Pester power and family purchases

In today’s commercial world, companies must not merely satisfy customer demands, they must delight prospective buyers with the products and services they offer. Researchers writing in the International Journal of Business Innovation and Research have focused on the role children play within family purchasing decisions and specifically “pester power”.

Monica Chaudhary of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, at Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India, is an expert in marketing and consumer behavior with ten years of corporate and academic experience. “Consumer behavior is getting increasingly complex,” she says. “and young children are becoming more and more exposed to online marketing communication, responsible marketers need to be very careful in targeting young children.”

She has now developed a research framework to allow social scientists to carry out a structural analysis of the family buying process and to understand children and teens influence family purchases of various products. Her framework incorporates the child’s consumer socialization – via friends, television and the internet, the use of “pester power” and a three-stage family buying process. Her tests focus on three categories of products: loud goods, expensive products such as vacations, computers, mobile phones, cars, televisions and even washing machines. The second category is noisy goods, such as mundane things like stationary, books, food and beverages, clothes, and more exciting things like movie tickets, dining out and video games. The third category, quiet goods, encompasses frequently bought items such as shampoo, toothpaste and grocery items in which children may have the least interest.

She reveals how this framework can allow for responsible marketing but forewarns of health and safety issues that can arise should marketing to youth be irresponsible.

Chaudhary, M. (2015) ‘Structural equation modelling of child’s role in family buying’, Int. J. Business Innovation and Research, Vol. 9, No. 5, pp.568–582

Author: David Bradley

Award-winning, freelance science writer based in Cambridge, England.