PRINCIPLES OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
I. Consumers are limited capacity information processors, so…
Understand and manage the processes involved in perception, memory, and decision making.
Consumers are often unaware of their own attitudes, motives and future behaviors, so…
In marketing research, ask consumers how they feel about something before (not after) asking them to
Don't ask people questions they cannot answer accurately (ex: Why did you do that?
What will you do?), or a t
least, don't accept their answers at face value.
Use responses to questions that consumers can accurately answer (ex: What do you believe? How do you feel?)
explanations for their behavior.
Rely on surveys about consumers’ wants/motives ONLY to predict respondent behaviors – i.e., immediate
choices between explicitly compared alternatives.
Use measures of implicit attitudes and motives to predict operant behaviors – i.e., trends over time in implicit
and/or affect laden choices.
Identify the unconscious attitudes and motives underlying consumers’ behavior with the implicit association
test, projective measures, and other appropriate techniques.
Consumers attend to, and remember, only a few of the marketing messages targeted at
Attract consumers’ attention by making messages personally relevant, pleasant, surprising and easy to
Enhance the memorability of your message by: (a) making it simple, unique and likable, (b) using relevant
music, pictures, and high imagery words, and (c) linking the message with consumers’ emotions, moods, and
Enhance consumers’ memory of your message by encouraging them to chunk, rehearse and elaborate upon it.
Consumers’ perceptions are interpretations, not faithful
representations, of reality, so…
Remember that product characteristics are important only to the extent that they affect
Use figure-ground, similarity, proximity, closure, contrast, expectancy, and halo effects to
manipulate consumers’ perceptions.
Know and manage the inferences consumers draw from the visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory,