Consumer Behaviour Models

A consumer`s behaviour varies owing to the many factors that influence consumer behaviour. Consumer Behaviour Models have been developed to substantiate the various factors that influence consumer behavior and their decision making process.

Ten Consumer Behaviour Models

The ten Consumer Behaviour models explained below are:

  1. Pavlovian Model

  2. Economic Model

  3. Input, Process, Output Model

  4. Psychological Model

  5. Howarth Sheth Model

  6. Sociological Model

  7. Family Decision making model

  8. Engel-Blackwell-Kollat Model

  9. Industrial Buying Model

  10. Nicosia Model

Consumer Behaviour Models – Pavlovian Model

Ivan Pavlov, a famous Psychologist, devised this consumer behaviour model and the model is named after him. Ivan Pavlov conducted experiments to determine the change in behaviour with the help of Dogs. He conditioned the dog`s mind to receive a piece of meat every time a bell is rung and measured the extent of change in behaviour on the basis of levels of saliva secretion in dogs.

Learning was defined as the changes in behavior which are developed through practice and personal experience. The learning process consisted of Drive, Drives and Reinforcement. While a drive refers to a strong internal stimuli which demands an action, drives are inborn psychological needs arising out of thirst, physical pleasures, hunger and pain that create a stimuli that gives out a triggering and non-triggering cues. The triggering (activate the decision process) and non-triggering cues (Only influence the decision process) help to create a response (purchase or do not purchase) which gets reinforced over time in a conditional pattern. Pavlovian Model is purely based on psychology and has been widely accepted around the world.

Consumer Behaviour Models – Economic Model

According to Economic model of consumer behaviour, consumers try to maximize the utility from products on the basis of law of diminishing marginal utility. The desire of consumers to obtain maximum gains by spending a minimum amount acts as the core for the derivation of this model.

The economic model assumes that there is close similarity between the behaviour of buyers and that a homogenous buying pattern is exhibited in the market. The model is based on Income effect, Substitution effect and Price effect.

  1. Income Effect substantiates that when a person earns more income, he will have more money to spend and so he will purchase more.

  2. Substitution Effect substantiates the fact that if a substitute product is available at a cheaper cost, then the product in question will be less preferred or less utilized by people.

  3. Price Effect suggests that when the price of a product is less, consumers tend to purchase more quantity of that product.

Consumer Behaviour Models – Input, Process, Output Model

The input, process, output Model focuses on the product that is being marketed, the environmental forces and family background of the consumer. Factors that act as inputs and outputs in this model are:

Inputs are the marketing efforts in terms of product, price, place, promotion taken by an organization and the environmental forces such as family, reference groups, culture, social class etc. that influence the decision making process of a consumer. These factors which act as inputs trigger the consumer to identify his needs and ensure that the consumer gets the intention to purchase products after careful evaluation of the factors.

Process is concerned with the purchase process. A consumer goes through various steps like need recognition, awareness, evaluation and purchase in order to make a buying decision. While a satisfied customer acts as the brand ambassador exerting influence on future purchases, a dis-satisfied customer acts as a negative reference point spoiling the marketing efforts of the company to promote the product.

Outputs refer to the consumer’s response to the marketing efforts of the organization. Some responses that consumers display are regarding:

  1. Buying decision

  2. Choice of Product

  3. Choice of Brand

  4. Choice of Dealer or Store

  5. Purchase timing and amount

  6. Post Purchase behaviour

Input-process-output Model

Picture Credits: Consumer Behaviour – Matin khan

Consumer Behaviour Models – Psychological Model

The Psychological Model is based on the famous psychologist A.H. Maslow’s theory of Hierarchy of Needs. The psychological model divides the needs into Psychological Needs, Safety and Security Needs, Social Needs, Ego Needs and Self Actualization Needs. This division of needs is termed as Hierarchy of Needs.

Psychological Consumer behaviour Models

According to this model, the behaviour of consumers gets motivated by their needs and consumer needs never ceases to exist but arise one after another with passing time. A consumer acts according to the strongest need at a particular time, he strives to satisfy the basic needs first and then moves on to a higher level of needs and tries to satisfy them. This process continues till he reaches the highest level in the hierarchy of needs.

Consumer Behaviour Models – Howarth Sheth Model

Howarth Sheth Model substantiates the complexity involved in consumer behavior and takes into consideration various factors like attitudes of consumer, their perception levels and learning capacity that influence consumer behaviour. This model is based on four variables that are:

  1. Inputs Parameters

  2. Constructs that are related to perception and learning

  3. Output Parameters

  4. Variables that are external or exogenous in nature.

Input Parameters

As per Howarth Sheth Model, inputs are provided by three types of Stimuli namely, Significative Stimuli, Symbolic Stimuli and Social Stimuli that are essential to make a purchase decision.

While a Significative Stimuli refers to the tangible product characteristics like uniqueness, quality, stock availability, price and service effectiveness, a Symbolic Stimuli refers to perception of an individual about a particular product characteristic. Social Stimuli takes into consideration all factors that belong to the societal group to which a consumer belongs. Some factors related to Social Stimuli are reference groups, family and background and consumer`s financial status in the society.

Perceptual and Learning Constructs

Constructs or Psychological variables like Motivation, Attitude, Learning and Perception influence the decision making process of a consumer. When a consumer receives a stimuli and interprets it, the interpretation is influenced by two factors that are stimulus ambiguity and perceptual bias. A stimulus ambiguity occurs when a consumer cannot fully interpret a stimuli while a perceptual bias occurs when an individual manipulates the stimuli according to his needs and experience. These two factors influence a consumer to evaluate a product or brand as good or bad and develop the confidence to purchase it.

Output Parameters

Output in Howarth Sheth Model refers to the final purchase decision and satisfaction or dissatisfaction levels of a consumer after making a purchase. High satisfaction results in elevated brand performance while dissatisfaction leads to lower brand performance. 

External or Exogenous variables

External or Exogenous variables refer to the indirect influence exerted on the decision making process of consumers by factors such as financial status, social class, necessity to purchase and personality traits of individuals.

Howarth Sheth Model

Picture Credits: Consumer Behaviour – Matin khan

All four factors are dependent on each other and influence the decision making process of a consumer.

Consumer Behaviour Models – Sociological Model

The Sociological Model of Consumer Behavior is closely related to the society and the versatile groups involved in the same. These groups can be classified into Primary and secondary ones. Primary groups consist of close acquaintances, friends, relatives and family members. Secondary group consists of any member in the society, his personality type and requirements based on the same. Sociological Model focuses mainly on the lifestyle and related product requirements of consumers in the society in a holistic manner.

Consumer Behaviour Models – Family Decision making model

The role every member of a family plays in the purchase decision is unique. There are six types of members in a family structure who exert influence over the purchasing decision of the others in the family. They are:

  1. The User

  2. The Influencer

  3. The Preparer

  4. The Gatekeeper

  5. The Buyer

  6. The Decider

The User is the person in the family who plans to use the product being purchased. The user may be a single person in the family or the whole family. For instance, if the purchase decision pertains to a car or television, it may be used by all family members. When a purchase decision pertains to buying a mobile phone or a laptop, it may be for a single person in the family.

The Influencer is the person who keeps the family members updated about products and services new to the market. He convinces them to go in for the same. His influence plays a crucial role in the ultimate decision taken by the family members

The Preparer is the person who gives a product its final shape in which it is actually going to be used by the users in the family. Raw vegetables used for cooking food is an example for the Preparer role where one who cooks is involved in the process.

The Gatekeeper is a person in the family who influences the family members to go in for products which they feel will be useful to them. They safeguard the gates disallowing any product or service information that they dislike from reaching their family members. They help the family in decision making by filtering information or product attributes to make a purchase decision.

The Buyer is the person who actually buys the product. Irrespective of the different kinds of influences exerted by other member of the family, the person playing the role of the Buyer makes the final purchase of the product or service

The Decider is the person in the family who has the money power to buy a product or service chosen for purchase. Family members playing this role have an upper hand in the purchase decision.

Family Decision making Model thus takes into account the many roles played by members of a family and their influence in decision making pertaining to purchase of products and services.

Also Read: Family Influence on Consumer Behaviour

Consumer Behaviour Models – Engel-Blackwell-Kollat Model

Engel-Blackwell-Kollat Model is based upon four key components namely Information processing (IP), Central Control Unit (CCU), Decision Making process and influences exerted by the environment.

Information Processing (IP) is dependent on many factors which act as stimuli both from a marketing and non-marketing perspective, it consists of four components that are exposure, attention, comprehension and retention. Information Processing focuses on the message to which the consumer is constantly exposed (exposure). When the message instantly grabs the attention of the consumer (attention), the next logical step for him is to comprehend about the same in the rational manner (comprehension). When all of the activities happen in the perfect manner the message is retained in the memory of the consumer (retention).

Central Control Unit (CCU) is based on four factors that are psychological in nature.

  1. Previous experience of the consumers and their acquaintances about the product

  2. Criteria based on which a consumer evaluates a product

  3. Changing mindsets of consumers and

  4. Personality of the consumer based on which he or she takes the purchase decision.

A consumer processes and interprets all the information on the basis of the above four factors.

The Decision process consists of recognizing the problem, internal and external information search, evaluating the alternatives available and finally purchasing the product. This component deals with the post purchase satisfaction levels as well as dissatisfaction levels which play a crucial role in the future decision making process of the consumers.

The Environmental influences consists of all those factors that may favour or disfavour the purchase decision like:

  1. Income level of consumers

  2. Financial status and social class in the society

  3. Family Influences and other societal factors etc.

Engel-Blackwell-Kollat Model

Picture Credits: Consumer Behaviour – Matin khan

Consumer Behaviour Models – Industrial Buying Model

Industrial Buying Model deals with the cumbersome process involved in making purchase decisions in a typical industrial set up. The decision making process related to purchase in an Industrial setup involves many Departments that are concerned with the same in a direct or indirect manner. This model highlights three crucial characteristics involved in purchase decisions by Industries.

  1. Individuals who hail from different backgrounds, possessing varying psychological outlook are involved in the decision making process

  2. Joint decision making is inevitable in an Industrial setup

  3. Decisions pertaining to a purchase may lead to opinion clashes between concerned departments or individuals before an amicable solution is found

Individuals in decision making capacities may be from various departments in an organization. Some Departments concerned are Research and Development Department, Quality Control Department, Finance Department, Manufacturing Department and Technical Support Department amongst the many others. The committee that is formed for making purchase related decision may comprise individuals who

  1. Have different perceptions

  2. Hail from varying backgrounds

  3. Have differing satisfaction levels related to past experience

  4. Obtain information from different sources

  5. Search experience that is totally dependent on their skills

The purchase decision in an Industrial setup is dependent on many factors. These factors may be specifically related to products or to the organization that manufactures the concerned products. The product specific factors are the kind of purchase done by consumers, probable risks involved in choosing a particular alternative and the pressure pertaining to the timely delivery of product. The Organization Specific factors focus on solving problems that arise due to the purchase decision from time to time, the persuasion and bargaining issues connected with the same and other factors pertaining to situations that may arise every now and then.

Also Read: Industrial Buying Process, Organizational Buying Behaviour

Consumer Behaviour Models – Nicosia Model

Nicosia Model deals with the level of exposure a consumer gets with respect to the purchase decision. This model is based on four fields such that the output of one field acts as the input of second field and so on.

Nicosa Model

Picture Credits: Consumer Behaviour – Matin khan

The First field divided into two sub fields namely:

Sub-field one consists of:

  1. Product Attributes

  2. Firm`s Attributes

While subfield two consists of:

  1. Pre-disposition or existing attitude of a consumer towards the product

  2. The attributes exhibited by the organization whose products are to be purchased.

The Second Field consists of consumer research and evaluation.

The Third Field is concerned with the buying decision of the consumer.

The Fourth Field is concerned with the post purchase behavior, use of product, its storage and consumption. The consumer who is satisfied with a product or service tends to stock the product for regular or future usage and develops a positive attitude. On the contrary, a dis-satisfied customer tends to develop a negative attitude towards the product or the business house.

The feedback from Fourth Field acts as input for field one. Feedback from field four compels a firm to change the product attributes which in turn act as in put for field two. A change in product attributes bring a change in consumers perception about the product and hence may affect his buying decision and subsequently his post purchase behavior.

Reference and Picture Credits: Consumer Behaviour – Matin khan

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