Understanding the Consumer brings together marketing theory and practice in a truly consumer-centric approach. It challenges the lip service usually paid to this concept and demonstrates that a fundamental understanding of the consumer is critical to the future of effective marketing. Drawing on cutting-edge developments in the literature it reconceptualizes how consumers respond and act in the marketplace with particular attention to: - relationships with suppliers, products and brands - their innovative, creative and resistant behaviour - the complexity and unpredictability of their consumption behaviour - their increasing need to get closer to production. The book challenges existing functionally driven marketing thinking and shows how a more holistic approach to the marketplace will drive better theory and practice. It combines a jargon-free approach to the subject with an illustration of the relevant theory using practical, topical examples from the marketplace as well as drawing on other business related disciplines including sociology and economics to support its arguments.
for consumption is not the site of social division, inequity and poverty nor the focus of affluent, conspicuous and rapturous style cultures; rather it is both and all of these, though not necessarily equally, and its significance in either respect varies from time to time and from culture to culture. (Edwards, 2000: 31)
Marketing in advanced Western societies is at a crossroads. It must find new relevance grounded in an understanding of postmodern consumers and their behaviour or continue down a road which leads to both theorists and practitioners being seen as little more than the used car salesmen of business schools. For years marketing has been the new kid on the block. It has been tolerated as the business discipline without discipline, given the ...