Quiz 12: Decision Making I: Need Recognition and Search


A consumer faces numerous decisions in a day regarding purchase of goods and material. A consumer might be required to make decision regarding purchase of milk, gasoline, or a suit, all in a day. Some decisions making are not as demanding as others. Decisions related with purchase of milk might be easier to make as compared to decisions related with search for a new apartment by a college student. A decision making process mainly comprises of five activities that include: (1) Need recognition (2) Search for information (3) Evaluation of alternatives (4) Choice (5) Post-choice evaluation In case of purchasing a new pair of sneakers a person realizes that there is a need of a new pair of shoes that might be used on different occasions such as for any outdoor activity or to attend a casual outing with friends. After recognizing that there is a need to buy a new pair of shoes, the person starts looking for information available about sneakers. The person searches for information about sneakers over internet, goes through various ads, talk with friends and take their opinion about sneakers and involves in various other activities in order to gather information. After gathering information, the person marks out a few alternatives of sneakers and makes comparison between them on the basis of the attributes that are most relevant for him. After evaluating the choices the person makes a choice between the available alternatives and selects the choice that best suits his needs and budget. After making the choice, the person evaluates the decision of buying a particular sneaker. Thus, in this way a decision making is done when a person purchases a new pair of sneakers.

The decisions made by the consumers about buying of a product are mainly based on three perspectives. These perspectives are: rational decision making, behavioral influence decision making and experiential decision making. The rational decision making considers that the consumer takes into consideration various things before buying a particular product. The consumer gathers information about the product takes views of friends and compares the product before making decision to buy the product. The behavior decision making proposes that the decision making of the consumers is influenced by the external environment. On the other hand experiential decision making assumes that the decisions made by the consumers is based on the experiences or feeling that consumers attach to the product. These perspectives present only a theoretical framework from which the decisions made by the consumers can be analyzed and cannot be used as decision making approaches. The 875 NEB sneakers were customized sneakers that were assembled by a shoemaker in front of the customers. The shoes were assembles in glass booths and "assembled in New York" tagline was attached to the shoes. This presented the customers with unique shopping experience as the shoes that they were going to wear were assembled right in front of them. Thus, the experiential decision making kicked in and motivated the customers to buy the customized 875 NEB sneakers.

In the present case there is a company that sells shoes and apparel for training, running, Tennis, cross-training, hiking, golf and fitness for both men and women. The company believes in the policy of providing best product in this category. The company is expecting a double digit growth for the first time since 2004. The company is also planning to open twelve stores over the next year. The company is also planning to open New York and Washington D.C. The company has got three corporate stores located in Dedham, MA but the sale in the region is showing a decline. 80 percent household comprises of families in the Dedham area with the median age of 39 years. The average income per household is $80,000 which is substantially higher than the national average of $51914. The largest age group in the region is of 39-44 years. This shows that people in the region would be less involved in physical and outdoor activities as the median age is 39 years. The company NEB specializes in providing products that is used in the outdoor activities and in sports activities thus, there would be less demand for the products provided by the company. The average income per household is also substantially higher as compared to national average. This would suggest that people have the ability to buy luxury products and thus, would be more interested towards buying the products that would satisfy their behavior needs. The region comprises of 80 percent of household with families. Thus, there is less number of people who are single and would be involved in outdoor activities and in sports. Thus, considering the factors of age, average income per household and of household with families, the company NEB should come up with a product that would cater to the age group, satisfy the behavior of the people and are also targeted at persons living in families in order to shore up their sales in the region. Thus, a product that can be used by people in the age group of 39-44 years should be made by the company. The product should also be priced higher and should create a niche for itself. The product could be projected in way that it would become a luxury product for the people so that it could satisfy the behavior aspect of people in the region.