Monthly Archives: April 2009

Sneak Preview: When Is a Fact Not a Fact

One of the challenges with studying consumer behaviour is that the behaviour itself is incontrovertible, but the interpretation of that behaviour is often much more open to debate: what caused what?  What can be inferred from what happened Recently, when I casually commented on a reported change in consumer behaviour, the person I was speaking to got quite indignant. You can read about what happened and what I learned in the process here (it’s a sneak preview of one of the articles that will be in my next Mindshop! e-Zine, out tomorrow). And linking to it here gives those who do read it a chance to comment if they would like to – I’d love to hear your thoughts. Philip Graves

E-zine Story

Since we’ve been discussing stories with Kevin, I thought I’d share this one here.  Readers of my Mindshop! E-zine will see it when they receive the next edition (sorry for the duplication, but you can comment on it easily here). ———————————————————————————————————————————- I sat looking across the desk at the man holding a set of white boards close to his chest. “We’re really excited about this,” he said nodding confidently, whilst looking up at the rest of us with big eyes that said “please me”. I could feel the energy in the room, the sense of anticipation, the others not aware and not affected by the incongruence between his tone and his body language. I sat back with an impending sense of doom. “We’re sure this is going to be so good for the brand.”  His statement did nothing to change my feelings, but the others were shifting on their seats […]

Consumer Behaviour: Where’s the Reason?

I really appreciated all of the comments received in response to yesterday’s post and I wanted to pick up on one that, as a consumer behaviour expert, I found fascinating.  It also was one of the last comments posted so people scanning through what others have said wouldn’t have seen it. Mark (MarketingScoops) said: “I had an interesting shopping experience today. I had no intention of shopping but I received a 40% off one item special on my blackberry. Once I was in the store, I entered the shopping mode and bought 3 things. The super special got me in the store and completely changed my mindset.” This reveals a couple of very interesting issues. It reinforces my point about a lot of consumer behaviour not being “need” based, but being triggered far less rationally and influenced much more indirectly. It illustrates the route to understanding consumer behaviour: whilst there […]

The Consumer Need Myth and Why Customers Really Buy

You’d be hard pressed to find any marketing text book that doesn’t talk at some point about “consumer need”. It’s a simple enough concept: the products that will do best are those that meet a requirement that someone has. At the next level you may find there’s a discussion on the types of consumer need.  Broadly these break down into physical and emotional needs.  So, by way of simplistic example, the former says that, because you’re cold you will buy a hat.  The latter that because you want to feel special you’ll buy an expensive hat.  This is all fine up to a  point.  But I happen to think that most consumer behaviour is nothing to do with “need”.  This is a problem because the notion of consumer need suggests that, at some level, a consumer is aware of what it is they are getting as a result of acquiring […]