Defining Consumer Behavior
What is Consumer Behavior?
How many times throughout the day do people make product decisions? If you stop to think about it, many product decisions are made every day, some without much thought. What should I wear? What should I eat? What am I going to do today? Many product decisions are answered routinely every day and they help move the economy of cities, countries and ultimately the world.
Product decisions also shape life for the consumer. How can simple decisions be so important? Why do marketers spend millions of dollars to uncover the reasons behind these decisions?
To define consumer behavior: it is the study of consumers and the processes they use to choose, use (consume), and dispose of products and services. A more in depth definition will also include how that process impacts the world. Consumer behavior incorporates ideas from several sciences including psychology, biology, chemistry and economics.
"All marketing decisions are based on assumptions and knowledge of consumer behavior," (Hawkins and Mothersbaugh, 2007). Researching consumer behavior is a complex process, but understanding consumer behavior is critical to marketers-they can use it to:
- Provide value and customer satisfaction.
- Effectively target customers.
- Enhance the value of the company.
- Improve products and services.
- Create a competitive advantage
- Understand how customers view their products versus their competitors' products.
- Expand the knowledge base in the field of marketing,
- Apply marketing strategies toward a positive affect on society (encourage people to support charities, promote healthy habits, reduce drug use etc.)