Consumer Behavior – The Adult Consumer’s Decision-Making Process

Consumer Behavior – The Adult Consumer’s Decision-Making Process

Consumer behavior is when people look for products to purchase, use and to evaluate before they buy or dispose of products and services in which they expect will satisfy their wants and needs. Add to this, there are two different types of consumers, the ones that buy for themselves, for gifts or for their house. Next, they purchase for their organizational needs including businesses for profit or non-profit, schools, hospitals, etc. (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007). Further, this report will give more detail on the adult consumer’s decision-making process.

First, others can have an influence on the consumer’s decision-making process such as friends, relatives and there are occurrences that influence the consumers’ acceptance. Next, word-of-mouth by the opinion leader is the first person that influences the second person by giving their opinion on a product. Further the receiver is the person that accepts the knowledge from the opinion leader. People that look for new products and seek out information are called the opinion seekers (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007).

Next, that 68% of Americans use the internet for work or their personal use (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007). However, surveys show Americans (adult decision makers) are texting less due to the high cost of texting. As a consequence, an internet poll of 507 consumers by WPP Group-owned Lightspeed Research for Advertising Age found 80% no longer buy texting with their phones to curtail costs in today’s economy (Creamer, 2008).

Further, in this recession consumers are watching less television, text less and use the internet less due to added costs beyond the plans that are basic. The OMD study tested consumer feelings in regards to advertising and there needs to be more advertising that is geared towards products and ways that are savings costs for the consumer (Creamer, 2008). Hence, the adult decision-makers will then look at the advertisements as highly credible sources of information (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007). For example, GE is advertising that their washing machines are gentle on their clothes and the consumer’s garments are safe, in order to make up for the higher cost for the quality machines (Helm & Kiley, 2008). In other words, there is good news for the indecision adult for less-expensive luxuries, because advertisers will be focusing on selling products that make them feel good about their purchases (Creamer, 2008).

Add to this, the opinion leaders can give both advice and the proper information when they tell the adult decision-maker they can purchase a product that has higher quality for example saving their clothes and having them last longer in the newest washing machines (Helm & Kiley, 2008). The opinion leaders will again focus on the quality and product category and the decision-maker (the receiver) seeks their advice (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007).

By comparison, the receiver (the seeker) may end up with post-purchase if he perceives the advertisement a different way or perceives the information from the leader in the wrong way. Therefore, we much examine the motivation so that there is good judgment in choosing the product. The opinion leader good be the person at the store at GE convinced that the product is the best quality, and he will try to convince the opinion receivers. The opinion receiver may end up being a friend and that friend through word-of-mouth will tell the opinion seeker (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007).

Conceivably, there could be a mechanism of fear in regards to emotion from an evolutionary perspective which comes from the front of the brain. Furthermore, this is the part of the brain that the adult makes rational decision-making. At present consumers are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders, because of the highest point on adult uncertainty in this shaky economy (Herper & Woolley, 2008). In fact, people do not like to take risks and if decisions are difficult they will go to the opinion seeker to get advice from the opinion leader (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007).

Still further, the surrogate buyer will make decisions in the purchase in influencing the buyer, because more people for example need help is purchasing parts for their cars, newest designer clothes, what type of kitchen gadgets to buy, etc. There are four different types of measures in opinion leadership. In the socio metric method the communication is informal and geared towards certain individuals that gave the consumer the advice. Next, is the objective method which in interpersonal in which information was obtained from the internet or research sources. Third, is the self-designating method is when others were given the information by the respondent. This in turn influenced their decision-making process. Fourth is the key informant that analysis the information carefully in socialization and opinion leaders are chosen, which would be the ones that give the most influence (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007).

There were two graduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that came to the conclusion in their research that the traditional rational model of adult decision-making has no explanation why bad things happen in the short run, because adult consumer decision-makers get tempted to make decisions that are harmful to their health (smoke, eat too much). Hence, to giving long-term consequences. These gentlemen came up with a website encouraging adult decision-makers to sign a contract that they will either give up smoking or lose weight. Furthermore, they breach the contract they will have to pay a fine and it goes to charity (Karlan, 2008).

In fact, marketers have to look at the construct of interest, innovativeness and market maven-ism of adult decision-makers. For example, consumers that are concerned about the information and knowledge, are opinion leaders, are involved with the new products, heavy users of shopping lists (promotional interest consumers). Still further, consumers involved specifically in the brand, fashion conscious or more concerned about the value of the product (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007).

Furthermore, when an adult consumer decision maker consumes a new product they are in the consumption process. First, they want to solve the problem so they start by doing information research. They want to evaluate various brands in their favorite brand category and make a preferred decision based on their perceptions or how they perceive the product will help them. Still further, they evaluate the brand in regards to their usual brand, standard quantity, or usual store, in-home, internet, phone catalog, or paying with cash or credit card (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007).

Add to this, there are four ways that an adult decision maker can view in making decisions. First, an economic views by making decisions that are rational and using the right side of the brain. Further, by evaluating all alternatives and putting them in proper order and is usually based on their knowledge. Next, is the passive view in which the adult decision maker with look at themselves and usually they think about what they want rather then what they need. Therefore, they may end up buying impulsively or irrationally. Third, the cognitive view which is the best view because the adult consumer buys the products because they need them and it is a product or service that adheres to their needs. Finally, is the emotional view that marketers really like to focus on because it has nothing to do with the passive or economic view, and the adult decision maker will buy on emotion rather than on need. For example, the adult consumer sees a model on television wearing the newest fashions and they look beautiful, then the adult consumer decision maker will want to look like that person. They then have an emotional attraction to the product. Add to this, some emotional decision making can also be rational. For example, a person can treat themselves to a pedicure because it is needed and it is also to pamper oneself because they deserve it (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007).

In other words, the process is how the consumers make the decision and it is based on need recognition or pre-purchase search to search for the product to satisfy the need. Further, the internet provides heavily in this area. Then there are the specific brands that attract to the adult consumer decision maker which is the product, their past experiences can have influence. Additionally, they may want it to buy as a gift socially, and it has to do with their personality, age, income, occupation and value-related considerations (ecological, conflicting, desires, discretion, etc.). Further, there are different attributes in choosing product brands. For example, price, color, size of a TV (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007).

Moreover, the adult consumer decision-maker besides comparison characteristic shopping will have certain rules to go by before making decisions. There’s compensatory rule in comparing the product and non-compensatory rules, that’s evaluating the product or service and putting a positive score on the brand or non-compensatory is having a negative evaluation of the brand. Further, the conjunctive decision rule is partially acceptable to the brand. Add to this, the disjunctive rule exceed the meets the expectation of the brand and lexicographic decision rule having to do with the brand importance. In the end, when the adult consumer decision-maker selects the brand it’s called the affect referral decision rule. To this end, a person can decide on the service or product or they can avoid the product or service. They could have time constraints in which they may make hasty decision-making or maybe they did not get the right information to compare with the alternatives. Also, the marketing strategies can make a difference in their decision-making. There’s trial purchase for example trying a new software program for thirty days on line. Then, repeat purchases is when the adult consumer decision-maker to back to the store to get a product they have bought before because of its value to them (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007).

Finally, long-term commitment in which they have bought the product or service and it provided for their needs or solved their problem so they keep going back. In addition if a person has post-purchase cognitive dissonance it means they have purchased a product and then changed their mind about it after the purchase. It depends on the purpose and their past experiences that can have an effect on this pos-purchase cognitive dissonance. They may buy as a gift or again for themselves to treat themselves with something they really want sometimes more so than the need (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007).

In fact, another example of consumer behavior is when a consumer fast forwards the channels to skip the commercials. Cox Communications and Verizon’s Fios, is working on disabling their fast-forwarding for the ads in order to be ad-skip-free. Hence, to giving media advertisers a way to reach the consumer without being shut out (Learmouth, 2008).

In conclusion, the consumption process in when the choice to purchase something is the input and establishing consumption set. Then the style of consuming based on the consumer’s perspective and experiences which depends on their moods, emotions, etc. To this end it is very important that marketers learn to use relationship marketing in their marketing techniques. The adult consumer decision-makers will end up having trust and loyalty to the brand because they will have felt less insecure in purchasing the product or service.


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