"Consumer is god!" is represented very clear today. To understand and manipulate the behavior of consumer is a good weapon to against the strong competition in the market. "The American Marketing Association defines consumer behavior as 'the dynamic interaction of affect and cognition, behavior, and the environment by which human beings conduct the exchange aspects of their lives.'" (Peter and Olson, 2002, pg6) As Peter and Olson said, Consumer Behavior is a kind of exchange. Consumers give up their money to exchange the products which they need or like. It is an exchange between consumers and sellers. Consumer Behavior is also an interaction, influenced by the environment. So marketers need to find that what are the needs for their consumers then satisfy them in order to keep the customers and stay profitable.
American sociologist, Thorstein Veblen, wrote the earliest generalized conception of Consumer Behavior in his book "The Theory of the Leisure Class" in 1899.
He believes that people consume not only because of the physical needs, but also because of the spiritual need. "No one finds difficulty in assenting to the commonplace that the greater part of the expenditure incurred by all classes for apparel is incurred for the sake of a respectable appearance rather than for the protection of the person." (Veblen, 1899) He gave an example about the consumption of dress in order to prove that sometimes people purchase the costly goods only because that they want to flaunt.
After this viewpoint, Consumer Behavior was regarded by sociologists, psychologists and more and more corporations. In 1903, Walter Dill Scott published the book, "The Theory of Advertising" which is talking about the advertising in psycho logic way and how the American businessman manage the customers' tastes and buying habits. And following the past years, famous psychologist John B.