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Abha Dhoot Dr.

Deenaz Damania Buying Behaviour 16th May 2012 Alfred Adler The Individual Psychology Alfred Adler was the founder of the school of individual psychology. Adler along with Freud and Jung, are considered the founding figures of depth psychology. According to Adler, the feelings of inferiority play an integral role in shaping up the individual. The theory of individual psychology emphasizes on the drive to overcome the feelings of inferiority through compensation and the need to achieve personal goals that the society values. Few theories of the individual psychology that tend to influence the buyer behaviour are: 1. Life-Style: As per Adlerian philosophy, if one understands an individuals lifestyle then one can understand his/her behaviour. This is because the lifestyle gets ingrained right from childhood and this pattern remains a part of life. This lifestyle permeates all aspects of perception and action. Each person consciously or subconsciously has a goal that is his/her own and helps him/her stand out according to his/her understanding. If this goal is known and well understood, then it becomes convenient to explain an individuals psychological phenomenon and what it wants to say in terms of why the goal was made, his/her character traits, feelings, emotions, logic, morals and aesthetics. The life style of the individual is considered the key to his/her behaviour. The major goal is superiority and compensation for the feeling of inferiority, but an individual may achieve this through a variety of ways. The same principle can be applied to the consumers buying patterns. The consumer buying patterns will be heavily influenced by the lifestyle of the consumer. If the consumer feels that a particular product, goods or service help him/her compensate for the feeling of inferiority, he/she is bound to get attached to that product, good or service. The companies thus need to understand how they can help satisfy the feeling of superiority through their products, goods and service. Thus understanding the lifestyle and the behaviour of the consumer is very important. Since this becomes a set pattern, it becomes easy to predict the buying pattern of a customer segment.

2. Social feeling/field work: According to Adler, as humans we always try to get to perfection and this is of utmost priority to an individual. The next most important aspect is the idea of social interest or social feeling. Understanding that a human being functions as a self-conscious whole, it is easy to see that anyone "striving for perfection" can hardly do so without considering his or her social environment. As social animals, we simply cannot exist without others. Adler felt that social concern was not simply inborn, nor just learned, but a combination of both. It is based on an innate disposition, but it has to be nurtured to survive. One misunderstanding Adler wanted to avoid was the idea that social concern was in terms of particular social behaviours. Rather it was in the much broader sense of caring for family, for community, for society, for humanity, even for life. Social concern is a matter of being useful to others. The feeling of social concern tends to finally govern the behaviour of an individual. Thus this feeling of social concern can be linked to the consumer buying behaviour. As an individual, we tend to compete within the society either to be better than the rest or to be accepted by the society. The behaviour of an individual is influenced by this aspect and as an organization we need to understand this consumer behaviour. The understanding of the consumer behaviour eventually helps the companies identify what a consumer looks for in a product, goods or service and cater to this need accordingly.