Consumer Behaviour: Factors That Drive Convergence and Divergence

Consumer Behaviour: Factors That Drive Convergence and Divergence


It’s no surprise that consumer behaviour has changed drastically in the past few years. From online shopping to digital marketing, there are so many factors driving consumer decisions. But what exactly is causing convergence and divergence in consumer behaviour? How can we use this knowledge to better focus our marketing efforts and get ahead of the competition? In this blog post, we’ll explore the various factors driving convergence and divergence in consumer behaviour. From personalisation to convenience, discover some of the key elements influencing purchasing decisions today and how you can leverage them for success.

Consumer Behaviour Theories

There are many different theories that try to explain consumer behaviour. Some of the most popular theories include Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, utility theory, and cognitive dissonance theory.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs posits that there are five main categories of human needs: physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. According to this theory, people are motivated to satisfy their needs in a hierarchical order. That is, they will first satisfy their most basic needs (physiological and safety), then move on to satisfying their higher-order needs (love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization).

Utility theory is another popular explanation for consumer behaviour. This theory argues that people make decisions by trying to maximise their utility (or satisfaction). That is, they will choose the option that provides them with the most satisfaction.

Cognitive dissonance theory posits that people have a natural tendency to seek consistency in their beliefs and behaviours. When they experience inconsistency (or “cognitive dissonance”), they will strive to reduce it by changing their beliefs or behaviours. This theory can help explain why people may be resistant to change even when it would be beneficial for them.

Factors That Drive Convergence

There are a variety of factors that can influence whether consumers will converge or diverge in their behaviour. Some of the key factors that can drive convergence include:

1. Social norms and peer pressure: Consumers often look to those around them for cues on how to behave. If everyone else is doing something, they may feel pressure to conform in order to fit in.


2. The availability of information: In today’s connected world, consumers have more access to information than ever before. This can lead them to seek out products and services that are similar to what others are using.


3. The need for convenience: Consumers often value convenience and simplicity over everything else. This can lead them to converging on products and services that are easy to use and require minimal effort.


On the other hand, there are also several factors that can drive divergence in consumer behaviour. These include:

4. Individual preferences: With such a wide range of products and services available, consumers can often find something that perfectly suits their individual needs and preferences. This leads them to diverge from the mainstream in their product choices.


5. Geographic location: Consumers in different parts of the world often have different needs and preferences due to local conditions. This can lead them to diverge from each other in terms of their product choices.


6. Personal circumstances: Everyone’s personal circumstances are unique, which can lead them to make different choices from others even if they share some common demographic characteristics.

Factors That Drive Divergence

There are many factors that can drive divergence in consumer behaviour, including geographical location, cultural background, and personal preferences.

1. Geographical location: Location can have a big impact on what types of products or services are available to consumers, as well as how much they cost. For example, certain items may only be available in certain countries or regions due to trade restrictions or limited production. This can lead to divergent behaviours among consumers in different locations.

2. Cultural background: This can also play a role in divergence. Certain cultures may place a higher value on certain products or services than others. For example, luxury goods may be more highly prized in some cultures than others. This can lead to different spending patterns and behaviours among consumers from different cultures.

3. Personal preferences: Some people may simply prefer certain products or brands over others for no particular reason. This can lead to different purchase decisions and behaviours even among people who share other characteristics like geographical location or cultural background.

Implications for Marketers

The ever-changing landscape of the marketing world requires marketers to be constantly on the lookout for new trends and behaviours in order to stay ahead of the curve. As such, it is important to understand the factors that drive consumer convergence and divergence in order to better anticipate changes in the market.

Convergence refers to the tendency of consumers to gravitate towards similar products and services. This can be driven by a number of factors, including a desire for convenience, a need for simplification, or a preference for familiar brands. On the other hand, divergence occurs when consumers move away from established norms in search of something different. This can be driven by a desire for novelty, a quest for customization, or a preference for niche brands.

In today’s market, both convergence and divergence are occurring simultaneously. Consumers are seeking both convenience and customization, simplicity and novelty. As such, marketers must be prepared to meet these conflicting demands. Those who can successfully navigate this landscape will be well-positioned to succeed in today’s ever-changing marketplace.


In conclusion, consumer behaviour is a complex and ever-changing phenomenon that is affected by a variety of factors. Understanding these factors can help companies and marketers make more informed decisions when it comes to targeting consumers. By understanding the motivations behind consumer behaviour, companies can create strategies to drive convergence or divergence in their target market, allowing them to maximise the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

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