Analyzing consumer behaviour is perceived as cornerstone
of a successful marketing strategy (Papers4you.com, 2006). Consumer behaviour is ‘the mental and emotional processes
and the observable behaviour of consumers during searching purchasing and post consumption of a product and service(Batra
& Kazmi, 2004) . Similarly Engel (et al, 1990) refers consumer behaviour as the action and decision process of people
who purchase goods and services for personal consumption.
Now if these defining criteria are closely observed,
it is evident that analyzing consumer’s decision making process is the foundation of entire notion of consumer behaviour.
There are four different views related to consumer
decision making process and behaviour (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2004). It is argued that first of them is ‘economic view’
that consumers are primarily facing imperfect competition and they are always expected to make rational decision on the basis
of assumptions that they are aware of all product alternatives, they can rank benefits and limitation of each alternative
and are able to identify one best alternative. Second ‘Passive View’ is absolutely opposite to economic view and
suggests that consumers are irrational and impulsive as they are submissive to self-centered interests of marketers and got
influenced by marketing tools. Similarly third, ‘ Emotional View’ is related to perceive consumer’s decision
making based on their emotional association or feeling about some products and services. For instance, a person loosing red
colour specific pen neither go for rational decision by evaluating alternatives ( economic view) nor will the person get influenced
by marketers ( passive view). Rather the person will try to purchase any pen closely resembled with his favourite possession.
Fourth and arguably most acknowledged view is ‘Cognitive View’ where consumers are considered as “thinking
problem solver’ which are receptive as well as actively searching for the products and services that can fulfil their
need. Consumer’s behaviour under this view is based on information seeking and processing attributes usually directed
by a goal. For instance, buying a tooth paste from shop can have a certain goal of choosing product that can taste good (Papers4you.com,
Despite of critiques for each viewpoint, it can
be considered a valid argument, that all four types of decision making behaviour exist and provide marketer guidelines to
analyze consumer accordingly.
Based on general perception about most acknowledged
and common ‘cognitive view’, Batra & Kazmi (2004) asserts broader stages of a consumer’s decision making
process that includes problem identification (feeling need of a new car), information search ( on internet and showrooms),
evaluation of alternatives (comparing brands, for instance’ on basis of repute and features), outlet selection and purchase
( purchasing selected item) and post-purchase action (satisfaction or dissonance).
The discussion may be concluded on the notion that
no matter which view point out of four discussed above is common; it is an imperative fact that marketers have to realize
existence of all of them to analyze consumer behaviour effectively.
Batra, S, K & Kazmi, S,H,H ( 2004), ‘Consumer
Behaviour- Text and Cases’, New Delhi: Excel Books
Engel, J, F, Blackwell, R, D & Miniard, P, W,
(1990), ‘Consumer Behaviour’ London: Dryden Press
Papers For You (2006) "E/M/68. To what extent does
Advertising affect Consumer Behaviour?", Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprtmrk38.htm [19/06/2006]
Papers For You (2006) "P/M/551. What influences
consumer behaviour?", Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprtmrk38.htm [19/06/2006]
Schiffman , L, G & Kanuk, L, l, (2004), ‘Consumer
Behaviour’ New Jersey: Prentice- Hall Inc