Understanding Consumer Decision Making: The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy

By Thomas J. Reynolds; Jerry C. Olson | Go to book overview

1
The Means-End Approach to Understanding
Consumer Decision Making
Jerry C. Olson
Penn State University
Thomas J. Reynolds
Richmont Partners

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this introductory chapter is to introduce the means-end approach to those readers who are not familiar with the approach and to refresh the memory of those with greater experience. To those ends, the means-end approach and its conceptual foundations are described and how managers can use the means-end approach to understand consumer decision-making is discussed. Specific chapters in the book cover all these issues in greater detail.


INTRODUCTION

The title for this book reveals the main goals. The chapters in this book describe the means-end approach to understanding consumer decision making and show how such understanding can inspire and guide managers' decisions about marketing and advertising strategy. The fundamental idea underlying the means-end approach is that decision makers choose courses of action (including behaviors such as the purchase of particular brands) that seem most likely to achieve important outcomes. The “means-end approach” is an umbrella term that refers to a set of methods for interviewing consumers about the reasons for their decision choice and interpreting consumers' responses in terms of linkages between outcomes.

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