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Sociological Determinants of Consumer’s Purchasing an iPhone 6


The contribution of sociological consideration is a signification factor in influencing consumer buyer behaviour. Sociological determinants of consumer buying are directly influenced by family, society, and the culture by which they live. Family influences include the influence, which is the individual who promotes the need to make the purchase. There is also the decider that is the person who makes the decision to buy the product, and the user that is the individual who utilized the product purchased. Family is not the only sociological influence on consumer buying practices; there is also friends, peers, and even co-workers who create the need and desire for the making a purchase. The sociological determinants are also influenced by roles and statuses. The desired to purchase a product based on the desired sociological image or belief that is portrayed for that specific product. For example, a businessman uses an iPhone 6; the consumer perceives this as a social status that they desire, directly influencing the consumer’s desire to purchase the product.

The theoretical consumer buyer behaviour hinges strongly upon the appeal of the product. For Apple Inc., the iPhone 6 was presented to the consumers as having the latest and must-have technologies for the user. The users see that the product is being marketed as not only a social status, but a method to make their lives easier based upon their individual needs.

In 1889, Thorstein Veblem created the veblenian model theory. The theory is based upon the idea that man is mainly a social animal, and that controls his behaviour and desire. The man is also largely influenced by the group of his peers by which he is a member. Veblem also believed that individuals are so driven to fit into their society that they are willing to forgo their personal likes and dislikes. “Culture, subculture, social classes reference groups, family are the different factor groups that influence buyer behaviour”. Apple Inc. has built their empire around the desire to be the social status quo. As a result, owning an iPhone 6 occurs significantly based upon social pressures despite the true desire for the product.

Another important sociological determinant is the product image or self-image that coincides with the iPhone 6. The desire to own the product can be influenced by the not only the functionality of it, but also what it symbolizes. The physical benefit is the function of the iPhone 6, and the symbolic image is the stereotype or believed the personal image associated with it. If a consumer sees the typical images associated with the product, they too believe they will obtain the same image if they own it a well.

Apple Inc. also utilizes the need motivation methods for marketing to their consumers. Consumers buy food when they're hungry, they spend extra money on brand-name clothing to fit into their social circles, and they utilize protective gear to feel safe. Self-improvement creates the consumer feeling that they are accomplished, even if they are not. The greater the push of a sociological need, the higher the priority it becomes for the consumer. Reaching the consumer as a must have status quo, the need and desire inevitably surface. The motivation of Apple Inc. should be to ensure that their consumers always return. Fulfilling the consumer’s request and expectations will create a loyalty for repeat business.

The practical examples provided in the literature review show how consumer buyer behaviour is directly influenced by social considerations. The desire to fit into their image of status and accomplishments directly affects buying patterns. The social push to keep up with the evolution of technology is significant in marketing as well. Apple Inc. did not create this social mentality, they merely built upon it in their marketing efforts.

The socially led manner is heightened by the media’s influence on creating a social need and desire. The incentives for consumers to purchase the iPhone 6 is that they continually desire change. The human agency in product purchasing behaviours also influences the ability to market a product successfully. “Among the self-referent thought, none is more central or pervasive than people’s belief in their efficacy to exert control over their level of functioning and events that affect their lives. This core belief is the foundation of human agency. People believe that they will obtain the desired effects from purchasing and utilizing a product, thus justifying the expense and need. Efficacy provides individual beliefs that influence people, and successful marketing capitalized upon this avenue.

It is vital to understand exactly what consumer behaviour is in order to capitalize successfully on it. Belch and Belch 2004 defines it as “the process and activities people engage in when searching for, selecting, purchasing, using, evaluating, and disposing of products and services so as to satisfy their needs and desires”. The defined behaviour occurs not only for individuals, but for groups and organizations as well. In efforts to truly maximize the potential for consumer behaviour marketing, studies have to be conducted to determine what makes an individual purchase products. Apple Inc. has utilized the many different versions of iPhones in efforts to create the best marketing campaign for the iPhone 6.

Using the information from previous marketing campaigns it provides the basis to maximize their own marketing tools. “New ideas, values, behaviour patterns, and social practices are now being rapidly diffused worldwide by symbolic modelling in ways that foster a globally distributed consciousness. The sociological determinant of symbolic environments influences individual's lives daily. Just as social constructions of shaping and reality of what is promoted as public consciousness occurs within every buyer's decision. IPhone 6 is marketed with symbolism and prestige. Every detail down to the hushed press release of the product specs aids in building the desire and anticipation that motives consumer buying habits.

The iPhone 6 provides a specific product category that be suites the analysis of the sociological determinants. With the vast variety of phones on the market, creating a need for such an expensive purchase is not an easy sale. Apple Inc. uses every avenue of consumer buying habits in creating the best marketing campaign to reach the majority. Considering the sociological determinants associated with making a purchase of this magnitude, Apple Inc. has to create a significant segregation of their product versus that of their competitors. The limited quantity, the much-awaited press releases with dictates the specs of the new iPhone 6, and the social desire and status associated with the product are vital considerations for a successful marketing campaign.

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