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.

The Consumer-Oriented Approach to Marketing

The Consumer-Oriented Approach to Marketing

The consumer-oriented approach to marketing

we are faced with a profusion of minor choices and a dearth of major choices. We can enter a superstore and choose between twenty different brands of margarine, but many of us have no choice but to enter the superstore. Were we to tell the corporations dominating some sectors that, dissatisfied with their services, we shall take our custom elsewhere, they would ask us which planet we had in mind. (Monbiot, 2000: 16)


This chapter will review the increasing importance of consumer behaviour to marketing management. It will highlight how consumers became more sophisticated in their purchasing and consumption behaviour towards the close of the twentieth century. Marketing management's response has been to advocate a shift from ...

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