The Black Box Model

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Definition: The Black Box Model

The black box model of consumer behaviour identifies the stimuli responsible for buyer behaviour.

The stimuli (advertisement and other forms of promotion about the product) that is presented to the consumer by the marketer and the environment is dealt with by the buyer’s black box. The buyer’s black box, comprises two sub components - the buyer’s characteristics and the buyer decision process.

The buyer’s characteristics could be personal, social, cultural and psychological. These are internal to the buyer and the marketer cannot hope to bring much change into this

The buyer’s decision making process consists of the following steps:

o Problem recognition: The consumer identifies the need for a product

o Information search: Once the need has been recognised, the consumer will look for more information on the various products that satisfy the need. For example, if the consumer is looking for a cellphone-he might want to get in-depth knowledge of various phones available in the market

o Evaluation of alternatives: The set of all phones are then compared upon certain parameters that the user will desire in his product. For example the user might compare phones on style, design, features, aesthetics etc.

o Purchase decision: Based on the above parameters, the user ranks the products and then buys the one which fit all criteria

o Post purchase behaviour: The user might want to revise his views on the product or criteria of selection based on the product’s performance.

The black box model considers the buyer's response as a result of a conscious and well-informed decision making process in which he is not impulsive.


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