The impulse to buy is hedonically complex and may

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Unformatted text preview: decision making [Laroche et al., 2000:1 and Burgess, 1998:63]. With a partially planned purchase the chosen brand is decided upon at the point of sale [Hawkins et al., 2001:610 and Burgess, 1998:63]. Situational influences play a part but will be discussed later on. An unplanned purchase tends to be similar to impulse buying 76 [Hawkins et al., 2001:610; Kotler, 2000:397; and Piton, 1990:509]. Unplanned purchases exist when no purposeful intention was made by a consumer to execute it while: “Impulse buying occurs when a consumer experiences a sudden, often powerful and persistent urge to but something immediately. The impulse to buy is hedonically complex and may stimulate emotional conflict” [Rock, 1987:191]. This statement can be viewed in such a manner that experiential perspectives are the dominant forces. Impulse buying is considered to consist of the following characteristics [Hawkins et al., 2001:610; Engel et al., 1995:159; and Shimp, 1997:518]: • excitement and stimulation; • compulsion and intensity; • minimal objective evaluation (emotional considerations are dominant); • a state of psychological disequilibrium in which a person can feel temporarily out of control; • disregard for consequences; and • spontaneity. Consumer’s actions that can easily be examined and explained all fit into the previously mentions types of consumer decision-making. There is, however, another category that does not easily slot in anywhere, namely variety seeking. Variety seeking takes place when consumers are happy with the brand they are currently using but seek something new [Messinger & Narasimhan, 1997:311]. This situation arises often when there are many similar alternatives, frequent brand shifts and high purchase frequency [Brassington & Pettitt, 1997:48]. A child buying tomato-flavoured ‘Simba’ potato chips, instead of his usual purchase of ‘Willards’ tomato chips is an example. The products sold at garage convenience stores and traditional cafés, nevertheless require a consumer to make some decisions when making a purchase. It is therefore meaningful to take a closer look at the steps that consumers undergo when making a purchase. 77 2.7.1 Problem recognition Problem recognition or need recognition is the first step of the consumer decisionmaking process and occurs when an individual realises a difference between what he or she perceives to be the ideal or desired state (the situation the consumer wants to be in) of affairs compared with the actual state (the consumer’s current position) of affairs at any point in time. The difference between the two states can either be minimal or immense [Hawkins et al., 2001:508 and Bearden et al., 1997:103]. In other words, it is a state of desire that initiates a decision process that in turn occurs through the interaction of individual differences and environmental influences. Need recognition can therefore be as straightforward as discovering there is no bread in the house or it can be as amb...
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