Blog #2

Perception

Perception is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the five senses (touch, sight, taste, smell and taste) and the way brain registers certain actions/events. Furthermore, it’s normally induced upon an individual either intentionally or unintentionally due to attention or exposure.

When a consumer has to make a decision, consciously or subconsciously the brain kicks-off the perception process of sensing, organizing and reacting to the element you are exposed too. And it’s this reaction that counts which could be instantaneous if you had been exposed to it earlier e.g. Flashing red for danger. Or you may categorize e.g. online bidding advertisement in a neighboring country, might make you think of it on the same lines of eBay. But the worst reaction is when you don’t understand, or you may encounter certain faces who would be in contrast to the set of people you regularly meet and might make you think they aren’t part of your group / ethnicity altogether.

The following emphasizes that point. I took an Implicit Association Test (Asian IAT), designed to detect the strength of a person’s automatic association between mental representations of objects (concepts) in memory [1]. I fared well in the first section, thanks to my implicit memory when I had to sort American and Asian faces (I was able to assimilate and accommodate as I progressed with the test). However, it got slightly complex when it came to sorting according to Asian American or European American where between a large pool of sketches as I was now looking for some additional information which unfortunately wasn’t provided, and one of the reasons why I got “little or no association with Asian American / European American”, as there were certain images I just could not categorize but I inevitable had to answer for me to proceed to the next question, hence I won’t say the test result was accurate but might just stop at saying the results very indicative.

Nonetheless, when it comes to perception it’s the product placement and capturing the customer’s attention that are important in getting a high conversion rate. Example being when I first visited a Banana Republic outlet last summer for shopping, the slashed rates caught my attention and I made two purchases. However, being a graduate student and frugal at times, I wanted a better deal soon I figured out that Banana Republic and other outlets in fact increase the prices and slash them by a certain % almost every few weeks, which makes us perceive that we are getting the products at a great deal. But try this, visit a Perry Ellis outlet to purchase the same suit and you’ll know what I am talking about. You won’t notice a great difference in material but you might still want to go back to Banana Republic because of Selective Distortion, and that’s how great an influence perception has in our daily choices.

References/ Work cited

  1. Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicit_Association_Test
  2. Aque Chris, 2007, The University of Chicago: Theories of Media: Perception http://csmt.uchicago.edu/glossary2004/perceptionperceivability.htm
  3. Credits: N.I.T.K Surathkal, Tech Fest “Engineer” logo.

Blog #1

Okay, I finally blog which I never though I would in my entire life. Thanks to my course B134A on consumer behavior which requires me to write a blog every week which also inspired me to have my own blog space. And here goes my first blog (original), feel free to critique 🙂

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My understanding of consumer behavior and what I would like to get out of this class.

From what I understand or have experienced/read about consumer behavior is it’s an evolving process which starts from a need that is created and often guided by the purchasing power, surroundings, ethnicity, and price elasticity for durable goods [1].

Also with the advent of technology and corporations spreading their wings across the world it has also created awareness of new products/ services, making life simpler, increasing career opportunities thus increased purchase power and catapulting the same consumers into an upper bracket which to an extend changes their demand [utility maximization] and behavior, i.e. at different periods of socioeconomic development and economic levels consumers show different pattern or in other words consumer behavior [2].

It doesn’t stop there and I think consumer behavior is also influenced by their experience during decision making process and post-purchase. I would like to site my own example here. Like any individual I like to first look into my immediate need then identify the product or service that could satisfy my need, but there is a catch here with most of the information available to me online I like to compare the goods/services online and try to get the best value out of it, which is time consuming no doubt but I know if something excites me I would be willing to pay the premium if it makes me stand out from the rest, that’s when I get into the grey area between my needs and want due to my internal/ external search.

How a bad experience can change the consumer behavior?.

One example is my D* laptop which I have been using for the last six years (YES) and it’s been doing great so far, however there came a point where the brand I perceived highly about was all wiped-out by a competitor H* instantly on one feature D* had been good at, so that’s something which would reflect in my next purchase [psychological perhaps] this week as D* to me now have a low Hedonistic value when compared to H*.

Therefore taking my experience as one of the examples, what I would like to get out of this class is every product/service has it’s forte and Achilles heels then in order to keep our consumers happy what are the data points that would help us determine/quantify our consumers behavior (if possible) and how best we can utilize that to keep them motivated during their decision making process and/or later?.

Reference/Work cited:

  1. Yi Cai (1994), Country-of-foreign origin effects on consumers willingnessto buy foreign products:

An experiment in consumer decision making. (B.E.C, NanKai University, China) URL: http://fcs.uga.edu/ss/docs/cai_yi_200208_ms.pdf

2. XUE Guoqin (2010) Analysis on Consumer Behavior Characteristics and cause during the Financial Crisis. A case of Zhejiang (Shaoxing University, Shaoxing, Zhejiang, P.R.China)