Motivation and Consumer Involvement are two crucial sides of the decision making pertaining to purchase of products. They are inseparable attributes that influence the consumers to make their decision to buy or not buy a product. A motivated consumer gets involved in research and analyses activities pertaining to his purchase activity before taking the final decision. Any consumer who gets initiated into the purchase process feels motivated by many factors that are internal and external in nature. Looking at motivation and related theories would substantiate the role of the same in consumer involvement in an elaborate manner.
There are many Motivation Theories formulated to chalk out the relationship between consumer behaviour and Motivation. Some such theories are enlisted below for clear understanding.
Maslow’s Theory of Motivation – Divides motivation based on five type of needs which are:
- Physiological – Necessities like food, shelter, physical pleasure and clothing
- Social – Acquaintances, friendships, desire to be loved
- Safety – Self security, safety of one’s belongings, safety pertaining to money and job etc.
- Esteem – Status in terms of financial class, prestige, ego satisfaction etc.
- Self actualization – Feeling of fulfillment on all aspects of life being lived
McGuire’s Psychological Motives – Divides motivation based on different types of needs which are
- Need to attribute causation – Attributing the reason for a decision on self or others
- Need for consistency – Displaying constant patterns in all aspects of life
- Need for cues – Providing cues that suit consumer mindset who desires for a particular lifestyle
- Need to categorize – Categorizing products value-wise or model-wise for ease of decision making
- Need for Novelty – Introducing new features and characteristics in products and experiences
- Need for Independence – Consumers enjoy products that expresses or makes them feel free
- Need for Ego Defence – Going in for famous brands to show off one’s status symbol
- Need for Self Expression – Purchasing products that reveal our self identity and thoughts
- Need for Reinforcement – Buying products based on appreciations from other consumers
- Need for Assertion – Going in for products ascertaining their high performance levels
- Need for Modeling – Promoting a product using amour personalities
- Need for Affiliation – Using products recommended by friends to get the feeling of affiliation
- Needs utilitarian in nature – Buying products purely based on the utility value
- Needs Hedonistic in nature – Buying products that offer more of physical pleasures
When organization manufacturing products approach consumers based on one of the motivations mentioned in the above lists, their involvement levels are high. Let us have a detailed look at Consumer Involvement.
Definition of Consumer Involvement
Consumer Involvement here refers to the depth of interest in a product or service displayed by consumers through their behaviour and approach. The aspect called Consumer Involvement has many striking characteristics. Key characteristics of Consumer Involvement are:
- Exerts high levels of influence over the personal choice of consumers
- Directly related to the self concept aspect of consumers
- Arouses interest in consumers in one form or the other
- Involvement levels vary from one customer and another depending on the various factors surrounding them
Levels of Consumer Involvement
Consumer Involvement can basically be classified into three types based on the level of intensity.
- High Involvement
- Low Involvement
- Routine or least Involvement
High Involvement is witnessed in consumers when the products bought are of huge value. Products that consumers buy probably once or maximum twice in a life time fall under this category. Consumers take a lot of precautionary measures while going in for buying such products in order to avoid taking any sort of risk post purchase. Huge money is at stake and so the care being taken by consumers is also high.
Low Involvement is witnessed in customers who go in for products that are not purchased frequently but is changeable after a few years. Television sets, refrigerators, wooden almirahs etc. fall in this category.
Routine or Least Involvement – Products which are purchased month on month as a need fall under this category. Consumers generally stick to a brand as far as purchase of products like tooth paste, body soaps and talcum powder are concerned.
Factors affecting Consumer Involvement
Consumer Involvement is dependent on many variables some of which are listed below:
- Preferences of Consumers
- Response from other sources
- Stimuli exerted by internal and external factors
- Consistent interest of the Consumer
- Situations surrounding the Consumers
- Focus area of the consumer which differs according to their social status
- Depth of Intensity exerted by Consumers over a period of time