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Sherry is a leading researcher in the emerging field of consumer culture theory. Unlike market researchers who work in testing labs and with surveys, consumer culture researchers observe and interact with people out where they live and work and shop. These immersion methods, which draw from sociology and anthropology, help researchers examine broadly how marketing and culture interact in people's lives. The findings can be surprising. "If you're a typical marketer, you have a good functional understanding of your product and what it's supposed to do," Sherry explains "But it turns out that consumers use your product differently than you think they do, or they have different impressions of your product altogether.
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