Consumer Decision-Making Model

In writing, apply a decision-making model of your choosing to a complex purchasing decision that you have made in the past.


Consumer behavior is one of the most interesting topics in the discipline of marketing. Attempting to understand why consumers buy certain products but not others or why a particular product becomes a must-have item is fascinating detective work. To engage in these types of activities, it is necessary to understand the role of consumer behavior within the discipline of marketing, as well as the different approaches to consumer decision-making. Although understanding precisely why consumers behave the way they do is not always possible, it is generally possible to understand themes, or the overarching rationale, for certain types of behavior. For example, convenience is a theme that pervades an enormous number of goods and services.

The wide range of consumer preferences creates many different categories of customers and a large number of choices of products. Because of the variability within consumer behavior, it is important to know how consumer behavior has evolved and what trends may appear in the future. By understanding how consumer decision-making impacts the products that are available now and in the future, marketers may help direct their companies to decisions that meet customer needs and bring greater profitability.


To prepare for this assessment, please review the following important topics:

Targeting to Customer Preferences

The ability of modern companies to be successful often depends on their ability to target particular products to the right type of customer. Having a clear understanding of the different categories, or segments, of customers is a critical part of targeted marketing. Such segmentation has not always been the way products are marketed.

At the turn of the 20th century, Campbell’s Soup was sold in only 21 flavors, whereas today, Campbell’s has over 30 flavors of low-sodium soup alone—not to mention the dozens of other flavors that are available to meet consumers’ wants (CSC Brands, 2005). The simple lesson from Campbell’s is that companies must understand the different segments of customers and their preferences and tailor their marketing efforts as needed.

Consumer Decision-Making Process

Although one person’s consumption habits may look like random craziness to other people, the reality is that most individuals employ a fairly standardized process for certain types of purchasing decisions. Understanding the theories related to models for consumer decision-making is a first step for marketers who want to make sense of consumers’ actions.

Many variables affect the type of decision processes a consumer will use, but patterns in decision-making do emerge. For example, when a consumer is buying his or her first car, this consumer is likely to fully engage in each of the steps in the consumer decision-making process. However, when a consumer becomes loyal to a particular brand of cars and is about to buy his or her eleventh new vehicle, he or she will most likely truncate the decision-making process dramatically.


CSC Brands, Inc. (2005). Campbell’s: Our company.


As consumers, we all undergo a decision-making process when considering which products to purchase and use. Choose a complex purchasing decision of which you have been a part in your personal life or in your job. Using a decision-making model of your own choosing and your chosen complex purchasing decision, complete the following:

  • Define your chosen decision-making model.
  • Describe, in detail, how you experienced each step in this consumer decision-making model as it applies to your complex purchasing decision.
  • For clarity, describe each step in a separate paragraph.

Use proper APA style and formatting. The content of your assessment should determine its length. Visit Evidence and APA for help with APA.

Competencies Measured

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Assess the role that customers assume to acquire, consume, and dispose of products and services.
    • Describe how the decision process influenced consumer behavior.
  • Competency 2: Analyze consumer behavior.
    • Analyze consumer behavior within a complex purchasing decision.
  • Competency 3: Assess the managerial application of customer behavior concepts.
    • Assess the managerial application of customer behavior concepts.
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