Consumer behaviour – decision making process

Darryl Bachmeier
Mar 15, 2019

Consumers make their decisions of what products to buy and what factors have lead them to make their decisions. In order to be successful companies must try to understand all that they can about how consumers make buying decisions. They must also know how to segment consumers into groups that are most likely to buy certain products.

Culture, subculture, group associations all have varying degrees of influence on our decision making process. We pick up new behaviours and attitudes from those we associate with. One of the first groups to set our orientations is the family group. As we go through life our attitudes, beliefs and values change. Major life events can cause us to increase our spending on products or services we may never think we needed.

When it comes to making decisions we can make both rational and irrational decisions. Consumers usually follow methodical methods to determine their product of choice. The rational decision involves going through the buying process: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post purchase behavior. First, we have a motivation. Second, we do some research. Third, we weigh our options. Fourth, we make our final selection and then we experience a level of satisfaction.

By making certain changes marketers can influence consumers to buy products. It is not manipulation it is a science by knowing how the brain works.

Marketers can also use computer models to try to predict which consumers buying decisions. Collecting extensive data on consumer’s lifestyle choices and past purchases is relevant for only certain types of companies. The use of Big Data and data analysis are hot topics. Using tools such as Artificial Neural Networks can crunch data looking for hidden patterns. It can be extremely powerful finding not only new answers but new questions the company never thought to ask.

We all have external influencers that have made us into who we are and that can impact our decisions. Our personalities developed as we grew up but they are not set in stone in fact our brains and who we are is in constant change. We are influenced by those around us. We pick up new behaviours, beliefs and mannerisms sometimes without even realizing it.

We often think we always make rational decisions but this is not the case as there are many situations which consumers make irrational choices. Marketers need to determine how best to showcase a product and sell to the correct segment of consumers. Small inexpensive changes that can have larger impacts on the success of a product by helping the consumer’s brain to draw the favorable conclusion.

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