What is consumer behavior? Explain the various methods of assessing consumer behavior.


Meaning and Definition of Consumers Behavior

In the present age of complex competition, marketing without studying consumer behavior is unprofitable, as consumer behavior affects the quality and price of the product or service. Consumer behavior refers to the behavior of a buyer or consumer before purchasing and using the products or services, during the purchase decision making process or after the purchase. In other words, consumer behavior is a process under which the consumer’s buying habits, buying propensities, buying patterns and purchasing motivations are studied which influence his decision to make a purchase.

(1) According to Goethe, “The whole behavior of a person while making a purchase can be called buying behavior. ” (“The whole behavior of a person while making purchases may be termed as consumer behaviour.”)

(2) According to Walter and Paul, “Consumer behavior is a process in which a person decides whether to buy goods and services, what, when, where and from whom.” (“It is the process whereby individuals decide whether, what, when, where, how and from whom to purchase goods and services.”) (3) According to Schoell and Guiltinan, consumer behavior is that part of human behavior. Which is related to the decisions and actions taken by the individuals in relation to the purchase and use of the products. (“Buyer/Consumer behavior is an orderly process where by the individual interacts with his environment for the purpose of making market. place decisions on products and services.”)

Principles of Consumers Behavior

Earlier the marketer used to know the behavior of the buyers from his own experience, but today it is difficult to trace it. Therefore, various data and behavioral theories have to be resorted to and for this a lot of time and money has to be spent. Consumers can find out when, how, where and what they buy, but it is difficult to find out why a consumer buys. Different theories have been developed to find out the mind of the buyer, the main ones being the following:

(1) Economic model – This theory has been propounded by the economist Mr. Marshall, according to which man is an economic and rational person and works motivated by selfishness. He wants maximum satisfaction by spending his limited resources. That’s why he wants such an item at a reasonable price which is full of qualities, is simple, strong, has beautiful colors and designs. There are many things before a man to buy and he has to choose one or many things from them. So he is expected to solve his problem judiciously. Will do But economic factors alone do not have an effect on sales volume. This theory does not explain why commodity and brand preference is established. The economic model is based on the assumptions that

(i) Man tries to get maximum income from limited resources. (ii) He has complete knowledge of alternative sources. (iii) He spends judiciously.

But marketers have not recognized this theory and say that it is based on assumptions and does not fully describe buyer behavior. The reality is that this model still has significance. Industrial buyers always follow this principle, secondly this model is idealistic and not descriptive. This principle states that (i) the lower the price of a commodity, the higher will be its sales.

(ii) The lower the value of the substitute goods, the less will be the sale of the commodity.

(iii) If the real income increases, it will be assumed that the sale of that article will be the same, provided the article is not of inferior quality.

(iv) Higher the promotion efforts, higher will be the sales.

(2) Learning model- This theory is based on psychology. The father of the theory is the Russian psychologist Pavlovian. This theory is based on the experience that most of human behavior is influenced by learning. This model is based on four ideas – (i) motivation, (ii) emotion, (iii) response, (iv) re-stimulation. This principle cannot be said to be complete but still it is beneficial in marketing. It states that the quality of the item must be there so that there is an incentive to repurchase the brand. This advertisement shows the way towards re-advertising and advertising, so that by being effective, it creates emotion in new people and creates excitement in old people again.

(3) Psychoanalytic model- This theory is also based on psychology and its originator is Freud. He says that every child in the world comes with some natural needs, but he is not able to satisfy them and soon he starts to understand that he is disconnected from the world, but still he is dependent on the world. The result is that his behavior becomes complicated. Because of these feelings, sometimes a person behaves in such a way that he himself does not know why he has done this? It is important to marketing the principle that the actual motivations of human beings motivate them to buy something or to buy from a particular shop. Inspiration search can lead to great ideas for advertising and packaging. His supporters have made some improvements in this theory of Freud, and have added cultural and life sciences to it.

(4) Social Psychological Model- This model is based on society and psychology and its exponent is Veblen. Veblen says that a large part of man’s economic consumption is not motivated by natural needs or satisfactions, but by social respect due to living in society and his needs and behavior are mainly changed according to his existing group members. Huh. Veblen is of the opinion that there is a class in the society of the people of comfort liking, which is followed by the society. This model is important from the point of view of marketing. It states that human beings are influenced by the culture, subculture, social class, context communities of the society. The marketing manager should spend his/her ability to find out which of these social strata affect the demand for his commodity, so that the marketing program can be tailored accordingly.

(5) Organizational Model- This model is based on organization and has been presented by Hobbes. According to this model, buyers are associated with an organization, they do not buy goods for their own use, but for re-production or distribution, and they make their purchases within the organization itself. Hobbes says that man naturally tends to maintain and enhance his own interests, but in this a fight may start, the result of which may be against each person. Therefore, because of the fear of this fight, each person gets organized with the other and thus looks after the interests of both himself and the organization. In fact, this model serves as the basis for judicious choice in the delivery of goods, services, pricing, etc. In this, less importance is given to personal motivations.

Methods of Accumulation of Consumer Behavior

There are four main methods of assessing consumer behavior which are as follows-

(1) Procrastination Techniques- Under this method, questions are asked indirectly to the consumers, so that the feelings, thoughts and motivations hidden in the heart of the consumers can be found out. It is generally practical that if a person is asked to comment on another person, to express his true views about that person. This mentality of human has been used under this technique.

In this method, customers or consumers are requested to understand themselves in the situation of another person and tell how other person will react in their opinion regarding a particular item, advertisement or package. The following four techniques are prominent among the suspension techniques.

(i) Word Consistency Test – Under this method, the researcher mentions a particular word in front of the respondent and the respondent has to choose this word and tell the related words that come in his mind. The researcher can infer the mental interest of the respondent by listening to these words.

(ii) Sentence Testing – Under this technique the users are requested to complete a complete sentence. For example, “I use Colgate toothpaste because 1″ I use Lux because 1” etc. While completing these incomplete sentences, consumers express their thoughts easily.

(iii) Self-knowledge test of the mind- In this method, consumers are shown one or more ambiguous or misleading pictures and then they are asked what event is depicted in the pictures or they are asked to tell a story in relation to those pictures. is called for. In such a situation the consumer or the respondent shall, in fact, present his personal views while narrating the incident or story.

(iv) Cartoon test- In this method a cartoon and incomplete title are placed in front of the respondent and he is asked to complete the incomplete title sentence by looking at the cartoon. In doing so he realizes that he is expressing his inner motivations.

(2) Interview Techniques In this method, interviews are conducted in a cozy, free, fearless, comfortable environment with the selected clients on the basis of the sample. In the interview, the respondents are encouraged to express their views freely. Under this method, the interviewer listens carefully to the views of the respondents and then collects all those information and analyzes them and draws important conclusions.

(3) Questionnaire Technique – This is a traditional method in which a questionnaire of some questions is made and then it is sent to a select few consumers with the request that they fill out this questionnaire and send it. Sometimes the consumer wants to send this type of answer or he is not interested in sending it or the questions do not come in his understanding, then in such a situation the researcher himself should establish contact with those consumers and get the information. .

(4) EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE TECHNIQUE The experience and knowledge of the marketing officer is also used to ascertain the purchase motivations. They themselves can determine what the consumer’s buying motivations have been.


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