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The 7+1 phases of your Consumer Journey — Essential insights brands need to succeed

Updated: Feb 28

Brand loyalty is won, and lost, in every Consumer interaction.

That's whenever someone gets exposed to the brand across their end-to-end Consumer Experience Journey (CEJ) as they shop for as well as use its product:

Pre-Purchase ⇆  Path to Purchase  ⇆  Post-Purchase

Here's how we define CEJs at Khatanalytics:

Some brands focus only on getting the sale, not realizing most "loyalty" gets built post purchase — when consumers use their product.

By not knowing which touchpoints truly matter to consumers across their FULL journey, brands risk investing $ millions on the wrong ones, resulting in dissatisfied customers, jeopardized sales and lost market share.

Customer Journey Maps

Comprehensive insights on Consumers end-to-end journeys enable brands to capture their nuanced needs, motivations, emotions and decisions, from their very first contact to long-term engagement.

Journey maps are strategic tools empowering brands to step into their consumers' shoes, center their offering around their needs, to cultivate satisfying, loyal relationships.

76% of business leaders say Consumer Journey Maps increase ROI of investments
Yet only 46 % of companies use them.

(Hanover research 2023)

That's a significant missed opportunity.

Source: Hanover Research 2023 - The Power of Customer Journey Mapping

How well does your organization know your Consumers' end-to-end journey?

For example:

  • What triggers the start of their purchase process?

  • What role does each digital vs physical touchpoint play?

  • When trying a new product, what information do they seek out?

  • What are the different ways they tackle the issue your product solves?


Across your Consumers' full journey they'll encounter your brand many times...

  • What impression is your brand making at each touchpoint?

  • Is it enhancing credibility in each successive touchpoint as the best ultimate choice?

Khatanalytics 7+1 phase Consumer Journey framework:

Khatanalytics specializes in  Consumer Experience Journey  research & strategies.

Based on decades of Fortune-100 Insights leadership experience, we've developed a proven CEJ learning framework that deconstructs the CEJ into 7 tangible, actionable phases. With a "+1" phase that super-successful brands achieve!

Our 7 journey phases fall into 2 fundamental broader areas of Shopping and Using:

A: Shopping for the product — Path to Purchase

1. Purchase Trigger (getting started)

2. Awareness & Perception Forming

3. Consideration & Evaluation

4. Decision & Purchase

B: Using the product — Post Purchase (into Pre-Purchase)

5. First Time Use, On-boarding

6. Ongoing Use & Satisfaction

7. Advocacy & Cross Purchase


+1 Loyalty Loop (not really a phase, but desired outcome)

Our framework guides the detailed learning needed to craft high ROI strategies for each journey phase. These critical insights empower brands to know which consumer touchpoints really matter to each target consumer group, why, and what to do to win them.

Below we share our framework, and the research questions we delve into, so you can too.

You can also download our PDF with these details here:

Khatanalytics CEJ 7+1 Phase Learning Framework - Feb 2024
Download PDF • 2.36MB

Essential Insights for each Consumer Journey phase:


Below we will walk you through:

Our 7+1 journey phases

What each phase is about

  • Fundamental questions to answer

As you review each, also answer these OVERARCHING CEJ QUESTIONS:

  • Who are my target consumers and how do they behave?

  • How effectively is my brand addressing each topic?

  • What propels the consumer to the next stage?



PHASES 1 to 4




►   This is the “stimulus” for starting the purchase journey

You need to determine:

  • What triggers the start of their purchase process?

  • What stops them from moving forward?



►   Discovering your brand and forming initial impressions


  • Where and how they find out about your category and brand

  • What are their initial beliefs & attitudes to your brand

  • Who informs and influences their perceptions 




►   Assessing if your product is the right choice for their needs


  • Their criteria for product selection (needs, use cases, features).

  • Their sources of information and who influences them.

  • The role and impact of digital & physical touchpoints.

  • Their preferences for shopping channels & retailers.




►   Finalizing their choice and making the purchase


  • What are their Drivers & Barriers to purchase? (both rational & emotional)

  • The role of price and promotions on product and purchase timing

  • What factors makes them switch vs stay with a brand?


PHASES 5 to 7



►   Their initial experience with your product


  • Their experience with unboxing, set-up, initial use (delightful or frustrating?)

  • What Information do they seek and where do they get it?

  • Their support and return preferences.




►   Using the product (this is where most time is spent across the full journey).


  • Their aspirations and role category plays in meeting them

  • Their needs, desires, pain points, usage occasions for the product?

  • How they holistically address these (all categories, products, services used)

  • How is their product experience? What’s working vs needs fixing or innovating




►   Demonstrating loyalty through repeat purchases or advocacy


  • Their perceptions of different brands.

  • What drives/hinders their loyalty and advocacy.

  • What encourages them to broaden brand engagement





This isn’t a phase … but a highly desired outcome

►   It's when consumers are triggered to shop, they SKIP the full shopping journey, immediately buying the brand they want and trust.

  • Brands that achieve this level of loyalty gain sales faster, for longer, and with higher ROI.

  • This could be driven by brand love or a tried and proven food or cosmetics brand.

Why This Matters to You


Different consumers take different journeys, and they are rarely simple or linear.


Understanding their specific paths and priorities enables you to craft personalized strategies that resonate deeply with your consumers, ensuring your investments not only build loyalty but also drive your sustainable growth.

Read more on Consumer Experience Journeys:


Khatanalytics is dedicated to guiding brands through this complex journey with our comprehensive research and strategic frameworks. If you're looking to deepen your understanding of the CEJ and leverage it for higher sales and loyalty, reach out to us.

Let's explore how our proprietary framework can illuminate your path to consumer loyalty and business growth.


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