The Study of Consumer Behaviour is the study of the processes involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use or dispose of products, services, ideas, or experiences to satisfy needs and desires. Consumer Behaviour investigates why and how consumers make decisions related directly or indirectly to a consumption event. We are all consumers when we engage in the actual or potential use of market items such as Products, Services, Retail Environments, or Ideas. Consumer Behaviour is an omnipresent factor in our lives even if we are not consciously aware of it. The study of consumer behaviour has great significance not only for marketing but for public policy as well.
For marketers, understanding the behaviour of consumers is perhaps the most important tool for success in the marketplace of products, services and ideas. It can be argued that the understanding of Consumer Behavior is the centre of the marketing process. Virtually all marketing decisions – including branding, brand image development, advertising, promotions and social media relationships - are developed and planned around understanding the consumer and the many factors that influence individual or group consumption decisions.
The process of understanding consumer behaviour requires the perspective of many fields of study including psychology, sociology, economics, and anthropology. Its complexity also derives from the heterogeneity of cultures in this age of expanding globalization because meanings and interpretations are not necessarily portable across cultural boundaries when they exist. This has given rise to the need for a sophisticated marketing professional with a strong grasp on consumer behaviour issues.
This course will teach students the basic consumer behaviour frameworks, theories, tools and procedures. It will broadly cover five aspects – the inner workings in the mind of a consumer that deals with consumer psychology and learning; the different situational factors that influence the consumer decision; the process by which a consumer makes a decision; the aggregate aftermath of consumer decisions; and the key issues surrounding ethics and social responsibility.