Essentials of Consumer Behavior offers an alternative to traditional textbooks for graduate students. Shorter than competing books, but no less rigorous, it includes unique material on vulnerable consumers and ethics.
Balancing a strong academic foundation with a practical approach, Stephens emphasizes that consumer behavior does not simply equate to buyer behavior. She examines the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that shape consumers’ attitudes and motivations in relation to brands, products, and marketing messages. Providing a concise guide to the discipline, the author covers key themes such as vulnerable consumers, new technologies, and collaborative consumption.
The book is supported by a rich companion website offering links to videos and podcasts, surveys, quizzes, further readings, and more. It will be a valuable text for any graduate student of consumer behavior or marketing, as well as any interested consumers.
Table of Contents
Part I: Introduction to Consumer Behavior
1. Introduction to Consumer Behavior
2. Consumer Research Methods
3. Perspectives on Products
Part II: Consumers Creating Meaning
4. The Consumer’s Journey
5. Sensory Perception in a Consumption Context
6. Memory and Priming
7. Sociocultural and Interpersonal Influences on Consumer Behavior
Part III: Vulnerable Consumers
8. Vulnerability in Adult Consumers
9. Children as Consumers
10. Nonhuman Animals as Consumers and Consumption Objects
Part IV: The Impact of Technology and Value Shifts on Consumer Behavior
11. The Rise of Collaborative Consumption and the Sharing Economy (Williams Barnes, Gregory Hill)
12. Technology’s Impact on Consumer Behavior
Debra L. Stephens is Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Portland, USA. She has published in leading journals, including the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, and the Journal of Business Ethics.
"In her new book, Essentials of Consumer Behavior, Debra Stephens provides the interested teacher, student, or practitioner with a splendid alternative to other texts that address the field of consumer studies. After years of preparation, pursuing a broadly interdisciplinary perspective, Debra has created a carefully constructed and beautifully written treatise that covers the conventional decision-oriented information-processing approach to buyer choices and the traditional methods of data-driven research, but that also branches into such newer areas as ethnography and netnography, the impact of social media, and the special needs of vulnerable consumers – including the disabled, children, and even animals. Debra provides plentiful real-world examples and an engaging style throughout, perhaps most of all when she delves into the world of pet ownership and tells tales of her own beloved Gounguroo."
Morris B. Holbrook, Columbia University, USA
"Stephens uses her uncanny and gifted language abilities to reveal how consumer behavior manifests in the twenty-first century. Without unnecessary prose but with substantial detail, she captures what it means to consume using the latest theory in the social sciences. Not surprisingly, her work with vulnerable people and children is given its just due, showing the importance of compassionate business actions that go beyond corporate social responsibility. Finally, no volume on this topic would be complete without an understanding of how technology impacts the ways in which we learn about goods and services in the marketplace, and Stephens provides excellent insights that should pass the test of time."
Ronald Paul Hill, Villanova University, USA
"Stephens's rich research background, from behavioral decision theory to social marketing, is evident in the book’s structure. The chapters include many examples designed to generate class discussion. Some topics are a bit unusual (for instance a chapter on consumer vulnerability), but the book ultimately suggests that all decisions made on a consumer’s quality of life should involve an understanding of the consumer’s life situation, which can best be obtained by asking what they want. The text should contribute greatly to a vibrant classroom environment."
James W. Gentry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA
Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.