MKTG 302 Ch 6 Consumer Decision Making.docx - Consumer...

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Consumer Decision Making Consumer behavior describes how consumers make purchase decisions. It details the steps they go through in making a purchase, attributes they consider important, and the evaluation process they undertake. For marketers, therefore, understanding consumer behavior is key to ensuing the success of their products. Consumer decision making process moves through five steps. 1. Need recognition 2. Information Search 3. Evaluation of Alternatives 4. Purchase 5. Post Purchase We now go into each step in detail, but before we do that, it’s is important to realize that not all decisions move systematically through each of these steps. Just as an example, as a consumer you maybe decide to buy a roll of a new brand of breath fresheners at the checkout counter. You may then try it out and make a judgement about it after that. In this case, purchase precedes evaluation. Now, let’s study with each of the five steps and while we do that, it’s is important to understand how an appreciation of each step can assist a marketer in creating a more effective strategy. First, lest examine need recognition. A need is a gap between a desired state and the actual state. A person may be thirsty and need something to quench his or her thirst. A want is a need shaped by culture and individual’s preferences. So one person may go for Aquafina water while another may go for Dasani. A need may be triggered internally or may be stimulated from an external source, sometimes on purpose by marketers. For example, roadside bakeries often leave their doors open with the hopes that the fresh smell of baked goods will entice passersby. Next, we will examine information search. Buyers then look for information. This may be an internal search if they have access to that information stored in their memory. Alternatively, this may be an external search if external sources are used which may include friends and family and public sources of information. Marketers can try to influence this search by sharing information, in say their ads. But consumers may also seek information that marketers do not control, such as Rotten Tomatoes which reviews movies. Marketers hope is that they brand will go into the buyer’s consideration set of the evoked set and will then be evaluated by them. Next, let’s examine the evaluation of alternatives. Once the necessary information has been gathered, buyers evaluate the options they have under consideration. A variety of evaluation options can be pursued. One of the more common ones is Fishbein Model which suggests that consumers evaluate all brands in their evoked set on a wide variety of attributes and then make a choice based on the highest overall score. While most of us have rarely sat down with a pen and paper, rated different brands and added up the total score we may very well do something like that subconsciously. Alternatively, we may follow a disjunctive model and only consider brands that meet certain criteria until a single brand is left. As an
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