Have you ever wondered what makes consumers tick? I mean, what thoughts or instincts drive them to purchase one product over the other?
What emotions did a certain marketing tactic elicit from the consumer?
Why do consumers – like those standing in line at 3 AM on Black Friday – act the way they do?
Well, today we’re going to take a deep dive into the mind of the consumer.
For those of you who dreaded Psych 101 in undergrad – don’t worry. We’re not going to get lost in Freudian theory. Instead, we’re simply going to explore some common psychological phenomenon’s commonly observed in today’s marketplace, and discuss strategies that will enable us to work with these common instincts – not against.
French poet and Nobel Prize nominee, Paul Valery, left us with a great quote regarding the study of psychology. He stated, “The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best.”
Most consumer psychology principles are phenomenons that you – as a consumer – actively participate in on a routine basis. You may not be aware of how the Law of Reciprocity or Pareto’s Principle play into your daily decisions making processes, but they manifest still the same.
For some of you these concepts may be old hat, leaving you saying, “oh yeah, I’ve seen that!”
For others, they may be entirely new concepts, and leave you going, “Wow – I had no idea that was why that happened.”
Either way, consumer psychology concepts are commonly observed cruxes that address the perplexing dilemma of “To buy or not to buy?"
The academic definition of consumer psychology is, “The study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society.”
The nitty-gritty summary of this discipline is the study of why consumers do what they do.
Most consumers do not – I repeat, do NOT – behave in rational or logical ways.
Instead, they are predictably irrational.
Let that sink in…predictably irrational.
Given consumers' penchant for non-logical behavior, you cannot simply treat potential customers as if they share your behavior, or would act in a logical manner.
Because they don’t.
Forbes contributor Dorie Clark stated, “Most people can’t answer the simple question of why they want the things they want. That’s because our brain drives our decision-making process in ways that we’re not really aware of.”
Consumer psychology is all about getting into that unconscious territory where consumers are being directed to make purchases for reasons they don’t understand, or don’t consciously direct. Subconscious drivers prompt the majority of purchase decisions, and consumer psychology is the study of those drivers.
For optimal sales to be realized, it’s essential that today’s organizational leaders understand why consumers behave the way they do, and discover ways to leverage commonly observed consumer behavior theories in ways beneficial to their organization.
About Hannah Becker:
Becker Digital is a full-service Marketing and Public Relations Agency dedicated to empowering mission-driven organizations to reach their goals. We apply our expertise in community development, social media strategy, and public relations to connect organizational clients with today’s always-scrolling online users.