Consumer Decision Making Process

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INTRODUCTION
We all have to make choices. One of those most important decisions made in our life are based on the market - buying goods. No one buy goods unless they have a problem, a need or a want. The Consumer Decision Making Model can be applied with any economics decision you have to make. The goal in creating this model was to analyze how individuals sort through facts and influences to make decisions that are logical and consistent for them. Think like an economist with this convenient tool. The CDP model consists of seven major stages: Need recognition, search for information, pre-purchase evaluation of alternatives, purchase, consumption, post-consumption evaluation and divestment. The aim of this paper is to discuss these processes with reference to a product and analyze the reason why marketers should understand the CDP model. 1. Need recognitions

Need recognitions is the most important factor which leads to buying of products and services. Need in fact is the catalyst which triggers the buying decision of individuals. It occurs when an individual senses a different between what he or she perceives to be the ideal versus the actual state of affairs. Need recognition depends on how much discrepancy exists between the actual state (the consumer’s current situation) and the desired state (the situation the consumer want to be in).

Consumer buy things when they believe a product’s ability to solve a problem are worth more than the cost of buying it. Imagine having to buy yourself a new cell phone. The first step in this process is of course to recognize that you need a new cell phone. For another example, a man currently feeling thirsty (actual state) and he want to eliminate this kind of feeling (desired state) will experience need recognition when the discrepancy between the two states is of sufficient magnitude.

As indicate above, need recognitions often occurs for reasons outside a company control but it is possible for business to influence need recognitions. Marketers must understand consumers’ needs to have better idea of where to target with new and improved products, more effective communication programs and more user-friendly distribution channels. The marketer should study the consumers to find answers to some important questions. These are: what kinds of needs or problems arise? What is the root of these needs or problems? And how they led the consumers to a particular product?

In this first stage, marketers often communicate a need, thereby raising consumers’ awareness of unperceived needs or problems. Back to the example of need a cell phone, when consumer may have an idea of which phone he or she would like to purchase, he or she probably wants to do some research in order to narrow down a few alternatives.

2. Search for information

If the discrepancy between the desired and the actual state is of a sufficient magnitude, the consumer will move into the second stage where information is sought to locate purchase alternatives, to clarify buying goals (evaluation criteria), and to determine to what extent the alternatives measure up to the goals. In this phase, the consumer may start by determining whether there is sufficient stored information that may be generalized to the problem at hand. If not, and the problem is important enough, the consumer may start an external search process.

In the example of purchasing new cell phone, consumer may go online to investigate manufacturers, resellers, and independent consumer organizations, he/she will ask his/her friends and colleagues for advice, and visiting a few stores to find out more information. The amount of searching a consumer does will depend on the strength of his drive, the amount of information he starts with, the case of obtaining more information, the value he places on additional information, and the satisfaction he gets from searching.

The consumer can get information from any of the following sources: *...
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