HEURISTICS (The Choice Making Rules) Consumer Behaviour

The advantages of choice rules to consumers are:

  • Guidance while decision-making
  • Short-cut to decision-making
  • Helps to integrate and arrange information to enable quick decisions.
  • Helps them to take complex decisions.

After recognizing the problem and completing information search, the consumer combines and integrates various attributes to facilitate choice making.
Marketers must know what criteria are available to consumers which may be used and why? How can marketers affect choice rules? Purchase decisions may be:
R.R.B.—Routines Response Behaviour.
L.P.S.—Limited Problem Solving.
E.P.S.—Extended Problem Solving.
The above three types of behavior have already been discussed in the earlier section of this section. For extended problem solving a multi-attribute choice model is used. In this model if the choice is to be made between various brands of products, their attributes are listed and weightages on these attributes are given by the customer according to the importance of attributes. These attributes are rated on a scale (1 to 5) and the total is found out. The higher is the total of ranking, more suitable may be the brand. This is illustrated in the following example.

Consumers use different evaluative criteria in different situations, despite the product being the same. A plethora of evaluation processes are available. There are complexities of evaluation of attributes. A buyer of a computer may look for many attributes. This is a very involving process.

Product Attributes
Product-bundle of benefit expressed through its attributes desired by its target consumer.These vary with customers and are determined by their needs, e.g., for a female lipstick buyer, range of shades, packaging, price and prestige factor are the desired attributes.
Car styling, low maintenance, fuel economy, price are the desired attributes. Types of information sought in search behaviour for fulfilling product needs.


Importance of Weights
All attributes are not equally important to different buyers of similar products, e.g., lipstick buyer may conclude that price is more important than prestige factor, or vice-versa in brand evaluation. For a car, fuel economy may be more important than styling or vice-versa. Importance of attributes helps a consumer to reach a balanced evaluation.
Brand Belief
The brand image helps consumers, i.e., believing which brand is more likely to have a particular
attribute, based on consumer perception, and may be at variance with reality, e.g., what a consumer believes about a brand may not be true.
By combining the performance levels of salient attributes, consumers can determine utility and make-up what is called an ‘ideal brand’.
In evaluating, it has to be decided how many brands will be considered. For a mixer/grinder, a large number or brands are available. This is known as the total set.
Awareness set
The brands one is aware of, as given in Column II of Table.
Marketing gains are many

  1. Marketers find where their brand ranks in terms of consumer knowledge.
  2. It indicates the limits of consumer awareness and recall for the number of brands.
  3. Marketers know how to reinforce their efforts to push their brands in the consideration set.
  4. Prevent from going into inept set.
  5. Provide information to meet expectation of consumer.

How-many-brand-alternatives to consider ?

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