Personal Consumption

We are all consumers and there is no better way to begin to understand why others purchase things than to become aware of the influences on our own buying behavior. During the course you are required to keep a journal of your own purchasing decisions and hand in a short (4-5 page) summary of the decisions made and insights gained from them. You will be recording 21 items you purchase over the next seven weeks. In addition, you will be including other descriptive information based on concepts covered throughout the semester. The goals of this assignment are:
1. To reinforce concepts learned in class through an analysis of real world behavior
2. To identify and discuss the influences behind your own purchasing behavior
3. To provide insights on how to be a knowledgeable consumer and effective marketer by assessing your own purchasing patterns.
Purchase Information
You may use any format i.e., Microsoft Word Table, Excel Worksheet, for recording your purchases but, at a minimum, you should include the following nine items: (Note: Not all the items listed below will make sense to you now but all of them will be apparent by the end of the course. As you begin to record your purchases just include the first four items. You will be adding the others as the semester progresses.)
1. Description of product or services purchased.
2. Brand Name: (for each item)
3. Date of purchase:
4. Price: (for each item)
5. Place of purchase and 2018 RQ ranking if available:
6. Reason for purchase – need/want/to fulfill a goal
7. Thoughts and feelings associated with the purchase/or while shopping.
8. Notes on anything that influenced your purchasing behavior e.g. Salesperson, advertising, packaging, friends, convenience of the Internet, store ambience etc.
9. Highlight what legislation, if any, designed to protect the consumer may have had an impact on the product you purchased. For instance, if you purchased a new wool coat the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 required that the producer include accurate labeling. If there was no legislation write NA.
Other Descriptive Information
Some of the questions to ask yourself include:
1. Why did I buy a particular product instead of a competing one?
2. Did any advertising or promotion influence me?
3. Why did I buy from this particular vendor? What was the Reputation Quotient Ranking of this vendor?
4. What were the cultural, family, peer, lifestyle, situational, and personality influences that led me to this purchase?
5. Was the packaging an influence?
6. What were my feelings before, during and after the purchase?
7. Did the method of payment have an influence on my buying decision?
8. It is not necessary to record everything you buy, but you should make a minimum of 3 entries per week. (21 items total) In addition to purchases made at stores don’t forget ongoing purchases such as cable, telephone, power, etc. or online purchases. Also, don’t forget minor purchases such as a pack of gum, chocolate bar, coffee etc.
Journal Format
The Journal should include:
1. A chart outlining all nine items related to each of your 21 purchases.
2. An Introduction (1 parargraph)
3. A Summary (1 paragraph)
4. An analysis of the five step consumption process as it relates to one of your purchases. (1 paragraph)
5. An overall discussion of which of the seven consumer influences presented in the text seemed to guide your purchasing decision. (1 paragraph)
6. A discussion of any patterns in your buying behavior and the implications as to how knowledge of your buying behavior could be useful to you as well as marketers. (1 paragraph)
7. A discussion of the role marketing and advertising played in your purchasing decisions. (1 paragraph)
8. A discussion on how legislation passed over the years related to your purchases. (1 paragraph)
9. A discussion of the balance between goods and services that were needs, wants, or to fulfill a goal. (1 paragraph

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