Monday, January 14, 2013

Marketing 101: Variety Seeking Buying Behavior

In previous posts I examined Complex Buying Behavior, Dissonance-Reducing Buying Behavior, and Habitual Buying Behavior.  Finally, we will quickly define Variety Seeking Buying Behavior.

Variety Seeking Buying Behavior
Variety Seeking Buying Behavior refers to situations where there is low consumer involvement, but the consumer perceives significant differences between the brand options in front of them.  In variety seeking situations consumers tend to do a lot of brand switching.  There is no real brand loyalty.  Common variety seeking types of products are cookies and crackers.  Let's take a quick look at crackers.

Consumers may already have a few beliefs about crackers.  However most consumers will buy a particular brand with very little evaluation before the purchase.  In fact in product categories such as crackers, evaluation tends to happen during consumption of the product.  Beliefs and attitudes will come during the experience of eating them, or using them at parties.  The next time the consumer is ready to buy, they will sometimes buy the same brand if the experience was favorable.  However, they may also pick another brand purely out of boredom or to just try something different.  All of this happens for the sake of variety rather than any negative beliefs or attitudes about the cracker brand.
The marketing strategy might differ for the market leader versus the competitors trying to grab market share.  Leaders should encourage habitual buying - dominating shelf space and keeping shelves stocked, running frequent reminder advertising.

Marketers should encourage variety seekers to buy by using lower prices, special deals, coupons, samples, and ads that have messaging that give reasons for trying something new.


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