Consumer Behavior Models You Need to Know

The consumer behavior model contextualizes behavior analysis results as they explain how customers make their purchasing decisions. Businesses such as towing service normally adopt one or a couple of models to define how customers decide to purchase from them. Consumer behavior models help us in understanding and retaining a unique customer base. These models are either traditional or contemporary, as we are going to discuss.

Learning Model

The learning model of customer behavior is one that buyer behavior responds to the desire to satisfy basic needs for survival, such as food, and learned needs that come as a result of experience. This model takes influence from psychologist Abraham Maslow, from what we call the hierarchy of needs. At the bottom of the hierarchy is what we call basic needs. With this model, consumers first make purchases to satisfy their basic needs and then move up to meet their learned needs.

Psychoanalytic Model

Most of you might know that Sigmund Freud is the father of psychoanalysis. This model draws from his theory and says that individual consumers have deep-rooted motives, both conscious and unconscious, which drive them to make a purchase. These motives can be hidden fears, personal belongings, and suppressed desires. This model is unique in terms of its application, but it’s relevant to businesses that sell an image that accompanies their products and services.

Sociological Model

This model of consumer behavior says that purchases are influenced by an individual’s place within different social groups such as family, friends, workgroup among others. An individual will essentially purchase an item based on what is appropriate. An example is how C suite executives are expected to be professional and formal. People who hold these jobs will make purchases that speak to and uphold these rules. This model can apply to most businesses especially those that create products and services relevant to a specific group.

Black box model

The black box model, otherwise known as the Stimulus-Response model, says that customers are individual thinkers that process internal and external stimuli to make purchase decisions. A consumer comes into contact with external stimuli from your business marketing mix and other external stimuli, and then they process it in their mind – which is a black box. They then relate the external stimuli to their preexisting knowledge such as personal beliefs and desires, to make a decision.

Hawkins Stern Impulse Buying

This impulse buying theory is the alternative to Learning Model and EKB. It claims that purchases are not always a result of rational thought. When we think of impulse buying, we typically imagine picking up a can of beers before checking out. There are many types of impulse purchases. Examples of impulse buy include escape purchases, reminder purchases, suggested purchases, planned purchases among others.

Another model is what we call Engel-Kollat-Blackwell Model. It outlines a five-state decision process that consumers go through before purchasing a  product or service. These stages include awareness, information processing, evaluation, purchasing decision, and outcome analysis.

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