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The Customer and The Consumer

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I need some help defining customer and consumer and retention marketing, with also stating their similarities and differences.

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- Differences between Customer and consumer
The oxford dictionary defines the consumer as a person who purchases goods and services for personal use.
The oxford dictionary defines the customer as a person who buys goods and services from a shop or business.
The word 'Consumer' seems to be a broad term for individuals that use or consume products and services that are available in the environment in which they live(Clarisse,2011).
The word 'Customer' comes from the word 'custom' or habit. These individuals or organizations visit and purchase from a business( Clarisse,2011).
When one considers the difference between these terms, it can be said that the consumer may or may not buy the goods and service that they necessarily use. On the other hand the customer is the one who buys the goods and services, though he/she may not use it themselves(Clarisse,2011).
The consumer goes through the process of need recognition, evaluation of alternatives based on evaluation criteria, purchase and post purchase action and satisfaction. Therefore the consumer is intimately involved with the product or service.
On the other hand the customer is not involved in the consumer decision making process. He/she is the entity who takes care of purchasing the product or service. This may be to resell it or give it to the consumer.
Since the consumer 'consumes', the word refers to an individual or group of individuals. On the other hand the customer may be an individual, a marketing intermediary or an organization .
While the differences appear to be minor and inconsequential, in reality the differences have far reaching ramifications, when it comes to marketing theory and practice.
The marketing concept emphasizes customer orientation as the key to profitability of a firm( Shapiro,1988). Therefore the customer is considered all important for company survival and competitiveness. (Webster,1988). Understanding this from a marketer's perspective, the buyer should perceive the expected value of a firm's offering to be more than the expected value of a competitor's offering.
On the other hand, Drucker( 1954) once emphasised that the consumer, ...

Solution Summary

This in-depth solution with over 1000 words highlights the differences between consumer and the customer, and emphasizes the deeper ramifications behind the differences. In addition, retention marketing is discussed. All references used are included.

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