Buying behavior

Double Filter Model

Consumers select the ‘quality products’ they buy on the basis of a comparison of the perceived value of these products. Within a certain price range they seek for the best value for money, where value can be defined as the fair price, see under Value.

Consumers select the ‘commodity products’ (products which cannot be differentiated by quality or design) on the basis of the lowest price.
Many Dutch surveys show that the vast majority of the consumers (94%-98%) are not prepared to pay more for ‘green’ products, and ‘green’ products are generally slightly more expensive. In other words: the consumers are not valuing the environmental aspects of products in terms of a much higher ‘fair price’, despite many efforts (awareness campaigns of environmentalists).

At the same time, the level of the environmental awareness in The Netherlands is quite high: 89% agrees with the statement: “environmental pollution is a severe threat for our children” (enquiry 1995). The Dutch seem even to agree on their individual responsibility in this respect, since a enquiry (1995) on the subject revealed a surprisingly high score on the question: “people

behave irresponsibly when they do not take environmental effects into account”. The average score was 4.3 on a scale of 1 (totally disagree) to 5 (totally agree). Recent surveys suggest that not much has changed.
The big issue is therefore why there is such a big difference between the environmental awareness and the behavior of people as consumers (“are consumers short term individualists?”). A recent study sheds new light on this issue (van Valkengoed et al 2023).
It seems that people feel that the environmental problems can only be resolved by a joint effort, and that individual behavior is quite useless, unless it is agreed (and arranged by the government) that everybody has to do it. The Dutch proverb: “change the world, start with yourself “, seems to be replaced by: “the government has to set and keep the rules”.

From analyses of the choices consumers made in the 3 computer decision room sessions, as described in (Vogtländer et al, 2001e), it appeared that the decision process to rank products in terms of personal preferences was slightly more complex than just deciding on the basis of the best value for money. Environmental aspects played a secondary role. we call that “the Double Filter Model” as depicted in Fig. 1.6a.