Model of Consumer Behavior

Model of Consumer Behavior

Consumers make many buying decisions every day. Most large companies research consumer buying decisions in great detail to answer questions about what consumers buy, where the buy, how and how much they buy, when they buy, and why they buy. Marketers can study actual consumer purchases to find out what they buy, where, and how much. But learning about the whys of consumer buying behavior is not so easy- the answers are often locked deep within the consumer’s mind.

“For companies with billions of dollars on the line, the buying decision is the most crucial part of their enterprise,” states one consumer behavior analyst. “yet no one really knows how the human brain makes that choice.” Often, consumers themselves don’t know exactly what influences their purchases. “Buying decisions are made at an unconscious level.” Says the analyst, “and … consumers don’t generally give very reliable answers if you simply ask them, ‘Why did you buy this?”

The central question for marketers is: How do consumers respond to various marketing efforts the company might use? The starting point is the stimulus response model of buyer behavior shown in figure. This figure shows that marketing and other stimuli enter the consumer’s “black box” and produce certain responses. Marketers must figure out what is in the buyers’ black box.

Marketing stimuli consist of the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. Other stimuli include major forces and events in the buyer’s environment: economic, technological, political, and cultural. All these inputs enter the buyer’s black box, where they are turned into a set of observable buyer responses: product choice, brand choice, dealer choice, purchase timing, and purchase amount.

The marketer wants to understand how the stimuli are changed into responses inside the consumer’s black box, which has two parts. First, the buyer’s characteristics influence how he is she perceives and reacts to the stimuli. Second, the buyer’s decision process itself affects the buyer’s behavior. We look first at buyer characteristics as they affect buying behavior and then discuss the buyer decision process.

Model of Buyer Behavior
Marketing and Other Stimuli
Buyer’s black box
Buyer Responses
Buyer characteristics
Buyer decision process
Product Choice
Brand choice
Dealer choice
Purchase timing
Purchase amount
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