Consumer behaviour and understanding the consumer
We describe the elementary aspects which bring us to an understanding of the consumer’s toy purchasing behaviour from the perspective of a relatively simple attitude to the decision-making process undertaken by the consumer.
In this part of the book, we use the terms (as titles for individual chapters) in a model which is intended to illustrate the decision-making processes undertaken by the consumer.
It is widely recognised that buying a toy involves more than merely choosing it. The consumer often speculates long and hard in advance of his purchase. There are also a number of other processes which continue after the product has been acquired.
Acquisition of a toy can be explained on the basis of behavioural theories (most often purchasing behaviour). Firstly, the process of purchasing behaviour can be described on the basis of theoretical behaviour models.
Secondly, acquisition of a toy can be described on the basis of consumer selection models where close attention is paid to selection among alternatives, i.e. the choice between several different versions of the same toy.
Common to both these perspectives is that they are motivated by the consumer’s engagement and emotional involvement - the desire to have a toy - and that they assume that there is a suitably wide variety of products to choose from!
Engagement and involvement can, of course, be explained on the basis of the consumers’ different circumstances, lifestyle, view on life, basic values, etc. in addition to their attitudes to play and creative activity. All of these things are described in this book in relation to toys. (Various products within the same category, often only distinguished by insignificant differences, are not described in detail in this book.)
The circumstances described are then open to criticism but their justification lies in the model which will be described in the following and employed with the intention of mapping out the origins of distinct consumer engagement and involvement.