So why another blog on consumer behavior?
Humans are such a fascinating species. They may be a hundred percent aware of their shortcomings, personal and common, and still fall into the silliest mistake. Historical examples of this all-too-human flaw include Pythagoras looking at and speculating about the sky, and falling into a proverbial well. Or Wile-e-Coyote, slipping on the most classical banana peel right at his doorstep.
So here I go as well. There is a wealth of information available online concerning consumer behavior. Myself, I can hardly claim to be an expert on the subject. I am not a neuropsychologist nor a consumed marketing guru (yet). Even as a consumer I have to confess my inadequacy.
And yet I cannot but stand in awe at human behavior when it comes to shopping. To paraphrase Fight Club’s main character’s words, we work at a job we don’t enjoy to buy shit we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like. And that’s not all. We do that with sheer joy. At the environment’s expenses. And all because of some marketeers manipulating us into thinking we’ll be cool, have sex or get healthy if we buy this or that product.
But before asking what went wrong, let me stop here with anti-consumerist rethoric. In my day job I am a marketeer myself after all, and what’s more, I love it. After all, as a marketing dude you don’t necessarily have to work for evil multinational corporations. You can help advance an important cause, get an NGO or a politician to reach the right people, build a company’s CSR campaign and help a startup achieve their dream. In one word, even as a marketeer you can make the world a better place.
The essence of marketing, I believe, is more than inducing people to buy things. That’s sales. What marketing really is about is understanding people, and getting them to take action. Analysis and activation. That’s it.
So back to the question: why another consumer behavior blog?
When I look at a website or listen to a song or touch a piece of furniture, I always think about how interesting it is to build things from scratch. The finished product, when well made, seems beautiful in its essence. Everything is in its right place. And yet, were the maker inspired by something different, influenced by a different people or living in a different context, each element could have been different, thus making the object itself unrecognizable, yet perhaps still beautiful in its entirety.
The same goes for theories. There are a lot of models around explaining how and why people buy, and some of them are great. Theoretical models are produced by empirical analysis and inductive logic coupled with some mind structures that are absolutely peculiar to the theorist. What if the theorist had been talking to different people? What if he had different interests? What if he had his a-ha moment while showering instead of while commuting?
I believe all of these questions legitimize this blog’s existence. I will do my best to explain consumer behavior coupling its analysis with some other topics that I find of interest. I have no pretence of scientific validity, but I do hope to give some insight to other people interested in the subject.
I will go through some of the models that have been posited in order to explain consumer behavior, and I’ll posit some of my own. And even though I will definitely take some strolls into different subjects altogether, I will strive to give my posts
– Heuristic value
This blog is born as an attempt to find an innovative way to describe customer journey, using original metaphors, tools and with a widely multidisciplinary approach. It goes without saying that the blog builds upon the work of hundreds of people who before me dissected the topic.
So now go, read and comment!