Consumer Involvement and buying behavior
Like motivation, involvement too is an internal state of mind which a consumer experiences. It makes one analyze and rationalize his/her choice. Involvement of consumers can be induced by external sources and agencies. Involvement is the embodiment of time, effort, consideration given and the enjoyment that is derived by consumer while choosing a product or service.
The involvement theory holds that there are low and high involvement purchases. Consumers’ involvement depends on the degree of involvement of purchase to a consumer. For example, while buying a loaf of bread, the consumer does not feel very much involved. It is because the life of the product is very short. Once it is consumed, it gets exhausted. If the consumer is not satisfied with the particular bread brand, he will purchase some other brand next time.
In the case of purchase of consumer durable (Laptop, refrigerator, household furniture, two wheeler etc), the involvement of the consumer in making the purchase decision is high. Consumers take a decision after much deliberations. These products have long-term consequences. Consumers make lot of inquiries before they purchase the products which have a high degree of involvement. The following table shows various degrees of involvement depending upon the nature of the product or service.
Categories of Consumer involvement
Types of consumer involvement in buying
Certain factors affect the degree of involvement of buyers in making purchase decisions. These include their level of knowledge, information, psychology, culture, lifestyle, social system, etc. Even for the same product or service the degree of involvement of an individual may vary depending upon the circumstances. There are five types of involvement.
1. Ego involvement: Ego involvement is intended to satisfy one’s ego. For example, all the members of the family involve themselves in purchasing a product for a single member belonging to that family. Wife involves herself in the purchase of garments for her husband and husband involves himself in the purchase of cosmetics for his wife. Sons and daughters of the family significantly influence the purchase of laptop, TV, car, household furniture, etc. The ego of each family member is satisfied by consulting him/her before the purchase.
2. Commitment: Commitment is another important form of involvement. When a member of the family falls sick, the other family members are committed to arrange medical treatment for the suffering members. Similarly, functions like marriages entail the commitment of the entire family.
3. Communication in involvement: Communication involvement signifies sharing the available information with others in the family or organization. If one member has some information on the subject matter of decision, he should communicate it with the other members before arriving at a decision.
4. Purchase importance: Involvement of individuals depends upon the degree of importance of purchase. Suppose e flat costing lakhs of rupees is purchased, then the purchase decision assumes a great deal of importance in respect of location and area of the flat. The title deeds should be free from encumbrance.
5. Extent of information: Once the consumer recognizes the need, he then engages in a search process. Search means acquisition of information from the environment. The extent of information search is part of purchase importance. When the purchase is important, information is sought from all possible sources. But in the case of routine purchase of products and services, information search will be rather minimum.