In any buyer decision process, the first thing to realize is that usually the decision is made emotionally. That's right, emotionally. All the reasoning and rationalizing is done simply to justify this decision.
You may have heard people say 'I can't really afford it, but I'll get it anyway because I will benefit in this way and that.' In fact, you may even have said something similar yourself!
What you are hearing is that the person really wants it because it generates a positive emotional charge for them. And the benefits are their way of justifying their purchasing decision for themselves.
This is the second thing to be aware of in any buyer decision process. People buy what they want ahead of what they need.
They may need to buy something for the house, but they want a good night out. Guess where they spend their money!
The buyer decision process also differs depending on gender. Women supposedly make more emotive decisions then men, with men preferring to have lots of data and facts to help them decide.
Remember that these decisions are made emotionally anyway, and it may just be that women are happy to explain their purchasing decision by saying that they just liked it. Men are more comfortable if they can justify it with rational explanations.
It has also been noticed that men purchase for immediate gratification. They are less concerned than women about long-term considerations. For women however, the buyer decision process strategically takes into account how the product or service will serve them over time.
In fact, the long-term benefits may even be more important than the immediate ones. This may mean that women actually want more information up front than men.
This makes brand loyalty easier to establish with women, whereas men may forget the brand even as they walk out of the store.
Men tend to be quite outcome oriented, being brought up in a competitive world.
Women are much more concerned with the process of getting there. They may be happier with a lesser outcome, so long as relationships are kept intact while getting it.
Women will often use other peoples opinions to reach a decision. Men use others decisions to form an opinion.
If the man hears from others that a particular product is good and works, he will be happy to buy it.
The same information is insufficient for a woman. She wants to know why the others bought it. Her idea is that their reasons may be different from hers, so she may not be as successful with a similar purchase.
Thinking brand loyalty again, a man will avoid a product that others have had difficulty with. For a woman however, a product may still satisfy her buyer decision process even if it failed for somebody else. But only if her reasons for buying are different from theirs.