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Chapter 8 Decision MakingCONSUMER BEHAVIOR, 9e Michael R. Solomon 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter Objectives When you finish this chapter, you should understand why: Consumer decision making is a central part of consumer behavior, but the way we evaluate and choose products varies widely. A decision is actually composed of a series of stages that results in the selection of one product over competing options. Decision making is not always rational. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter Objectives (continued)When you finish this chapter, you should understand why: Our access to online sources is changing the way we decide what to buy. We often fall back on well-learned “rules-of-thumb” to make decisions. Consumers rely upon different decision rules when evaluating competing options. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Figure 8.1 Stages in Consumer Decision MakingWhen consumers make decisions, they go through a series of steps. These include problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, and product choice. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Decision-Making PerspectivesAre consumers rational when they make purchase decisions? What is purchase momentum? What cognitive processing styles affect consumer decision making? Sometimes consumers are rational and sometimes they are not. We buy things at times with no advance planning, on an impulse, or do something different from what we intended. We also react to purchase momentum which is when an initial impulse purchase increases the likelihood that we will buy even more. People do have different cognitive processing styles. Some tend to have a rational system that processes information analytically and sequentially using roles of logic while others rely on an experiential system of cognition that processes information more holistically and in parallel. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Figure 8.2 Continuum of Buying Decision BehaviorIt can help us to understand the decision-making process when we think about the amount of effort that goes into a decision each time we must make it. Consumer researchers think of decision effort on a continuum. On one end we have habitual decision making and at the other, there is extended problem solving. Many decisions fall somewhere in between, which we refer to as limited problem solving. Habitual or routine response behavior is for low involvement products and these decisions are made mostly out of habit. Limited problem solving involves using decision rules to make choices. Extended problem solving is for high risk choices. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Steps in the Decision-Making ProcessProblem recognition Information search Evaluation of alternatives These are the basic four steps in the decision making process shown in Figure 8.1. The next several slides provide more details on these four steps. Product choice 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Stage 1: Problem RecognitionOccurs when consumer sees difference between current state and ideal state Need recognition: actual state declines Opportunity recognition: ideal state moves upward Problem recognition is the first stage. It can occur when a consumer’s state of being declines (which then triggers a desire to return to normalcy) or when a consumer recognizes an ideal state he or she wishes to achieve. In this Dutch ad, the child’s parents recognize a need to go to the movies. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Figure 8.3 Problem RecognitionThis figure illustrates the two causes of problem recognition. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Stage 2: Information SearchThe process by which we survey the environment for appropriate data to make a reasonable decision Prepurchase or ongoing search Internal or external search Online search Once we know we have a problem, we search out how we can solve the problem. These searches will typically take place before purchase (prepurchase). However, many people just enjoy searching information and they conduct ongoing searches even if a purchase is not immediately forthcoming. Internal searches are based on our own memory banks while external sources come from other sources. Search engines have made vast amounts of information available to us as we search out product information. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Table 8.2 A Framework for Consumer Information SearchPrepurchase versus Ongoing Search Prepurchase Search Ongoing Search Determinants Involvement with purchase Involvement with product Motives Making better purchase decisions Building a bank of information for future use Outcomes Better purchase decisions Increased impulse buying This framework explains the differences between prepurchase and ongoing searches. The motives are entirely different as are the outcomes. However the determinants are quite similar. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Deliberate versus “Accidental” SearchDirected learning: existing product knowledge obtained from previous information search or experience of alternatives Incidental learning: mere exposure over time to conditioned stimuli and observations of others Directed learning means we know about a product because we have previously sought out information about that product. Accidental search means that we are more passive. We learn about information because over time we experience exposures to brand information. This is sometimes called low-dose advertising. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Do Consumers Always Search Rationally?Some consumers avoid external search, especially with minimal time to do so and with durable goods (e.g. autos) Symbolic items require more external search Brand switching: we select familiar brands when decision situation is ambiguous Variety seeking: desire to choose new alternatives over more familiar ones Clearly we don’t always engage in rational search processes to identify each alternative before we make a choice. In fact, the amount of external search we do is surprisingly small. In addition, low-income shoppers who have the most to lose for making poor purchase decisions do the least amount of information search. The more symbolic of our identity a product is, the more search we will tend to do. Sometimes we switch brands, even if the brand we formerly chose still meets our needs. This may be related to variety seeking, a desire to choose new alternatives over more familiar ones. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Biases in Decision-Making ProcessMental accounting: framing a problem in terms of gains/losses influences our decisions Sunk-cost fallacy: We are reluctant to waste something we have paid for Loss aversion: We emphasize losses more than gains Prospect theory: risk differs when we face gains versus losses The way people adjust decisions based on the cost of the product and the situation can be explained using the principles of mental accounting. We frame our problems in ways that influence whether we perceive our possible decisions as gains or losses. People are prone to a bias called the sunk-cost fallacy. If we’ve paid for something, we are more reluctant to waste it, even though the value of the item does not change whether it was given to us or we paid for it. Loss aversion is another bias. It means that losing money is more painful to us than gaining money is pleasant. Prospect theory describes how people make choices. It defines the utility in terms of gains and losses. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Figure 8.5 Amount of Information Search and Product KnowledgeThis figure shows us that there is an inverted-U relationship between knowledge and external search effort. People with very limited expertise may not feel they are competent to search extensively. Experts have a better sense of what information is relevant so they engage in selective search. Novice consumers tend to process information in terms of the big picture instead of detailed information. Who searches the most? Moderately knowledgeable consumers. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Minolta Understands Perceived RiskAs a general rule, purchase decisions that are perceived as risky will involve more extensive searches. Risk is felt whenever there is a belief that there may be a negative consequence associated with the decision. Minolta addresses the fear created by a sense of risk by offering a guarantee. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Figure 8.6 Five Types of Perceived RiskMonetary risk Functional risk Physical risk Social risk Figure 8.6 reviews the five types of perceived risk and provides examples. Monetary risk occurs when making a poor choice will have a monetary consequence. Any purchase that costs a lot is subject to this risk. Functional risk is the risk that the product may not function as the consumer needs. Physical risk is the risk that the choice may physically threaten the consumer. Social risk is the risk that the choice will reflect poorly on the consumer and damage his or her self-esteem or confidence. Psychological risk is the risk that one may lose self-respect due to making a bad decision. For instance, expensive luxury goods could cause the consumer to feel extensive guilt. Psychological risk 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
An Appeal to Social RiskSocial risk is the risk of losing social status. This RightGuard ad points out the social risk of underarm odor. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Discussion What risky products have you considered recently?Which forms of risk were involved? 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Alternatives Evoked Set Consideration SetThe alternatives a consumer knows about is the evoked set. The ones actually considered make up the consideration set. In this ad for Sunkist lemons, the goal is to illustrate lemons as a possible alternative to salt. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Figure 8.7 Levels of AbstractionWe cognitively represent information we have about products in knowledge structures. The term refers to a set of beliefs and the way we organize these beliefs in our minds. These structures matter to marketers because we need to ensure consumers are categorizing product information correctly. We typically represent a product in a cognitive structure at one of three levels. The subordinate category often includes individual brands. The superordinate category is more abstract. The middle level is the basic level. It is the most useful for classifying products. It groups things together based on commonalities but still permit a broad range of alternatives. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Discussion Using the levels of categorization tool, design three levels of categorization for fast food restaurants: What is the superordinate level? What choices are there for the basic level? What choices are there for the subordinate level? 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Strategic Implications of Product CategorizationPosition a product Identify competitors Create an exemplar product Locate products in a store The way we categorize products has a lot of strategic implications. That’s because the process affects which products consumers will compare to our product and also the criteria they use to decide which brand they like. The success of a positioning strategy hinges on the marketer’s ability to convince the consumer to consider its product within a given category. At the abstract, superordinate level, many different product forms compete for membership. The characteristics of category exemplars tend to exert a disproportionate influence on how people think of the category in general. The brands that are strongly associated with a category get to define the criteria we use to evaluate all category members. Product categorization can affect consumers’ expectations regarding the places they can locate a desired product. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Product Choice: How Do We Decide?Once we assemble and evaluate relevant options from a category, we must choose among them Decision rules for product choice can be very simple or very complicated Prior experience with (similar) product Present information at time of purchase Beliefs about brands (from advertising) 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Evaluative Criteria Evaluative criteria: dimensions used to judge merits of competing options Determinant attributes: features we use to differentiate among our choices Criteria on which products differ carry more weight Marketers educate consumers about (or even invent) determinant attributes Pepsi’s freshness date stamps on cans Evaluative criteria are the dimensions we use to judge the merits of competing options. Determinant attributes are the features we actually use to differentiate among our choices. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Information Necessary for Recommending a New Decision CriterionIt should point out that there are significant differences among brands on the attribute It should supply the consumer with a decision-making rule, such as if, then It should convey a rule that is consistent with how the person made the decision on prior occasions 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Neuromarketing Uses functional magnetic resonance imaging, a brain-scanning device that tracks blood flow as we perform mental tasks Marketers measure consumers’ reactions to movie trailers, choices about automobiles, the appeal of a pretty face, and loyalty to specific brands Researchers discovered that regions in the brain are dynamic switchboards that blend memory, emotions, and biochemical triggers. These interconnected neurons shape the ways that fear, panic, exhilaration, and social pressure influence our choices. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Cybermediaries The Web delivers enormous amounts of product information in seconds Cybermediary: helps filter and organize online market information Examples: Shopping.com, BizRate.com MySimon.com NextTag.com, PriceGrabber.com PriceSCAN.com Cybermediaries help to filter and organize market information online so that consumers can identify and evaluate alternatives more efficiently. Cybermediaries can take different forms including directories and portals and forums, fan clubs, and user groups. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Heuristics: Mental ShortcutsHeuristics: mental rules-of-thumb for efficient decisions Heuristics help us to make efficient decisions. In this ad, the character is using a heuristic. She wants only yellow items for her party. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Heuristics Product Signals Market Beliefs Country of OriginA product signal infers hidden dimensions of products from attributes we observe. The product signal communicates an underlying quality. For instance, someone selling a used car will try to make the car look clean because cleanliness may be associated with reliability. Market beliefs are assumptions we have about a company or product. The beliefs then guide our decisions. For instance, someone may go to look at televisions at Best Buy instead of Target because he assumes that an electronics store would have a better selection. Country of origin is often a determinant attribute in the decision-making process. Consumers think of Switzerland for precision in watches, Italy for leather goods, and France for wine. Country of Origin 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Choosing Familiar Brand NamesZipf’s Law: our tendency to prefer a number one brand to the competition Consumer inertia: the tendency to buy a brand out of habit merely because it requires less effort Brand loyalty: repeat purchasing behavior that reflects a conscious decision to continue buying the same brand Choosing a well-known brand is a powerful heuristic. People tend to prefer a number one brand to the competition. This is known as Zipf’s Law. Inertia can also explain why people choose a familiar brand. It means that we do so just out of laziness and a desire to expend little effort. Lastly, people may choose the same brands out of brand loyalty. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Noncompensatory Decision RulesLexicographic rule: consumers select the brand that is the best on the most important attribute Elimination-by-aspects rule: the buyer also evaluates brands on the most important attribute Conjunctive rule: entails processing by brand When we need to use more consideration before making a decision (an extensive problem), we can categorize our decision rules into compensatory and noncompensatory. Noncompensatory decision rules suggest that a product that is low on one attribute cannot compensate for that weakness with a strength on another attribute. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Table 8.4 Hypothetical Alternatives for a TV SetBrand Ratings Attribute Importance Ranking Prime Wave Precision Kamashita Size of screen 1 Excellent Stereo broadcast capability 2 Poor Good Brand reputation 3 Onscreen programming 4 Cable-ready capability 5 Sleep timer 6 good We can use the information in this table to decide upon which brand of television to choose using the different decision rules. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Compensatory Decision RulesSimple additive rule: the consumer merely chooses the alternative that has the largest number of positive attributes Weighted additive rule: the consumer also takes into account the relative importance of positively rated attributes, essentially multiplying brand ratings by importance weights Compensatory models suggest that a strength on an important product attribute can compensate for a weakness on an attribute of lesser importance. 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter Summary Decision making is a central part of consumer behavior and decisions are made in stages Decision making is not always rational We use rules of thumb and decision rules to make decisions more efficiently 4/13/2017 Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
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