Traditionally, consumer research workers have approached determination doing procedure from a rational position. This dominant school of thought positions consumers as being cognitive ( i.e. , problem-solving ) and, to some but a lesser grade, emotional.[ 1 ]Such a position is reflected in the phase theoretical account of a typical purchasing procedure ( frequently called the consumer information treating theoretical account ) depicted in Figure 1.
Figure 1 The Consumer Information Processing Model
Beginning: Adopted from Kotler ( 1997 ) , Schiffman and Kanuk ( 1997 ) , and Solomon ( 1996 )
In this theoretical account, the consumer passes through five phases: job acknowledgment, information hunt, rating and choice of options, determination execution, and post-purchase rating.
In this information processing theoretical account, the consumer purchasing procedure begins when the purchaser recognizes a job or demand. For illustration, Doug may recognize that his best suit does n’t look modern-day any more. Or, Kathleen may acknowledge that her personal computing machine is non executing every bit good as she thought it should. These are the sorts of job that we as consumers encounter all the clip. When we found out a difference between the existent province and a coveted province, a job is recognized. When we find a job, we normally try to work out the job. We, in other words, acknowledge the demand to work out the job. But how?
When a consumer discovers a job, he/she is likely to seek for more information. Kathleen may merely pay more attending to merchandise information of a personal computing machine. She becomes more attentive to computing machine ads, computing machines purchased by her friends, and peer conversations about computing machines. Or, she may more actively seek information by sing shops, speaking to friends, or reading computing machine magazines, among others. Through garnering information, the consumer learns more about some trade names that compete in the market and their characteristics and features. Theoretically, there is a entire set of trade names available to Kathleen, but she will go aware of merely a subset of the trade names ( awareness set ) in the market. Some of these trade names may fulfill her initial purchasing standards, such as monetary value and treating velocity ( consideration set ) . As Kathleen proceeds to more information hunt, merely a few will stay as strong campaigners ( pick set ) .
Evaluation and Selection of Options
How does the consumer procedure competitory trade name information and measure the value of the trade names? Unfortunately there is no individual, simple rating procedure applied by all consumers or by one consumer in all purchasing state of affairss.
One dominant position, nevertheless, is to see the rating procedure as being cognitively driven and rational. Under this position, a consumer is seeking to work out the job and finally fulfilling his/her demand. In other words, he/she will look for problem-solving benefits from the merchandise. The consumer, so, looks for merchandises with a certain set of properties that deliver the benefits. Therefore, the consumer sees each merchandise as a package of properties with different degrees of ability of presenting the job work outing benefits to fulfill his/her demand. The differentiations among the demand, benefits, and properties are really of import. One utile manner to form the relationships among the three is a hierarchal one ( Figure 2 ) . Although simplified, Figure 2 is an illustration of how a package of properties ( i.e. , a merchandise or, more specifically, personal computing machine ) relates to the benefits and underlying demands of Kathleen.
Figure 2 Hierarchical View of Needs, Benefits, and Properties
From this figure and the predating treatment, you might acknowledge that the merchandise properties are relevant and of import merely to the extent that they lead to a certain set of benefits. Likewise, benefits are meaningful merely if they can turn to the job and be instrumental to fulfill the underlying demand. As the underlying demand is frequently personal, consumers differ as to their beliefs about what merchandise benefits and properties are more ( or less ) of import and relevant in fulfilling their demands. Based on their personal judgement on importance of benefits and properties, consumers develop a set of attitudes ( or penchants ) toward the assorted trade names. One may show his/her penchants of the trade names in footings of ranking, chance of pick, and so forth.
To really implement the purchase determination, nevertheless, a consumer needs to choose both specific points ( trade names ) and specific mercantile establishments ( where to purchase ) to decide the jobs. There are, in fact, three ways these determinations can be made: 1 ) at the same time ; 2 ) point foremost, outlet second ; or 3 ) mercantile establishment foremost, item 2nd.[ 2 ]In many state of affairss, consumers engage in a coincident choice procedure of shops[ 3 ]and trade names. For illustration, in our Kathleen ‘s personal computing machine instance, she may choose a set of trade names based on both the merchandise ‘s proficient characteristics ( properties ) and handiness of trade names in the computing machine shops and mail-order catalogs she knows good. It is besides possible, that she decides where to purchase ( e.g. , CompUSA in her vicinity ) and so chooses one or two trade names the shop carries. Once the trade name and mercantile establishment have been decided, the consumer moves on to the dealing ( “ purchasing ” ) .
Post-purchase rating procedures are straight influenced by the type of predating decision-making procedure. Directly relevant here is the degree of purchase engagement of the consumer. Purchase engagement is frequently referred to as “ the degree of concern for or involvement in the purchase ”[ 4 ]state of affairs, and it determines how extensively the consumer hunts information in doing a purchase determination.[ 5 ]Although purchase engagement is viewed as a continuum ( from depression to high ) , it is utile to see two extreme instances here. Suppose one buys a certain trade name of merchandise ( e.g. , Diet Pepsi ) as a affair of wont ( accustomed purchase ) . For him/her, purchasing a Cola drink is a really low purchase engagement state of affairs, and he/she is non likely to seek and measure merchandise information extensively. In such a instance, the consumer would merely buy, devour and/or dispose of the merchandise with really limited post-purchase rating, and by and large maintain a high degree of repetition purchase motive ( Figure 3 ) .
Figure 3 Low Involvement Purchase
Beginning: Hawkynss, Best, and Coney ( 1983 )
However, if the purchase engagement is high and the consumer is involved in extended purchase determination devising ( e.g. , personal computing machine ) , he/she is more likely to be involved in more luxuriant post-purchase rating – frequently by oppugning the rightness of the determination: “ Did I make the right pick? Should I hold gone with other trade name? ” This is a common reaction after doing a hard, complex, comparatively lasting determination. This type of uncertainty and anxiousness is referred to as post-purchase cognitive disagreement ( Figure 4 ) .
Figure 4 Elaborate Post-purchase Evaluation
Beginning: Adopted from Hawkins, Best, and Coney ( 1983 )
Harmonizing to the research, the likeliness of sing this sort of disagreement and the magnitude of it is a map of:[ 6 ]
The grade of committedness or irrevocability of the determination,
The importance of the determination to the consumer,
The trouble of taking among the options, and
The person ‘s inclination to see anxiousness.
Because disagreement is uncomfortable, the consumer may utilize one or more of the undermentioned attacks to cut down it:[ 7 ]
Increase the desirableness of the trade name purchased.
Decrease the desirableness of jilted options.
Decrease the importance of the purchase determination.
Reject the negative informations on the trade name purchased.
If the disagreement about the purchase is non reduced, the anxiousness may transform into a dissatisfaction ( general or specific ) . Surely, this negative experience leads to a new job acknowledgment ( Figure 1 ) , and the consumer will prosecute in another job work outing procedure. The difference, nevertheless, is that in the following unit of ammunition of procedure, memory of the old negative experience and dissatisfaction will be used as portion of information. Therefore, the chance for the unsatisfactory trade name to be re-selected and repurchased will be significantly lower than earlier.
The Hierarchy of Effectss
Another widely-used theoretical account in selling that attempts to explicate consumer determination doing procedure is called the hierarchy of effects model. Although different research workers developed somewhat different theoretical accounts, the basic thought is the same: people experience a sequence of psychological phases before buying a merchandise. Such a theoretical account is provided in Figure 5.[ 8 ]
Figure 5 A General Model of the Hierarchy of Effectss
Beginning: Adopted from Delozier ( 1976 )
Originally conceived to explicate how advertisement affects consumer ‘s purchase determinations, the hierarchy of effects ( HOE ) theoretical account focuses on consumer acquisition that takes topographic point as he/she processes information from the external universe. The HOE theoretical account begins with the province where a consumer has no consciousness about the trade name ( incognizant ) so develops consciousness triggered by external stimulations, such as advertisement message or “ word of oral cavity. ” As he/she obtains and processes more information, the consumer develops more specific cognition about the trade name. The cognition, so, is used as footing to organize a liking ( or disliking ) , taking to a penchant of trade name ( s ) relative to the others. However, people need to be pushed beyond the penchant phase to really purchase the trade name of penchant. The penchant phase, after all, merely means that the consumer has formed a penchant psychologically. Now it takes strong belief for him/her before really purchasing the trade name.
By now, you might hold realized at least two points. One, it seems sensible that non all the consumers are at the same phase. For illustration, Susan may be in the unawareness phase comparative to Samuel Adams beer, but Melissa may be in the penchant phase. Two, it besides seems sensible that non all people at one phase move onto the following phase. For illustration, some consumers who have formed penchant to Contadina pasta may non organize any strong belief to purchase the merchandise. Furthermore, some people may necessitate more clip before traveling onto the following phase than others.
The HOE theoretical account is rather similar to the consumer information processing theoretical account because it besides assumes that people are cognitively driven, believing information processors. Controversy exists,[ 9 ]of class, as to whether that is needfully true. Some may claim that they frequently form wishing and penchant ( emotional response or feeling ) toward trade names before developing cognitive judgement ( cognition or believing ) on them. Others argue that people form penchant and cognition at the same time. Although each statement has its ain support, the general theoretical account ( knowledge foremost, preference 2nd ) seems to be valid particularly in comparatively complex – or high-involvement – determination devising state of affairss ( e.g. , autos, computing machines ) , supplying a conceptual model for believing about the sequence of events which begins from the initial consciousness to the concluding action ( i.e. , buying ) .
Now, so what?
We have reviewed two of the most widely recognized theoretical accounts of consumer determination doing procedure. These are based on theories and research of societal psychological science, consumer behaviour, and selling. As directors instead than faculty members, nevertheless, we have several more tough inquiries to inquire. Here are some of them:
The thought of the information processing theoretical account seems sensible. But, we know that we as persons are non populating in a vacuity. That is, when we are doing a purchase determination, we are invariably influenced by other factors than merely information, such as household, friends, cultural values, societal category, or subculture. Oh, what about physiological demands, such as sex, hungriness, safety? Might these besides affect which trade name we choose and purchase? How and where make these factors play functions in the information processing theoretical account?
What would be some of the practical deductions of the information processing theoretical account for a selling director who is seeking to market, say, mountain motorcycles? If he/she knows about the information processing theoretical account, what could he/she make otherwise in, for illustration, the new merchandise debut?
What would be the deductions of the HOE theoretical account for marketing directors? For illustration, what should an advertisement director step to cognize the “ effectivity ” of his/her advertisement run? Should he/she step “ gross revenues ” ?
Under what fortunes consumers are more likely to develop “ wishing ( experiencing ) ” foremost, “ knowing ( believing ) ” second? What would be some of the products/services in those state of affairss? Why?