Ethel M is owned by Mars Incorporated and was named after the mother of Forrest Mars. Mars opened Ethel’s chocolate lounges in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago in April 2005.
When buying products, particularly new, consumers generally follow the consumer decision-making process. Below is a diagram showing the process of decision-making.
The model implies that customers pass through all stages in every purchase. However, in more routine purchases, customers often skip or reverse some of the stages.
Need recognition – At this stage, the buyer recognizes a problem or need (e.g. I am hungry, we need a new sofa, I have a headache) or responds to a marketing stimulus (e.g. you pass Ethel’s Chocolate lounges and are attracted by the fancy chocolate packaging and hot chocolate drinks).
An “aroused” customer then needs to decide how much information (if any) is required. If the need is strong and there is a product or service that meets the need close to hand, then a purchase decision is likely to be made there and then. If not, then the process of information search begins. Customer can obtain information through a friend, media advertisement, newspaper, etc.
After that in the evaluation stage, the customer must choose between the alternative brands, products and services. Next, through all this process the customer has decided to purchase. The final stage is the post-purchase evaluation of the decision. It is common for customers to experience concerns after making a purchase decision. This arises from a concept that is known as “cognitive dissonance”. The customer, having bought a product, may feel that an alternative would have been preferable.
All consumer buying decisions... [continues]
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