A marketer's job is to figure out what needs and wants the consumer has, and what motivates the consumer to purchase. Motivation is the drive that initiates all our consumption behaviors, and consumers have multiple motives, or goals. Some of these are overt, like a physiological thirst that motivates a consumer to purchase a soft drink or the need to purchase a new suit for an interview. Bucklin, R.E. and C. Sismeiro (2003). Most consumption activities are the result of several motives operating at the same time. Researchers specially trained in uncovering motives often use qualitative research techniques in which consumers are encouraged to reveal their thoughts (cognitions) and feelings (affect) through probing dialogue.
The consumer information-processing approach aids in understanding consumptive behavior by focusing on the sequence of mental activities that people use in interpreting and integrating their environment. Katz, M.L. (1984) The sequence begins with human perception of external stimuli. Perception is the process of sensing, selecting, and interpreting stimuli in one's environment. We begin to perceive an external stimulus as it comes into contact with one of our sensory receptors-eyes, ears, nose, mouth, or skin. Perception of external stimuli influences our behavior even without our conscious knowledge that it is doing so. Bulow, J., J. Geanakoplos and P. Klemperer, (1985) Marketers and retailers understand this, and they create products and stores specifically designed to influence our behavior. For example Fast-food chains in the UK paint their walls in "hot" colors, like red, to speed up customer turnover.
Marks and Spencer Plc pioneer of the prepacked sandwich market in the UK, kicking off its offering in 1981 with a range of six simple flavors including egg and cress and prawn mayonnaise. M&S steers entering customers directly into the produce section, where they can smell and touch the food, stimulating hunger. In 2005, the range of sandwiches, wraps and baguettes runs to around 80 varieties including