Big Brand Strategies for Small Businesses
Why Consumers Buy What They Buy
By Laura LakeVice President Client and Interactive Services at
EAG / Author of Consumer Behavior for Dummies
The Big Questions
Why Do Consumers Buy What They Buy and How Can You Get Them to
Buy From You?
Consumer Behavior is Important
Consumer behavior is more than a guessing game its crucial to
Clear understanding of your targeted customer =
Its important to understand two things as your customer moves
through the decision process:
Customer Needs + Customer Concerns =Winning their Business
Getting Into the Mind of a Consumer
Understanding why consumers buy what they buy gives you the
know-how in getting them to buy from YOU!
The Keys to Understanding
There are 5 steps in the decision making process of a
The Same Process is Used for B2C and B2B Purchases
How Understanding the Process Helps
In each step you have a role to play if you want to capture the
By knowing your role in the decision making process turn more
consumers into customers!
Phase 1: Need Awareness
Consumer recognizes and becomes aware they have a need.
How Do You Influence Phase 1?
A need will be triggered in a consumer in 1 of 3 different
Two you can influence because they are external, one you
Advertisement or Conversation with friend that causes an
awareness of a need.
Consultative Selling Sellers ability to uncover a need.
Consumer Evaluation of current situation causes consumer to
detect area of dissatisfaction. (This is internal you cant
Phase 2: Information Search
Consumer begins the information search looking for what will
fulfill the need they identified in Phase 1.
Important Note: Anxious buyers may skip this phase we call this
How Do You Influence Phase 2?
Identify the information sources that are most important and
influential to your potential buyer and then make sure your
information is available there.
Example: If your potential buyer is aninternet users, will they
find you when they search for your product or service?
Phase 3: Evaluate the Alternatives
Consumer processes the information and makes a decision. Their
decision comes from evaluating, identifying and assessing the value
of you and your competitors.
Two Types of Purchase Which Are You?
High Involvement PurchaseLow Involvement Purchase
Knowing which one your product or service represents will help
you assist consumers in making a decision.
What Is a High Involvement Purchase?
High-Involvement Purchase Typically high expenditure or a
purchase that involves a great deal of personal risk.
Consumer Process In-depth evaluation process. Lots of attention
goes into Phase 2 the research phase. Decision will be based on
value and they will weigh several equivalent products and make
their decision based on their individual criteria.
What Is a Low Involvement Purchase?
Low Involvement Purchase This type of purchase includes products
or services that often involve a lower expenditure and less
personal risk such as buying a soda, choosing a hair shampoo or
deciding whether to have beef or chicken for dinner.
Consumer is concerned less with value and more interested in
convenience this purchase requires a simple evaluation process.
How Do You Influence Phase 3?
High Involvement Purchase
Provide your consumer with information that reaffirms the
positive consequences of buying.
Stress important features of your product and the advantages
compared to your competitors.
Your consumer must see VALUE!
Low Involvement Purchase You can generally provide LESS
information and still move the consumer past evaluation.
These purchases are often made on IMPULSE!
Phase 4: Purchase
We love this phase - consumer is ready to purchase.
The two questions they ask themselves:
Who will I buy from?When will I buy?
Who Will I Buy From?
Consumer considers 3 things that determine WHO:
Term of the salePast experience from the sellerReturn policy
Where Will I Buy?
Consumer evaluates the following to determine WHERE:
Store atmosphere / service experiencePresence of time
pressureSpecials or sales on products or servicesPleasantness of
the overall shopping experience
How Do You Influence Phase 4?
Who and When is vital when it comes to the purchasing decision.
The more you help the consumer, the better off you are.
A consumer must be satisfied with your service, experience and
shopping atmosphere this is true for both B2B and B2C.
If not they are not satisfied they can and often will delay the
Put Yourself in Check Phase 4 Checklist
Make sure the store atmosphere and/or the shopping experience is
what your customer is looking for.
Save the customer time be clear upfront with term of sales and
Have a sale sales promotions and specials are effective when
trying tokeep an existing customer and gainnew customers.
Pay attention to customer service there is no excuse for bad
Phase 5: Post Purchase Evaluation
The purchase is complete, but your job is not. The end of the
sales isnt always the end of the buying process in fact it could be
the beginning of another sale if you follow the process through to
completion and satisfaction.
Post purchase evaluations fall into one of the following 3
Outcome 1: Purchase is below expectationOutcome 2: Purchase
matches expectationOutcome 3: Purchase exceeds expectation
How Do You Influence Phase 5?
Satisfied customers can become unpaid ambassadors for your
business so customer satisfaction should be first on your priority
Avoid dissatisfaction before and during the sale. Be sure to
follow up after the sale and handle any dissatisfaction.
Consider conducting a post purchase evaluation byUsing customer
satisfaction surveysMaking follow-up phone callsMailing cards or
lettersSending email follow-ups
Top 5 Reasons Consumers Dont Buy
There are 5 reasons that consumers dont buy.
Are you having difficulty in selling your product or
Consider each reason and evaluate how you can do better at
marketing your products or services in a way that convert consumers
into your customers.
Reason 1 Why They Dont Buy
They are not aware of your product or your service.
Reason 2 Why They Dont Buy
They dont understand the benefits that your product or service
Reason 3 Why They Dont Buy
They dont feel your product or service has perceived value.
Reason 4 Why They Dont Buy
They dont see how your product or service fulfills their
Reason 5 Why They Dont Buy
Your product or service is not accessible to them.
Practices That Will Turn Consumers Into Customers
You turn consumers into customers by creating relationships with
them. You can create a relationship by incorporating 5 practices
into your business and using them with each consumer that you come
in contact with.
No. 1 Turn Consumers Into Customers
Take the time to listen to them and identify their needs.
No. 2 Turn Consumers Into Customers
Present your products or services in a way that genuinely
fulfills their needs.
Cut out the hype - sell what works and you'll never have to hunt
down new customers again.
No. 3 Turn Consumers Into Customers
Stand behind your products and services. If you don't you'll not
only lose the customers you have, but you'll deplete the chances of
acquiring new customers.
No. 4 Turn Consumers Into Customers
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
No. 5 Turn Consumers Into Customers
Create that emotional connection with your customers, the kind
that creates customer loyalty not just repeat-buying.
If you don't touch them emotionally why should they return and
why should they be loyal to you?
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