Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping

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Revolutionary retail guru Paco Underhill is back with a completely revised edition of his classic, witty bestselling book on our ever-evolving consumer culture—full of fresh observations and important lessons from the cutting edge of retail such as Internet behemoths Amazon and iTunes as well as the globalization of retail in the world’s emerging markets.
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The author of the hugely successful Why We Buy and The Call of the Mall, reports on the growing importance of women in everybody’s marketplace—what makes a package, product, space, or service "female friendly." Underhill offers a tour of the world’s marketplace—with shrewd observations and practical applications to help everybody adapt to the new realities.

As large numbers of women become steadily wealthier, more powerful, and more independent, their choices and preferences are transforming our commercial environment in a variety of important ways, from the cars we drive to the food we eat; from how we buy and furnish our homes to how we gamble, play, and use the Internet—in short, how we spend our time and money.

With the same flair and humor that made his previous books universally appealing, Underhill examines how a woman’s role as homemaker has evolved into homeowner and what women look for in a home. How the home gym and home office are linked to the women’s health movement and home-based businesses. Why the refrigerator has trumped the stove as the crucial appliance. How every major hotel chain in the world has redesigned rooms and services for the female business traveler. Why some malls, appealing to women, are succeeding while others fail. What women look for online and why some retail websites, like Amazon, attract women while other sites turn them off.

"The point is," writes Underhill, "while men were busy doing other things, women were becoming a major social, cultural, and economic force."

And, as he warns, no business can afford to ignore their power and presence.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jun 2, 2000
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781416561743
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Consumer Behavior
Business & Economics / Marketing / Research
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Practice theories of our equipped and situated tacit construction of participatory narrative meaning are evident in multiple disciplines from architectural to communication study, consumer, marketing and media research, organisational, psychological and social insight. Their hermeneutic focus is on customarily little reflected upon, recurrent but required, practices of embodied, habituated knowing how—from choosing ‘flaw-free’ fruit in a market to celebrating Chinese New Year Reunion Dining, caring for patients to social media ‘voice’. In ready-to-hand practices, we attend to the purpose and not to the process, to the goal rather than its generating. Yet familiar practices both presume and put in place fundamental understanding. Listening to Asian and Western consumers reflecting—not only subsequent to but also within practices—this book considers activity emplacing core perceptions from a liminal moment in a massive mall to health psychology research. Institutions configure practices-in-practices cohering or conflicting within their material horizons and space accessible to social analysis.

Practices theory construes routine as minimally self-monitored, nonetheless considering it as being embodied narrative. In research output, such generic ‘storied’ activity is seen as (in)formed, shaped from a shifting hierarchy of ‘horizons’ or perspectives—from habituated to reflective—rather than a single seamless unfolding. Taking a communication practices route disentangles and avoids conflating tacit and transformative construction of identities in qualitative research. Practices research crosses discipline. Ubiquitous media use by managers and visitors throughout a shopping mall responds to investigating not only with digital tracking expertise but also from an interpretive marketing viewpoint. Visiting a practice perspective’s hermeneutic underwriting, spatio-temporal metaphorical concepts become available and appropriate to the analysis of communication as a process across disciplines. In repeated practices, ‘horizons of understanding’ are solidified. Emphasising our understanding of a material environment as ‘equipment’, practices theory enables correlation of use and demographic variable in quantitative study extending interpretive behavioural and haptic qualitative research.

Consumption, Psychology and Practice Theories: A Hermeneutic Perspective

addresses academics and researchers in communication studies, marketing, psychology and social theory, as well as university methodology courses, recognising philosophy guides a discipline’s investigative insight.
Although one perspective depicts young consumers as vulnerable and passive in the marketplace system, our knowledge of this consumer group will be inadequate if limited to this contention. Their roles and relevance in family consumption activities are becoming increasingly profound. Available evidence shows that they cannot be ignored in the marketplace dynamics as they consume goods and services in their households and are involved in various other active roles in their household consumption including making decisions where applicable. Hence, the landscape of young consumer behaviour is changing.

Young Consumer Behaviour: A Research Companion

focusses on exploring the behaviour of young consumers as individuals and societal members. The chapters address different aspects of consumption activities of children as individuals like motivation, involvement, perception, learning, attitude, the self, and personality. Similarly, chapters on consumer behaviour in social settings contextualised to young consumers including culture, sub-culture, family, and groups are incorporated into the book. This book fills a gap in the literature by addressing the dynamics of consumption patterns of this consumer group, in relation to various marketing stimuli and different stakeholders. It combines eclectic perspectives on the topic and specifically, bridges the gap between historical perspectives and contemporary issues.

Building on the extant literature in the field of marketing and consumer behaviour, this book is a compendium of research materials and constitutes an essential reference source on young consumer behaviour issues with both academic and managerial implications.

The literature of marketplace behaviour, long dominated by economic and psychological discourse, has matured in the last decade to reveal the vast expanse of consumption activity not adequately addressed – in either theoretical or empirical perspective - by the discipline's favoured approaches. The lived experience of consumption in cultural and historical context, rendered in a fashion that is both intellectually insightful and authentically evocative, and that recognizes the dynamics of accommodation and resistance that characterize the individual's relationship with the market, is the central interpretive thrust of an emerging interdisciplinary field inquiry broadly labelled "consumer culture theory."

In this volume, some of the leading scholars of this field explore in great empirical detail and theoretical depth the relationships that the consumer has developed both with goods and services and with the stakeholders that animate markets. Beginning with an examination of the underpinnings of cultural inquiry, the focus then shifts to specific consumption venues. Analyses of advertising in personal, critical and historical perspective, examination of lifestyle trends from dwelling practices of transnational nomads and regimes of personal training to genetic testing and gambling, interpretations of the dynamics of brand loyalty and corporate image management, and investigation of family consumption rituals are among the topics explored in ethnographic and humanistic perspective.

How much do we know about why we buy? What truly influences our decisions in today’s message-cluttered world? An eye-grabbing advertisement, a catchy slogan, an infectious jingle? Or do our buying decisions take place below the surface, so deep within our subconscious minds, we’re barely aware of them?

In BUYOLOGY, Lindstrom presents the astonishing findings from his groundbreaking, three-year, seven-million-dollar neuromarketing study, a cutting-edge experiment that peered inside the brains of 2,000 volunteers from all around the world as they encountered various ads, logos, commercials, brands, and products. His startling results shatter much of what we have long believed about what seduces our interest and drives us to buy. Among the questions he explores:

Does sex actually sell? To what extent do people in skimpy clothing and suggestive poses persuade us to buy products?
Despite government bans, does subliminal advertising still surround us – from bars to highway billboards to supermarket shelves?
Can “Cool” brands, like iPods, trigger our mating instincts?
Can other senses – smell, touch, and sound - be so powerful as to physically arouse us when we see a product?
Do companies copy from the world of religion and create rituals – like drinking a Corona with a lime – to capture our hard-earned dollars?

Filled with entertaining inside stories about how we respond to such well-known brands as Marlboro, Nokia, Calvin Klein, Ford, and American Idol, BUYOLOGY is a fascinating and shocking journey into the mind of today’s consumer that will captivate anyone who’s been seduced – or turned off – by marketers’ relentless attempts to win our loyalty, our money, and our minds.
The Undiscovered Consumer . . .and the Mistake of Universal Excellence

What do customers really want? And how can companies best serve them? Fred Crawford and Ryan Mathews set off on what they describe as an "expedition into the commercial wilderness" to find the answers. What they discovered was a new consumer -- one whom very few companies understand, much less manufacture products for or sell products or services to. These consumers are desperately searching for values, a scarce resource in our rapidly changing and challenging world. And increasingly they are turning to business to reaffirm these values. As one consumer put it: "I can find value everywhere but can't find values anywhere."

Crawford and Mathews's initial inquiries eventually grew into a major research study involving more than 10,000 consumers, interviews with executives from scores of leading companies around the world, and dozens of international client engagements. Their conclusion: Most companies priding themselves on how well they "know" their customers aren't really listening to them at all. Consumers are fed up with all the fuss about "world-class performance" and "excellence." What they are aggressively demanding is recognition, respect, trust, fairness, and honesty.

Believing that they are still in a position to dictate the terms of commercial engagement, businesses have bought into the myth of excellence -- the clearly false and destructive theory that a company ought to be great at everything it does, that is, all the components of every commercial transaction: price, product, access, experience, and service. This is always a mistake because "the predictable outcome [is] that the company ends up world-class at nothing; not well-differentiated and therefore not thought of by consumers at the moment of need."

Instead, Crawford and Mathews suggest that companies engage in Consumer Relevancy, a strategy of dominating in one element of a transaction, differentiating on a second, and being at industry par (i.e., average) on the remaining three. It's not necessary for businesses to equally invest time and money on all five attributes, and their customers don't want them to. Imagine the confusion if Tiffany & Co. started offering deep discounts on diamonds and McDonald's began selling free-range chicken and tofu.

The Myth of Excellence provides a blueprint for companies seeking to offer values-based products and services and shows how to realize the commercial opportunities that exist just beyond their current grasp -- opportunities to reduce operating costs, boost bottom-line profitability, and, most important, begin to engage in a meaningful dialogue with customers.
The author of the hugely successful Why We Buy and The Call of the Mall, reports on the growing importance of women in everybody’s marketplace—what makes a package, product, space, or service "female friendly." Underhill offers a tour of the world’s marketplace—with shrewd observations and practical applications to help everybody adapt to the new realities.

As large numbers of women become steadily wealthier, more powerful, and more independent, their choices and preferences are transforming our commercial environment in a variety of important ways, from the cars we drive to the food we eat; from how we buy and furnish our homes to how we gamble, play, and use the Internet—in short, how we spend our time and money.

With the same flair and humor that made his previous books universally appealing, Underhill examines how a woman’s role as homemaker has evolved into homeowner and what women look for in a home. How the home gym and home office are linked to the women’s health movement and home-based businesses. Why the refrigerator has trumped the stove as the crucial appliance. How every major hotel chain in the world has redesigned rooms and services for the female business traveler. Why some malls, appealing to women, are succeeding while others fail. What women look for online and why some retail websites, like Amazon, attract women while other sites turn them off.

"The point is," writes Underhill, "while men were busy doing other things, women were becoming a major social, cultural, and economic force."

And, as he warns, no business can afford to ignore their power and presence.
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