Consumer Behaviour Dissertation Proposal


The purpose of a dissertation is to add to the existing body of literature by keeping a narrow focus of research so that the encompassing research is not only manageable but also addresses various limitations including time constraints. The title of the dissertation should be able to highlight the basic focus and objective of the research while drawing attention to the setting of the research for conducting analysis. In order to help and guide students in choosing a concise and focused research topic for their dissertations, the below list draws a distinction between various facets of marketing such as relationship marketing, branding, cultural marketing, psychology of the consumers and online marketing amongst others and allows the students to choose a topic based on their own interests.

Marketing Dissertation Topics for 2018

Impact of product packaging on organizational sales: case study of UK retail sector

Purpose: Due to intense completion on retail sector, product packaging has gained significant importance with respect to consumer purchase decision. This research will be focusing on how product packaging (color, shape and other attributes) influences consumer purchase decision which in return increases or decreases the sales of the organization

Impact of e-marketing on influencing consumer purchase decision: case of UK luxury industry

Purpose: The main purpose of the research is to analyze the impact of electronic marketing on consumer purchase decision. The focus of the research will be on UK luxury industry.

Analyzing the customer-centric marketing strategies in attaining competitive advantage for the firm and sustaining business success

Purpose: In this intensive competitive market, organizations are striving hard to maintain and increase their market share. Due to this reason, many organizations are devising effective marketing strategies in order to attract large customer inflow. Thus, this research will be focusing on assessing the customer-centric marketing strategies and how it helps organization in achieving competitive advantage and business success.

The role of information technology in revolutionizing marketer’s approach towards manipulative advertisement

Purpose: The digital media or the digital world has provided a very effective and large platform for the marketers to market or advertise their products. However, this platform can also be used to manipulate customers through deceptive marketing techniques. The main purpose of the research is to analyze the role of information technology in revolutionizing marketer’s approach towards manipulative advertisements.

Assessing the impact of integrated marketing communication on consumer impulsive buying behavior

Purpose: Consumer impulsive buying behavior has become an important phenomenon in today’s global world. Companies have been able to acquire high market share through impulsive buying behavior of the consumer. Therefore, this research focuses on the analyzing the impact of integrated marketing communication on consumer impulsive buying behavior.

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Relationship Marketing Dissertation Topics

In relationship marketing, products are provided on the basis of relationships and not traditional marketing. In this type of marketing, firms acquire more customers as well as more loyalty. The loyal and satisfied customer makes repeat purchases. Under relationship marketing; the purchasing pattern, the contact details and the entire profile of customers are maintained. Normally, firms assign executives to one or more major customers to maintain relationships and to satisfy their needs. It is a very useful marketing tool and also an excellent topic to base your dissertation on. You can choose topic for your relationship marketing dissertation topic from any of the topics listed below:

  1. Loyalty: behaviour or an attitude.
  2. The Usefulness of Relationship Marketing: To what extent have organizations incorporated the club style membership schemes for their customer?
  3. Customer loyalty: An Analysis of the Honda Motor Company.
  4. Loyalty schemes vs. customer satisfaction.
  5. The interrelationship between switching costs and resistance of consumers to switch brand loyalty.
  6. Loyalty schemes and their relationship with sales.
  7. Maintaining Customer Relations through Relationship Marketing. A case of ASDA.
  8. How is customer loyalty affected if the customer goes for online shopping rather than visiting the store?
  9. How can stores increase loyalty through relationships?
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Branding Dissertation Topics

Branding entails creating a unique logo and name for a distinguished product. Branding can also be said to create a special product image in consumer’s mind. Some consumers compare prices before purchasing a product but mostly a purchase is made by focusing on quality of goods and brand loyalty. There is a misconception that branding is the same as marketing, but it can be distinguished on the basis of the former being one of the fundamentals of marketing strategy. For successful branding, there should be truthfulness and clarity in every phase through interaction with customers, which will in turn help to improve the value and brand perception of a company. Branding provides companies a competitive edge over the rest of the organizations and has proved to be a very popular topic for research among both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

  1. How can brand equity be maintained?
  2. Do customers trust brands blindly?
  3. Conventional banks and rebranding.
  4. What are the ethics of brand marketing strategies?
  5. Effect of branding on consumers of Coke and Pepsi. A comparative analysis.
  6. Branding Strategies: Impact and application.
  7. Analysis of the consumer: Comparative analysis between good quality products and brand loyalty.
  8. How does the behaviour of management harm brand equity?
  9. What is role of innovations in managing brand equity?
  10. Investigation of importance of brand and reliability in automotive industry, with specific focus on Toyota.
  11. Do leading brands need to introduce innovative products?
  12. How can consumers understand the brand image of an organization?
  13. Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand Management: A case of Nestle.

Direct Marketing Dissertation Topics

Direct marketing is a tool that allows businesses and non-profit organizations to directly communicate with customers. It doesn’t involve bill board placements but relies on advertisement on the internet, television or radio. Below is a list of topics that you can base your dissertation on under the direct marketing theme.

  1. How loyalty schemes help businesses to sell directly to customers?
  2. Response of consumers to audio guided telemarketer: An analysis of biasness.
  3. How customers can protect themselves from deceitful direct marketing techniques?
  4. Direct Marketing: Effect and implications on consumers.
  5. Do customers respond differently to direct and digital marketing?
  6. The relationship between the duration of a voice message on the success of tele-marketing? A case of mobile industry.
  7. How direct marketing help the organisations in maintaining good relationship with customers?

Marketing across Cultures Dissertation Topics

Firms have to adopt different techniques while operating in different cultures. Before introducing any product, it is vitally important for companies to analyse the cultural aspect of the market. This has become a very important and deciding factor for the successful operation of a business. Cultures have deep impact on consumer behaviour, and play a key role in shaping the buying behaviour as well as the attitude of customer. Some intriguing and current dissertation topics in the field of cultures and marketing are given below:

  1. Impact of culture on the trading market. A case of General Motors through an analysis of the imports and exports.
  2. What is impact of language on the identity of a brand? A case of Coca-Cola.
  3. Amalgamating regional differences within the national culture of marketing.
  4. The impact of collectivism and individualism on purchasing of mobile phones.
  5. A cross cultural analysis of marketing techniques across cultures.
  6. Cross-cultural marketing with specific focus on FMCG.
  7. Impact of belief, religion and values upon business across the world.
  8. Application of marketing mix in a culturally diverse society.
  9. Disadvantages of using same marketing tact in different markets.
  10. Cultural difference and the subsequent effect on super markets across United Kingdom.
  11. Critical analysis of cultural differences and marketing.

Online Marketing Dissertation Topics

When marketing evolved from traditional to online or digital marketing, it was observed that all the rules that had been intrinsic to traditional marketing had to be bent to accommodate the needs and demands of the new marketing platform. Online marketing helps business organizations to know and evaluate customer’s response to a particular marketing strategy very efficiently. However, organizations need to ensure privacy of their consumers on the internet to avoid losing their trust. Companies are now in an era where they can interact with the consumers and their demands and devise subsequent marketing strategies. Online marketing is now a powerful marketing tool; and allows organizations to develop specific strategies to suit the needs of their consumers. Some interesting topic suggestions are given below if you want to base your dissertation on online marketing.

  1. Organizations and their use of personalized products.
  2. The role of online marketing in sales.
  3. An analysis of the perception of consumers through customized products.
  4. Implications and Application of Online Marketing.
  5. How can companies overcome the hate speech of dissatisfied customers?
  6. What attributes are preferred by customers for online search, purchasing and comparison?
  7. Relationship between brand equity and consumer perception of products.
  8. Analysis of change in behaviour of customers in offline and online marketing.
  9. Impact of appearance and visual effects for online marketing.

The 4Ps (Price, Product, Promotion, Place) of Marketing Mix Dissertation Topics

Price, product, promotion and place are also known as the four pillars of marketing. These four factors (4Ps) are the key ingredients of a successful marketing strategy since they allow for an in depth analysis of both the market and marketing strategies concerning any particular product. The companies analyse the culture, the product itself and the pricing of other similar products to gain a competitive edge for their business and production processes. Some relevant topics in this area of marketing are listed below for you to base your dissertation on:

  1. Importance of location for customers.
  2. Pricing war between competitors.
  3. Impact of effective promotion on sales.
  4. Analysis of packaging of product on buying decision.
  5. Consequences of wrong placement of products.
  6. Critically analysing pricing strategies.
  7. Advantage of strong marketing mix to firms.
  8. Difference between online and offline promotions.
  9. Impact of traditional promotions vs social media promotions.
  10. Effect of premium pricing strategies adopted by good brand. A case of Apple products.
  11. Equality between charged prices and value provided to customers.
  12. Analysis of sales of customized and personalised products.
  13. Impact of cultural values in promotional activities.
  14. Relationship between sales and promotional campaigns.
  15. Effect of central location and ease of access on customers.
  16. Analysis of change in sales due to location and environment.
  17. Importance of marketing mix for companies.
  18. Influence of celebrity endorsement on sale of specific product.
  19. Impact of promotions upon customer’s perception.
  20. Analysis of 4P’s on customer’s attitude.
  21. Impact on purchasing by introducing cartoon character for children.

Marketing and Consumer Psychology Dissertation Topics

Studying consumer behaviour helps businesses to improve their marketing strategies by understanding the problems of a consumer with specific focus on their perception of products. It is very important to understand the psychology of consumers and the various influences that the environment may have on their psychology. Study of consumer behaviour is very interesting, and therefore provides anideal topic for dissertations.

  1. An investigation of consumer psychology and perceptions.
  2. Analysis of cultural effect on consumer’s decision.
  3. The family biasness, customer loyalty and marketing,
  4. How does the knowledge of consumer effect the purchase of products
  5. Strategies to motivate people to buy your products.
  6. Selection between substitutes of product with focus on mobile industry.
  7. The impact of negative publicity on consumer behaviour.
  8. Does brand effect purchase behaviour.
  9. Pattern of shopping by customers in ASDA.
  10. Consumer attitude towards in-store shopping and online shopping in Wall-Mart.
  11. Effect of unconscious mind on consumer’s shopping style.
  12. Understanding psychology of consumers to develop marketing strategies.
  13. Customer’s attitude towards a specific brand.
  14. Effects of luxury good on buying behaviour and perceptions.
  15. Consumer response to new products.
  16. Reaction of consumer while accepting innovative product.
  17. Influence of social media campaigns upon buying pattern of customers.
  18. The role of marketing in purified water.
  19. Consumer perceptions in saving money when purchasing products.
  20. How to create profitable relationships with consumers.
  21. How low income households look at luxury brands.
  22. The factors shaping customer’s wants.
  23. How consumer thinks about switching cost while leaving a brand
  24. The consumer psychology behind reusing old products: a case of an Asian consumer market.
  25. The impact of strong brands on consumers.
  26. How middle class households perceive luxury goods range.
  27. Response of consumer to loyalty schemes vs. customer satisfaction.
  28. Effect of advertising of alcohol on youngsters.
  29. Analysis of customer’s attitude towards laptops brands.
  30. Analysis of change in purchasing by introducing celebrity endorsements.
  31. Effect of internal marketing on customers.
  32. Customer loyalty: a habit, behaviour or an attitude?
  33. Customer satisfaction: the key to success.
  34. Marketing methods & techniques which changes buying behaviour.

Marketing and Social Networks Dissertation Topics

Social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) have played a decisive role towards how people use the internet and make online purchases. However, it should be noted that there are a variety of challenges which are being faced by organizations using social media as a tool to market their products and services.  According to a recent survey conducted in the UK, around 80% of people use social media directly or indirectly and therefore they are susceptible to be influenced by the same.  The following is a list of topics that can be undertaken as a part of social networks and marketing dissertation:

  1. The role of Face book as a marketing tool.
  2. Social media marketing vs. traditional marketing.
  3. How Facebook pages turn into cash inflows for businesses.
  4. Building relationship with customers through social media.
  5. How social media marketing helps in acquiring new businesses.
  6. The role of LinkedIn in connecting businesses and people.
  7. Impact of social marketing on purchases.
  8. Analysis of social media marketing policies.
  9. How businesses gather information from social media.
  10. Consumer perception of social media marketing.
  11. The response of organizations to negative marketing on social media.
  12. Is banner advertisement a good idea in social media marketing? A global comparative analysis.
  13. The role of online stores in traditional marketing mix.
  14. Why is there a focus on the use of Face book for marketing rather than other platforms for social media marketing?

Marketing Ethics Dissertation Topics

The continuous evolution of customer’s attitude and power of media has significant impact on businesses throughout the world. People nowadays are more concerned about the firm behaviour and use of ethics employed by their marketing experts. Organisations are more concerned about their corporate social responsibility programmes and the values of the society. There are various ethical concerns which organisations must abide by in order to have a successful operating and marketing campaign. Adissertation on marketing ethics can be based on any of the following topics:

  1. Ethics and consumer perception.
  2. Impact of un-ethical behaviour of organisation on sales.
  3. How firms mislead people to enhance product sales.
  4. How country laws shape ethics of businesses.
  5. The impact of ethics on the general public with regard to product.
  6. Ethical considerations and brand loyalty.

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This paper basically examines the factors that impact the purchasing decision of a Smartphone buyer in India. India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies in the world, and Smartphone market is growing at a very fast pace as nowadays smartphones have entered both into our personal and business life. This research is to analyze the internal and external factors affecting the purchasing behavior of the consumer. The research will also throw some light on price factor. Initial problem structuring involves the Stakeholder analyses, Behavior over Time graph and Causal loops. Then a Literature review is done related to different researches already done in this field. Then an approach is decided of what Research methodology will be carried out and the sequence in which primary data collection will be done. This study will help companies in their marketing techniques of how they should carry out different campaigns and target which aspect of Consumers.


The increasing trend in Smartphone among the people is the main reason that has amplified the interest to research on the topic. People’s obsession about the Smartphone has been increasing rapidly. The aim of this research is therefore to find out consumer behaviour of Smartphone buyers in Indian Market. The research is trying to find out that why do people desire to purchase a smartphone, what influence people in purchasing a smartphone and what motivate them in making the purchase decision.

Different consumers have different characteristics in their life that also influences their buying behavior. Social factors such as family, groups, roles and status) and personal factors (such as age, occupation, lifestyle, personality and self-concept) are those characteristics that could influence the buyer behavior in making final decision.

Nowadays cheaper smart phones are also available in the market. But why people buy expensive smartphones? Price, quality, brand, country of origin, marketing, sales, word of mouth etc. could be several factors that a consumer may think before buying a Smartphone. How much does brand of smartphone affect the buying decision of a customer? As there are various types of smartphones available in market with varying price; what is the difference between them? And how they impact the customer buying decision?

This research also aims on the marketing strategy of the smartphone companies to influence the buying behavior of customer. These strategies include Promotional campaigns, Tie-Ups with network carrier etc.


The area of study is Consumer Behavior towards smartphones industry in India. As Smartphones are becoming an integral part of our life and we cannot imagine a day without them, this effort is being made in order to find out the tangible and intangible factors affecting the purchasing decision of the consumer.

1. Stakeholder’s Analysis

Stakeholder Map

Before buying any Smartphone, a consumer goes through a series of Decision making steps in which first of all a need is recognized, then Information search is made, after that different alternatives are evaluated and then finally a purchase decision is made. Stakeholders involved during the purchase of Smartphone can be External, Internal, Social. Other stakeholders may involve price, features offered by the smartphone, its brand equity and brand awareness. Internal Stakeholders will involve Perception, Learning, Motives, Personality, Emotions and Attitudes. External Stakeholdes may include Culture, Demographics, Social status, Reference groups, Family and different marketing Activities.

Stakeholder Chart

2. Behavior Over Time Graph


There were a lot of observations that were made during this research. There are a lot of factors which affect an individual’s preference to buy a smartphone. As pointed out earlier in Stakeholders map that there are numerous stakeholders involved, factors which are responsible for attractiveness of this sector is shown in Causal Loop. If the Attractiveness of any sector increases, it will increase the Number of competitors involved which as a result will decrease the market share of various players and then they will be forced to decrease the Price of their products in order to remain competitive which will drive their profits down. Hence, decrease in revenues which will negatively affect the Attractiveness of that sector, hence, it is a Balacing loop. In the other loop, some other factors are listed down. As market share of competitors decrease, Competition between them will increase which will force down their risk taking ability and as a result decrease the level of technology they are using in their products, this will result in decrease in their Quality. As Quality will decrease tendency to buy Smartphone will decrease which in the end will decrease the Attractiveness of segment.


Existing Literature:

Smartphone market can mainly be divided into two segments named as camera group in which people consider camera performance as comparatively important. The second group can be named as performance and outer image group in which people consider smartphone performance, such as integration of hardware and software and file transfer and display and the outer image that a smartphone carries, such as design and brand image are very important. Regarding purchase decision, the discriminant function is visible only in the case of Apple and, in order of effectiveness: design, integration of hardware and software, file transfer and display, price of the phone, camera, and brand image factors affect people’s smartphone buying decision.

This study took a look at Branding with a new perspective and driven out two implications. The first is that Marketing managers should always try to focus on Brand Loyalty which always acts as one of the important factors contributing towards Brand Equity. Brand loyalty has various advantages associated with it like: holding the existing customer base, exploring the new customer base market, increasing the market share, supporting brand extensions and strengthening Brand as compared to the competitors. The other important factors in this context are Brand awareness and Perceived Loyalty. The second implication is that Brand Equity must be studied further taking into account cross-country and cross-cultural effects into account so that new insights about Brand Equity can be used in future.

As per IDC India, the golden formula for success in smartphone industry in India is to have a sub $200 smartphone with large display screen and dual-sim slot. Local brands have realized the importance of this much earlier than global brands. Local brands like Micromax and Karbonn were very quick to realize this trend and as a result more than half of the smartphone market have been captured by local vendors. This is also because of shifting customer base from feature phones to smartphones in India. Though tier one brands would continue to have their own fixed set of customers who are Brand loyal, who prefer Quality over Price and who rely on better after-sales service. There is still a big chunk of customers who still prefer low cost smartphones and the main factor contributing to their pricing decision is Price. Local vendors have their own advantages as there is low R&D cost , low industrial designing and less research required for software updates.

This study brought out that how consumers’ psychologiocal factors(Motivation, Perception and Attitude) are associated with Brand Equity (Brand Loyalty, Brand Association and Perceived Quality). The reason that urge or motivate people to purchase gadgets is to help themselves to be up to date. They consider battery life time as one the important factors while deciding to buy any gadget. Their attitudes are shaped by the family members who are also many a time a stakeholder in the purchasing decision. Consumers’ perception are shaped by newspaper readings, online reviews given by various expert websites and also to compare between more than one gadget.

This study was basically conducted in order to judge consumer behavior in case discounts are offered to them. Commodity used in this study can be generalized to Eletronics components also. In this study two experiments are conducted to find out the Framing Effect on the consumers’ perception. Here the discounts are offered in two ways one in absolute terms i.e. the currency being referred and in percentage terms. The case is repeated in case of both low and high discounts. It was found that in case of high discounts, Consumers are more attracted towards the discounts shown in terms of percentage than in absolute terms, and in case of low discounts, consumers preferred those discounts which are offered in absolute terms rather than in terms of percentage. Alongwith discounts, perceived quality also plays a major role because consumers sometimes start making some assumptions regarding the quality of the product offered. In this case, some other factors like expectations and past experience must be taken into consideration.

This study was basically done to provide a conceptual framework in order to develop brand strategy and to study brand equity. This paper provides a comprehensive idea of how marketers can create value for a brand. Marketers may agree that they should take a broad and long term view of marketing decisions for a brand, but in what way may not be obvious. By realizing that marketing activity can potentially enhance or maintain consumers’ awareness of the brand or the favourability, strength, and uniqueness of various types of brand associations, the customer based brand equity framework may provide the perspective that will enable marketers to take better short and long term marketing decisions.

Research Objective

To study the effect of different factors which affects the Consumer Behavior towards smartphones in India.

Research Questions

1. What are the effects of Culture, Social status and marketing activities have on purchasing behavior in Indian market?
2. How does attitude and perceptions affect consumer behavior towards smartphone in India?
3. What are the effects of cost and featuers of smartphones while purchasing it?
4. What is the efect of the brand on the consumer while purchasing a smartphone?

Research Methodology

Literature Review

First part of the research will consist of literature reviews in which various researches that have been done before in this area will be considered.

Doing a literature review will help in analyzing and pointing out that among a lot of factors that are involved while purchasing smartphones what are the factors which are most significant.

Secondary data collection

After that Secondary data collection will be done in which some surveys which have been conducted earlier regarding the same topic will looked upon. Syndicate resources of secondary data include surveys which may be periodic surveys, panel surveys, shared surveys or maybe psychographics and lifestyles related will be able to provide a good insight. Syndicate resources also include Purchase and Media Panels and also Electronic Scanner devices.

Focus group Interviews

First of all we need to divide the Customers of Smartphones into diferent segments. The segments will be based on earlier use of any smartphone, based on use patterns(people who are extensive Internet users, people who mainly use their phone for calling purpose only) and people acording to whom price is one the major criteria(low-segment, mid-segment and high segment).

i. Customers who do not possess a Phone
ii. Customers who possess a Feature Phone not a Smartphone
iii. Customers who use Internet extensively
iv. Customers who mainly use phones mainly for calling purpose
v. Customers who have earlier purchased low segment smartphones and are price sensitive

From these interviews, customer perceptions and their implicit interests can be tapped. The atmosphere should be very informal so that the participants freely express their opinions and the insights obtained could be tested on a larger scale in the questionnaire. Some observation studies can also be done to gauge the interests of people while identifying with products. During these Interviews the effectiveness of Brand will also be checked as Brand forms a very important part during decision making process.

Questionnaire Preparation and Survey

A Questionnaire need to be prepared which can take information from the respondents in an appropriate, simple and cost-effective manner. The type of questions in a questionnaire can be divided into three parts: fact, opinion and motives. The Questionnaire can be send via-emal or can be uploaded on a facebook page in order to cover as much as possible. This can also be filled using representatives near digital shops like Reliance Digital, MobileStore,etc.

Some sample questions:

1. Do you own a Smartphone?

2. Would you like to switch to a different brand with additional features?

3. How much are you willing to pay for a Smartphone:

‘ 5000-10000
‘ 10001-15000
‘ 15001-20000
‘ 20001-25000
‘ 25001-30000
‘ 30000 and above

4. You will prefer a Smartphone of Local manufacturer, a Multi national firm or it does not matter?

5. Select the degree of influence these factors have in your purchasing decision of a Smartphone[Rate between 1-7]

‘ Family and Friends
‘ Price
‘ Quality and Features
‘ Festive Season
‘ After Sales Service
‘ Operating System
‘ Brand Name

6. Age:

‘ 18-24
‘ 25-30
‘ 31-40
‘ Above 40

7. Occupation:

‘ Student
‘ Employee
‘ Self-employed
‘ Government

Depth Interviews with Customers

The purpose of depth interviews would be to uncover hidden preferences of the consumers so that they can be tapped. Also as they last longer, the time consuming parts such as conjoint analysis data collection can also be done in this type of primary data collection method.

Significance of the Study

Smartphones have changed the way we live, communicate and connect with people around us. With just a touch we can surf through internet, we can stay up to date about news all over the world, we can check weather news, we can reach anyplace using GPS, we can book hotels and flights, we can order online any commodity whenever required using just a Smartphone. Various Social networking websites can be accessed using Smartphones, you can also check reviews of several eating places like using zomato. This case study basically looks into the factors that play major role during the purchasing process of a Smartphone. As the Smartphone market in India shrank for the first time in October-December quarter of 2014, firms need to rethink their strategies and how to expand their market and hold onto the existing market.

Limitations of the Study

‘ Sample chosen for this Research may not be the exact representation of the entire population.
‘ Research is done on limited number of people for practical reasons.
‘ This whole process which involves Focus group interviews, Depth interviews, Questionnaires and Surveys will take a lot of time.
‘ There can be some bias that may develop based on Researcher’s own preferences.
‘ Research is not done separately for rural and Urban market.
‘ Secondary data is limited because Smartphone market of our country is changing day by day making these secondary researches obsolete.


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