A consumer behavior project is any professional or educational study used to determine which aspects contribute to the decisions consumers make when they are shopping for projects and services. In an educational context, consumer behavior projects can help students understand which psychological, social, and economical factors contribute to consumer decisions, so that they can learn important principles of marketing and sales. Professionals perform consumer behavior projects to learn how to market their products to different demographics.
In short, there are two groups of factors that impact the results of consumer behavior projects. Interior factors are consumers' memories, families, preferences, and other factors that are exceptionally personal. Exterior factors, on the other hand, include geographic locations, cultural associations, and income brackets of consumers. Likewise, consumer behavior specialists understand that there are particular situations in which consumers engage while they are shopping, such as searching for more information and trying to solve specific problems.
Students who perform consumer behavior projects learn these basic principles by reading and analyzing case studies. They might also have opportunities to perform their own projects by interviewing fellow students and community members. Students who perform these projects are usually studying business or marketing, though they may also take courses in sociology, anthropology, and psychology to help them better understand consumer behavior.
One of the most common kinds of consumer behavior projects used by professionals is market research. In this kind of project, a business professional hires a market research firm to gather data from certain demographics. For example, if an insurance company wants to know what policy holders in a certain city desire in insurance providers, a market research company might call individuals in that city to ask questions about the concerns and expectations that impact insurance decisions. Once research is gathered, it would be analyzed by consumer behavior specialists, who convey their results to executives and marketing professionals from a client business.
Professionals can also perform consumer behavior projects based on their own data. For example, a marketing or sales professional can use data to determine how consumers from various locations and from certain income brackets spend money on his or her products or services. This is a great way to determine how to introduce new products and to cross-sell products to established clients.
Many social scientists consider consumer behavior an important facet for academic study. Sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists may perform consumer behavior projects to better understand the actions of members of different cultures and societies. Economists sometimes also perform these projects.