Discovering Self Helps in Understanding Consumption Patterns
Consumption refers to the utilization of goods by a consumer in economic theory. There is a definite influence of self discovery on consumption. What we end up buying is dependent to a large extent on what we think ourselves to be. It depends on whether we harbour a positive or a negative attitude to life. It also depends on whether we are introverts or extroverts.
Self discovery, for most of us, is part of a daily learning experience. We learn about who we are when we select certain paths in life and the choices that we make. We learn from the relationships that we have with people around us. We learn from our highs and we learn from our lows, our success and failures. We learn about ourselves through our feelings and the response that we get from those around us. We learn from the way that we react to the situations that we face in our lives.
We are also very much interested in knowing how we look in the mirror, what others talk about us. We are also making a daily assessment of how we are improving with some extra ordinary skills that we possess.
A lot of research has gone into the way we think about ourselves. The marketing departments in organizations are always busy designing such products and services that are focused at making customers realize their self before they make the buying decisions. For example, when a lady realizes that her figure is shapely and not flabby, she will always rush to buy clothes that will complement the contours of her body.
Sometimes, the need to know more about the self may have undesirable effects on the consumption patterns. People realize that sometimes what they think they like is actually based on peer pressure rather than their actual like or dislike. Sometimes, people think they know themselves but actually feel that their true selves are much different than how they behave outwardly in society. People living in a material world with explosive consumerist tendencies believe that when they buy a lot of things, they will be able to buy happiness and satisfaction too. Statistics and research have proved that this may not be always true.
Individuals working in an organization are always keen on taking a feedback from their higher in command. When people are dependent on others’ reactions to them, they become inter-dependents. These inter-dependents will definitely explore their selves and take those results and use them in their future choices and their lifestyle patterns.
There are so many cultural factors that fall on the path to self discovery. They are language, religion, art, music, technology, laws, knowledge, culture, customs, beliefs, food habits, dress codes and work patterns. The reasons that a person gives when justifying evaluation of different brands in a product range are wholly dependent on his cultural preferences. For example, if the wallet is not a consideration, an Englishman may patronize a Jaguar, a Swede may patronize a Volvo and a German would patronize a Daimler Mercedes Benz.
Apart from regional preferences, customs and beliefs also play an important part in consumption behaviour theories. Culture is also deeply embedded in our subconscious minds. Each person sees the world through his cultural eyeglasses. It is culture that influences us to take cornflakes and juice for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch or champagne at a wedding. This factor also influences the way we dress. At some places, people will consider an air conditioner or a microwave oven as a necessity in life and not a luxury while at other regions and in other cultures, it will be quite the opposite. Formal learning, informal learning and technical learning will all combine to shape our self discovery techniques and these, in turn, will influence our consumption behaviour patterns.