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John haward and jagdish seth put forward the howard seth model in 1969 in their publication the

theory of buyer Behaviour. The logic of the model is that there is input in the form of stumili and there are output beginning with the attention and ending with purchase. In between the input and output there are variables affecting. The Howard Sheth Model of Consumer Behaviour theory assumes that consumer's purchase decision process consists of steps, through which the buyer passes in purchasing a product or service. However, this might not be the case. Not every consumer passes through all these stages when making a decision to purchase a product and in fact, some of the stages can be skipped depending on the type of purchases. Inputs Inputs are three distinct types of information sources (stimuli) present in the consumer's environment: Significative stimuli represent the brand's physical attributes. it comes to the buyer from the product itself when he is involved in a shopping activity. Symbolic the marketer provides the symbolic stimuli in the form of brand information. Both these significative and symbolic information cues represent the firms marketing efforts. The third source is social information cues which could affect buying behaviour towards the product or brand and these include family, friends or other members of the group with whom buyer comes into contact or to which he aspires to be in. The social source is personal and the company marketer has no control over this source

Perceptual construct It can be seen that all information available is not attended to (attention) and may not always be crystal clear in its meanings (ambiguity).lack of meaningfulness of information received (stimulus ambiguity). This ambiguity may lead to an overt search for information about the product. any information cues to which the individual attend may be distorted (perceptual bias) as result of his own frame of reference.

Learning construct Motives refers to the goals the individual attempts to achieve through his/her buying behaviour. These goals are derived from the various drives (needs), which may be acting as a cue for his/her motive. Choice Criteria Impinging upon the buyer intention are also the attitudes about the existing brand alternatives in the buyer's evoked set, which result in the arrangement of an order of preference, regarding these brands: Brand comprehension "the knowledge about the existence and characteristics of those brands which form the evoked set" formed a positive attitude towards the product/brand.

Output: The purchase decision is the output. If after using the product, the consumer is satisfied with it, this will reinforce his positive attitude and purchase intent about the product and brand. Also, the positive attitude makes the consumer more attentive to the product/brands stimuli and further increases his brand comprehension. If the consumer is dissatisfied with experience of using the product/brand, it will trigger off a reaction of negative attitude, low attention to the product stimuli. Poor brand comprehension and negative intention to purchase.

level of decision making. 1. Extensive Problem solving:- early stage of decision making in which the buyers has little information about brands and has not yet developed well-definded and structured ctriteria by which to choose among products. 2. Limited Problem Solving:- in this more advanced stage choice criteria are well defined but the buyer is still undecided about which set of brands will best serve him. Thus, the consumer still experiences uncertainty about which brand is best. 3. Routinized responses behavior buyers have well defined choice criteria and also have strong predispositions towards the brand. Little confusion exists in the consumers mind and he is ready to purchase a particular brand with little evaluation of alternatives

The model has four major sets of variables: 1. 2. 3. 4. Inputs Perceptual and Learning Constructs Outputs External Variables (not shown in the above Figure)

Inputs These variables include three distinct types of information sources (stimuli) present in the consumer's environment: Significative stimuli represent the brand's physical attributes, the marketer provides the symbolic stimuli in the form of brand

information and could be visual or verbal, and the third kind of information is furnished by consumer's social environment such as family, reference groups, and social class. All these three types of stimuli furnish information inputs to the potential consumer concerning the product category or the brand. Perceptual and learning constructs The central element in the Howard-Sheth Model includes psychological variables that are assumed to operate when the consumer is involved in decision-making process. These psychological variables are treated as simply ideas, and are not defined operationally or evaluated directly. Some of these variables are perceptual in nature and focus on how the consumer receives and processes information gained from input and other parts of the model. For instance, stimulus ambiguity occurs when the consumer is not sure about the meaning of information gained from the environment. Perceptual biasoccurs in case the consumer distorts the received information so that it suits the consumers' established needs, wants, or experiences. Learning constructs perform the function of consumer's concept formation and include her/his goals, information about the brands in the evoked set, criteria for evaluating alternatives, and intentions to buy. The proposed interaction (shown with arrows and solid and dotted lines) between various perceptual and learning variables and the variables in other segments of the model give the Howard-Sheth Model a distinct character. Outputs The model shows a series of outputs that are similar in name to some of the perceptual and learning construct variables that include attention, brand comprehension, attitudes, intentions, and finally the act of purchase. External variables These variables have not been shown in the above Figure. These variables are not directly involved in the decision-making process. The relevant external variables include importance of the purchase, consumer's personality traits, time pressure and availability of funds.

The model attempts to depict rational brand choice behavior by buyers under condition of incomplete information and limited abilities. It distinguishes three level of decision making. 4. Extensive Problem solving:- early stage of decision making in which the buyers has little information about brands and has not yet developed well-definded and structured ctriteria by which to choose among products. 5. Limited Problem Solving:- in this in this more advanced stage choice criteria are well defined but the buyer is still undecided about which set of brands will best serve him. Thus, the consumer still experiences uncertainty about which brand is best.

6. Routinized responses behavior buyers have well defined choice criteria and also have strong predispositions towards the brand. Little confusion exists in the consumers mind and he is ready to purchase a particular brand with little evaluation of alternatives

1. It indicates how complex the whole question of consumer behaviour is. 2. It provides the framework for including various concepts like learning, perception, attitudes, etc., which play a role in influencing consumer behaviour. Inputs: In the Howard Sheth theory, the most significant stimulus affecting the buying behaviour are the information cues about the characteristics of the product. These cues may be significant if it comes to the buyer from the product itself when he is involved in a shopping activity. A similar set of cues, which are symbolic in nature, may also act as information sources. Both these significative and symbolic information cues represent the firms marketing efforts. The broad or product characteristics acting as information cues are quality, price, distinctiveness, service and availability. There are impersonal sources like mass media communications and advertising, over which the firm has no control. However, the information sources also include sales and service personnel who can add and help the marketing efforts of the firm. The third source is social information cues which could affect buying behaviour towards the product or brand and these include family, friends or other members of the group with whom buyer comes into contact or to which he aspires to be in. The social source is personal and the company marketer has no control over this source. Perceptual Constructs: This refers to all the complex states or psychological processes (perception) and how the individual deals with the information cues received from various sources. It can be seen that all information available is not attended to (attention) and may not always be crystal clear in its meanings (ambiguity). Although the individual may be engaged in an overt search for information, sometimes he/she may be bombarded with unwanted information. Moreover, any information cues to which the individual may attend may be distorted (perceptual bias) as result of his own frame of reference. Learning Constructs: The second set of hypothetical constructs in the Howard Sheth model of buying behaviour are more complex and numerous.

Motives refers to the goals the individual attempts to achieve through his/her buying behaviour. These goals are derived from the various drives (needs), which may be acting as a cue for his/her motive. More closely related to the buyers intention in his attitude towards the product/brand. Whether he/she formed a positive attitude towards the product/brand. Other learning constructs include brand comprehension i.e., knowledge/awareness about the brand characteristic features that forms the basis for the buyers evoked set of alternatives; choice criteria, and the confidence the individual has about his/ her brand comprehension, attitudes, or intentions. Finally, the Howard Sheth model includes a construct, satisfaction. This refers to feedback mechanism, i.e., the post purchase and post use evaluation of the output of the process.

Output: The purchase decision is the output. If after using the product, the consumer is satisfied with it, this will reinforce his positive attitude and purchase intent about the product and brand. Also, the positive attitude makes the consumer more attentive to the product/brands stimuli and further increases his brand comprehension. If the consumer is dissatisfied with experience of using the product/brand, it will trigger off a reaction of negative attitude, low attention to the product stimuli. Poor brand comprehension and negative intention to purchase. Exogenous or external Variables: Howard Sheth model theory also includes a number of variables, which are not explained but have a bearing on some or all of the constructs discussed above and indirectly influences the output or consumer response. 1. Social and organizational setting: Man is basically a social animal. Because of his interactions with various groups and society, they look to each other for guidance regarding what to buy, how to buy/dress, etc. 2. Social class: In order to conform to the norms of the social class to which he/she belongs, the individual will be engaged in a behaviour, which will be acceptable to the social class to which it belongs. 3. Culture: refers to the shared, somewhat consistent pattern of behaviour of a group of people. Each culture has a set of beliefs, values, etc. So the pattern of buyer behaviour will be based on a pattern of behaviour shared in a specific subset of a larger culture-a subculture trait. 4. Purchasing power/ Financial status: The money/income available for purchasing goods and services during some specific time period also plays a role in influencing the consumption pattern and thereby his buying behaviour.

The Howard- Sheth Model


As I explained in my previous post I have posted the theories separately. I done this so you can have a detailed explanation on the theories as they are quite informative. I have done some research and tried to explain the model myself. John Howard and Jagdish Sheth introduced their buyer model in 1969. The Howard-Sheth Model attempts to explain and simplify the complex decision making process by the consumer. The model suggests this in three stages. First stage is extensive problem solving. At this stage the consumer does not have knowledge of the brand and do not have a preferred brand. In this stage the consumer will then research information about different brands in the market for the specific product. Second is limited problem solving. This is for consumers who have little or partial knowledge about the product and the market. There must be some comparative decision making here so the consumer can find a preferential product. Finally the third is habitual response behaviour. This is when the consumers knowledge on the product is high, they know of a range of brands and can determine traits in individual products. According to the module there are four major variables. This is consisting of inputs, perceptual and learning constructs, outputs and external variables.The input variables have three types of

information sources in the consumers surroundings. They are as follows:


Significant Brand characteristics such as price, quality and availability.

Symbolic Verbal or visual characteristics of the product.

Consumers Social Environment - This can consist of friendship groups, family circle, and social class.

Perceptual and learning constructs of the psychological variables when the consumer is making a decision. This is when the consumer has reached their goals, found all information needed for the brand and has preferences and intentions to purchase the product.

The outputs are the conclusion of the perceptual and learning variables and how the consumer will respond to this.

Lastly are the external variables. This is the important part of the purchase where the consumer has involved her own traits into her purchase decision.

I hope you have found this helpful and you now have a wider knowledge of The Howard- Sheth Model. If you have another explanation of this theory, please provide the link in the comment box below.

Behavioural Determinants determines the factors an individual takes into consideration before buying something. For example, peoples personalities or cultures affect their buying decision. Inhibitors shapes a persons decision to purchase a product or not. For example, the financial status of an individual will take the price or brand of a product into consideration before purchasing. Inputs establishes the facts, feelings and images behind a product, service or brand to grab the attention of a customer. Perceptual Reaction and Processing Determinants verifies an individuals judgement, their filtering of the information and how they make their decision e.g. based on satisfaction, motivation, past experiences etc. Outputs is the conclusion of these sections put together. It takes an individuals purchase intention, behaviour and decision into consideration. On the whole, each of these categories forms an actual purchase or no purchase decision. This decision makes up the Blackwell Model (Engel, Kollart & Blackwell 1995). An overview of this is shown in the next post.

This model can be applied to the consumer behaviour of baby boomers, as it can explain reasons why baby boomers buy the products they do and what captures their attention or who encourages their purchases.

I will explain the model as a baby boomer who wants to buy a product and the stages he/she may or may not go through to get to the purchasing stage. The input stage is divided into three subheadings; significative, symbolic and social. The stimulus display depends on the product/service so for example if a baby boomer wants to get a product it may have significative reasons which enables the boomer to move into the next stage of perceptual constructs in which they gather information about the product or could just jump to the next stage of learning constructs which deals with intending to but the product because you are satisfied with it because they know what the product provides which results in the output stage of going ahead with the purchase or not. In other examples if a boomer was hungry they would skip right to perceptual concepts in which they are looking for what to eat and skip learning constructs and buy their desired meal.

The Howard-Sheth model (1969) is a learning model designed to explain the brand choice of an individual faced with several choice alternatives. This model is an attempt to explain rational brand choice behaviour within the constraints of limited individual capacities and incomplete information. This model can divided roughly into four fundamental parts- (1) stimulus input variables, (2) exogenous variables, (3) sequential output variables, and (4) the internal state of buyer. However, the limitation of this model is that it has little practical value for marketing practitioners.

The two major advantages of the Howard-Sheth model are following: (i) tested empirically, thus establishing some credibility for the model (ii) dynamic mode

It has been partially The model is also a

The article criticizes the Howard-Sheth model of buyer behavior presented in the article "An Empirical Test of the Howard-Sheth Model of Buyer Behavior," by John U. Farley and L. Winston Ring published in the November 1970 issue of "Journal of Marketing Research." The authors presented three categories of criticisms: (1) specification of the model, (2) definition of variables, and (3) estimation procedures. Several discrepancies between the variables as conceptualized in the model. The definition of brand comprehension in the model also has its shortcomings. Thus, the authors opined that the analysis made by Farley and Ring was weakened by specification errors.