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Taxonomy of Buying Decision Approaches

Michele D. Bunn
Journal of Marketing
Vol. 57, No. 1 (Jan., 1993), pp. 38-56
DOI: 10.2307/1252056
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1252056
Page Count: 19
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Taxonomy of Buying Decision Approaches
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Abstract

The author reports the development of a classification scheme of buying patterns and situations. Unlike previous conceptual schemes, it consists of six prototypical "buying decision approaches" identified through an empirically based taxonomy development procedure. A mix of underlying buying activities distinguishes the categories: search for information, use of analysis techniques, focus on proactive issues, and reliance on control mechanisms. The use of a particular buying decision approach depends on four situational characteristics: purchase importance, task uncertainty, extensiveness of choice, and perceived buyer power. The findings reveal some patterns that are similar to previous classification schemes, but new variations allow for a conceptual extension of the literature. The resulting framework is useful to marketing managers, who can view their customer segments in terms of the categories in the taxonomy. Further, it provides a tool by which sales representatives can develop adaptive selling approaches based on a small set of buying situations and corresponding buying decision approaches.

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