrease or restrict their ecological footsteps (Guo, Tao, Li, & Wang, 2015). Indeed, consumer purchasing decisions call for branding and usage that considers mutual interests, the well-being of consumers, and other alarms. The perception of consumers employing their purchases like votes denotes a long-approved symbol that while heavily researched, continues to be supported vastly nowadays (Guo et al., 2015). When individuals are detached from power or fail to believe that they possess a political tone, they utilize the market as a location for articulation and accomplishment.

 The most successful manner of exercising the power of consumers is through practicing it at the market and shops. As governments fluttered concerning Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), markets and shops encountering consumer alarm removed the GMOs from their shelves. Currently, as governments are taken not to be reacting to the concerns of an international financial system, more recent instances of boycotting demonstrate the force enforced by consumers directly on businesses to change their corporate conduct. Possibly, the augmented access and expediency of ethical options has brought about a great influence on the costs of such goods in the contemporary era (Guo et al., 2015). Therefore, even as consumption, similar to balloting, has been a long-established symbol, an argument of what this perception in reality necessitates has been disregarded.

The presence of consumer balloting as underscored by Hew, Lee, Ooi, and Lin (2016) demonstrates activities carried out by consumers in reaction to personal or communal alarms. Such activities normally reveal an alarm for the overall excellence instead of individual benefit only; they are political and consider ecological, communal, and well-being concerns. The power exercised by consumers could engage acceptance or rejection of a given business or goods; they are decisive and entail careful deliberation and calculated activity (Hew et al., 2016). For instance, some local shops in the United Kingdom encourage individuals to purchase goods from shops instead of supermarkets in a bid to reduce greenhouse gases and prevent shops from being abandoned because of consumers progressively shifting to purchase their goods from superstores. This perception of empowered consumers denotes a transfer of power from businesses to consumers.

The exercise of power by consumers proposes that the marketplace is ready to pay attention and react to absolute consumer requirements. In fact, this is the approach employed by supermarkets in the UK. Before research studies carried out by the government of the United Kingdom, there was a recent argument that consumption strategy must be propelled by clients for it to be effective. The research revealed that it is the responsibility of consumers to control the United Kingdom’s food strategy program instead of the government, traders, or manufacturers (Hew et al., 2016). Involvement with the market structure as a way of customer selection does, nevertheless, pose vital questions concerning the efficiency of political consumerists’ attitude to communal adjustment under marketplace situations. This is especially evident where the customer dominion is vital but tentative as a way through which people can indicate their choice for change.      

            The power of consumers is manifested in a market situation whereby customers possess the authority to determine the products that will be manufactured and consumed. This brings about the betterment of customer welfare and supports the affirmation that the consumers are right at all times in addition to being estimable. The concept of the power of consumers found its way through enlightenment and the expression of authority by consumers. Indeed, research has established that it was its expression that promoted its broader utilization in the early times (Saren, 2015). However, some studies show that it was the improvement of the marketing and branding techniques that offered the critical setting for the swift augment of the conviction that consumers have authority over what is traded through their power. The power of consumers is similar to making choices in a political contest, which is practiced through voting, as it is enhanced by the competitive situations that influence selection of products and services in marketplaces (Saren, 2015). On the contrary, some researchers attempt to restrict the perception to the fiscal authority applied by individual customers by their spending in the marketplace and display it as impressive, as well as an optional way to affect the economic process.

            Some people argue that when power spreads to every social sphere, a community does not improve by the concerns of the ruling elite groups, traditional absolute values, or blind opportunity. However, it is influenced by the cognizance effort of everyone towards shaping their planet in the resemblance of their shared requirements and aspirations, reliant on the limitations of the accessible information and property. Likewise, some researchers vividly articulate their conviction in consumer power and that the entire influence of the authority is constructive although the inclinations of consumers are jumbled or unpredictable (Su & Tong, 2016). There are suggestions that the power of consumers is at the center of deliberations in the marketplace and that unconstructive consumer votes like boycotts reveal the practice of power posed to harmful business practices. Nevertheless, the flaw of the power as exercised by consumers has as well been discussed (Su & Tong, 2016). For instance, there are affirmations that such authority of consumers has led to the legitimization of particular sectors that are under inspection for their unconstructive influence on customer social wellbeing. In addition, arguments by scholars articulate that since marketing communication and exercise are very closely associated with the thought of the power of consumers, the quest of the marketing directors concerning the affairs of their businesses is changed to customer advantages. Moreover, customer advantages are believed to eliminate the aspects of personal accountability from that equation and thereby bring about impracticable convictions concerning marketplaces.                   

Influence of Design and Brand Experience on Consumer Behavior

The symbol, name, design, term, or other aspects that identify goods or services from a seller as unique from those of other traders denote the brand. Brand experience is conceived as sensations, cognitions, emotions, and behavioral reactions induced by brand-associated stimuli that are components of the identity and design of a brand, wrapping, communications, and surroundings (Su & Tong, 2016). A current instance of branding is the Coca-Cola brand used by the Coca-Cola Company. The most precious asset to a company is its brand. As products and services continue to serve as sensational expressions for customers increasingly, design element has appeared as a significant strategic benefit for numerous companies.

The design is a clear foundation of differentiation. Additionally, design element has turned out to be a significant factor for branding; not just because aesthetically pleasant products and services compete better, but as well because design might serve as the unified aspect of every element that constitutes a brand experience (Su & Tong, 2016). Customers can comprehend better what a brand signifies and what it accomplishes for them if every one of its brand elements is constant. This constancy can be attained through design. The brand has to steer the design. A strong integration must link design and brand management. Nevertheless, regardless of the fact that recently both branding and design have turned out to be strategic for corporations, brands have developed into being vital organizational assets and design, through promoting product aesthetics. Brands have also been revealed to create positive influences on customer inclination and organizational performance.

Brands have turned out to be tactical assets for numerous organizations and rise beyond the services or products they assist in recognizing. They are strategic grounds for companies to interact with their clients, and considered emotional concepts that decrease observed threat, offer worth, and exemplify an entire experience. In this regard, brands must capture the anticipations of and signify the set of assurances for every one of the target sections, hence turning the brand into a collection of implications. The design has a key role in generating consistency within the collection of the meanings of a brand. On the contrary, design management denotes a holistic course of formation and judgment making that boosts both professional and strategic choices (Reynolds & Olson, 2013). The effectiveness of design management relies on the way it is aligned with other managerial roles. By incorporating design management with the building of the brand and New Product Development (NPD) practices, it turns out to be easier to extend services and products that create positive relations with the consumer. Thus, the customer-centered design is rising as a best practice in numerous sectors and market research practices that assist translate statistics into sensory dimensions.

Design acts as a device for generating intense, combined brand experiences. Given that visual representations have gained greater significance in the market than words, brands are carrying symbolic signs that center on the formation of experiences and influences. Since artistically attractive product designs initiate positive brand assessments, aid product, and brand classification, and promote customer relations, the artistic characteristics of design can assist build satisfiers in the customers’ experimental worlds that are capable of generating loyalty and a feeling of exclusiveness or eminence. In short, artistic aspects present added value for the consumer and create positive results on organizational performance (Su & Tong, 2016). Despite the fact that little effort has been applied in this field, design and artistic aspects have been recognized as tactical tools for companies to acquire a competitive advantage. There is agreement amongst designers and marketers that design must be combined with other organizational tasks, as it appears to be a daily more critical element in the pursuit of building a distinguished brand.


Consumer power relies on market competition that is normally not ideal and has to be advanced through permitting market configurations encouraged by policymakers. Some studies stress that effective marketing and branding techniques are far-off from completely being attained by many companies even where suitable strategies have been established. In fact, brand experience differs from the influence of citizens since the customer is merely a single phase in the life of a person. In some sectors of the financial system, the control of consumers is somewhat restricted, and significance of legislation in rectifying marketplace defects that hamper the wellbeing of consumers takes dominion (Reynolds & Olson, 2013). A lot of the gains related to the brand experience are not restricted to it. Even though the power of consumers triggers economic assumption and is nearly unanimously adopted, experimental data backing it are limited. The power of consumers proposes that the desires of the customers are the focal point upon which businesses shape their provisions when in reality supremacy over the facts could develop over time and according to marketing situations. Similar to the power of consumers, consumption as balloting believes that the marketplace situations will react to the votes of the customers. Consumers’ demand is obviously significant to businesses and offers a foundation upon which they settle on what to manufacture.

            The viewpoint of the customer is just one of the deliberations of business, and in due course businesses will provide what is in their best concern. In assessing the concentrations of different policymakers, businesses consider intricate intersecting systems of trades amid such groups. In the course of their transactions, businesses could miscalculate or disregard the consequence of their conduct on other parties and the surroundings because of self-interest or might lack the market methods available to manage the unidentified effect. Therefore, whereas the anticipation is of constructive planned results, there as well arise unconstructive unplanned results of marketing actions on some policymakers, which a business could decide to overlook or tackle when encountering unconstructive consumer choices. Arguments on the power of consumers are as well anchored in the supposition that customers possess the ideal measure and kind of information to present such excellent selections (Reynolds & Olson, 2013). In reality, social reviewers have revealed the insincerity contained in maximal choice where the selections are efficiently outlined and administered by the marketplace. Even if politicians have assumed the outstanding advantage of choice, critics have suggested that the detection of inclinations and consumer purchase decisions do not at all times result in the options that maximize their well-being though that remains to be their preference.

Lately, there have been submissions that the advantages related to the offering of selection could be restricted to concerns where judgment difficulty is controllable. It is deceptive to propose that consumers are ready or capable of carrying out the types of intricate trade-offs necessary to attain a maximal scope of selection attributes throughout the marketplace contributions. Consumers frequently make use of undemanding selection practices, are uncertain on what particular attributes could entail for them, and are not ready or capable of learning more concerning the aspects in a bid to arrive at an excellent selection. When encountering selection difficulty, it is just a few of consumers that choose numerous options, which is attributable to the inconsistency of development, suggesting that successful marketing and branding techniques have turned out to be more demanding and very difficult (Reynolds & Olson, 2013). There is an inherent supposition that consumers are discerning enough to arrive at suitable market selections and thus vote. Nevertheless, even consumers having strong determination could fail to comprehensively contribute in amassing information concerning a product because of time checks. Additionally, even individuals could have a sense of empowerment and accountability for environmental concerns at a personal level; this entails insecurities of failing to know the excellent selections.


Understanding how the thoughts, feelings, cultures, social status, religious beliefs, and attitudes of people affect what they buy, how they use it, and dispose of it is important for every company to stay competitive and produce relevant goods and services. The application of the power of consumers ensures that the marketplace is ready to listen, and react to absolute consumer demands. This improves customer welfare and supports the declaration that the consumers are correct at all times in addition to being the rulers. Thus, the conducts of ethical consumerism have to be adapted to a considerable degree. Nevertheless, it is significant to note that all this is done in a bid to try and convince the customer, and this is where the concept of the power of consumers plays its role in context marketing and branding.


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