3 Different Types of Decision Making


It’s the goal of every marketer to get inside their customer’s head to figure out what drives their purchasing decisions. To achieve marketing success, you have to understand the three types of decision making and how to influence them.


Habitual Decision Making

These are frequent, low-cost purchases of products or brands which are familiar. Habitual or nominal Decision Making requires little research as the consumer already has experience with the product.

Nominal purchases don’t start as nominal. For instance, after spending days searching for the best car air freshener, you decide to buy just any brand, and you love it. It becomes your favorite, and you can pick up a bottle without giving it much thought.

To address a product whose purchase is nominal, you should;

  • Ensure it’s always available to your customers.

  • Introduce new concepts periodically to maintain interest

  • Create ads for brand memorability.

Limited Problem Solving

Here, the customers have established criteria for evaluating the product they want. It may be a familiar brand, but requires a little more thought than nominal.


For instance, maybe you go to purchase your new favorite car air freshener and spot another brand you’ve used before. You’ll have to take time to ponder about your experience using both products and factors like the product quality, price, availability, and packaging style to make a purchasing decision.


Extended Problem Solving

These are infrequent purchases and higher costing. The consumer hasn’t established any criteria for evaluating the products they want, and it would require much thought. For instance, you want to buy a new refrigerator –which is both infrequent and high costing. You won’t just get the first refrigerator you set your eyes on. There’s a need to compare with other products in terms of price, customer reviews, and any information you can get.

To influence extended purchasing decisions, marketers should do the following;

  • Allow for customers’ feedback on the product or service.

  • Garner enough positive reviews.

  • Provide enough details about the product, highlighting its value propositions.

Decision-making perspectives

There are two ways consumers make a purchasing decision.

  • Experiential Perspective: When a consumer makes purchases based on the positive feelings, emotions, or appeal of the product. These are purchases for luxury, fun, and enjoyment.

  • Rational Perspective: the consumer gathers as much information to evaluate the product. Rational decision making is all about doing extensive research to make informed decisions.

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