Treasure hunt: inside the mind of the new consumer

Treasure Hunt: Inside the Mind of the New Consumer Treasure Hunt: Inside the Mind of the New Consumer Michael J. Silverstein is the author of Treasure Hunt: Inside the mind of the new consumer, which is an enjoyable book to read, and one that offers what it promises. What the author offers in this book is a window into consumer minds regarding what to buy and why to buy. Having written the book in 2006, the messages he sent and the examples that he gave of consumers and companies still feel much updated. Michael J. Silverstein sends a core message that people will have two options either to trade up or down their buying patterns. By trading up he means people buy goods at a good or premium prices because of brand recognition and quality satisfaction while trading down means the reverse. This book is however biased towards the United States of America market as well as the United States of America consumer. The author makes a welcome effort for comparing the occurrences among the United States of America consumers to those in Japan and Europe. Through the author, the book makes a compelling case on behalf of the universality of the happenings. This bias comes along with many strong points that influence the conclusions in this book thus pulling down his expertise as a tied up author to consumer behavior. When it comes to the major theme of the book, I think behavior itself takes the day because the consumer behavior is what makes the book interesting. My reasoning has nothing to do with the title of the book but the contents of the book where each sentence focuses on explaining better about the same behavior. Consumer behavior, which happens to be the backbone of the book, gives the readers every reason to read its contents. The examples of consumer behavior range from basic retail as the author explains using success stories of Aldi and Lidl in Europe to the successful launch by Toyota Lexus cars. This book also talks of Social class and culture influence buying behavior in ways that are unclear up to date. Wanting to be the same is what could simplify the idea of social and cultural influence. Whenever one lives in a culture that does things differently, there is that urge of catching up to reduce attention and discrimination. Individuals think they are rich just because of associating themselves with things that the rich do. This book also has several subthemes such as personality, perception and peer pressure influence. Personality influences buying behavior and people with a mighty personality rarely go for common things. It is something that just comes and often tried to the concept of consumer behavior and precisely buying behavior. For example, one will not easily spot a president having earphones on and listening to music. This closely relates to lifestyle and perception. What does that mean? It means that a driver for example will always have earphones on while driving therefore it is necessary for him to have them. This is how lifestyle will influence him to buy them. Many elderly people have a perception that earphones and headphones spoils ears and cause diseases like cancer and ear infections. This affects their buying behavior. The second subtheme in this book and according to the author is Perception, which includes the activities that an individual acquires and gives meaning to stimuli. This is a psychological influence and begins with exposure, which is usually the result of self-selection. There is an occurrence of attention in cases of more than one sensory receptor. People have different attitudes towards some products and this prevents them and their friends from buying the same. Some think that putting on headphones and earphones is old school and prefer using the hands free feature while on phone. Well, the latter is just an example of attitude as an influence towards buying behavior. The third important subtheme is Peer pressure, which happens to be one of the main influences on buying behavior. Whenever somebody sees someone with the two gadgets for example, there is an urge to own the same and it is normal in human beings. The cause of peer influence could be the picture or movie watched on television involving a peer. Michael the author of the book lightly mentions that most the company uses billboards to advertise these products using individuals of certain target group. These billboards mean to influence the peer to try to look the same. Young people for example easily get influence from friends maybe in school and social places. Peer pressure has influenced many people to buy what they did not intend to buy. If these people come from rich backgrounds, there are people they want to identify with and mostly in the music industry. Using earphones and headphones for example appears cool to rich people who would rather put on expensive earphones and expensive phones other than going for the simple ones commonly found. In conclusion, I do agree with the author’s findings and conclusions because they apply in everyday life. Survival is all about buying and selling thus consumer behavior becomes a very important concept in life. The value that I see in the book for understanding consumer behavior is the clear explanations of the processes of decision-making, the internal and external factors that influence purchase. After reading the book, it really affected the understanding of my own consumer behavior in that I learnt about conjoint analysis, which decomposes preference into component parts. These parts are price, quality and brand. In this method, products get the view of bundles of characteristics where there is use of experimental design to create descriptions of products by varying attribute levels. References Michael J. Silverstein, John B. (2006). Treasure Hunt: Inside the Mind of the New Consumer. USA: McMillan publishers.