Nicosia Model of Consumer Behavior

Nicosia Model of Consumer Behavior was developed in 1966, by Professor
Francesco M. Nicosia, an expert in consumer motivation and behavior. This model
focuses on the relationship between the firm and its potential consumers. The model
suggests that messages from the firm (advertisements) first influences the
predisposition of the consumer towards the product or service. Based on the
situation, the consumer will have a certain attitude towards the product. This may
result in a search for the product or an evaluation of the product attributes by the
consumer. If the above step satisfies the consumer, it may result in a positive
response, with a decision to buy the product otherwise the reverse may occur.
Looking to the model we will find that the firm and the consumer are connected
with each other, the firm tries to influence the consumer and the consumer is
influencing the firm by his decision.

The Nicosia model of Consumer Behavior is divided into four major fields:

Field 1: The firm’s attributes and the consumer’s attributes. The first field is
divided into two subfields. The first subfield deals with the firm’s marketing
environment and communication efforts that affect consumer attitudes, the
competitive environment, and characteristics of target market. Subfield two
specifies the consumer characteristics e.g., experience, personality, and how he
perceives the promotional idea toward the product in this stage the consumer forms
his attitude toward the firm’s product based on his interpretation of the message.
Field 2: Search and evaluation. The consumer will start to search for other firm’s
brand and evaluate the firm’s brand in comparison with alternate brands. In this
case the firm motivates the consumer to purchase its brands.
Field 3: The act of the purchase. The result of motivation will arise by convincing
the consumer to purchase the firm products from a specific retailer.
Field 4: Feed back of sales results. This model analyses the feedback of both the
firm and the consumer after purchasing the product. The firm will benefit from its
sales data as a feedback, and the consumer will use his experience with the product
affects the individuals attitude and predisposition’s concerning future messages
from the firm.

With this model Nicosia was able to represent consumer’s behavior when receivers
of a message and has agents in the buying process generated by that flow of
information from a company.

The Nicosia model of consumer behavior offers no detail explanation of the internal
factors, which may affect the personality of the consumer, and how the consumer
develops his attitude toward the product. For example, the consumer may find the
firm’s message very interesting, but virtually he cannot buy the firm’s brand
because it contains something prohibited according to his beliefs. Apparently it is
very essential to include such factors in the model, which give more interpretation
about the attributes affecting the decision process.
Consumer Decision Making Process

The five stages of the consumer decision making process include; Problem
recognition, information search, information evaluation, purchase decision,
and evaluation after purchase. This is just a general model of the consumer
decision making process and it emphasizes that the buying decision making
process starts before the actual purchase and continues even after the
purchase. It also encourages the marketer to focus on the complete buying
process and not just on the purchase decision.

Public sources. Different circumstances can change and force a consumer to recognize a major buying problem. the most frequent problem occurs when consumers realize they are out of the product. This means asking customers how they heard about the product. However. service. the most effective influence often comes from such personal sources as family members and friends. these include advertisements. Consumer information sources typically fall into four groups: Personal sources. or you run out of lunch meat for your sandwiches.1. or when your car is due for maintenance. and Experience sources. The consumer receives the most information from commercial sources. A recently retired couple may now have the time and money to take a European vacation. Effective marketers try to identify the information sources and their relative influence on customers. salespeople. They may get this information in one or in many ways. Commercial sources. and manufacturer-supplied direct mail. 2. for example. Problem Recognition Consumers recognize a problem as a need or want. catalogs. can make people recognize that their current clothing is not in style or up to date. newspapers. Information Search Consumers search for information that is helpful in making a purchasing decision. A first year college student may need a personal computer. For example. A stay at home mom who returns to the work force may need a new wardrobe. Of course. when the gas tank gets near empty. New fashions. what sources of information they turned to. Marketers are interested in the major information sources that consumers use and the influence each has on the final purchase decision. This consumer information helps marketers plan advertisements. or business. select information to give . and what influences each source of information had on their purchase decision. Problem recognition also occurs when a consumer receives new information about a good.

the actual buying of a specified product. Retailers and other marketers often try to influence the type of criteria that consumers use in their product evaluations. This doubt stems from an awareness that in reaching a particular buying decision the individual may have rejected certain . while others are more prone to lodging at the less expensive locations. retailers use the term buyers remorse to describe a customer’s second thoughts after a purchase. 5. ease of operation. 3. the opinions of family or friends. During this stage consumers usually compare products with respect to their various features and benefits. They may compare product brands. price. colors.to customers. Many factors influence the purchase decision. For others. Evaluation After Purchase After customers make buying decisions. 4. and choose other marketing techniques to meet consumer needs. they often continue to evaluate them. Other information may be more important to consumers when evaluating services. done some research on the product. Marketers use the term cognitive dissonance to refer to post-decision doubt that a customer has about an original purchase. They consumer may also evaluate the importance of certain information. or prestige may be paramount. and the sales and services policies of the marketer. While vacation. perceived reliability is extremely important. traveling. Post-purchase evaluation occurs when a customer seeks reasons to support a purchase decision. styles. and related services. Some customers may wish to try a product before making a major purchase. for example some consumers may want to only stay at the Hilton. They are now ready to make a purchase decision. For many consumers. consumers have recognized a need. Consumers generally evaluate goods and services by the features or benefits that are important to them. They frequently use ads that compare the features of their products with those of their competitors. Information Evaluation Follows the information search. sizes. They may also compare products at various stores. prices. These include the cost of the product compared to how much money the consumer can afford to spend. related services. and evaluated available alternatives. Purchase Decisions At this stage in the consumer decision making process.

therefore the perception involved and the information gathered by the consumer in purchasing a car is much more than buying a face wash. and customer loyalty and repeat business. Henry Assael distinguished four types of consumer buying behavior based on the degree of buyer involvement and the degree of differences among brands. . Marketers take positive steps to reduce cognitive dissonance and to help buyers feel good about their purchases. Types of Consumer Buying Behavior Consumers are becoming smarter day by day. Buying a face wash and buying a luxurious car is very different. They try to fulfill their customers needs and wants. it is not to fool them with any gimmick. Even before buying a face wash a consumer go through a rigorous process of choosing the best among the many present in the market. Customer oriented practices usually result in customer recommendations.attractive alternatives. called word of mouth advertising. consumer does his/her homework very well before making any purchase in the market. Nowadays. Doubt is created when the motive for buying the alternative overshadows the actual purchase. Successful marketers know that a satisfied customer is an excellent advertisement for the company and its products.

Routinized Response Behavior (RRB)/ Habitual Buying Behavior: This is the simplest type of consumer behavior. on her next visit to the market. which will allow her to compare it with the known brands. In such a case. For instance. who buys refined vegetable oil. The degree of involvement in buying such products is low. vanaspati and ghee. off-price offers. which will help the buyer to gather more information. or search and also do not take a lot of time to make the purchase. In such cases the buyers do not give much thought. This occurs when the consumer already has some experience of buying and using the product. The consumer would like to gather additional information about the brands to arrive at his brand decision. frequently used items. The buyers are well aware of the product class. this brand of oil also claims the unique attribute of being low in cholesterol. She may also know about some of the leading brands available. the marketer has to ensure two tasks: (a) The marketer must continue to provide satisfaction to the existing customers by maintaining quality. etc. a housewife buys refined vegetable oils for her cooking and she may be familiar with the concept of vegetable oil.. Usually. (b) He must try to attract new customers by making use of sales promotion techniques like points of purchase displays. To arrive at a decision. This buying behavior as described limited problem solving because the buyers are in a situation where they are fully aware of the product class but not familiar with all the brands and their features. Apart from buying a new brand. Here the buyer is more complex as compared to routine buying behavior because the consumer is confronted with an unfamiliar brand in a familiar product class. service and value. The housewife. Limited problem solving also takes place when a consumer encounters an unfamiliar or new brand in a known product category. she would like to check with her friends and regular store about the attributes of each. the consumer is familiar with the product and various brands available. but has no established brand preference. Most of the time the buyer is familiar with the various brands available and the attributes of each and has a wellestablished criteria for selecting their own brand. and also introduce new features to the products. the housewife needs to gather information about the new brand. increase his brand comprehension and gain confidence in the brand. But to establish her choice of brand. sees a new brand of vegetable oil. Limited Problem Solving (LPS)/ Dissonance Reducing Buying Behavior: In this type of buying behavior. Here the marketer’s job is to design a communication programme. know the brands and also have a clear preference among the brands. whether or not to buy this brand. Extensive Problem Solving (EPS)/Complex Buying Behavior: This buying is referred to as a complex buying behavior because the consumer is in an . this kind of behavior is adopted for the purchase of low cost.

the marketing communications should be aimed at supplying information and help the consumer to evaluate and feel good about his/her brand choice. and the decision process takes a longer time. The consumers has some beliefs about chocolates chooses a brand of chocolates without much evaluation and evaluates the product during consumption. frequent brand shifts. On the other hand. In case of a new product concept the entire consumer universe is unfamiliar with the product. Variety Seeking: Consumers often express satisfaction with their present brand but still engage in brand switching. The marketer has to spend large amounts of money in educating the consumers about his product. The marketing strategy for such buying behavior must be such that it facilitates the consumer’s information gathering and learning process about the product category and his own brand. Take the example of chocolates. you may have the situation where the product concept is well understood by a majority of the consumers. They have to educate the prospective buyers to learn about the attributes of the product class. so that the purchase decision is made in his favor.unfamiliar product class and is not clear about what criteria to consider for buying. you may become interested in purchasing a Color Television set to replace the existing black and white one. This kind of decision is the most complex type. but it is being bought or used by a particular consumer for the first time. buying a toothpaste is an EPS behavior whereas for most of us it is simply Routinized response behavior. The marketer must be able to provide his consumer with a very specific and unique set of positive attributes regarding his own brand. So yours is an extensive problem solving. The marketer must understand the information gathering and evaluation activities of the prospective consumers. To take a very simple example. In other words. or it can be prompted by external cues as store stock outs or coupons that promote switching. and high purchase frequency. The product may be new at the generic level or it may be an established product concept but new for a particular consumer. It can occur simply because someone is bored with his or her current brand choice. Because fro him. Next time. which occurs most often when there are many similar alternatives. The concept of EPS is most applicable to new products. He needs information on both the product category as well as the various brands available in it. The motive is variety seeking. a tribal who is exposed to the concept of toothpaste for the first time in his life will seek a lot of information and take a long time to decide. You do not know what product attributes or features to consider while choosing a good television set. The consumer in turn need a great deal of information before they can take a decision. the consumer may reach for another . their relative importance and the high standing of the marketer’s brand on the more important brand attributes. For instance. Extensive problem solving occurs when the consumer is encountering a new product category. You may have heard of the various brand names. but lack clear brand concepts.

In the case of bread. leather Design: with or without armrests. the extent and intensity of active reasoning may be much less as compared to the latter case. However. quantity and retail outlet. rexine. factors Influencing the Consumer Decision Making Process Each buying decision you make involves an elaborate mental thought process. in the former case. These may be: Ready-made or made to order From a furniture shop or to be built at home Type of material for frame: wood. a degree of active reasoning. loose or fixed cushion.brand out of a wish for a different taste. aluminum Type of material for cushion: cloth. seating capacity. depth of seat. In this case the brand switching occurs for the sake of variety rather than dissatisfaction. This may be because over a period of time you have taken certain buying decisions so many times that they now seem to be made almost automatically but that is not true at all. the only decision variables may be which brand. . height. though on the surface it may not always seem to be so. steel. But in the case of buying a sofa set the decision variables are far more in number. Even your daily decision of buying a loaf of bread involves the element of active reasoning as buying a new sofa set for your drawing room.

These are: 1. Products such as shoes. the degree and strength of active reasoning will vary. car. When a product is perceived to be of great importance to the customer. Involvement The degree of personal involvement is a key factor in shaping the type of decision process that consumers will be followed. the level of involvement in making the decision is likely to be very high. or its purchase involves a great deal of money or risk such as jeweler.Thus. toilet soap. which influence the degree of active reasoning that is undertaken by the consumer in his process of decision-making. such as personal clothing. The consumer is likely to spend a great deal of time before arriving at the final decision. Involvement is the level of perceived personal importance and/or interest evoked by a stimulus within a specific situation. toothpaste. company shares. house. polish. when buying items which do not reflect much on the consumer’s personality or their purchase involves small amounts of money or the risks associated with them is not high. biscuits etc. Several factors exist that determine the degree of involvement consumers have in making a decision. depending on the type of decision being made. would fall in this category. There are three factors. Some of them are as under: . the degree of involvement of the consumer is likely to be low. In contrast.

When perceived risk becomes unacceptably high. there is motivation either to avoid purchase and use altogether or to minimize risk through the search and pre-purchase alternative evaluation stages in extended problem solving. especially when surgery is required. For example. tends to be a high involvement decision because your wedding is a special occasion and it also affects directly your self-image and looks. A consumer’s physical handicap may also affect how involved he or she is in buying a home. There also are times when an otherwise uninvolving product takes on a different degree of relevance because 2. Personal factors include self-image. Situational Factors: Situational or instrumental involvement includes factors such as whether the product is purchased for personal use or as a gift. When that is the case. This is usually the case with fads such as trendy clothing items in which involvement is high initially but quickly diminishes once the item is worn and fashions begin to change. and it is strongest when the product or service is perceived as enhancing self image. As is logical. involvement is likely to be enduring and no function as a stable trait. as opposed to being situational or temporary. Without activation of need and drive.Personal Factors: The degree of involvement tends to be higher when the outcome of the decision affects the person directly. psychological (especially. beauty. and whether it is consumed alone or with others. health. Situational involvement changes over time. including physical (risk of bodily harm). the greater the perceived risk. and are doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheel chair? Product Factors: Products or brands also become involving if there is some perceived risk in purchasing and using them. Many types of perceived risks have been identified. Differentiation When the consumer perceives that the various alternatives which are . the greater the likelihood of high involvement. performance (fear that the product will not perform as expected). because of the high-perceived risk. there will be no involvement. the purchase of the wedding trousseau. Are there steps leading up to the house? Is there a bedroom on the first floor. or physical condition. For example. we may become highly involved in the choice of a doctor. and financial (risk that outcomes will lead to loss of earnings). It may be strong on a temporary basis and wanes once purchasing outcomes are resolved. a negative effect on self-image).

sports shoes etc. the per capita consumption of vegetables has increased during recent years. he is likely to spend more time in gathering information about and evaluating these different features. The various brands of washing powder available in the market today are an excellent example of low level of differentiation with the consumer perceiving the different brands to be offering almost identical benefit.available are very different from one another in terms of their features and benefits offered. feelings. You would probably buy whatever is readily available. At that time you would buy the brand that is available at whatever price without giving it too much thought. Then came the different players in this market like Woodlands and a host of other multinational brands creating on the way a multitude of segments in the otherwise staid shoes market like formal. For example. Attitudes put people into a frame of mind for liking or disliking things and moving toward or away from them. On the other hand. you cannot afford to spend a long time finding out about the various products or brands. and tendencies toward an object or an idea. As a result. 3. in case of products which are not very different from one another either in terms of their features or benefits offered. you would certainly like to find the features of nylon and radial tyres and evaluate various brands on their individual advantages and disadvantages. casual. All the brands look similar with identical packing and carry almost the same price tag. But under a different situation. when you need to buy new tyres. Till a few years ago the branded shoes was highly undifferentiated with Bata offering standard options to consumers in terms of styles of shoes. Concept of Attitude in Consumer Behavior An attitude describes a person’s relatively consistent evaluations. Time Pressure When you are under pressure to make a decision. the consumer is bound to perceive them as being almost the same and buy the first available product/brand which satisfies his minimum expectation. leading the meat and chicken producers to try to change consumer attitudes that chicken and meat are unhealthy. He will not like to spend much time in evaluating the various alternatives. . While traveling your car tyre busts and you don’t have a spare and hence you need to buy a new one. many people who have developed the attitude that eating healthy food is important perceive vegetables as a healthy alternative to meat and chicken. Companies can benefit by researching attitudes toward their products.

We as . If this customer again receives a bad meal. A customer who has returned to a restaurant several times and on one visit receives a bad meal may begin to believe that it is impossible to count on having a good meal at that restaurant. and changing one attitude may require making many difficult adjustments. Many hospitality and travel companies have still not learned from those two examples. and psychological factors. parents. once negative attitudes are developed. It is easier for a company to create products that are compatible with existing attitudes than to change the attitudes toward their products. A person’s attitudes fit into a pattern. A few months later after the restaurant was opened. Serving a poor meal to first-time customers can be disastrous. However. Chances are equally good that they may retain very positive images toward McDonald’s and Disneyland. Consumer choice is the result of a complex interplay of cultural. where the high cost of trying to change attitudes may pay off. The customer’s attitudes toward the restaurant begin to change. They want children to return as teenagers. social. and grandparents and treat them in a manner to ensure future business. his original customers who had been disappointed. Even though he may have subsequently corrected his early mistakes. Attitudes explain in part why this is true. We can now appreciate the many individual characteristics and forces influencing consumer behavior. and places. people. Disney and McDonald’s both view children as lifelong customers. A new restaurateur complained that customers are fickle. they are hard to change. of course. were not returning. personal. Attitudes developed as children often influence purchases as adults. There is a saying among restaurateurs that a restaurant is only as good as the last meal served. There are exceptions. Obviously. he had not satisfied his first guests.Understanding attitudes and beliefs is the first step toward changing or reinforcing them. Children may retain negative attitudes toward certain vegetables. negative attitudes may be permanently fixed and prevent a future return. Customers develop an immediate negative attitude that prevents them from returning. New restaurant owners often want quick cash flow and sometimes start without excellent quality. the owner had plenty of empty seats every night. Attitudes are very difficult to change.

a cognitive component. and the attitude-toward-the-ad model. psychologists have tried to develop models that capture the underlying dimensions of attitude. . the focus has been on specifying the composition of an attitude to better explain or predict behavior.. The following section describes some important attitude models like tricomponent attitude model. diagnostic value and also as relatively inexpensive information that is easily obtained. To serve this purpose. they help the marketer to better understand customer’s reactions and behavior. Attitudes are defined as a mental predisposition to act that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor.marketers cannot influence many of these. 1. an affective component. attitude consists of three major components. however. Tricomponent Attitude Model According to the tricomponent attitude model. the trying to consume model. Models of Attitude To understand the relationships between attitudes and consumer behavior. the multiattribute models. The value of attitude in marketing can be explained in terms of its importance in prediction. All the abovementioned models present different perspectives on the number of component parts of an attitude and how these parts are arranged or interrelated. viz. and a conative component.

knowledge and perceptions (about an object). they capture an individual’s direct or global assessment of the attitude-object. This model represents the process used by individuals with a strong Thinking Cognitive Style. The product that evokes the greatest positive (pleasurable) affective response would thus be ranked first. The affective component: The affective component of an attitude comprises of the consumers emotions or feelings (toward an object)...e. These emotions or feelings are frequently treated by consumer researchers as primarily evaluative in nature. This knowledge and resulting perceptions commonly take the form of beliefs. i.e. or mixed reaction consisting of our feelings about an object. A utility function representing the weighted product of attributes and criteria would be used to develop the final ranking and thus choice. and long-term memories. images. Buying of any product or service would be accomplished on the basis of how each product/service makes the decision maker feel. .The cognitive component: The cognitive component consists of a person’s cognitions. negative. i. which might be positive.

e. category attributes) or directly attributed to the interaction between the product or service and the decision maker. Attitude toward object model: The attitude-toward object model is suitable for measuring attitudes towards a product or service category or specific brands. you may like BMW cars. In other words. the attitude-toward-behavior model. This model represents the process used by individuals with a strong Feeling Cognitive Style. category attributes) or directly attributed to the interaction between the candidate and the decision maker. and they have unfavorable attitudes towards those brands they feel do not have an adequate level of desired attributes or have too many negative or undesired attributes. For instance. consumers generally have favorable attitudes toward those brands that they believe have an adequate level of attributes that they evaluate as positive. 2. The three models. The conative component: The conative component is concerned with the likelihood or tendency of certain behavior with regard to the attitude object. It would also mean the predisposition or tendency to act in a certain manner toward an object. The candidate that evokes the greatest positive (pleasurable) affective response would thus be ranked first. It is believed that the manner in which the candidate affirms or disaffirms the self concept of the decision maker has a strong impact to the decision maker’s affect response to the candidate. . Multiattribute Attitude Models Multiattribute attitude models portray consumers’ attitudes with regard to an attitude “object” as a function of consumers perceptions and assessment of the key attributes or beliefs held with regard to the particular attitude “object”. are: the attitude-towardobject model. and the theory ofreasoned-action model.The affective response may be derived through association (i.e. This model says that the consumer’s attitude toward a product or specific brands of a product is a function of the presence or absence and evaluation of certain product-specific beliefs or attributes. It is believed that the manner in which the product/service affirms or disaffirms the self concept of the decision maker has a strong impact to the decision maker’s affect response to the candidate. The affective response may be derived through association (i. Ordering of the three job candidates would be accomplished on the basis of how each candidate makes the decision maker feel. which are very popular.

the outcome is not. if you like an ad. The gist of this model can be explained by the following: Normally. but instead reflects the consumer’s attempts to consume or purchase. you are more likely to purchase the advertised brand. rather than the outcome (consumption). Theory of Trying to Consume The theory of trying to consume has been designed to account for the many cases where the action or outcome is not certain. The focus here is the “trying” or seeking part. the theory-of-reasoned-action model incorporates a cognitive component. Theory of reasoned-action-model: This model represents a comprehensive integration of attitude components into a structure that is designed to lead to both better explanations and better predictions of behavior. Not only does a consumer form attitudes towards the advertisement. The crux of the attitude-towards-behavior model is that it seems to correspond somewhat more closely to actual behavior than does the attitude-toward-object model. he or she also forms an opinion towards the brand. The theory behind the model states that consumers form judgments and feelings as a result of exposure to an advertisement. either in print or in audio-visual on the formation of consumer attitudes towards product and service offerings and or brands. Similar to the basic tricomponent attitude model. the key point is that in these cases of trying. .Attitude toward behavior model: This model is the individual’s attitude toward the object itself. and a conative component. Attitude-toward-the-ad Models The Attitude-toward-the-Ad Model lays emphasis on the impact of an advertisement. 4. and cannot be assumed to be certain. So taking on from liking a BMW. In such cases there are often personal impediments and/or environmental impediments that might prevent the desired action or outcome from occurring. 3. Here again. we may say you are not ready to buy/drive one because you believe that you are too young/old to do so. however these are arranged in a pattern different from that of the tricomponent model. an affective component.

Subsequent objectives may focus on moving prospects to higher levels in the pyramid to elicit desired behavioral responses such as associating feelings with the brand. or regular use etc. such as regular brand use. It showed up as an editorial in Printer’s Ink. trial.For a new product/brand. an ad has a stronger impact on brand attitude and purchase intention. Hierarchy of Effects Model Another widely used model in marketing that attempts to explain consumer decision making process is called the Hierarchy of Effects Model. it is easier to accomplish ad objectives located at the base of the pyramid than the ones towards the top. He claimed that a proper salesman must ensure Attention. Although different researchers developed slightly different models. create Desire and finally spur the customer to Action (purchase). Hierarchy of effects Model can be explained with the help of a pyramid. First the lower level objectives such as awareness. they noted that consumers appeared to progress through cognitive (thinking). an effective salesperson actually guided a buyer through a series of stages. a salesman named Elias St Elmo Lewis. the Hierarchy of Effects Model focuses on consumer learning that takes place as he/she processes information from the external world. maintain Interest. In 1910. the basic idea is the same: people experience a sequence of psychological stages before purchasing a product. Interest. Conviction. then affective (feeling) and finally conative (intention/doing) stages. In addition to supporting the AIDA model. The model was then expressed as Attention. In 1961 Robert Lavidge and Gary Steiner published their seminal paper on the Hierarchy of Effects in the Journal of Marketing. knowledge or comprehension are accomplished. the Hierarchy of Effects showed up for the first time in print mentioning the hierarchy’s use for advertising gain. The article declared that any complete advertisement campaign must follow this model of persuasion. Originally conceived to explain how advertising affects consumer’s purchase decisions. . The origins of the Hierarchy of effects can be traced all the way back to 1898 and the hierarchy’s creator. Lewis believed that rather than simply closing a sale. and Action. The percentage of prospective customers will decline as they move up the pyramid towards more action oriented objectives.

Liking: If target members know the product. perhaps just name recognition. a communication campaigns alone cannot do the job. how do they feel about it? If the audience looks unfavorably towards the product to communicator has to find out why. but you’ll have trouble easily seeing the brand name. Capturing someone’s attention doesn’t mean they will notice the brand name. What are the brand’s specific appeals. Knowledge: The target audience might have product awareness but not know much more. its benefits? In what way is it different than competitor’s brands? Who is the target market? These are the types of questions that must be answered if consumers are to achieve the step of brand knowledge. For product problem it is . This isn’t as straightforward as it seems. hence this stage involves creating brand knowledge. the communicator’s task is to build awareness. Consumers must become aware of the brand. Magazines are full of ads that will capture your attention. with simple messages repeating the product name. the brand name needs to be made focal to get consumers to become aware.Awareness: If most of the target audience is unaware of the object. This is where comprehension of the brand name and what it stands for become important. Thus. If the unfavorable view is based on real problems.

Herbert Krugman. value. Conviction: A target audience might prefer a particular product but not develop a conviction about buying it. The communicator must need these consumers to take the final step. The communicator can check the campaigns success by measuring audience preference before and after the campaign. Preference: The target audience might like the product but not prefer it to others. The perceived risk is the outcome of consumer’s perception of the chances of potential degree of resulting unfavorable consequences from making a . the communicator must try to build consumer preference by promoting quality. The extent of risk perception the consumer has with purchase decision can also influence the level of involvement. According to him. some members of the target audience might have conviction but not quite get around to making the purchase. In this case. a researcher is credited with his contribution to the concept of consumer involvement. These variables are believed to be the sources that interact with each other to precipitate the level of consumers involvement at any particular time and situation. Level of Involvement in Consumer Behavior Consumer involvement is considered as an important variable that can help explain how consumers process the information and how this information might influence their purchase or consumption related behavior. The communicator’s job is to build conviction among the target audience. there is wide agreement that the degree of involvement has a very significant effect on consumer behavior.necessary to first fix the problem and only then can you communicate its renewed quality. They may wait for more information or plan to act later. This is where consumers make a move to actually search out information or purchase. consumers approach the marketplace and the corresponding product/service offerings with varying levels and intensity of interest and personal importance. or letting consumers tried out. Involvement variables are believed to precede involvement and influence its nature and extent. However. This is referred to as consumer involvement. performance and other features. offering a premium. Purchase: Finally. perhaps by offering the product at a low price.

the purchase process stimulated by the need to consider a certain purchase. Purchase situation involvement may occur while buying the same item in different contexts. the message. Marketers communicate many sales promotions to increase consumer involvement in a product. Purchase involvement is the level of concern for. Tata Indica V2 sponsored a contest in which participants were to submit five words that describe the car starting with the letter “V. or the perceiver. Product involvement refers to a consumer’s level of interest in a certain product. purchase decision-making becomes increasingly complex. consumer researchers have found it convenient to think that on one end is the habitual purchase decision-making or nominal decision-making and at the other extreme is extended decision-making. Television is said to be low-involvement medium and consumers process information in a passive manner. It is useful to view purchase decision involvement as a continuum and as the consumer moves from a low level of involvement with the purchase situation to a high level of involvement. Many decisions fall somewhere in the middle and are characterized by limited decision-making. . when a consumer is considering the purchase of a gift for his wife on their first marriage anniversary. or physical or psychological harm. In contrast. It should be kept in mind that the types of decision processes are not distinct but rather blend into each other.” Advertising involvement refers to the consumer’s interest in processing the ad messages. There are several broad types of involvement related to the product. such as financial loss. Researchers have suggested that the level of involvement may also be influenced by promotional messages and the media used. It is important to realize that consumer involvement can take many forms and a broad distinction is that it can be cognitive. she/he may buy a different brand that reflects elegance and taste in a better way than the usual one that she/he buys.purchase decision. print is a high-involvement medium as the readers actively process information. when a consumer wants to impress someone. or emotional. Based on the amount of effort that goes into decision-making. There are various types of consumer-decision processes. For example. such as a consumer may be motivated to learn about the latest specifications of the new iMac. or interest in.

habitual decision-making. Nominal decision-making is generally the outcome of continued satisfaction with a brand which was initially chosen after an . Some of these decisions are so nominal that the consumer does not even think of purchasing an alternative brand. which are consumed on an ongoing basis and involve nominal decision-making. the preferred brand is purchased and no brand evaluation occurs unless the brand fails to perform as expected. A problem is recognised. or routine problem solving. Recognition of need is likely to lead directly to an intention to buy. Information processing is very limited or non-existent. There is generally low-involvement with most low priced and frequently purchased products. consumer’s internal search from long-term memory comes up with a single preferred solution.Nominal decision-making is also referred to as nominal problem solving.

In the second situation. consumers may not attach much importance to salt or sugar they buy for household consumption. Such decisions involve extensive internal (longterm memory) and external (outside sources) information search followed by a rigorous evaluation of several alternatives because consumers do not possess any meaningful information about the product or service and need lots of it. When the level of consumer involvement is lowest. Such complex decisions are relatively few and may relate to buying a computer. It involves internal (long-term memory) and limited external search. . Extended decision-making corresponds most closely to the traditional decision-making perspective. and taking stock of how the attributes of each brand measure up to a set of desired characteristics. All this happens in response to a high level of consumer’s involvement in making a purchase decision. they now purchase it repeatedly without any thought. Limited decision-making is usually more straightforward and simple. when it is needed. washing machine. stereo system. Thus Hierarchy of effects Model is thought to work and follow a certain sequence whereby the prospect is moved through a series of stages in succession from unawareness to the purchase of the product. Buyers are not as motivated to search for information. or the consumer does not attach much importance to the product category or purchase. consideration of just few alternatives. In this category. sales promotions can lead to considerable brand switching. laser printer. The evaluation often involves careful consideration of attributes of one brand at a time. it covers the middle ground between nominal and extended decision-making. simple decision rules on a few attributes and little post purchase evaluation. Post purchase evaluation is more likely to be complex and dissonance causing. or a new house. As pointed out earlier. The consumer buys Sensodyne toothpaste without further consideration because it meets her/his overall needs. Having tried Tata Salt and found it satisfactory. limited decision-making may not be much different than nominal decision-making.extended decision-making process. or evaluate each attribute enthusiastically. even though using the best available toothpaste is important to her/him. but actually use cognitive shortcuts.

g. One.e. of course. The logic of the Howard Sheth model of consumer behavior summarize like . which begins from the initial awareness to the final action (i. Controversy exists. Although each argument has its own support. preference second) seems to be valid especially in relatively complex – or highinvolvement – decision making situations (e. providing a conceptual framework for thinking about the sequence of events. Others argue that people form preference and knowledge simultaneously. the general model (cognition first. you might have realized at least two points. Two. Some may claim that they often form liking and preference (emotional response or feeling) toward brands before developing cognitive judgment (knowledge or thinking) on them. cars. The Hierarchy of effects Model is quite similar to the consumer information processing model because it also assumes that people are cognitively driven. some consumers who have formed preference to Maggi Tomato Sauce may not form any conviction to buy the product. Furthermore. purchasing). The Howard Sheth Model is a sophisticated integration of the various social. you may be in the unawareness stage relative to Wrangler Jeans. For example. some people may need more time before moving onto the next stage than others. ‘The Theory of buyer Behaviour’. thinking information processors. It aims not only to explain consumer behavior in terms of cognitive functioning but to provide an empirically testable depiction of such behavior and its outcomes (Howard 1977).By now. it also seems reasonable that not all people at one stage move onto the next stage. computers). For example. as to whether that is necessarily true.. Howard Sheth Model of Consumer Behavior John Howard and Jagadish Sheth put forward the Howard Sheth model of consumer behavior in 1969. psychological and marketing influences on consumer choice into a coherent sequence of information processing.. but Lee may be in the preference stage. in their publication entitled. it seems reasonable that not all the consumers are at the same stage.

There are outputs beginning with attention to a given stimulus and ending with purchase. The marketer in the form of product or brand information furnishes physical brand characteristics (significative stimuli) and verbal or visual product characteristics (symbolic stimuli). These variables are termed ‘hypothetical’ since they cannot be directly measured at the time of occurrence. over which the firm has no control. the information sources also include sales and service personnel who can add and help the marketing efforts of the firm. reference group. In order to arrive at a brand preference some comparative brand information is sought. This social source is personal and the company/marketer has no control over this source. The third type is provided by the consumer’s social environment (family. At this level the consumer does not have any basic information or knowledge about the brand and he does not have any preferences for any product. namely: Inputs: These input variables consist of three distinct types of stimuli (information sources) in the consumer’s environment. or partial knowledge about what they want to purchase. In this level the consumer knows very well about the different brands and he can differentiate between the different characteristics of each product. In between the inputs and the outputs there are variables affecting perception and learning. and he already decides to purchase a particular product. The second level is limited problem solving. According to the Howard Sheth model of consumer behavior there are four major sets of variables. There are impersonal sources like mass media communication and advertising.this. 2. the consumer will seek information about all the different brands in the market before purchasing. This situation exists for consumers who have little knowledge about the market. In this situation. The third level is a habitual response behavior. The Howard Sheth model of consumer behavior suggests three levels of decision making: 1. There are inputs in the form of Stimuli. However. 3. and social class). The first level describes the extensive problem solving. All three types of stimuli provide inputs concerning the product class or .

Some of the variables are perceptual in nature. However. consumer personality traits. criteria for evaluation alternatives. Exogenous(External) variables: Exogenous variables are not directly part of the decision-making process. consumers’ goals. Outputs: The outputs are the results of the perceptual and learning variables and how the consumers will response to these variables (attention. The proposed interaction In between the different variables in the perceptual and learning constructs and other sets give the model its distinctive advantage. . Perceptual and Learning Constructs: The central part of the model deals with the psychological variables involved when the consumer is contemplating a decision. brand comprehension. For example. preferences and buying intentions are all included. stimulus ambiguity happened when the consumer does not understand the message from the environment. and intention). attitudes. and are concerned with how the consumer receives and understands the information from the input stimuli and other parts of the model.specific brands to the specific consumer. information about brands. Perceptual bias occurs if the consumer distorts the information received so that it fits his or her established needs or experience. Learning constructs category. religion. some relevant exogenous variables include the importance of the purchase. and time pressure.

Most scholars agree that the study of consumer behavior was advanced and given an impetus by Howard Sheth Model.The decision-making process. Symbolic and Social stimuli. Finally. which Howard-Sheth Model tries to explain. While in social stimuli the model does not mention the basis of decision-making in this stimulus. such as what influence the family decision? This may differ from one society to another. Religion was considered as external factor with no real influence on consumer. The major advantage and strength of the model lied in the precision with which a large number of variables have been linked in the working relationships to cover most aspects of the purchase decision and the effective utilization of contribution from the behavioral sciences. takes place at three Inputs stages: Significance. These stimuli are not applicable in every society. no direct relation was drawn on the role of religion in influencing the consumer’s decision-making processes. . In both significative and symbolic stimuli. which give the model obvious weakness in anticipation the consumer decision. the model emphasizes on material aspects such as price and quality.