In the evaluation stage, the consumer ranks brands and forms purchase intentions. Generally, the consumer’s purchase decision will be to buy the most preferred brand, but two factors can come between the purchase intention and the purchase decision. The first factor is the attitudes of others. If Lucy’s husband feels strongly that Lucy should buy the lowest priced camera, then the chances of Lucy’s buying a more expensive camera will be reduced.
The second factor is unexpected situational factors. The consumer may form a purchase intention based on factors such as expected income, expected price, and expected product benefits. However, unexpected events may change the purchase intention. Lucy may lose her job, some other purchase may become more urgent, or a friend may report being disappointed in her preferred camera. Or a close competitor may drop its price. Thus, preferences and even purchase intentions do not always result in actual purchase choice.