The definition of a new term to a reader is an important part of communication. Some fields of profession use the same words but differ in meaning depending on the circumstance in which a term is used. It is therefore essential that a new term is introduced to a person who is inexperienced in a given field of study/profession. To broadly define a term, a new approach should be developed to introduce a reader to a new term with ease. This essay, therefore, outlines a new way of defining the term consumer behavior. In a bid to help a reader understand the definition, the term will be distinguished from the generally accepted definition of consumer behavior.
According to Perner, (2010) the term consumer behavior is defined as “The study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society.” In brief, this definition has been used by marketers who study market trends and it makes sense for either an individual or group of consumers. Marketing executives have the ability to analyze consumer behavior so as to know the history of a product, the current market states and the future trend it will take. This definition also emphasizes the impact customers’ behavior will have in the community. For instance, if sales executives resort to aggressively market junk food, the health condition of the country may be at risk and this may finally have negative effects on the economy. Another area where aggressive marketing has been experienced is in the health sector. Peters and Cleary (p. 344), point out that competition for patients in the US hospitals has taken a technological dimension to entice their patients with their state-of-the-art technologies. This is done to attract patients to their hospitals whether or not treatment will be based on the advertised technology.
My definition of consumer behavior would differ slightly from the above general definition given that I would consider the psychological dimension to really define consumer behavior. Thus, consumer behavior in my view is the psychological study of how an individual or group utilizes a commodity or service in a preferred manner that would satisfy their needs and the impacts of such behaviors in our community. Consumer behavior is significantly influenced by our psychological perceptions in marketing and general take on life. Our minds tend to approximate the results of our actions in reality and this is the reason a consumer may buy a product or service. Contrary to the generally accepted definition of consumer behavior, aggressive marketing may not necessarily change the perception of an individual who for example, believes junk food causes diabetes. Psychological analysis of this belief is therefore crucial in understanding consumer behavior. However, the general definition of the term is in line with my definition given that they both consider consumer interests, tastes and preferences, and the effect of such behaviors in the society.
Aggressive marketing like the use of billboards along highways and other eye-catching points is not necessary however long a driver is exposed to them. This is because while driving, the adverts may not stimulate our system, hence; we may not recognize their importance. The resultant effect of such an advert may, therefore, be too dismal to meet the expectation of a marketing executive. On the other hand, if a product is marketed online and a consumer perceives online marketing to be the best, a firm that uses online marketing could benefit from such an advert. This is because nowadays people prefer self-aided commodity research as compared to over-rated billboard adverts.
It is important to include the psychological bit in the definition of consumer behavior to give a more acceptable definition of the term. Some aspects of marketing use psychology and if the definition is to make sense, it must be included. The inclusion of psychology in the definition; thus, brings a new way of defining the term in an attempt to create a wider meaning of consumer behavior.