Consumer behavior is one of the most interesting and important aspects of marketing. Virtually all decisions involved in developing an effective marketing mix for a product or service rely on in-depth knowledge of the consumers who comprise the target market. Understanding the behavior of the consumer helps marketers anticipate reactions to changes in the marketing mix, or the adoption of new products. While many students feel like they already have good intuition about the psychology of consumers, it is clear that people do not always behave or think in the way we might guess. In fact, there are often differences between the beliefs consumers have about their own behavior and what they actually do in the marketplace. For instance, when asked, a consumer might say that Tide is the best buy, but this same consumer may actually purchase a different detergent. Indeed, consumer behavior tends to be significantly more complicated than our intuition might suggest. Given the same purchase situation, different consumers behave differently; the same consumer can make very different decisions on separate occasions. Only by systematically examining the attitudes, beliefs, motives, and decisions that comprise consumer behavior can we hope to have an accurate understanding of our target consumers. This information can then be used to help guide the kinds of decisions that marketing managers must make on a daily basis.
This course begins by looking at the consumer on an individual level, through an examination of the intrapsychic components of consumer behavior. This includes consumer perceptions, memory, motivation, attitudes, and decision-making. Later in the course, we will focus on interdependent aspects of consumer behavior. Here we will be examining the social and cultural contexts, including the influence of group members on decision-making and perception, and the nature and importance of cultural differences in consumer behavior around the world.
Consumer behavior is an exciting area. Every day, we are exposed to hundreds or thousands of marketing stimuli, which are designed to inform, persuade, and influence our purchase decisions. These stimuli are designed and constructed based upon the implicit theories that marketers have about how consumers behave. This course examines social science and consumer behavior research for concepts and principles that marketers can use to better understand customers and meet their needs. At the end of the course, students should be able to:
Understand consumers’ mental and physical processes of acquiring, consuming, and experiencing products
Understand the mechanisms of influence that are most likely to lead consumers to change their attitudes, their beliefs, and, most importantly their actions
Apply concepts, theories, models, and tools in developing consumer behavior driven marketing strategies.
Materials: Michael R. Solomon (2020), Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being, 13th Global Edition, Pearson Higher Education