Consumer Psychology and Marketing Communications Article Analysis Andrew Nichols
May 5, 2014
Consumer Psychology and Marketing Communications Article Analysis
Consumer psychology is a specialty area that studies how our thoughts, beliefs, feelings and perceptions influence how people buy and relate to goods and services. One formal definition of the field describes it as "the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the methods they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society." (Hawkins, Motherbaugh, & Best, 2007). Consumer psychology is used for the development of successful marketing strategies. Marketing strategies are produced through many different types information pathways. More specifically, “Marketing communication helps to develop brand awareness, which means that consumers translate product information into perceptions about the product’s attributes and its place within the larger market.” (Greene, 2013).
A great example of how consumer psychology was implemented was in 1996 when the “Tickle me Elmo” doll came out. When Tyco Toys first initially came out with the doll, most of the business did not purchase the item. Many seemingly speculate that it was because, around the same time, many other forms of the same toy were coming out such as cabbage patch kids, easy bake ovens, and more. Tyco took all the Elmo dolls off the shelves, reported that more were coming in the Christmas months, the demand sky-rocked as well as the price. Seemingly, the market interpreted the “more coming” was a sign that all were sold out. This caused one of the most coveted toys of the 1990’s to take off. Some are still being sold for over $1500 when originally sold at $28.99. This shows that using the right market research, having the psychologists, and using the strategy of consumer psychology can help businesses become profitable. Others might say this tactic can be moral or unethical, others will say that is very smart. When it comes to consumers translating product information into perceptions about the product’s attributes, and its place within the larger market, they tend to oversee the overall picture. The “Elmo” doll was not originally going to be a big hit, therefore, consumers would have paid less for the toy. Since Tyco utilized the psychology aspect, consumers ended up paying much more for the same item. This is how consumer psychology can be beneficial for marketing communication strategies.
Through the understanding of what people are thinking, feeling, wanting, needing, and are reacting to, you can adjust how you want to affect or influence their decisions. As in the Elmo story, it was almost like reverse psychology in the sense that they made the consumers feel that the product was sold out, thus making them feel the need that they had to be like everyone else. When you stimulate the market through emotions, you are targeting the most powerful selling motivation. “Positive emotions are sometimes accompanied as well by higher levels of physiological arousal, expanded attention, increased optimism, enhanced recall, and a shift from self to other-centered orientations (for example becoming friendlier, caring about others), when compared, say, to sadness.” (Bagozzi, Gurhan-Canli, & Priester, 2002). As positive emotions can be used to influence marketing, so can negative ones. If you target their negative emotion towards things that your product can reduce or solve their problems, you can turn their negative energy into positive energy.
“The measurement of emotions could focus on a full set of signs or evidence, including evaluative appraisals, subjective feelings, body posture and gestures, facial expressions, physiological responses, action tendencies and overt actions.” (Bagozzi, Gurhan-Canli, & Priester, 2002). It is not only about...
References: Bagozzi, R. P., Gurhan-Canli, Z., & Priester, J. R. (2002). The Social Psychology of Consumer Behavior. Philadelphia, PA: Pearson.
Greene, F. 2013. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/marketing-communication- strategy-3442.html
Hawkins, D. I., Motherbaugh, D. L., & Best, R. J. (2007). Consumer Behavior. Vol. e, 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
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