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Akanksha Sharma 263

Ankit Singh 208

D Surya Teja 216

Mahesh Kundrapu 226

Prerna Modi 236

Nihal Reddy 220

Pranay Shah 136

Ariel Case Consumer Decision Making Process
The decision for buying a detergent is usually a low involvement purchase as an average Indian
woman has entered routine behaviour of washing clothes in two steps: first, soak the clothes in
detergent and then, scrub it with bar. The consumer decision making process for the detergent
undergoes the following steps

1. Analysis of the risk involved

Usually detergents are a low involvement product and hence the risk involved is also low for
the consumer. Also, the decision is made on the basis of how well the detergent is able to
remove stains. Therefore, if the company is able to come up with a new technology of being
able to remove the stains by reducing the effort put by the washer, it becomes easier for a
company to make the consumer enter decision making process for detergents.
2. Need Recognition
The need is dependent on various aspects ranging from whether the functional benefit is to
remove stains or bring whiteness to the clothes. One of the major triggers for a housewife to
buy a detergent apart from its functional benefits is the ease of use. With the new enzyme
technology and the resultant doing away with the need to scrub clothes might result in the
decision-making process for the housewife. Therefore, the decision-making process for a
detergent is dependent on both emotional as well as functional aspects.
3. Pre-Purchase Search
The product is a low-involvement one and hence the information search would be very
less. The consumer might be impacted by the advertisements shown, however the major
decision making would take place near the point of purchase when the consumer is
faced with various options. The consumer might actually jump this stage (heuristics) and
completely ignore the pre-purchase search stage. This would mean that the various
brands would enter the consideration set on the basis of the display in the retail outlets.
4. Evaluation of Alternatives
There are a couple of major detergent brands (Surf Excel, Nirma etc.) which will be there in
the market when the consumer goes on to buy the detergent. The alternatives might enter
the consideration set on the basis of brand loyalty, awareness and perceived benefits.
The consumer might be loyal to Surf Excel and it might be difficult to make him switch
towards Ariel. But there would be different consumers who would be willing to
experiment the new technology despite higher price of the product because that would
be compensated by the lower quantity of detergent used to wash clothes. We need to
target this set of consumers.
5. Purchase Behaviour
This will include the trial purchases, repeat purchases and long-term purchases. As Ariel
will be a new entrant in the fairly competitive field of detergents, it becomes necessary
to encourage trials by creating a gap within the existing and the desired state by
focusing on different functional aspects of a detergent. The consumer also will prefer a
brand that is easily available and thus this means a greater focus on the distribution of
Ariel across the country (one of the keys to success of Surf Excel). The main target group
includes housewives, who would go for repeat purchase on the basis of reduced effort
because of new enzyme technology. Once the people started using the detergent on a
regular basis, they can be converted into our loyalists.
6. Post-Purchase Behaviour
As a low-involvement product, the post-purchase behaviour will not be impacted much
and again the choice will depend on the distribution, accessibility and the ability to tap
into the need of the consumers to reduce their effort while washing clothes at the same
time ensuring that the washing is effective.

What should Ariel focus on?

Ariel should target housewives in the age group 30-50 years who are the main consumers of this
category. The people are generally looking for an effective detergent powder which can easily
remove stains while at the same time reduces their time and effort without having the need to scrub
the clothes again and again. Otherwise, there is less differentiation in the detergent category.

The decision is taken based on how a brand tries to position itself in the advertisements and what
the consumers preference is. The company should focus on developing an intensive distribution
channel and ensuring availability at the point of sales in all outlets across the country and also
communicating its new technology in the advertisements effectively.