Term Paper: Family Decision-Making

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Family Decision Making

During the past decade the market has become increasingly customer oriented, and an important feature with customers is the purchase behavior relative to the family. For instance, parents' purchasing behavior is influenced by the needs of children; similarly, the children's purchases are influenced by parent's considerations' advices and preferences. Therefore, marketers have to consider several family characteristics in promoting and selling certain products and services.

The family decision making in regard to the items bought can be analyzed from four perspectives: role structure, power structure, decision making stage and the family culture. The role structure reveals that the decision making process within a household is influenced by the role played by each member, husband, wife, mother or father. Similar to the role structure, the power structure also states that the person holding the highest power mostly influences the decision making process. Take for instance the patriarchal family, where most decisions are made by the father as opposed to the matriarchal family, where most decisions are taken by the mother. The decision making stage states that, at one point in the purchase process, each family member influences the final decision. Take for instance the case of purchasing an automobile; here, the woman will specify the needs the new car must address, the man will decide upon the car model and the technological features, whereas the children will influence the color. Finally, the forth dimension, family culture, establishes that families will make purchases based on particular features, such as social status, cultural background or family values (Mann).

Family Types

In order to best understand how family members can influence the purchase behavior, one should look at several family types and identify their characteristics as well as the power of influence each member holds. The primary types of families include:

The nuclear family (parents and one or more children),

The single parent family,

Extended family (single parent or nuclear families which live with other relatives, such as grandparents),

The blended family (a nuclear family where one or both spouses have been previously married, resulting even children)

The adoptive family

The foster family

Other family types (Chamberlain)

However the list of possible family types is extremely comprehensive, we will choose the single parent and the adoptive family as references to the decision making process in regard to the family's purchase behavior.

Single-parent family

Generally, the single-parent family is formed from the mother and one or more children. This is possible as in most divorces the mother gets custody of the child/children. The single-parent families present increased demand for "low cost furniture and household items as well as time-saving goods and services." (Perner)

Take the real life example of a 46 years old real estate agent mother, a 20 years old college student and a 16-year-old junior high student. In this case:

big ticket purchases are made according to what the mother feels it's best for the family only personal items are bought based on individual decision grocery, family vacations, dining out and movies are collective decisions children influence the purchase product for family use in the meaning that they are given an allowance to spend how they see fit the mother controls the individual purchasing decisions of the children by controlling the amount of money received as allowance and by entrusting them to purchase those items which are good for them Adoptive family

The adoptive family is formed from one or two parents; it can be a single-parent family, a nuclear family or a blended family. The main particularity with this family is that the child… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Family Decision-Making.  (2008, February 8).  Retrieved July 24, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/family-decision-making/29491

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"Family Decision-Making."  8 February 2008.  Web.  24 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/family-decision-making/29491>.

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"Family Decision-Making."  Essaytown.com.  February 8, 2008.  Accessed July 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/family-decision-making/29491.