Professional Studies for Screen-Based Media
Foundation Degree South West
Consumer Buying Behaviour

Defining consumer behaviour


Marketing is about satisfying consumers. Whether a company seeks to gain a competitive edge or satisfy consumersí needs, an understanding of consumer behaviour is a pre-requisite of good practice. As Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird noted, "you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view ┬ until you climb into his skin and walk around it". Consumer behaviour theory provides glimpses of consumersí points of views and allows companies to understand consumers as individuals, information searchers and decision-makers. Being in tune with consumers is a must for businesses. However, Jon Weaver, the Marketing Manager at Bournemouth Borough Council thinks that understanding consumer wants is a big challenge.

Jon Weaver, Marketing Manager, Bournemouth Borough Council

Consumer behaviour is generally defined as the decision process and the physical activities that people engage with when they acquire, use and dispose of products and services. How consumers behave and exchange different aspects of their lives when they acquire products and services is characterised by a complex interaction between feelings, beliefs, behaviour and environmental events.

In brief, an understanding of consumers will allow companies to: