In this modern era, it has become a really tiring task for the advertisers to convince a customer to consume a particular product. With a plenty of products available, it is a challenge for the advertisers to showcase their creativity.
When a particular product is launched in the market, a consumer is not aware of it initially, due tow which it's purchase becomes difficult. Thus in order to make the people product-friendly so that they are ready to purchase the new product, the company (or advertiser) has to put in extra efforts. These efforts slowly turn the people's mindset according to the product usage. These stages of efforts constitute the Response Hierarchy Model of advertising. It represents the stages through which the consumer goes in order to ultimately purchase a product.
Stages of the Lavidge & Steiner Hierarchy of Effects
The following are the consumer stages in the most used response hierarchy model around the world - The Lavidge & Steiner Hierarchy of Effects-
As soon as a product or service comes in the market, the company has to start the process of spreading awareness about the product. Supported by the famous dictum 'Only the visible is sold', the awareness stage gains immense importance. The advertiser engages in various practices through which they can be easily remembered by the consumers, through ways of heavy advertising and creativity.
For example, the introduction of Cred and Dream11 in the Indian market was a huge success.
Following Awareness is the stage of Knowledge or Comprehension. Once the audience knows that a particular product exists in the market, it is now time for the advertisers to roll out the essential features and guides to their products. The users have to be aware of the working of the product so that they can use it in the best possible way.
Continuing with the example of Dream11, once they had rolled out their products, their were several ads featuring remarkable cricketers, who use to tell how to use the platform. It was the Knowledge stage for the company where they taught the users about their products' functioning.
Once the consumer has enough knowledge and information about the product, now is the time to make some space in the consumer's mindset. Monotonous consumers don't go for a product unless and until there is something special in it. Now this special thing, either the product has to has, or the company has to create this effect through thorough advertising. By any means, the aim is to create a favorable environment for the sale of the product.
Dream11 did this by the phrase 'Earn through your mind'. They insisted on the fact that one has to just sit at their home and they can earn huge and huge amounts of money, which trended in the Indian market and they gained enormous number of users during the pandemic period.
The markets are not monopolies. Even if you create a liking for your product, there are so many substitutes for a single product that the customer is in a dilemma regarding which product to go for. Now here comes an opportunity as well as a threat. The company has to tell, why should a customer choose their product instead of the others. The company has to build a preference in the minds of the customer. What extra are you giving which gives you an edge over the competitors. People will shift where they get a better version of a product.
Now you as an advertiser has done everything, from spreading awareness to building a preference for your product. Now the only thing the customers want from you is assurance. They want a guarantee that you are not fraud, you are always there with your customers in times of crisis and will provide the best service possible. A company becomes best not by profits, but from ethics.
It is obvious that a person would prefer to work for Tata rather than any other company in India, only because of their ethics and culture.
After these five rigorous processes, sale of your product becomes nearly obvious. You have done everything that was required to stimulate a demand for your product.
But even if now there is not much increase in the sales, then the last and the best resort is still available with you, which is Sales Promotion. It includes the use of various techniques to attract customers to buy your product. For example, price discounts, season end sale, vouchers and deals etc.
These measures when accompanied with the above stages, lead to a guaranteed sale and positive impact on the overall profits of the company in the long run, because in order to win the market, not only market research is important, but you have to study the consumer psychology too!