Lifestyle magazine is intending to produce a special edition on consumer choice and how we decide what to buy. Readers are asked to submit articles expressing their own experiences in response to the comments below. You decide to write an article.
The truth is that consumer behavior in general and what an average household basket contains is a manifold area with many parameters entailed in it. It is not a surprise that lately many arising fields in social sciences are studying consumer choice and their ultimate choices in order to gain some valuable insights.
In modern societies it has been observed that most of people do not buy things because they really need them but rather because they want them. This latest tendency comes into a contradiction to the primitive societies. There is a shift from buying goods whose purpose is to cover human’s basic needs such as hunger, thirst, and shelter to ones that appeal to more superficial needs and of minor importance. Apparently, fast cars, high definition televisions, and well-designed clothes are falling in the array of the average consumer’s preferences, exemplifying our greediness and shallowness.
The responsibility of our superficiality doesn’t fall on to consumers alone, but also into entrepreneurs who have managed on the name of profit to create inconsiderable needs. In particular, media and marketing experts master many strategies and are aware of issues like brainwashing, brand building and customer loyalty. Therefore, they can hold sway over consumers, shape our needs and drive our preferences.
Another parameter entailed in the process of shaping our buying preferences is fashion dictated by what the majority of people buy. Psychologists claim that humans tend to follow trends dictated by every social group out of their need to feel accepted by the group they belong to. This is the reason why we many times buy more or less similar products to these that our friends or people that we are closely related to. Indeed, specialists have grouped people according to their age, life-style, culture and social strata they belong to due to the fact that they share common buying preferences, called target groups.
All in all, one shouldn’t underestimate the psychological substance of other needs apart from the basic, like social recognition, conformity, esteem, and belonging that ask to be met and the importance of their realization. Nevertheless, we should all be aware and critical that consumption is one way in which the above needs can be partly met and as such consumption shouldn’t become an end in itself.
In my opinion, this articles talks about the consumer society in which the buying of products and services is considered extremely important.