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Book Review: Why Customers Do What They Do

By CO Staff @canadaone |

Title: Why Customers Do What They Do
Author: Marshal Cohen
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
ISBN: 0-07-146036-5

As the chief industry analyst for The NDP Group, author Marshal Cohen uses his incredible depth of knowledge to paint a picture of today's consumer.

Cohen provides a simple model that companies can use to reach their customers that he calls the 5 "E"s. Throughout the book Cohen explains how a business can create value for its brand by: educating their customers; exploring who their customers are; elevating the customer's lifestyle with product and service offerings; entertaining their customers while marketing to them; and finally evaluating what is being done to make sure that efforts are relevant and effective.

He then goes on to dissect today's consumer, showing what motivates them to make purchase decisions. One interesting thing the book explains is how there has been what he calls a thinning in the middle market as the price gap between luxury, premium and discount products narrows.

This book clearly targets larger companies and is based on data about US consumers. Nonetheless, it contains a lot of interesting information that small businesses can learn from. For example, the recommendation to invest money on unique and appropriate advertising may be more important for the smaller firm that cannot afford to waste money on ads that will not drive sales immediately.

One thing that was distracting about this book was the actual layout of the pages, which had a larger type than normal and very small margins with the text spreading almost to the edge of the pages. Still, that is just a minor complaint about a book that is packed with solid information about today's consumer.

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