The time has come. Your computer crashed and you need a new one. So you do some research on the type of computer you should get. You evaluate the price, compare features, and brands. Finally, the decision has been made and you have found the computer that is right for you, so you make the purchase.
Once you go home and use your new computer, you determine whether or not you like it. If you like it, great, but if you later decide it isn’t right for you, you may start the process all over again. This process is called the Consumer Decision Making Process.
In the Consumer Decision Making Process there are 5 Cycles:
1. Need Recognition
This is as simple as noticing an empty shampoo bottle or it can be activated by advertising. This is when you, the consumer, realize that you have a “need.”
2. Information Search
The options seem endless when you are searching for information, whether internally or externally. Internal search involves your memory and past experiences, while external search involves getting information from friends, family, public sources, and marketer- dominated sources. The risk of making a wrong decision is high when externally searching, because you’re relying on a source, not your own personal knowledge.
3. Evaluation of Alternatives
Deciding the pros and cons of a product or brand happens during this cycle. You evaluate the objective attributes and subjective factors of a brand or product. An example of evaluating the objective attributes of a brand or product is picture quality on a cell phone. Subjective factors may relate to the reputation of the brand or product, whether it has prestige or not.
4. Purchase Decision
This is when you decide from whom to buy, when to buy, and if you should buy. Your decision can be influenced by the atmosphere of the store, the experience, time pressure and other sources.
5. Purchase Evaluation
After purchasing, you will compare the results with your expectations. This may be followed by a re-evaluation, sometimes known as buyer’s remorse.
It’s an advertiser’s job to create needs or the desire for a new brand or product and making sure the consumer believes theirs is the best option for them. Next time you’re shopping for something particular, think about the Consumer Decision Making Process, which cycle are you going through? And when crafting your own advertising or marketing programs, be sure in incorporate the above for the best results possible.