Summary of Consumer.ology

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Consumer.ology book summary

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If you let market research dictate your business decisions, consumer behavior expert Philip Graves thinks you’re making a big mistake. Market research, he says, can’t predict customers’ buying decisions because it focuses on the wrong criteria – a conscious-mind, logical thinking process. But consumers almost never make buying decisions like that, although they’ll insist they do. Instead, they make choices, quickly and efficiently, with their unconscious minds. Business owners who understand this and who apply Graves’s criteria to their research will gain valuable insights into what their customers really think and want. While just about anyone who shops can enjoy this entertaining, informative book, getAbstract believes it will help business owners and marketers – if not to read their customers’ minds, then at least to understand them better.

About the Author

UK-based consumer behavior expert Philip Graves consults for a wide range of national and international businesses.


Market Research Just Doesn’t Work

Most companies that conduct and rely on market research think they are gaining a better understanding of their customers’ motivations and behaviors, but they are not. For example, the launch of New Coke resulted from a notable research debacle. When Coca-Cola’s market studies indicated that people preferred the taste of Pepsi, Coke rushed out a new product. New Coke failed for many reasons, but primarily because research participants were answering questions in artificial environments using their conscious minds. This generated misleading results because “the unconscious mind is the real driver of consumer behavior.” A real-life interviewing or observational environment – which would reveal or engage the “unconscious mind” – would likely have produced quite different and more illuminating responses.

The unconscious mind makes decisions throughout the day. It filters information and enables you to zero in on particulars in an efficient way. It becomes increasingly efficient as the tasks and information it encounters become more familiar. Therefore, a brand gains an advantage if consumers buy it without conscious thought.


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