Generic Theory of Buying Behavior

Topics: Decision making, Decision theory, Decision making software Pages: 8 (3609 words) Published: April 17, 2015

Lewisham Southwark College Canteen and Students Decision
Task 1

It is the cafeteria manager’s goal to get inside the head of the students. It needs to be figured out how the students make decisions and how the manager can get them to make a decision to purchase the cafeterias’ products. There are 5 steps in a consumer decision making process: Problem Recognition

Most decision making starts with some sort of problem. The students develops a need or a want that they want to be satisfied, usually hunger or thirst, or just the need for a hot drink. The students feel like something is missing and need to address it to get back to feeling normal. If the manager can determine when the target, students, develops these needs or wants, it would be an ideal time to advertise to them and to provide the products for them in a variety of choices for every taste. For example, especially in a cold rainy morning the students will want a cup of hot tea or a hot, quick breakfast like porridge, so the manager needs to make sure that the cafeteria is opened early and well provisioned with breakfast treats. Search Process

In the searching phase students research for products or services that can satisfy their needs or wants. Regarding the student in a cold morning he has plenty of choices in his way to school like station cafeterias or even a drink from home. In London, it is instant and easy to find out what you are looking for, especially regarding food and drink choices. But, being in a hurry to catch trains and buses, the student might prefer to have his drink in school, relaxed, than running with a hot cup in crowded stations. Being in school, the student still have choices like the cafeteria in the next building or the Starbucks, so the manager needs to offer good prices and good quality with fast service to beat the competition. The past good experience with the ambiance of the cafeteria and the good products might make the student to come back every day. In this stage, the student is compering the pros and cons of choices and is taking a decision. Evaluating Alternatives

Once the students have determined what will satisfy their want or need, a hot cup of tea or porridge they will begin to seek out the best deal. This may be based on price, quality, or other factors that are important for them. Students who live with a tight budget are price aware and will choose the cheapest price over quality. Selection Stage

After tallying up all the criteria for the decision the students now decide on what they will purchase and where. They have analysed the options and are definite on what they want to purchase. They may have had prior experience with this exact decision, which were satisfying for them, so they are choosing to repeat the experience, in the cafeteria or try something else. Evaluation of Decision

Once the purchase has been made, does it satisfy the need or want? Is it above or below the students’ expectations? The goal for every manager is not for a one-time customer but a repeating lifetime customer. One bad experience of buyer’s remorse and the cafeteria might lose 1 or even more students that are informed about the bad service. On the other hand, one great experience can lead to a loyal, daily customer who may even become a cafeteria promoter.

Theories of buying behaviour

Generic Theory of Buying Behaviour
For many purchases, the consumer will follow a generic model of decision-making by going through a process to make a decision. Typically, the buyer will recognize a need to make a purchase that initiates research on products and pricing. For a student might be the fact that he woke up late and didn’t manage to have a healthy breakfast at home so he is looking to satisfy his hunger as cheap as possible. If he was happy with the choices from the cafeteria he might choose it again, without too much thinking. Cultural Theory of Buying Behaviour


Flekel, A. (2015). 5 Steps of Decision Making Process. [online] Yahoo Small Business. Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2015].
Penn, S. (2015). Business Theories of Buying Behavior. [online] Small Business - Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2015].
Researchomatic , Marketing Intelligence , Accessed January , 4 , 2013)., (2015). Brand Loyalty vs. Repeated Purchases. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Apr. 2015].
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