Chapter_7-Group_Infl - Group Influences on Consumer Behavior The importance of references groups their influence in behaviors of consumers and

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Unformatted text preview: Group Influences on Consumer Behavior The importance of references groups, their influence in behaviors of consumers and communications within groups and opinion leadership. Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Introduction In our daily lives, we interact with different cultures and ways of thinking people. In this chapter, we study different types of groups, consumption subcultures, references group, marketing strategies based on reference group. Also, it examines communications within groups, as well as characteristics of opinion leaders. Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Types of Groups Group is defined as two or more individuals who share a set of norms, values, or beliefs and have certain implicitly or explicitly defined relationships to one another such that their behaviors are independent. Reference Group is a group whose presumed perspectives or values are being used by an individual as the basis for his or her current behavior. Thus, a reference group is simply a group that an individual uses as a guide for behavior in a specific situation. Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Types of Groups Most of us, belong to a number of different groups and perhaps would like to belong to several others. When we are actively involved with a particular group, it generally functions as a reference group. As the situation changes, we may base our behavior on an entirely different group, which then becomes our reference group. We may belong to many groups simultaneously, but we generally use only one group as our primary point of reference in and any given situation. Groups may be classified according to a number of variables. Four criteria are particularly useful: 1) Membership 2) Strength of social tie 3) Type of contact 4) Attraction Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Types of Groups Membership. It is dichotomous: Either one is a member of a particular group or one isn't a member of that group. Of course, some members are more secure in their membership than others are. Strength Social Tie. It reefers to the closeness and intimacy of the group linkages. Primary Group, such as family and friends, involve strong ties and frequent interaction . They wiled considerable influence on behavior. Secondary Group, such as professional and neighborhood associations, involve weaker ties and less frequent interaction. Type of Contact. It reefers to whether the interaction is direct or indirect. Direct contact involves face to face indirect contact does not. Internet is an example of indirect contact. Attraction. It is about to the desirability that membership in a given group has for the individual. This can range from negative to positive. There are two distinct groups: "Dissociative Reference Group" and "Aspirations Reference Group". Example of both: Dissociative: Teenagers and clothes associated with older consumers. Aspiration: Individuals purchase products in order to achive actual or symbolic membership in the group. Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Consumption Subcultures A consumption-based group, often termed a Consumption Subculture, is a distinctive subgroup of society that self-selects on the basis of a shared commitment to a particular product class, brand, or consumption activity. These groups have: 1) An Identifiable, hierarchical social structure 2) A set of shared beliefs or values 3) Unique jargon, rituals, and modes of symbolic expression. Examples of subcultures: Hip-hop Skydiving Golfing (Credit card for club's members) Racing Ecologist (Ecological products-Green Marketing) Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Brand Communities As we saw, consumption subcultures focus on the interaction of individuals around an activity, product category, or occasionally a brand. Instead, a Brand Community, is a nongeographically bound community, based on a structured set of social relationships among owners of a brand and the psychological relationship they have with itself, the product in use and the firm. A community is characterized by consciousness of kind, share rituals and traditions and a sense of moral responsibility. We can identify different brand communities, like: Jeep, Harley-Davidson, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, Tommy Hilfiger, among others. Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Online Communities and Social Networks Online Community is one that interacts over time around a topic of interest on the Internet. These interactions can take place in various forms, including online message boards, and discussion groups, blogs, as well as corporate and nonprofit websites. Research indicates that online communities exist for many participants and that there is often a sense of community online, which moves beyond mere interactions to include an affective or emotional attachment to the online group. Studies has found ongoing communications among sunsets of this interest groups. Online Social Network Site is a Web-based service that allows individuals to: 1) Construct a public or semipublic profile within a bounded system. 2) Articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and 3) View and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. Some examples are: Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Youtube, P&G's Capessa site for women, etc. Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Influences on the Consumption Process Reference group influence can take three forms: Informational, normative and identification. It is important to distinguish among these types since the marketing strategy required depends on the type of influence involved. Informational influence: Occurs when an individual uses the behaviors and opinions of reference group members as potentially useful bits of information. This influence is based on either the similarity of the group's members to the individual or the expertise of the influencing group member. For example, players of Italian National Soccer Team use Puma brand for their uniforms. A fan of Italian Team decides to buy Puma brand. Why? Use by the players provides information about the brand. Normative influence: Sometimes referred to as Utilitarian influence, occurs when an individual fulfills group expectations to gain direct reward or to avoid a sanction. You may purchase a particular brand of wine to win approval from a colleague. Normative influence is strongest when individuals have strong ties to the group and the product involved is socially conspicuous. Your goal is to be accepted for determined group. Identification influence: Also called Value-expressive influence, occurs when individuals have internalized the group's values and norms. These then guide the individuals' behaviors without any thought of reference group sanctions or rewards. The individual behaves in a manner consistent with the group's values because his or her values and the group's values are the same. Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Marketing Strategies Based on Reference Group Influences Case of Advertising Strategies. Marketers often position products as appropriate for group activities. French wines gained image of being somewhat expensive and snobbish. Many consumers viewed them as appropriate only for very special occasions. Marketers use all three types of reference group influence when developing advertisements. Informational influence. This type of ad uses an expert reference group (e.g., dentists, doctors, known players of different sports and teachers), as the information agent. Another approach is showing members of a group using a product. Normative influence. It involves the explicit o implicit suggestion that using, or not using, the brand will result in having members of the group you belong to or wish to join rewarding or punishing you. This technique is not as used like others, due to ethical questions raised by implying that a person's friends would base their reactions to the individual according to his or her purchases (value judgments). Identification influence. It is based in the fact that the individual has internalized the group's values and attitudes. The advertising task is to demonstrate that the product is consistent with the group's and therefore the individual's beliefs. This often involves showing the brand being used by a particular type of group, such as socially active young singles or parents of young children. Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Communications within Groups and Opinion Leadership Word of Mouth (WOM) Communications involves individuals sharing information with other individuals in a verb form, including face to face, phone, and the Internet. As you know, online social media and the Internet continue to transform interpersonal communications and WOM. Consumers generally trust the opinions of people (Family, friends, acquaintances) more than marketing communications, because unlike marketing communications, these personal sources have no reason not to express their true opinions and feelings. As a consequence, WOM via personal sources such as family and friends can have a critical influence on consumer decisions and business success. In fact, it is estimated that two-thirds of all consumer product decisions are influenced by WOM. So the importance of Word of Mouth Communications is high and its importance relative to advertising varies somewhat across product types. It is necessary to consider that negative experiences are powerful motivators of WOM, since the negative WOM can strongly influence recipients' attitudes and behaviors. Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Communications within Groups and Opinion Leadership Opinion Leader In many cases, not all personal sources of information are equal in value. Some folks are known in their circles as the "go-to-person", for specific types of information. These individuals actively filter, interpret, or provide product and brand-relevant information to their family, friends, colleagues and public. The process of one person's receiving information from the mass media or other sources and passing it on to others is known as the two-step flow of communications. However, what generally happens is a multistep flow of communication. This multistep flow involves opinion leaders for a particular product area actively seek relevant information and transmit their interpretations of it to some members of their groups. Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Likelihood of Seeking and Opinion Leader Group Influences on Consumer Behavior Communications within Groups and Opinion Leadership Characteristics of Opinion Leader Greater long-term involvement with the product category than the non-opnion leaders (Enduring involvement). They tend to be specialist. They are convincing. They are heavily involved with the mass media, particularly media that focus on their area of leadership. Some examples of Opinion Leader in Dominican Republic: Hugo Veras for Cars. Franklin Mirabal about Sports Eugenia Rojo for kitchen and food products. END ...
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This note was uploaded on 06/22/2011 for the course ALL 105 taught by Professor Laus during the Spring '11 term at FIU.

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