Chapter 4: Understanding Customers

Chapter Summary:

In this chapter, we look at how customers make purchase decisions.  We begin with a discussion of customer needs and why understanding this is fundamental to understanding why customers make purchases.  The perspective we take in this chapter is to touch on just the basic concepts that appear to be commonly accepted as influencing customer behavior.  We look at the buying behavior of consumers (i.e., when people buy for personal reasons) and examine factors that influence buyers’ decisions in the business market.

Key Issues:

  • Why Customers Buy
  • What Influences Purchasing
  • Internal Influences
  • External Influences
  • How Customers Buy
  • Consumer Purchase Decisions
  • Business Purchase Decisions

Links to Cited References:

(note: Some links may no longer be active, if this is the case check Accessing Marketing Stories for hints on accessing.)

  1. “Back-to-School Sales Expected to be Flat as Parents Practice Restraint,” National Retail Federation, July 21, 2011.
  2. website.
  3. Conare, C., “Shopping: Not About Product or Place, but Interaction,” Millward Brown, June 2010.
  4. Tulshyan, R., “Men’s Jewelry: A Recession-Proof Luxury,” Time, July 27, 2010.
  5. website.
  6. Lillis, M., “Two Local Women Weave Themselves Into Sewing History,” Las Vegas Review Journal, May 24, 2011.
  7. Chu, K., “Fast-Food Chains in Asia Cater Menus to Customers,” USA Today, September 7, 2010.
  8. Byron, E., “In-Store Sales Begin at Home,” Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2011.
  9. Smith, D., “How to Measure Your Brand’s Online Influence,” Inc. Magazine, February 17, 2011.
  10. Horovitz, B., “Retailers Respond as Value Mania Hits Even the Well-to-Do,” USA Today, June 9, 2011.
  11. Rayworth, M., “Does McRib’s Limited Availability Make It So Popular?” USA Today, November 11, 2010.
  12. Woyke, E., “EBay Tests Serendipitous Shopping,” Forbes, August 3, 2011.
  13. Steel, E., “Luring Shoppers to Stores,” Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2010.
  14. Siwicki, B., “Target Practice,” Internet Retailer, September 1, 2010.
Chapter 5: Targeting Markets
Chapter 3: Managing Customers