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If I were to categorize the type of consumer I am it would be this: an Individual consumer who is influenced by cognitive responses to the marketing I encounter. When searching for my last farm truck, for example, my attributing reliable and powerful engines to the FORD brand and the PowerStroke Diesel engine led me to spend twice as much on the truck as I had originally wanted. I felt that taking all things into comparison, that one element would be the most compelling.

My purchase decisions are made following my researching the possible solutions to a need which I have identified. I rarely buy on impulse, and for the most part ignore the very compelling marketing efforts at the checkout aisle! Rather, when I look at the fundamental messaging that influences me, I respond to imagery which is aspirational to my specific vision and goals for life. I seek products that are positioned as reliable and peer-reviewed, but I don’t want to be one of many. I want to buy the fringes. That is to say, those products that are the best (supported by professionals who use them, but that are less known by the general public. As an example, I hosted a radio show as the Executive Chef of the only live cooking radio show in the world. Every week I cooked on air with chefs from around the world. From those engagements, I would learn about the best knife or the best pan. It was then that I discovered carbon steel pans. These are not your standard Calphalon or All-Clad. These are purpose built pans that conduct heat quickly and form the basis of the pans used in most high end restaurants. The specific brand that I chose was based on their marketing positioning their version of the pans as the highest rated amongst Michelin chefs.

Marketing Design may be easy to quantify as to what I respond to – that is to say a focus on that product being for those in-the-know and what the smartest and most knowledgable really buy. The story telling needs to be good, and needs to capture my imagination, while appealing to my cognitive reaction.

Marketing Research influences me in a far different way. If I PARTICIPATE in the market research, I am far more likely to be interested in a final product which comes to market (this goes back to wanting to be in-the-know amongst a small group). However, general market research is only relevant to me when it helps paint that picture that supports my buying habit. Knowing that the top Michelin chefs preferred that brand, for example, paints that story I need to make a purchase decision. But a 5-star google rating from any Tom, Dick or Harry that buys a product has no sway with me. The research needs to look for causal, correlated points that infer the experience level of the user and the exclusivity of the product. Qualitative over quantitative points are most helpful in these cases.

From a post-purchase behavior I frequently compare what I wanted with what I actually got. A gap between the two of significance would be enough for me to turn my back on that brand, and even possibly on a product category. The post-purchase behavior is crucial in product lifecycle planning as it helps determine if consumers will re-purchase or move on to a different product. It’s always less expensive to nurture and keep your current customers than it is to find new ones, and conduct the relevant research, etc.