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MULTIATTRIBUTE MODEL OF PRODUCT EVALUATION AND CHOICE The multiattribute model is a useful approach for understanding the factors individual members of a buying center con- sider in evaluating products and making choices. The multiattribute model is one approach that companies can take to making purchases and is most often used in complex decisions involving several vendors. 26 Many business decisions are straight rebuys, but the original vendor selection decision may have involved a multiattribute approach. The vendor analysis form used by Chrysler illustrates the use of this model in selecting vendors. The model also provides a frame- work for developing sales strategies. The multiattribute model is based on the idea that people view a product as a collection of characteristics or attributes. Buyers evaluate a product by considering how each characteristic satisfies the firm's needs and perhaps their individual needs. The following example examines a firm's decision to buy laptop computers for its sales force. The computers will be used by salespeople to track information about customers and provide call reports to sales managers. At the end of each day, salespeople will call headquarters and upload their call reports. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF CHARACTERISTICS Assume the company narrows its choice to three hypothetical brands: Apex, Bell, and Deltos. Exhibit 3.7 shows infor- mation the company has collected about each brand. Note that the information goes beyond the physical characteris- tics of the product to include services provided by the potential suppliers. Each buying center member (or the group as a whole in a meeting) might process this objective information and evalu- ate the laptop computers on each characteristic. These evaluations appear in Exhibit 3.8 as ratings on a 10-point scale, with 10 being the highest rating and 1 the lowest. Exhibit 3.7 Information about Laptop Computers Characteristic/Brand Apex Bell Deltos Reliability rating Very good Very good Excellent Weight (pounds) 3.0 4.5 7.5 Display size (inches) 15.0 13 10.1 Display visibility Good Very good Excellent Speed (clock rate in gigahertz) 2.4 3.0 2.4 RAM (memory in gigabytes) 2 2 4 Number of U.S. service centers 140 60 20 Exhibit 3.8 Performance Evaluation of Laptop Computers Characteristic/Brand Rating Apex Bell Deltos Reliability 5 5 8 Weight 8 5 2 Display size 8 6 4 Display visibility 2 4 6 CHAPTER 3: Buying Behavior and the Buying Process 81

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