Stage 1. Need Recognition
Fresh graduates often think about
traveling to somewhere or take a gap year to do volunteer work before accepting
a job offer after graduation. A graduate realizes that he needs a new backpack
that is bigger and have durable base allowing him to live outside for a month. He
may think about a new car or a scooter to commute when he come back from the
journey. Recognizing a need simply happens when consumers are in need of
something such as a cup of coffee in the morning to stay alert, a durable backpack
to travel and a vehicle for communication. Beyond needs recognized, there are
other needs people will not know until other people remind them. Have you ever
thought of the reason why Pepsi, Powerade, and other beverage manufacturers
place the machines in gymnasiums so people can see them during a tiring
workout? Marketers attempt to show customers how their products and service add
value and fulfill their needs and wants.
Stage 2. Search for Information
For cheap products such as milk and
bread, consumers may simply buy them immediately when they notice the need.
Nevertheless, if a consumer are upgrading to a better and more expensive car or
buy it for the first time, he may put more effort into the evaluation process.
Perhaps he has experience driving cars, and he knows what he likes and dislikes
about certain features or functions. Or there is a specific high-end brand that
he always wants to possess one. This is the great position that every brand
strives for in which the pre-purchase research stage is restrained, and
consumers simply purchase the brand.
If buyers do not acquire enough
information to make the final decision, they may go online to gather more
information from biased sources, such as advertisements, brochures, company
Websites, and salesman. And/or they will get further neutral information from
other channels, read comments, reviews of other consumers, product ratings,
buying tips, and price information or ask opinions/experience of people in their
Stage 3. Product Evaluation
Apparently, there are hundreds of
brands for backpacks and cars available on the market. It is impossible to
check and compare all of them together. The fact that marketing professionals
know that bombard customers with too many options will overwhelm them and they
will ultimately purchase nothing. As a result, the option heuristics will be applied to shorten
the solving problem process by
finding practical ways of dealing with them or learning from past experience.
In other words, it provides consumers shortcuts in the decision-making process.
Consumers may also construct a set of evaluative standards to cut off the
options that do not meet their standards. Brands that meet the initial
standards of consumers before they move to the evaluation stage will show up in
The set of evaluative standards are specific
things that are vital to buyers e.g., such as the price, size, functions, and
color. Some attributes are more important than others that they are willing to
sacrifice. However, they must determine the most important characteristics that
meet their criteria.
Marketing professionals attempt to
persuade their customers the evaluative standards considered present the
outstanding aspects of their products. For instance, the color and functions of
the backpack is more important than its size and durability. Brands may
constantly remind their customers about their key selling features via various
channels such as magazine advertisement, packaging information.