Represents the step consumers go through before, during, and after making purchases. The beginning of the consumer decision process; occurs when consumers recognize they have an unsatisfied need and want to go from their actual needy state to a different desired state. Functional needs: pertain to the performance of a product or service. Psychological needs: pertain to the personal gratification consumers associate with a g/s. The length and intensity of the search are based on several factors, including the degree of perceived risk associated with purchasing the g/s and the importance of the product to the consumer. Internal search: occurs when the buyer examines his or her own memory and knowledge about the g/s, gathered through past experiences. External search: occurs when the buyer seeks information outside his or her personal knowledge base to help make the buying decision. Performance risk: involves the perceived danger inherent in a poorly performing g/s.