MKG 310 – Introduction to Marketing
Colorado State University – Global Campus
Dr. James H. Cook
December, 28 2014
Consumer Decision Process Model – VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch The consumer decision process model is the series of steps that a consumer goes through before, during, and after a purchase. (Grewal & Levy, 2014) In order to effectively get a product in the consumer's hands, a company must consider each step in the process when creating a marketing mix. My 6-year-old daughter asked me for a VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch for Christmas, which initiated my decision process, and a test of the effectiveness of the market research done for this product. For the purposes of this paper and to avoid confusion, my daughter and I will both be considered consumers. Although in marketing, consumers are those who use the product where the customer is the one who buys the product. (Joesph, 2014) Consumer and customer are often used interchangeably, however; sometimes they are the same person, and other times they are not. .
Consumer Decision Process Grewal and Levy (2014) break down the consumer decision process model into 6 steps: Need Recognition, Information Search, Alternative Evaluation, Purchase, and Post Purchase. A consumer may spend more or less time in each step depending on the product, available resources, or time frame restrictions, so the process could last a few seconds or many days or months. (Blois & Grunert, 2000) Some decision processes are simple. Sally see's shes out of eggs and she knows which eggs she likes and where to get them. Sally goes to the store, recognizes which eggs she wants, buys them, and goes home to enjoy a delicious omelet. Every step was hit in some form. Other decision processes are much more extensive. Joe's car breaks down and he decides to buy a new one. He likes his best friend’s truck so he begins looking for trucks like it. He researches options, price, and colors. Then through his research he finds a couple other trucks he also really likes and begins to look at comfort, gas mileage, and reviews. He spends a few weeks deciding which truck is best for him. He then goes to the dealership, haggles a fair price and signs the paperwork. Afterwards, there is an extensive post-purchase process that goes on. (Blois & Grunert, 2000) Every purchase a consumer makes will hit every step of the process in some form. A company can and should utilize the consumer decision process model to help initiate and solidify sales of products and/or services. There are many factors, both conscious and subconscious, that go into a consumer's purchasing decision. Each step of the consumer decision process provides a new opportunity for a company to influence a potential consumer. A smart and intuitive marketing mix can help a company, brand, and/or product to be in the forefront of a consumer's mind when making purchasing decisions, and ultimately create a loyal consumer.
Need Recognition Need recognition “occurs when a consumer's desired state is different than his or her actual state”. (Clow & Baack, 2005) For my process, my need recognition happened when my daughter brought it to my attention that she wanted the watch for Christmas. Grewal and Levy (2014) state the most products and services are also decided based on both functional and psychological needs. Functional needs “pertain to the performance of a product” (Grewal & Levy, 2014) and psychological needs “pertain to the personal gratification consumers associate with a product and/or service”. (Grewal & Levy, 2014) In my decision making process, my functional need for the smartwatch was to give my daughter the watch with the camera and games she asked me for. My psychological need for the smart watch was that I wanted my daughter to have the latest and best technology, I wanted her to have the “cool” new toy on the market,