Consumer Behavior Essay

Melanie Ruiz Consumer Behavior Quiz #8 Thanksgiving Festivities It’s that time of year again when all of us college students leave our stress behind and head home for Thanksgiving break. It is one of those breaks we look forward to since the beginning of the semester, each for our own reasons. Many of us look forward to spending some quality time with our relatives while others look forward to finally enjoying a home-cooked meal. Simply being granted the opportunity to spend one’s time however we see fit is a gift in itself for some of us.

Some students engage in specific activities during the break while others enjoy not having any plans whatsoever. Each student engages in their own holiday traditions with their loved ones. After interviewing a few students at the University of Texas at Austin, it is evident that every family has their differences and similarities in the way they celebrate during the holidays. The biggest difference between the individuals I interviewed centered around the basis of needs and wants when it came to buying habits during the Thanksgiving break.

As we learned in Chapter 5, needs are “desires that arise when a consumer’s current state does not match the consumer’s preferred state” (p. 103). For certain individuals, such as David and Israel, the excitement for Black Friday and Cyber Monday was not present. While both students were clearly aware of the ever popular shopping holidays, neither seemed to show any enthusiasm when the final question was asked regarding buying habits. In other words, both students lacked the driving force known as motivation to venture out into the busy, frenzied shopping malls and stores, no matter how great the potential savings could be (p. 02). According to David specifically, “the frantic consumerism just isn’t my cup of tea. I just don’t feel the need to buy anything. ” This behavior correlates with the process of motivation discussed in book stating how “needs are the root of the motivational process” (p. 104). Instead, both individuals cared more about satisfying their need for sleep over any Black Friday deal advertised. An even closer association to the interviewees’ responses and the textbook could be tied to the definition of a need in Chapter 9. According to the text, a need is a “fundamental physical or psychological state of felt eprivation” (p. 190). After reading over the previous questions asked during the interview, I could see that David and Israel both seemed most eager to catch up on the sleep they’ve fallen behind on while studying for school. It seems safe to say that both individuals would agree to feeling sleep deprived which would explain their reasoning for valuing sleep over shopping. My other two interviewees, Lindsey and Lilly, did not seem to share the same thoughts and feelings as the guys. According to Chapter 5, feelings and emotions “focus attention and influence consumer behavior” (p. 13). Both girls showed much enthusiasm during the interview whenever the topic of shopping arose. Lindsey expressed her excitement as she described her family’s Black Friday routine saying: “We all make sure we are rested and fully prepared with our shopping lists before we leave the house. All day long on Thanksgiving, our family talks about who’s getting what and where they saw the best deal at. The items on our lists have all more than likely been wanted for a long time so to be able to get them for a really good discounted price is something that is considered a must for us.

It’s a long but exciting process that my family and I do every year! ” This “exciting process” Lindsey describes is what the textbook refers to as a “ritual” in Chapter 12 (p. 266). Her family’s symbolic actions that have been repeated over time have much to do with how she chooses to spend her time and money during the Thanksgiving break compared to that of David or Israel. With my other female interviewee, Lilly, the excitement of shopping stemmed from a more spontaneous standpoint. While Lindsey’s family participated in a preplanned ritual on Thanksgiving Day, Lilly’s family was quite the opposite.

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Rather than search for specific or desirable items beforehand, Lilly’s family engaged in much more impulsive behavior Thanksgiving night. She explains: “We don’t map out where we’re going. We just leave the house at midnight and go wherever we see the most action at. I never plan to get the things that I buy on Black Friday but for whatever reason, they catch my eye. There’s not much thought that goes into the things we buy but we still enjoy going every year nonetheless. ” The type of behavior described above correlates well with the automatic information processing referred to in

Chapter 7 in the textbook. The types of purchases made by Lilly and her family are clearly made through “mental processes that occur without awareness or intention” (p. 136). The lack of preparation and organization could be, if not is, the main cause of Lilly’s impulsive buying. According to the text, “impulse purchases are more likely when consumers don’t use a shopping list” (p. 136). Another association I found interesting during my interview with Lilly was the way her family interacted with each other while shopping.

She described a very competitive atmosphere between her and her sister specifically when shopping stating, “It’s silly but we definitely turn into vultures on Black Friday. ” It would appear Lilly and her sister would fit the description of high self-monitoring individuals given they both “routinely modify their behavior to meet the expectations of others” (p. 158). Lilly also mentioned a desire to purchase items that are known to have a highly valued or expensive brand image such as the Michael Kors watch she purchased or the Coach purse her sister bought in retaliation.

This yearning or “drive to consume uncontrollably” to one-up each other as Lilly describes could be the root of the family’s compulsive buying (p. 163). During the Thanksgiving break, we all partake in our own family customs. Each of us obtains our excitement through different measures. For some, it involves countless preparation and day-long conversations on Black Friday specials. For others, it involves no groundwork whatsoever and instead lies within the rush one creates through a competitive family atmosphere.

Still, some would prefer to forget the shopping option altogether and instead engage in more relaxing activities during the break. Each individual has their own reasons for partaking in certain festivities. Whether it be a family’s tradition to go out and shop or one’s personal preference to stay in and sleep, the only thing that seems to be fully understood about consumers is that every consumer is unique in their own way. Lilly Guzman What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Why? Answer: Food and family. It means “break” and just time to spend with your amily. What will you do on Thanksgiving Day? Why? Answer: I will spend time with my family because that’s what you’re supposed to do. What will you do on Thanksgiving weekend? Why? Answer: Black Friday shopping! Because it’s tradition with my family! Somehow its turned into a competition with my family members on who can come back with the best deals. Me and my sister for example like to compete on who can get the better name brand items. I once bought a Michael Kors watch and so, to one-up me, she went and bought an expensive Coach purse.

It’s silly but we definitely turn into vultures on Black Friday. Does Thanksgiving weekend have any special significance to you? What? Answer: Thanksgiving weekend is a time when we bring our large Mexican family together and we cook in the kitchen all day. Is there anything that you or your friends and family do on Thanksgiving around buying? Please elaborate. Answer: Every year at midnight we pack up the team and go shopping for whatever Black Friday deals spark our interest. We don’t map out where we’re going. We just leave the house at midnight and go wherever we see the most action at.

I never plan to get the things that I buy on Black Friday but for whatever reason, they catch my eye. There’s not much thought that goes into the things we buy but we still enjoy going every year nonetheless. Lindsey Quiroga What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Why? Answer: Thanksgiving means family time. I love being able to just spend time with my family members and watch football over good, home-cooked meals. What will you do on Thanksgiving Day? Why? Answer: We eat of course and watch football but most of the day is spent getting ready for Black Friday.

We all make sure we are rested and fully prepared with our shopping lists before we leave the house. All day long on Thankgiving, our family talks about who’s getting what and where they saw the best deal at. The items on our lists have all more than likely been wanted for a long time so to be able to get them for a really good discounted price is something that is considered a must for us. It’s a long but exciting process that me and my family do every year! What will you do on Thanksgiving weekend? Why? Answer: I plan on sleeping A LOT! School has been pretty exhausting so I need to catch up on that.

Does Thanksgiving weekend have any special significance to you? What? Answer: Thanksgiving weekend is just significant because I get to see my family members that I haven’t seen in a long time. Aside from Christmas, it is one of the few times where my entire family is under the same roof. Is there anything that you or your friends and family do on Thanksgiving around buying? Please elaborate. Answer: I hate shopping but my mother and sisters are always those crazy girls waiting at midnight for the stores to open. What they go for depends on what deals they see on TV or in the papers.

They definitely always come home with some surprise deals that we never even thought they needed. Israel Hernandez What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Why? Answer: Thanksgiving means family, sleep, and togetherness. It means being able to take a break from the stress of school. It’ll be nice to be able to catch up on all the sleep I’ve been missing out on thanks to school. What will you do on Thanksgiving Day? Why? Answer: I probably will travel to El Paso because even if it’s a nine hour drive, it is worth it to me. What will you do on Thanksgiving weekend? Why?

Answer: I like the idea of being able to go home and not have to worry about school and just be with my family. When I’m not sleeping, I’ll probably see some friends that I haven’t been able to see in awhile and hang out with them. Does Thanksgiving weekend have any special significance to you? What? Answer: Of course it does. It holds great significance because, as I said earlier, it’s a time for family and togetherness. I mean, I feel I don’t get to see my family as often as I’d like to so Thanksgiving break is a really special time that allows me to do so.

Is there anything that you or your friends and family do on Thanksgiving around buying? Please elaborate. Answer: Not necessarily. I don’t think we use thanksgiving as a time to go shopping. I understand some people know about Black Friday and stuff but my family really doesn’t do that. I’d rather stay at home and nap then go out there with all the crazy people jumping over each other for a video game or a pair of pants. David Nam What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Why? Answer: I guess it means frantic consumerism and uncomfortable family dinners.

Its uncomfortable because you have so many kids running around and you just want to eat and then go upstairs and go to sleep. What will you do on Thanksgiving Day? Why? Answer: Sleep until I have to go eat dinner with my family because I’m tired and I need a break from school. What will you do on Thanksgiving weekend? Why? Answer: I will probably try to catch up with my friends at night and then during the day I will babysit my little cousins. I guess I do this because I miss my friends and I have to watch my little cousins since no one else wants to. Does Thanksgiving weekend have any special significance to you?

What? Answer: It’s significant because you get to see all your family members. Since I’m going to school I don’t get to see all of them all of the time so its nice to have that time and know that you can keep in touch during that weekend. Is there anything that you or your friends and family do on Thanksgiving around buying? Please elaborate. Answer: No, not me. I’ve done Black Friday shopping and Cyber Monday before but it’s not a ritual with my family or friends. Its like I said, the frantic consumerism just isn’t my cup of tea. I just don’t feel the need to buy anything.

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