The Consideration Set

  • Marcel Paulssen
Part of the Gabler Edition Wissenschaft book series (GEW)


It is a well-known fact that consumers do not equally consider all brands in a given market before making a purchase decision. Due to a lack of perceived quality or an excessively high price, some brands may be clearly irrelevant for a purchase, whereas other brands receive intense consideration. The concept “evoked set” was first mentioned by HOWARD (1963, p. 84), when he stated that the number of brands a consumer would consider in a purchase situation is probably less than the total number of brands available. NICOSIA (1966) used an analogous thought in his theory of buying behavior when he described the final purchase as the result of a tunneling process. However he did not offer any kind of deeper explanation for the nature of this process. The construct “evoked set” was introduced into the marketing literature when HOWARD & SHETH (1969, p. 98) incorporated it into their theory of buyer behavior. They defined the evoked set as “... the brands that the buyer considers as acceptable for his next purchase”. In effect they hypothesized that the evoked set is used as one means to simplify the consumer choice process in complex buying situations with many available alternatives. Furthermore they state that “a brand would be an element of a buyer’s evoked set if he would consider it as an alternative if a purchase decision were made now” (HOWARD & SHETH 1969, p. 212).


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  1. 1.
    The equation above holds at the individual level. For the sake of notational simplicity the subscript was omitted. Variability in Wk (variety seeking) and yk (advertising etc.) can also be incorporated (ROBERTS & LATTIN 1991, p. 431)Google Scholar

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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2000

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  • Marcel Paulssen

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