to a better outcome) and through downward comparison (comparing actual outcomes to a worse outcome). Research has also suggested that the degree of regret is negatively related to the degree of satisfaction. As the degree of regret for making a particular decision increases, the degree of satisfaction with the results o the decision (in this case, the product/ brand choice) decreases. In case of upward comparison, consumers feel regretful about their decisions, and thus, less satisfied. A stock market investor, for example, who has, the choice of buying shares of company A, company B and company C, decides to buy shares of company A. If after buying he shares, the price of the shares of company B and C increase sharply while that of company A increases only marginally, the investor is likely to be less satisfied with his decision. Research has also indicated that consumers’ decisions are often guided by the urge to reduce the feeling of regret with their decisions instead of increasing the value attained from a product.
NOTES 141 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR Post-purchase dissonance can be highly discomforting for the consumers and obviously, consumers will try to minimise it. To reduce post-purchase dissonance, consumers can even decide to return the product or exchange it for something which they are more confident about. While experiencing post-purchase dissonance, consumers become extremely aware of the product information, they even actively look for it. Marketers can use this increased receptiveness for product information to address the recent purchases, to reduce their dissonance and increase their level of satisfaction by sending thank you notes, such as “Thanks for choosing us as a part of your family. We are sure that it is the start of a strong relationship between us. We hope to satisfy you in all relevant ways. We would appreciate if you can help us know how we can serve you better.” Sometimes, the purchase of some products induces ‘consumption guilty’ among consumers. An obese woman, for example, may like not eat oily food and sweets, but may feel guilty about doing so, due to concern over her weight. While targeting such consumer, marketers of these products can focus on reducing the guilt associated with the consumption by say, introducing lower calorie versions of the products. An example is Diet Pepsi. Product Usage Some amount of post-purchase dissonance is always associated with all purchases. However, in the case of extended decision-making, the level of post-purchase dissonance is higher than in the case of habitual or limited decision-making. After a consumer buys a product he/she may choose to use it or not use it. The reasons for both are as follows: When product is used Even though there is certainty of some post-purchase dissonance, this does not stop mot consumers from suing the product. However, the knowledge of how consumers make use of the product is important for marketers. It is important to note here that consumers do not always use the products as the marketers intended them to be used.
- Fall '13