Households. Household decision making tends to be less formalized than in industrial situations and the roles played by family members are less well defined. To understand the household decision process you need to answer questions such as the following:

1. Who initiates the buying process in terms of articulating the need for a particular product?

2. Whose opinions influence the evaluation of alternative purchases?

3. Who makes the final buying decision, and does one individual have veto power?

4. Who implements the actual purchase transaction?

5. Who uses the product once it has been purchased?

It is possible to have situations in which the initiator, the decision maker, the
purchaser, and the user are all different people. For example, a teacher may suggest to a child’s parents that education toys stimulate learning; one of the parents might select a type of toy and several brands after talking to other parents; the other parent might undertake the actual purchase and select the brand after talking to a salesperson; while the child would be the user. The implications of a toy manufacturer’s marketing program might include product design to ensure suitability for certain age groups; a public relations campaign directed at teachers; an advertising campaign directed at parents; and training of retail staff by the field sales force.

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