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How Consumers Consume: A Typology -- Holt
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  1. How Consumers Consume: A Typology -- Holt • Main Thesis -- act of consuming is varied and effortful action determined by more than the product • Intent of Article • Describe the ways people consume • Examine consumption in detail • Defines consuming as “type of social action in which people make use of consumption objects in a variety of ways”

  2. How Consumers Consume: A Typology -- Holt • Structure of Consumption • Object actions – deals with direct engagement of consumers with objects (e.g., trial, usage, etc.) • Interpersonal actions -- interactions with others in which objects are focal resources (e.g., use a dinner out to meet clients, have a friend over to view a new DVD) • Purpose of Action • Autotelic -- actions are ends in themselves (consume a hamburger) • Instrumental -- actions are a means to a different end (by a new suit to help spawn a new career; use a dinner to impress a client)

  3. How Consumers Consume: A Typology -- Holt • Four types of consumption • Consuming as experience -- subjective, emotional reactions to consumption objects • Consuming as integration -- consumer’s acquire & manipulate object meanings • Consuming as classification -- consumed objects are used to classify consumers • Consuming as play -- how consumption objects are used to play

  4. How Consumers Consume: A Typology -- Holt • Consuming as Experience • Consumption is defined by the experience if consuming • Accounting -- assignment of specific meaning to the objects during consumption (often relies on some history with the object – e.g., going to a game at Lambeau Field with my kids – is better than going alone) • Evaluating -- passing of judgment of what consumers encounter during consumption (based on expectations – consumption evaluation is very positive if the Packers win) • Appreciating -- emotional & aesthetic responses to the experience of consumption (may be sensory -- it was awesome to hear Dylan sing “All Along the Watchtower”)

  5. How Consumers Consume: A Typology -- Holt • Consuming as Integration • Integrating the consumption into the consumers self-identity (purchased brand is adjusted to make it fit me – “customizing” a car) • Consumers often must breakdown the distance between themselves and the object • Assimilation -- how we participate (real Cub fans were Cub caps at the games) • Producing -- ensuring active participation (real fans keep score and save the scorecard) • Personalizing -- individualize the experience (hanging a sign; buying a cap at Fenway)

  6. How Consumers Consume: A Typology -- Holt • Consumption as Play • Use of consumption (objects) as source to interact with others • Communing -- share the experience with the consumption object (i.e., taking a client to your box at Lambeau to “sew up” the deal) • Socializing -- use experiences with the consumption object to entertain others (i.e., seeing “My Fair Lady” at the Arie Crown Theater – impress my date)

  7. How Consumers Consume: A Typology -- Holt • Consumption as Classification • Use of consumption objects to classify oneself in relation to others • Classifying through objects -- use the meaning of the object to classify oneself (e.g., real golfers hit Pings (i3’s – not the old Ping Zings); hackers hit Northwestern) • Classifying through actions -- how one interacts with the object defines the individuals relative standing (e.g., real golfers do not waste time looking for lost balls)

  8. How Consumers Consume: A Typology -- Holt • Discussion Questions • If the NHL discovered that consumers mainly attended hockey games for the experience (i.e., used consumption as experience), how would you promote the league? How about consumption as play? • Can “Crest” (or any other more mundane product) use this this type of information to help develop strategy?