After recognizing a certain need, the customer will start looking for information about a solution to this problem. During a consumer’s decision-making process and information gathering, he or she will pay more attention to what is already known about a product and the information that is being received from friends, family, or other consumers. This is because this type of information is possibly being perceived as more objective.
After collecting the required information the customer will start to evaluate the different alternatives that are being offered. Alternatives are being judged based on personal value and preference and the product that is most suitable to his or her needs will possibly be chosen. Evaluation will depend on either the functionality of a product but also on the perceived value and reputation of a brand.
After evaluating the different alternatives and solutions for a consumer’s problem, he or she chooses a product or brand that meets these needs best and will possibly purchase this one. The purchase is depending on the previous steps including the perceived value of a product and a brand, however, it might also be affected by a shopping experience or quality, available promotion and discounts, etc.
After purchasing a product, the customer will evaluate the whole process, including the product itself. He or she will feel delighted when expectations are met, or disappointed if the product fails to meet these. When evaluations are positive, stages of information search and evaluation of alternatives will be minimized the next time and the consumer will possibly be more inclined to buy with the same brand. This probably results in customer loyalty. This post-purchase evaluation might therefore be important regarding the future consequences it has for a brand. Consumers that have a positive experience will likely also share this opinion through word of mouth or other communication channels.