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O informal reference groups also have significant

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o Informal reference groups also have significant interaction, but they have no formal rules. 2. Primary and secondary reference groups o Primary reference groups have face-to-face interaction while secondary reference groups do not. 9
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o A primary reference group would be pupils in a class at school, while a secondary reference group could be a group of people who live in another country, but who still exert an influence on your buying behaviour. 3. Membership and non-membership reference groups o We tend to be members of a certain group and model our behaviour on others in the group. 4. Aspirational reference groups and dissociative groups o Aspirational reference groups are groups that people aspire to belong to. o Dissociative reference groups are groups that you avoid and reject. Consumers associate with certain reference groups for the following reasons: 1. Information (informational influence) – Reference groups transmit valuable information to each other. Customers often accept the opinions of group members as credible, especially when it is difficult to assess product or brand characteristics by observation. 2. Reward and punishment (normative or utilitarian influence) – when consumers fulfil the expectations of a particular group, they may receive a reward or be sanctioned. 3. Aspiration (identification influence; value-expressive reference groups) – a person’s aspiration to belong to a certain reference group may enhance their self-concept. Determinants of reference group influence: 1. Group influence is strongest when a product or brand is visible to the group. 2. Reference group influence is higher the less of a necessity an item is 3. The more commitment a person feels to a group, the more he will conform to its norms. 4. The more relevant a particular activity is to the group’s functioning, the stronger the pressure to conform to the group norms concerning that activity. Social class – a group of people in a country who are considered equal in status or community esteem, who socialise together on a regular basis formally and informally and who share behaviour patterns. A strong middle class is essential for a vigorous democratic society because it guarantees political stability for the country in the long run. One of the most important ways in which South African social classes are described is by using the Living Standards Measure (LSM), which is the most universally applied method of segmenting the SA consumer market. Social class strongly influences customer lifestyles and in general is a good indicator of the type of product that a customer would be interested in buying. Topic 3 – Internal factors influencing customer behaviours Study unit 6 – Personal characteristics Factors which influence consumer’s buying decisions can be grouped into general factors and product-specific factors.
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