Está en la página 1de 5

Consumer Behaviour - Howard Sheth Model

INPUT VARIABLES The input variables consist of informational cues about the attributes of a product or brand (i.e. quality, price, distinctiveness, service, availability). These informational cues may be significative in that they may emanate from the product itself or they may be symbolic in that they come from impersonal sources like advertising or promotional activities by the firm. These two sources are commercial, in that they represent the efforts of the firm to build and project these values in the product. A third set of informational cues may come from the buyer's social environment, comprising of his family, reference groups, social class, culture etc. This source is not only non-commercial and non-controllable by the firm, it is also a personal source of information input.

HYPOTHETICAL CONSTRUCTS Howard Sheth Model The hypothetical constructs have been classified in two - the perceptual constructs and the learning constructs. The former deal with the way the individual perceives and responds to the information from the input variables. All the information that is received may not merit `attention' and the intake is subject to perceived uncertainty and lack of meaningfulness of information received (stimulus ambiguity). This ambiguity may lead to an overt search for information about the product. Finally, the information that is received, may be, according to the buyer's own frame of reference and pre-disposition, distorted (Perceptual bias). The learning constructs deal with the stages 'from the buyer motives to his satisfaction in a buying situation. The purchase intention (as is clear from the figure) is an outcome of the interplay of buyer motives, choice criteria, brand comprehension, resultant brand attitude and the confidence associated with the purchase decision. The motives are representative of the goals that the buyer seeks to achieve in the buying exercise; these may originate from the basis of learned needs. Impinging upon the buyer intention are also the attitudes about the existing brand alternatives in the buyer's evoked set, which result in the arrangement of an order of preference, regarding these brands: Brand comprehension "the knowledge about the existence and characteristics of those brands which form the evoked set"; and the degree of confidence that the buyer has about the brand comprehension, choice criteria and buying intentions, converge upon the intention to buy. As a feedback component of learning, the model includes another learning constructsatisfaction which refers to the post purchase evaluation and resultant reinforcing of brand comprehension, attitudes etc. (shown by broken lines in the figure). As said earlier, the output variables consist of a set of possible hierarchical responses from attention to purchase. The purchase act is the actual, overt act of buying and is the sequential result of the attention (buyer's total response to information intake), the brand comprehension (a

statement of buyer knowledge in the product class), brand attitude (referring to the evaluation of satisfying potential of the brand) and the buyer intention (a verbal statement made in the light of the above externalising factors that the preferred brand will be bought the next time the buying is necessitated).

EXOGENOUS VARIABLES AND WORKING RELATIONSHIPS The model also includes some exogenous variables which are not defined but are taken as constant. These influence all or some of the constructs explained .above and through them, the output. Some of the exogenous variables are importance of the purchase, time at the disposal of the buyer, personality traits, financial status etc. The essential working relationships of the model are as follows. A stimulus in one of the three categories outlined, impinges upon one or more of the five senses. The amount of attention that it invokes depends upon the stimulus ambiguity which motivates a search for further information. Subject to the perceptual bias brought about the interaction of attitudes and retained motives, the information is received. This informational inputs may alter the existing configuration of motives and choice criteria and thereby modify or disturb the brand attitude, brand comprehension, Purchase intention and/or action. Whether the buying decision is, actually made or not depends upon the interplay of comprehension of the brand attributes, strength of attitudes towards the brand, confidence in the purchase- decision and intention (which in turn are affected by the various exogenous variables like the Importance of purchase influence of culture and family, financial status, etc) If the purchases made the resultant satisfaction in him strengthens brand comprehension and reinforces the confidence associated with similar buying situations in figure. THE CHOICE PROCESS AS EXPLAINED BY THE MODEL The choice process involved in virtually every consumer purchase decision has received a large amount of academic and managerial interest and attention. According to different approaches to consumer behaviour, management scientists have tried to explain, each in his own way, the exact process -by which the consumer arrives at a brand choice decision. Generalised explanations of these models-of buyer behaviour have already been furnished. Here a discussion of the choice process as has been explained-by Howard and Sheth through their model of buyer behaviour is provided to give an idea of the steps the

consumer undergoes, and the factors that impinge upon him, when he is making his brand choice decision. This particular model 'has been extensively used in marketing literature as the basis for providing the background for "brand choice process because it is an integrative model incorporating most of the aspects of consumer behaviour. Moreover; the model has established a theory of consumer's brand Choice decision making behaviour that incorporates the dynamics of purchase behaviour over period of time. The buying process is initiated by the brand choice process given that the buyer is motivated to buy a product. The basic elements of his choice decision are: a) A set of motives. b) Alternative brands. c) Choice criteria or evaluative criteria which he uses to evaluate the alternative brands through a process of matching the motives with the attributes of the alternative brands.' Motives usually are the initiators of any action. This is as true of buyer behaviour as of any other behaviour. In the product context, motives arc relevant and sometimes specific to a product class. In order to satisfy these motives, alternative courses of action in the form of alternative (and acceptable) brand confront the consumer. There are certain brands that he would not even consider. The brands that become inputs o the choice decision are those that fall in his latitude of acceptance and are collectively known as the "evoked set" The evoked set is generally a small fraction of the number of brands that impinge upon the consumer's consciousness and an even smaller fractions of the total number of brands on the market. The elements of the choice decision are virtually the same in all buying situations, but brand choice behaviour and consequently the - brand choice process is likely to differ according to whether the buyer is buying the brand or even the product for the first time, or he has had some experience of the product/brand or has had a series:-.of experiences with the product or brand. When the buyer is buying the product or the brand for the first time, specially in the former case, he has no experience regarding the product or the brand attributes. He also lacks well defined evaluative Criteria on which to judge the product. He would therefore actively search for information from his social and commercial environment. The information is assimilated after passing through the filter of his own personality, his set of values, his past experience of similar need satisfaction even -though from other products etc. so that the intake is modified to his own frame of reference. When the buyer has used the product or brand for, some time, drawing upon his experience with. the product or brand, the information that he has actively, sought at this stage and the product's own real and perceived attributes like price, packaging etc, he develops certain- choice criteria which ;equip him to evaluate the brands available. in this product class. Thus in this product category he will select the brand which seems. to have the greatest potential possibility of satisfying his set of motives for buying this product.. If after, use the brand .proves satisfactory, the potential of that brand in satisfying the motives

increases because of favourable post-purchase evaluation. This results in the increased probability of buying this brand in future when similar; motives necessitate :buying. As the series of the satisfactory-purchase sequence is repeated the consumer learns about buying in., that, particular situation and tends to routinise his decision process to a certain extent. By the time the -routinisation stage is reached, the buyer's evaluative criteria, have become firmly established and having tested the brands on these, he has developed strong brand preferences. This brand preference results in a certain stimulus, response, sequence, where the moment the need or time emotive for buying the product arises, the buying decision in the form of automatic choice of the most preferred brand is made because it-meets the evaluative criteria ideally and has. positive post purchase evaluation. Since the post-purchase evaluation contributes both towards crystallisation of evaluative criteria and the learned experience of the buyer, it becomes an important input in brand choice decision. The present study also found previous usage of the brand among the important factors influencing brand choice. +++