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This essay explains the high and low involvement products and goes into depth to how consumers make their buying decisions. Moreover, it analyses the differences between the purchasing decisions of high and low involvement products and how marketers can apply this knowledge to have their brands doing well in the market. High and low involvement products Consumers are often faced with the numerous decisions whether to buy this brand or the other one.
Some purchase decisions have them thoroughly involved while the making the purchase decision they are not much concerned and buy it on impulse if they find the product shot on the package appetizing.
Automobiles are high involvement products like cars, vans and truck etc. These are high involvement products as their purchase involves a high capital and the buyer will buy it after evaluating it on various attributes and after thorough consideration.
Also these products are bought infrequently so buyer will make an extra effort to make sure that his decision of buying is the right one as it speaks volume about his social class as well especially in the case of a car.
Low involvement products such as food products for cooking are those which are bought frequently and the buyer does not get involved so much in the decision making process. It is also because that these products are cheap and will not impact the life of the consumers significantly so the buyer is not involved to a high extent.
Discussing the low involvement products first, food products for cooking like ready to cook meals.
The purchase decision process consists of several steps. The first step is the problem recognition and I will buy the ready to cook meal because I have run out of them and don’t want to cook myself today or I can even buy it if I find the product shot on the package good. The second step is information search. I will not search for a lot of information and will recall the ads of a brand and remember what they promised. The third step is the evaluation.
I will evaluate the ready to cook meals on their price and the availability. Whatever I will find cheap I will buy to save myself some money. The fourth step is the purchase decision which I will make while I am there in the shop which means it is a on the spot decision. The last step is the post purchase behavior which in the case of ready to cook meals is that I am satisfied with my purchase. Now talking about the high involvement products like cars. The first step being problem recognition, I will identify a problem that is my car broke down badly and I need to need to buy a car so that I can travel around.
The second step information search, I will search many sources for information like ask my friends and family, refer to magazines, websites and dealers. Thirdly, I will evaluate the cars on many different attributes such as comfort, luxury, speed etc. Next comes the purchasing decision which I will make after thoroughly evaluating the alternatives I have and then make my decision from which dealer to buy and when to buy. Lastly, the post purchase decision whether I have made the right decision, the cognitive dissonance will be overcome by after sales service, the guarantees I will be offered etc.
Differences between the purchase decision process The purchase decision processes for the two products were quite different. For ready to cook meals I bought the product on impulse finding the product shots appetizing even if there was no need for me to buy them where as I bought the automobile because I seriously had a problem when my car broke down. Hence, low involvement products can be bought on impulse and without a need as the cost involved is not so much. In the case of high involvement products since the capital is an issue one buys it carefully and with consideration.
In the case of automobiles, one searches through a lot of sources for information and one’s attitude is active as opposed to in the case of ready to cook meals where the lot of information is not searched for basically ad recalls aid in the information search. In evaluating the attributes, one has many features or qualities in mind when deciding about a car and the buyer does not get carried away by the peripheral cues such as music and celebrities in the ads as in the case of ready to cook meals. Besides the peripheral cues, the other criteria for low involvement products are usually price.
Also many of the decisions involving the low involvement products are on the spot as opposed to high involvement products which are made before the point of purchase. Furthermore, cognitive dissonance is not suffered by buyers of ready to cook meals as they are fully satisfied with what they have bought and the price they have paid is not high enough to bother them whereas buyers of high involvement products have paid a high price and have this thing in their minds if they have made the right decision or not. As they have paid a high capital and it is a matter of class to some as well it bothers them.
Using the model of Consumer Buying Behavior Marketers can make lot of use by they way they approach consumers by understanding the model of consumer buying behavior. For ready to cook meals appetizing shots should be placed on the packaging as many consumers but them on impulse. Since the buyers of ready to cook meals do not pay attention to much of the attributes besides the price, price should be highlighted in the advertisements. Also the ready to cook meals are bought on peripheral cues, marketers should make sure that they are using visual cues and pleasant music in their ads.
The using of celebrities and jingles in the ads will aid recall. Most of the advertisements should be on television where the music can play a big role as opposed to advertisements in magazines and newspapers, also the repetition of advertisements on television will aid recall of the brand. Moreover, marketers should make sure that their product is visibly placed at the point of purchase as most of the decisions are spontaneous and just occur at the spot. To add to that the brand should be available and thus the distribution should be strong covering many regions.
Also point of purchase displays will attract buyers if a brand has a stall with its posters around. The marketers should make use of the model in case of high involvement products like cars by emphasizing the various attributes as consumers evaluate their alternatives on such attributes like luxury, style etc. Detailed information should be given to its consumers as these are the people seeking a lot of information to reach to a decision. Thus, the medium of television should not be used much as it is difficult to give out lot of information in a 30 sec or 60 sec commercial.
Print media should be used much more. Advertisements should be given in newspapers or magazines which give out a lot of information. Marketers should also engage consumers in their brand building activities and provide an experience to consumers by arranging an activity for them. Once a consumer gets involved with a brand, they act like their ambassadors and if a marketer has provided them with a good experience they will mouth pleasantly about the brand which will come handy as most consumers seek for information from many sources and consult their family and friends about their experiences with the brand.
Lastly, to avoid cognitive dissonance marketers should make sure their sales team does follow up to make the buyer assured they have made the right decision. Guaranties and warranties also help avoid cognitive dissonance. Conclusion The high and the low involvement products both are present in the market and consumers evaluate them differently when buying them. Thus, marketers can make use of their understanding of consumer buying behavior and can target both kinds of consumers accordingly. References San Diego University Consumer Behavior http://www-rohan. sdsu. edu/~renglish/370/notes/chapt05/index. htm
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