Consumer Behaviour in the purchase of High and Low involvement

Essay by archdukeUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, July 2006

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Consumer behaviour is defined as the behaviour that consumers display in seeking, purchasing, using, evaluating and disposing of products and services that they expect will satisfy their personal needs. Consumer behaviour includes how consumers think (their mental decisions) and feel, and the physical actions that result from these decisions (the purchase). [7]

Abraham Maslow's "hierarchy of needs" theory identifies the higher-order needs (ego needs and self-actualisation) and lower-order needs which are physiological, safety, and social needs [10]. Both low and high involvement purchases are basically aimed to satisfy these needs. Normally however, low involvement purchases usually act to satisfy the lower-order needs while high involvement purchases act to satisfy the higher-order needs.

Various researches have been used to study attitudes for a wide variety of strategic marketing questions. For example, attitude research is frequently undertaken to determine whether consumers will accept a proposed new product idea, to gauge why a firm's target audience has not reacted more favourably to its new promotional theme, or to learn how target customers are likely to react to a proposed change in the firm's packaging.


Past research has demonstrated clearly the importance of pre-purchase information surveys within the buying process. [5] It is a critical step for consumers, especially in the case of highly involving products and services. Information received by the human mind is processed as a vital input. The information process relates to both the consumer's cognitive ability and the complexity of the information to be processed. Consumers almost unknowingly are continually processing product information by attributes, brands, and comparison between brands, difference between services or products. While the attributes included in the brand's message and the number of available alternatives influence the intensity of information processing.

Apart from pre-purchase information searches, marketers are concerned with how consumers learn, primarily...