Monday, November 18, 2013

The Effect of Emotions on Consumer Behavior



Patti Williams analyzes how consumers with different visual and emotional perspectives handle consumer situations. Williams mentions that research has shown that loneliness is linked to materialism, which causes people to reduce their social relationships. These consumers place a high value on material possessions and relate those possessions to a measure of success or a confirmation of happiness, but ultimately, it actually causes them to feel lonelier. Essentially, the consumers attempt to fill an emotional void with a material purchase, but they soon realize this is not possible. The research was based on 2,500 consumers over a 6 year time span and focuses on how materialism and loneliness is linked and is a vicious cycle. 

Williams also references different studies, one explaining that nostalgia encourages charitable behavior and intentions. This is because when someone feels nostalgia it creates a sense of empathy towards others that are feeling stressed or not as well off. Another study states that consumers want to be happy and many marketing departments are trying very hard to appeal to the consumer’s pursuit for happiness. Marketers feel that if they can reach that side of the consumer they can become more attractive. Unfortunately, the results of six studies explain that what happiness means to each consumer varies, and consumers’ choices reflect those differences. Consumers define happiness as feeling excited or it could be feelings of calmness. In other words, there is no universal meaning for happiness, so it makes it difficult for marketers to try and appeal to all consumers. 

I agree that consumers who long for materialistic possessions always feel like they are missing something in their life and they feel lonely. Because of this sense of loneliness, they go out and attach themselves to materialistic items in order to fulfill their feelings of loneliness. Furthermore, in instances when people are more emotionally attached and experience a sort of nostalgia, they will find a way to convince themselves to possess a charitable behavior. Consumers definitely want to be happy when they go shopping and they want to feel fulfilled after they shop. Marketing departments will  try to attach themselves to the consumer’s pursuit of happiness and attempt to convince the consumer to become materialistic and purchase their product. Many times the marketing department will not be able to convince a consumer to purchase a product, but at times, the consumer might be in a good mood and purchase something without the marketer even having to do anything. This is just the way it works.


Emotions and Consumer Behavior
Author(s): Patti Williams
Source: Journal of Consumer Research, (-Not available-), p. 000 Published by:
The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/674429 .
Accessed: 19/11/2013 01:08 

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