The Consumer’s decision to purchase or not to purchase a product or service is an important moment for most marketers. It can signify whether a marketing strategy has been successful or not. Therefore, marketing people are interested in the consumer’s decision making process.

For a consumer to make a decision, more than one alternative must be available, including the alternative called making a decision to not buy or not buy now.

The various models of 

  1. Consumers View
  2. Passive View
  3. Cognitive View
  4. Emotional View

depict consumers and their decision making processes in distinctly different ways.

An overview consumer decision making model ties together the psychologist, social,and cultural concepts into easily understood network. This decision model has 3 sets of variables: input variables, process variables and output variables.

Input variables that affect the decision – making process include commercial marketing efforts, as well as non commercial influences from the customer’s sociocultural environment. The decision process variables are influenced by the consumer’s psychological field, including the evoked set or the brands in a particular product category considered in making a purchase choice.

The psychological field influences the consumer’s recognition of a need, pre purchase search for information and evaluation of alternatives.

The output phase of the model includes the actual purchase (either trial or repeat purchase) and post purchase evaluation. Both pre purchase and post purchase evaluation feeds back in the form of experience into the consumer’s psychological field and serves to influence future decision making process.


The process of gift exchange is an important part of consumer behaviour. 

Various gift giving and gift receiving relationships are captured by the following 5 specific categories in the gifting classification scheme:

  1. Intergroup gifting: A group gives a gift to another group.
  2. Intercategory gifting: An individual gives a gift to a group or a group gives a gift to an individual.
  3. Intragroup gifting: A group gives a gift to itself or its members.
  4. InterPersonal gifting: An individual gives a gift to another individual
  5. Intrapersonal gifting: A Self Gift.

Consumer behaviour is not must making a purchase, it also includes the full range of experiences associated with using products or services. It includes the sense of pleasure and satisfaction derived from possessing or collecting “things”. The outputs of consumption are the changes in feelings,moods, attitudes, reinforcement of lifestyles, an enhanced sense of self; satisfaction of a consumer related need; belonging to groups; and expressing and entertaining oneself.

Among other things, consuming includes the simple utility of using a Superior product, the stress reduction of a vacation, the sense of having a “sacred” possession, and the pleasures of a hobby or a collection. Some possessions serve to assist consumers in their effort to create a personal meaning and to maintain a sense of the past.

Relationship Marketing impacts consumer’s decisions and their consumption satisfaction. Firms establish loyalty programs to foster usage loyalty and a commitment to continued usage of their products and services.

Relationship marketing is all about buildign trust between the firm and its customers and keeping promises made to the customers. Therefore the focus is always on developing long term bonds with customers by making them fee special and by providing them with personalized services.

How is your relationship marketing doing?