Monday, January 7, 2013

Marketing 101: Habitual Buying Behavior

So far we have examined Complex Buying Behavior and Dissonance-Reducing Buying Behavior.  Next, let's quickly look at Habitual Buying Behavior.

Habitual Buying Behavior
Habitual Buying Behavior refers to situations where a consumer has low involvement in a purchase, and is perceiving very few significant differences between brands in a given product category.  So many products fit into this scenario.  Most of them are everyday use products and commodities, such as toilet paper, salt and black pepper.  Let's consider black pepper.

There isn't much to ground black pepper.  Unless you are actively cooking as a hobby (or a profession), you just need some pepper to throw into your mac-and-cheese or season the mashed potatoes on your plate.  There is very little consumer involvement in this product category.  Typically a consumer will go to the store and reach for a brand.  If the consumer grabs the same brand repeatedly, this is almost always habitual buying, not brand loyalty.

In these scenarios the consumer's buyer behavior doesn't go through the normal belief-attitude-behavior sequence.  Instead, consumers passively learn about low involvement products and brands through passive consumption media - television, radio, and Hulu ads.  Because consumers are buying based on brand familiarity, marketers must use ad repetition to build brand familiarity instead of brand conviction.  In order to encourage sales, marketers will need to use tactics such as price and sales promotions to initiate product trial.

Marketers should create messaging that emphasizes only a few key points.  Marketers should also use more visual symbols and imagery within their advertising, because they can easily be remembered by the consumer and associated with the brand.  Ad campaigns should have high repetition rates and the  duration of messages should be short.

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