Consumer decisions – Where do they fit?

I heard a news report yesterday that said that retailers expect over 2 million high-definition TVs to be bought just for this year’s Super Bowl.  That got me thinking afresh about the place of consumer decisions in a Decision Driven® Life.  When I built the life decision pattern, I knew that I had to address these decisions, but wanted them to be placed in the right context.  Paraphrasing Jesus, “Life is a lot more than stuff” (Luke 12:15).  So stuff matters, but it should serve a purpose or fit within a larger strategy.

If you walk down the life decision model, you won’t find a specific decision named “High-Def TV”.  What you will find under the Lifestyle – My Priorities branch is a Recreation Strategy decision.  This fans out into some of the typical types of recreation (hobbies, sports, entertainment, vacations, pets) people enjoy.  So now we’re getting close.

Recreation Strategy

The decision, My Entertainment, will likely have alternatives (answers) such as Watching TV/Videos, Live theater, Card games, etc.  If I’m a couch potato, watching TV might play a huge role in my life, which implies that I will be willing to expend some hard-earned cash to improve my viewing experience.  There is a Resources decision (Resources for watching TV/Videos in this context) that I have framed as “What resources will I use to increase my enjoyment of this type of entertainment?”  A high-definition TV is just an alternative in this decision.  A home theater system or even a new recliner (one of those souped-up models with built-in heat, massage and cupholder) or popcorn popper would be other alternatives to improve your viewing pleasure.  They all compete for your cash; they all contribute differently to how much you enjoy your TV watching.

Entertainment - Role in My Life

IF you decide that you need a high-definition TV, then you arrive at the decision, Resource – Supplier which is framed as “What specific resource (tool, technology, model) will I use? From which supplier?”  So now you’re down to the consumer decision of what make/model of High-Def TV to buy.

We use a similar pattern for other consumer decisions.  They are all “leaf-level” decisions that identify the specific resources I will use to enable or enrich some part of life that I value.  So the next time a salesperson pressures you to buy the latest “gotta have” widget, think about where it really fits in the context of your life.

By the way, I’ll be at my son-in-law’s for the Super Bowl.   He’s got this really neat 50 inch …..

About decisiondriven

Innovator in Decision Management, Systems Thinking and System Engineering methods and tools
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