When a consumer is thinking about making an involved purchase they put a lot of thought into the entire process. Marketers have to understand what is going through the minds of the consumers, so they can implement tactics that will tempt or lure buyers. Marketers cannot just think about the thought process of the consumer as they are in the moment of buying; it is important to remember that if it is a large purchase consumers think about it beforehand and they think how they will gain pleasure afterwards. Consumer behavior is when humans make decisions on the acquisition, consumption, and disposition of goods, ideas, experiences, and services. When a consumer decides to buy something, people tend to make a decision based on traits and motivations. The consumer model/framework includes the decision-making process, the psychological core, the consumer behavior outcomes, and the consumer culture; they are all connected in the decision process. When I made my largest purchase ever, buying a 2004 Honda Accord, I used all parts of the model making my decision.
The first step in the decision-making process is the consumer has to recognize a problem. This is being applied to a large purchase but many small purchases are made because a problem is being recognized; for example, when someone is thirsty they buy a bottle of water from a gas station or a grocery store. I knew I had a problem when I was in high school, all of my friends were driving themselves to school, sporting events, and the movies. I was seventeen years old and my parents were driving me place to place and I was getting sick of being that kid who always needed a ride. When I saw all of my friends driving their own cars all around that motivated me to get my own. Even though I had a problem I still had to have money to be able to make such a large purchase at that age. At that point, I was working for about two years as a dishwasher, so I knew I had the ability to by a car. I was not spending the money I was earning, so that gave me the opportunity to certainly buy a vehicle.
After recognizing I had the ability to buy a car or truck I started the information search of the decision-making process. I began searching for information on brands of cars that would be reliable in my price range. One of the most important factors should have been the regional weather but social influences persuaded me to look at sporty vehicles. I had a perception that I wanted to try to create: I was not really thinking about safety concerns in the snowy conditions. Since I knew my buying power I took to Craigslist, so I could find a model of car that I wanted for the highest price I could pay. I began looking up the cars that would have good gas mileage, because I planned on driving all over the place. I was taking a long time searching for a vehicle, I was in the enduring involvement stage of the consumer involvement. I knew I wanted to make a purchase as quickly as possible I just wanted to make sure I made the perfect decision.
Once I had some makes and models that I really thought would be the best decision for myself, I was on the judgement phase of the decision-making process. At that point, I had a Honda Accord, Ford Focus, and a Nissan Altima that I wanted to purchase. All three of those cars were in my price range. That was a psychological variable that was most important to me, because I wanted to purchase the car outright all by myself. To decide what car would be best for me I talked to some people that had the newer versions of the car so I could get a firsthand opinion on what they liked and disliked about the vehicle. It was social influences that swayed me to one car over the other. I also had memory from my past about riding in some of these types of cars from relatives and friend’s parents that gave me all I needed to evaluate alternatives.
For the making decision of the decision-making process I called the owners of the used cars because I wanted to be able to test drive and see the cars in person. I wanted the exposure to the vehicle I may purchase, so it would make me feel like I was making the right choice. I went to test drive the 2004 Honda Accord and at first sight I loved the way it looked. It was a white color that had a sleek body due to it being a coupe. Once I saw the sporty vehicle with my own eyes I got a certain attitude about myself and perception of myself when I pictured myself driving the car. It could probably be said that I had a sense of vanity; I cared about my appearance. I knew it would be a popular car at my school because most of the students drove around old-style cars. For my age, the fast-looking car really seemed like a car that I would love to drive to school each morning. After the initial look of the vehicle I sat in the leather interior of the Honda Accord and put my hands on the steering wheel. The 2004 Honda Accord had all gadgets that I needed as a young adult. It was power everything, it had a sunroof, and it had the ability to heat the seats in the winter. After I drove the car I knew I did not want to try any of the other cars, I was motivated to purchase the car on spot.
After I bought the car I was able to do the post-decision process of the decision-making process. I still can do the post-decision process because I am still driving the car four years later. There have been days where I have regretted buying such an old car, I have had to put quite a bit of money into it. For the most part I am very satisfied with the purchase, for such an old car it gets me place to place without any problems; it has never broken down on me. Once I handed over my money to the previous owner of the car I was overwhelmed with joy, I could not believe that I never needed a ride from someone else again.
There is four parts to the consumer behavior model and the parts are the decision-making process, the psychological core, the consumer behavior outcomes, and the consumer culture. A consumer does not just go through the parts step by step. There is an overlapping of parts during the entire process. For example, when I recognized I had a problem I had the ability and opportunity to do something about it. The whole process of the decision-making process has taught me very much about consumer behavior. It has taught me that the process is very involved, especially when it is a large purchase