Welcome to this module about consumer behavior and brand personality. My name is Li Chenguang and I'm a researcher with the Agribusiness and Rural Development Group at the University College Dublin in Ireland. This module is divided into three lessons, which will explore consumer buying process, consumer characteristics and segmentation, positioning and brand personality. Let's start with lesson 1: For companies, understanding consumers is crucial since consumer response is the ultimate test of whether a product and a business will succeed or not. Based on understanding of consumer behavior, companies can build and enhance the right relationship with their costumers. Lots of factors influence consumer choices, and understanding the whys of buying behaviors is very difficult. The stimulus-response model of buyer behavior here shows that economic, technological, social and cultural are some major forces that affect consumer behavior. But they are out of a company's control. What a company can decide are the business and marketing tools: for example, the product design, the price charged, where to sell and how to promote the brand. So the key question is this: How do consumers respond to various marketing efforts the company use? Buyer's black box has two parts. The buyer's decision process will impact his behaviors, and the buyer's characteristics will influence how a buyer react to company's marketing efforts. Let's first take a look of the buyers decision process and explore what a company can do to influence a buyer. In general, a buying decision it's a 5-step process, starting with recognizing a problem, searching for information to evaluate alternatives and choose the one you buy, and after purchase you will evaluate the product relative to your initial expectations. For a potential restaurant costumer, the problem can be as simple as feeling hungry. You may notice that when we are hungry, messages about food are much easier to attract our attention. In fact, marketers can strategically use advertisement to stimulate problem recognition. For example, placing a hamburger advertisement near lunchtime is usually a strategic choice for restaurants to attract costumers. The process of making a buying decision is like solving a problem, you want to make a good choice that you will feel happy about later and that may require some information search. Nowadays, consumers are increasingly turning to internet to find information. On the other hand, marketers are increasingly using online advertisement to reach potential customers. In order to be placed on top of the search list, many marketers use search engine optimization or investing in search engine marketing. Some marketers may track users browsing and deliver advertisement for related products that you are looking for. During the third step, a consumer will identify a small number of products of interest and compare the pros and cons of each. For example, someone who is on a diet will consider only low calorie options. But if each product being considered is already low-calorie, then taste may become the ultimate nudge that helps the consumer decide. Finally, the consumer will choose the product. But decisions are often hard to make, because different products may offer different benefits, in different degrees, at different prices. Sometimes we may rely on mental rules of thumb to help us make decisions. For example, some people buy the more expensive brand option, believing that the higher price reflects better quality. Or you may prefer to buy a chocolate based on the country origin for example Swiss or French, if you believe they have superior chocolate. As a consumer, the last step is to evaluate how satisfied you are compared to your prior expectation. It is important for the company not to overpromise in advertising, otherwise the consumers may form unrealistic expectations and feel disappointed later. But even if consumers are satisfied with their purchase, cognitive dissonance is common, especially following a major purchase, you might second-guess the choice you made. For businesses, they can reduce this trouble by offering good after sales services and guarantees, or simply offering reassurance. With this slide we conclude the first lesson - Consumer's purchasing process - of module 7 "Consumer Behavior and Brand Personality." Thanks for being with me in this lesson, see you in lesson 2 "Consumer's characteristics."