Exchange as a Vital and Fundamental Consumer Behavior Phenomenon
Although exchange has been written about extensively in the marketing literature, it has been less investigated in consumer research. Yet, it is an essential part of consumer behavior and deserves more attention in that regard. At the same time, treating exchange from the point of view of consumer behavior does not mean a complete divorce from marketing aspects of exchange. However, it does mean a reassessment and redefinition of the roles each domain plays in exchange. Marketing is largely concerned with exchange in the purchase process. Consumer behavior also involves the purchase process, but it is concerned with the product use process as well ( Gould 1991a). Therefore, consumer behavior in some general sense concerns not only phenomena that are directly related to but also phenomena that might be characterized as postmarketing 1 in the sense that marketing's influence on and involvement in consumers' use of products is nonexistent, more indirect, and/or less intense than its influence and involvement in product purchase. I will follow this general characterization here while noting that many exceptions may also exist. For example, marketing processes pervade the use of some services (e.g., the services provided on an airplane constitute a part of the marketing of the airline as well as providing an intrinsic response to consumer needs).
To examine exchange phenomena in consumer behavior further, there exists the need to take existing consumer research theory and concepts and consider them in terms of exchange. There also exists the need to reconceptualize exchange, itself, in terms of some new concepts. Therefore to pursue these issues, I will consider the following: (1) exchange, energy systems, and life; (2) the resources exchanged; (3) a typology of exchange: the Consumer Exchange Framework; (4) the factors facilitating exchange: the Exchange Control Process; (5) types of exchange parties; and (6) implications for theory development.
Potency is a term derived by Alderson ( 1965) to speak to what consumers get out of exchanges. They seek potency or stored value in their assortment of goods