Business

Lecture enlightens us on buying decisions

Kelowna is the retail hub of the Okanagan, a region often associated with luxury playthings and designer-brand lifestyles.

While the average Okanagan consumer may not fit that stereotype, an upcoming visiting speaker presented by UBC’s Faculty of Management says we’re all social animals with a defined self-concept. Our own perceptions and social status influence buying decisions, sales interactions, and aspirations for champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

Darren Dahl, senior associate dean and BC Innovation Council Professor at UBC Vancouver’s Sauder School of Business, shares insights into consumer motives behind making luxury purchases and how retailers set us up to spend our hard-earned money. His free lecture takes place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

Dahl’s public talk, titled Social Animals in the Retail Jungle, aims to enlighten and empower people by uncovering hidden factors that sometimes drive our buying decisions.

He also discusses the implications of studies about brand rejection, showing that consumers can have more positive attitudes and fewer spending inhibitions after antagonistic sales tactics.

“We are social animals who react to specific cues in a retail environment,” says Dahl, who has consulted and built educational programs for companies such as LuluLemon, General Electric, and Agent Provocateur.

“Those cues tap into what is important to our self-concept, which is a fundamental driver in the sales interaction,” says Dahl.

Dahl is incoming editor of the Journal of Consumer Research and has published widely on the topics of creativity, social influence, and consumer emotions. He has spoken at universities around the world including Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the London Business School.

The Visiting Speaker Series is sponsored by the Faculty of Management at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Free registration for this lecture is at vssdahl.eventbrite.com.

 

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