Write (in detail) the Consumer Decision Making Process for your Product/service. Include cultural, social, psychological and individual factors that impact the purchase.
Explain the consumer buying process, in detail, for your particular product or service:
The buying process starts with need recognition. At this stage, the buyer recognises a problem or need (e.g. I am hungry, we need a new sofa, I have a headache) or responds to a marketing stimulus (e.g. you pass Starbucks and are attracted by the aroma of coffee and chocolate muffins).
An “aroused” customer then needs to decide how much information (if any) is required. If the need is strong and there is a product or service that meets the need close to hand, then a purchase decision is likely to be made there and then. If not, then the process of information search begins.
A customer can obtain information from several sources:
• Personal sources: family, friends, neighbours etc • Commercial sources: advertising; salespeople; retailers; dealers; packaging; point-of-sale displays • Public sources: newspapers, radio, television, consumer organisations; specialist magazines • Experiential sources: handling, examining, using the product
The usefulness and influence of these sources of information will vary by product and by customer. Research suggests that customers value and respect personal sources more than commercial sources (the influence of “word of mouth”). The challenge for the marketing team is to identify which information sources are most influential in their target markets.
In the evaluation stage, the customer must choose between the alternative brands, products and services.
How does the customer use the information obtained?
An important determinant of the extent of evaluation is whether the customer feels “involved” in the product. By involvement, we mean the degree of perceived relevance and personal importance that accompanies the choice.
Type of purchase: Routine, Limited, Extensive -- why?
High-involvement purchases include those involving high expenditure or personal risk – for example buying a house, a car or making investments.
Low involvement purchases (e.g. buying a soft drink, choosing some breakfast cereals in the supermarket) have very simple evaluation processes.
In high-involvement decisions, the marketer needs to provide a good deal of information about the positive consequences of buying. The sales force may need to stress the important attributes of the product, the advantages compared with the competition; and maybe even encourage “trial” or “sampling” of the product in the hope of securing the sale.
Purchase: Where, when and how will your consumer purchase your product or service?
Post-purchase evaluation - Cognitive Dissonance
The final stage is the post-purchase evaluation of the decision. It is common for customers to experience concerns after making a purchase decision. This arises from a concept that is known as “cognitive dissonance”. The customer, having bought a product, may feel that an alternative would have been preferable. In these circumstances that customer will not repurchase immediately, but is likely to switch brands next time.
To manage the post-purchase stage, it is the job of the marketing team to persuade the potential customer that the product will satisfy his or her needs.
Consumer Decision Making Process - Factors influencing a purchase
Cultural factors: Are there any cultural factors that affect consumer buying decisions for your product/service? The underlying elements of every culture are the values, language, myths, customs, rituals, and laws that shape the behavior of the cultures, as well as the artifacts, or products, of that behavior as they are transmitted from one generation to the next. Culture is pervasive, encompassing all the things consumers do without conscious choice. It is functional, giving order to society. It is learned from parents, teachers, and peers. It is dynamic, adapting to changing needs.
Social Factors: social factors that affect consumer buying decisions Social factors include family, reference groups, opinion leaders, social class, life cycle, culture, and subculture. Consumers may use products or brands to identify with or become a member of a reference group. Opinion leaders are members of reference groups who influence others’ purchase decisions. Family members also influence purchase decisions; children tend to shop in patterns like their parents’. Marketers often define their target markets in terms of consumers’ life cycle stage, social class, culture, and subculture; consumers with similar characteristics generally have similar consumption patterns.
Individual Factors: Identify and understand the individual factors that affect consumer buying decisions Personal or individual factors include gender, age, family life cycle stage, personality, self-concept, and lifestyles.
Psychological Factors: Identify and understand the psychological factors that affect consumer buying decisions An individual’s buying decisions are further influenced by the following psychological factors: perceptions, motivation, learning, and beliefs and attitudes. These factors are what consumers use to interact with their world.
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