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Unformatted text preview: of a consideration set, can be illustrated by the example of a father
wanting to buy a computer game for his son. He has two options in collecting information – external search and internal search. External search would see him intentionally surfing the Internet stores and talking to friends about the situation. The
other option is for the father to use his memory for information, which would help him
come into possession of a game for his son. The possibilities that he comes up with will
make up the awareness set [Arens, 1999:145]. Consumers frequently will not identify all
the possibilities [Desai & Hoyer, 2000:309 and Churchill & Peter, 1998:145]. Forming a
consideration set for choosing a product is shown in figure 2.16. Figure 2.16: Forming a consideration set for choosing a product. All brands in product class Unkown brands Brands not
accidently Familiar brands Brands
brands Consideration set Evoked set Inert set Inept set Source: Adapted from Churchill, Jr., G.A., Peter, J.P., 1998, Marketing: Creating value for
customers, 2nd edition, U.S.A.: McGraw-Hill, p. 145. 85 Figure 2.16 shows how the awareness set is usually a subset of all the possible
alternatives, excluding brands that are not found or un-recalled [Churchill & Peter,
1998:145 and Miniard et al., 1991:27]. A child running an errand to buy a detergent for
the household, for instance, will recognise the brand the family uses by the product’s
appearance (such as particular colour and size) even if he cannot recall whether they use
it or not. When internal search proves not to be a totally reliable option, the consumer may decide
to collect additional information from the environment [Bettman et al., 1998:189 and
Levy & Weitz, 1998:129]. External search can be either pre-purchase search or ongoing
search. Pre-purchase search refers to an external search that is driven by an upcoming
purchase decision, bearing a particular objective in mind. The primary drive behind prepurchase search is the desire to make better consumption choices. In contrast to prepurchase concept, ongoing search refers to information acquisition that occurs on a
relatively regular basis, regardless of sporadic purchase needs [Hawkins et al., 2001:529].
Ongoing search may be encouraged by desires to develop a knowledge base that can be
used in future decision-making. The enjoyment derived from this activity can also be an
inspiring factor. There is no denying that many consumers enjoy ongoing search for no
particular reason. Consumers may browse through a shop, without having specific purchase needs, simply because it is “fun” for them [Chiquan, 2001:505 and Brassington
& Pettitt, 1997:90]. To illustrate the two types of external search, consider an expecting
mother that keeps an eye out for any baby products on the market (ongoing search).
Eventually when the baby is born, she will then engage in pre-purchase searching once
she is ready...
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