What Is The Consumer Decision Journey? 

consumer journey

When choosing to buy an item from a specific brand, consumers go through a series of steps. These steps — called the consumer decision journey — help businesses understand how customers make each purchasing decision.

This guide helps you understand the consumer decision journey and how you can leverage it to reach out to potential customers.

The consumer choice journey, or McKinsey Model, was designed by management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, to depict the customer purchasing process.

The journey is a circular process that focuses on increasing client loyalty and advocating for the brand.

It depicts a consumer’s steps from becoming aware of a product to a fully committed walking ambassador of a brand. 

What factors influence customer purchasing decisions?

A lot of factors influence consumers’ purchase decisions.

Most consumer decision-making journeys begin online, with customers looking at brand reviews and social media recommendations.

People deciding to buy an item also consider the brand’s values and whether they are the same as their own.

The following are the steps in a consumer decision journey:

  • Trigger: the consumer decision journey begins when a person reacts to a stimulus and requires a brand’s product or service to fix it.
  • Initial Consideration: When contemplating a purchase, a person reflects on their go-to brands that come to mind immediately owing to brand awareness. 
  • Evaluation: the individual would gather information from multiple sources and read reviews to choose whether the brand has what they want or need.
  • Buying: Once consumers have narrowed down their alternatives based on the information obtained during the evaluation step, they select a brand and begin purchasing.
  • Ongoing Exposure: Following the purchase of a product or service, the consumer develops expectations based on their post-buy experience to assist them in making their next purchase decision.
  • Loyalty Loop: The degree to which a consumer is satisfied with the product and the brand influences whether or not they become committed customers and brand champions.

Tips on how to Influence the consumer decision journey

When adopting the consumer decision journey, you should take the following steps: 

Learn about your customers 

Knowing your brand consumers and what motivates them is the first step in incorporating their journey into a marketing strategy.

Learning about your clients will enable you to support them in their journey and understand what they require.

Create Brand Awareness

After you’ve gotten to know your customers, work on enhancing their knowledge of your brand. 

Increasing brand awareness might help you appear more frequently during the initial consideration stage.

This step is essential to keeping up with modern marketing trends beyond one-way dialogues and instead focus on creating customer relationships.

Tailor your content

Next, determine which parts of the process have the most room for improvement, such as the evaluation, and develop a message that tackles those flaws. 

For example, a car manufacturer may conduct a marketing campaign that offers consumers financial security by returning their vehicle if they lose their employment. 

This marketing strategy reaches out to new customers who were previously hesitant to make a large purchase. 

Offer Discounts

To entice customers to buy now, offer exceptional bargains and promotions only accessible for a limited time. 

Discounts can make customers feel more confident in their decision to buy from a brand and prevent them from abandoning their shopping carts.

Invest in the right marketing channel

Go with the channels your audience is more involved with when deciding which marketing channels to use.

For example, post updates on social media if your customers are frequently on it. 

Participate in your consumers’ purchasing decision journey by becoming a part of where their conversations are taking place.


Typically, a brand will use the consumer choice process to determine how it can empower buyers and encourage sales. 

One effective way to create brand awareness and get your customer’s attention from the get-go is through video content, and one brand that does it right is Rocketwheel.


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