Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Marketing 101: Complex Buying Behavior

The process consumers use to buy products and services is different for every individual and every category of product.  However, we have been able to categorize this behavior based on their degree of involvement, and the degree of difference between the brands in the product category.  There are four types of Buying Behavior:

1) Complex Buying Behavior - Has high involvement with significant levels of differences between brands.
2) Variety-seeking Buying Behavior - Has low involvement with significant levels of differences between brands.
3) Dissonance-reducing Buying Behavior - Has high involvement with very few differences between brands.
4) Habitual Buying Behavior - Has very low levels of involvement and very few differences between brands.

Let's start by examining Complex Buying Behavior.

Complex Buying Behavior
Complex Buying Behavior defines buying scenarios that are characterized by high levels of consumer "involvement" in a purchase decision; with significant amounts of perceived differences between brands in the product category.  Involvement refers to actions the consumer must take to understand the product or service they are motivated to buy.  When high involvement is necessary, the consumer does whatever they can to learn: research, read reviews, talk to others, and "test drive" different models at retail locations.

High involvement tends to be associated with products that are more expensive, infrequently purchased, technologically advanced, and highly expressive of the buyer's personality profile.
The involvement process helps the consumer understand the differences between the brands of products they are motivated to buy.  This process is where the consumer develops (and sometimes changes) their beliefs and attitudes.  These beliefs and attitudes, along with their buying motives, will influence the consumer's decision.

Marketers of high-involvement products need to have an understanding of the buying process.  It is their job to help the consumer learn about their product, and create messaging that influences the buyer's beliefs and attitudes about competitor's products.  Understanding your target customer's Personality Profile is a key component of your marketing plan.

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