Consumer Thinking

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Every time we talk to our clients about the internationalization process, we refer to the importance of knowing the consumer’s thinking in the receiving market of the merchandise, since it is in this area where marketing collects the understanding of the individual from their interaction in the economic, psychological, sociological and anthropological dimensions.

Really, what is intended with the review of consumer behavior is to identify the levels of satisfaction of the individual in relation to their experience with the service or product (including the version of its possible substitutes), for which the internationalization team uses the evaluation of factors such as “Perceived Value” vs. “Expected Value” during the consumption experience of said good or service. The thesis is left under which said difference will determine the level of satisfaction of an individual. In the balance of the aforementioned factors, it is intended to weigh that the higher the perceived value, the expected value may be equaled or exceeded. Between both factors, the novelty level of the products will be decisive to overcome the perceived value over the expected value.

There are, however, psychological phenomena that can affect this logic. One of them is cognitive dissonance. It happens when a person engages in behaviors that conflict with their beliefs. It is a very common event among those who profess a creed in favor of truth, justice and love of life and yet in their daily lives they profane, hate, desire the death of others. Thus, the consumer who in his creed defends love of neighbor and the protection of life but acquires war artifacts for leisure or even self-defense presents a picture of cognitive dissonance since his consumption is in conflict, tension or internal disharmony of his system of ideas, beliefs and emotions as his behavior indicates that he will eventually be willing to destroy the life he claims to defend.

Another psychological phenomenon that adult consumers present is Midorexia. It is a behavior typified in men and women of advanced age, who despite their years want to reflect youth, a factor that becomes very visible at the time of consumption as they try to acquire elements or experiences that are more in line with the needs of less advanced ages. .

Both Midorexia and Cognitive Dissonance have in common that both frame the captivating element of the consumer. And this is how it is possible to decipher then, that around the study of consumer behavior there is a fundamental factor that refers to understanding the motivating element in the consumption ritual, which reveals the benefits and values ​​sought in a thing or experience. Marketers call this insight. This motivating element expresses how or for what purpose the final consumer uses the product. Insights reveal the deep motivations of a consumer.

This is how Professor Myriam Martinez Fiestas, researcher of the subject in question at the University of Granada (Spain), and who is also an international Doctor in Economic and Business Sciences with a major in Marketing, typifies insights in 3 ways: one that indicates desires and needs (Experiential), the one that reflects how the consumer feels when using the product (Intensity) and the insight of emotional connection (Aspirational), the one that determines the degree of connection of the consumer with the product.

Making a brief comparison with the consumer scale proposed by Abraham Maslow where the hierarchy of human needs is evaluated, it could be said that the base of the pyramid where the consumer satisfies physiological and security needs, refers to the identification of experiential motivators since it encompasses the functional aspects of the consumer, later the needs for affiliation and recognition would encompass the aspirational insights, since they comprise the emotional phases of the individual, and finally the needs for self-realization would define the motivators of Intensity, since they reveal stages of impact and life change.

The Japanese professor Nokiari Kano, together with his colleagues, reinforced the concept of quality in the same direction as the study of consumer behavior, establishing a relationship between the characteristics of a product with the level of satisfaction of its customers or buyers. For them, the attributes of the products had to be fully identified and then related to the degree of satisfaction that they provide to the customer.

Author: Juan Sebastian Quiceno Calderon

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