I have always considered consumer behavior as the study of how value is placed on certain things and how that same value motivates people to buying. Some people may prefer Coke to Pepsi others may need to purchase Maxwell House coffee over Foldgers. The reason being how much value each purchase brings them. Maybe Coke brings the nostalgia of one's child hood back for the amount of time it takes for them to consume the beverage. I for one will always prefer Nathan's hotdogs over any other because it reminds me of how my father used to take me to Coney Island as a kid. When I was asked to keep a log of my own consumer behavior over the span of about 4 months I would have never thought that the relationships I have with my family, friends, and peers in general would play such a large role in what I bought and how I bought it. In this "Happiness Project" I will touch on topics such as brand inheritance, personality, modeling, and needs relating to consumer behavior and connect then to my own relationships with my family, friends, coworkers and classmates.
It took a while for me to understand how to gauge my own behavior as a consumer; obviously it has always been very natural to me. Stephen Gould's article on introspection made it possible for me to take myself out of the equation and delve deeper into my own mannerisms and behavior. "Introspection is a central process of everyday life, albeit a culturally and scientifically contested one with many variations and understandings." (Gould 2006) In essence one of the exercises that he presented was to just watch one's self and take note of what each sense gathers. This got me thinking that even without that exercise all of us on a daily basis, whether consciously or subconsciously, take notice of what we do and how we do it. As a consumer there are countless variables that I consider before I buy something, price, quality, convenience, etc. For others there may be fewer variables considered but more influence placed on the variables that they are considering in the first place. For example someone may not even care about the price of a new cell phone; they place more emphasis on the convenience that the features of that new cell phone will offer them in the long run. This idea of introspection exists in everyone at one point or another during the day. While at work last month I noticed myself going to the next door pizzeria and buying a slice almost every day that week (log entry 10/5/12). I never thought about it but realized that it wasn't because I enjoyed the pizza from that particular restaurant (I actually don't really enjoy the pizza at all); it was because that...