This model talks of consumer behaviour as a decision making process in the form of 5 steps or activities. The five steps are as:
1. Problem recognition: the consumer will recognise a difference between his or her actual state and what the ideal state should be. This may occur on account of external stimuli.
2. Information search: Initially the information available with the consumer may be consistent to other beliefs and attitudes held by him or her. While being involved in an information seeking or search stage, the consumer will try to gather more information from various sources. The individual gets exposure of the stimuli which may catch his or her attention, be received and stored or retained in memory. This method of information is selective in nature and the consumer will accept the information, which is conclusive to what is perceived by them.
3. Alternative evaluation: Now the individual will evaluate the alternate brands. The methods used for evaluating the various products will depend on the consumer’s underlying goals, motives and personality. The consumer also has certain predetermined beliefs about the various brands in terms of the characteristics associated with the different brands.
4. Choice: the consumer’s choice will depend on his or her intention and attitude. The choice will depend on normative compliance and anticipated circumstances. Normative compliance relates to the extent to which the consumer is influenced by other people like friends, family members etc.
5. Outcome: The outcome may either be positive or negative.
Apart from these 5 steps the model also includes a number of other related variables grouped into five categories.
- Information input
- Information processing
- Product-brand evaluation
- General motivating influences
- Internalized environmental influences