Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Buying Decision Process By Moses Isaac

Markets have to go beyond the various influences on buyers and develop an understanding of how consumers actually make their buying decisions. Specifically, marketers must identify who makes the buying decision, the types of buying decisions and the steps in the buying process.

Buying Roles :-

It is easy to identify the buyer for many products. In the United States, men normally choose their shaving equipment and women choose their pantyhose, but even here markets must be created in making their targetting decisions because roles change. When ICI, the giant British Chemist Company discovered that woman made 60 percent of the decisions on the brand of house hold paint, it decided to advertise its Dulux brand to woman.

We can distinguish five roles people play in a buying decision

* Initiator - The person who first suggests the idea of buying the product or service.
* Influences - The person whose view or advise influences the decision.
* Decider - The Person who decides on any component of a buying decision. Whether to buy, what to buy, how to buy or where to buy.
* Buyer - The person who makes the actual purchase.
* User - The person consumes or uses the product or service.

Buying Behaviour.

Consumer decision making varies with the type of buying decision. The decisions to buy toothpaste, a tennis racket, a personal computer and a new car are all very different. Complex and expensive purchases are likely to involve more buying deliberation, and more participants. Henry Assael distinguinshed four types of consumer buying behaviour based on the degree of buyers involvement and the degree of difference among brands.

Complex Buying Behaviour.

Complex buying behaviour involves a three - step process. First the buyer develops beliefs about the broduct. Second he or she develops attitudes abou the product. Third, he or she makes a thoughtful choice. Consumers engage in complex buying behaviour. When they are highly involve in a purchase and aware of significant differences among brands. This is usually the case when the product is expensive, bought in frequently, risky and highly self - expressive, like an automobile.

The marketer of a high - involvement product must understand customer's information - gathering and evaluation behaviour. The marketer needs to develop strategies that assist the buyer in learning about the product's attribute and their relative importance, and which call attention to the high standing of the company's brand on the more important attributes. The marketer needs to differentiate the brand's features, use print media to describe the brand's benefits and motivate sales personnel and the buyer acquaintances to influence the final brand choice.

Dissonance - Reducing Buying Behaviour.

Sometimes the customer is highly involved in a purchase but see little difference in brands. The high involvement is based on the fact that the purchase is expensive, infrequent, and risky. In this case the buyer will shop around to learn what is available. If the consumers finds quality differences in the brands, he or she go for the higher price. If the consumer finds little difference, he or she might simply buy on price or convenience.

After the purchase, the consumer might experience dissonance that stems from noticing certain disquieting features of hearing favourable things about other brands and will be alert to information that supports his or her decision. In this example, the consumer first acted, then acquired new beliefs, then ended up with a set of attitudes, marketing communications should supply beliefs and evaluations that helps the consumer feel good about his or her brand choice.

Habitual Buying Behaviour.

Many products are brought under conditions of low involvement and the absence of significant brand differences. Consider salt. Consumers have little involvement in this product category. They go to the store and reach for the brand. If they keep reaching for the same brand, it is out of habbit not strong brand loyalty. There is good evidence that consumers have low involvement with most low - cost frequently purchased products.

Variety _ Seeking Buying Behaviour.

Some buying situations are characterized by low involvement but significant brand differences. Here consumers often do a lot of brand switching. Think about cookies. The consumers have some beliefs about cookies, chooses a brand of cookies without much evaluation and evaluates the product during consumption. Next time, the consumer may reach for another brand out of a wish for a different taste. Brand switching occur for the sake of variety rather than dissatisfaction.

The market leader and the minor brands in this product category have different marketing strategies. The market leader will try to encourage habitual buying behaviour by dominating the shelf space, avoiding out - of - stock conditions, and sponsoring frequent reminder advertising, challenges firms will encourage variety seeking by offering lower prices, deals, coupons, free samples and advertising that presents reasons for trying something new.

Moses Isaac