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Topic: Student Questions
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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Consumer Behavior - The Importance Of Disposition
Posted by Anonymous on
3/18/2007 at 7:03 AM ET
Hi all :-)
My question is: why is the phenomenon of old people's disposition of special possessions important or relevant for marketers?
Apart from the answers that came top of my head such as:
- it provides insight into how consumption culture is lived and experienced by its members since disposition is an inevitable part of the wheel of consumption.
- In turn, understanding consumer behaviours allows firms to discover new wants/needs and thereby tap into new market opportunities.
However, my response seem pretty preliminary and basic, I am hoping if any experts here can give me some new insights into the subject matter.
3/18/2007 at 9:46 AM
First off: By the term "old people", who do you mean? What do you mean by the term "disposition of special possessions".
Why do you think disposition is a phenomenon?
3/18/2007 at 9:49 AM
Do you mean by "disposition of special possessions" the passing on of mementos, souvenirs, keepsakes, etc to family members? Like that grandpa's old pocket watch goes to his grandson, Paul?
If this is the case, there are two behaviors going on. First, people's treasures such as these are very valuable to them. They are memories, mainly. They desire to pass the valuable item to someone to show how much they care for them. And in particular, they want to pass it along to someone who truly saw the item the same way as they. Grandpa got the pocket watch when he retired from the railroad. He chose Paul because when he was a small child, Paul would sit on Grandpa's lap and listen to Grandpa tell tales about this adventures up and down the tracks and play with the pocket watch - flipping the cover open and closing it. As Paul was older, he surprised Grandpa by fixing the crystal on the old watch that was relegated to the top drawer of his dresser after it was broken. Paul also wrote and framed a short story about Grandpa's railroad adventures and gave both to him for his 75th birthday. Grandpa willed the pocket watch to Paul because Paul truly understood what it meant to grandpa.
The behavior is also indicative of a person's desire to live forever. Our instinct is to have children to continue the population of the earth. And the children are an extension of us. Men want sons so their name is carried on. We start foundations so that our wealth will carry through and help our descendants and others. In passing along the treasures, the memory of us is passed as well. We hope that we will be remembered.
Marketers hope to catch hold of these feelings in their goods and promote this feeling. If we feel so attached to a good that we see a "keepsake" value to it
we buy, we're going to pay almost anything for it. Price is no longer a factor. This feeling is illogical in economic terms. The
of the item is much lower then the
By understanding what is cherished by people, marketers can incorporate features and characteristics into their products that emulate those in cherished possessions. These features result in highly differentiable benefits.
Marketers can use the understanding of this phenomena to evoke the emotions in their promotions. If they know what items people (irrationally) value, they can include these kinds of images in their promotions and tie them to their products and services in hopes of tying these emotions to their products to motivate a buying decision.
So IF I understood your question properly, these are thoughts off the top of my head. If I didn't understand it correctly, then never mind, forget what I said... :)
I would like to commend you for an interesting question and for having put some thought into it and sharing your thoughts. I can tell you truly want to learn and understand versus just get the assignment done. This is refreshing.
I hope this helps.
3/18/2007 at 5:27 PM
In the paper I looked at, "old people" refers to people aged between 55-95, in which late adulthood provokes increasing recognition of mortality.
A question back to you: Why is defining "old people" important?
the term "disposition of special possessions" - means when old people getting rid of/passing on the things they treasure
Why do you think disposition is a phenomenon?
disposition is a phenomenon because its part of the consumption process...?
3/18/2007 at 5:36 PM
YES! you completely captured what I mean!
I can see whereas my answers were more macro and theoretical, you gave the specific manageral implications, which I wasn't able to since I don't have any experience working as a marketing manager - yet.
thanks so much!!! :-D
3/18/2007 at 6:04 PM
You are very welcome. Keep up with your enthusiasm for learning and asking great questions after thinking them through yourself and you will be working as a marketing manager soon enough. And you will be great at it!
I'm glad to say
, unlike some of my colleagues, don't fit your target population! I'm not an "old people" yet! :)>
Keep up the good work.
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