Chapter - 1
Define consumer behaviour. Why to study consumer behaviour?
Marketing starts and ends with consumers. Consumers can be satisfied only when a marketer knows what consumers need.
Consumer behaviour studies how individuals, groups and organizations select, buy and dispose off goods, services, ideas to satisfy their needs and wants. Thus, the study of consumer behaviour plays an important role in designing the marketing programme.
Meaning of consumer behaviour
Why to Study Consumer Behaviour? Consumer behaviour can be defined as, “The decision-making process and physical activity involved in acquiring, evaluating, using and disposing of goods and services’. Studying consumer behavior will increase understanding of the psychological, sociological and economic factors that influence all human behaviour.
A number of reasons make the study of consumer behaviour relevant or marketing management. These are as follows:
1. Consumer preferences are changing and become highly diversified. 2. Consumer research has vividly pointed out that customers dislike using identical products and prefer differentiated products.
3. Meeting of special needs of customers’ requirement market segmentation. 4. Rapid introduction of new products with technological advancement had made the job of studying consumer behaviour more imperative.
5. Consumer behaviour can be used to sell products that might not sell easily. 6. Consumer analysis provides knowledge of overall human behaviour. 7. He study of consumer behaviour provides tree types of information: (a) A consumer orientation.
(b) Facts about human behaviour.
(c) Theories to guide the thinking process.
Thus, Consumer behaviour is the behaviour that consumers display in searching for purchasing, using, evaluating and disposing of products and services that they expect will satisfy their needs .
Explain research perspectives on Consumer Behaviour
The three research perspectives are:
(1) The decision-making perspective,
(2) The experiential perspective, and
(3) The behavioural influence perspective.
(1) The Decision-Making Perspective
Throughout the 1970s and into the early 1980s, researches viewed the consumer as a decision maker. From this perspective, buying results from consumers perceiving that they have a problem and then moving through a rational process to solve that problem. The decision-making perspective portrays consumers as taking a series of steps when making a purchase. These steps include problem recognition, search, alternative evaluation, choice, and postacq2uisition evaluation. The roots of this approach are in cognitive and experimental psychology and certain areas of economics. (2) The Experiential Perspective
The experiential perspective on consumer buying proposes that in some instances consumers do not make purchases according to a strictly rational decision-making process. Instead, they buy certain products and services in order to have fun, create fantasies or feel desired emotions. Advertisers frequently use emotional appeals to influence consumers. The roots of experiential perspective are in motivational psychology and in certain areas of sociology and anthropology. Researchers who take an experiential perspective frequently use interpretive research methods.
Interpretivists believe that researchers inevitably influence the data-collection effort, concentrate on understanding rather than predicting behaviour and think that reality is socially constructed. They frequently employ naturalistic research methods- that is, methods in which the investigator directly observes and records the activities of interest of even deliberately participate in those activities. (3) The Behavioral Influence Perspective
The Behavioural influence perspective assumes that strong environmental forces propel consumers to make purchases without necessarily first developing strong feelings or...