Saturday, October 30, 2010

Band Merch

Whether it's cds, t-shirts, hoodies or any number of other things, I can't seem to stop buying band merch. Since the end of middle school into high school and now in college, I have gotten more and more involved in the music scene. At first it was just going to a show occasionally. Then I started to get to know people in bands and friends started bands so i started going to more and more shows. This wouldn't be a big problem if I didn't have to buy something at pretty much every show I go to. Even if it's just a sticker, it seems I can't get away empty handed.

Now even family has joined this enabling. My brother has recently joined the band Rose Maylie. So know I have even more excuse to buy band merch. A large portion of my wardrobe consists of shirts and hoodies adornded with the names and designs of some band. Actually as I write this I realized I'm wearing two different bands' merch, a shirt and a hoodie. And with online shopping it also makes it easier to obtain even more items. You can pre-order new albums, buy different packs of merch or just get something you think looks cool. I guess I just find it interesting to advertise who I listen to and find designs that I like. Whatever it is I don't see it stopping soon, with further involvement into the music world I think my obsession will only get worse.

Olive Amazingness

Today i got to enjoy one of the finer establishments of this great city of Anderson going by the name of The Olive Garden. I cant tell you how amazing it was to dive into a meal not defined by fried Haven food or "lets say a quick prayer before we enter" the Market Place. No this meal was different, this meal was even better because my day had been long and we had just gotten done playing a great rugby game in which we won 52-0.

Like most college kids with limited funds, i enter this place fully intending to rock out the soup/salad and breadsticks. Its just a given. However, on this trip i opened the menu to see an amazing picture of their new pasta. This pasta had not 2...not 3...but 4 cheeses, peppers, and shrimp. The picture really made the decision for me. Im a visual person and now being fully familiar to what i was ordering, i felt content and ready to enjoy. I think the picture in the menu really sparked me to make my decision. I was infact going to order something much cheaper, yet my plans changed once i was introduced to this new pasta of perfection.

Analyzing my decision, i obviously used the affect tactic to choose my meal. I might have been variety seeking just to open up the menu in the first place. However, there was definitely no regret or dissonance while i was eating or leaving the restaurant with the group. This new information might even be long term...and that means they just added a long term pasta customer to theyre list. Props to them.

Ending my Search for "Sixteen Candles"

There are some things that I tend to keep my eye out for when I’m at certain stores. For example, I have been looking for the classic John Hughes movie “Sixteen Candles” for what seems to be a long time. As soon as I saw the movie on television for the first time, I became motivated to get the movie somehow. At first, I had just planned to either borrow the movie from a friend or get it from the library. I knew both of these ways meant that I wouldn’t have to pay for it. Unfortunately, none of my friends had it and I couldn’t find it at the library.

One day I went to the store Borders, knowing they have a pretty good selection of movies. When I was looking through the movies, I had finally found “Sixteen Candles.” The one thing that kept me from purchasing the movie was the price. I thought that because the movie had been out on VHS and DVD for so many years, that it would most likely be pretty cheap. That was not the case. Borders was selling “Sixteen Candles” between $16 and $20. For me, that was not something I was willing to pay for a movie that I knew I could find for way less somewhere else. I had even searched through the cheap movies at Half-Priced Books to see if they had it. They didn’t have the movie, so I was sort of ready to end my sea

Last Sunday I went to Wal-Mart to get a few things that I actually needed, when I happened to take a glance at their five dollar movies. To my surprise, I saw “Sixteen Candles,” sitting amongst all the other five dollar movies. I hadn’t planned on purchasing things that I wanted that day, but more things I needed for the week. Although I had that mindset originally, I had to make this exception. I couldn’t have just missed the opportunity to buy this movie that I had been searching so hard for. So, I gave in and bought the movie anyway, and am very satisfied with my purchase decision.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Droid Does

Droid Does

Well, I had been having minimal problems figuring out how to best use my htc Droid Evo from Sprint, and decided that one calm night last week was the perfect time to master my favorite piece of technology. I started with Google, my favorite search engine, and started with the general question “how to use Evo”. This brought up many websites and blogs about what people have found works best on their phones, which were helpful, but more importantly told me what apps were not useful or didn’t work. The thing that I found more useful was a link about good applications for Droids, which instantly peaked my interest. It gave me a list of highly ranked apps that improved functions on the Droid or made them more customizable increasing efficiency. I quickly added these new apps to my phone and spend the rest of my night mastering them. The way this whole adventure applies to consumer business is that the next that I showed my friends at lunch the new apps that I had downloaded. One of my friends had recently purchased an Evo and my other friend has a Droid from another carrier. None the less, they were impressed and instantly added them to their app repertoire. How quickly word of mouth spreads about applications, my initial interest about improving my phone efficiency was from a Sprint commercial about the Evo using qik to live video chat which lead to my search, where I quickly and fairly easily found out what app worked best and then shared it with my friends. The app world is quickly expanding and the phrase “you can find an app for anything” is becoming increasingly true. It was also interesting how frustrated the people around me were becoming who didn’t have a Droid, but a blackberry and an iPhone, because they didn’t have the apps that we did. My friend with the iPhone even continued searching for apps that were in the apple network that were similar to ours and had no success. I am not going to turn this into a Droid is better blog, but I am going to say that the Droid network is working out excellently for me and my fellow Droid users. The Droid is meeting unfulfilled needs by providing ample opportunity and ability to a consumer that has a fairly high motivation to get what they want and quickly in a competing market that seems to be limiting to whom and what they provide.

Droid Does.

Fast Food and the Quest for Sustenance

Here's the thing: I am a growing young lad.
And as such, there are many things that I require to live my daily life to full potential. One of those things is the need to scarf down food, at any given moment, in any given place.
Unfortunately, the "free", or more realistically pre-paid, food provided me by the campus is often not hearty and tasty enough to appease my raging appetite. Thus, i often re-direct my food-frenzied quest towards Scatterfield Rd, the central Indiana fast food mecca, more specifically towards Taco Bell and King Gyros.
You may be wondering what the gluttonous actions of a college gent has to do with marketing and Consumer Behavior. Let me clarify.

Two nights ago I had a startling revelation about my eating habits that direct correlates and applies to the subtle art of Consumer Behavior. I realized that I cannot go to sleep without eating a "snack" (my snack size is two full meals to the average woman). The real trouble is, is that in addition to that fact that i am falling asleep with 500 calories going nowhere but my gut, i often have have a very specific craving when 12 am rolls around. Taco Bell. Fourth Meal.
I realized that i had been sucked straight in to the marketing core of Taco Bell Inc, playing right into their genius decision to add another meal to my "3 meals a day" upbringing. Through my repeated, habitual, purchasing, i now cannot sleep without buying Taco Bell.
If that's not brilliant marketing, I don't know what is.

Touche Taco Bell. Touche.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

LBJ a New Era

Within the past few months there has been ever increasing talk of probably the most anticipated NBA since I can remember, with everything that has gone on it seems one thing continues to stand out. Since his announcement in July of this year that he was going to leave his hometown of Cleveland, he is actually from Akron, to go to the Miami Heat to play with two other big name superstars LeBron James has been the topic of just about every emotion someone can imagine. From those people in Cleveland who have removed everything in a city that seemed completely influenced by him, to the ones in Miami sporting his new number 6 jersey. It seems the way he went about it on Cable television with an announcement show presented by ESPN, was not the greatest decision he has made in his life, but he made it for himself. Now, I am not here to defend him or criticize him, but in the days leading up to the Miami Heat playing the Boston Celtics in the season opener something had everyone talking.

Much like the commercial that Tiger Woods came out after his problems, LeBron James and Nike came out with a similar commercial which put LBJ as the centerpiece asking questions and among other things calling out those who over the past few months have done nothing but criticize him since he made his choice. I personally loved this; Nike in this didn't have to support their athlete as much as when Tiger was having so much trouble, but they did need something that was LeBron almost reinviting himself to the public. This commercial has been within the past week by far the most talked about thing within the sports world, and like I stated before I personally loved the way that this was done, I may even go buy his jesery after this.

It is the fact that since his decision was made public in July there has been nothing but people telling him he should have done one thing or another, whether he made the right decision for him seems to be out of the question anymore. I have never been a huge fan of him, but this commercial has made me gain more respect for him and Nike. It is a time to move on from his past and into the future, this commercial did it for both him and everyone else.

The commercial if you haven't seen it yet, is worth watching. And when he says Chuck, he is referring to Charles Barkley who has been one of his biggest critics since the decision.

Good or Bad Obsession?

So Sunday night I am out at Walmart with my roommate and he says hey lets buy a movie because I really want to watch something tonight. And me being a person who likes movies a lot also I agree and so we go to the electronic section and start the search. We look long and hard for something or anything that would catch our eyes and say buy me. After about 5 minutes of searching I finally found the movies that we would eventually end up buying and they were the Saw movies I through V. Now these Saw movies were in a package deal all 5 for $20 and that is like a steal so we felt like we had to buy them for that reason at first. The second reason for buying them was that I have never seen any of them and my roommate has and he said that I would like these movies a lot.

We get back home and the first thing we do obviously is put the movie in and start watching it and he was right the movie sure did not disappoint. After the movie was over at like 2:30 in the morning all I can remember thinking was wow that movie just blew my mind, and that I really want to watch the next one right now. But that did not happen because we both had class at 8 but all day I was thinking about watching Saw later that night and we did Monday night we watched II and III, Tuesday night we watched IV and V, and then last night we went back to Walmart and bout Saw VI. Now that I am on like a Saw high right now all I can think about is Saw 3d coming out this weekend and how I will be seeing for sure.

In the matter of 3 days I went from never seeing any of the Saws to now being obsessed with them. This past week buying movies my roommate and I have spent a total of $35 just on Saw alone, but it was so worth every penny spent!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ay Chiwawa!

Over the summer my family gained a member. My sister became recently obsessed with chiwawa's. I believe this came about because she saw pictures of how you can dress them up to be your own personal Barbie dog. Have you seen some of these ridiculous pictures of these poor dogs? ---------------------->
This is totally a dude dog too, I would hate that!

The variety of dogs today is astounding. There are many mixes and breeds of dogs to pick from. So where do you begin? My family has always had smaller dogs, so dogs over 30 pounds were out of the question. This is an example of a conjunctive model because we set up minimum cutoffs for size of the dog (an attribute) to be willing to accept, and anything over was rejected. I also believe my family used the compensatory model by choosing the breed that had the greatest number of positive features relative to negative features. I never knew how many features until we went dog shopping!

After looking at many pet stores, my family narrowed their search by using a multi attribute model by comparing different types of dogs to see what kind would be more compatible in the Milbourn family. We wanted a dog that could get along with people and other breeds of dog. The tides turned instantly when there was an offer to get a free Chiwawa. My sister had already confessed her undying love for her choice and this offer sealed the deal. After getting Sofie in August, she is a great addition to the family. After all the bathroom incidents on the carpet, we still love her and she gets along with everyone including the dogs just fine!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Function or Appearance?

As consumers we have many choices to make. One purchase that I currently made that required several decisions was deciding which and how many pairs of tennis shoes to purchase. I have had the same pair of Adidas tennis shoes for several years. I love these shoes. I particularly like the pink (but not too pink) color of them. They are extremely comfortable and great for standing long periods of time. These shoes have served as great “everyday” shoes. Even with having these great shoes, I realized that I had a problem: I needed new tennis shoes.

My actual state was that I only had one pair of tennis shoes. The ideal state would be to have a pair of “everyday” tennis shoes as well as a pair of work out shoes and then a pair of softball/pitching shoes. This ideal state would require me to purchase two more pairs of tennis shoes to have a total of three pairs, provided I keep my old pair. The problem with this would be that I would want new shoes to have for everyday and then purchase a pair to work out in keeping the old for pitching (since I go through this pair the quickest); however, even this poses a problem. The problem with keeping my old pair as a pitching shoe would be unsafe since they are not functional for this purpose – not very supportive.

So, the ultimate decision had to be made last weekend as I went to shop. Being realistic, I knew that purchasing two new pairs was not in my budget quite yet. I used the decision making process and finally purchased a pair of Brooks. Brooks are known for working out/running. Starting Insanity the week after I purchased these I am extremely thankful I went this route and purchased a quality tennis shoe for exercising. I now have two pairs of tennis shoes hoping to purchase a third soon for pitching. The function of these tennis shoes is clear to me and has worked out great. My purchase and decision making has served me well so far and I hope to continue to be satisfied.

Forgetting Even the Grocery List

I am ashamed to even admit this lame fact: At the age of 20 years old, I need a grocery list. I find it disturbing that at this young age I cannot remember the few items on my grocery list for a week at a time. As I run out of the necessities (i.e. bread, milk, cereal, and shampoo) I always attempt to instantly jot the note down on my “handy dandy little note cards” as I like to call them. Without these little note cards I would forget so many things in my life; however, there is a problem with these life savers. The problem: I sometimes even forget to grab the note card as I head out the door in a rush to the grocery store.

So, as I am on my way I try to remember the items I jotted down. Even though this often results in retrieval failure, I can retrieve a few items typically. The way I try to retrieve information is by thinking through the processes of my everyday routine. I try to think about my breakfast – do I have milk? Acknowledging milk usually reminds me of cereal or orange juice. In my mind, I consider these items to have strong trace strengths. I continue through this process until I can retrieve the information I believe I had on my list. Once in the store, I can usually recognize the remaining items, or so I believe. Seeing bananas typically jogs my memory that I was out of bananas and apples. My memory is jogged throughout the store until finally I have a cart full. I then arrive at the checkout and return home to find my list posted on the refrigerator. The list will pose items that will then be transferred to a new list and the process unfailingly begins again.

High Risk Purchasing

One of my most recent purchases was a desktop computer. I was saving up for one all summer and being careful to keep money back every paycheck for it. I had set a budget of around five to six hundred dollars in order to get the one that would satisfy what I wanted and needed for school. The whole summer I looked at magazines and different computer magazines wishing I could get the best one and soon realizing I was a poor college student.

Looking backing on this, the situation at hand was high risk. I was using the Compensatory model: (Product) Attribute-based Decision. The definition of this from Chapter 10 is when brands are compared by attribute, two brands at a time. Looking back I used this by comparing E-machines and HP computers. Don't think I was not thinking about a Mac either, because I would love to have one! Simply didn't even put any thought into the brand of computer because they are too expensive! I was looking for a reliable computer that runs smooth and will last. The main differentiator was price because I don't have much room to budge on that aspect. I reasoned with myself by saying that HP was too expensive and and I could still get great performance from the E-machine that was more affordable. I still had the specs I was looking for and the relief that it wasn't going to blow up a week later because of the high reviews and feedback that I read. It also came with a one year warranty which is always nice to have just in case.

So three months later here I am typing this blog with it and running other programs as well. It runs extremely smooth and I am hoping to acquire Pro Tools 8 to record music here soon too! I am happy with my purchase and I think I will get many great years with this desktop.

I'm Out of Toothpaste!

For my entire childhood I never realized what brand or special type of toothpaste I had used. Whatever tube of toothpaste that was lying on the bathroom counter when I went in to brush my teeth was the tube I would use. It wasn't until college that I realized that I had to buy my own toothpaste.
Last week I ran out of toothpaste and went to walmart to pick out a new tube. Because of the low amount of MAO, I processed my decision through the peripheral route. My evoked set of toothpaste brands consisted of Crest and Aquafresh. I also had one brand in my inept set, Colgate. I never enjoyed the taste of Colgate, so I already counted it out of my options. The decision-making model I used for this toothpaste decision was a noncompensatory model because negative information I previously had about two of the three brands led to my rejection of them from consideration. The reason I omitted Colgate from my consideration was because of the nasty taste. The reason I rejected Aquafresh from consideration was because I was less familiar with the brand than I was with Crest, and Crest offered more flavor options than Aquafresh.
My autobiographical memory also came into play when making my decision because I recognized that the past year or two I had been using strictly Crest toothpaste. No external search was necessary for this decision. The only thing I had to choose between now was which flavor of Crest toothpaste I should buy. The options were tartar control, cavity protection, teeth whitening, or citrus splash with Scope. I wasn't very opinionated at all about which flavor I wanted, so I just chose which box looked the most appealing. The orange box for the citrus splash flavor looked very refreshing and delicious, so I went with it, and I'm very pleased with my decision.

Choosing the Right Hat

Recently I went with my friend to buy her brother's birthday present. She wanted to buy him a hat. The first thing we had to decide is where we could go to buy it. We thought about going to FinishLine or MC Sports since these are the two sports stores I think of that are in Anderson. But, we ended up deciding on going to the AU bookstore since she could use her Raven dollars to buy the hat. We are all about saving money were we can (even though we aren't really saving that much money since we have already paid for our Raven dollars at the beginning of the year). Once we got to the bookstore there were a lot of hats to choose from. Did we want a black hat or an orange hat? Or maybe a white one? Should it say Anderson University or just AU? Or maybe it should just have a picture of a raven on the front. Also, did the brand matter? Should we get an Under Armor hat since that would be consider more cool by a guy that is turning 15? We narrowed our choices down to the Under Armor hats. But, we were not sure what size to get. She tried on the large and it fit snugly on her, so we decided to go with an extra large thinking that because he is a boy his head would be larger. Finally we ended up with an extra large, black, Under Armor hat with an AU insignia and an image of a raven on it. We made the right decision. His birthday was yesterday; he was very pleased that the hat was Under Armor, and it fit perfectly!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Purchase of a New Hair Dryer

Recently, my hair dryer died. This was a problem. The first thing I did was find my roommate’s hair dryer. After using it for a few days I decided my roommate probably would not have appreciated me using it for forever so I decided it was time to buy a new one. I went to Wal-Mart, where I had purchased my last hair dryer, and started to consider their options. The attributes that mattered most to me were price, size, power, and quality.

First, I narrowed my options down to the three lowest priced hair dryers. The cheapest, $11, I immediately ruled out because it looked like a cheap, hotel hair dryer which from my experience has always had little power.

This left me with two options. The first was a Remington dryer for $14. The second was a Conair for $13. The Conair won on price. The second thing I looked at was the power. They were both 1875 watts, but the Remington had three heats and two speeds while the Conair only had two heats and two speeds. I’ve always had three heats so the Remington won on power. Next, both dyers were small and compact, but the Conair had a retractable cord. I decided that this didn’t matter and that the size attribute was tied. Lastly, I looked at quality. They both had ionic conditioning which was good, but the Remington’s box stated that it was a new eco-friendly dryer which used less energy. For me, this made the Remington a winner in quality.

Overall, the Remington hair dryer won on two attributes while the Conair only won on one attribute. I chose to buy the Remington. What I now know is that this is considered the additive difference model. I was comparing the two brands, one attribute at a time. I compared the important attributes, evaluated the differences, and then combined the information into an overall preference to make my final decision to buy the Remington hair dryer.

Wedding Dress Shopping

This coming summer I will be getting married! I was extremely excited to start the process of finding a wedding dress so I made an appointment with Daivd’s Bridal. Before the appointment, I started my information search. I looked through their website, picked out dresses that I liked, and created a wish list of dresses that I wanted to try on. Once I got to my appointment, my consultant would be able to pull up my list and pick out the dresses for me to try on. The only ones I considered were dresses that fit into my budget I had set. I knew that if I tried on a dress above my budget, I would probably end up loving it and wanting to buy it anyways. I started to make a judgment between these two attributes. If it is more expensive, it will probably be a nicer dress. If it is less expensive, it will probably be dull and boring.

Finally, the day came for my appointment. In order to not be tempted to spend too much money, I would look at the price tag before even trying a dress on. If it was above my budget, I wouldn’t even look at it. I began trying on the dresses that I had picked out and started to figure out what styles looked good on me. Once I had found the style I liked best, my consultant began bringing me dresses that I might also like. The first one I tried on was amazing. After staring in the mirror a bit and getting the onlookers approval, I decided to look at the price tag. Of course, it was over my budget. I was right, I thought. It was my favorite dress so far, but it was too expensive.

Nonetheless, I tried several other dresses on that I loved as well that were in my budget. There was nothing dull or boring about them. I began to realize that I can still find a beautiful dress even if it is less expensive. I had created an illusory correlation between the two attributes.

I never bought a dress that day but was happy to have a better idea of the kind of dress I would like to buy. Upon looking further into their website and catalog, I have found dresses that are the style I like and in my budget that I will hopefully be able to try on when I return to the store. Hopefully, on my next trip I will be able to find the “one”. Until then, I’ll have to remember that a higher price tag doesn’t always mean its better.

Buying my First Car

I still remember my personal experience of buying my first car. I had been working at Kroger for about 2 months and decided that I was tired of driving my brother’s old car that was a 1986 chevy camero, and the car on quitting on me. The car that I wanted to get was a 1996 chevy monte carlo.
At the time my sister’s boyfriend worked at a dealership selling cars, so I ended up buy the car through him. I still remember test driving it. I was an amazing car.There was leather seats, power locks, power windows, cruise control, and keyless entry. I remember thinking to myself that I wasn’t happy that it was red, and I would have preferred if it had a sunroof. I wasn’t a fan of the color red at the time but all the other luxuries of the car out weighted the color and sunroof. After the test drive my brother and me went to see my dad at his workplace, and we told him about the car and that I wanted to get it.
My dad went to the dealership to lower the price of the car. They wanted $9,999 and my dad talked them down to $6,999. I remember going to the bank to put the down payment on the car, and driving it for the first time after I bought it.
When I first bought the car it had 69,000 miles on it and eight years later it is very close to 150,000 miles. The only bad thing about my car is when it needs something fixed. The car parts are very pricey, but other then that it has been a very good car to me. Buying my first car will always be a personal experience that will be part of my consumer behavior.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Trying not to go in Bookstores

When I am in a store or shopping I use the cognitive response model very often. When I go to a bookstore the most common cognitive response I have is support argument. I always go into a bookstore to just look around but I usually end up buying at least one thing. The last time I went I told myself that I wasn’t going to buy anything. I ended up leaving with a magazine and a book.

When I was looking at the two items I told myself I wasn’t going to get it, but my inner thoughts took over. My thoughts of support argument were if you don’t get this you will not be able to find anymore. Of course I probably could have found it online, but it didn’t work.

I tried so hard not to get the book, but the book was one that I use to have when I was younger and was also a special anniversary. Since it was anniversary book it came with sketches of the drawings in the book, and it also came with some of the papers that the author sent to the publisher for the story line. At first I hated that I decided to buy the book and magazine because I was low on money, but since then I have been able to read the book and use the magazine for inspiration for some of my artwork. The price was worth paying for the supportive arguments of the product.

What's shopping ever hurt?

I like to shop, A LOT. When I was in middle school I used to think it was uncool to say that I loved going to the mall. I don't know why that would be considered uncool by my peers because on any given Friday night at Hamilton Town Center you can find approximately one million teenage kids hanging out. Now, I will gladly claim my love for shopping, and on any given Friday night you can probably find me at Hamilton Town Center also.

So, this Friday a couple of my friends and I went down to the mall each for different reasons. One of my friends had a coupon to Victoria's Secret for a "Free Panty, October 12-November 1, 2010." Talk about getting you into their store. And as soon as that coupon expires you know there will be another one in the mail. Fortunately she did not fall into their trap of buying more while she was in there, she walked away only with a free panty.

I was going to Hamilton for Zumiez. Zumiez, a store I didn't even know existed a year and a half ago is now one of my favorite stores. I would generally say Zumiez isn't really my type, I mean they make or fix or whatever they do to skateboards in the back of the store. I can't ride a skateboard to save my life. And they sell incense...and I do NOT do incense. But, their clothes, I can do that. I had done pre-shopping online Thursday night and was ready to buy; you should know before I go on that I have already gotten three sweatshirts and two shirts from this is store in the past month. After this trip to the store I walked away only with two shirts and was quite sadden when they did not have one of the sweatshirts I wanted in the right color.

Now I feel like I should have a disclaimer because I know money doesn't grow on trees, and I don't go buying new clothes everyday of my life, actually I'd rather by shoes. Now if you'll excuse me, Zumiez has free shipping all weekend, and I need see if I can find that sweatshirt I wanted.