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.
This book began by suggesting that marketing needed to reflect upon how it had positioned itself in relation to consumption in advanced Western society. The functional rubrics of segmentation, target marketing and continued innovation practised for so long lack the subtlety to deal with the postmodern world. The current modes of operation exemplified by relationship marketing do little better. Too often marketing has been found wanting and on a number of fronts. Supposedly consumer-centric, it still falls back on power relations and tactics for more consumption rather than better or more appropriate consumption. It innovates in ways that suit suppliers but does not respond readily to consumers who either want something different to what is on offer, or initiate new ways of doing things ...