Case study: Consumer Confidence: Preparation Pays Off


Case Overview

The case discusses a car purchasing decision by a medical field graduate, Maya. She belongs to a family where shopping decisions have been carefully made. Due to the family shopping habits, Maya has also become a careful shopper. Her brother and father are knowledgeable about cars and would be able to help her make a fine decision. The final decision is preceded by an extensive search for a car with different feature choices. This paper is based on answering the questions that are posed at the end of the case study about Mayas car purchasing decision.

  1. Based on the various perspectives of consumer decision making, what type of a shopper is Maya and why?

Based on the type of preparation that Maya has made in regards to buying a car, I would say that she is a person involved in extensive decision making process. The reason for this assumption is that she has been planning to buy a car for the last one year, before her graduation. She has done enough homework in regards to making a decision about a vehicle purchase (Babin, B. & Harris, 2015, p.284). Extensive decision making processes are usually involved when a consumer is looking to buy an expensive item. Though compulsive or impulsive buyers may not be so cautious even about making a purchasing decision involving the expenditure of a large sum of money. Maya has been in a purchasing decision making proves for an year but still she thinks that she needs to put forward a few choices in front of her family who would then help her make a final purchasing decision. Though she is interested in minimal help rather than an amount of help that would deteriorate her from purchasing a car out of the few choices she has in her mind.


  1. Apply the consumer decision-making process stages to Maya’s actions as a consumer, or describe Maya’s actions within the framework of the consumer decision-making process.

Maya’s actions towards making a purchasing decision is explained in the following steps.

  1. Need Recognition: Maya is about to graduate from the medical school. She has been planning to move to a hospital setup to get used to the hospital environment. This will make her independent from her home and she would be on her own. For this purpose she believes that she needs a new car so she can move around as part of her job. She already has a car that was gifted to her from her father but she thinks that she needs to upgrade.
  2. Information Search: Regarding this part of the purchasing decision, she has been extensively involved in this process. For one year she has been doing her homework to select the best suited car to her needs. She has also set a criteria for the car she wants as a result of her information search.
  • Evaluation of Alternatives: Maya has made a decision to choose between four specific models of cars by different manufacturers. She believes that she can select a car between Toyota Prius V, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Ford Fiesta Hybrid, and Volkswagen TDI Diesel. During her alternative evaluation she rejected Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Camry Hybrid, and Honda Civic Hybrid.
  1. Purchase Decision: The purchasing decision is yet to be made.
  2. Post-purchase behavior: Post-purchase behavior can only be assessed after the purchase has been made.


  1. Is Maya utilizing the affect-based or attribute-based evaluation process? Justify your answer.

Maya is utilizing the attribute based evaluation process in my opinion. In this type of evaluation a purchaser evaluates the set of attributes of the product her/she is buying. Maya has a set of specification of the car that she wants to buy. These specification can be referred to as attributes of the product. They include heating system, iPhone connectivity, and specific type of engine and so on.  

  1. Based on the information provided in the case, what are the determinants of the evaluative criteria that the customer is using? Explain each in detail.

Maya is interested in the functional aspects of the car she wants to buy. She does care about the looks of the car but it is not a major factor influencing the determination of the specifications of the car during the evaluative criteria. Maya is more interested in what are the functions that the car must be able to perform.

Car insurance is another issues that she is thinking about and it is, up to some extant a determinant of the evaluative criteria. Price of the car on the other hand is not that influential in the evaluative criteria.


  1. In your opinion, which decision rule (compensatory or non-compensatory) is Maya utilizing in her car-buying process?

Maya is utilizing the compensatory rule of decision making in my opinion. She is trying to identify a complete set of attributes of the car. She is also evaluating the importance of each attribute. These behaviors are common in compensatory form of decision making.


Babin, B. & Harris, E. CB7, 7th Edition.