4 Stages of the Buyer Awareness Cycle

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Jan 25, 2024 by Sean Luce



The 4 Stages of The BAC / Pre-Purchase Experience
 Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4
Prospect GoalBecome Aware of Product / ServiceGet Familar with Product / ServiceFeel Relevant Connections to Product or ServiceFeel Confident in a few Choices / Businesses
Company GoalDrive Awareness and ImageDifferentiate Features / BenefitsMake Meaningful Connection Company / ProductDrive Business / Product into Final Consideration Set
Mail Catalog
Newspaper Inserts Catalog
Targeted Touch Points    
Customized Emails
Discount Coupons and Special Offers via E-mail
Page Excerpts
Book Reviews
Offering On-Line Gift Certificates
Radio Promotions / Event Sponsorship / Remotes
Degree of Impact High Medium Low
Source: LPG / Prophet 2002 / 2003 Research
Note: Graph reflects the 2/3rd shoppers who purchase based on brand versus price and item shoppers only (1/3).   
This research provides the rep with the average time that the consumer starts to think about the product before they walk in a showroom. The BAC states that in the furniture industry, the average time that goes by is 3.9 months and then they walk into their first showroom. However, what thought process is this consumer going through?

There are four stages to the BAC/PPE. You can use this as back up and use this research to walk the prospect/business owner through this experience to justify why their one month schedule will have little effect of their business unless it's a liquidation sale and if they keep advertising like this, they will be having a liquidation sale.

Stage 1: Consumer becomes aware of the product/service. This is the early stage where the consumer starts to think about a new leather couch for their living room. In most cases, they have not thought about where they are going to buy it yet, since the switch in their head has just went off. Possibly their old couch is torn and ripped and or their neighbor just bought a new leather couch and they have experienced the comfort and feel and are starting to justify why this would look good in their living room. The company/local business goal is to drive awareness and image in this early stage so when the consumer is ready, they of course will think of them first.

Stage 2: Consumer starts to get familiar with the product/service. Now they start talking to their friends, some who own a leather couch and its durability and where it would be located in their living room. The goal of the advertiser is to differentiate how and why their company should be where the consumer shops for this piece of furniture. Radio again plays a big role in this stage with the consumer.

Stage 3: Now the consumer starts to make a connection to the product. Their justification is high in this stage or they are now starting to think about where to buy this leather couch. The business on the other end of this stage is trying to convince the consumer that the best quality and value (not necessarily price) is at their business.

Stage 4: Now the consumer is ready to start shopping for this leather couch and narrows the choice of where they are going to shop. The company through testimonials, and events where they can get their furniture in non-traditional locations and more customized ways (and radio can do this too) of getting their business in front of the consumer as they drive their name into the consumers final consideration mindset.

In each of these stages, there is a degree of impact that various mediums provide. Radio can take and influence the consumer in each of these stages as in this scenario; the consumer averages 3.9 months as they go through the four stages. Remember, this is only one purchase cycle and the business once on, should never stop advertising on radio since different consumers are always entering into stage 1 at all times. Can your advertiser afford not to be there all the time?

These four stages take into consideration the nearly two-thirds buyers (Target Marketing Magazine 6/01) who are brand/top of mind awareness consumers only and not price buyers (the other one third).

Knowledge is not power until it's used. Instead of going into the advertiser hoping to get an annual contract, go in with powerful research that will validate why your advertiser should advertise all the time.

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