Methods for Changing & Sustaining Consumer Behavior

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  • 0:03 Persuading vs.…
  • 0:44 Optimizing Objectives
  • 1:25 Avoid Temptation of Old Habits
  • 1:59 Plan Accordingly
  • 2:41 Sustaining Changed Behaviors
  • 3:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: LeRon Haire
Good marketers want to do more than persuade consumers to buy their products - they want consumers to change their buying behavior. In this lesson, we'll discuss some methods marketers can use to change consumer behavior and sustain that behavior going forward.

Persuading vs. Changing Behavior

Consumer behavior can be defined as the study of people, groups, or associations and the methods they use to choose products that fulfill their needs. Consumer choices and preferences are like clocks: They are constantly moving and changing. With this continuous cycle, how can marketers seek to improve the chances of selling their products? The trick (so to speak) is to avoid trying to persuade consumers and encourage them to change their behaviors instead. How can this be done?

The key is to help consumers break old habits by developing new ones. In this lesson, we're going to take a look at a few methods that marketers can use to change consumer behavior, as well as some techniques for sustaining those changes.

Optimizing Objectives

To begin, marketers must state their objectives. Suppose you had the personal goal of checking your email less often, because doing so was interfering with your work. Many people fail at changing or stopping behaviors like this one because they concentrate on the negative objective: 'Stop checking email.' The problem with negative objectives is that they don't offer an alternative. To break an old habit, you must establish a new one.

In this case, consumer behavior marketers can find ways to encourage buyers to try a product out before buying it. For instance, a free food sample in a grocery store allows consumers to actually taste and interact with the new product, thereby offering an alternative to something they already use.

Avoid Temptation of Old Habits

It's also important to be prepared for consumers to return to their old buying habits after briefly trying something new. Let's return to the email analogy. You have an important report to work on and are worried you'll be tempted to check your email as you do your research. To help keep yourself on the straight and narrow, you could try doing your work in a location where you don't have access to email.

Consumers often make impulse purchases, which are purchases that were not planned beforehand. Home delivery of products cuts down on this, as it prevents customers from making different, unplanned purchases in the store.

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