Consumption Behavior

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Description of Consumption Behavior. Explanation.

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Consumption Behavior - Credit CardsDefinition Consumption Behavior. Description.


Consumption Behavior is how an audience reacts to product marketing.


Consumption Behavior or Buying Behavior is people’s buying attitudes and intentions. If a group of people is exposed to some form of advertising of a product or a service they will then response to the advertised message with certain definable behaviors.


Why do people buy or not buy certain products? Why do they watch certain commercial messages and what makes them buy those products or services? According to various media studies there are 3 main reasons for a positive reaction of an audience towards advertising:

  1. Social Utility: people watch commercial messages to obtain information about the social significance of a product or a brand. Many external manifestations of status have to be maintained through expenditures—i.e., maintenance of a unique “life style,” to use the modern term (Leibenstein, Harvey, 1975, “The Economic Theory of Fertility Decline,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 89, 1 (February): 1-31. They need to categorize the advertised message according to their Lifestyles and social grades.
  2. Communication Utility: people watch commercial messages in order to create a basis for discussion with others. The knowledge of certain products or services is often used as a topic in any interpersonal communication.
  3. Vicarious Consumption: people watch an ad to participate indirectly in a desired lifestyle. The association with the actors or objects of a commercial message (TV commercial, online ad, printed advertisement, or some form of Ambient Advertising) allows them to feel prestigious and glamorous.

A more sophisticated classification is the one by Packhard. Marketers utilize many tools to study, predict and understand Consumption Behavior: market research, Focus Groups, market testing and market sampling. Via Positioning marketers can even manipulate the perception of consumers.

Prior to analyzing Consumption Behavior it is advisable to perform Market Segmentation, which could be Demographic or Psychographic, etc.


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Compare with: 8 Hidden Needs  |  10 Commandments for Media Consumers  |  Multitasking Consumer  |  Product Life Cycle  |  Positioning  |  Marketing Mix  |  Extended Marketing Mix (7-Ps)  |  Product/Market Grid  |  Wheel of Consumer Analysis

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