Increasing disposable income, information explosion and changing lifestyles have put personal grooming high on the priority list for youngsters worldwide. The present paper discusses what motivates youngsters to purchase luxurious products. The paper takes a literature review approach where the major theories of buyer behavior are discussed in the context of youngsters buying decisions.
Consumer buying behavior refers to the buying behavior of the ultimate consumer. A firm needs to study the consumer buying behavior because the buyer's reactions to a firm's marketing strategy have a great impact on the firm's success. Consumer behavior is interdisciplinary in nature, since it is based on the concepts and theories about people that have been developed by scientists in such diverse disciplines as psychology, sociology, social psychology, cultural anthropology, and economics. According to Schiffman and Kanuk (2003), "the process of consumer decision-making can be viewed as three distinct but interlocking stages: the input stage, the process stage, and the output stage".
Brands are never cheap and treated as by-word of luxury for many, especially among youngsters. Many feel that brands are image creators and they enhance buyers' prestige and social status. This is one the belief that only the rich and upper-class can afford them as brands have become part of their lifestyle. The basic difference between a brand and a non-brand is a feeling of "trust" that consumers derive when they buy a product. A brand is generally a wholesome approach-it reveals the price, quality, origin, technology and so on. In a wholesome approach, consumers not only trust the brand but also associate lot of things with it like price, image, quality, origin, durability, etc.
It has been observed by researchers that the awareness of brands will also have effects on the decisions to purchase certain products within a group of youngsters (Keller, 1993; Hoyer and Brown, 1990). However, well-established brands are purchased using heuristic principle (decision rule) as remarked by Roselius (1971) and Jacoby et al (1977). It is not necessary always that customer spends a lot of time for purchasing in their day-to-day busy schedule. This has been proved in a research by Hoyer (1984). He observed that the average number of item examination (search) is made in a store was only 1.2 before the final decision is made, a study on pre-purchase of laundry powder. But, for items such as toothpastes, coffee etc, consumers take only 12 seconds on an average to take a decision after they have been searched for in the shelf Dickson and Sawyer (1986). It has also been researched that consumers apply 'buy the brand I have heard of' rule of thumb to purchase certain brands to minimize their cost of purchasing such as time, effort etc. This behavior is apparent in case of brands which are very popular and that needs less efforts to purchase the items (Hoyer and Brown 1990; and Mackay, 1990).
3.0 The role of changing life styles
Consumers often choose products, services and activities over others because they are associated with a certain lifestyle. For this reason, lifestyle marketing strategies attempt to position a product by fitting it into an existing pattern of consumption. The relationship of the product used by the consumers has been extensively studied in the past. According to