Consumer Behavior in Marketing – An Insightful Guide

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understanding consumer behavior

Know the insights of consumer behavior

Three steps to reshape consumer behavior

In our lives, we have so many choices to make. Some choices are more profound than the others and we never assess each one of them carefully. This is in fact quite rational because if we were worried about the results that followed from every such choice, we would hardly take any decision.

Therefore, for trivial choices that we have to make, we rely on habits and prefer to repeat the actions that we took while facing such similar situations in the past.

Discover the importance of habits

It has happened to me several times in my life. After the office, I turn my car right towards my home. I think about the office meetings during my journey to home while being least bothered about the traffic signals, the traffic itself, and the route that connects my office to the home. My mind is just occupied with meetings. It takes me almost 20 minutes to reach home. While driving, I cross all signals naturally without any special attention to anything that comes on the way. Isn’t it surprising that I reach home comfortably without being aware of anything?

Yes, you guessed it right! It all happens due to habits. Habit is the result of doing anything in routine.

Image Source: Harvard Medical School

Wendy Wood is a renowned psychologist at the University of Southern California. During an experiment, she found that if someone repeated the same action in the same place while thinking about something else, he/she would become habitual of that action. As per these criteria, 43% of practice is a routine and routine is what that turns into a habit.

How to conceive a habit

As a matter of fact, the habit of customers depends on their behavior. But the significant question is how the businesses and startups can take advantage of this consumer behavior.

Leading psychologists like Brian Jeffrey Fogg, Nir Eyal, and Wood have created their specific models related to behavioral science. However, most psychologists agree that habit structure requires three essential elements:

  • a trigger for any activity,
  • a result of that activity, &
  • lots of repetition of that particular activity.

All three elements need to be performed in an activity loop.

Ok..! Let’s try to understand all the above elements.

Chain of events

Motivation is not sufficient to create habitual behavior. Habits usually need a sequence: a moment, a place, or mood that triggers the response or behavior.

If we want to reshape consumer behavior and want the consumer to develop any habit to buy something, there is a lot to be thought apart from motivation. We also need to create a chain of events to instill that behavior in the consumer’s mind.

If you need a practical example, think about Pepsodent. Claude Hopkins, one of the greatest advertising pioneers, and the creative genius behind its ads tried to create awareness about dental hygiene in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. He suggested people brush their teeth twice a day. Instead, the advertisements recommended brushing teeth after breakfast and before going to bed. It was a chain of events that tried to create awareness through the particular ad and made it the most flourishing public health advertisement campaign of the past century.

A result of that activity – A reward!

The second most crucial step is to generate a reward of the three stages in the habit loop; this is probably the most apparent stage. So, let’s focus on a significant area – the power of unpredictable rewards.

As a Prediction, we think that merely 2 or 3 percent of people would follow an advertisement campaign. In a calculative result, it has been found that more than 50% of people are following the advertisement. It’s a result of a good advertisement campaign and needs to be treated as an award.

If we think about consumer behavior, many times, we need to face uncertainty. If we have a loyalty scheme, we should stop offering the scheme to every customer for the repetitive purchase. Instead, we should think about the new plans and those that can be connected with royalties. Repetitive customer’s purchase should convert in loyalty points, which will be beneficial for the customer in terms of value discount.

Habits – The routine

Image Source: sourcecon.com

Habits can’t be developed in a single day. Don’t expect them to be missing today and have them with you the next morning. For a behavior to become rooted in lifestyle, you need to repeat it.

The fact which is usually cited is that it takes 21 days to create a habit. But there’s no significant evidence to support this.

Eagerness for a particular thing can be turned into a habit. Several examples or experiments show that different kinds of routine require different amounts of time to be turned into a Habit.

Philippa Lally at University College London conducted an experimented in 2009. She asked people to start a new habit in order to know the number of days it would take to develop that habit. These were simple behaviors, such as drinking a glass of water before lunch or doing some activities after brushing their teeth. On average, people took 66 days to develop such a habit.

If you’re trying to reshape your customer’s behavior, don’t rely on a short round of activity. It would be best if you had more sustained operations with a proper award.

Loop of Three steps

Behavioral science provides evidence-based guidance for marketers. If anyone wants to develop customer’s habits successfully, remember the three key ingredients – a trigger for any activity, a result of that activity, and lots of repetition of that particular activity. Understanding consumer behavior is one of the significant steps to build a profitable business.


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