Engel, Kollat, & Blackwell Multi-Mediational Model
Engel, Kollat, and Blackwell Multi Mediational Model model has been developed by James F. Engel, David T. Kollat, and Roger D. Blackwell. This is similar to the Howard – Sheth model in its scope and intent. This model is also developed based on learning processes as the Howard – Sheth model. According to this model, different search behavior types occur, depending on how routine or unusual the purchase choice is. Emphasis is given, in this model, on the information search process.
This model is known as the multi-mediational model because the interaction of quite a large number of variables is shown between consumers’ exposure to the purchase-related stimulus and the final decision outcomes (shown in the next figure).
This model includes five principal stages;
- problem recognition,
- external search,
- alternative evaluation,
- purchase processes, and
- post-purchase evaluation.
This formulation attempts to describe the behavioral processes that occur from the stage where consumers recognize that some decision is necessary to the stage where the post-purchase evaluation of the brand and its attributes affects those attitudes, values, and personality characteristics stored in the central control unit.
The model shows how the various internal and external forces operate as influences on the buying process. It also shows several paths for the buyer to take at each of the five major phases.
A buyer does not have to be aware that he is passing through each of the phases and, he may even skip the external search and/or the evaluation of alternatives.
For a frequently made purchase, a person forms a habit, so there would be little need to go through either of these two steps. Remember that the entire process shown in the model may take minutes or years.
Evaluation of Engel, Kollat, and Blackwell Multi-Mediational Model
This model has many of the same problems with an explanation as to the Howard – Sheth model. It does not explain when particular variables influence others (such as when evaluative criteria are influenced by personality), how this influence occurs, or the strength of the influence. This model is not able to answer these questions.
This model applies to individual behavior. In the model, though, groups such as family are included, they are not included in the search, evaluation, and decision processes. This model does not explain behavior in terms of interpersonal influence on consumer behavior.
It is not clear from the model why the central control unit is separate from the decision processes. It is also not clear why distinctions are made between information processing, the central control unit, and the output decision process because, in reality, they are tied with each other.
However, most of the relationships and flows are shown in the model appear to be a reality. Thus, consumer behavior may be conceptualized using this model. The major contribution of this model is the description of information seeking and the evaluation process.