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What influences consumers to make choices?

Networking ThinkTank“What influences consumers to make choices?” That was the question we posed to our think-tank panel comprising a cross section of experts from overlapping disciplines .

Although the science of understanding the behaviour patterns of consumers is a long established one – from strategic placement on supermarket shelves, promotional sales, cross-branding, celebrity endorsement, etc. – businesses need to continue to evolve their methods to stay one step ahead of an increasingly savvy consumer. So, the brainstorming lunch discussion was kicked off by the BPCC’s CEO, Chris Barton, asking Google’s Bernardo Correio “What does Google know now, that it didn’t know 18 months ago?”

Thereafter followed a lively exchange of perspectives on how the profiles of consumers can be assessed and personalised marketing targeted to them. For online prospecting, being able to interpret and control each nano-second of the consumer’s experience can be crucial.

Actors in the tourism sector recognise the importance of customer recommendations and testimonials, whilst companies selling products purporting to have health benefits reaffirmed their need to be able to readily verify their claims with certificates from reputable institutions.

The subject is a broad and complex one, but no matter whether we are dealing with consumers in the digital world or the “real” world, it would appear that the route to success could be summarised in three essential stages:

  • Catching the interest of the consumer – perhaps with novel packaging, an impressive website, alluring photography, catchy headline or other gimmick.
  • Retaining the interest of the consumer – convincing the consumer that the product or service matches his needs or dreams; nurturing the emotion so that you become the preferred supplier.
  • Prompting a positive action – by providing every inducement and convenience to conclude the transaction with confidence.

The BPCC organises several brainstorming think-tank lunches each year for a maximum of 18 invited participants. Previous themes have included “Luxury”, “Art” and “Architecture”. These lunches provide a convivial setting for a forum where like-minded businesspeople can explore the possibilities of developing mutually beneficial synergies.

Other themes being considered include “Supporting incoming foreigners” which we expect will attract the participation of international schools and universities, relocation companies, co-working spaces, real estate agencies, foreign exchange brokers, Portuguese language teachers, accountants and representatives of the local municipalities. Members wishing to be invited to future editions of these brainstorming lunches should contact Chris Barton on . Suggestions for themes are also welcome.