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Why We Buy: Understanding Consumer Behavior
Haub School of Business, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, USA
The field of consumer behaviour studies the processes involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use, or dispose of products, services, ideas, or experiences to satisfy needs and desires. Consumers take many forms, from an 8-year-old child who begs her mother for the latest “must-have” toy to an executive in... read morea large corporation who must choose an expensive computer system on behalf of her company. The items we consume are both tangible and intangible; they include such diverse products as canned peas, a haircut, democracy, an encounter with a stockbroker, an airplane ride, a religious service, a football match, or a Lady Gaga CD. The needs and desires we satisfy range from hunger and thirst to love, status, and even spiritual fulfillment.
Understanding consumer behaviour is simply good business. The basic marketing concept states that firms exist to satisfy needs. Marketers can satisfy these needs only to the extent that they understand the people or organizations that will use the products and services they sell. So, marketing begins and ends with the customer; from determining customers' needs and wants to providing customer satisfaction and maintaining customer relationships. This programme examines the basic concepts and principles in consumer behaviour with the goal of understanding how these ideas can be used in marketing decision-making. It features some of the top consumer behaviour scholars, researchers and practitioners from around the world who provide an in-depth yet accessible perspective on their fields of specialisation.