Thinking critically about consumer behavior and producing a strong essay on the subject is a tough challenge. It involves studying marketing principles, human psychology and the complex attitudes which influence buyer decisions. However, the challenging factor multiplies if you had left things up to the last minute. As a result, the simple task of coming up with a title for your essay will be problematic. Do not worry though; the following lines are here to help.
Here is a list of 20 topics which will help you write a great critical thinking essay on consumer behavior. You can use these as is or merge two inter-related ones if you think you can do them justice. You can also use these 20 titles for inspiration and come up with your own unique topic.
- Using Unorthodox Marketing Channels in Brand Building
- Relying on Celebrity Endorsement as a Marketing Strategy
- A Comparative Analysis of the Buying Habits of Men and Women
- Building Brand Loyalty: Challenges, Theories and Success Stories
- Psychological Factors Which Influence Consumer Choice
- How Studying Consumer Behavior Can Help Companies Predict Future Trends
- The Challenges and Opportunities Presented by Today’s Constantly Evolving Markets
- Understanding the Digitally Hyper-Connected Generation Z Consumers
- How the Internet Changed Consumer Behavior
- Cultural Diversity and Consumer Behavior: Highlighting the Impact and Major Concerns
- The Differences and Similarities of B2B and B2C Marketing
- The Emergence and Importance of Brand Personalities
- Important Factors to Consider When Creating Advertising Campaigns
- The Role of Personality Variables in a Consumer’s Buying Decisions
- Analysis of Strategies Used to Alter Consumer Attitudes
- The Growing Impact of Internet Marketing on Consumer Behavior
- The Impact of a Store’s Environment on Consumer Behavior
- The Era of Adaptive Customer Experience: How Relevancy and Personalization of Buying Experience Helps Build Brand Loyalty
- Regaining Consumer Trust after Business Disasters: The Lessons Learned from Businesses
- The Role of Consumer Insights in Making Marketing More Effective
A word of advice: these topics have a broad scope. Though it would have been much easier for us to come up with narrow topics, we focused on broader perspectives to easily customize each topic. To effectively narrow down the scope:
- Focus on a specific impact factor.
- Narrow down according to a company.
- Restrict your topic to a particular country or region.
- Focus on one population generation.
If you are still having trouble with selecting a topic, check out our list of 13 facts on consumer behavior for a critical thinking essay. You will find a ton of interesting facts which will greatly help you while drafting your essay.
Still need a nudge? Then here is a sample critical essay on consumer behavior. Use it as an example or as a template for your assignment. The more detailed guide on how to write a critical thinking essay on consumer behavior will further ensure that you get a great grade for your essay.
Sample Critical Thinking Essay: The Impact of a Store’s Environment on Consumer Behavior
Not long ago, consumers used to focus simply on products functions or attributes before selecting a place to shop at. This has changed recently as now consumers demand added beneficial elements. This is especially true considering the fact that today’s buyers understand how much brands need their businesses. One aspect which they desire the most is a pleasant atmosphere as they shop. Realizing this growing demand, today’s retailers are working harder than ever to integrate convenience into their stores’ surroundings and to ensure huge spaces that spare consumers from feeling stuck or confined as they shop.
By definition, atmosphere is a term used to explain consumers’ feelings towards the shopping experience. It can also be described as a design which produces emotional effects on the buyer, enhancing their purchasing probability. Based on these definitions, it is safe to say that an attractive and impressive atmosphere has the power to create an enjoyable experience among consumers, positively affecting their buying decisions and incurring retailers more revenue.
There are a set of factors which contribute to the effectiveness of a retail store’s atmosphere. A majority, if not all, should be present to ensure consumers a good shopping experience and keep them captivated enough to come back for more in the future. First off, cleanliness is vital for the atmosphere of the store. Customers are bound to create negative word of mouth if they notice even the slightest speck on product displays or floors. This is because cleanliness of outlets portrays a brand’s dedication to comfort and luxury.
Music is another factor that can make or break a retail store’s atmosphere. The sounds can impact consumers’ conscious and unconscious decisions. Styles and tempos of music can influence consumers to buy more at retail outlets. Moreover, pleasant music can lengthen consumption time whereas loud music will drive them away. As music selections and their sound levels differ based on gender as well, stores need to put much thought into what they play in order to ensure buyers of a great environment.
Appearances are also taken into consideration while shopping in traditional stores. Contributing to this factor are lighting, colors used, and displays/layout. Lighting goes beyond highlighting products to generating excitement and positively impacting consumer purchasing behavior. Consumers tend to touch products when good lighting shines on them to assess quality. Color is also important for building feelings and affecting consumer attitudes as it has the power to stimulate memories, thoughts, and experiences. For instance, red tends to portray negativity and tension, which is why it is hardly used in comparison with greens and blues. Finally, products are displayed in a way that attracts customers to make impulse purchases. In fact, design and display of products contribute one fourth sales of the outlets.
Unfortunately, not many store owners understand the value of the atmosphere and its impact on consumer behavior. As a result, they remain stagnant and refuse to change. On the other hand, some stores make wrong decisions that cost them their clientele. Therefore, this is one aspect that needs to be tackled with care so that stores can truly reap benefits.
Of course, you can come up with a better essay since you understand the subject well and have your instructor’s guidelines in mind. So, go on and write a critical thinking essay before your deadline.
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The study of consumer behavior involves elements of economics, the social sciences, and the physical sciences. An endless and diverse field of research and applications, consumer behavior considers such areas as buying decision-making, internal influences, and external influences on the consumer. An understanding of consumer behavior can lead to improved marketing strategies on the part of firms and organizations, and can also lead to improved public policy.
Keywords Consumer Behavior; Consumer Buying Decision Process; Deviant Behavior; Planned Behavior; Purchase Decision
Marketing: Consumer Behavior
In marketing, consumer behavior is the study of the acquisition, consumption, use, and disposal of products, services, experiences, or ideas, by consumers. When considered in greater depth, consumer behavior can be defined as the study of how and when individuals, groups and organizations select, purchase, use and dispose of products, services, experiences or ideas to satisfy their needs. It also involves the study of why consumption decisions are made. In addition, consumer behavior looks at the impacts that the processes of selection, purchasing, use, and disposal have on consumers and on society.
Consumer behavior studies the characteristics of individual consumers, by looking at variables such as demographics, psychographics and behavior, in an attempt to understand the consumer and his or her world. Demographics include factors such as race, age, income, mobility (travel time to work or number of vehicles available), educational attainment, home ownership, employment status and location. Psychographics are attributes related to personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles. Behavioral variables include usage rate and loyalty. Consumer behavior also tries to assess influences on the consumer from groups such as family, friends, reference groups and society in general (Perner, ).
Consumer behavior is a subcategory of marketing that blends elements from economics, psychology, sociology, social psychology, anthropology and other sciences, such as physiological psychology, biochemistry, and genetics. The field of economics actually provided the foundation for marketing, but it wrongly assumed “that consumers are rational decision makers who actively seek information, objectively evaluate alternatives available to them, and make rational selections of products or services to maximize their benefits.” By neglecting the emotional side of the customer, among other psychological factors, economists “failed to provide marketing with all of the concepts needed to understand the complexities” of what motivates consumers(Demirdjian & Senguder, , p. ).
Realizing these limitations, marketing scholars began to seek an “understanding of consumer behavior from other sciences. Psychology — the study of individual behavior — was one of the earliest and most extensively used fields from which concepts have been borrowed. Motivation, perception, learning, beliefs, attitudes and so on, have all been used to explain why the consumer behaves the way he or she does” (Demirdjian & Senguder, , p. ). “Social psychology is yet another source from which many concepts have been borrowed, as this field is concerned with the behavior of individuals in the presence of other individuals or groups.” Research into other sciences such as physiological psychology, which is the “study of the interaction of the body with the mind,” and which studies the “extent to which behavior is caused by physical and chemical phenomena in the body,” is relatively recent (Demirdjian & Senguder, , p. ).
It has been said that the basic nature of consumer behavior is diversity: the field is characterized by diversity in theories and diversity in research methods (Demirdjian & Senguder, ). Although early related research can be traced back much further, the attempt to theorize consumer behavior began in , first looking at the type of behavioral processes consumers typically used in adopting new products; then addressing consumer problem-solving, buyer behavior, and buyer decision processes. Subsequent research has looked into information processing of consumer choice, and the experiential consumer.
Since the early s, research has been conducted in areas as wide and varied as deviant behavior, consumer perception, planned behavior, intention-behavior discrepancy, environmentally responsible behavior, consumer judgment, attitudes, dependence, international and cross-cultural consumer behavior, impulsive buying, personality-behavior relationships, the role of imagery, and social and political marketing issues.
Behavior occurs either for an individual on his or her own; for an individual in the context of a group (where others in the group influence how a person behaves); or for an organization (where people on the job make decisions as to which products the firm should use). The study of consumer behavior attempts to understand the buyer decision making process for individuals, groups and organizations.
Consumer decision making comes about as an attempt to solve consumer problems, both major and minor. A consumer buying decision process can have up to six stages. Actual purchasing is only one stage of the process, and not all decision processes may lead to a purchase. The number of stages involved in a particular decision will depend on the degree of complexity of that decision. The six stages are: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, purchase, and post-purchase evaluation.
The first stage, Problem Recognition, is when a consumer becomes aware of a need. The need is manifest because there is a difference between the consumer's desired state and his or her actual condition. The second stage is the information search. There are two types of information searches: internal and external. With an internal information search, the consumer searches the information stored in his or her memory. If more information is needed after the internal search, the consumer may consult external information sources such as friends and relatives for word-of-mouth; marketing information; comparison shopping; and public sources.
A successful information search leaves a needy consumer with possible alternatives collectively called the Evoked Set. Armed with the evoked set, the consumer embarks on the third stage of the buying decision process: Evaluation of alternatives. Here, the consumer may need to establish the criteria for evaluation, such as features of the product or service that the buyer wants or does not want. The consumer may rank or weigh the alternatives to arrive at a choice, or resume searching if a satisfactory choice is not arrived at. Information from different sources may be treated differently.
The fourth stage in the consumer buying decision process is the purchase decision. Here, the consumer selects from the available alternatives, making decisions on details such as the specific product or service, its packaging, retail outlet and method of purchase. The fifth stage is the purchase, which at times occurs simultaneously with the purchase decision. Sometimes product availability issues may cause a time lapse between the purchase decision and the actual purchase.
The sixth and last stage in the consumer buying decision process is post-purchase evaluation (also known as post-acquisition evaluation), which may occur to the buyer consciously or subconsciously. At the end of his or her evaluation, the buyer may experience satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction may result from many factors, such as unmet brand expectations, and at times may lead to the consumer lodging a complaint. A satisfied consumer may end