Category Archives: Buying behaviour


An app parents approve of?

Helping screenagers

A golden rule in marketing is KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER. In some markets, especially B2B, this can be difficult as a number of decision-makers may be involved. In consumer markets it’s usually easier, but not necessarily obvious… One thing parents struggle with is which products the children may decide to buy, which ones to buy together, or which ones to buy … Continue reading


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A simple tease

A vineyard in Switzerland was the last place I expected to come across a QR code. I’ve been negative about their overuse in the past and the unrealistic expectations advertisers have regarding response rates, so, before most marketing execs give up on QRs forever, maybe it’s time for me to praise a good example. The grapes on the vine were … Continue reading


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Variant management

A huge challenge with products that span a number of variants is how many variants you need and how to keep them selling uniformly across the range. Production managers won’t like you if one of your products has to be made in small batches at irregular intervals. It’s not just expensive because of tooling and materials handling, items gathering dust … Continue reading


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Price skimming

Producers of mobile phones, digital cameras, flat screens and similar hi-tech products often have to pump huge budgets into R&D. To get this investment back – and break even as quickly as possible – they tend to “price skim”. This involves using high prices to remove the “cream” from the market before the competitors catch up. Thankfully innovators are willing … Continue reading


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The toilet paper I’ve always been waiting for

SCA – who recently bought German megabrand Tempo from international consumer products mammoth Procter & Gamble – seem to think I spend my whole day thinking about toilet paper. No, on Assael’s model for understanding buying behaviour this is bottom right box: habitual purchase. We go to the supermarket, think for a fraction of a second and buy the same … Continue reading


Expensive to make, not dear to customers

Habits die hard

Toothpaste manufacturers have a tough job trying to interest you in their product. The problem is, you’re not. It’s not a high-involvement product. Well, depending on the consumer. Maybe some people do put a lot of thought into their toothpaste, but for most it’s a habitual purchase. So to make things more interesting they add benefits, even if it means … Continue reading


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Selective attention for Volkswagen

Many marketeers are baffled by the things their target audiences remember from their advertising. I once worked on a food ad where everyone remembered that the woman in the kitchen licked her finger (an attempt by us to add appetite appeal). Probably because some people think too much about hygiene. Sadly they remembered nothing about the yummy ingredients, let alone … Continue reading


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What interests car drivers?

Indeed what does interest car drivers? Probably a question they ask themselves a lot at Ford. Of course we need to ask which car drivers. The old sexist joke is that some women are more interested in the colour of the car than what’s under the bonnet. Unlike ‘real’ men – who drive a hunky Ford Wildtrak. They want power, … Continue reading


Holding out in hope.

Keep in touch marketing

Why does this insurance company keep writing to my home address? They were clearly told to go away. They used to insure the Woodruff car until it became clear that they were offering better rates to new customers. When this was pointed out to them, they failed to come back with a better offer. So the next thing they heard … Continue reading


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Breaking the habit

Marketing a product as everyday and unimportant as tissues falls into the area of buying behaviour Assael would call “habitual”. So how do you inject interest? By adding something that doesn’t really make a difference, but at least gives you something to make your product stand out. Or something that could just make you feel more loyal to the brand. … Continue reading


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Complex buying

No one could claim that buying a mobile phone is easy. There are so many different options and charges it makes you wonder whether anybody actually finds the best deal possible. This is quite normal for complex buying behaviour. You want to get it right (you might have to live with the consequences of a bad decision for a couple … Continue reading