Objectives After going through this unit, you should be able to: • • • • • 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 17.8 17.9 17.10 17.11 17.12 Describe the focus of the Howard Sheth model Explain the various variables used in the model Comment upon the working relationships in the. model Analyse the way the choice process has been explained by the Model Comment upon the evaluation of the model. Introduction Howard Sheth Model - A Background Input Variables Hypothetical Constructs Exogenous Variables and Working Relationships The Choice process as Explained by the Model Types of Problem Solving Behaviour The Evaluative Criteria Howard Sheth Model – An Assessment Summary Self Assessment Questions Suggested Readings
Howard Sheth Model
Efforts to analyse and understand behaviour of consumers have been on ever, since documented material on marketing activities has been available. Most of the early efforts as discussed in the previous unit, have been from the view point of the basic discipline from which they emanated and failed to take into consideration the aspects from other perspectives, In a major effort to integrate the available knowledge from 'the various fields, that impinge upon consumer decision processes, Howard and Sheth model, created a comprehensive body of conceptual knowledge link up most of the related concepts in buyer behaviour. This unit describes the basic variables and working relationships of the model and explain the type of problem solving behaviour that consumers undergo while making brand choice decision.
HOWARDSHETH MODEL - A BACKGROUND
Utilizing the learning theory thoroughly and systematically, John Howard came out` with the first truly integrative model of buyer behaviour in`496'3 He was the first to introduce the difference between problem solving behaviour (similar to rational. behaviour of the economic theory), limited problem solving and automatic response behaviour. A more meaningful elaboration was provided in the publication of "The Theory of Buyer Behaviour" in 1969 by Howard and Sheth: More variables impinging upon the behaviour of the consumer were included and the connection between them was clarified with noteworthy precision, making this model an important landmark in
Modelling Buyer Behaviour
.the development of the theory of buyer, behaviour. A simplified version and description of the model is furnished below. (Please see Figure 17.1 below).
Figure 17.1: Simplified Description of the Howard-Sheth Model
(Source: John A Howard, Jagdish Sheth. The Theory of Buyer Behaviour, John Wiley, 1969)
The model is essentially an attempt to explain brand choice behaviour over time and therefore specially pertinent to our field. Focussing on repeat buying, the model relies on four major components - stimulus inputs, hypothetical constructs, response outputs and exogenous variables. These variables are briefly described below.
The input variables consist of informational cues about the attributes of a product or brand (i.e. quality, price, distinctiveness, service, availability). These informational cues may be significative in that they may emanate from the product itself or they may be symbolic in that they come from impersonal sources like advertising or promotional activities by the firm. These two sources are commercial, in that they represent the efforts of the firm to build and project these values in the product. A third set of informational cues may come from the buyer's social environment, comprising of his family, reference groups, social class, culture etc. This source is not only non-commercial and non-controllable by the firm, it is also a personal source of information input. Activity 1 For the purchase of a new shirt, list what can be the significative and symbolic inputs variables. Significative inputs …………………………………………….. …………………………………………….....