The Consumer Decision Journey and What It’s All About

As consumer’s of the modern world today, you wouldn’t think that buying a product as simple as a tube of tooth paste or shampoo could actually be in any way complicated or think that theres a reason as to why you bought the product that you bought. But in actuality, there is.

It’s part of human nature to have different thoughts and feelings about things that we encounter or experiences we might have. For example going back to deciding on what kind of tooth paste to buy, you might not like a certain kind because of an after taste it leaves or vice versa you might like the flavor or even you might have just always bought Crest so thats the brand you use. These are all factors that affect our decisions when actually going through the process of buying a product.

The Consumer Decision Journey Model helps you to get a better prospective on how the decision making process actually happens inside your head, even though you might not realize that you’re doing it. Everyone perceives each step in their own way of course, here is how I tend to look at it when I’m trying to decide on what to purchase. The product that I’ll use as an example will be deodorant which can be consider as a convenience product.

Step 1: “The consumer considers the initial set of brands based on brand perception.” This is the set where you decide if you are a brand loyal person or not. If you are then you automatically get filtered into the loyalty category (which just for the record companies love you cause they know you won’t sway), if not then this is where you try and visually decide what brand you’d like to purchase. Personally I would consider myself to be brand loyal to Dove because they have a lot of different variety to offer consumers of both genders even though they typically advertise to the female audience. For this though I will ignore my loyalty and walk through the whole process. So, I decide to look at Dove primarily but also want to see what other brands have to offer which moves us to step 2.

Step 2: “Consumers add or subtract brands they evaluate what they want.” This is basically the stage where you get to compare and contrast the brands that are available to you. So I would take the time to look at other brands such as Secrets or Degree and compare them to what Dove has to see if they have what I’m looking for.

Step 3: “Ultimately the consumer selects a brand at the moment of purchase.” Depending on the brand you pick up and decide to buy is the brand that you feel is going to give you what you want and is going to supply you with the quality that they promise to deliver. So Dove for example promises to give you a deodorant that will hydrate and moisturize your skin, leave you with smooth and stubbleless skin and also include the scent of your choice to avoid any odor.

Step 4: “After purchasing a product or service the consumer builds expectations based on expectations based on experience to inform the next decision journey.” So as soon as you purchase the product and go to use it, you’re expecting that that product is going to deliver what the brand promises for it to give you. This step can also allow you to decide if you are going to become brand loyal and continue to purchase their product or decide that that brand wasn’t for you and then to continue looking for something that you like better.

I feel that this model really helps people to understand how they make decisions but also how fast we as people are able to make decisions so quickly. I think that it is a great tool for explaining to people how important the decision making process is for companies and consumers as a whole.

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