The Decision Making Process – Need Recognition

Do you know, exactly, how your customers make decisions? How do they find your store, decide on your store, and slap down the cold hard cash (or plastic) for a purchase? Do you know what methods they’re using to find your store? Do you know why they’re making in-store or E-commerce buying decisions?

Consumers go through 5 stages in the Consumer Decision Making Process model:

  1. Need recognition
  2. Information search
  3. Alternative evaluation
  4. Choice (or purchase)
  5. Consumption / evaluation

You have to own each of these steps to get a purchase and make a customer. Your prospect has to know that they have a problem before they come looking for you. Likewise, they have to be able to find you for you to be in the consideration set, and you have to be a strong for them to finally consider you.

Today, we’ll talk about Need Recognition and where it fits in with the customer decision making process.

You might think that need recognition is someone else’s job, or even worse, that everyone already realizes that they need your product. In rare cases, this is true. People know whether they need a pick-me-up drink, or that they need transportation. The trick comes in with the ambiguity that comes in play later in the information search. Transportation could be a car, or a motorcycle, scooter, bike, bus, or new walking shoes.

You want your customer to know they’re need for your specific product. That’s where framing their need comesinto play. You want customers to know that they need a car for the cold-weather months or that they need to be more stylish and buy your specific type of car. You have to be able to frame their need within the benefits (emotional gains of your product) that your specific product provides.

If you’re running an E-commerce platform, the best way to do this is to join the social conversation and spread the word on why prospects “need” your product. It’s significantly easier to convince someone of their unmet need when they trust you as a reliable source in social media.