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Buyer Behaviour

1.0 Introduction
The purpose of this report is to analyse and evaluate the decision-making process consumers go through when purchasing health supplements and formal clothing. The objective is to compare the differences between the two processes and identify the implications each has on marketing strategy.
This has been achieved through both secondary and primary research. The secondary analysis involved research using the textbooks and articles on health supplements and formal clothing and the application of relevant consumer behaviour concepts and theories.

This report will also thoroughly discuss, compare and report on the typical decision making processes likely to be followed by a selected target market for the purchase and use of health supplements and formal clothing.
This will involve the primary research in which 8 people will be interview with questions regarding to consumer behaviour in the purchase of health supplements and formal clothing.

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The report is structured in a way to present each aspect of the decision-making processes for formal clothing, which followed, by health supplements to enable comparison to be made in each section.

2.0 Target Market
Health supplements is an industry which is growing because of intelligent, healthy people. (National Business Review, 1996, p.32).

In New Zealand, the research shows that people are more and more aware of good health, its relationship to lifestyle, and how they can use health supplements to augment self heal health care. In other words, people today are looking for prevention rather than just cure.
In 1994, 32% of New Zealanders took some form of supplement and in the latest study in 1997 this figure has increased to 74%.

Each different product market consists of buyers, and buyers are all different in one way or another. They may differ in their wants, resources, locations, buying attitudes and buying practices. Because buyers have unique needs and wants, each buyer is potentially a separate market. For example, in the health supplements market, the seller identifies market segments, and develops different health supplements products and marketing mixes tailored to each needs and wants.
Both health supplements and formal clothing are market which its’ products appeals to many buyers. Many people once in their life would have bought both products at sometimes during their life stages.

There is no single way to segment a market. In this report, students are selected under the occupation market segment as the target market.
The target market consists of students studying at universities.

3.0 Involvement
Consumer involvement is the perceived personal importance and interest consumers attach to the acquisition, consumption, and disposition of a good, service, or an idea. As their involvement increases, consumers have a greater motivation to attend to, comprehend, and elaborate on information pertaining to the purchase. (Mowen & Minor, 1998, p.64).

In the case of low involvement, consumer views a purchase as unimportant and regards the outcome of his or her decision as inconsequential. Because the purchase carries a minimal degree of personal relevance or identification, the individual feels there is little or nothing to be gained from attending to the details of a purchase. (Hanna & Wozniak, 2001, p.290). For example, a purchase of health supplements requires minimal or no premeditation and planning for some consumers.

High involvement purchases are those that are important to the consumer either from a financial, social, or psychological point of views. The purchase is characterised by personal relevance and identification with the outcome. (Hanna & Wozniak, 2001, p.291). An individual anticipates a potentially significant gain from expending time and effort in comparison-shopping before buying. For example, a girl purchasing an expensive ball dress has a high degree of personal identification. Therefore, a high level of felt involvement can increase an individual’s willingness to search for, process, and transmit information about a purchase.
If a consumer perceived a product, which is important or valuable to them, it is more likely that they will have a high involvement with their decision process. The most important factors influencing a consumer’s involvement level are their perceived risks.
The purchase of any product involves a certain amount of risk, which may include:
? Product Failure – risk that the product will not perform as expected. (e.g., will the health supplements makes me feel better and prevent me from diseases?)
? Financial – risk that the outcome will harm the consumer financially (e.g., will buying a formal suit cause my financial hardship?)
? Operational – risk that consists of alternative means of performing the operation or meeting the need (e.g., is there any maintenance required for the ball dress?)
? Social – risk friends or acquaintances will deride the purchase (e.g., what ill my friends think of me in this dress?)
? Psychological – risk that the product will lower the consumer’s self-image (e.g., will I look stupid if I wear this dress?)
? Personal – risk that the product will physically harm the buyer (e.g., is this health tablet meant to do me any good? Will it do as it said it will perform or will it ruin my health instead?)
In a high degree of perceived risk, decisions in this case may require significant
financial commitments, involve social or psychological implications. For example, the purchase of formal clothing, in such cases, internal and multiple external information sources are sought. Information is likely to be processed actively and carefully before a decision is concluded for the purchase. In other words, alternatives are carefully evaluated, and their attributes are painstakingly matched and compared.
In the case of low degree of perceived risk, decisions in this case may require small or no financial commitments that involve social or psychological implications. Consumers may already established criteria for evaluating products, services, or brands within the choice category. It is unlikely that the consumers will search for information and rigorously evaluate each available alternative.

Situational factors also influence risk perception. One situational variable is the nature of the task. For example, voluntary risks are more acceptable to people than involuntary risks. When consumers choose to buy the health supplements to increase their energy, they are taking a voluntary risk. When they were made to go to a function reluctantly and require buying a formal dress for it, they are taking an involuntary risk.
For voluntary activities, consumers systematically perceive less risk than what actually exists, while for involuntary activities, they tend to overrate the risk. Another situational variable that influences risk perception is how the purchase is to be made. For example, most consumers perceive that there is a greater risk in shopping through the mail for formal clothing than buying it in a retail store.

The amount of arousal a person feels influences the capacity of their short-term memory. In high involvement situations consumers are usually more aroused and more attentive, which expands their short-term memory capacity to its maximal extent. In low involvement conditions, the arousal level is apt to be low, so consumers focus relatively little memory capacity on the stimulus. (Mowen & Minor, 1998, p.101). As involvement levels increases, consumers may allocate more capacity to a stimulus.
4.0 Buyer Decision Making Processes
The following part of the report compares the different decision making processes with respect to health supplements and formal clothing.

The consumer’s buying decision-making process involves five stages. They are:
? Problem Recognition
? Information Search
? Evaluation of Alternatives
? Purchase Decision
? Post Purchase Evaluation
4.1 Problem Recognition
Problem recognition is the first stage in the whole consumer decision-making process. Problems arise for consumers in their attempts to develop, maintain, and/or change their lifestyle. The recognitions of a problem occur where there is a discrepancy between a consumer’s desire and the actual state that is sufficient to arouse and activate the decision process. (Neal, Quester & Hawkins, 2000, p.3.6). A growing recognition of a need or want can be satisfied through some sort of consumption. However, a consumer might not take any further movement towards their own decision-making – information search, because there is also some relative importance of the problem may be perceived to be small.

The level of a person’s desire to resolve a particular problem depends on two factors:
1. The extent of the discrepancy between the desired and actual states.

2. The relative importance of the problem.
Desired state
Many factors can affect a consumer’s lifestyle and desire.

Culture and Social Class
Culture and social class provide broad boundaries for lifestyle and therefore describe appropriate desire state. Students in nowadays are more and more aware of their health, and this is caused by its relationship to their lifestyle. They are beginning to join the gyms and fitting physical activities into their leisure time. For many students it is an attempt to get fit and ward off illness. And by simply swallowing a tablet or two of health supplements, it can help people from fighting almost anything from the common cold to memory loss.
Reference Groups
Reference groups exert a major influence on a consumer’s lifestyle, and change in reference groups is likely to alter that likely to alter that lifestyle – which can, in turn affect desires. (Neal, Quester & Hawkins, 2000, p.3.9). For students going to work in a business environment, the differences in clothing and behaviour from those they were previously used to was quickly influenced by the people in their working environment. And students may discover many discrepancies between the ways they used to dress in schools/universities is different to the people working in their business environment. Therefore their desired state will change, and they will develop a need for formal clothing, briefcases, and shoes that would have been inappropriate in the school/universities environment.

Previous Decisions
Previous decisions can also affect problem recognition. The decision made by students to go to a ball may trigger a need for formal clothing. The decision to go for a job interview may also lead to a desire for formal clothing.

Individual Development
Students may feel the desire to purchase the health supplements as they go through their individual development of getting older, therefore their need and lifestyle may change. They may feel that they don’t have so much energy to do exercises or to stay up late studying as they used to be when they are younger. Therefore this may also lead to their desired to purchase energy boost supplements.

As individuals go through changes in their development, their desire for clothing may change. For student as when they were in their teens, they might desire casual clothing, but as they grown to over 20 years of age, their desire for taste in clothing may change to more formal clothing. This change may also developed from their associating with their reference groups, income etc.

Emotions can also influence the students’ desired state. For example, they may feel tired easily or feeling sick all the time. Therefore this has triggered them to the problem recognition to seek help from health supplements to help them fee better.
Current Situation
The individual’s current situation can strongly influences the desired condition. For example, during cold weather, many people may start to take heath supplements pills because they want to keep away the illnesses especially in winter that’s when most people gets cold.

Actual State
Normal Depletion
The need for health supplements is like a routing problem of depletion for some students. These may arise when their frequently used health supplements are used up and need to be replaced. With problems like this type, the condition of depletion is easily recognized and is resolved with a purchase.

Individual Development
The normal processes of individual development may alter perceptions of the existing state. As students grow older, many will experience some complexion problems like weight problems, memory loss, loss of energy and some other physical problems may arise.

Mental development may lead to dissatisfaction with existing clothing the students have. As their grown mature, they may feel dissatisfied with the current wardrobe of clothing they have.

Formal Clothing
The decision to purchase formal clothing is one that involves extended decision-making. This type of decision is one in which the consumer evaluates alternatives in a detailed and comprehensive manner. More information is gathered and more brands are evaluated than other types of decision-making situations. Such a process is most likely for:
? High priced products
? Complex products (computers, stereos)
? Specialty goods (sports equipments, furniture)
? Products associated with performance risks (medical products, cars)
? Products associated with a persons ego (clothing, cosmetics)
Obviously, formal clothing fits into this model and therefore can be said as a complex decision. A complex decision is said to induce a high involvement purchase level. Formal clothing purchases are closely tied to the consumer’s ego and self-image.

Because purchasing of formal clothing for students involves some form of financial risk, therefore they require extensive information to assist them to make the right decision, and evaluate the selection criteria carefully.
The interview findings shows that the most common reason for developing a desire to purchase formal clothing were brought about by a formal function such as a ball, a wedding, parties etc. Three out of the four respondents said that the problem arose because they want to look good for a particular function, in other word, they want to improve their social status. The need to strive to reach one’s desired social status is influenced by their peers. It involves aspects such as acceptance, self-esteem and self-fulfilment. In fact, many of the third, fourth and fifth levels of the ‘Hierarchy of Motives’ developed by Abraham Maslow apply to the problem recognition stage of the formal clothing decision process.
Health Supplements
The desire for health supplements can be cause by many factors as discussed above. And the consumers are easy to recognize this kind of need. And if the desired state obviously exceeds their actual states, then the problem is recognized and a search for a decision is initiated. As mentioned above, the level of purchase involvement for health supplements is low or maybe in the middle. Therefore it the purchasing process for consumers could be either habitual decision-making or limited decision-making depending on the individuals.

If a student notice that his or her health supplements is nearly empty, this will cause he/she to purchase some of the same health supplements during his or her next shopping. Moreover, because there are two distinct categories involved in the habitual decision – brand loyal decisions and repeat purchases, consumers will go two different directions while making decisions.
If a student have a strong brand loyalty for Healtheries’ products because its product meets his or her needs, therefore it will be hard for them to change to Blackmore or other brand of health supplements. In contrast, a student may believe that all health supplements are about the same, and may not attach much importance to the purchase.

For some other consumers, their purchasing process for health supplement may be limited decision making. For example, a consumer may used a decision rule – buy the cheapest brand of vitamins. So next time when they realised they have run out of their vitamins, vitamin prices will be checked during the next visit to the store and the cheapest brand will be selected.

A low involvement purchase is one where the consumer does not consider the product significantly important to his or her belief system and does not strongly identify with the product. Students are more involved in purchase of formal clothing because it is important to them and it involves significant financial, social and psychological risks. In comparison, fast food involves little or no risk and is therefore deemed unimportant.

Problem recognition regarding health supplements can often be dependent on other aspects of the consumers’ lifestyle. For example, a problem can be recognised if the student has been working late doing his or her studying and need to boost their energy with energy supplements. As a result, a need is recognised and an intention to buy is formed.

4.2 Information Search
Consumers search information in order to make appropriate decisions that would meet the best of their interests. The extent of the information search that consumers involved are depended on factors such as the degree of understanding about the product, the level of purchase involvement, and the complexity of the product’s decision process. If the purchase involvement is low, which required limited information search, internal information search is only needed. But if the purchase involvement is high, which required additional search, it would need both internal and external search. (Neal, Quester & Hawkins, 2000, p.4.4).
Formal Clothing
The purchase involvement for formal clothing is high for students; therefore students are more likely to engage in heavy amounts of external search of information.

But first they will start with the information search with an internal search first as students may have preferences on what they like in terms of style and colour of the formal clothing. The internal search may also base on their previous personal experiences in purchasing of the formal clothing. They will recall the things they know about formal clothing like where to buy them from, the price range for each shops etc.
After the internal information being sought, they will then carry on to external search. The amount of external information search is different for individuals. Students are more likely to ask their reference groups opinions first such as their friends and family. And they are more likely to visit more stores for formal clothing compared to small number of stores visited for health supplements. That is because the perceived risk associated with formal clothing is high.
Formal clothing is considered quite a high price product for students. Therefore they need to consider the factors such social and psychological risk like will this formal clothing make them look good? Financial risk like if they spend the money on the expensive formal clothing then they will have to give up on some other things they would also like to buy.
With many stores offering formal clothing, it is quite hard when it comes to a decision for many students. As the greater the number of alternative stores, the more external search is more likely needed. Price is also a major factor in external search for students. Students are more sensitive to price and that is because they have limited income sources. Therefore external search to compare the prices for formal clothing between the stores is likely to be more intensive than products like health supplements.
The gender of the shopper is also another factor affecting information search. It is said that females tend to engage in more external search than male does. And this is true in the case of formal clothing interviews. Two males interviewed consider not spending too much time when shopping for their formal clothing. Female tend to like shopping for clothes than males does, therefore females tend to engage in longer external search than males.

Situation variables can have a major impact on search behaviour. If there is a sale at a in a store for formal clothing, the information search is likely to reduce due the to the time frame of sale periods. Shoppers with limited physical or emotional energy (antecedent state) will search for less information than others. Social surroundings such as the person that the students are with will either increase or decrease search.
Health Supplements
As decision making for purchasing for health supplements is a very low involvement activity, the consumers may recall their past experiences. The consumer purchases the recalled brand, and habitual decision-making has occurred. For example, a student who has an allergy problem may recall the previous brand of allergy relief they have used previously, therefore the allergy relief is purchased at the nearest store without further information search or evaluation.
In other cases, when students have a different health problem to what they have before, they will start to search information for the cure of that new problem. Students can get information by asking their friends and families for advice or they can simply go into the store and ask the sales person for their opinions. However, students will have limited external information search before the purchase of the health supplements they need. That is because the information they need can be obtained quickly within just one visit to a pharmacy store. There is no need to compare the prices between stores because they are more likely to be the same. The consumer’s perceived risk for health supplements is low; therefore consumers are not likely to engage in extensive problem solving and search as they would for products such as formal clothing.

In the questionnaire conducted regarding to health supplements and formal clothing, respondents were asked to fill in a table base on Judy Zaichowsky’s Personal Involvement Inventory (1994). The table required respondents to rank health supplements and formal clothing from one to seven for different involvement attributes. The results are displayed on the graph below:
As the graph shows, students responded that formal clothing is consider to be much greater of importance than health supplements. Most attributes were ranked higher for formal clothing and health supplements were ranked lower due to its less importance to students.

4.3 Evaluating of Alternatives
While consumers are gathering information about various alternative solutions to a recognised problem, they evaluate the alternatives and select actions that seem most likely to solve the problem.

Evaluative criteria are the various features a consumer looks for in response to a particular problem. The number of evaluative criteria used by consumers depends on the product, the consumer and the situation. ((Neal, Quester & Hawkins, 2000, p.5.3-5.4 & p.5.22)
Formal Clothing
In the process of evaluation, a student will evaluate the characteristics of various formal clothing and choose the one that is most likely to fulfil her or her needs. The evaluative criteria of the students include tangible cost, social and psychological measures. The importance of particular evaluative criteria differs from consumer to consumer.

The decision to purchase formal clothing is base on the following evaluative criteria:
? Price – the price range in which the students can afford and the price they are willing to pay. There are many important aspects associated with the evaluation of price. These include the alternatives they have to substitute in order to buy the formal clothing.
? Quality – this also involves price; as to what level of quality they want for their formal clothing will sometime depend on price. If they desire a high quality material formal clothing it is more likely going to cost higher in price.

? Brand – many students have their preferred brands. Even though the style does not appeal to them but the brand name may have a big impact for some certain students. Because the brand has an image that is desirable, and because students trust it to mean durability and style.
? Style – this involves their desired social and psychological state after purchasing. It includes how the students will want their reference groups to see them if he or she wears the formal clothing. And how they want to feel when they wear that formal clothing they have bought.

? Store – students have their preferred store when come to choose their formal clothing. This may due to their previous purchasing experiences at that particular store.

All of the above evaluative criteria will be used by the students to judge the suitability of each potential purchase.
The evaluative criteria regarding the purchase of formal clothing are complex due to the level of perceived risk involved with such a high involvement purchase. Typically, high involvement planned purchases (such as formal clothing) follow the more complex compensatory decision rules. A compensatory model involves students evaluating each formal wear they view across all need criteria. In this instance, one formal wear may compensate for weaknesses in one criterion. However, often consumers will go through different stages of rules, that is, they will utilise a range of rules when evaluating alternatives with different attributes being evaluated by different rules at each stage.

There are certain criteria regarding the purchase of formal clothing that the students is not willing to accept at a minimum level. Style and price are two attributes that was found from the interviews. Students are not prepared to lower their expectations; therefore the compensatory model does not always apply in this situation. These two criteria are more non-compensatory rules.

Initially a disjunctive approach was adopted by respondents, where they would evaluate all formal clothing that meet their requirements concerning style. Then they would move onto an elimination-by-aspects approach. This involved them choosing formal clothing that rated highest on their next most important criteria (price), and then continuing through the other attributes (brand, quality) until only one formal wear remained.

In summary, the formal clothing purchase decision involves both compensatory and non-compensatory models depending on the stages of the evaluation. At early stages of evaluation non-compensatory rules is used but as the process moves towards making a decision to a purchase the compensatory rules become more important.

Health Supplements
In health supplements evaluation, involved consumers would find many brands unacceptable, whereas the uninvolved consumers would find many brands acceptable. And also the involved consumer would be more attentive to advertising and would interpret and consider the message being communicated. The less involve consumer would be less attentive to ad messages and more likely to accept them.

Uninvolved consumers are more willing to consider a wide range of brands because of a lack of commitment to one or several brands. Given a lack of commitment, they are less willing to spend time interpreting advertising messages and evaluating brands. As a result of this, consumers purchase the most familiar brand and buy the same brand repetitively.

Due to all this, the evaluative criteria for health supplements are not as complex as for the formal clothing. Therefore the health supplements purchase decision is not considered appropriate to use the compensatory decision rules.
In the process of purchasing the health supplements, the number of evaluative criteria used is few. Three out of four respondents that complete the questionnaire said that they most often purchased the health supplements from a store that is convenient and has the sales person’s expertise of the health supplements.

The non-compensatory model is more suitable because the students tend to rate their evaluative criteria first in terms of the convenience of the stores, secondly their familiarity with the e products offered, and lastly, their evaluation of the price of products offered. Therefore, the elimination-by-aspects and lexicographic rules are more applicable in this case.

4.4 Purchase Decision
Formal Clothing
The formal clothing purchase is planned in al instances. It involves the consumer moving from an intention to buy to a commitment to buy. The time between intention to buy and the actual purchase is typically longer concerning high involvement decisions. In another word, a purchase involves a complex decision is not normally made immediately.
Sometimes the purchase being made is not always as planned. That is because many factors can still influence consumers’ planned purchases. For example, a student might have evaluate all the formal clothing that fits his or her requirements, then he or she may have made a decision on which one he or she wants to buy; but maybe then he or she saw a sale at in a store, and then he or she ended up buying in from a different store as to what he or she has originally decided.
Many students end up buying a particular formal clothing due the person that is with them with the time; friends and families have major influences on their purchases.
Store atmosphere is also an important factor for purchase. In the formal clothing questionnaires, three out of four respondents said that their final purchase of the formal clothing is affected by the store’s atmosphere. A pleasant atmosphere will encourage a purchase most likely.

Stock outs may also affect a purchase. Many consumers would have thought and decide what they would like to buy in which store. But then stock out may occur then the consumer must decide between whether to buy the same brand but at another store, switching brands, delay the purchase or just end up going without the purchase altogether.

Health Supplements
The purchase decision in regard to health supplements ranges from planned purchases, for instance a student knows they have to stay up late because there is an assignment due the next day therefore they need to buy some energy pills, through to impulse situations where the consumer is shopping in supermarkets and they realize they need to buy some pills to boost their immune systems because they have been getting sick all the time; therefore problem is induced and the purchase situation is brought about.

Consumers buying health supplements do not care much on where they buy their products from. Therefore, the store layout and the store atmosphere don’t really have a big influence on customers when comes to the purchase.
4.5 Post Purchase Process
Formal Clothing
Purchase of formal clothing is a high involvement purchase decision; most high involvement purchase decisions involve one or more of the factors that lead to post purchase dissonance.
Post dissonance occurs when after making a difficult, relatively permanent decision to a chosen alternative requires the person making the decision to give up the attractive features of the unchosen alternatives. For example, a student bought a expensive formal dress that is of a well know brand, but then she discover that the dress was not well perceived by her peers the way she had wanted in the first place; therefore, post dissonance occurs.

The level of satisfaction was determined by the initial performance expectations and the perceived performance relative to those expectations. Basically, consumers develop certain expectations about the ability of the product to fulfill instrumental and symbolic needs.
The students determine whether or not the formal clothing meets their expectations by
? Asking around their friends for opinion on whether or not they think the purchase they have made is correct.
? Reactions from others when they seem them wear the formal clothing they have purchased.

? If they have purchased the formal clothing value for money. For example, there might be a sale at a store for formal clothing, and they may found that the one they have bought is better or worse than the one that is on sale.

To the extent that the product meets these needs, satisfaction is likely to result. Most of the respondent from the interview said that they were reasonably satisfied with the overall purchase they have made. And three out of four respondents said they evaluate the formal clothing after purchase by asking their friends’ opinions or from their friends’ reaction.
Health Supplements
The health supplements are evaluated after the purchase only if there is a noticeable product failure such as the tablets they have bought did not perform as what they have expected.
Most likely, if students were dissatisfied with the product failure, they are likely to turn and try other brands of a similar product next time.
5.0 Implications for Marketing Strategy
As consumer markets become more and more competitive, marketers need to understand very thoroughly both the needs and desires of their potential consumers; which product features can be combined to satisfy these needs and desires. A better knowledge of consumer behaviour can enhance the company’s understanding of itself and its environment.
Product bought by habit and low involvement purchases such as health supplements tend to be purchased more frequently in which provide a greater opportunity for positive reinforcement and brand loyalty. With each successive purchase of the same brand, the chances of consumers buying again increases until there is a high probability that the consumer will continue to repurchase. It is important for marketing management to identify the position of its brand in the market and as the strategic implications of this applies to every aspect of the marketing strategy.

Companies selling low-involvement, habitual products such as health supplements must ensure that their products are distributed extensively. This is because the health supplements industry produces high turnover and low margin products. Widespread distribution is important as consumers seeing the products often will help remind them to buy, and it also keeping with the fact that the most consumers purchase the health supplements from a particular store because of the store’s convenience. Many health supplements companies have been successful in their distribution of their products. Healtheries has climbed to number on in personal products in the supermarkets, this success is attributed to the channel switching from chemists and health food shops to super market chains. (Marketing, 1999, p.23).

Concerning health supplements purchases, sales person’s expertise in health supplements is essential. The retailers will need to train their sales people to have adequate knowledge about the products they are selling. Many consumers buy from stores like pharmacies and health food stores because they need to seek more information about the health supplements products; therefore, it is important that the retailers can provide information for their customers.

The nature of advertising and promotion also differs according to the involvement level of the purchase. In low-involvement decision process, consumers engage in very little external search before they make a purchase. Therefore it is crucial that consumers immediately think of the company’s brand when they recognise a problem. To create such brand awareness, the company needs to do mass advertising so that its brand is quickly recalled from consumers’ long-term memory. In contrast, market characterized by complex decision making such as formal clothing market are more likely to use advertising selectively to convey their information to a specific audience. Complex decision-making requires promotions that will stimulate prepurchase deliberation. Marketers should rely more on advertising and personal selling for this purpose.
When consumers perceive a significant risk in purchasing of a product, the company should try to lower that perception of customers. There are a number of strategies in which can be done to lower the consumers perceptions of risk for formal clothing and health supplements product. These can be:
? Price the product higher than average. (health supplements)
? Give good warranties and guarantees. (formal clothing)
? Distribute the product through retailers that have a high-quality image. (health supplements and formal clothing)
? Use a high-quality sales force composed of people who can give consumers convincing reassurance. (health supplements)
? Develop an extensive image-building campaign for the product and the company. (health supplements and formal clothing)
? Provide customer service number. (health supplements)
? Provide lots of information about the product through brochures, packaging, instructions, articles in magazines and a well-trained sales force. (health supplements)
To conclude, here is a summary of the strategies in which can be used by manufacturers and retailers of high and low-involvement decision processes products:
High-Involvement Decision Processes
? Promotion
1. Sell product through skilled sales force.

2. Use strong persuasive messages in advertising.

? Distribution
1. Use a more limited distribution system.

2. Ensure that distributors are trained to provide outstanding service.

? Pricing
1. Consider charging premium prices.

2. Avoid use of frequent sales.

Low-Involvement Decision Processes
? Promotion
1. Use mass advertising to create sales awareness.

2. Use heavy amounts of repeat messages.

? Distribution
1. Use an extensive distribution strategy.

2. Consider use of coupons and other price incentives to reach more price-conscious groups.

6.0 Conclusion
The decision-making processes of health supplements and formal clothing are completely different. The level of involvement the consumers has in the purchasing decision for formal clothing is high, this is because their perceived risks such as financial and psychological risks are high as well. In contrast, the health supplements purchase has little or no risks involved therefore low involvement occurs in the purchase decision.

A consumer simply feels a physical problem will purchase health supplements. There is not need for an extended information search because the consumer does not consider the purchase important enough to was time and effort in its search. The formal clothing purchases in another hands; involve an extensive information search.
The types of information search also have influences on the types of advertising used. Regarding to the low-involvement health supplements purchase, mass audiences are targeted through repetitive advertising. Marketers must try to induce a higher level of involvement from customers through their advertising and promotion strategies. Formal clothing advertising is much more specialised and focused. Marketer uses persuasive advertising messages to induce sales. And informative and detailed advertising are often used to assist consumers in their information search. The complex nature of the evaluative criteria of formal clothing reinforces this idea, where alternative solutions are evaluated using numerous criteria, in contrast to health supplements are mainly evaluated mainly on the basis of convenience and sales force’s expertise.

Post purchase dissonance was found in one of the formal clothing respondent where the purchase did not really meet his expectation.
The main factor that influences the respondent’s purchase of formal clothing is style. This is due to the high perceive risk in their self-esteem. The purchase can range from planned to impulse purchase and most consumers buying health supplements adopt a ‘store first, brand second’ approach.

The final purchase is of significance important to the marketers since it represents profits for after all their marketing efforts. Therefore the decision making processes that consumers goes through is also important as it helps the marketer to gain an understanding of the way to increased their revenue. The ability for marketers to apply strategies that influences the consumers’ decision is the key to successful marketing.

7.0 References
Lilley, R. US giant will pep up Local Vitamin Market. (1996 March 1). The National Business Review, p.32.

Hanna, N., & Wozniak, R. (2001). Consumer Behaviour: An applied approach. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Mowen, J.C., & Minor, M. (1998). Consumer Behaviour (5th Ed.). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Neal, C., Quester, P., & Hawkins, D. (2000), Consumer Behaviour: Implications for marketing strategy (2nd Ed.). Australia: McGraw-Hill.

Tossman, D. Who’s winning the battle of the Shelves?. Marketing, p.23.

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