An Introduction to Consumer Behaviour

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction..........................................................................................2 Defining Consumer Behaviour ...........................................................2 Consumer Decision Making Process...................................................3 Seven Keys to Consumer Behaviour ..................................................5 Market Segmentation...........................................................................8 Consumer Research..............................................................................9 Kotler's Five Key Theorists.................................................................10 Relationship Marketing.......................................................................11 References.............................................................................................13 Appendix

An Introduction to Consumer Behaviour
This introduction to consumer behaviour will provide the background information necessary for the study of consumer behaviour, with regard to its nature, definition, development, consumer decision making processes, research methods, market segmentation and relationship marketing. Through this it will explore the characteristics of consumer behaviour and the major concepts in the study of consumer behaviour. In an ever- changing environment, the study of consumer behaviour will adapt and change, however this paper aims to provide an overview that may be considered the timeless history in theories about consumer behaviour. Changing technologies means that new forms of consumer behaviour studies are undertaken, and as Schiffman & Kanuk state ‘…new ways of selling products and services became available to consumers during the past 15 years and are the result of digital technologies…and they exist today because they reflect an understand of consumer needs and consumer behaviour’. (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2008) This paper aims to expand on that point, and display examples of how consumer behaviour studies are undertaken in the 21st century. Defining Consumer Behavior

Consumer Behavior can be described as 'The behaviour that consumers display in searching for, purchasing, using, evaluating and disposing of products, services and ideas' (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2008) They go on to state that it is best described as 'what people buy, why they buy, when they buy, where they buy, how often they buy, how often they use it, how they evaluate it after purchase and how they dispose of it.' (Ibid) It includes the study of the decision making process that people go through when deciding whether to consider a product, service or idea. In addition, it involves the marketer, or the person behind the study of consumer behaviour, who may use these studies to encourage the sales of goods, services or ideas. Moneesha Pachauri, of Nottingham University Business School states in 'The Marketing Review, 2002' that 'simple observation provides limited insight into the complex nature of consumer choice and researchers have increasingly sought the more sophisticated concepts and methods of investigation provided by behavioral sciences in order to understand, predict, and possibly control consumer behaviour more effectively.' This statement can be married to the idea of the marketing concept, which often goes hand in hand with consumer behaviour. When considering consumer behaviour, one must acknowledge the two types of general consumer that exist. The personal consumer is buying for his/ her own uses. This may be extended into household use or gifts. Contrary to this, the Organisational Consumer consists of companies, charities, government agencies and institutions that but products in order to run their organisations. The style of consumer behaviour for each of these differs, but for the purpose of this paper, we will examine the personal consumer. The consumer goes through processes which allow the act of consumption to be evaluated from...
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