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Thursday, 27 September 2018

Types of Buying Behaviour

Consumer decision making varies with the type of decision making. The decisions to buy toothpaste, a television ,a personal computer, and a new car are all very different. Complex and expensive purchases are likely to involve more buyer deliberation and more participants.

Assael (1984) identified four types of consumer buying behaviour based on the degree of buyer involvement and the degree of difference among brands.

1) Complex Buying Behaviour: Consumers engage in complex buying behaviour when they are highly involved in a purchase and are aware of significant difference among brands. This is usually the case when the product is expensive, is bought infrequently is risky and highly self expensive. Typically the consumer does not know much about the product category and therefore has much to learn. For instance, a person buying a personal computer may not know what attributes to look for. Many of the products feature carry no meaning unless the buyer has done some research.

Complex buying behaviour involves a three step process.
First,the buyer develops beliefs about the product .
Second, he develops attitudes about the product.
Third,he makes a thoughtful purchase choice. The marketer of a high involvement product must understand high involvement consumers.  Information gathering and evaluation behaviour. The marketer in this case,needs to develop strategy that assists the buyer in learning about the product's attributes and their relative importance,and that call attention to the high standing of the company's brands on the more important attributes. The marketer needs to differentiate the brand features,use print media to describe the brand's benefits,and motivate store sales personnel and the buyer's acquaintance to influence the final brand choice.

2) Dissonance Reducing Buying Behaviour: Sometimes the consumer is highly involved in a purchase but sees little difference in the brands. The Hugh involvement is based on fact that the purchase is expensive,infrequently and risky. In this case the buyer will shop around around to learn what is available but will buy fairly quickly,perhaps responding primarily to a good price or to purchase convenience. For instance carpet is expensive and self expressive, yet the buyer may consider most carpet brands in a given price range to be the same.

After the purchases,the consumer might experience dissonance that arises from noticing certain negative and unsatisfactory features of the carpet or hearing favourable things about their carpet. The consumer will be alert to information that justifies his decision.

In the above example,the consumer first acted,then acquired new beliefs and finally ended up with a set of attitudes. This means that marketing communication should aim at supplying beliefs and evaluations that help the consumer feel good or satisfied about his or her brand.

3) Habitual Buying Behaviour: Many products are bought under conditions of low consumer involvement a the absence of significant brand differences. Take for instance,biscuit, consumers have little involvement in this product category. They go to store or market and reach out for the brand. If they keep reaching PR buying the same brand,it is because of habit and not because of strong brand loyalty. There is a good evidence that consumers have low involvement with most low cost  frequently purchased products.

With low involvement products, consumer behaviour does not pass through the normal beliefs/attitude behaviour sequence. Consumers do not search extensively for information about the brands evaluate their characteristics, and make a significant decision on which of the brands to buy. Instead, they are passive recipients of information as they watch television or see print advertisements. Advert repetition creates Brand Familiarity rather than conviction. Consumers do not form a strong attitude towards a brand, rather they select it because it is familiar. After purchase,they may not even evaluate the choice because they are not highly involved with the product. Thus for low involvement products, the buying process begins with brand beliefs formed by passive learning and are followed by purchases behaviour, which may be followed by evaluation. 

What marketers of low involvement product do, is to use price and sales promotions to stimulate product trials, since buyers are not highly committed to any brand. The advertising copy should stress only a few key points and use visual symbols and imagery that can be easily remembered and associated with the brand.  The advertising campaigns should aim for high repetition with short duration messages. Television is more effective than print media because it is a low involvement medium that is suitable for passive learning.

Marketers use several techniques to try to convert low involvement product into one of higher involvement.
First,they can link the product to some involving issue. For example, crest toothpaste is linked to avoid cavity.
Second , they can link the product to some involving personal situation for instance, by advertising coffee brand early in the morning when consumer wants to shake off sleepiness.
Third,they might design their advertising to trigger strong emotion related to personal values or ego defence.
Fourth, they might add an important product feature to a low involvement product (for example, fortifying a plain drink with vitamins). These strategies at best raise consumer involvement from a low to a moderate level, they do not propel the consumers into highly involved buying behaviour.

4) Variety Seeking Buying Behaviour: Some buying situations are characterised by low consumer involvement but significant brand differences. Here consumers often do a lot of brand switching. For example, consumers show variety seeking behaviour in terms of biscuits. In this case, the consumer goes to a shop and chooses a brand of biscuit without much evaluation,and evaluates the product during consumption. But the next time,the consumer may reach for another brand out of boredom or wish for a different taste. Brand switching occurs for the sake of variety rather than because of dissatisfaction.

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