The Science of Consumer Psychology: Why Do We Buy What We Buy?

Consumer Psychology: “The study of individuals, groups or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use and dispose of products, services, experiences or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society.”

What a mouthful!  Does anyone really talk like that??  In short, consumer psychology is the study behind why we buy what we buy. More and more people are becoming interested in the influences that cause a shopper to pick one product over another, or for a consumer to prefer the more expensive name brand over the cost-friendly generic brand. Many people, when asked why they chose, let’s say Jiff, over Peter Pan peanut butter, chances are they’ll tell you, “It tastes better.” But is that really why? I’ve had both, and to be honest … to me … they taste about the same. It’s thanks to consumer psychologists that companies – of all sizes – are able to see how our thoughts, beliefs, feelings and perceptions influence us to reach for Philadelphia Cream Cheese over Safeway brand – Fruit Loops over Fruity Rings – Kraft over Kroger and so on—and to put that knowledge to use in their own branding.

PicMonkey Collage_peanutbutterReports done by consumer psychologists help create brands and marketing tools for companies across the globe, and they can help you shape your brand too. Among studying the influences of a buyer’s purchases, they also study:

·         How consumers choose businesses, products and services

·         The thought processes and emotions behind consumer decisions

·         How environmental variables such as friends, family, media and culture influence buying decisions

·         What motivates people to choose one product over another

·         How personal factors and individual difference affect people’s buying choices

·         What marketers can do to effectively reach out to their target customers

Learn more about consumer psychology—read the following articles: or


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