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Consumer Psychology
Consumer Decision Process
The consumer's decision process consists of six basic stages: stimulus, problem awareness, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase, and post purchase behavior. A stimulus is a cue (social, commercial, or noncommercial) or a drive (physical meant to motivate or arouse a person to act).

Understanding Consumer Attitude
The functional theory of attitudes was initially developed by psychologist Daniel Katz to explain how attitudes facilitate social behavior. According to this pragmatic approach, attitudes exist because they serve some function for the person. That is, they are determined by a person's motives. Consumers who expect that they will need to deal with similar information at a future time will be more likely to start forming attitudes in anticipation.

Shopping Behavior and Social Classes
Shopping behavior varies by social class. For example, a very close relation between store choice and social-class membership has been found, indicating that it is wrong to assume that all consumers want to shop at glamorous, high-status stores. Instead, people realistically match their values and expectations with a store's status and don't shop in stores where they feel out of place.

Psychographic Segmentation
Geographic and demographic variables traditionally have been the major variables for segmenting markets. Nevertheless, there may be considerable psychographic (social class, personality, and lifestyle) differences among the people within a given geographic or demographic group. In psychographic segmentation the market is divided on the basis of social class, personality characteristics, and/or lifestyles.

Characteristics of Opinion Leaders
Numerous studies have been conduced attempting to identify opinion leader characteristics. The research is not conclusive, but we have some understanding of the opinion leaderís profile. First, opinion leaders have approximately the same social-class position as non leaders, although they may have higher social status within the class.

Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy
A sound understanding of consumer behavior is essential to the long-run success of any marketing program. In fact, it is seen as a cornerstone of the marketing concept, an important orientation or philosophy of many marketing managers. The following descriptions explore the role of consumer behavior in designing and deploying three major marketing activities.

Managing Customer Equity
These presentation slides comprehensively describe Customer Equity - a strategic framework designed to maximize every firm's most important asset, the total lifetime value of its customer base. These slides also explore the three drivers of customer equity -- Value Equity, Brand Equity, and Retention Equity -- and explain in clear, nontechnical language how managers can base their strategies on one or a combination of these drivers.

Finding Out Customers Expectations
To truly understand customers' needs, companies can encourage and facilitate customers' feedback about problems. British Airways, for example, installed customer-complaint booths at Heathrow Airport where disgruntled passengers could air their grievances on videotape. Besides giving customers immediate relief from their annoyances, British Air found that the complaint videotapes gave vivid information to management about customers' problems and expectations.

Consumer Value Orientation
Assessing consumers' present and emerging value orientations can help the marketer identify new product opportunities and achieve better product positioning among consumer segments." For example, as values such as "pleasure," "an exciting life," "a comfortable life," and "self-respect" increase in importance, the marketer may find a need for having products with brand names, colors, and designs that enhance these important values.

Promotional Response Patterns
Important class differences exist with regard to promotional response. The social classes have differing media choice and usage patterns. For example, readers of National Geographic and The New Yorker are typically of a higher class than the readers of Police Gazette, True Confessions, and The Star.

 
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