Online with
Louise Ripley

Consumer Behaviour
Buying Having and Being
Chapter 1 and Preface Solomon Consumer Behaviour

An Introduction to Consumer Behaviour
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Part 1 of the Six Wednesdays Project is due today in the first 15 minutes of class

We'll start with an in-class exercise with the groups and products assigned last class to give you an idea of how much you already know about what Consumer Behaviour is and some of the roles we play in the exchanges involved. In class I'll be asking you to:

You Already Know
Think of 5 things you'd want to know about the person to whom your company currently sells their product, if you were going to design a Marketing Strategy for that product 

Consumers' Impact on Marketing Strategy
Segmenting Consumers


Demographic Segmentation

Age, Gender, Family Structure, Social Class/Income, Ethnicity, Lifestyle, Geography
Name some products that are primarily marketed on demographics
Name some that are primarily marketed on lifestyle 
   (measured with psychographics)

Relationship Marketing

Self-Concept Attachment "Clothes make the man
  (or woman)"
Nostalgic Attachment When Campbell Soups tried to replace the familiar Campbell Kids on their soup cans, sales dropped off dramatically
Interdependence think of starting your day WITHOUT your regular cup of coffee, or whatever else gets you going in the morning
Love Try talking any car lover into taking public transit instead; North America's love of the automobile is much more than just a method of transportation to be easily replaced with lectures about pollution

Marketing's Impact on Consumers


Needs and Wants: Do Marketers Manipulate Consumers?

Below is one couple's solution to the problem of overly-expensive weddings in a world where so many people have so little.

Atlanta: Carolyn Luond was looking forward to a perfect wedding with all the trimmings she and her fiancé could afford: a fancy gown, a lavish reception and a bridal registry with oodles of home accessories they could easily do without, including a $125 coffee maker. Then it hit her. It was a newspaper photo of a little girl in Afghanistan, standing barefoot outside a tent, with a tattered dress. "I burst into tears," recalls Luond, 42. "I couldn't see asking someone to spend $125 on a coffee maker for me when it could go somewhere else." Her social conscience told her she could have wedding cake and share some too. So the Atlanta couple turned their bridal showers and January wedding into charity events. In lieu of gifts, they asked for donations to a half-dozen non-profits, including America's Fund for Afghan Children. The Luonds are among a growing number of couples leveraging their weddings to help charitable causes...

(From the New York Times News Service (excerpted from Toronto Star article Summer 2002)


What kind of consumer has a wedding like this? What demographics define the kind of person who would do this? 

The Dark Side of Consumer Behaviour

Are marketers really the wicked manipulators that so many accuse us of being? Play devil's advocate with your group's product, and ask yourself:
Is this product really necessary?
Are you meeting a genuine need or creating a false one?
Are you taking advantage of addictive and compulsive, 
    even illegal, human activities?
 In marketing it, will you take advantage of:
    new technology, global expansion, 
    increased power of the multi-national corporation? 
What do business ethics prescribe about marketing behaviour?


Why do you have to add an egg to a cake mix that is capable of containing everything you need except water to make a cake? 
We'll talk about Betty Friedan's explanation in the classic feminist book, The Feminist Mystique


Buying, Having, and Being

What don't you buy? 
What product have you boycotted?
What did you throw out recently that you'd bought?

(photo by Scott Teresi)

What you have and don't have and what you don't buy make as much of a statement about you as what you buy. This is why Solomon's book is subtitled "Buying, Having, and Being"

Time for Group Meetings


Return to Course Syllabus

AP/ADMS 3210 3.0 Consumer Behaviour
York University, Toronto
© M Louise Ripley, M.B.A., Ph.D.