BACKGROUND OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
Consumer behavior is an exciting field of study. Corporations, public policy makers, and non-profit organizations use consumer behavior concepts in order to investigate buying habits and make managerial marketing decisions on both a national and international level.
Consider cosmetic surgery, which even teenagers are undergoing. The purchase of this service is a consumer behavior in the same manner as purchasing jewelry, cosmetics, cologne, or a nice suit. One goal of the surgery is to make us feel more physically attractive. Certainly, all of us have purchased clothing, cosmetics, or jewelry for the same purpose.
In addition to investigating unusual buying activities, such as scalp implants, the study of consumer behavior is also critical for managerial decision making. Cosmetic surgery, for example, is an industry. In order to be successful, physicians must sell a product, and the marketing process requires an understanding of consumer needs and wants. By understanding their customers, clinics can develop alternative plastic surgery products-from face-lifts and liposuction to penile enlargement, breast augmentation, and hair implants. Providers must also develop promotional appeals that target the specific needs of their potential customers.
Consumer behavior also has relevance to international marketing. The study of cross-cultural processes and of how people in different countries react to marketing efforts is central to the field.
Finally, the study of consumer behavior highlights concerns about ethics and social responsibility in the marketplace. For example, because of the high degree of trust that must be present in the patient-physician relationship, it is critical that both parties exercise high levels of ethical behavior.
What is Consumer Behavior?
The study of consumer behavior is a young discipline. The first textbooks were written in the 1960s. Its intellectual origins, however, are...