The Four Models of Consumer Behavior

Consumer Behavior For Dummies1. Economic model: Economic model of consumer behaviour is one-dimensional. This means that buying decisions of a person are governed by the concept of utility. Being a rational man he will make his purchase decisions with the intention of maximizing the utility/benefits.

Economic model is based on certain predictions of buying behaviour
(a) price effect-lesser the price of the product, more will be the quantity purchased
(b) Lesser the price of the substitute product, lesser will be the quantity of the original product bought (substitution effect)

(c) More the purchasing power, more will be the quantity purchased (income effect).

2. Learning model: Classical psychologists have been interested in the formation and satisfaction of needs and tastes. They argued that living beings were influenced by both innate needs such as the primary needs of hunger, thirst, sex, shelter and learned needs like fear & guilt. A drive or internal stimulus which when directed towards a drive-reducing object becomes a motive. The various products or service will act as a stimulus to satisfy drives.

For example, if you are a hungry you will be driven towards food, which after consumption will reduce the
drive and provide and provide satisfaction.

Consumer Spatial Behavior: A Model of Purchasing Decisions over Space and Time
3. Psychoanalytical model: This model is based on the work of psychologists who were concerned with personality. They were of the view that human needs and motives operated at the conscious as well as subconscious levels. Sigmund Freud developed this theory.

According to him human behaviour or personality for that matter is the outcome of three components, viz.,
(a) ‘id’ which is the source of all psychic energy which drives us as action
(b) ‘super ego’ which is the internal representation of what is approved by the society
(c) ‘ego’ which is the conscious directing ‘id’ impulses to find gratification in a socially acceptable manner.

Thus we can say that human behaviour is directed by a complex set of deep-seated motives. This means that buyers will be influenced by symbolic factors in buying a product. Motivational research has been involved in investing motives of consumer behaviour so as to develop suitable marketing implications accordingly. Marketers have been using this approach to generate ideas for developing product-design, features, advertising and other promotional techniques.

Economics and Consumer Behavior
4. The sociological model: According to this model the individual buyer is a part of the institution called society. Since he is living in a society, gets influenced by it and in turn also influences it in its path of development. He is playing many roles as a part of various formal and informal associations or organisations i.e., as a family member, as an employee of a firm, as a member of a professional forum and as an active member of an informal cultural organization.