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About Black Box Model

In simple words, the Black Box model is the functional relationship between the input and output systems.

Black Box Model

In the field of marketing and science and consumer behavior, a Black Box Model is the representation of a consumer’s mind.

This model is best for the study of the buying behavior and patterns of consumers by studying their observed stimuli and responses.

Generally, in engineering science and computing, a Black Box is associated with a device or an object in which the things happening inside can only be guessed based on the input and output systems.

For example, if you put in a ball on one side of the Black Box and it comes out from the other side, you can only make hypothetical guesses about what happened inside the box.

There might have been more balls present inside the box, or the ball could have rolled on its own to the other end, or it could have rolled because of the presence of a conveyor belt.

The most common image of a Black Box model is just an opaque, black-colored box. It can be anything ranging from a transistor, an algorithm, or even the human mind.

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    Black Box Model of Consumer Behavior

    Market exchange is a phenomenon that comes from the relation between a provider and a consumer.

    Through this process, both the parties assess the trade respectively from their perspective to satisfy their needs and choices.

    Here, both parties are necessary for the fulfillment of each other’s needs. In the case of consumer or buyer behavior, the human mind is the Black Box.

    It considers the various responses of the buyer as a result of mental consciousness, decision-making process, profits, and personal choices.

    Over the last decade, Black Box models have gone in and out of styles depending upon the rise and fall of markets.

    The Black Box model is distinctly associated with the Black Box Theory of Behaviorism, which mainly focuses on the relation between the stimuli and the observed response of a consumer.

    The model basically suggests that after the complete processing of the stimuli, the human mind will respond in particular ways according to the different stimuli.

    The human mind is related to the Black Box because there is very little knowledge about its actual functioning.

    In the case of consumer behaviorism, various factors can influence a consumer’s decision. This article will discuss these factors later below.

    Even though various factors can influence the consumer’s mind, there is no knowledge of how the human mind transforms all these data with the stimuli to generate a particular response.

    The Economic Man Theory and The Stimulus-Response Model try to deal with such mysteries of the consumer’s mind.

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    Factors Influencing Consumer Buying Behavior

    Various factors influence the decision-making process of a consumer. These include:

    Cultural Factors

    Growing up in a particular society, each person has a different set of basic values, behavior, and perceptions of the world.

    Because the norms and ideas of different societies forge the basic perspectives of an individual, culture is the elementary cause of the wants and needs of a person.

    Therefore, global markets need to adjust accordingly to the different cultures in the world.

    Psychological Factors

    Psychological factors highly determine the popularity of service in the global markets.

    The motive of a person, discounts and benefits, beliefs and perceptions, and any kind of educational value attracts the consumer’s mind to a particular product.

    Social Factors

    A person’s social environment also defines the need to purchase a product from a seller. Family, friend circles, formal workgroups, and the social status of an individual affect the buyer Black Box.

    Social factors can significantly change the perception of an individual about a particular product. In some cases, a person may also feel societal pressure to buy a particular service.

    Personal Factors

    This is the factor that highly influences a consumer’s buying behavior. Age plays an important role in the choices of an individual.

    As people grow older, their tastes and desires in clothes, furniture, or personal items constantly change.

    The occupation and economic conditions of people also dictate their choices while buying different products.

    Similarly, global markets should remember the lifestyle and personal choices of different-aged individuals while designing products.

    Applications of Black Box Model

    Over the years, the Black Box has usually been used to create strategies and execution plans for the successful sale of a product.

    Financial markets, websites, and product-selling companies use the Black Box Model to design convincing and in-demand products to influence and attract consumers worldwide.

    Most of the product-creating companies in the market work with the principle of want-fulfillment, not need-fulfillment.

    Depending on the various factors, they create popularity and desires for their product with the help of celebrity faces.

    These companies also come with different strategies like longer periods of discounts to keep the consumers attracted to their products.

    Through these desires and well-developed plans, they get to create a global demand for their services.

    For example, a product costing INR 5000 is usually sold at INR 4500 with taxes. It comes around the festive seasons to draw consumers to their retail outlets.

    Adjusting the price, place, and promotion of products according to the consumers is yet another application of the Black Box model.

    It helps to analyze the existing market opportunities and create a demand accordingly.

    It also helps to target a specific group of people to engage them in the company’s products according to their needs.

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    Criticisms of Black Box Model

    The Black Box model has come under criticism several times due to doubts about its practical usage.


    One of the biggest drawbacks stated by the experts is the inconsistency of the Black Box model. Relying too heavily on such models does not always reap benefits in the marketing industry.

    Does not Apply to All Products

    The Black Box model does not apply to all the products in the same way, making it difficult for marketers to rely on the basic strategy of the model.

    They have to perform more research on their field of product that will eventually lead to more time consumption.

    Constantly varying interests of the consumers make it difficult for the companies to stick to one plan of action.

    Also, there are millions of customers globally with highly different interests. The market analysis doesn’t need to always be correct using the Black Box model.

    Social Factors

    As discussed above, social factors can be a huge advantage for companies to increase their product value.

    But, in some cases, it may serve as a disadvantage too. For example, it is commonly predictable for the companies to sell barbecues on the Fourth of July in America.

    But, knowing how the family, friends, and social groups influence a customer is a more complex process.

    Inefficient Marketing Strategies

    Sometimes, in the end, marketing strategies end up becoming all about satisfying the wants of people rather than actually fulfilling their needs.

    They also try to take advantage of the weaknesses of the consumers in the form of exchange, lotteries, and gifts.

    High claims of such companies usually turn out to be false advertisements and loss of money for the consumers.

    Conclusion – Black Box Model

    The use of the Black Box model is constantly evolving.

    Advancements in computing powers, data applications, psychological studies, and artificial intelligence is now consistently improving the techniques of the Black Box model.

    Some of the world’s largest investment managers use the updated Black Box model regularly in their investment strategies.

    The Black Box model is regularly improved to cope up with the changing desires of the consumers.

    These newer models are trying to explain the consumer mind in a more detailed manner to the upcoming individuals in the field.

    The science behind the Black Box model is sometimes misused to take advantage of people. There is also the presence of appropriate judicial laws for the protection of consumers.

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