A consumer buyer matrix is a visual graphic or table that explains consumer behavior in terms of purchase decisions. It is also a marketing tool that assists with brand building and development. The consumer buyer matrix tallies buyer perceptions and classifies different purchasing decisions as being related to specific types of products and consumer involvement. Many variations of consumer buyer matrices facilitate an array of market measurement objectives used by businesses.
Marketing research and academic theory provide premises for consumer buyer matrices. According to the IBS Center for Strategic Management Research, a marketing scholar named Henry Assael developed a consumer buyer matrix based on a theoretical buyer behavior model. This behavioral model states the buying process for products such as gasoline is different to ones used for other brands such as insurance policies. Another consumer buying matrix by marketing executive Gord Hotchkiss is based on brain anatomy and associates buying behaviors with corresponding neural functions.
The design of a consumer buyer matrix often consists of columns and rows. In one kind of matrix, consumers compare two or more brands by filling in matrix cells with quantified values such as usefulness, cost and functionality. Alternatively, the matrix by Henry Assael is comprised of four types of consumer buyer behavior identified as habitual, variety-seeking, dissonance reducing and complex. These four categories explain two different levels of consumer involvement in the buying process and why differing buying processes are used for similar and dissimilar brands.
Advantages of the consumer buyer matrix are that it evaluates product viability, measures brand value and elaborates consumer perceptions and reasoning. These findings help develop niche target markets and additional consumer buyer matrices that lower wasted advertising costs and help boost customer growth. For example, the Norstar Group marketing firm uses a buyer behavioral matrix to help its clients identify marketing barriers. Then the group uses the information from the matrix to develop ways to improve existing and potential clients' brand perspective.
Since factors such as cultural influences and product designs can change, no one matrix is likely to pinpoint all buyer behavior with a specific pattern or formula. Information about competing brands and the buyer's ability to interpret that information for the purpose of making a purchase decisions differ. Additionally, not all individuals can be categorized by a matrix. To illustrate, consumer A is habitual in purchasing gasoline regardless of price, but consumer B reassesses her buying patterns to save money.