Influences of Personality on the Consumer Decision Process

The differing theories of personality and motivation in consumer behavior

Personality is one of many factors that influence what consumers buy as well as what they buy, it also depends on perception, memory and learning as they are big factor in that decision to. The theory of personality originates from Sigmund Freud’s ground-breaking work on motivation. The result of individuals personalities as well as how they feel about the particular brand might be motivational in their behaviour.

There are two main approaches to the study of personality: trait theory approach which stresses the classification of personality types.

There are many characterise personalities such as sociable-timid, hard-sensitive, quick-slow etc.

McRae and Costa (1987) had found the ‘big five’ personality dimensions such as Extraversion, Openness, Contentiousness, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, each one different type of personalities based on research on their consumers. Understanding those types help marketers to separate groups using these dimensions. There are many businesses and companies that are using personality as segmentation, for example, phone companies use their research and personality segmentation criterion for mobile phones attributes such as newest trends, in case of emergency help/guide.

The self-concept approach, which is concerned with how we see ourselves as consumers.

“Through the purchase and use of products, consumers define, maintain and enhance their self-concept” (Zinkham and Hong, 1991). Research shows that in order to recognize the importance of self-concept in consumer behaviour firstly examinations of the relationship between products and the consumer.

Motivation is a process of encouraging people to do something to achieve set objective, it is something to keep individual to carry on the initiated objective.

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Abraham Maslow known psychologist pointed out the main elements of the theory of motivation. His theory is aimed at human needs and fulfilment. Some examples of his theories are physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness needs etc. According to Maslow humans satisfy lower-order needs first as physiological then move on to safety needs, belongingness needs, esteem needs and then self-actualization. His hierarchy has been put into a ‘triangle’ which shows the bottom one which is the lower-order meaning most important one and the top which is self-actualization needs which we don’t necessarily need but feel better after having/using them.

Our motivation to make a purchase may vary with different reason depending on the product, it may be influenced by many evaluations such as: we might buy the product because we simply like it and that would be classed as internal evaluation or we could buy it because someone has recommended it to us or many others like economic, technical or social. It all depends on the product we want to buy or what kind of purchase we are making.

(Azjen, 1991) had developed the theory of planned behaviour which could help understand consumers behaviour. The factors of that theory are attitude consumers have towards the purchase, subjective norm or perceived behavioural control, that leads the consumer to intentions they have regarding the purchase which develops the behaviour with purchasing the product.

The main characteristic of business markets

The business market is the process of selling products to other businesses, these products can either be used as a raw material or part of manufacturing to other products.

B2C Market is one of the biggest types of markets as it targets the biggest audience. It is a market, where businesses advertise their products on different social media channels for a bigger audience, clothing and fashion, is the best example.

B2B Market is a type of market where businesses sell and buy products from other businesses for example selling raw materials to a company whom will use that to finish another product and sell it to another business.

There are a few main characteristics of business markets.

Market structure and Demand

Business markets contain fewer but larger buyers. Those types of customers in the business market are fewer as they won’t buy products is small quantities. Their orders would be larger quantities and bigger.

Business customers, don’t buy products in the shop or the market, they concentrating more on their geographical distance, their market doesn’t work the same way as the consumer market. They are more geographically orientated than normal consumers.

One of the main reasons businesses would buy products from each other is because the products are selling on the market. As soon as the product will stop selling the businesses will stop buying the product.

Demand in many business markets is more inelastic so it is not affected in the short run by price change which is a good thing from a business perspective as it also doesn’t affect the demand of the product.

Businesses prefer to buy products for a lowest price possible as they will have to include their time, raw materials and many other things to create the end products for their consumers so if the products start to get more expensive the company will stop buying it as they will know the end product will be too expensive for consumers and it will not sell.

Nature of Buying

The purchase process is not very straight forward, many businesses only buy and sell to very detail-oriented consumers. The finalising the purchase of products requires someone to check the sustainability of the products before the company can purchase it.

Kind of Decisions

Business buying decisions aren’t very simple, these are very complex as they are usually long term based. Companies do a background check on the people they go into business with for example they check the history of the company and what kind of people they are before they sign the deal.

The process is more formalised, companies follow many protocols ad chains of commands before they make a final decision it will be a long term relationship between both companies hence all the protocols and procedures just to make sure both sides are safe. After all, the background checking and the companies know they can trust each other, they develop a more close relationship with each other.

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Influences of Personality on the Consumer Decision Process. (2020, Sep 17). Retrieved from

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