Consumption Experience and Consumer Behavior
Did you know consumption experience is the heart of value creation and consumer behavior? Consumer experience is derived when consumers are in pursuit of emotions, fantasy, and satisfaction that are based on perceptual experience. Being successful in business is not only dependent on the production of quality goods and their demands but also a thorough understanding of the consumers. Understanding consumer behaviors and their consumption experiences relate to knowing the consumer activities and their role in establishing effective marketing strategies (Akaka & Nardini, 2017). Effective marketing strategies focus on the consumption culture, consumer receptions, and the impact of technology in the markets.
Consumption experience Frameworks
Consumption experience is partly derived from limitations of cognitive frameworks that relate the information processing models that describe consumer behavior as a process of gathering and processing information to make satisfactory choices (Chaney, Lunardo, & Mencarelli, 2018). As consumers, we often face the challenge of choice requiring that we collect and analyze information to enable affective judgment followed by making a sound decision. This sequence explains the consumer decision-making process using the affect behavioral model. One major limitation of the affect behavioral model is the limited attention that is given to the emotions of consumers. We often have emotions attached before during or after doing some kind of shopping. Questions arise, did I make the buy the right products or whether one will get value for their money after using the product they bought.
In addressing the limitation of this model of consumer behavior and consumer experience, alternative frameworks can be applied to question the sequence of cognition and affective states. In many situations of consumer experiences, emotional and affective reactions come before the cognitive process itself in what could be considered the thought emotional activity value framework (Holbrook, & Hirschman, 1982; Chaney, Lunardo, & Mencarelli, 2018). Consumer thoughts, in this case, are the imaginations, dreams, and fantasies while emotions are the various forms of sensations, feelings, psychological responses, and expressive behaviors. Value on the other hand is the last evaluative decision for the consumers. It becomes easy to understand this model because the shopping experiences one has engaged in the past had the aforementioned aspects particularly about emotions, thought, and value when the product or service being bought is expensive.
Consumption Experience: A personal Account
On a global scale, there is a huge change in the field of luxury which was initially reserved for the rich and wealthy. High-end items in the modern world are now accessible to anyone who can afford them. Consequently, the luxury business has been growing fast and is not limited to any country but has been spreading to various countries, groups, and more so in developing nations. Marketers in the modern corporate world have given more emphasis to ensuring the availability of high-end products by having outlets in different regions of the world and emerging economies. My major consumption experiences over the years have been shopping for high-end clothing. I am a proponent of appearance matters most even when looks can be deceiving. My views are that one of the best ways to boost self-confidence and esteem is to be presentable especially when one is in business. From an emotional perspective, acquiring high-end and presentable clothes lifts my spirit, boosts confidence, social standing, and personal satisfaction.
While this may be my view, the thoughts of purchasing high-end clothes or other commodities may be different for others. It relates more to the affective emotional states of the consumers before and after making purchases. For instance, some consumers may be attracted to high-end products when they are less confident with themselves or consider themselves less powerful compared to others. They, therefore, get a boost of confidence when they engage in high-end consumer experiences activities (Steig, 2019). Other consumers become less confident when they have high-end items simply because they don’t like themselves. For example, they may have emotions of embarrassment or feel they are out of their element having such items. While these feelings are normal, there is more to their consumption experiences with the products and consequently their behaviors when making purchases. Essentially, the psychological cost of high-end products for satisfaction among different consumers varies as it may end up backfiring thereby countering their expectations and their experiences at large.
Maintain Consumption Experience
Businesses have been reinventing themselves in the modern corporate world as they make efforts to keep up with changing consumer preferences. Particularly, many businesses in efforts to improve customer experience have invested heavily in online capabilities by using interactive features (Sporn & Tuttle, 2018). For instance, fast fashion businesses such as H&M and Zara have implemented these capabilities along with a rush in the production of new items to meet the pace of changing preferences. But do the consumers yearn for these changes? and what strategies can lead to growth in the constantly changing environment and consumer needs? I strongly believe that with the changes in technology and consumer preferences, such changes are inevitable for growth while at the same time ensuring satisfactory consumer experiences.
The experience trend has an impact across various sectors putting more emphasis on the consumer experiences to drive sales through creating more intimate consumer experiences, personalization’s and having seamless shopping environments whether in-store or through online setups. Some of the strategies that marketers can implements for fabulous consumption experiences as follows.
A sense of community - Consumptions experiences can be both inclusive and exclusive for most loyal consumers of a brand. For example, Mastercard’s Priceless is a business model that seeks to add value by offering exclusive experiences that have low barriers to entry.
Product Customization- A unique one-brand-consumer relationship is an opportunity for marketers to engage deeper with consumers, which leads to loyalty and high returns on investments. For example, Travelsify which is an online platform for booking hotels allows consumers to choose hotels based on their emotional states instead of picking from a list with amenities (Bremner, & Boumphrey, 2017).
Technology- technological advancements have a significant role in interactions between consumers and brands during the purchase, or after the experience when they share their experiences with family and friends. For example, the authenticity of brands through social media sites can be a way of showing empathy, compassion, and appreciation in handling consumers giving a business a competitive advantage over other related brands.
Akaka, M., & Nardini, G. (2017). What Is a Consumption Experience?. ACR North American Advances.
Bremner, C., & Boumphrey, S. (2017). How Experience Consumption is Changing How Business’ Respond. Retrieved 8 March 2021, from https://blog.euromonitor.com/business-experience-consumption/
Chaney, D., Lunardo, R., & Mencarelli, R. (2018). Consumption experience: past, present and future. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal.
Holbrook, M. B., & Hirschman, E. C. (1982). The experiential aspects of consumption: Consumer fantasies, feelings, and fun. Journal of consumer research, 9(2), 132–140.
Sporn, J., & Tuttle, S. (2018). 5 Surprising Findings About How People Actually Buy Clothes and Shoes. Retrieved 8 March 2021, from https://hbr.org/2018/06/5-surprising-findings-about-how-people-actually-buy-clothes-and-shoes
Steig, C. (2019). Buying luxury items makes you feel less confident and authentic, study says. Retrieved 10 March 2021, from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/27/study-buying-luxury-items-makes-you-feel-less-confident-and-authentic.html