For other brands, the consumer may have indifferent feelings the inert set. Traditionally, one of the main roles of advertising and promotion was to increase the likelihood that a brand name was included in the consumer's evoked set. In practice, the consideration set has assumed greater importance in the purchase decision process because consumers are no longer totally reliant on memory.
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This means that a need is built for a consumer, with the product presented or advertised to them through an analytical study of the user's patterns of consumption, and their behaviors and habits. The implication for marketers is that relevant brand information should be disseminated as widely as possible and included on any forum where consumers are likely to search for product or brand information, whether traditional media or digital media channels.
Thus, marketers require a rich understanding of the typical consumer's touchpoints. Consumer evaluation can be viewed as a distinct stage. Alternatively, evaluation may occur continuously throughout the entire decision process. Consumers evaluate alternatives in terms of the functional also called utilitarian and psycho-social also called the value-expressive or the symbolic benefits offered. Brand image or brand personality is an important psycho-social attribute. Consumers can have both positive and negative beliefs about a given brand.
Social media, on the other hand, is a two-way street that gives you the ability to communicate too. Consumers who are less knowledgeble about a category tend to evaluate a brand based on its functional characteristics. However, when consumers become more knowledgeable, functional attributes diminish and consumers process more abstract information about the brand, notably the self-related aspects. The marketing organization needs a deep understanding of the benefits most valued by consumers and therefore which attributes are most important in terms of the consumer's purchase decision.
It also needs to monitor other brands in the customer's consideration set to optimise planning for its own brand. During the evaluation of alternatives, the consumer ranks or assesses the relative merits of different options available. No universal evaluation process is used by consumers across all-buying situations.
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Social media further enables consumers to share views with their peers about the product they are looking to purchase. Thus the relevant evaluation attributes vary according to across different types of consumers and purchase contexts. For example, attributes important for evaluating a restaurant would include food quality, price, location, atmosphere, quality of service and menu selection. Consumers, depending on their geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioural characteristics, will decide which attributes are important to them.
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Potential patrons seeking a hedonic dining experience may be willing to travel further distances to patronise a fine-dining venue compared to those wanting a quick meal at a more utilitarian eatery. After evaluating the different product attributes, the consumer ranks each attribute or benefit from highly important to least important.
These priorities are directly related to the consumer's needs and wants. Once the alternatives have been evaluated, the consumer firms up their resolve to proceed through to the actual purchase.
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Purchase intentions are a strong, yet imperfect predictor of sales. Sometimes purchase intentions simply do not translate into an actual purchase and this can signal a marketing problem. The extent to which purchase intentions result in actual sales is known as the sales conversion rate. Organizations use a variety of techniques to improve conversion rates. The provision of easy credit or payment terms may encourage purchase.
Sales promotions such as the opportunity to receive a premium or enter a competition may provide an incentive to buy now rather than defer purchases for a later date. Advertising messages with a strong call-to-action are yet another device used to convert customers. Other types of calls-to-action might provide consumers with strong reasons for purchasing immediately such an offer that is only available for a limited time e. Additionally, service convenience is a saving of effort, in the way that it minimizes the activities that customers may bear to buy goods and services.
As consumers approach the actual purchase decision, they are more likely to rely on personal sources of information. Following purchase and after experiencing the product or service, the consumer enters the final stage, namely post-purchase evaluation. The consumer's purchase and post-purchase activities have the potential to provide important feedback to marketers.
The post purchase stage is where the consumer examines and compares product features, such as price, functionality, and quality with their expectations. This is also known as "post-purchase intention". Consumer actions, in this instance, could involve requesting a refund, making a complaint, deciding not to purchase the same brand or from the same company in the future or even spreading negative product reviews to friends or acquaintances, possibly via social media.
After acquisition, consumption or disposition, consumers may feel some uncertainty in regards to the decision made, generating in some cases regret. Post-decision dissonance also known as cognitive dissonance is the feeling of anxiety that occurs in the post purchase stage, as well as the uneasy feelings or concerns as to whether or not the correct decision was made at purchase. This type of anxiety can affect consumers' subsequent behaviour and may have implications for repeat patronage and customer loyalty. Consumers use a number of strategies to reduce post purchase dissonance.
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A typical strategy is to look to peers or significant others for validation of the purchase choice. Customers have always been led by the opinions of friends and family, but nowadays this is corroborated by social media likes, reviews and testimonials.
Marketing communications can also be used to remind consumers that they made a wise choice by purchasing Brand X. When consumers make unfavorable comparisons between the chosen option and the options forgone, they may feel post-decision regret or buyer's remorse.
Consumers can also feel short-term regret when they avoid making a purchase decision, however this regret can dissipate over time. Through their experiences consumers can learn and also engage in a process that's called hypothesis testing.
This refers to the formation of hypotheses about the products or a service through prior experience or word of mouth communications. There are four stages that consumers go through in the hypothesis testing: Hypothesis generation, exposure of evidence, encoding of evidence and integration of evidence. Consumer awareness refers to the awareness of the consumption of goods formed by consumers in the long-term shopping environment and purchasing activities.
The change of life concept is the subjective factor of the change of consumer awareness. As people's living standards continue to increase and incomes continue to increase, people's life concepts are constantly changing. Intensified market competition is a catalyst for changes in consumer awareness. Many companies have launched their own branded products in order to gain a foothold in an increasingly competitive market.
When people buy goods, paying attention to the brand has become a fashion. Faced with the severe competition situation, companies began to realize the importance of implementing brand strategy, and began to focus on market research, and on this basis, deeply grasp the consumer's psychological pulse to improve market share and brand loyalty. With the change of people's life concept, consumers' rational consumption psychology has become increasingly prominent.
Social Marketing,  Customized Marketing,  brand-name shopping,  and the consumer's perception of the price of the commodity directly expressed as the consumer's sensitivity to price , are all main factors for understanding consumer attitudes, and help explain the reaction of market demand to price changes. Internal influences refer to both personal and interpersonal factors. Social theory suggests that individuals have both a personal identity and a social identity.
Personal identity consists of unique personal characteristics such as skills and capabilities, interests and hobbies. Social identity consists of the individual's perception of the central groups to which an individual belongs and may refer to an age group, a lifestyle group, religious group, educational group or some other reference group.
Social psychologists have established that the need to belong is one of the fundamental human needs. Demographic factors include income level, psychographics lifestyles , age, occupation and socio-economic status. Personality factors include knowledge, attitudes, personal values, beliefs , emotions and feelings.
Psychological factors include an individual's motivation , attitudes , personal values and beliefs. Other factors that may affect the purchase decision include the environment and the consumer's prior experience with the category or brand. Social identity factors include culture, sub-culture and reference groups. The consumer's underlying motivation drives consumer action, including information search and the purchase decision.
The consumer's attitude to a brand or brand preference is described as a link between the brand and a purchase motivation.
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