Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy Dr. John T. Drea Associate Professor of Marketing Western Illinois University Why do we study consumer behavior? To do a better job of meeting consumer needs. Market segmentation groups people with similarities as they apply to the product category. Marketing strategy is based on assumptions of how people will behave. Your interpretation of stimuli is not the same everyone else’s. (the n=1 problem) Key concepts: Affect Affect concerns feelings such as emotions (joy, love, anger, etc.), feeling states (satisfaction, amusement, frustration, etc.), and moods (relaxation, boredom) Affect is about how something makes you feel. When you feel something as a result of a contact with a stimulus, that feeling is called affect or an affective reaction. Key Concepts: Cognition Cognition concerns mental processes and knowledge structures created in response to a consumer’s environment. Cognition includes conscious and unconscious thinking processes, interpreting stimuli (e.g., “what does this mean?”), storing and recalling information, forming evaluations, and developing purchase decisions. Key Concepts: Behavior Behavior is what consumers actually do (not what they intend to do). Unlike cognition and affect, behavior is observable and can be directly measured Intention is not the same as behavior - it is a cognitive process - we think we will do something. Affect and Cognition Affect and Cognition can be positive or negative. Combined with felt needs and situational influences, affect and cognition help to determine intention, and to influence behavior. Which comes first - cognition, affect, or behavior? It is dependent upon the situation, but cognition can certainly precede affect. e.g., September 11 events e.g., receiving your grades after the semester. Affect can precede cognition. e.g., love at first sight Behavior can precede both. e.g., trying a new food offered to you. Attitude Component Consistency Consumers are motivated to maintain consistency between these components of attitude Positive beliefs AND positive feelings AND usage of the product (or planned usage) Consumers dislike having one component out of balance (e.g., positive feelings AND negative beliefs) Consumers are motivated to change the component least strongly held to be consistent with components that are more strongly held.
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