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Influence of Children on Family Purchase Decisions in Urban India: An Exploratory Study

International Journal of Marketing and Business Communication

Volume 2 Issue 2

Published: 2013
Author(s) Name: Adya Sharma, Vandana Sonwaney | Author(s) Affiliation: Adya is Faculty SIIB Pune; Vandana Sonwaney is Director at SIOM, Nashik, Pune
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Abstract

It was not long ago that children were not considered an important segment. Understanding the child as a consumer was limited to understanding the consumer socialization of children. However changing social and economic conditions have also changed the role of children as consumers. They have been viewed as three markets in one: current market, future market, and a market of influential that cause many millions of dollars of purchase among their parents. (Mc Neal, 1987). Avenues for this research have been defined in the West though in a limited manner. However research on the topic in India is very limited. McKinsey (2007) has forecasted that India will be the 5th largest consumer market by 2025. Spencer Stuart (2008) has identified kids, youth and urban Indian women as three emerging segments. Unlike the west, India has a young population with children under 15 years of age constituting 30% of our population (Census 2010). With the number of females increasing in employment (Chandrashekhar and Ghosh, 2007) the mothers are spending less time at home and with children. This has increased the role of children in decision making. Cultural and technological changes have changed the equation between parents and children. Children have so much power in the family that their families are becoming child led (Cowell, 2001) the influence of children on family purchase decisions is an unexplored topic in Indian context and demands research and attention. This study intends to investigate how the urban child influences the purchase decision making of the family and its relation to family demographics and family communication. A conceptual model is outlined. The model integrates these two different areas of research to develop a conceptual model to explore the relation of influence of children with respect to different factors. Ward (1974) asserts that socialization is a lifelong process and hence this model also proposes “parents re-socialization’ with children as one of their socialization agents. Based on the exploratory research the paper identifies propositions for future research with the limitations and future scope of research.

Keywords: Influence of Children, India, Consumer Socialization, Family Re-socialization

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