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Inside the Minds of the Trendsetters

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Social psychologists and consumer behaviourists have found that a small group of consumers are more “knowledgeable” than the majority of consumers. Known as “market mavens”, this group comprises 10–15% of the general population.

By John Gountas and Joseph Ciorciari

Brain scans have revealed which personality types are the most influential in the widespread adoption of new trends and technologies.

Dr John Gountas researches consumer behaviour at La Trobe University’s Faculty of Law and Management. Dr Joseph Ciorciari is a cognitive neuroscientist at Swinburne University’s Brain Sciences Institute.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

How do consumers choose a particular product? Empirical studies have found that personality characteristics influence the amount and type of information that people seek before making purchasing decisions.

Understanding the way we make economic decisions has been a fundamental question for neuroscientists, psychologists and marketing experts for some time. Indeed, the new fields of neuromarketing and neuropsychoeconomics are bringing these seemingly different disciplines together.

Social psychologists and consumer behaviourists have found that a small group of consumers are more “knowledgeable” than the majority of consumers. Known as “market mavens”, this group comprises 10–15% of the general population.

Mavens are more likely to be highly aware of what is going on in the market place concerning the relative quality and price value of many product categories and brands. Mavens have a wider range of generalist knowledge, which includes consumer goods, leisure services and which retailers provide the best value for money about lots of products. Mavens know specifically which products perform best in a product category, and which special deals are available in a specific shopping area.

Mavens provide all this market intelligence information through informal word-of-mouth communication to a large number of social contacts without any cost. They...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.