Consumer Psychology

Consumer psychology is the discipline of study that looks at why we buy or use the goods and services we buy, what the impulses are that compel us to buy or use those goods and services, and if we don’t, the reasons why we don’t. It analyzes motivations, and looks to offer explanations as to consumer choices. It also looks to discover the ways that consumers make decisions, and what influences the decision-making process. A more formal definition is, “Consumer psychology is a specialty area that studies how our thoughts, beliefs, feelings and perceptions influence how people buy and relate to goods and services. (Cherry) · Describe the psychological concepts discussed and their importance in developing a successful marketing communication message. In the first article I read, the paper discussed globalization in markets by comparing sales promotions in Singapore and Malaysia. The study found (in part) that, “… despite prior assumptions… suitability is reliant on product type or country choice”. (McNeill) But it also found that certain types of value-added promotions did best if the were tailored to each specific market.

The author discussed the part culture plays in consumer behavior. Individualism and Masculinity dimensions results were similar for both countries, but power distance and uncertainty avoidance scores were markedly different. These grading tools were developed by Geert Hofstede, a Dutch social psychologist who created a groundbreaking study of cultures that is still in use today. The second article discussed consumer behavior and storytelling, and “… how consumers use brands as props or anthropomorphic actors in stories they report about themselves and others.


Such drama enactments enable these storytellers to experience powerful myths that reflect psychological archetypes. ” (Miller,Suresh,Woodside). These archetypes speak to most primitive part of the consumer psyche, in a visceral way. The authors discussed 5 propositions, which are: 1. “… People naturally think narratively… ” 2. “… Memory is episodic… ” 3. “Watching, retrieving and telling stories… ” allows individuals to “… experience one or more archetypal myths. ” 4. Specific brands or products allow individuals to tap into their archetypes. 5. Finally, people use storytelling to make sense of things, and the brands and prodcts are a part of the story. · Utilize your articles to explain the relationship between consumer psychology and marketing communications. The first article looked to investigate the potential for sales promotions in Malaysia and Singapore. This is important, particularly because there has not been much research done in this geographical area.

The study looked at supermarkets specifically, and the findings indicated that although there are some universal truths about supermarket sales promotions, other promotional tools, such as value-added promotions, are most effective when done site specifically. So for supermarket chains with stores in both nations, this is important information. The marketing team can offer promotions store-wide, and it would be effective. But there are also regional promotions that would be profitable. So the marketing teams in both nations could work on additional value-added promotions specific to their own nation.

The second article illustrates how having an archetypical, storytelling line of advertising can build a loyal and solid customer base. Campaigns such as Nike’s “Just do it” and Apples “PC vs. Mac” advertising have ingrained themselves in the nation’s mind. All you need to do is see the Nike Swish or the apple with a bite taken out of it and you know what company you’re dealing with. These campaigns have become an integral part of the American buying psyche, and they speak to consumers about being accomplished, and on the cutting edge.

We like to think of ourselves in these lights, so the advertising is very well developed to speak to us on that level. In both cases, the marketing communications are designed to build relationships with the consumer, to build brand loyalty, and to allow the consumer to believe that by purchasing these products, they are somehow a part of a larger group that “gets it”. In the case of supermarkets in Asia, researchers have now learned that aside from general marketing, like increasing brand awareness, there is no “one size fits all” advertising that would work across Singapore and Malaysia.

Researchers have also learned that supermarket marketing is not necessarily the type of marketing that will work with other products, and that much more research is necessary to learn as much as possible about successful marketing communications in Asia. And the second article shows how properly crafted marketing communications missives can speak to visceral archetypes in the consumer mind and build a long-lasting relationship, as well as develop good will for their brand.

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