Consumer Goal Perception: Meaning and Process

The company must determine how customers perceive it. "How the customers view the market around them" is the definition of customer perception. Consumer perception is the method through which consumers choose, arrange, and interpret the products they buy. Although there are many items available to customers, the last factor influencing a purchase is the customer's impression. Consumer perception of a product is dependent on the manufacturer's or marketer's advertising approach, information about the product learned from reading, conversations with peers and friends, through media, as well as the customer's prior usage of the product or service.

Consumer Goal Perception

Many theorists have argued that goals are increasingly becoming the primary influence on consumer behavior. A goal is a measurable outcome that may contain one or more goals and be achieved within a specific time frame, depending on the individual. Studies point out that goals are cognitive principles that reflect the more profound nature of an individual. In turn, it can be determined that motivation must be met for a goal to progress and ultimately be achieved, thus representing a direct relationship between the two factors.

An important aspect of goal setting is determining whether those goals are conscious or not. Conscious goals are those where consumers know what they are achieving and the aspects of the environment that influence their decisions. On the other hand, an unconscious goal is rooted in personal beliefs, and values ​​often passed down from generation to generation and affect consumers' lives, though perhaps without realizing it. Many studies have demonstrated that the consumption decisions of consumers are influenced by factors unknown to the individual. In addition, researchers have found that consumer-generated goals contain a mix of conscious and unconscious aspects.

Along with this theory, theorists have shown that an essential cognitive aspect encourages goal setting, which better demonstrates the direct relationship between motivation and goal setting and achievement. Commonwealth Bank is a clear example of a service that understands the concept of conscious and unconscious goals in consumers and the cognitive factors that motivate consumers. As stated earlier, Commonwealth Bank successfully addresses the motivational aspect of consumers by ensuring high-quality customer service that caters to all cultures, genders, and ages.

Understanding such broad demographics allows the service to identify unconscious aspects of consumer goals. These aspects include different beliefs, values, attitudes, and needs, all affecting consumers in one form or another. In addition, Commonwealth Bank strives to bring consumers the best resources and technology. This is evident in the Commonwealth Bank's extensive IT base and the implementation of more innovative procurement. It is essential to provide consumers with conveniences such as Internet banking and ATMs, as consumers are now aware that the service is equipped with the best technology or resources needed to fulfill all the goals—their spending. Thus forcing consumers to continuously use this service instead of other services that may be available in a competitive market.

Studies have found that consumers often fail to act on their intentions or change their goals due to the external environment, causing goal conflicts. This is evident in products manufactured by Apple Electronics. Although many consumers have made the conscious goal of buying an Apple product, many still need to make this decision consciously but are forced into it due to an unconscious goal.

The Perceptual Process

The stages a client goes through before making a purchase are numerous. He needs to make a better decision while choosing a good or service, especially in the present day when he has access to a wide range of alternatives and is well aware of them. This kind of thinking is known as a perceptual process.

Need Recognition

The perceptual process begins when a client discerns a need or an issue. Rupa, for instance, could notice that her outdated desktop computer is not operating as smoothly as it once did. She also understands that a laptop will be more practical than a desktop because she can bring it to college whenever necessary. These are the kind of issues that clients commonly experience. They identify an issue when distinguishing between the current and desired states. Typically, when they encounter an issue, they attempt to resolve it.

Information Search

The client will likely look for more information to find a solution. Internal or external searches might be used to gather data. External search comprises information from relatives, peers, markets, and commercials, among other sources, whereas internal search includes information from the customer's recollection or purchasing experiences. Think about the above case. Rupa may only pay more attention to a laptop's product details. She starts paying more attention to laptop commercials, the computers her peers buy, and peer discussions about laptops. She may also look for knowledge more actively by going to stores, speaking with friends, or reading computer publications, among other things.

Customers may discover more about various brands that compete in the market and their features and traits by acquiring information. Rupa has access to numerous brands but will concentrate on only a handful of the most popular ones. They are called the market's "awareness set" of brands. Several of these businesses would meet her first "consideration set" for purchases, which included factors like pricing and processing speed. Just a small number will continue to be Rupa's "chosen set" of strong prospects as she does more information searches.

Evaluation of Alternatives

It is presumed that the evaluation procedure is reasonable. According to this perspective, a client attempts to address the issue and eventually meet their desire. In this scenario, Rupa will research the many laptop manufacturers she has access to find solutions to her problems. Rupa searches for goods with qualities that offer the advantages and outcomes she seeks in a new buy. As a result, the consumer views each product as a collection of qualities that, to varying degrees, can meet his or her demand by providing advantages related to issue resolution.

Buying Decision

A consumer must choose two options in order to carry out her choice to make the buy: (1) the specific brand and (2) the particular retail location from which she desires to make the purchase. In reality, these selection judgments can be made in one of three ways −

  • Simultaneously

  • Item First, Outlet Second

  • Outlet First, Item Second

Customers frequently choose between many stores and brands at the same time. Rupa may decide between many well-known brands (Lenovo, Sony, Hitachi, HP, Dell, Mac, Compac, Acer) and a few lesser-known ones, depending on the product's technical capabilities (attributes), price, and brand availability at computer stores. She is also likely to choose exclusive brand retail stores or retailers like TATA Croma, which is in her area, to make her purchases. Rupa begins the transaction or buying after choosing the brand and outlet.

Post-Purchase Behaviour

Customers' post-purchase behavior determines whether they will stay loyal to the marketer or defect (leave the business/company). Customers will stick with the same marketer if the items or services they have purchased match their expectations; otherwise, they will defect (leave the business/company). Purchase engagement and product involvement make up post-purchase behavior I

  • Purchase Involvement − There are many levels of purchase engagement. Rupa acquired the laptop after trying to learn more about the product's characteristics. This is an example of a high purchase involvement process. The purchase of "diet cola," a standard product and not very significant, would be a common buy involvement choice since the degree of worry and interest in the product is relatively low.

  • Product Involvement − Product engagement is a different sort of participation that affects how much information is handled. The client's emphasis on a particular product is referred to as product involvement instead of the purchasing context (purchase involvement). When renting a car for critical foreign visitors traveling on business, one may have a low product involvement. However, there is a high buy involvement since the management wants to ensure they wow the visitors by renting a Mercedes Benz rather than the more typical Indigo or Innova. A high level of product participation al so improves how often the buyer searches for, evaluates, and reviews information after purchasing.

Importance of Consumer Goal Perception

Customer perception is essential for businesses or brands as it tells them what potential customers think of them. This is important because the brand or product will only improve sales if customers have a positive perception. Businesses must always know how customers feel about them to tailor their placement or offers to ensure their brand and identity are in sync.

In addition, it is essential because customer perception often lingers in the consumer's mind for a long time and sometimes can be permanent. Initial customer perception should be positive as this will lead to future brand reach. A negative brand image affects overall customer perception affecting profitability. Customer perception can be improved by following the customer perception cycle, as shown below as a new checklist of what customers perceive and expect from the product/service provided by the organization.


The consumer journey to higher-level goals includes various customer journeys to lower-level goals. The consumer participates in behavioral and cognitive processes iteratively to adjust or maintain their living situation against the goal. Experience drives goal-directed behavior. Accordingly, negative experiences can contribute to the achievement of goals.

Updated on: 29-Mar-2023


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