Individual Consumer Decision Making

32 Chapter Reflections

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  1. Consumer decision making isn’t nearly as straight forward as, “need/want > buy”. Making choices in a world of abundance can be an intense and often discouraging process. Watch this short Ted Talk by Dr. Sheena Iyengar about how to make choosing easier. What lessons should marketers take away from Dr. Iyengar’s research and recommendations?
  2. As consumers we are often faced with the question (or dilemma) of what to do with our “stuff” when we’re done with it. Throw it away? Add to the landfills in and around our cities? Donate? Repurpose? One popular form of disposal is called “lateral cycling.” Explore lateral cycling as a marketing concept and a lifestyle related to anti-consumerist movements.
  3. What do upcycling and Habitat for Humanity have in common? Explore the Habitat for Humanity website to learn more about how upcycling factors into their building and design practices.
  4. How does “Upcycle That” turn peoples’ trash into treasures? How can disposable consumer products be repositioned into luxury purchases? Learn more about Upcycle That’s community and marketplace.
  5. Watch this video related to lateral cycling that shows how one woman created a movement by re-purposing children’s’ dolls. What is marketing’s responsibility when it comes to disposal options and designing for longevity?
  6. What does it say about our consumption habits that in Canada alone, the food waste problem costs us $31 billion? We buy and we waste. We buy more, and then waste more. Why is there such a need for abundance, and can we change our behaviours and attitudes towards food waste to help reduce the negative impacts it has on climate change? This is by far one of the most concerning issues around food waste. Watch this video where John Oliver tackles the food waste problem in the US. As a consumer, which aspects of the food waste problem troubles you the most? What changes would you like to see in…yourself, society, and government to help address the problems of food waste? How are marketers responsible for contributing to the problem and what can they do to eliminate it?
  7. What are the consequences of advertising to children? Consider food marketing: what impact does advertising junk food have on children? What about toys? What standards and expectations do these create in children and how can advertising to children evolve into excessive consumption? Learn more about Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act. Do you think banning advertisements to children could curb excessive consumption in our society? What role can legislation play in changing attitudes and behaviours in society?
  8. See Green America’s 9 Cool Ways to Avoid Sweatshops. Discuss how a marketing campaign could be devised to persuade more corporations to actively avoid the use of sweatshops for production.
  9. Perhaps one of the most unique campaigns of 2016 came from Patagonia, a well-known brand committed to sustainability, who actually encouraged consumers to NOT purchase their products. Imagine that! This Drum article discusses the campaign and Patagonia’s embrace of anti-consumerism with the intent to inspire more conscious consumption. Discuss Patagonia’s anti-consumerism: can the brand attract more consumers by encouraging them to “buy less”? Will Patagonia inspire consumers to engage in more “conscious consumption”?


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Introduction to Consumer Behaviour Copyright © 2021 by Andrea Niosi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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