The Effects of Framing on Consumer Behavior

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  • 0:04 Framing & Consumer Behavior
  • 0:33 Framing & Consumer…
  • 2:41 Framing & Research
  • 4:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: LeRon Haire
In this lesson, we will introduce the concept of framing as it pertains to consumer behavior, as well as discussing its effects on consumer behavior, decision-making, and how it can be analyzed to help determine marketing strategy.

Framing & Consumer Behavior

Understanding consumer behavior is something that marketers have attempted to do for decades. One of the concepts that can help achieve this feat is framing. Framing, in the general sense of the term, can have multiple meanings. However, in its relation to consumer behavior, framing can be defined as a person's reaction to a specific choice due to the way that it is presented. In this lesson we're going to take a look at an example of framing and then address how framing effects consumer behavior.

Although decorative, framing for consumer behavior is vastly different from this type of framing.

Framing & Consumer Decision-Making

Consumer behavior has everything to do with how a product or service is perceived. Therefore, framing plays a vital role in the purchasing and decision-making process for consumers. For example, let's say that you are in the market to purchase a brand new car and you visit car lot A to see a specific car up close and personal.

The salesperson on car lot A tells you how fast the car can go and shows you several of its luxuries like satellite radio, heated leather seats, and custom exterior design. As you are leaving car lot A, a salesperson from car lot B (which is directly across the street) greets you to tell you about the negative aspects of the car you were just looking at on car lot A. He informs you that, not only is the car on car lot A too expensive, but it is also rated very low in terms of safety performance.

In this example, you are able to see how framing can be used to affect a consumer's decision-making ability. Before you left car lot A, you were completely sold and perhaps set on coming back to purchase the vehicle sometime soon. However, once the salesperson from car lot B began to frame your perspective from their view, you may have begun to question your decision. By spotlighting the lack of safety features and requirements, you're now questioning whether the car on car lot A is the right one for you after all.

Understanding rational choice theory, the concept that individuals will select the option or choice that gives them the highest benefit at the lowest possible cost, it is also useful to know when determining how framing affects consumer behavior. This is similar to a concept in economics of maximizing an advantage while minimizing any losses.

For example, let's say that you have the option to purchase a brand-name motorcycle for $50,000, but it runs horribly and needs constant maintenance. You also have the option to purchase a motorcycle that does not have a brand name but does work like a charm and only needs routine maintenance. Rational choice theory works hand-in-hand with framing because option two is framed so that the non-brand name motorcycle sounds like a viable option instead of the name brand. It also provides a higher benefit at a lower cost or opportunity to the consumer.

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