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10.03.2015
Our mind operates at a conscious level and a subconscious level.  To create success in our lives, we must understand how both of these levels work and how to use them to achieve our goals. No one can do it for us – it is our responsibility to learn how our mind works and to create the life we want to experience. With advances in brain science and imaging equipment, scientists have recently been able to understand how the tools taught for centuries actually work to impact the brain!  Modern day books such as Emotional Intelligence, The Intention Experiment, and The Biology of Belief are helping educate us about how our minds work.
This is a€?Low-Involvement Versus High-Involvement Buying Decisions and the Consumera€™s Decision-Making Processa€?, section 3.2 from the book Marketing Principles (v.
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You have probably thought about many products you want or need but never did much more than that. Consumers often engage in routine response behaviorWhen consumers make automatic purchase decisions based on limited information or information they have gathered in the past.
By contrast, high-involvement decisionsProducts that carry a high price tag or high level of risk to the individual or group making the decision. High-involvement decisions can cause buyers a great deal of postpurchase dissonance (anxiety) if they are unsure about their purchases or if they had a difficult time deciding between two alternatives.
Allstatea€™s a€?Youa€™re in Good Handsa€? advertisements are designed to convince consumers that the insurance company wona€™t let them down. Limited problem solving falls somewhere between low-involvement (routine) and high-involvement (extended problem solving) decisions. Products, such as chewing gum, which may be low-involvement for many consumers often use advertising such as commercials and sales promotions such as coupons to reach many consumers at once.
When it comes to the car, you might engage in extensive problem solving but, again, only be willing to consider a certain brand or brands. Figure 3.9 "Stages in the Consumera€™s Purchasing Process" outlines the buying stages consumers go through.
You plan to backpack around the country after you graduate and dona€™t have a particularly good backpack. For products such as milk and bread, you may simply recognize the need, go to the store, and buy more.
If what you already know about backpacks doesna€™t provide you with enough information, youa€™ll probably continue to gather information from various sources. Evaluative criteriaCertain characteristics of products consumers consider when they are making buying decisions. Companies want to convince you that the evaluative criteria you are considering reflect the strengths of their products. With low-involvement purchases, consumers may go from recognizing a need to purchasing the product. At this point in the process you decide whether the backpack you purchased is everything it was cracked up to be. There was a time when neither manufacturers nor consumers thought much about how products got disposed of, so long as people bought them. Other companies are less concerned about conservation than they are about planned obsolescenceA deliberate effort by companies to make their products obsolete, or unusable, after a period of time.. Products that are disposable are another way in which firms have managed to reduce the amount of time between purchases. Consumer behavior looks at the many reasons why people buy things and later dispose of them.
How do low-involvement decisions differ from high-involvement decisions in terms of relevance, price, frequency, and the risks their buyers face? Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. This blog is an Alltop selection and ranked in HR's Top 100 Blogs for Management & Leadership. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed. Depending on a consumera€™s experience and knowledge, some consumers may be able to make quick purchase decisions and other consumers may need to get information and be more involved in the decision process before making a purchase. At other times, youa€™ve probably looked at dozens of products, compared them, and then decided not to purchase any one of them. These buying decisions are called impulse buyingPurchases that occur with no planning or forethought.. Companies that sell high-involvement products are aware that postpurchase dissonance can be a problem. Consumers engage in limited problem solvingPurchasing decisions made based on consideration of some outside information. For example, in the 1970s, American-made cars had such a poor reputation for quality that buyers joked that a car thata€™s a€?not Jap [Japanese made] is crap.a€? The quality of American cars is very good today, but you get the picture.
For a humorous, tongue-in-cheek look at why the brand reputation of American carmakers suffered in the 1970s, check out this clip. However, if you are purchasing a car for the first time or need a particular type of backpack, you may need to get information on different alternatives.


Frequently people ask friends, family, and neighbors about their experiences with products. The company has a special design and quality control center, and Ospreya€™s salespeople annually take a a€?canyon testinga€? trip to see how well the companya€™s products perform.
For example, you might not have thought about the weight or durability of the backpack you want to buy. However, for backpacks and cars, you decide which one to purchase after you have evaluated different alternatives. You begin to wonder whether you should have waited to get a better price, purchased something else, or gathered more information first. For smaller items, they might offer a money back guarantee or they might encourage their salespeople to tell you what a great purchase you made. Planned obsolescence is a deliberate effort by companies to make their products obsolete, or unusable, after a period of time.
You probably dona€™t own a cool, nondisposable lighter like one of these, but you dona€™t have to bother refilling it with lighter fluid either. Consumers go through distinct buying phases when they purchase products: (1) realizing the need or wanting something, (2) searching for information about the item, (3) evaluating different products, (4) choosing a product and purchasing it, (5) using and evaluating the product after the purchase, and (6) disposing of the product. Magazine Leadership list & has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies. Brick walls are in your life for a reason – they let us prove how bad we want our dream. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (19 MB) or just this chapter (1 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline).
The level of involvement reflects how personally important or interested you are in consuming a product and how much information you need to make a decision. When you run out of products such as milk or bread that you buy on a regular basis, you may buy the product as soon as you recognize the need because you do not need to search for information or evaluate alternatives.
For example, if you always order a Diet Coke at lunch, youa€™re engaging in routine response behavior.
While youa€™re waiting to check out at the grocery store, perhaps you see a magazine with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on the cover and buy it on the spot simply because you want it. Frequently, they try to offer consumers a lot of information about their products, including why they are superior to competing brands and how they wona€™t let the consumer down. Many products that are typically high-involvement such as automobiles may use more personal selling to answer consumersa€™ questions. If ita€™s a high-involvement product youa€™re purchasing, a good brand name is probably going to be very important to you. Youa€™re thinking about the different types of things you want or need to eventually buy, how you are going to find the best ones at the best price, and where and how will you buy them. You may also be thinking about the job youa€™ve accepted after graduation and know that you must get a vehicle to commute. Magazines such as Consumer Reports (considered an objective source of information on many consumer products) or Backpacker Magazine might also help you. In fact, good salespeople and marketing professionals know that providing you with too many choices can be so overwhelming that you might not buy anything at all. However, a backpack manufacturer such as Osprey might remind you through magazine ads, packaging information, and its Web site that you should pay attention to these featuresa€”features that happen to be key selling points of its backpacks.
In addition to which backpack or which car, you are probably also making other decisions at this stage, including where and how to purchase the backpack (or car) and on what terms. If ita€™s not, youa€™re likely to suffer whata€™s called postpurchase dissonanceSituations that occur when experiences do not match expectations and consumers rethink their decisions after purchasing products and wonder if they made the best decision.. How many times have you heard a salesperson say, a€?That outfit looks so great on you!a€? For larger items, companies might offer a warranty, along with instruction booklets, and a toll-free troubleshooting line to call or they might have a salesperson call you to see if you need help with product. How products are being disposed of is becoming extremely important to consumers and society in general.
However, many people buy a concentrated form of it, put it in reusable pitchers or bottles, and add water. The goal is to improve a companya€™s sales by reducing the amount of time between the repeat purchases consumers make of products.
A consumera€™s level of involvement is how interested he or she is in buying and consuming a product.
RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.
The level of involvement in buying decisions may be considered a continuum from decisions that are fairly routine (consumers are not very involved) to decisions that require extensive thought and a high level of involvement. As Nike would put it, you a€?just do it.a€? Low-involvement decisions are, however, typically products that are relatively inexpensive and pose a low risk to the buyer if she makes a mistake by purchasing them. You may not even think about other drink options at lunch because your routine is to order a Diet Coke, and you simply do it. You might see a roll of tape at a check-out stand and remember you need one or you might see a bag of chips and realize youa€™re hungry or just want them. Brand names can also be very important regardless of the consumera€™s level of purchasing involvement. Thata€™s why the manufacturers of products that are typically high-involvement decisions cana€™t become complacent about the value of their brands.
Recognizing a need may involve something as simple as running out of bread or milk or realizing that you must get a new backpack or a car after you graduate.
Or there might be a particular brand that youa€™ve purchased in the past that you liked and want to purchase in the future. Similar information sources are available for learning about different makes and models of cars. Consequently, you may use choice heuristics or rules of thumb that provide mental shortcuts in the decision-making process.


For example, the size of the backpack and the price might be more important to you than the colora€”unless, say, the color is hot pink and you hate pink. Automobile manufacturers may have similar models, so dona€™t be afraid to add criteria to help you evaluate cars in your consideration set. Maybe the backpack was cheaper at one store than another, but the salesperson there was rude.
If you dona€™t feel good about what youa€™ve purchased from them, you might return the item and never purchase anything from them again. If they seat you in 15 minutes, you are much happier than if they told you that your table would be ready in 15 minutes, but it took 30 minutes to seat you. That way, they dona€™t have to buy and dispose of plastic bottle after plastic bottle, damaging the environment in the process.
When a software developer introduces a new version of product, it is usually designed to be incompatible with older versions of it. Believe it or not, prior to the 1960s, scarcely anyone could have imagined using a cheap disposable lighter. Low-involvement products are usually inexpensive and pose a low risk to the buyer if he or she makes a mistake by purchasing them.
Whether a decision is low, high, or limited, involvement varies by consumer, not by product, although some products such as purchasing a house typically require a high-involvement for all consumers.
Similarly, if you run out of Diet Coke at home, you may buy more without any information search. Buyers dona€™t engage in routine response behavior when purchasing high-involvement products.
While you are familiar with backpacks, you know that new features and materials are available since you purchased your last backpack. Consider a low- versus high-involvement decisiona€”say, purchasing a tube of toothpaste versus a new car. Marketers try to show consumers how their products and services add value and help satisfy needs and wants.
This is a great position for the company that owns the brand to be ina€”something firms strive for. People prefer a€?independenta€? sources such as this when they are looking for product information. You must decide what criteria are most important and how well different alternatives meet the criteria.
Similarly, if a store tells you that your pants will be altered in a week and they are ready in three days, youa€™ll be much more satisfied than if they said your pants would be ready in three days, yet it took a week before they were ready. Consumers dona€™t want to degrade the environment if they dona€™t have to, and companies are becoming more aware of this fact. There are many more disposable products today than there were in years pasta€”including everything from bottled water and individually wrapped snacks to single-use eye drops and cell phones. High-involvement products carry a high risk to the buyer if they fail, are complex, or have high price tags.
Consumers with no experience purchasing a product may have more involvement than someone who is replacing a product.
Low-involvement decisionsProducts that carry a low risk of failure or have a low price tag for a specific individual or group making the decision. Instead, consumers engage in whata€™s called extended problem solvingPurchasing decisions in which a consumer gathers a significant amount of information before making a decision., where they spend a lot of time comparing different aspects such as the features of the products, prices, and warranties. Youa€™re going to spend some time looking for one thata€™s decent because you dona€™t want it to fall apart while youa€™re traveling and dump everything youa€™ve packed on a hiking trail. You might routinely buy your favorite brand of toothpaste, not thinking much about the purchase (engage in routine response behavior), but not be willing to switch to another brand either.
Do you think ita€™s a coincidence that Gatorade, Powerade, and other beverage makers locate their machines in gymnasiums so you see them after a long, tiring workout?
However, they also often consult non-neutral sources of information, such advertisements, brochures, company Web sites, and salespeople. Backpacks or cars that meet your initial criteria before the consideration will determine the set of brands youa€™ll consider for purchase. Other decisions related to the purchase, particularly those related to big-ticket items, are made at this point.
Consumers are more likely to experience dissonance with products that are relatively expensive and that are purchased infrequently.
Instead of buying new bottles of it all the time, you can purchase a concentrate and add water. Having a brand you like saves you a€?search timea€? and eliminates the evaluation period because you know what youa€™re getting.
For example, if youa€™re buying a high-definition television, you might look for a store that will offer you credit or a warranty.
You have probably noticed that most grocery stores now sell cloth bags consumers can reuse instead of continually using and discarding of new plastic or paper bags. Consequently, you will be more inclined to upgrade to the new version so you can open all Word documents you receive.
You might consider the choices available at your favorite retail outlet but not look at every backpack at every outlet before making a decision. How many times have you have heard about a movie and had no interest in ita€”until you saw the preview? Or you might rely on the advice of a person you know whoa€™s knowledgeable about backpacks.



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