The household is the primary purchasing unit for most consumer goods. It is obviously important for the marketing manager to be fully aware of who is influencing the decision making within a household so that an effective information campaign can be constructed, positioned and directed appropriately. Another important variable for marketers is the household life cycle. Most consumers in Western cultures grow up in a household, then leave this original household and begin a new household. In other words, the institution called the ‘household’ has a fairly regular and predictable life cycle of its own. Marketers can look at each stage of this cycle and develop accurate aggregate pictures of the purchase needs and desires of individuals in each stage.