Thursday, January 28, 2010

The iPad Buying Decision Process

With the news of the upcoming release of the iPad in March, I decided to analyze a typical consumer’s buying decision process of such a new interesting device focusing on my view. This process consists of five stages, which includes: need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decisions, and post purchase behavior.

First I am going to start with need recognition. This is where the buyer recognizes a problem or need triggered by a stimulus. I have recognized this through Apple’s presentation of their new product by being very secretive about it’s aspects and then a press conference on Wednesday announcing the product. It is a product unlike any other product released before and because of this, it has triggered stimuli inside me that may necessarily not be practical but still becomes a need.

After recognizing a need, an information search starts. Depending on my interest, which is very high at the moment, I am going to want to research it more and understand the product that I want to buy. With a high interest, I am going to go on the apple website, watch the videos of the iPad, research the specs of the product, and research the reviews and opinions of others. I am also going to ask my friends about their opinion in weighing my option to purchase this product in two months.

Evaluation of alternatives, in my buying decision, is the biggest obstacle for Apple. While Apple’s brand is clearly defined and recognized, they named their new tablet device an iPad, not and iTablet. With the recent failures of similar products, Apple takes the information from those failures and introduces the successes of its previous products to combine them and create something that people want. Apple makes a successful and interesting product, yet it is not too differentiated from its other products. The iPod and similar devices such as the iPhone (which recently contributed to it’s enormous sales in the quarter ending Dec. 31.) have taken over consumer market to where almost everyone has an iPhone or Macbook. I personally have both. With those two devices, my evaluation for an alternative has already been found. I can do everything on my iPhone and Macbook that I could on an iPad. Because of this, I cannot base my buying decision on practical needs. Apple recognizes this as well, which is why it’s marketing promotions focus on place

Now to my purchase decision, I am inclined to buy the iPad because it is a new interesting product that revolutionizes the tablet market. Also affecting my decision is the attitude of others. My roommates are planning on buying the iPad and while they may not have both an iPhone and Macbook, their desire to buy the iPad increases my desire to buy it. I also am affected by the unexpected situational factors. With no job right now, I can only hope to ask for the iPad from my parents for my birthday which also conveniently falls in March. If that fails, it can be an unexpected situational factor that will not allow me to purchase this product.

Lastly, while I have not obtained the iPad yet, I can infer on my post purchase behavior. I may be happy with my newly acquired iPad, and for Apple to keep me happy, I assume they will come up with new apps, more tools to few videos, and constant updates to keep the iPad as exciting of a product as possible as they have done in the past with their other products.

-Chris Nee Section G

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