Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rational Man and Conspicuous Consumption Man Are Run Down by the Context-Research Guy

This is the story of how the “Consumer Behavior Mystery” was finally solved!

It was a dark and stormy night when “Rational Man” in the company of “Conspicuous Consumption Man” while pursuing the elusive “Consumer Behavior” were both were run down by “Context-Research Guy.” A group of marketers were standing nearby, clearly confused. Context Research Guy cried out, “Fear not, I’m here to help.”

Rational and Conspicuous were dazed and were unable to continue; meanwhile, Context-Research has taken up the chase. It has been reported that Consumer Behavior may be trapped.

Context-Research Guy, whose full name is Context-Driven Qualitative Research Man, claims that he is the only one who truly understands Consumer Behavior.

He notes that Rational is wrong when he says that Consumer Behavior only wants to “maximize utility” i.e. pleasure or happiness. Oh yeah, there is more to it than simply pleasure.

Context-Research admits that Conspicuous is right when he says that Consumer is trying to impress others, but he says there is more to it than “Mine is bigger than yours.”

Context-Research is disgusted with both Rational and Conspicuous. He says, “If we are going to catch Consumer Behavior we need to get him where he lives - - then we can trap him with his own words.” He continues:

Here’s how to set the trap. Forget about traits and profiling, this is not a problem for psychology, it’s a matter of context. Find out what Consumer Behavior wants and how he goes about getting it. In short, picture the scene. Draw it up in a series of pictographs and let him explain himself as he goes through them. He might get emotional. So much the better. Keep your yap shut because he knows and you don’t.

For example, if Consumer Behavior tries to buy a car, gets fitted for a suit, or considers taking a vacation, we’re going to picture each decision point and then he can explain himself. Yeah, Consumer Behavior can run but he can’t hide. Even during these tough economic times, Consumer Behavior is still buying and we’re going to find out what and why.

Rational Man and Conspicuous Consumption you’ve had your day. Sure you were good, but not good enough. Now it is time to step aside and leave things to “Context-Research Guy.”

Written by Dale Paulson, Ph.D. President of Allegiance Research Group. To learn more email AllegianceResearch@gmail.com.

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