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Why do consumers make the choices they do? What causes them to purchase certain products? In this lesson, you will learn how the culture, attitudes, values and beliefs of consumers are the social factors that affect how marketers create a successful target marketing mix.

Introduction

Detective Sam Lombardo has been called back to solve another case. Our farmer wants to sell his certified organic line of fruits and vegetables to the community. Unfortunately, organic produce requires much more time and labor, so the farmer needs to sell his products at a premium price. He wants to know the best way of marketing his certified organic line of products and also communicate to his clients why they are priced higher. Our farmer has asked Detective Lombardo to research consumers’ culture, attitudes, values and beliefs to see how he could use that information to target his audience effectively with a marketing message.

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Culture

Culture is the set of values, norms and attitudes that are the essence of human behavior. The behavior that results from culture is usually passed from one generation to the next. The clothes you wear, the food you eat and the language you speak are all part of your learned culture. Other aspects of culture are myths, customs, rituals, laws and even material possessions.

Each of these in turn affects how and why you purchase products and services. For example, a ritual of some cultures is to have a large Thanksgiving dinner with a turkey and stuffing. This ritual would be very important to our farmer because he wants to find a way to communicate about using his organic veggies for the holiday.The biggest determinants of a culture are family and friends. The detective has been investigating local cultures in town and has found some interesting things.

In general, the cultures are heavily Mexican and Italian. Their cultures believe in strong family ties, and they feel that rituals are very important. He has suggested to the farmer to incorporate selling his organic veggies for their weekly family dinners that include extended family. His customers could be proud to feed their extended family certified organic veggies and fruits that are pesticide-free.

Values

Values are enduring beliefs that a certain role of conduct is socially appropriate or preferable to another mode of conduct. Detective Lombardo has discovered that consumer values play a very important role in consumer behavior. The detective’s undercover work has revealed that the farmer’s community places a high value on convenience. This piece of valuable information can really help the farmer with his marketing tactics. He can stress the convenient packaging of his certified organic products, with ready-to-use recipes to make dinner a cinch for his customers.

Other common community values that the detective discovered revolved around freedom, materialism and youth. Perhaps our farmer could mention how eating pesticide-free produce will lead to a healthier and more youthful life.

Attitudes

Attitudes are actually linked to values. A consumer’s attitude is a learned tendency to respond consistently toward a given object, such as a brand.

The farmer wants his consumers to maintain a positive attitude toward certified organic produce. The detective has uncovered in his investigation that almost all the community members’ attitudes are positive. The only negative attitude he found was that some people felt an inner tension about the higher price the farmer needs to charge for his product.

The farmer can get around this issue by educating his consumers about how much labor and time is needed to produce certified organic produce.

Beliefs

Our farmer wants Detective Lombardo to investigate the final piece of the consumer buying puzzle. An organized pattern of knowledge that a consumer holds as true about his or her world is called a belief. The detective has also discovered that most local consumers hold a belief that the more an item costs, the higher its quality. This belief will help the farmer immensely in his marketing plan.

He can successfully move ahead with charging a premium for his certified organic produce and also send a message of quality – another case with a happy ending due to Detective Lombardo’s sleuthing and marketing skills!

Lesson Summary

Consumer behavior is affected by culture, attitudes, values and beliefs. In order to understand why and how consumers buy, a marketer needs to understand the factors that drive them to make specific decisions. In turn, the marketer can then tailor strategies to communicate effectively with the target market.

Lesson Objective

After watching this lesson, you should be able to define culture, attitudes, values and beliefs, and understand how they are used in marketing.

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