Consumer behaviour is a dynamic and evolving research field focusing on decision-making factors, psychology, cross-cultural communications and more. While this field has many moving parts, all business owners can benefit from understanding the basics.

The consumer decision-making process is a basic but powerful model for understanding how individuals decide on the products they purchase.

It is important to distinguish that this model is more applicable to purchases with high involvement or consideration. Purchases requiring little involvement rely on instilled beliefs and information gathered through passive exposure, such as TV ads and billboards you might see while driving down the highway.

With that considered – below is a breakdown of the consumer decision-making process.


Problem recognition

In this stage, the consumer recognizes a discrepancy between their current and ideal states.

For example, in the case of relationships, an individual may feel like they haven’t been finding much success in the dating world and wish for a change. By identifying a discrepancy between their current dating situation and their ideal, the individual may search for ways to attain that ideal state, which might lead them to a dating app or similar product.


Information search

The information search stage is critical in positioning consumers to be favourable or hostile to certain products and alternatives.

Let’s say Jimmy has identified that he wants to get back in shape. The obvious first step he might make is googling “how to lose weight fast.” The first couple of items will likely be sponsored Google listings, all with something like “Best ways to lose weight fast.”

Search engine marketing has quickly become one of the most effective ways businesses embed themselves into consumer decision-making. Offering value to the consumer by answering their questions during the information search stage is a great way to establish rapport and familiarize them with your brand.


Evaluation of Alternatives

After the information search stage, an individual will likely have several different brands and products to choose from, either by stumbling upon them during their research or hearing about them within their social circles.

When considering products, this is where all accumulated knowledge and pre-existing biases will melt into product preferences. At this point in the decision process, businesses must seal the deal by offering competitive prices or savoury promotions.

After these three key stages, the product selection and post-purchase stages are normally followed. Here, the individual picks out the product or service that best suits their needs and then considers how the purchase made them feel. Businesses need to focus on not just the before but the after.

How an individual feels after a purchase is critical to determining whether or not they will become a returning customer.

At Daisy Consulting Group, we are experts at getting names and establishing an online media presence. If you want to learn more about positioning your business so a possible customer can discover your products or services, contact us for a free consultation.