Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


What consumers want: MSU researchers pinpoint common threads

Michigan State University researchers have identified the common desires of today’s sophisticated consumer – a groundbreaking study that could help businesses become more competitive in the troubled global economy.

Each customer is seeking a “total experience” – whether they’re staying in a hotel, visiting a bank or shopping at a mall – and that experience consists of four major factors, according to the study in the current issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, an academic and industry journal. The factors, in order of importance, are:

- Benefit (i.e., what’s in it for me?)

- Convenience (the ease and availability of the experience)

- Price (including both the dollar amount and cost in terms of time – i.e., time is money)

- Environment (does the shopping environment – online or brick-and-mortar – stimulate, entertain, motivate consumer to buy)

Knowing the threads that make up the experience – and how consumers rank them – can help businesses better allocate resources, said Bonnie Knutson, professor of hospitality business and lead author on the study.

“Before, the belief was, if we can’t define it and measure it, we can’t manage it,” Knutson said. “Well, now we’ve been able to define and measure it.”

“The advantage for the business owner,” she added, “is now that I know what is important to the customer I can allocate my resources, my strategy and the systems I put in place to enhance that total experience. And that’s your competitive advantage.”

The study was conducted on the hotel industry but cuts across many business sectors, Knutson said. For example, during down economic times a national coffee chain may choose to focus on convenience, the second most important factor. While it may close some free-standing stores to control costs, it may also open kiosks in grocery stores or malls in an effort to offer customers the convenience they expect, she said.

Consumers’ desire for the total experience does not change in a recession, Knutson added, although they may modify one or more of the factors – such as buying their daily latte from a fast-food restaurant or a convenience store.

Joining Knutson on the research team were three fellow faculty members from The School of Hospitality Business in MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business: Jeffrey Beck, associate professor, and Jae Min Cha and Seung Hyun Kim, both assistant professors.

Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.

Bonnie Knutson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>