This video explains how consumers weigh the pros and cons of competing options within a product category in order to choose a winner.
- How many products did you decide to buy within the past day or two. In each case, essentially you were solving a problem. That's because every consumer decision we make is a response to a problem. Of course the type and scope of these problems varies enormously. Your needs range from simple physiological priorities such as quenching your thirst, to whether you'll spend your hard earned money on a television to abstract intellectual or aesthetic quandary such as choosing a college major.
Or perhaps what to wear to that Beyonce concert on Saturday night. Because some purchase decisions are more important than others, the amount of effort we put into each differs. Sometimes the decision making process is almost automatic. We seem to make snap judgements based on very little information. At other times, it resembles a full time job. A person may literally spend days or weeks agonizing over an important purchase such as a new home, a car or even an iPhone versus a Samsung Galaxy.
Given the range of problems we all confront in our lives, clearly, it's difficult to apply a one size fits all explanation to the complexities of consumer behavior. Traditionally, consumer researchers approach decision making from a rational perspective. According to this view, people calmly and carefully integrate as much information as possible with what they already know about a product.
Painstakingly weigh the pluses and minuses of each alternative and arrive at a satisfactory decision. When we make rational decisions, we follow a sequence of steps that we describe as problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, product choice and post purchase evaluation.
Each step represents challenges but also opportunities for marketers. For example, today a huge amount of information search that is step number two, takes place online. So strategies like search engine optimization are crucial to be sure your brand stays in the running. These decision making steps are well and good but common sense tells us, we don't undergo this elaborate sequence every time we buy something.
If we did, we'd spend all day making these decisions. Instead, we often use short cuts to get on with our lives. Social scientists are learning more everyday about how very subtle ques in the environment influence these kinds of decisions. A study of the influence of company logos found that when respondents were exposed to a brief flash of either an Apple or an IBM logo on a screen, their behavior changed even though they weren't even aware they had seen the logo.
Creativity, non-conformity and innovation are traits many consumers associate with the Apple brand. Where as they link tradition, intelligence and responsibility with IBM. Sure enough, those who saw the Apple logo subsequently provided more creative and innovative responses on a task than those who saw the IBM logo. Non of the respondents were aware of the logo's influence on their behaviors.
It's crucial to understand what decisions processes your customers use. If you sell products or services that require a lot of thought, be sure to track how your buyers make their way through the decision making sequence. But, if your products are things people buy habitually, focus more on the subtle ques in the buying situation to steer them your way.
First, learn the importance of consumer behavior in helping us understand when, why, and how purchasing decisions are made. Michael shares how factors such as color, shape, and sound influence our perception of brands and products. He discusses gender identity and products geared towards different genders, as well as how consumer lifestyles, values, and attitudes affect product preferences. Michael also goes into external influences on consumer behavior, covering how groups make decisions and how ideas spread. Finally, Michael explores the role emotion plays in purchase decisions, and how you can structure messages to maximize persuasion.
- Sensory marketing as a strategic tool
- How gender identity can affect product choice
- Personality and brand image
- Decision-making in groups
- Retailing as theater
- How ideas spread through the market
- Persuasive communications
- Influencing consumer behavior