Consumer behavior is the relative action or actions of the consumer, basically how we buy, what we buy, and when we buy. Sounds simple enough but in reality its just not all that vanilla as there are many flavors that lend themselves to consumer behavior. Buying behavior is not relegated to need, as buying can be linked to desire, lust, and most critically impulse. There is a process within all buying attached to decision making, we all make strong educated decisions and weaker snap or thoughtless decisions that are not reasoned and evaluated properly. Consumer behavior can be trending or chemical, we buy an iPhone because everyone else has one (peer pressure?) or we may purchase a Big Mac because we are not only hungry but we just watched the McDonalds commercial and now suddenly we are at the drive-through window.
An interesting question may be are we induced to react through the communicative digital technology delivered through marketing and advertising. We buy for both addictive and emotional reasons, and we tend to buy due to brand loyalty and trust. You may think you buy Downey fabric softener because it makes your clothes so soft, but in reality the purchase may be relative to the smell, that blue plastic bottle, or your history with the product. Maybe it reminds you of Mom, the house you grew up in, Grandma, or maybe just gives you a really good feeling regarding all of the above. Consumer behavior is more in depth than just buying, but buying is linked to how we accept and understand messaging which in turn is connected to communication delivered in advertising and how we interpret or process it.