CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR THEORY
Chapter 1 provided an overview of the area of research for this study, by identifying, among others, the objectives of the study together with the importance attributed to the study.
This chapter will focus on the area of consumer behaviour by first considering a number of human behavioural models and the commonalities thereof with consumer behaviour, impacting the marketing field of study. Once the human behavioural models have been addressed, the chapter will focus on models of consumer behaviour.
Section 2.2 of this chapter will provide an overview of consumer behaviour, followed by models of human behaviour in Section 2.3. Section 2.4 will represent the main discussion of Chapter 2 by focusing on the definition, purpose and value of models of consumer behaviour. The chapter will be concluded with a short summary in Section 2.5.
It is important to note that this chapter will provide an overview of consumer behaviour theory and that an Internet perspective on consumer behaviour, and more specifically consumer decision-making, will be provided in Chapter 4. 2.2
AN OVERVIEW OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR
This section focuses on the consumer behaviour field of study and will explore the origin of a consumer focus in marketing. Since the term "consumer" will be used and quoted from all the sources consulted in this chapter, it is important to
first define the term "consumer". Walters (1974: 4) provides such a definition by stating that "A consumer is an individual who purchases, has the capacity to purchase, goods and services offered for sale by marketing institutions in order to satisfy personal or household needs, wants, or desires."
As will be noted from the definition above, referral is made to an individual. Therefore, one should first focus on human behaviour, since consumer behaviour, according to Walters (1974: 6), represents a subset of human behaviour (discussed in Section 2.3). Human behaviour, therefore, "... refers to the total process whereby the individual interacts with his environment" (Walters 1974: 6).
Human behaviour encompasses every thought, feeling or action by people. This implies that every thought, motive, sensation and decision that is made every day, is classified as human behaviour. Belch & Belch (1990: 91) provide a link between human behaviour and consumer behaviour, by stating that consumer behaviour has been defined as the study of human behaviour in a consumer role. Consumer behaviour, according to Walters (1974: 6), represents specific types of human actions, namely those concerned with the purchase of products and services from marketing organisations.
Having defined human behaviour and accepted that consumer behaviour is founded in human behaviour, the focus in Section 2.2.1 will be on consumer behaviour.
2.2.1 Defining consumer behaviour
Walters (1974: 7) defines consumer behaviour as: " ... the process whereby individuals decide whether, what, when, where, how, and from whom to purchase goods and services."
Mowen (1993: 6) provides a different definition by explaining consumer behaviour as: "... the study of the buying units and the exchange processes involved in acquiring, consuming, and disposing of goods, services, experiences, and ideas". This definition focuses on buying units in an attempt to include not only the individual but also groups that purchase products or services.
Schiffman & Kanuk (1997: 648) define consumer behaviour as: "The behavior that consumers display in searching for, purchasing, using, evaluating, and disposing of products, services, and ideas."
Schiffman & Kanuk (1997: 6-7)
elaborate on the definition by explaining that consumer behaviour is, therefore, the study of how individuals make decisions to spend their available resources (time, money, effort) on consumption-related items. It includes the study of...
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