Consideration Set in Marketing: Definition & Example

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  • 0:04 Considering Your Options
  • 0:27 What Is a Consideration Set?
  • 2:51 Examples
  • 3:51 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Many things go into a consumer's purchasing decision of a particular brand or product. In this lesson, you'll learn more about the consideration set and be able to see some examples of it.

Considering Your Options

You're shopping at a grocery superstore when you remember you need toothpaste at home. You navigate your cart to the toothpaste aisle and discover not one, not five, but 20 different toothpaste brands from which to choose. How many of the 20 will you seriously consider before making your decision of which one to purchase? This is where consideration set in the buying process comes into play.

What Is a Consideration Set?

Most buyers approach a purchase in a similar fashion. There are a host of products in a particular category that they're aware of, but only a few they would actively consider for purchasing. This is known as consideration set. A consideration set is the brands or products left after a person has narrowed down their choices based on their own personal screening criteria, such as previous exposure, brand awareness, price, and more. It can also refer to the alternative products a buyer might consider that vary from their currently consumed product (for example, an alternative brand of peanut butter to their current favorite).

While all of the products that a consumer will think of when it's time to make a purchasing decision is known as the awareness set, the consideration set includes only those brands or products they would consider a realistic option for purchase. Because the human brain can only process so many choices at once, the consumer consciously, or even subconsciously, eliminates many options, to whittle down the choices to those considered when making a purchase.

Marketing experts believe there are several points in which buyer purchasing decisions can be impacted during the consideration set stage, such as:

  • Help from a salesperson. You may enter a store or business expecting to buy one thing, but could be swayed based on your salesperson's knowledge or recommendations.
  • Brand awareness or positioning. How is a brand perceived? Does it scream new and improved, consistent, fun, or different? Depending on the product and target audience, a buyer's perceptions can be strongly influenced by marketing efforts.
  • Packaging. New and exciting packaging with bright colors and slick design can definitely impact a buyer's purchasing decision to select a new product to buy in place of their existing favorite.
  • A different kind of hook. Maybe you're considering purchasing a new car and enter the automobile dealership with a particular type in mind. Once the salesperson shows you a new line that just came out, you realize it has some of the features that drew you to your original buying choice and is much cheaper. The lower price and special features may be enough of a hook to make the new model part of your consideration set.

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