Consumerology, New Edition | Philip Graves

Summary of: Consumerology, New Edition: The Truth about Consumers and the Psychology of Shopping
By: Philip Graves


Embark on a fascinating exploration of the mind and the psychology of shopping in our summary of ‘Consumerology, New Edition: The Truth about Consumers and the Psychology of Shopping’ by Philip Graves. This insightful book delves into the limitations of traditional market research and reveals the importance of understanding the unconscious mind while studying consumer behavior. Discover how human psychology plays a crucial role in the choices and decision-making processes of consumers, and learn why environments and other psychological factors often contribute to inaccurate market research findings. Explore alternative methods for conducting market research that take into account the unconscious mind and its impact on consumer decisions.

The Power of the Unconscious Mind in Consumer Behavior

Market research can often fail to capture the true motivations and behaviors of customers as it relies on conscious responses rather than the unconscious mind, which drives our decisions. Even presenting a range of choices to customers can overwhelm and confuse them, leading them to fall back on unconscious drivers such as brand familiarity. Successful products often appeal to customers’ emotions and unconscious triggers such as pleasant smells and friendly faces. Therefore, it is essential to treat customers’ responses with skepticism and conduct market research in a way that engages the unconscious mind.

Live Testing is Key

Launching a new product is a risky procedure, and live testing can help with mitigating those risks. It involves trying out a concept in real-life situations and observing the outcomes. However, even live testing can cause artificial reactions from customers. Psychological factors such as liking familiarity, unconscious preference for ease, and the influence of previous encounters affect what people buy. Customers might claim they are willing to try something new, but knowing a product makes them believe they like it more. Priming also plays a significant role in their decision-making, and they judge subsequent information accordingly.

Understanding Consumer Behavior

Consumer choices are impacted by various factors such as store lighting, music, and size. The presence of a salesperson can also influence a decision, despite customers denying it. “Unconscious misattribution” occurs when a pleasant environment causes consumers to associate those feelings with a product. Traditional market research methods like focus groups and online surveys are not accurate due to the lack of similarity to the real environment. There is a likelihood of “confirmation bias” leading customers to make contradictory choices unconsciously. Observing customers in their natural habitat is the best way to research their selections.

Customer Observation

The book asserts that observing customers’ behavior is more effective than asking them about it. Observing helps you see both the conscious and unconscious minds, requiring undercover observation. People behave differently when they know they’re being watched. To study the customers, use questions like how much time they spend with the product, do they touch it, do they glance or look away, and their emotional state, which gives you clues on their unconscious mind.

Want to read the full book summary?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed