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Family Decision Making - Meaning, Importance & Example

Published by MBA Skool Team in Marketing and Strategy Terms Last Updated: August 15, 2023Read time:

What is Family Decision Making?

Family decision making is a concept in marketing & consumer behavior where an individual decides to buy a certain product or service after deciding it along with his or her family. Family decision making is a collective decision by the family, even if the individual is going to buy the product or service entirely with his/her own money.

Importance of Family Decision Making in marketing

Every individual has his/her own taste of buying and consumption. This pattern is largely inherited by the family or the people surrounding the individual. The buying behavior of the individual depends a lot on age, gender, location, income and willingness to spend. The family members which comprise of parents, siblings, grandparents and relatives play a very important role in deciding what to buy and what not to buy. The person generally discuss with the family members before buying any product which largely influence his/her decision. For a company it is very important to analyze if their product or service comes under the family decisioning. 

Home appliances, cars, computers are some of the categories where an individual might not be using the product but the entire family may be interacting with it hence becomes very important.

Individual members perform different roles in a family which ultimately leads to a unique buying tendency of the family as a whole. The roles are:

Information Gatherers

These are the individual who share information about the product of relevance among the family members. These people have great power as they can selectively transfer information which they favor and discard any information which are not liked by them, thus playing a crucial role in family decision making.


These people do not have the power to buy things but they have a great power to influence the decision. For Ex- Children in family can really influence the decision for which movie to watch in movie theatre.

Decision Maker

The decision maker has the power to decide whether to buy or not, what to buy, when to buy, where to buy, etc. These family members would discuss and listen to all the members but may have the final or an important say in the decision.

Most of the times, senior members of the family make these decisions.


The purchase is the one which actually purchase the items following the orders to decision maker. But it can also decide the product in case of unavailability of product or may/may not buy according to his/her will.

Family Decision Buying Example

A bachelor guy may freely spend money on gadgets or eating out but once he has a family, his buying pattern changes. He is more interested in buying mutual funds, insurance or house. If there is a child, more money is spent on toys, nutritious food and education. 

Also an example can be of a car. If there is a family, a person might want to buy a car after consulting with everyone and based on the needs like space required, features, mileage and other preferences within the group.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Family Decision Making along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team which comprises of MBA students, management professionals, and industry experts. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 1800 business concepts from 5 categories.

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