There are five stages in typical buying decision making: first, you identify the need, then you search and compare, and after that you make the buying decision, and lastly, you evaluate the product you have bought. In my opinion, buying a holiday trip differs from the above five stages and other common hierarchic decision making models. It can be seen as more of an emotional or impulsive buying decision. When buying a holiday trip you don’t compare and gather information about other options as same way as you do with many other usual buying decisions. Emotions play a considerably bigger role when buying a holiday trip and often the decision is made very close on the departure date and you don’t compare other options. In addition, you also experience some kind of waiting anxiety before the holiday and after the holiday you often reminisce it by watching pictures and videos. As you can see the picture below, traveling is truly a very different buying decision.
In the early 20th century, Ernst Dichter did a research in the United States which shows that emotions play a bigger part in our buying decisions than rational thinking. Recently made neurological studies also back up Dichter’s research. Other studies in the early 20th century were more concentrated on how consumers should have been using their money but Dichter was on point of understanding what really guides consumer behavior. Emotions play the biggest role.
Good mood, bad mood, the way someone comments on the product, pleasant music or scent in a store etc. There are many factors that affect on purchasing decisions. Buying decisions are more often made by emotions and people buy things that they don’t even need. For example, shopaholics who buy things because it makes them feel better, impulse buys where the salesperson talks you into buying stuff you don’t actually need or the effect of your children when you buy them things to just to keep them quiet. In some other cases consumers may find the purchasing decision quite stressful especially in bigger decisions like buying a house or a car and the cost of the product might get so huge that the consumer has trouble weighing their options and find it hard to think rationally. In these cases your own likings and desires rise to a higher level. Reason is much easier to keep in mind in small purchases like for example in grocery store.
According to an article “To keep your customers, keep it simple” by Patrick Spenner and Karen Freeman, products cannot be too complicated for consumers and there should not be too much information. In their research, simplicity was valued the most by consumers. By simplicity they mean: the easiness of making a decision, an easy way to see and gather information and that the information is reliable. If we get back to traveling agencies and how they should promote holidays, – I think they should make simple ads and promotions that appeal to people’s emotions.
In conclusion I think that emotions play a big part in our buying decisions and sometimes we don’t even recognize it. Right marketing also emphasizes the effect of emotions. If marketing makes us see our own needs then it’s very powerful and effective.
What do you think? Have you bought something based on your emotions rather than rational thinking?
Interested? Read more:
http://tinyurl.com/pv4c2mq (Marketing-Library/What Consumers Want/ To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple – Harvard Business Review)