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Chapter 10

Groups

CONSUMER
BEHAVIOR, 9e
Michael R. Solomon

08/26/15
Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

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Chapter Objectives
When you finish this chapter, you should
understand why:

Others, especially those who possess some


kind of social power, often influence us.

We seek out others who share our interests


in products or services.

We are motivated to buy or use products in

order to be consistent with what other people


do.

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Chapter Objectives (continued)

Certain people are particularly likely to


influence others product choices.

The things that other consumers tell us about


products (good and bad) are often more
influential than the advertising we see.

Online technologies are accelerating the


impact of word-of-mouth communication.

Social networking is changing the way


companies and consumers interact.
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Reference Groups

Reference group: an actual or imaginary


individual/group conceived of having
significant relevance upon an individuals
evaluations, aspirations, or behavior

Influences consumers in three ways:


Informational
Utilitarian
Value-expressive
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When Reference Groups Are Important

Social power: capacity to alter the actions of


others
Referent power

Information power

Legitimate power

Expert power

Reward power

Coercive power

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Discussion
High schools have all types of reference
groups, with members representing all types of
social power. Think back and try to identify
people who had the following types of power.

Referent power
Information power
Legitimate power
Expert power
Reward power
Coercive power
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Types of Reference Groups


Any external influence that provides social
clues can be a reference group

Cultural figure
Parents
Large, formal organization
Small and informal groups
Exert a more powerful influence on

individual consumers
A part of our day-to-day lives: normative
influence

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Brand Communities and Consumer Tribes

A group of consumers who


share a set of social
relationships based upon
usage or interest in a product

Consumer tribes share


emotions, moral beliefs,
styles of life, and affiliated
product

Brandfests celebrated by
community
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Membership versus
Aspirational Reference Groups

Membership reference groups


People the consumer actually knows
Advertisers use ordinary people
Aspirational reference groups
People the consumer doesnt know but

admire
Advertisers use celebrity spokespeople

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Factors Predicting
Reference Group Membership
Propinquity

Mere exposure

Group cohesiveness

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Positive versus
Negative Reference Groups

Avoidance groups: motivation to distance


oneself from other people/groups

Antibrand communities: coalesce around a


celebrity, store, or brandbut in this case
theyre united by their disdain for it

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Consumers Do It in Groups

Deindividuation: individual identities become


submerged within a group

Social loafing: people dont devote as much


to a task when their contribution is part of a
larger group

Risky shift: group members show a greater


willingness to consider riskier alternatives
following group discussion than if members
made their own decisions
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Discussion
Home shopping partiessuch as Tupperware, Avon,
Pampered Chef, Amway, or Botoxare designed to
put pressure on friends and neighbors to buy
merchandise.

Have you attended these parties? Why or why not?


Do you believe putting social pressure is ethical?
Why or why not?

Why are these parties more common among


women?

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Factors Influencing Conformity

Cultural pressures
Fear of deviance
Commitment
Group characteristics
unanimity
size
expertise

Susceptibility to

interpersonal influence

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Opinion Leadership

Opinion leaders influence


others attitudes and
behaviors
Experts
Unbiased evaluation
Socially active
Similar to the consumer
Among the first to buy

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Opinion Leaders

Is there a generalized opinion leader whose


recommendations we seek for all types of
purchases?

Experts may be monomorphic or


polymorphic

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Figure 10.1 Old and New Social Networks

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The Market Maven


Market maven: actively
involved in transmitting
marketplace information of
all types

Just into shopping and


aware of whats happening
in the marketplace

Overall knowledge of how


and where to get products
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The Surrogate Consumer

Surrogate consumer: a marketing


intermediary hired to provide input into
purchase decisions
Interior decorators, stockbrokers,
professional shoppers, college
consultants
Consumer relinquishes control over
decision-making functions

Marketers should not overlook influence of


surrogates!
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How Do We Find Opinion Leaders?

The self-designating method


Simply ask individuals whether they

consider themselves to be opinion leaders


Easy to apply to large group of potential
opinion leaders
Inflation or unawareness of own
importance/influence

Key informant method


Key informants identify opinion leaders
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Sociometric Methods

Sociometric methods: trace communication


patterns among group members

Systematic map of group interactions


Most precise method of identifying productinformation sources, but is very
difficult/expensive to implement

Network analysis
Referral behavior/network, tie strength
Bridging function, strength of weak ties
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Word-of-Mouth Communication
WOM is product information transmitted by
individuals to individuals

More reliable form of marketing


Social pressure to conform
Influences two-thirds of all sales
We rely upon WOM in later stages of
product adoption

Powerful when we are unfamiliar with


product category
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BzzAgent

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Negative WOM and Power of Rumors


We weigh negative WOM more heavily than we do
positive comments!
Negative WOM is easy to spread, especially online
Determined detractors
Information/rumor distortion

There are 3 themes to complaint Web sites


Injustice
Identity
Agency

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Figure 10.3
The Transmission of Misinformation

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Cutting-Edge WOM Influences


Social Networking
Crowd Power
Guerilla Marketing
Viral Marketing
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Virtual Worlds: The Next Digital Frontier

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Chapter Summary
People with social power influence our behavior as
consumers.

We are motivated to buy things that are consistent


with those in our reference groups.

WOM communication about products, especially


from opinion leaders, may be more influential than
information from marketers.

Web 2.0 accelerates the speed of delivery and the


power of WOM communication.

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