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Which Best Describes the Role of a Consumer

Consumers are a crucial part of the economy. They are the driving force behind products, marketing, and sales but, often misunderstood. Having an in-depth understanding of a consumer, companies can shift their energy toward creating campaigns that drive up interest and products that increase sales.


Customer Vs. Consumer

We often use the words customer and consumer interchangeably. However, they are different in a sense. The customer is the person that purchases a product but is not always the consumer. Consumers are those who use the product and are not always the purchaser. For example, think of a cat. They cannot go to the store themselves or hop online and purchase their food. So, while they are the consumer, it is their owner who is the customer. Also, think of a child. It’s often the parents or grandparents that buy toys though it’s the children that use them. Get the drift? So, the customer and consumer can be the same, though they are not always the same.


Role of A Consumer

Consumers are those who use a product or service. They are not always the one who purchases but sometimes can be. It might sound confusing now but, you’ll pick up what we’re putting down. To clear up any doubts, let’s look at some typical roles of a consumer.


  1. The Customer/Consumer

A customer/consumer is a person who pays for and enjoys a product or service. One example is a person getting a haircut and style in a salon. They not only pay for the service but also walk out with a new hairdo.


  1. The Collective Consumer

A collective consumer is a group of persons that makes use of something purchased by someone else. Think of your office and all of the equipment in it. Let’s take the printer as an example. You didn’t buy it, and neither did any of your work buds though all of you use it. Therefore, all of you classify as collective consumers even though you had nothing to do with the purchase.


  1. The Plain Old Consumer

The plain old consumer does none of the buying but enjoys the product. As kids, we are consumers, enjoying the money of our parents. When our parents would go to the store and come back with a prize, we were the consumer.


Consumers Drive the Market

A ton of market research today targets the consumer. Companies know that the better they know their consumers, the more products and services they will sell. However, a consumer and a purchaser are not always the same, causing marketing teams to analyze both. Cat parents are likely not going to buy their pets any food off the shelf. They’re probably going to look for key characteristics like ingredients and shelf-life. Therefore, a cat food company will have to market their product to cat parents who will purchase their food. The deeper understanding between consumers and their role in the market, the more successful sales campaigns and products companies can create.