Motivation and Values

Are the forces that drive people to buy products always straightforward?
Can an emotional response elicit a purchase?
Does a person's values determine her/his choice of product?

To understand motivation is to understand WHY consumers do what they do.

Bud Motivation

Matt Foley Motivational Speaker

In everyday language, motivation is the characteristic that helps us achieve our goals. It drives us towards something. It gives us a kind of energy and strength to do something or get something.



an internal state that activates or arouses goal-oriented behaviour; a need is aroused that drives person to satisfy it; motivation can be described by- It can be considered a driving force; a psychological drive that compels or reinforces an action toward a desired goal (includes STRENGTH and DIRECTION)


a consumer's desired end state; end state reduces tension and leads to homeostasis


the desire to satisfy a biological need in order to reduce physiological arousal

Drive Theory

focuses on biological and psychological needs that produce unpleasant states of arousal, we are motivated to reduce the tension. (a growling stomach says feed me!) Doesn't explain why some seek to increase tension.

See Reebok Terry Tate Office Linebacker improving employee motivation


the state of being where the body is in physiological balance; goal-oriented behaviour attempts to reduce or eliminate an unpleasant motivational state and return to a balanced one

Expectancy theory

the perspective that behaviour is largely "pulled" by expectations of achieving desirable outcomes, or positive incentives, rather than "pushed" from within

Nike Motivation Colin Kaepernick

Nike Motivation  



MOTIVATIONAL Strength and Direction




1. Approach- Approach Conflict: Person has two positive choices- example -go to special sporting event or go out with dream date. Both are good. If you could only choose one, which would you choose?

2. Approach- Avoidance Conflict: choice is both positive and negative--a fur coat luxurious and warm but it's fur, maybe you are against using animals this way.

The use of Social Media can be seen as an approach-avoidance conflict. Social media sites like facebook, snapchat, instagram, and twitter are free. But what is the real cost? If a product or service is free maybe you are what is being sold...your data, your information, your privacy, etc.

3. Avoidance- Avoidance Conflict: two negative alternatives- Example: put more money into used car that is a lemon or buy another used car

Cognitive Dissonance:

Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The "ideas" or "cognitions" in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one's behavior, and facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. (wikipedia)

People have need for order and consistency; tension must be reduced; consumer convinces self after purchase they made smart choice- we read material favourable to chosen product and ignore unfavorable information

Classifying Consumer Needs

1. Henry Murray's set of Needs:

Biogenic: food, water, air, sleep,sex, shelter

Psychogenic: dominance, superiority, emotional stability, achievement, compliance, order, autonomy, affiliation, analysis, dependence, self-depreciation, exhibition, assistance, change, endurance, aggression, dependence, play

Specific Needs and Buying Behaviour

Need for Achievement (products that say success)
Need for Affiliation (products that show need to be in company of others)
Need for Power (products that show control over environment)
Need for Uniqueness (products that assert individual identity)

Bud Light Motivation Skydivers

2. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

SELF ACTUALIZATION example:"Be all you can be" Army
(hobbies, education, travel, lottery winner)

Be All You can Be 1994 Army


prestige, status (cars, furniture, credit cards)

Rolls Royce and Grey Poupon

"You're in the Pepsi Generation" (clothing,cosmetics, clubs, drinks)

Michael Jackson Pepsi Generation

(Insurance, alarm system, investments) "You're in good hands" -Tire Company puts baby in Tire

Michelin Baby


water, sleep, food, medicine,needed items, generics)

Anacin commercial 60s

US Air Force Motivational Video

Consumer Involvement (We will be talking a lot about INVOLVEMENT throughout the course!)



a person's Involvement depends on the importance of an object based on inherent needs, values and interests; involvement is triggered by person factors, object factors or situational factors

examples of involvement- children- what things do kids love?- toys. games, candy; we could say these are high involvement items for kids

Levels of Involvement

simple processing-->>elaboration


process where purchase made because of habit; motivation lacking to consider other alternatives

Types of involvement


Cognitive-need to learn all about it; Affective- emotional

See the video on this link on How a great Sale Affects Your Brain

Involvement Profiles

    1. personal interest consumer has in product category; meaning/importance
    2. the perceive importance of the potential negative consequence of poor choice
    3. probability of bad purchase
    4. pleasure value of product category
    5. sign value of the product category (relation to self-concept)

Strategies to increase involvement

    1. appeal to senses-sensory appeal
    2. appeal to novel stimuli
    3. prominent stimuli
    4. celebrity
    5. build an ongoing relationship

What examples can you give that show each of the above?



an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct is personally or socially preferable to an opposite mode of conduct

Core Values

each culture has set of values shared to members; cultures values change over time

Value system

a culture's ranking of the relative importance of values


the process of learning beliefs and behaviours endorsed by one's native culture


process of learning beliefs and behaviours endorsed by another culture

To take an online Values and Lifestyles Survey click here; Business Intelligence: VALS Survey online (you must have cookies enabled on your computer to take the survey)

The survey intends to measure attitudes and interests and sorts people into the following categories: Innovators(Actualizers), Fulfilleds, Achievers, Experiencers, Believers, Strivers, Makers Survivors (Strugglers) . We will talk more about this when we cover Chapter 6.


To read an interesting article on the History of Motivational Research see Consuming Interest- Why people Buy Stuff

References as noted above and: Solomon, Michael R., Zaichkowsky, Judith and Rosemary Polegato. Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having, Being. Fifth Canadian Edition. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada



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