One the consumer becomes aware of a problem, two basic outcomes are possible. One result is for the consumer, in effect, not to pursue any further problem solving behavior, which might occur if the difference between the consumer’s perceived desired and actual states, is not great enough to cause him to act to resolve the differences . For example, assume that a consumer has a six month old 20 inch color television set that works perfectly. One day he visits neighbor who has just bought a 25 inch model, and sees how much larger the picture is compared to his set. Although our consumer’s desired state may be to own a larger screen TV, there is not likely to be a difference of sufficient magnitude between that and his actual state (the 20 inch set) to cause him to purchase one. If however, his act were to give out, then he might be motivated to purchase the larger model.
Another situation in which problem recognition may not lead to further stages consumer decision making occurs when certain environmental elements preclude it. For example, suppose the consumer from our previous illustration has his household belongings (including his TV) destroyed by a fire. In replacing his possessions, one of the first things he wants to buy is a new 25 inch television set, like his neighbor’s. However, because his insurance policy does not cover the full replacement value of all his belongings and other items are of greater urgency, he determines that he can get along wee enough for a while without a TV. Thus, in spite of a difference of sufficient magnitude between the consumer’s desired state (owning a TV) and actual state (not owning a TV) financial considerations restrict the consumer’s ability to proceed further in the decision making process.
Other constraints may similarly preclude further decision activity by the consumer. Factors such as time constraints social class values and differing family desires may all impede the process.
The second type of response that may occur from the problem recognition process is for the consumer to proceed into further stages of decision making activity by engaging information search and evaluation.
The consumer may develop a conscious buying intention. This has been defined as a disposition amounting to some resolve to buy some particular product or brand under certain specified conditions. These conditions may relate to time, place and circumstances of the purchase. For example, when a consumer states the intention to buy a new Lexus automobile next month it is conditioned upon a favorable set of circumstances (such as expecting to have sufficient money for a down payment and a continuing job in order to make payments on the car loan etc). Thus, buying intentions refer to a consumer’s state of mind and are a personal commitment to buy at sometime and place given certain circumstances. Buying intentions then, are not conditional categorical predictions of a purchase.
A consumer’s intention and steps toward buying a particular product may not be fulfilled perhaps because of a change of mind, forgetting of the intention or being prevented from executing the intention (such as a product’s non-availability), The process of shopping can lead consumers to new beliefs about product availability and attributes of various brands all of which may cause buying intentions not to e fulfilled. Generally, buying intentions that are viewed as consistent with the consumer’s long term best interests and which can be carried out without reservations are those likely to remain firm. This purchasing force with reasons for favoring some specific product or brand intention prepares the consumers to undertake buying action, and will puts the purchase plan into action. Obviously because intentions are not necessarily sufficient to ensure purchase the marketer needs to help move the consumer along the process through useful triggering mechanisms such as advertising and point of purchase sales promotion activities.