Titleimage: Department Consumer Behavior

Consumer Behavior: Understanding how consumers make decisions

Consumer Behavior goes beyond choosing a product at the point of purchase. Which clothes we put on in the morning, which means of transport we use, how to spend our lunch break, or which plans we make for the weekend - these are only a few of the consumer decisions we make every day.

What is exciting about Consumer Behavior is that consumers do not always behave ideally. For example, we reward ourselves with unhealthy fries and beer after work or buy organic vegetables that end up in the trash can. In order to understand and counteract such behaviors, we focus our teaching and research on sustainable development. More specifically, we look at what motivates people and prevents them from behaving in a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable way. Through our work, we want to contribute to ensuring that our society develops in such a way that future generations have similar opportunities to satisfy their needs as we do (cf. Brundtland Report, 1987).

Sustainable development is already a focus of our teaching at several courses. With Dr. Adrian Gadient-Brügger's lectureship on "Sustainable Behavior" we have been focusing on this topic for some time now. Reliable market research, goal-oriented marketing and smart corporate management are the main training focuses of the IMU – here, sustainability has to be taken into consideration in every aspect.

Research on Consumer Behavior aims to predict what consumers will choose in a given situation. To this end, it is necessary to understand how these decisions are made and which factors influence them. Based on this knowledge, recommendations can be made, for example to promote sustainable decisions and healthy behaviour. The Consumer Behavior Department is constantly involved in research projects that deal directly with the topic of sustainability.