The Constellation Model: Understanding Customer Buying Behavior

Why do consumers make the buying decisions they do? How do they choose a company to work with? It’s not as simple as picking the “best” option for their needs. In fact, customers are often willing to pay more for a service when they feel good about the brand.

Purchasing decisions can often be related to the consumption constellation model and understanding how it works is critical to creating better client relationships.


What is the Consumption Constellation Model?

The consumption constellation is “a group of complementary products, specific brands, and/or consumption activities used to construct, signify, and/or perform a social role.”¹

In other words, it’s a horizontal grouping of complementary products, based on an identity. With social media and influencer marketing, this is more obvious than ever, but we can go back to a classic example: the yuppie with their Rolex watch, driving their BMW.

This line of thinking taps into the core reason of why customers buy: identity, purpose, and culture. Purchasing decisions aren’t just comparing products in the same category; it’s about how that product fits in with other products, to create a constellation of consumer behavior.


What This Means for Promo Products and Branding

Unlocking the constellations of your customers is key to delivering the best selection of promotional products - either individually, or through curated kits. It starts with discovering the persona of your customer but extends beyond what they need from your business. It taps into the who and why of how they interact with the world.

Let’s take for example a brand with environmentalism as a core value. A reusable tote bag is something that’s obvious, but this brand also knows its audience is likely to be a woman in her late 30s, who actively works out, and takes pride in her appearance. Her consumption constellation also crosses branded water bottles, athleisure, and clean makeup.


➨ Related Content: How to Use Promotional Products to Tell your Brand's Story  


The consumption constellation model helps you identify the collection of products that surrounds your customers’ identities so that you can most effectively deliver branding solutions that speak to them and cultivate an encompassing brand identity.


Tell Your Story with QRG Branding Solutions

We are a full-service branded merchandise agency specializing in audience engagement. We craft unique experiences that make lasting impressions and place your brand at the center of your audiences’ daily lives. Real-world lifestyle product placement turns users into brand ambassadors. Our campaigns promote brand awareness, enhance reputation, and increase loyalty. 

Tell your Story


QRG is a customer-driven, single-source commercial printer, branded merchandise agency, and direct marketing firm tailored to meet your business goals. Our corporate identity solutions create deep connections with a lasting impact on your audience. Learn more about how it works and check out our website for more information.



1. Solomon, M.R and Assael, H (1987), "The Forest or the TreesBA Gestalt approach to symbolic consumption" in Marketing and Semiotics- New Directions in the study of signs for sale (ed) Umiker-Sebeok, Mouton-Gruyter, 189-218.

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