We all love to believe we are wonderfully rational buyers, carefully weighing up attributes such as price and quality against our needs, and then making an optimal decision, as though all products and services were commodities. The reality in our time-pressured age is we are 'satisficers' open to influence from a wide variety of sources, looking for solutions which meet most of our needs.
However, the nature of these influences is changing rapidly. Social media, for example, means we pay much more attention to the views of relative strangers, with whom we have only a fairly superficial relationship. Why ? Obviously this is a complex topic, but here's one idea - isn't it ironic that as the cost of doing research (information search) has come down dramatically, and we are faced with a plethora of choice - the importance of personal influence is increasing ? What influences your buyers ? It should be simple. Insight pays.