The understanding of consumers has to invariably come from the consumer. The information relating to consumer behaviour has to be necessarily based on an enquiry into their purchase process. The purchase act by a consumer is governed by various factors such as economic, social and psychological.
CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR refers to the acts of individuals directly involved in obtaining and using goods and services and includes the decision process that provide a purchase. Consumer Behaviour is not only the study of what people consume but also 'where‘, ‗how often‘ and ‗under what conditions‘ the product is consumed.
Consumer buying behavior models
Consumer decision making varies with the type of buying decision. Complex and expensive purchases are likely to involve more buyer deliberations and more participants. Henry Assael distinguished four types of consumer buying behavior based on the degree of buyer involvement and the degree of differences among brands.
Complex buying behavior –Consumers engage in complex buying behavior when they are highly involved in a purchase and aware of significant differences among brands. This is sually the case when the product is expensive, bought infrequently, risky and highly selfexpressive. The marketer needs to differentiate the brand‘s features, use print media to describe the brand‘s benefits and motivate store sales personnel and the buyer‘s acquaintances to influence the final brand choice.
For eg. Automobile, two-wheeler, consumer durable.
Dissonance-reducing buying behavior –Sometimes the consumer is highly involved in a purchase but sees little difference in the brands. The high involvement is based on the fact that the purchase is expensive, infrequent and risky. For example, carpet buying.
After the purchase, the consumer might experience dissonance that stems from noticing certain disquieting features of the carpet or hearing favorable things about other carpets. Thus marketing communication should aim at supplying beliefs and evaluations that help the consumer feel good about his or her brand choice.
Habitual Buying Behavior –Many products are bought under conditions of low consumer involvement and the absence of significant brand differences. Consider salt.Consumers have little involvement in the product category . They go to the store and reach for the brand.If they keep reaching for the same brand, it is out of habit, not strong brand loyalty.It happens with most low-cost, frequently purchased products.Marketers find it effective to use ad repetition, price and sales promotion to stimulate product trial.
Variety-seeking buying behavior –Some buying situations are characterised by low consumer involvement but significant brand differences. Here consumers often do a lot of brand switching. Think about cookies. The consumer may reach for another brand out of boredom or a wish for a different taste. The marketer will try to encourage habitual buying behavior by dominating the shelf space, avoiding out of stock conditions, sponsoring frequent reminder advertising, offering lower prices, deals, coupons and free samples.