1. Anticonsumption: products and services are deliberately defaced or mutilated.
2. B2C Commerce: businesses selling to consumers.
3. Business Ethics: essentially rules of conduct that guide actions in the marketplace – the
standards against which most people in a marketplace judge what is right, wrong, good or
4. Brand Loyalty: a bond between bond and product and consumer that is very difficulty for
competitors to break.
5. Buyer Behaviour: reflection an emphasis on the interaction between consumers and
producers at the time of purchase.
6. C2C Commerce: consumer-to-consumer activity.
7. Compulsive Consumption: refers to repetitive shopping, often excessive, done as an
antidote to tension, anxiety, depression or boredom.
8. Consumer Addiction: a physiological or psychological dependency on products or
9. Consumer Behaviour:
10. Consumer-generated behaviour: where everyday people voice their opinions about
products, brands and companies on blogs, podcasts, and social networking sites such as
Facebook and MySpace, and even film their own commercials that thousands view on
sites like YouTube, is probably the biggest marketing phenomenon of this decade.
11. Consumption communities: members on online communities share views and product
recommendations about anything from airline loyalty programs to iPhones. Bonds among
peer groups are cemented by the products they have in common.
12. Culture Jamming: aims to disrupt efforts by the corporate world to dominate our cultural
landscape. By biting ads and commercials that lampoon advertising messages, are part
and parcel of a strategy.
13. Database Marketing: involves tracking consumers’ buying habits very closely and
crafting products and messages tailored precisely to people’s wants and needs based on
14. Demographics: statistics that measure observable aspects in categories of populations.
Examples could be age, race, sex, income or occupation.
15. Exchange: two or more organizations or people give and receive something of value, is
an integral part of marketing.
16. Green Marketing: firms which choose to protect or enhance the natural environment as
they go about their business activities.
17. Interpretivism: (postmodernism) emerging paradigm, questions these assumptions.
Proponents of this perspective argue that there is too much emphasis on science and
technology in our society and that is ordered, rational view of consumers denies the
complex social and cultural world in which we live.
18. Marketing Segmentation: identifies groups of consumers who are similar to one another
in one or more ways and then devises marketing strategies that appeal to one or more
19. Paradigm: research is in terms of the fundamental assumptions the researchers make
about what they are studying and how to study it.
20. Popular Culture: consisting of the music, movies, sports, books, celebrities and other
forms of entertainment consumed by the mass market, is both a product of and an
inspiration of marketers. Marketing 3230
21. Psychographics: your interests, aspects of your personal lifestyle and personality.
22. Positivism: the basic set of assumptions underlying the dominant paradigm at this point.
23. Relationship Marketing: making an effort to interact with customers on a regular basis,
giving them reasons to maintain a bond with the company over time.
24. RFID Tag: plastic tag containing a computer chip and tiny antenna that lets the chip
communicate with a network.
25. Role Theory: takes the view that much of consumer behaviour resembles actions in play.
Example: because people act out many different roles sometimes they alter their
consumption decisions depending on the particular “play” they are in at the time.
26. Subcultures: small groups within a culture, such as French Canadians, teens or even
27. Shrinkage: is the industry term for inventory and cash losses from shoplifting and
28. Social Marketing: using marketing techniques normally employed to sell beer or
detergent to encourage positive behaviors such as increased literacy or to discourage
negative activities such as drunk driving.
29. U-commerce: is the use of ubiquitous networks that will slowly but surely become a part
of us, whether in the form of wearable computers or customized advertisements beamed
to us on our cell phones.
30. Web 2.0: the rebirth of the internet as an interactive medium from its original roots as a
one way transmission from producers to consumers.
Consumer Behaviour is a process.
Consumer behaviour is the study of processes involved when individuals or groups
select, purchase and use or dispose of products, services, ideas or experiences to satisfy
needs and desires.
A consumer may purchase, use and dispose of a product, but these functions may also be
performed by different people.
Marketers need to understand the wants and needs of different consumer segments.
Market segmentation is an important aspect of consumer behaviour.
Consumers can be segmented along many dimensions, including product usage,
demographics and psychographics.
Emerging developments, such as the new emphasis on relationship marketing and the
practice of database marketing, mean that marketers are much more attuned to the wants
and needs of different consumer groups.
This is especially important as people are empowered to construct their own consumer
space – accessing product information where and when they want it and initiating contact
with companies on the internet instead of passively receiving marketing communications.
Consumers may be thought of as role players who need different products to help them
play their various parts.
Consumer behaviour is related to other issues in our lives.
Marketing activities exert an enormous impact on individuals.
Consumer behaviour is relevant to our understanding of both public policy issues and the
dynamics of popular culture.
The web is transforming the way consumers interact with companies and with each other.
Online commerce allows us to locate obscure products from around the world, and
consumption communities provide forums for people to share opinions and product
The benefits are accompanied by potential problems, including the loss of privacy and the
deterioration of traditional social interactions as people spend more time online. Marketing 3230
A wide range of specialists study consumer behaviour from many different perspectives.
The field of consumer behaviour is interdisciplinary; it comprises researchers from many
different fields who share an interest in how people interact with the marketplace.
These disciplines can be categorized by the degree to which their focus is micro versus
There are many perspectives on consumer behaviour, but research orientations can be
divided roughly into two approaches.
The positivist perspective, which currently dominates the field, emphasizes the
objectivity of science and the consumer as a rational decision maker.
The interpretivist perspective, in contrast, stresses the subjective meaning of the
consumer’s individual experience and the idea that an behaviour is subject to multiple
interpretations rather than having a single explanation.
As a consumer, you can be described and compared with other individuals in a number of ways.
Example categories: age, sex, income or occupation.
Knowledge of consumer characteristics plays an extremely important role in many marketing
applications, such as defining the market for a product or deciding upon the appropriate
techniques to employ when targeting a certain group of consumers.
Purchase decisions are heavily influenced by the opinion and behaviour of others.
As members of a large society, people share certain cultural values or strongly held beliefs about
the way the world should be structured.
When examining websites, you are exposed to many competing brands.
Brands often have clearly defined images or “personalities” created by product advertising,
packaging, branding and other marketing strategies that focus on positioning a product in certain
When a product succeeds in satisfying a consumer’s specific needs and desires, it may be
rewarded with many years of brand loyalty.
Consumers’ evaluations of products are affected by the products’ appearance, taste, texture or
Our opinions and desires are increasingly shaped by input from around the world, which is
becoming a much smaller place because of rapid advancements in communications technology
and transportation systems.
Consumer behaviour is the study of processes involved when individuals or groups select,
purchase, use or dispose of products, services, ideas or experiences to satisfy needs and desires.
In early stages of development, the field of consumer behaviour is referred to as buyer behaviour.
Although exchange is an important part of consumer behaviour, the expanded view emphasizes
the entire consumption process, which includes the issues that influence the consumer before,
during and after a purchase.
A consumer is generally thought of as a person who identifies a need or desire, makes a purchase
and then disposes of the product during the three stages in the consumption process.
Consumers may be organizations or groups in which one person may make the decisions involved
in purchasing products that will be used by many, as when a purchasing agent orders a company’s
office supplies. Marketing 3230
Why should managers, advertisers and other marketing professionals bother to learn about
Understanding consumer behaviour is good business.
Consumer response is the ultimate test of whether or not a marketing strategy will succeed.
Building loyalty to a brand is a very smart marketing strategy, so sometimes companies define
market segments by identifying their most faithful customers or heavy users.
Consumers of different age groups obviously have very different needs and wants. Although
people who belong to the same age group differ in many other ways, they tend to share a set of
values and common cultural experiences that they carry throughout life.
Many products are targeted at either men or woman. Differentiating by gender starts at a very
A person’s family and marital status is another important demographic variable because it has
such a big effect on a consumers spending priorities.
People who are grouped within the same social class are approximately equal in terms of their
income and social standing in the community.
Multiculturalism and Canada go hand in hand. We are diverse in languages and in the cultural
consumption that stems from our different ethnicities.
The climate changes drastically from region to region in Canada, which makes segmenting some
products by region obvious.
Within regions, there are some different cultural pockets and hence differences in food tastes.
Consumers also have very different lifestyles, even if they share other characteristics such as
gender or age. The way we feel about ourselves, the things we value, the things we like to do in
our spare time – all of these factors help determine which products will push our buttons; or even
those that will make us feel better.
Marketers are carefully defining customer segments and listening to people in their markets as
Many of them have realized that a key to success is building relationships that will last a lifetime
between brands and customers.
We are surrounded by marketing stimuli in the form of advertisements, stores and products
competing for our attention and our dollars.
Marketers filter much of what we learn about the world, whether through the affluence depicted
in glamorous magazine advertising or via the roles played by family members in commercials.
This cultural influence is hard to overlook, although many people do not seem to realize how
much their views of the world around them influence how we view social issues.
One of the fundamental premises of the modern field of consumer behaviour is that people often
buy products not for what they do but for what they mean.
Our allegiances to particular sneakers, musicians or soft drinks help us define our place in modern
society and these choices also help us form bonds with others who share similar preferences.
Following some of the types of relationships consumers can have with a product:
Self concept attachment: the product helps establish the users identity.
Nostalgic attachment: the product serves as a link with a past self.
Interdependance: the product is a part of the user’s daily routine. Marketing 3230
Love: the product elicits emotional bonds of warmth, passion or other strong emotions.
The majority of people on earth live in urban centers. Megacities (10 million people or more) is
projected to grow to 26 by 2015.
We owe much of this interconnectedness to exciting new developments in technology that allows
us to link with companies – and with each other – regardless of our physical location.
RFID tags help let grocery stores know when items needs to be restocked and which items are
past their expiration dates.
The popularity of chat rooms where consumers can discuss various topics with like-minded
netizens around the world grows every day.
Marketers and consumers coexist in a complicated, two-way relationship.
To what degree is the world of popular culture – and even consumers’ perceptions of reality –
shaped by the efforts of marketers?
In business, conflicts arise between the goal of succeeding in the marketplace and the desire to
conduct business honestly and to maximize the well-being of consumers by providing them with
safe and effective products and services.
Ethical business is good business. Consumer think better of products made by firms they feel are
Notions of right and wrong do differ among people, organizations and cultures.
These cultural differences certainly influence whether business practices such as bribery are
AMA Code of Ethics
1. Disclosure of all substantial risks associated with the product or service.
2. Identification of added features that will increase the cost.
3. Avoidance of false of misleading advertising.
4. Rejection of high-pressure or misleading sales tactics.
5. Prohibition of selling or fundraising under the guise of conduction market research.
Whether intentionally or not, some marketers do violate their bond of trust with consumers.
Unethical behaviour by big corporations is not always easily identified.
Industry is increasingly coming to realize that ethical behaviour is good business in the long run,
since consumer trust and satisfaction translates into years of loyalty.
Sometimes consumers’ buying behaviour is not consistent with their positive attitudes about
One of the most common and stinging criticisms of marketing is that marketing techniques are
responsible for convincing consumers that they “need” many material things and that they will be
unhappy and somehow inferior people if they do not have these “necessities”.
Marketer space: the time where companies called the shots and decided what they wanted
consumers to know and are gone.
Some believe that advertising contributes to the moral breakdown of society by presenting images
of hedonistic pleasure, thus encouraging the pursuit of secular humanism.
Some leftists argue that the same deceitful promised of material pleasure function to buy off
people who would otherwise be revolutionaries working to change the system. Marketing 3230
Through advertising, the system creates demand that only it products can satisfy.
A need is a basic biological motive, while a want represents one way society has taught us to
satisfy that need.
Goods are arbitrarily linked to desirable social attributes.
Influential critic even argues that the problem is that we are not materialistic enough; that is, we
do not sufficiently value goods for the utilitarian functions they deliver but instead focus on the
irrational value of goods for what they symbolize.
Products are designed to meet existing needs, and advertising merely helps to communicate the
According to the economics of information perspective, advertising is an important source of
Consumers are led to believe through advertising that products have magical properties; that is,
products will do special and mysterious things for them that will transform their lives.
Advertisers simply do not know enough about people to manipulate them.
The failure rate of new products range from 40 to 80 percent.
Many laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels protect the welfare of the consumer,
regulations put forth by these governmental agencies sometimes overlap and are constantly
The main thrust of regulations is to protect the consumer from unfair business practices and to
protect the broad interests of society.
The field of consumer behaviour can play an important role in improving our lives as consumers.
Many researchers assist in formulating or evaluating public policies such as those that ensure that
products are labeled accurately, that people can understand important information presented in
advertising or that children are not exploited by program-length toy commercials masquerading
as TV shows.
A large degree consumers depend on their governments to regulate and police safety and
Protecting consumer is problematic this century as most manufacturing has moved offshore.
Adbusters is a not-for-profit organization that advocates for “the new social activist movement of
the information age.” Adbusters sponsors numerous initiatives, including Buy Nothing Day and
TV Turnoff Week, intended to discourage rampant commercialism.
Some firms have focused on their efforts on reducing wasteful packaging.
Despite the best efforts of researchers, government regulators and concerned industry people,
consumers’ worst enemies are sometimes themselves.
Individuals are often depicted as rational decision makers, calmly doing their best to obtain
products and services that will maximize the health and well-being of themselves, their families
Consumer activities stem from social pressure, such as excessive drinking, smoking and the
cultural value places upon money can encourage such activities as shoplifting or insurance fraud.
Exposure to unattainable media ideals of beauty and success can create dissatisfaction with the
self. Marketing 3230
Compulsive consumption is distinctly different from impulse buying. And impulse to buy a
specific item is temporary and it centers on a specific product at a particular moment. Compulsive
buying is an enduring behaviour that centers on the process of buying, not the purchases of
In some cases it is safe to say that the consumer has little or no control over consumption.
Much negative or destructive consumer behaviour can be characterized because of 3 common
1. The behaviour is not done by choice.
2. The gratification derived from the behaviour is short-lived.
3. The person experiences strong feelings of regret or guilt afterwards.
Gambling is an example of a consumption addiction that touches every segment of consumer
A large done of shoplifting is not done by professional thieves or by people who genuinely need
the stolen items. 3/4 of those caught are middle or high-income people who shoplift for the thrill
of it or as a substitute for affection.
Another growing form of fraud is the abuse of exchange and return policies.
Anticonsumption can range from product tampering, where innocent consumers are hurt or killed,
to graffiti on buildings and subways.
Consumer researchers can be found just about anywhere we find consumers.
Consumer researchers work for manufacturers, retailers, marketing research firms, governments
and not-for-profit organizations and colleges and universities.
Many different perspectives are influencing consumer behaviour; indeed, it is hard to think of a
field that is more interdisciplinary.
Many people regard the field of consumer behaviour as an applied social science.
The value of the knowledge generated should be evaluated in terms of its ability to improve the
effectiveness of marketing practice.
One general way to classify consumer research is in terms of the fundamental assumptions the
researchers make about what they are studying and how to study it.
Interpretivist’s stress the importance of symbolic, subjective experiences and the idea that
meaning is in the mind of the person – that is, individuals construct their own meaning based on
their unique and shared cultural experiences, so that there is no single right or wrong answers. Marketing 3230
1. Acculturation: learning the value system and behaviors of another culture.
2. Carbon Footprint: the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the
amount of greenhouse gases they produce; measured in units of carbon dioxide.
3. Conscientious Consumerism: a new value that combines focus on personal health with a
concern for global health.
4. Cult Products: command fierce consumer loyalty, devotion and maybe even worship by
consumers who are very highly involved with a brand.
5. Drive: the degree of arousal.
6. Enculturation: learning the beliefs and behaviors endorsed by your culture.
7. Expectancy Theory: suggests that behaviour is largely pulled by the expectations of
achieving desirable outcomes (positive incentives) rather than pushed from within.
8. Flow State: when consumers are truly involved with a product, ad or a website they go
9. Goal: the consumer’s desired end state.
10. Green washing: consumer backlash against a company’s environmental claims.
11. Homeostasis: goal oriented behaviour that attempts to reduce or eliminate this unpleasant
state and return it to a balanced one.
12. Inertia: consumption at the low end of involvement.
13. Instrumental Values: those goals that are endorsed because they are needed to achieve
desired end states or terminal values.
14. Interactive mobile marketing: real-time promotional campaigns targeted to consumers’
15. Involvement: a persons perceived relevance of the object based on their inherent needs,
values and interests.
16. Laddering: a technique for uncovering consumers’ associations between specific
attributes and general consequences.
17. LOHAS: an acronym for “lifestyles of health and sustainability”; a consumer segment
that worries about the environment, wants products to be produced in a sustainable way,
and spends money to advance what they see as their personal development and potential.
18. Marketing performances: staged events where advertisers promote a brand.
19. Mass customization: the ability of the customer to purchase goods that are made to their
20. Materialism: the importance consumers attach to worldly possessions.
21. Motivation: refers to the processes that cause people to behave as they do.
22. Terminal Values: end states desired by members of a culture.
23. Theory of cognitive dissonance: based on the premise that people have a need for order
and consistency in their lives and that a state of tension is created when beliefs or
behaviour conflict with one another.
24. Value: an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct is personally or socially
preferable to an opposite mode of conduct.
25. Value System: a culture’s ranking of the relative importance of values.
26. Voluntary simplifiers: people who reduce their consumption because of a belief that once
basic material needs are satisfied additional possessions do not add to happiness.
27. Want: a word for a consumption used to satisfy a want.
Its important for marketers to recognize that products can satisfy a range of consumer
needs. Marketing 3230
Marketers try to satisfy consumer needs, but the reasons any product is purchased can
The identification of consumer motives is an important step in ensuring that the
appropriate needs will be met by the product.
Traditional approaches to consumer behaviour have focused on the abilities of products
to satisfy rational needs but, hedonic motives also play a role in many purchase decisions.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
The same product can satisfy different needs depending on the consumer’s state at the
The consumer’s degree of involvement with the product must also be considered.
The way we evaluate and choose a product depends on our degree of involvement with
the product, the marketing message, and/or the purchasing situation.
Product involvement can range from very low, where purchase decisions are made via
inertia, to very high, where consumers form very strong bonds with what they buy.
In addition to considering the degree to which consumers are involved with a product,
marketing strategists also need to assess the extent of involvement with marketing
messages and the purchase situation.
Our deeply held cultural values dictate the types of products and services we seek or
Consumer motivations are often driven by underlying values.
Products take on meaning because they are seen as being instrumental in helping the
person to achieve some goal that is linked to a value such as individuality of freedom.
Each culture is characterized by a set of core values to which many of its members
Consumers vary in the importance they attach to worldly possessions and this orientation
in turn has an impact on their priorities and behaviors.
Materialism refers to the importance people attach to worldly possessions.
Motivation occurs when a need is aroused that the consumer wishes to satisfy. Once a need has
been activated, a state of tension exists that drives the consumer to attempt to reduce or eliminate
The need may be utilitarian (practical benefit) or hedonic (and experimental need). Regardless the
desired end state is someone’s goal.
Marketers try to create products and services that will provide the desired benefits and permit the
consumer to reduce this tension.
Whether the need is utilitarian or hedonic, a discrepancy exists between the consumer’s present
state and some ideal state. This creates the tension.
The magnitude of tension determines the urgency of the consumers feels to reduce the tension.
The personal and cultural factors combine to create a want, which is one manifestation of a need.
Once the goal is attained the tension is reduces and the motivation recedes. Motivation can be
described in terms of strength or the pull it exerts on the consumer, its direction or the particular
way the consumer attempts to reduce motivational tension.
The degree to which a person is willing to expend energy to reach one goal as opposed to another
reflects his or her underlying motivation to attain that goal.
Behaviour to instinct, the innate patterns of behaviour that is universal in a species. This is largely
discredited. Marketing 3230
Drive theory focuses on biological needs that produce unpleasant states of arousal. We are
motivated to reduce the tension caused by this arousal.
In marketing tension refers to the unpleasant state that exists if a person’s consumption needs are
not fulfilled. People may be grumpy if they haven’t eaten or dejected or angry if they cannot
afford a new car. This state activated goal oriented behaviour that attempts to reduce or eliminate
this unpleasant state.
Those behaviors that are successful in reducing the drive by eliminating the underlying need are
strengthened and tend to be repeated.
Drive theory runs into difficulties when it tries to explain some facets of human behaviour that
run counter to its predictions. People often do things that increase a drive state rather than
Most current explanations of motivation focus on cognitive factors rather than biological ones to
understand what drives behaviour.
Expectancy theory suggests that behaviour is largely pulled by expectations of achieving
desirable outcomes – positive incentives – rather than pushed from within.
Motives have direction as well as strength. They are goal oriented in that specific objectives are
desired to satisfy a need. Most goals can be reached by a number of routes, and the objective of
marketers is to convince consumers that the alternative they offer provides the best chance to
attain the goal.
The specific way a need is satisfied depends on the individual’s unique history and learning
experiences and his or her cultural environment. This form of consumption is termed a want.
People are born with a need for certain elements necessary to maintain life. These are called
biogenic needs. People have many other needs which are not innate, these are called psychogenic
Psychogenic needs reflect the priorities of a culture and their effect on behaviour will vary in
different environments. These differences in cultural values will be discussed later in this chapter.
A goal has valence, which means that it can be positive or negative. A positively valued goal is
one toward which consumers direct their behaviour, they are motivated to approach the goal and
will seek out products that will be instrumental in attaining it.
In an approach-approach conflict, a person must choose between two desirable alternatives.
The theory of cognitive dissonance is based on the premise that people have a need for order and
consistency in their lives and that a state of tension is created when beliefs or behaviors conflict
with one another. The conflict that arises choosing between two alternatives may be resolved
through a process of cognitive dissonance reduction in which people are motivated to reduce this
inconsistency and thus eliminate unpleasant tension.
Approach-avoidance conflict, many of the products and services we desire have negative
consequences attached to them as well. We may feel guilty or ostentatious when buying certain
Avoidance-avoidance conflict, sometimes consumers find themselves caught in a tough place,
meaning they find themselves facing a choice between two undesirable alternatives.
Much research has been done on classifying human needs. Psychologists have tried to define a
universal inventory of needs that could be traced systematically to explain virtually all
behaviours. Marketing 3230
Murray’s need structure serves as the basis for a number of widely used personality tests, such as
the Thematic Apperception Test and the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule.
TAT test subjects are shown four to six ambiguous pictures and asked to write answers to four
direction questions about the pictures.
The theory behind the test is that people will feely project their own subconscious needs onto the
ambiguous picture. By getting their responses to the picture, you are really getting at the person’s
true needs for achievement or affiliation or whatever other needs may dominate.
Other motivational approaches have focuses on specific needs and their ramification for
Need for affiliation, this need is relevant to products and services that alleviate loneliness and that
are consumed among groups of people at places such as athletic venues, bars and shopping malls.
Need for power. Many products and services ranging from souped-up muscles cars to hotels,
restaurants to resorts, promise to responds to the customers every whim, allowing customers to
feel that they have mastery over their surroundings.
Need for uniqueness, this need is satisfied by products that pledge to accentuate a consumer’s
The psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed one influential approach to motivation.
A consumers motivations to attain a goal influences his or her desire to expend the effort
necessary to attain the products or services believe to be instrumental in satisfying that objective.
Not everyone is motivated to the same extent; that is, one person might be convinced that he or
she can’t live without the latest style or modern convenience, while another is only marginally
interested in these items.
The word object is a generic sense and refers to a product, an advertisement or a purchase
Consumers find involvement in all these “objects”. Since involvement is a motivational construct,
one or more different antecedents can trigger it. The antecedents can be something about the
person, something about the object or something about the situation.
Involvement can be viewed as the motivation to process information. To the degree that there is a
perceived link between a consumer’s needs, goals or values and product knowledge, the
consumer will be motivated to pay attention to product information.
Simple processing, in which only the basic features of a message are considered, all the way to
elaboration, in which the incoming information is linked to pre-existing knowledge systems.
A person’s degree of involvement can be conceived as a continuum, ranging from absolute lack
of interest in a marketing stimulus at one end to obsession at the other. Consumption at the low
end is called inertia, where decisions are made out of habit because the consumer lacks the
motivation to consider alternatives. At the high end of involvement we can expect to find the type
of passionate intensity reserved for people and objects that carry great meaning to the individual.
Flow state is the holy grail of web designers who want to create sites that are so entrancing the
surfer loses all track of time as he or she becomes engrossed in the site’s content.
Cult products command fierce consumer loyalty, devotion and maybe even worship by
consumers who are very highly involved with a brand. These items can take many forms, from
Apple computers and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Marketing 3230
Product involvement is related to a consumer’s level of interest in a particular product. Many
sales promotions are designed to increase this type of involvement.
Mass customization is the customization and personalization of products and services for
individual customers at a mass production price.
This strategy applies to a wide range of products and services, from newspaper websites that
allow readers to choose which sections of the paper they want to see, to Dell computers which
you can configure, to Levi’s blue jeans you can buy that have a right leg that’s one inch shorter
than the left leg to fit an asymmetrical body.
Television is considered a low-involvement medium because it requires a passive viewer who
exerts relatively little control over content.
A variety of marketers are experimenting with novel ways to increase consumers’ involvement
with different message formats.
Another tactic is to create spectacles or performances, where the message is itself a form of
Marketing performances turn public places into advertising stages when they stage events to
promote a brand.
The quest to heighten message involvement is also fuelling the rapid growth of interactive mobile
marketing, where consumers participate in real-time promotional campaigns via their cell phones,
usually by text messaging entries to on-air TV contests.
Purchase situation involvement refers to differences that may occur when buying the same object
for different contexts. Here the people may perceive a great deal of social risk or none at all.
What people think when they consume the product for themselves, or when they know others will
consume the product they buy, is not always obvious or intuitive.
The measurement of involvement is important for many marketing applications.
A pair of French researchers devised a scale to measure the antecedents of product involvement.
Recognizing that consumers can be involved with a product because it is a risky purchase or
because its use reflects upon or affects the self, they advocate the development of an involvement
profile containing five components:
1. The personal interest a consumer has in a product category.
2. The perceived importance of the potential negative consequences associated with a poor
choice of the product.
3. Probability of making a bad purchase.
4. Pleasure value of the product category.
5. Sign value of the product category.
These researchers asked a sample of women to rate a set of 14 product categories on the above
facets of involvement. The results indicate that no single component captures consumer
A measurement approach that segments involvement by levels allows consumer researchers to
capture the diversity of the involvement construct, and it also allows for involvement to be used
as a basis for market segmentation.
Although consumers differ in their levels of involvement with respect to a product message,
marketers do not have to just sit back and hope for the best. By being aware of some basic factors
that increase or decrease attention, they can take steps to increase the likelihood that product
information will get through. Marketing 3230
Techniques for appealing to consumer:
1. Appeal to consumers’ hedonic needs.
2. Use novel stimuli, such as unusual cinematography, sudden silences or unexpected
movements in commercials.
3. Use prominent stimuli, such as loud music or fast action to capture attention in
commercials. In print formats, larger ads to increase attention, and use color instead of
black and white.
4. Include celebrity endorsers to generate higher interest in commercials.
5. Build a bond with consumers by maintaining an ongoing relationship with them.
Aside from these guidelines, perhaps the best way to boost consumers involvement with the
marketing messages they see and hear is to let them make to messages.
Consumer generated content where freelancers and fans film their own commercials for their
favorite product is one of the hottest trends in marketing right now.
Values are beliefs that some condition is preferable to its opposite. Many people avidly pursue
products and services that will make them look young, believing this is preferable to looking old.
Two people can believe in the same behaviors but their underlying belief systems may be quite
different. The extent to which the people share a belief system is a function of individual, cultural
and social forces. Advocates of a given belief system often seek out others with similar beliefs, so
that social networks overlap and as a result, believers tend to be exposed to information that
supports their beliefs.
Every culture has a set of values that it imparts to its members. People in one culture may feel
that being a unique individual is preferable to subordinating one’s identity to the group, while
another may emphasize the virtues of group membership.
These differences in values often explain why marketing efforts that are a big hit in one country
flop in another.
Some values are universal. Such as health, wisdom, or world peace. This categorizes as a
culture’s value system.
Every culture is characterized by its members’ endorsement of a value system. Everyone may not
equally endorse these end states and sometimes they may even seem to contradict each other.
The process of learning beliefs and behaviors in your own culture is enculturation.
In contrast, the process of learning the value systems and behaviors of another culture is called
Core values such as equality, youthfulness, achievement, and materialism have been claimed to
characterize most western cultures, but even these basic beliefs are subject to change.
Despite their importance, values have not been widely applied to direct examinations of consumer
behaviour. One reason is such broad-based concepts as freedom, security or inner harmony are
more likely to affect general purchasing patterns than to differentiate among brands within a
Hofstede’s cultural dimensions:
1. Power distance: the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and
institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.
2. Individualism: the degree to which individuals are integrated into groups.
3. Masculinity: the distribution of roles between genders.
4. Uncertainty avoidance: a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambigiouity. Marketing 3230
5. Long term orientation: values associated with short-term orientation are respect for
tradition, fulfilling social obligations and protecting one’s “face”.
Rokeach Value Survey was designed to measure terminal values, which is comprised of
instrumental values, which are actions, needed to achieve terminal values.
There are a great amount of differences in the importance of these values to different cultures.
List of Values Scale was developed to isolate values with more direct-marketing applications.
This instrument identifies nine consumer segments based on the values they endorse and relates
each to differences in consumption behaviors.
Another research approach that incorporates values is called a means-end chain model. This
approach assumes that very specific product attributes are linked at levels of increasing
abstraction to terminal values. The individual has valued end states, and he or she chooses among
alternative means to attain these goals. Products are thus valued as the means to an end. This is
through a technique called laddering consumers’ association between specific attributes and
general consequences are uncovered.
This information is used to develop an advertising strategy by identifying elements such as:
1. Message elements: the specific attributes or product features to be depicted.
2. Consumer benefits: the positive consequences of using the product or services.
3. Exceptional framework: the overall style and tone of the advertisement.
4. Leverage point: the way the message will activate the terminal value by linking it with
specific product features.
5. Driving force: the end value upon which the advertising will focus.
A number of companies track changed in values through syndicated, large-scale surveys. The
results of these studies are then sold to marketers, who pay a fee to receive regular updates on
changes and trends. This approach originated in the mid-1960s.
Many other syndicated surveys also track changes in values to allow advertising agencies to stay
on top of important cultural trends and to help them to shape the messages they craft on behalf of
Conscientious consumerism is when consumer’s focus on personal health and buying green.
A carbon footprint measure in units of carbon dioxide, the impact human activities have on the
environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produce.
1. The primary footprint is a measure of our direct emissions of CO2 from the burning of
fossil fuels, including domestic energy consumption and transportation.
2. The secondary footprint is a measure of the indirect CO2 emissions from the whole life
cycle of products we use, from their manufacture to their eventual breakdown.
Materialism is the importance people attach to products and services. Marketing 3230
1. Actual Self: a person’s realistic appraisal of his or her qualities.
2. Agentic goals: goals that favour the advancement of the individual.
3. Androgyny: possession of both masculine and feminine trits.
4. Avatar: a cyberspace presence represented by a character whose movements you control
from inside a visual, graphical world
5. Body cathexis: a person’s feelings about aspects of his or her body.
6. Body image: a consumer’s subjective evaluation of his or her physical self.
7. Communal goals: goals that favour the well-being of a group or community as a whole.
8. Computer-mediated environment: an online environment where people play games or
role-play in these simulated worlds.
9. Contemporary Young Mainstream Female Achievers: a term used to describe the
different roles women play in different contexts.
10. Extended self: the definition of self created by the external objects with which a person
surrounds him or herself.
11. Gender-bending products: a traditionally sex-typed item adapted to the opposite gender.
12. Group dieting: online communities devoted to excessive weight loss.
13. Ideal of beauty: a model, or exemplar of appearance valued by a culture.
14. Ideal self: a person’s conception of how he or she would like to be.
15. Impression management: our efforts to “manage” what others think of us by
strategically choosing clothing and other cues that will put us in a good light.
16. Looking-glass self: the process of imagining the reaction of others toward ourselves.
17. Metrosexual: an urban male who has strong aesthetic sense and spends a great deal of
time and money on his appearance and lifestyle.
18. Self-concept: the attitude a person holds toward him or herself.
19. Self-image congruence models: the approaches based on the prediction that products
will be chosen when their attributes match some aspect of the self.
20. Sex-typed traits: characteristics that are stereotypically associated with one gender or the
21. Symbolic interactionism: a sociological approach stressing that relationships with other
people play a large part of forming the self.
22. Symbolic self-completion theory: the perspective that people who have an incomplete
self-definition in some context will compensate by acquiring symbols associated with a
desired social identity.
23. Ubersexual: a make who is similar to a metrosexual but who also has traditional
24. Virtual identities: the appearance and personality a person takes on as an avatar in a
computer-mediated environment such a second life.
The self-concept is strongly related to consumer behaviour.
Consumers’ self-concepts are reflections of their attitudes are positive or negative, they
will help to guide many purchase decisions; products can be used to bolster self-esteem
or to “reward” the self.
Products often play a pivotal role in defining the self-concept.
Many product choices are dictated by the consumer’s perception of a similarity between
his or her personality and the attributes of a product.
The symbolic interactionist perspective on the self stated that each of us actually has
many selves, and a different set of products is required to play each role. Marketing 3230
Gender-role identity is different than gender, and society’s expectations of masculinity
and femininity help to determine the products we buy.
A person’s gender-role identity is a major component of self-definition.
Conceptions about masculinity and femininity, largely shaped by society, guide the
acquisition of “sex-typed” products and services.
Advertising and other media play an important role in socializing consumers to male and
The way we think about our bodies is a key component of self-esteem.
A person’s conception of his or her body also provides feedback to self-image.
A culture communicates certain ideals of beauty, and consumers go to great lengths to
Sometimes these activities are carried to an extreme when people try too hard to live up
to cultural ideals.
Every culture dictates certain types of body decoration and/or mutilation that help to
identify its members.
Many consumer activities involve manipulating the body, whether through dieting,
cosmetic surgery, or tattooing.
Body decoration and/or mutilation may serve such functions as separating group
members from non-members, or marking the individual’s status or rank within a social
organization or within a gender category, or even providing a sense of security or good
Many products are bought because people are trying to highlight or hide some aspect of the self.
The growth of social networking services enables everyone to focus on themselves and share
mundane or scintillating details about their lives with anyone who’s interested.
The idea that each single human life in unique rather than a part of a group developed only in late
The notion that the self is an object to be pampered is even more recent.
Both eastern and western cultures see the self as divided into an inner, private self and an outer,
public self. Where these conceptions of self differ is in terms of which part is seen as the “real
The self-concept refers to the beliefs a person holds about his or her attributes and how he or she
evaluates these qualities.
Although ones overall self-concept may be positive, there are certainly parts of the self that are
evaluated more positively than others. The self-concept is a very complex structure.
Self-esteem refers to the positivity of your attitude toward yourself. People with low self esteem
do now expect they will perform well and try to avoid embarrassment, failure and rejection.
Self-esteem is often related to acceptance by others.
Marketing communications can influence a consumer’s level of self-esteem. Exposure to ads can
trigger a process of social comparisons, wherein the person tries to evaluate his or her self by
comparing it with other people’s and those of media images.
When a consumer compares some aspect of him or herself to an ideal, this judgment influences
The ideal self is a persons conception of how he or she would like to be, while the actual self is
our more realistic appraisal of the qualities we do and don’t have. Marketing 3230
We choose some products because we think they are consistent with our actual self, while we buy
others to reach an ideal standard.
We often engage in a process of impression management where we work hard to “manage” what
others think of us; we strategically choose clothing and other products that show us off to others
in a good light.
The ideal self is partly molded by elements of the consumer’s culture, such as heroes or people
depicted in advertising, that serve as models of achievement or appearance.
**In a way, each consumer is really a number of different people.
The self can be thought of as having different comp