Types of Consumer Behaviour30/05/2020
An important worth-mentioning information on types of consumer behaviour as given by Henry Assael has been reproduced here. Consumer decision making varies with the type of buying decision. There is a great difference between buying toothpaste, a tennis racket, a personal computer and a new car.
The more complex and expensive decisions are likely to involve more buyer deliberation and more buying participants. Henry Assael distinguished four type of consumer buying behaviour based on the degree of buyer involvement in the purchase and the degree of differences among brands.
The four types are:
(1) Complex Buying Behaviour:
Consumer go through complex buying behaviour when they are highly involved in a purchase and are aware of significant differences existing among brands. Consumers are highly involved in a purchase when it is expensive, bought infrequently.
Risky and highly expensive. Typically, the consumer does not know much about the product category and has much to learn. For e.g. – a person buying a personal computer may not even know what attributes to look for.
This buyer will pass through a cognitive learning process. It is characterized by first developing beliefs about the product, then moving towards attitudes towards the product, and finally making a deliberate purchase choice, the marketer of high-involvement product has to understand the information-gathering and evaluation behaviour of high-involvement consumers.
He needs to develop strategies to assist the buyer in learning about the attributes of the product class, their relative importance and the high standing of his brand on the more important attributes. He needs to differentiate the features of his brand, and enlist sales personnel and the buyer friend to influence the final brand choice.
(2) Buying Behaviour Reducing Dissonance:
Sometimes the consumer who is highly involved in a purchase sees little difference in the brands. His high involvement is based on the fact that the purchase is expensive, in-frequent and risky. The buyer will shop around to learn what is available but he will buy fairly quickly because brand differences are not pronounced.
He may respond primarily to a good price or the convenience of purchasing at time or place. For e.g. – carpet’ buying is an involving decision because it is expensive and relates to self-identification, yet the buyer is likely to consider most carpeting in a given price range to be the same.
The consumer might experience past purchase dissonance due in noticing certain disquiet features of the carpet or hearing favourable things about carpets. He starts learning more things and seeks to justify his or her decision to reduce the dissonance. He passes first through a state of behaviour, acquires some new benefits and ends up evaluating his choice favourably.
In this situation pricing, good location and effective sales personnel are important influences of brand choice. The major role of market communication is to supply beliefs and evaluations that help the consumer feel good about his or her choice after the purchase.
(3) Buying Behaviour Based on Habits:
Many products are purchased under conditions of low consumer involvement and the absence of significant brand differences. For example- in purchase category. They go to store and reach for the brand, having no strong brand loyalty. They have low involvement with most low cost, frequently purchased products. Their behaviour in these cases does pass through the normal belief/attitude/behaviour sequences. They do not search extensive information about the brands.
They evaluate their characteristics and make a weighty decision on which one to buy. They are passive recipient of information as they watch T.V. or see a print ad. Ad repetition creates brand familiarity rather than brand conviction. Consumers do not really form an attitude towards a brand but select it simply because of its familiarity.
After purchase, they may not evaluate it because they are not involved with the product. So in the buying process, brand beliefs are formed by passive learning and followed by purchase behaviour, which may be or may not be followed by evaluation.
In case of low involvement products marketers with few brand differences find it effective to use price and sales promotions are an incentive to product trial, since buyers are not highly committed to any brand. A number of things should be observed in advertising a low involvement product. The ad copy should street only a few key points.
Visual symbol and integer are important because, they can be easily remembered and associated with the brand. The ad campaigns should go for high repetition with short- duration messages. Television is more effective than print-media. It is a low involvement medium that is suitable for passive learning.
(4) Variety-Seeking Buying Behaviour:
Some buying situation depicts low consumer involvement but significant brand differences. Consumers are often observed to do a lot of brand switching. For example in purchasing cookies the consumer has some beliefs, chooses a brand of cookies without much evaluation and evaluates it during consumption. In future, the consumer may reach for another brand out of boredom or a wish to experiment. Here brand switching occurs for the sake of variety rather than dissatisfaction.
In this product category and the minor brands the marketing strategy is different for the market leader who will try to encourage habit of buying behaviour by dominating the shelf space, avoiding out-of-stock conditions and sponsoring frequent reminder advertising, on the other hand, challenging firms will encourage variety by offering lower prices, deals, coupons, free samples and advertising that features reasons for trying something new.