Faculty conversations: Bonnie Knutson
Bonnie Knutson, professor in the School of Hospitality Business, and several MSU colleagues have identified the common desires of today’s sophisticated consumer in a groundbreaking study that could help businesses become more competitive in the troubled economy.
Knutson, a national authority on consumer behavior, said each customer is looking for the “total experience,” whether they are staying in a hotel, visiting a bank or shopping at a mall. And that experience consists of four major threads, which are, in order of importance: benefit, convenience, price and environment, she said.
“Before, the belief was, if we can’t define it, we can’t measure it,” Knutson said. “Well, now we’ve been able to define it.”
“The advantage for the business owner,” she added, “is now that I know what is important to the customer I can allocate my resources, my strategy and the systems I put in place to enhance that total experience. And that’s your competitive advantage.”