Customer Decision Making
Brand awareness always is necessary and basic in life of a consumer as it starts the initiation of interaction between the consumer and the brand. It also increases the trust of a consumer on the brand as well as increases the probability of purchase (Schiffman and Leslie 1997).
The way in which consumers try and gather information about multiple goods, resources, organizations, ideas, people and places etc. and decide among various alternatives so that they can make a decision is called consumer decision process. This process consists of the complete procedure as well as factors which affect at various stages of the process (Solomon 1996). Traditionally, consumer researchers have approached decision making process from a rational perspective. This consumer decision making process is both cognitive as well as emotional in nature. It has six basic stages namely: – Stimulus, Problem awareness, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase, and post purchase behaviour. There are multiple factors which influence the customer decision making like; customer’s demographic, social and psychological traits A brand can easily be more suited to any consumer if it makes a clear distinction in brand personality and displays specific association traits when recognized by customers during the decision making process (Engel, Roger and Paul 1993).
1) Stimulus – At stimulus stage, customers get stimulus to buy a product. These can be any like Social, commercial, physical etc. At this stage he will be having the thought of buying a car due to any stimuli like a problem or an unfulfilled desire.
2) Problem Awareness – In problem awareness stage, the consumer will recognize that buying a car can solve his problem or unfulfilled desire. Sometimes, unfulfilled desire can’t push customer due to his social or income status.
3) Information search – At this stage, he will research what all alternatives he will have when he looks around to decide on purchasing of a car. The search can be internal or external. As the risk associated with purchase increase, the information sought is also increased (Wilkie 1990).
4) Evaluation of options – At this stage of consumer decision making, he will look at weighing the car options he has on his various criterion as well as relative weightages to him. Then he will rank them and select the final car.
5) Purchase – At this stage he will pay for the car, or make a promise to pay for car with promise of support from the dealer who is selling the car. If all the terms are acceptable to him, he will purchase the car.