Why we buy: evolution, marketing, and consumer behaviour

Vladas Griskevicius, Joshua M Ackerman and Joseph P Redden

in Applied Evolutionary Psychology

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586073
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731358 | DOI:
  Why we buy: evolution, marketing, and consumer behaviour

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Although one might think that evolution has little to do with modern consumer behaviour, a closer inspection of our ancestral roots can provide much insight into why we buy. An evolutionary perspective suggests that we interact with our present-day world using brains that evolved to solve a recurring set of ancestral challenges. Accordingly, a growing body of research suggests that a set of evolutionary social motives continues to influence much modern behaviour, albeit not always in obvious or conscious ways. These motives include making friends, gaining status, attracting a mate, keeping a mate, protecting ourselves from danger, and caring for offspring. By considering how and why deep-seated ancestral motives continue to shape modern behaviour, we examine their implications for modern marketing and consumer behaviour. We detail how evolutionary considerations of motivation have novel applications for many areas of marketing, including market segmentation, consumers targeting, brand positioning, and advertising.

Keywords: consumer behaviour; conspicuous consumption; evolutionary marketing

Chapter.  10752 words. 

Subjects: Psychology

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