The Importance of Consumer Behavior

Carol Feigenbaum |
 06/23/21 |
5 min read

The Importance of Consumer Behavior

The world of commerce lives and dies at the whim of consumer behavior. Which products are bought and which campaigns are received favorably vs unfavorably boils down to what consumers think and feel. But what behaviors are driving these feelings and actions? Let’s find out.

To answer these consumer behavior questions, we’ll discuss:

  • The definition of consumer behavior and how to measure it
  • Strategies that help brands win
  • Financial decisions driven by consumer behavior

And when we think of consumer behavior, brands should keep these statistics in mind:

  • 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.
  • 80% of consumers say that the experience a brand provides is as important as the product and services
  • 95% of consumers say they are more likely to be loyal to a company they trust

What is Consumer Behavior & How Is It Measured?

Consumers are a fickle bunch. Understanding the behaviors which lead them to buying or boycotting is critical to any company wishing to survive, never mind thrive. And that’s why consumer research is critical.

Consumer behavior is the study of customers, revealing their motives and drive for purchasing products or services. And it is extremely important for brands to understand these motivations and the corresponding consumer expectations. 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations already. So, if you miss your mark, you may lose not just one customer but many.

Decoding what consumers want helps a brand develop the right products and campaign strategies, because they see the likes and dislikes of their consumer base. Consumer behavior reveals:

  • What consumers buy – How much of it is home necessities and how much of it is on fun splurges?
  • Why consumers buy- What is the driving factor? Is it accessibility? Low price? Quality?
  • When they buy- Is it at night while lying in bed? Or is it on break at work?
  • How often they buy – Once per week? Twice each year?
  • What reasons have influenced their buying – Do they “vibe” with the brands stances on sustainability? Is it because of an influencer’s promotion?

Consumer behavior research can answer all of this and more. For example, from May 10 – June 9, 2021, we have a table of sentiments surrounding the topic Lotion. A sentiment score is measured with –100 being the most negative and 100 the most positive.


Examining above, under Love, CeraVe PM lotion receives high praise for the lightweight feeling. And Surprise reveals consumer reviews showing the same affections for Sephora’s Goopglow . Clearly a lotion which doesn’t feel weighty is wanted by consumers.

And exploring Disappointment, and we discover this sentiment score is due to a product that was supposed to help acne; however, it didn’t live up to its promises. Clearly, a brand’s ability to back up what they promise is critical to winning repeat purchases!

In this one widget, we’ve discovered consumer behaviors that can guide a brand on why consumers buy certain face lotions (lightweight and does what it says). And these online discussions inform brands on future marketing strategies.

Consumer Behavior for Developing Marketing Strategies

Brands that do well long-term don’t play a guessing game around what to create or market to a target audience. And thinking through the coming school year, brands will want to be sure they are correct in their targeting.

Has the audience changed?

A recent study revealed that 43% of adults under 40 have thought about returning to college. If this proves to be true, brands will want to be ready with targeted marketing for this somewhat older crowd of learners. And the best way to do this is by reading the consumer behavior tea leaves.

There’s a difference in marketing to older millennials vs younger millennials, after all. A 28-year old’s life experiences are going to be markedly different than that of a 40-year-old. When it comes to reaching these age differences, a one-size-fits-all approach in marketing won’t work.

For example, the older millennials are homeowners, professionals and mothers/fathers. The younger crowd is just beginning to be more established professionally. Other differences are in the way they spend their money. Young Millennials are more financially responsible, with 75% saying they’d rather save money than spend it.

Using this intel to inform your marketing strategies is critical in drawing multiple demographics in with targeted messaging.

However, consumer behavior can also pinpoint similarities to maximize your marketing as well.

94% of all millennials are more likely to trust the opinion of an influencer over their friends or family. And 95% of all consumers say they are more likely to be loyal to a company they trust. It’s a win/win.

Below is an example of influencer marketing at work and focused toward millennials of all ages, but more specifically those who share in the experience of parenting.


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A post shared by ʟ ᴀ ᴜ ʀ ᴀ (@bump.tobaby)

Back-to-school marketing may look different to each segment, and keeping in mind how you advertise may be the beginning of a consumer’s experience with your brand. This is crucial as 80% of consumers say that the experience a brand provides is as important as its product and services. Reading consumer behavior helps you get off on the right foot – and first impressions are priceless.

Consumer Behavior Should Guide a Brand’s Budget

Understanding where to direct brand budget can be challenging. And in the sports and entertainment industry, it’s far from clear cut – especially when it comes to live events. Tracking consumer behavior over a time period can point your budget planning in the right direction.

Bandsintown recently did a study showing that at the beginning of 2021 there were 87,000 music performances planned, some likely livestreamed. Now however, there are 222,270 planned with 78% of those before the end of the year. In-person live music is back. But will consumers be there?

The influx of livestreaming played a pivotal role in meeting concert-goer needs. And one might wonder if this is something that will stick around and possibly become another avenue of revenue for brands. Afterall, 55% of music fans said they will keep streaming live concerts after in-person shows return. Not to mention, many lost out when the pandemic hit and live concerts were canceled, so consumers could be feeling shy. Understanding what consumers are feeling and saying can help plan out the rest of 2021 and beyond.

Our timeline covering the past year reveals consumers hopes, doubts, fears and anticipations of live music.


There’s lots of discussion on music in general and how it’s helped get people through the isolation caused by the pandemic. Tracking consumer behavior over time, we see a shift in discussion from live streaming music to anticipation of live events. However live streaming never leaves the conversation even as in-person events pick up steam.

Also present is the discussion of in-person and livestreaming as a hybrid. This hybrid solution offers consumers a choice between the two. It’s the best of both worlds and could offer brands maximum exposure in one event.

Will this hybrid become the norm and will consumers adopt this new adaptation? Tracking consumer behaviors over time will help your brand understand whether consumers will be jamming out in their living rooms, or in a crowded arena. Stay in tune with your consumers by tracking their behaviors with the best social analytics tools available. Reach out for a demo!

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