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Table of Contents

Case Study and necessary Definition

Q1. What are the different types of appeals? Give one example of advertisement for each type.

  • Define ad appeal.
  • Mention the different types of ad appeals.
  • Give ad examples for about 5 types.
  • Explain the ad example and appeal in brief.

Maggi Advertisement- It uses EMOTIONAL APPEAL. The ad talks about “MERI MAGGI WALI STORY”.  Consumers are invited over to write a short story about their experience with the product maggi.

The ad connects with the consumers at the emotional level- where the consumers share their personal and positive information about maggi.

An emotional appeal is related to an individual’s psychological and social needs for purchasing certain products and services. It fosters attachment between the brand and consumers. Visual cues are most important in emotional appeal.

It is “not what is being said but how it is said” is important. The consumer gets carried by the visuals, presentation, endorses and emotional bond presented through the ad

Q2. Give examples of advertisements those represent Indian core values. Justify your example.

  • Define Indian core values.
  • Mention the different Indian core values.
  • Give examples for every core value and explain the ad.

As Indians we very strongly hold the following values:

Family orientation, Festivities,Food, Savings, Shopping as a ritual and Mythology.

Saving is an inherent value of Indians. Consumers fall back on their savings to celebrate festivities, very specifically weddings in the family. They generally save in the form of real estate (ancestral properties) FD’S ,  Investment plans and jewellery. Saving as a habit pervades in all section of the society.

The ad example of “LIC” which is the most trusted brand highlights the core value of saving. In the ad the wife talks about how a LIC policy taken by her husband helped her to raise her kids and settle them in life even after her husband’s departure.

“LIC ZINDAGI KE SATH BI ZINDAGI KE BAD BHI”.

Q3. Analyze different ads at different levels of Maslow’s Need Hierarchy.

Solution– In a few lines mention Maslow and his arrangement of human needs into a hierarchy.

Discuss the 5 levels of need hierarchy theory.

Give ad examples for each level.

Example– Maslow proposes the lowest level need to be “Physiological Need”. Once this need is satisfied we move on to need for “security and social needs”

Social needs are one’s need for love, belonging, companionship etc. Once lower order needs ie. Physiological and sense of security are achieved individuals look for warmth, love and companionship.

The ad example of “AIRTEL HAR EK FRIEND JARURI HOTA HAI” is an apt example of social need. The ad talks about how friendship is special and every friend is precious and therefore should be valued. It also highlights the fact that our friends satisfy our different needs and so they are worth it.

Q4. Cambridge wants to launch a complete new segment of women’s bridal wear consisting of ready to wear as well as customized garments.Based on this information answer the following questions.

  1. What message channel/ message factors should be used and why?
  • Discuss what is message channel.- formal  and informal.
  • Message factor- include one sided / two sided messages.
  • Anticlimax/ Climax/ Pyramidal order.
  • Verbal/ Non verbal / Paralinguistic code.

Cambridge the clothing brand is quite a popular brand among the middle class consumers. As they wish to now cater to a specialized set of target audience “Brides” a formal channel would be suitable for this kind of communication.

They could use Hoardings, TVC”S, Radio and Website to promote their specialized and customized garments. They could talk about Cambridge being a trusted brand (focusing on affordable price) currently. They would benefit by using one- sided messaging focusing mainly on positive attributes of the brand as the consumers know about the brand and have a positive image about it.

An anticlimax order and nonverbal/ Paralinguistic code of communication would help in promotion. In one of their TVC”S they could use pleasing and well dressed brides (common man appeal) to mi the target audience. The brand name Cambridge could be shown 1st followed by an ad using emotional appeal (Anticlimax order).

Who would you use as endorsers and spokespersons and why?

  • Mention the name of the endorser.
  • Talk about the synergy between the endorser and the new product.

Cambridge is a brand that has a special space in the minds of the middle class consumers. Now it plans to diversify into bridal wear. Definitely it does not want to lose on its loyal consumers. Hence using a” common man” young middle class girl aspiring to get married would help in enhancing their current status.

What appeal of advertising would you suggest and why?

In a few lines mention different ad appeals.

Suggest one/ two which are most appropriate for the current product.

Marriage in the Indian context signifies time for bonding, celebration and purchase. Hence and “emotional appeal” would work best especially when the T.A. is women.

An ad that talks about “Marriage- your D day” and how special it is for you and how Cambridge can make this more special and an event whose memories you can cherish forever.

Q5. Outline different products with their advertisements to satisfy the needs of different stages of FLC.

  • Define FLC.
  • Mention tradition & modern FLC.
  • Write about the various stages of traditional FLC.
  • Give product & ad examples for each level.

The first stage in the traditional family life cycle is “Bachelorhood”. It consists of young single men and women who have established households apart from their parents.

Young Adults spend their income on rent, basic home furnishing, manintaience of automobiles, purchasing gadgets, travel, entertainment, Clothing & accessories. Members of this stage have sufficient disposal income to indulge on themselves.

Marketers target singles for a wide variety of products & services – health clubs, sports club, career / job training, trendy clothes & accessories, automobiles, gadgets (mobile phones, laptops, camera, etc.) entertainment & leisure activities with friends.

The ad example of “Pizza Hut” is a good example for this stage. The ad talks about a young adult not hesitating to buy meal for many (a whole group) of friends since items at pizza hut are now made affordable at just Rs 449.

Q6.Use the model of consumer decision making to explain the purchase of a watch you have made recently.

  • Define decision making.
  • Give a diagnostic representation of the model.
  • Explain your recent purchase using the three stages- input, process, and output.

I recently purchased “a Titan Raga Watch” worth Rs 5000/-. I got tempted by the 30% off the brand was offering. I also had a wide range of variety to choose from. (Firms marketing effort – input stage.)

Although the watch is a little high priced I got motivated to make the purchase because it was for a special occasion in the family. I.e. my sister’s wedding. (Processing)

Titan is an established brand & I have being a loyal customer of the brand as I have enjoyed the maximum satisfaction from its various sub brands.

All these factors helped in reinforcing my decision to buy a titan watch once again.(output stage)

Q7 A Well known company for household gadgets wants to launch a series of Smartphones. Based on this question, answer the following

  • What message structure should be used?
  • What type of appeal in their advertising would you suggest?
  • Who would you suggest as the brand ambassador?

Message Structure

One Sided:

  • A message that presents only those arguments in favor of a particular position
  • Such a message does not mention negative qualities, problems, or counterarguments on a given subject/ product
  • Usually works favorably for an audience who is already in favor of the message sender’s subject
  • Most mass media advertising messages are one-sided
  • Example: A religious fundraising message is usually one-sided on the assumption that the targeted audience is favorably disposed toward the view being explained and is unlikely to be receptive to other religious beliefs

Two Sided:

  • A message that that presents the arguments in favor of a proposition but also considers the opposing arguments
  • While crafting such a message, marketers will show that they favor a certain position, they will also acknowledge the competitor or opposing viewpoint
  • Usually such a message begins with by showcasing points in favor about the issue in which marketers hope to persuade the consumer, however, later they will discuss opposing viewpoints or counterarguments
  • This is usually followed by a refutation of said opposing viewpoints or counterarguments

Message Appeal

Emotional Appeals

Appealing to the audience’s emotions can be achieved through strong imagery, impactful text or powerful music. An emotional advertising appeal depends more on feelings and perceptions than logic or reason to provoke action.

Fear Appeal:

A fear appeal in advertising is a message that is designed to scare the intended audience by describing a serious threat to them. The advertising tactic is to motivate the intended audience to engage or not engage in certain behaviour based upon a fear. Ads on global warming are most often crafted using the fear appeal. Advertisers use fear appeals to promote an immediate behaviour change such as eating healthier or not smoking. Another fear tactic involves isolation. People will purchase a product to avoid isolation from others because of bad hygiene. Deodorant and toothpaste ads often employ this tactic. Government agencies appeal to an individual’s fear of death or incarceration to prevent drinking and driving. Fear appeals work when the recommended action is specific, effective and plausible. For example, ads geared toward smokers can be ineffective if the person does not believe quitting is within reach.

Humor Appeal:

Humor appeals make consumers laugh and create an emotional link with the product. A well-executed humor appeal enhances recollection, evaluation and the intent to purchase the product. Advertisers link the product with the humor. For example, a humorous insurance ad hits the mark when the humor shows the consumer why having insurance is beneficial. Using humor at the expense of one group may lead to resentment. Senior citizens may resent a product that portrays them as grumpy, while women may refuse to purchase a product that portrays them as overbearing. Humorous ads work best with established and commonly purchased products such as cellphones, fast food and alcoholic beverages. While this appeal is highly effective, there are instances when marketers avoid using humor appeal as they do not wish their product to be ridiculed. Hence, the larger your target audience, the more broadly you want your humor to appeal and the narrower your audience, the more niche kind of humor and inside jokes you can pull off.

Sex Appeal:

The sex appeal lures audiences by appealing to their sexual desires and fantasies. Advertisers use this approach because it is an easy and proven method for attracting attention quickly. While the sex appeal has been widely proven successful across a variety of industries in terms of attracting attention, it’s not always the best method to apply. As an advertiser, you must always be conscious of the personal tastes, limits, and boundaries of what your target audience will find appealing and tasteful. Advertisers need to find an optimum balance between using sex appeal and not.

Prestige/Status Appeal:

There is no question that these nice, patent-leather work shoes were chosen for a reason: status. The point of this ad was to get the viewer to identify the product with a certain class. While the manufacturer is actually selling a car, classy shoes (clearly abused by a love for the acceleration pedal) give a status appeal that is somewhat subliminal in its messaging. Apartments, furniture stores, fashion brands and many other companies also lean on a level of status to appeal to consumers concerned about where they are at, how they are viewed, and where they are headed.

Rational Appeal:

It is technique of designing advertising to appeal audience by using logical arguments stating how it will satisfy customer’s practical needs. Rational appeal is based on appealing price point and highlighting benefits of the products for the customers. The reasonable, functional and practical aspect of the product or service is highlighted in rational appeal advertisements. Generally small businesses use this kind of advertising method to fend off competition.

Brand Ambassador

The Brand Ambassador has to be selected based on what personality a Celebrity, or Person carries.

e.g. Aamir Khan stands for Perfection, Ranveer Singh for Dashing, Ranbir Kapoor for Youth or Wit, Shah Rukh Khan for King.

Q8. Select the type of reference group appeal you would use while making the following decisions and why?

  • Career Plans after TYBMM
  • Buying a Hi-Tech Car

a) Celebrity:

They represent an idealization of life that most people imagine that they would love to live. Their credibility adds to the worthiness of the product/service they are associated with. Advertisers spend enormous amount of money to have celebrities promote their products with the expectation that the reading or viewing audience will react positively to the celebrity’s association with their products. A company has the choice to use the celebrity in different ways:

  • Testimonials: The celebrity has personally used the product
  • Endorsement: Celebrity adds his/her name to the product which he/she may be an expert with or not
  • Actor or Spokesperson: The celebrity represents the product over time in a variety of media and in personal appearances.

b) Expert:

A type of reference group appeal used by marketers is the expert – a person who, because of his/her occupation, training, or experience, can help the consumer evaluate the product being promoted.

c) Common Man:

This appeal is based on the testimonials of satisfied customers. It demonstrates that someone just like the customer is satisfied with the product or service.

d) Executive/ Employee Spokesperson:

Like celebrity, the executive spokesperson (CEO, Founder, MD, Head of Marketing, etc.) is admired by general people because of his/her achievements and the status implicitly conferred on business leaders at large.

e) Trade or Spokes-characters:

Spokes-characters or cartoons, serve as a quasi-celebrity endorser. This person represents the idealized image and dispenses important product information. Such a character is largely exclusive to the specific product or product-line.

Q9. A Couple which just got married. What will be their needs. What phase Family Life Cycle do they stand on?

Family life-cycle is a part of consumer buying behaviour study as it concerns itself with the various phases and generations of people present within an individual family and how to target them with your marketing efforts. This study can be applied for different kind of industries with successful results. It focuses on shopping styles, information use and decision-making differences by a person in the different stages of his life.

As we grow older, we are moving steadily from one stage to another, moving from an initial buying behaviour focusing only on ourselves to a more mature and responsible one, by taking into consideration not only our needs but also the needs of our families. By understanding in which stage a person is in the family life cycle, marketers can anticipate their needs, and determine the products and services they can provide him.

1) Bachelor stage in the family life cycle:

During the bachelor stage people are usually characterized by being interested mainly in appearances. Therefore, people at this stage tend to invest more in fashionable clothing and vehicles. Impulsive buying as well as premium buying is a common characteristic of the Bachelor stage.

2) The newly married couples:

In the family life cycle, the new married couples are considered to be in a better financial position in the initial stage due to the absence of children. It might be possible that both, the husband and wife, are earning members. Thus, the buying decisions focus on quality and not quantity. A family person will always think about savings and insurances, and at the same time, they will invest in long term products like good furniture, new home, etc. Once married, they are less prone to impulsive decisions.

3) Newly Married (with child below 6 Years of Age) [Full Nest 1]

With the arrival of the first child, parents begin to change their roles in the family, and decide if one parent will stay to care for the child or if they will both work and buy daycare services. Either route usually leads to a decline in family disposable income and a change in how the family spends its income. In this stage, families are likely to move into their first home; purchase furniture and furnishings for the child; purchase new items such as baby food, cough medicine, vitamins, toys, etc. These requirements reduce families’ ability to save, and the husband and wife are often dissatisfied with their financial position.

4) Newly Married (with children more than 6 years old) [Full Nest 2]

In this stage, the youngest child has reached school age, the employed spouse’s income has improved, and the other spouse often returns to part-or full-time work outside the home. Consequently, the family’s financial position usually improves, but the family finds itself consuming more and in larger quantities. Consumption patterns continue to be heavily influenced by the children, since the family tends to buy large-sized packages of food and cleaning suppliers, bicycles, music lessons, clothing, sports equipment, and a computer. Discount department stores (such as Cost co and Sam’s Club) are popular with consumers in this stage.

5) Newly Married with Adult children [Full Nest 3]

As the family grows older and parents enter their min-40s, their financial position usually continues to improve because the primary wage earner’s income rises, the second wage earner is receiving a higher salary, and the children earn spending an education money from occasional and part-time employment. The family typically replaces some worn pieces of furniture, purchases another automobile, buys some luxury appliances, and spends money on dental services (braces) and education. Families also spend more on computers in this stage, buying additional PCs for their older children. Depending on where children go to college and how many are seeking higher education, the financial position of the family may be tighter than other instances

6) Older Couples Living Alone Empty nest:

Older married with no children living with them. Financial position stabilizes and there is no expense on children. The couple is free to enjoy their own pursuits and spend on luxury or self-improvement items and medical care.

7) Solitary survivor:

Older single retired people. Retired people living alone after the death of a partner. Life becomes lonely and income may reduce due to retirement. This again changes the consumption pattern and living style of old people.

What type of Reference Group will you target for Advertising

Types of Reference Groups

Normative:

A normative reference group influences your norms, attitudes, and values through direct interaction. Examples of your normative reference groups include your parents, siblings, teachers, peers, associates and friends.

Aspirational & Comparative:

A comparative reference group is a group of individuals whom you compare yourself against and may strive to be like. Examples include celebrities and heroes.

Membership:

The individual is currently a member of this type of group. Among the obvious groups in this classification are fraternities and sororities, social clubs, social networking circles or groups. Other groups may be somewhat less publicly obvious, such as one’s family, religious organization, residential neighborhood association, country club, etc.

Dissociative:

This group is characterized by attitudes, values, or behaviour inconsistent with those held by an individual. The individual wants to distance him or herself from this group. Example: Trade Union for a Factory Manager

Virtual

A group of people who socialize and interact online through digital media such as multiplayer games, forums, chat rooms or on social networking sites, but who have not necessarily met offline, in real life.

Contractual:

A group in which a person holds membership or has a regular face to face contact and of values, attitudes and standards he or she approves. Thus, a contractual group is likely to have a congruent influence on an individual’s attitudes or behaviour. Example: Planning committees / Social change organization.

Disclaimant:

Disclaimant reference groups are groups that we belong to, but do not agree with in regards to attitudes, social, and behaviour. Example: A bunch of society members running a Co-operative Society.


Definitions, and One Liners.

Comprehension

Consumers have knowledge about the innovation, they begin to understand what the product is and what it is capable of. Once our senses detect the stimulus and let it through our perceptual screen we become aware of it. Now the perception has taken place. Comprehension and acceptance of the stimuli make the perception become alive.

Fulfillers

Fulfillers are mature, satisfied, reflective people. They are principle oriented and value order, knowledge, and responsibility. Most are well educated and in – or recently retired from – professional occupations. They are content with their careers, families, and station in life; are well informed about the world and national events; and are alert to opportunities to broaden their knowledge.

Their leisure activities tend to center on their homes. Fulfillers have a moderate respect for the status quo, institutions, and social change. They tend to base their decisions on strongly held principles and consequently appear calm and self -assured.

Gatekeeper

An individual who has the ability to control information to a decision maker. The purchase may be consumed or blocked by this member.

Perception

Studying consumer behaviour helps marketers understand consumer perceptions about a particular product or range of products. Uncovering and correcting erroneous perceptions about a particular product may give marketers an additional competitive advantage over competitors.

Dogmatism

A personality trait that reflects the degree of rigidity a person displays toward the unfamiliar and toward information that is contrary to his or her own established beliefs.

A person who is high dogmatic approaches the unfamiliar defensively and with considerable discomfort and uncertainty

Self Concept:

This term describes the collection of beliefs people have about themselves including elements such as intelligence, gender roles, sexuality, racial identity, etc. This plays a crucial role in the process of interpretation as it will provide you with the context of your perception.

For Ex: If you believe that you’re very good looking, then you may interpret people looking at you (stimulus) as a positive phenomenon (perception) and vice-versa. Self-concept is important as it can change the aspect of your perception from positive to negative and the same in the other way around.

Ego Appeals

Many consumer are open to appeals to their ego. Whether the appeal relates to physical appearance, intellect, sense of humour or any other real or imagined personal quality. The L’Oreal ads are a classic example of this approach. The model in the advertisement says “I’m worth it”. She is appealing directly to the ego of the potential buyers. Not all ego appeals are quite so up front. A more subtle approach is probably more appropriate when the purchaser will be identified with the particular product for as long as he or she owns it or uses it. The ego appeal happens in private, so it works without embarrassing the audience.

Achievers

Achievers are motivated by the desire for achievement. Achievers have goal-oriented lifestyles and a deep commitment to career and family. Their social lives reflect this focus and are structured around family, their place of worship, and work. Achievers live conventional lives, are politically conservative, and respect authority and the status quo. They value consensus, predictability, and stability over risk, intimacy, and self-discovery. With many wants and needs, Achievers are active in the consumer marketplace. Image is important to Achievers; they favor established, prestige products and services that demonstrate success to their peers. Because of their busy lives, they are often interested in a variety of time-saving devices.

Perceptual Constancy:

The tendency to see familiar objects as having a standard shape, color, size or proximity regardless of the changes in the angle of perspective, distance, or lighting. In simple words, the perception about a certain object remains the same regardless of the differences in stimuli.

Social Acceptance Appeals

Another common approach is the appeal that implicitly or perhaps even explicitly promises rewards from a spectrum of personal interaction that ranges from social acceptance to friendship. Appealing to a person’s sense of belonging or feeling of inclusion. The goal of the social appeal is to cause people to make purchases and take action based on whether it will make them feel accepted, recognized, respected, affiliated with, or even rejected by a certain group, organization, or people. It’s all about status and fitting in.

The ads give out a message which tells you that buying this won’t embarrass you, or your friends, family or others may accept you. Once again Hi to the people studying in Starbucks. Although there aren’t any ads, but you get what I am saying dontcha. You don’t? Then why is there a story on your…

Rational appeal

There are two types of appeal  Rational and emotional appeal, In rational appeal the functional benefits of a product is highlighted. Industrial buyers are most responsive to rational appeal. This is generally product oriented appeal e.g Colgate sensitive pro relief

Subculture

A distinct cultural group that exists as an identifiable segment within a larger, more complex society or A subdivision of culture based on unifying characteristics, such as social status or religion, whose members share similar patterns of behaviour distinct from that of the culture.

Social Class

A social class is a set of subjectively defined concepts in the social sciences and political theory centered on models of social stratification in which people are grouped into a set of hierarchical social categories,[1] the most common being the upper, middle and lower classes.

“Class” is a subject of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists and social historians. However, there is not a consensus on a definition of “class” and the term has a wide range of sometimes conflicting meanings. In common parlance, the term “social class” is usually synonymous with “socio-economic class”, defined as “people having the same social, economic, cultural, political or educational status”, e.g., “the working class”; “an emerging professional class”. However, academics distinguish social class and socioeconomic status, with the former referring to one’s relatively stable sociocultural background and the latter referring to one’s current social and economic situation and consequently being more changeable over time.

Strugglers

Their lives are constricted. Chronically poor, ill educated, low skilled, without social bonds, they are often resigned and passive. They do not show a strong self orientation as they are too involved in trying to meet the need of the present moment. Their chief concerns are safety and security.

Negative motives

A driving force away from some object or condition. Some refer to negative drives as fears. Both negative and positive motivation initiate and sustain human behaviour.

Humour Appeal

Many marketers use humourous appeals in belief that humour will increase the acceptance and persuasiveness of their advertising message. Some marketers avoid the use of humour because they fear that product will become an object of ridicule and viewers will laugh at them rather than with them.

Appealing to a person’s sense of humour. Because most human beings like to laugh, humour is an effective appeal for grabbing attention and helping people remember and share information about a product or idea. The goal with humour is to help build a positive association with a product, service, or idea.

Learning

Each time we file a new perception in our minds, it is an additional step in learning. To advertisers, perception is most important because it precedes learning. However, perception and learning are a continuum overlapping each other.

Learning produces habits and skills. It contributes to the development of attitudes, beliefs, preferences, prejudices, emotions and standards of conduct.

Learning is the change in the thought process it behaviour that occurs as a result of reinforced experience. Advertisers classify learning into two broad categories.

  1. Cognitive TheoryCognitive theory views learning as a mental process of memory, thinking and the rational application to practical problems. It describes the way people evaluate a complex purchase.
  2. Conditioning Theory

Conditioning theory is also called as stimulus response theory. It treats learning as a trial and error process and is more applicable to less complex basic purchase consumers make everyday

Superior product performances, good service, reminder advertising all provide purchase reinforcement. If learning is reinforced enough and repeat behaviour produced, a purchasing habit may result.

Advertising is powerful in that it can get consumers to buy a product once. But if it doesn’t please them, the heaviest media budget in the world will not get the consumers to buy again.

Repetition is important to learning. Learning produces a habit. Consumer behaviour is habitual for three unconnected reasons, it is safe, simple, and essential.

A major objective of every advertiser is to produce brand loyalty a direct result of the habit of repurchasing.

In the quest for brand loyalty, advertisers have three aims related to habit.

  • Breaking a habit
  • Acquiring a new habit
  • Reinforcing the new habit

Message Appeals

Message appeals enhance the persuasiveness of messages. The advertising appeal is an attempt to draw a connection between the product being advertised and some need or desire that the audience feels. Appeals fall into two general categories, Rational and Emotional.

The rational appeal aims for the buyers head and emotional aims for the buyer’s heart. A logical appeal tries to sell products based on performance, features or the ability to solve problems. In contrast, an emotional appeal tries to sell products based on the satisfaction that comes from purchasing and then either owning or giving the product as a gift. Defining appeals as either logical or emotional is oversimplifying them.

Acculturation

Acculturation is a process in which members of one cultural group adopt the beliefs and behaviours of another group. In other words, it is the learning of a new or foreign culture.

Comparative advertising  

Advertising that explicitly names or otherwise identifies one or more competitors of the advertised brand for the purpose of claiming superiority, either on an overall basis or in selected product attributes. Comparative ads are capable of exerting more positive effects on brand attitudes, purchase intentions, and purchase than non-comparative advertisements. Example, Colgate vs  Pepsodent

Opinion leader

A person who informally gives product information and advice to others OR trendsetters who purchase new products before others in a group and then influence others in their purchases example During a coffee break, a co-worker talks about the movie he saw last night and recommends seeing it.

Opinion leaders are four times more likely to be asked about political issues, three times more likely to be asked about computers or investments, and twice as likely to be asked about restaurants.

Need for Achievement

A considerable number of research studies have focused on the Achievement need. Individuals with a strong need for achievement often regard personal accomplishment as an end in itself. The achievement need is closely related to both the egoistic need and self-actualization need. People with a high need for achievement have certain traits that make them open to relevant appeals. They are more self-confident and enjoy taking calculated risks. They research their environment actively and are very interested in feedback. Their interest in monetary rewards or profits is primarily due to the feedback that money provides as to how they are doing.

Enculturation

The learning of the culture of one’s own society. Enculturation is the process where the culture that is currently established teaches an individual the accepted norms and values of the culture or society where the individual lives. The individual can become an accepted member and fulfil the needed functions and roles of the group.

Sleeper effect

The tendency for persuasive communication to lose the impact of source credibility over time (i.e., the influence of a message from a high credibility source tends to decrease over time; the influence of a message from a low credibility source tends to increase over time)

Cognitive dissonance

The discomfort or unpleasantness that consumers experience as a result of conflicting information. This dissonance produces tension. Dissonance can occur mostly for durables although it can exist for almost every purchase.

Strivers

Strivers are trendy and fun loving. Because they are motivated by achievement, Strivers are concerned about the opinions and approval of others. Money defines success for Strivers, who don’t have enough of it to meet their desires. They favour stylish products that emulate the purchases of people with greater material wealth. Many Strivers see themselves as having a job rather than a career, and a lack of skills and focus often prevents them from moving ahead. Strivers are active consumers because shopping is both a social activity and an opportunity to demonstrate to peers their ability to buy. As consumers, they are as impulsive as their financial circumstance will allow.

Adoption process

The stages through which an individual consumer passes in arriving at a decision to try (or not to try), to continue using (or discontinue using) a new product.

The five stages of the traditional adoption process are awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption

Attitude

Attitude (positive – negative, favourable or unfavourable) is how a person feels towards an object. A learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favourable or unfavourable manner with respect to a given object.

Consumer ethnocentrism

Some consumers, who are highly ethnocentric are likely to feel that they should not purchase foreign made goods. These people are patriotic. Non Ethnocentric Consumers tend to evaluate foreign goods more objectively.

A consumer’s predisposition to accept or reject foreign-made products. Ethnocentrism has been found to vary by country and product. Mexican consumers, for example, are more ethnocentric than their French and American counterparts; and Malaysian consumers, while preferring to purchase slacks, shirts, undergarments, and belts that are locally manufactured, want to buy imported sunglasses and watches

Consumer Conformity

The willingness of consumers to adopt the norms, attitudes and behaviour of reference groups. Marketers may have divergent goals with regard to consumer conformity. Some marketers, especially market leaders, are interested in the ability of reference groups to change consumer attitudes and behaviour by encouraging conformity

Empty Nest 1

It relates to parents whose children do not live with them and couple has none to support except themselves.

Usually, they are still employed and their level of income is quite high due to long service or progress in business.

Fear Appeal

Fear is an emotional response to some actual or perceived threat or danger. Advertisers use fear appeals in some situations to evoke the desired emotional response and motivate the audience to take steps to remove the threat. Some people humourously call these as ‘slice-of-death’ ads.

The fear appeal specifically appeals to a person’s fears in order to encourage them to buy or act. The goal of the fear appeal is to cause someone to fear an outcome or response if they don’t buy a product or act in such a way as to reduce risk.

Innovative consumer

The degree to which a consumer adopts new products, services, and ideas prior to others.

Subliminal Perception

People are also stimulated below their level of conscious awareness; that is, they can perceive stimuli without being consciously aware that they are doing so.

This process is called subliminal perception because the stimulus is beneath the threshold, or “limens,” of conscious awareness, though obviously not beneath the absolute threshold of the receptors involved.

Ethnocentrism

The universal tendency for people to view their own group as the centre of the universe, to interpret other social units from the perspective of their own group, and to reject persons who are culturally dissimilar similar

Gender as a subculture

The Subculture based on Male-Female divide is known as Gender Subculture. The needs and wants of men and women differ to a great extent. Accordingly, their buying habits also differ.

Self Image

Self-image is the mental picture, generally of a kind that is quite resistant to change, that depicts not only details that are potentially available to objective investigation by others (height, weight, hair color, etc.), but also items that have been learned by that person about themselves, either from personal experiences or by internalizing the judgments of others. A simple definition of a person’s self-image is their answer to the question “What do you believe people think about you?”

Self-image is how you perceive yourself. It is a number of self-impressions that have built up over time: What are your hopes and dreams? What do you think and feel? What have you done throughout your life and what did you want to do? These self-images can be very positive, giving a person confidence in their thoughts and actions, or negative, making a person doubtful of their capabilities and ideas.

In our daily lives, we all get influenced by a variety of people while making our purchase decisions. We, as humans do a lot to try to impress others. We make a purchase to get compliments and try that other should not think less of us.

A reference group is a group whose perspective we consider. Now our reference could be very large or very small including few of our family members or a few close friends. Reference groups influence people a lot in their buying decisions. They set the levels of lifestyle, purchasing patterns, etc.

A Reference Group is any person or group that serves as a point of comparison for an individual in forming values, attitudes, guides for behaviour, determining his own judgement, preferences, beliefs, and behaviour.

Sociologists call any group that individuals use as a standard for evaluating themselves and their own behaviour a reference group. The individual can refer to a reference group either in part or in whole. The individual may or may not be a member of a reference group.

Diagrammatic Representation of SRI VALS II

https://image.slidesharecdn.com/lecture4segmentation-121004225525-phpapp02/95/market-segmentation-36-728.jpg?cb=1349391512VALS is a psychographic segmentation measuring and categorizing consumers lifestyles with available demographic data. By identifying different consumer lifestyles marketers can achieve more precision in their targeting. VALS was designed to yield insights into why people believe and act as they do, and how internal values and attitudes are expressed as external lifestyles.

The VALS System breaks consumers into eight groups each so distinctive in its behaviour and emotional makeup that it becomes a specific market segment. Each group exhibits distinctive decision-making patterns and product consumption tendencies. By using VALS to understand consumers, advertisers hope to establish an emotional bond between the brand and the consumer.

VALS places consumers with abundant resources at the top and those with minimal resources at the bottom. Horizontally, consumers are segmented by their basis for decision-making principles oriented, status-oriented or action oriented. The Principle oriented consumers are guided in their choice by their beliefs or principles rather than by feelings, events or desire for approval. Status-oriented consumers are highly influenced by the actions approval and opinion of others. Action-oriented consumers are guided by a desire for social or physical activity, variety and risk-taking.

  1. Actualizers- High income and high resource group for whom independence is very important
  2. Fulfillers- well educated rational thinking consumers
  3. Believers- more social in nature and believe other consumers. Also called word of mouth consumers.
  4. Achievers- want to excel at their job and follow successful things
  5. Strivers- do not have resources but want to become achievers
  6. Experiencers- have high resources but also need a mode of self -expression and love to indulge
  7. Makers- have limited resources and want to make themselves better individuals
  8. Strugglers- have the least resources and thus, are the least likely to adopt any innovation

1. Actualizers :

Successful, sophisticated, people who take charge, people with high esteem, and abundant resources, interested in growth and express themselves in variety of ways.

An image is important to them, not for status or power but as an expression of their taste, character, and independence. They are established in business yet they continue to seek challenges.

2. Fulfilled

Fulfilleds are mature, satisfied, reflective people. They are principle oriented and value order, knowledge, and responsibility. Most are well educated and in – or recently retired from – professional occupations. They are content with their careers, families, and station in life; are well informed about the world and national events, and are alert to opportunities to broaden their knowledge.

Their leisure activities tend to centre on their homes. Fulfilleds have a moderate respect for the status quo, institutions, and social change. They tend to base their decisions on strongly held principles and consequently appear calm and self -assured.

Although their incomes allow them many choices, Fulfilleds are conservative, practical consumers; they are concerned about functionality, value, and durability in the products they buy.  More than one-third of Fulfilleds are employed in white-collar positions. Most are married, and close to half have dependent children.

3. Believers

Believers are motivated by ideals. They are conservative, conventional people with concrete beliefs based on traditional, established codes: family, religion, community, and the nation. Many Believers express moral codes that have deep roots and literal interpretation. They follow established routines, organized in large part around home, family, community, and social or religious organizations to which they belong. As consumers, Believers are predictable; they choose familiar products and established brands. They favor U.S. products and are generally loyal customers.

4. Achievers

Achievers are motivated by the desire for achievement. Achievers have goal-oriented lifestyles and a deep commitment to career and family. Their social lives reflect this focus and are structured around family, their place of worship, and work. Achievers live conventional lives, are politically conservative, and respect authority and the status quo. They value consensus, predictability, and stability over risk, intimacy, and self-discovery. With many wants and needs, Achievers are active in the consumer marketplace. Image is important to Achievers; they favor established, prestige products and services that demonstrate success to their peers. Because of their busy lives, they are often interested in a variety of time-saving devices.

5. Strivers

Strivers are trendy and fun loving. Because they are motivated by achievement, Strivers are concerned about the opinions and approval of others. Money defines success for Strivers, who don’t have enough of it to meet their desires. They favor stylish products that emulate the purchases of people with greater material wealth. Many Strivers see themselves as having a job rather than a career, and a lack of skills and focus often prevents them from moving ahead. Strivers are active consumers because shopping is both a social activity and an opportunity to demonstrate to peers their ability to buy. As consumers, they are as impulsive as their financial circumstance will allow.

6. Experiencers

Experiencers are motivated by self-expression. Young, enthusiastic, and impulsive consumers, Experiencers quickly become enthusiastic about new possibilities but are equally quick to cool. They seek variety and excitement, savoring the new, the offbeat, and the risky. Their energy finds an outlet in exercise, sports, outdoor recreation, and social activities. Experiencers are avid consumers and spend a comparatively high proportion of their income on fashion, entertainment, and socializing. Their purchases reflect the emphasis that they place on looking good and having “cool” stuff.

7. Makers

Makers are motivated by self-expression. They express themselves and experience the world by working on it—building a house, raising children, fixing a car, or canning vegetables—and have enough skill and energy to carry out their projects successfully. Makers are practical people who have constructive skills and value self-sufficiency. They live within a traditional context of family, practical work, and physical recreation and have little interest in what lies outside that context. Makers are suspicious of new ideas and large institutions such as big business. They are respectful of government authority and organized labor but resentful of government intrusion on individual rights. They are unimpressed by material possessions other than those with a practical or functional purpose. Because they prefer value to luxury, they buy basic products.

8. Strugglers

Their lives are constricted. Chronically poor, ill educated, low skilled, without social bonds, they are often resigned and passive. They do not show a strong self orientation as they are too involved in trying to meet the need of the present moment. Their chief concerns are safety and security.

Traditional FLC / Family Life Cycle

The emotional and intellectual stages you pass through from childhood to your retirement years as a member of a family are called the family life cycle. In each stage, you face challenges in your family life that allow you to build or gain new skills. Gaining these skills helps you work through the changes that nearly every family goes through.

Not everyone passes through these stages smoothly. Situations such as severe illness, financial problems, or the death of a loved one can have an effect on how well you pass through the stages. Fortunately, if you miss skills in one stage, you can learn them in later stages.

If the adults will develop knowledge on time, energy and money adjustment then problems of each stage can be easily resolved. The family life cycle may be divided into three major stages, the beginning family, the expanding family and the contracting family. The eminent scholar of home science. Bigelow adds eight sub stages to these three major stages.

The Family Life Cycle concept has proved to be very valuable for marketers for segmentation activities. The term life cycle refers to the stages through which individuals and families proceed over time. The following stages are typical of the family life cycle progression

  • Bachelorhood
  • Young Married Couples
  • Your Married Couples (youngest child under 6)
  • Your Married Couples (youngest child over 6)
  • Older Married Couples (with dependent children)
  • Older Married Couples (no children living with them or with married children)
  • Older Couple (alone)

Advantages of Family life cycle

The main two advantages of the family life cycle concept is

  • It provides a technique of anticipating the market growth through market estimation, by forecasting the number of persons entering into each stage of a cycle in one year.
  • It provides an overview of the variables which affect the entry of a family into the different stages of life.

Focusing on the demographic patterns and social trends of people, the family life cycle concept describes the effect of time on a family through the different stages of life focusing on their patterns of consumption and spending based on their income.

[not textbook appropriate. But you can get an idea probably]

Bachelorhood

[not many have said this but, isn’t living away from parents more of a Western Culture. Well yes it is. All these statements you find you find everywhere are mostly from a book which was made by David Loudon, who has made a 1000 Page book about Consumer Behaviour. So everybody copied. If it doesn’t make sense to you, then you are not the only one, me brethren and sistern. But yea, big copy mood. If it makes sense to few, no problem either. We are all bunch of idiots anyways.]

During the bachelor stage people are usually characterized by being interested mainly in appearances. Therefore, people at this stage tend to invest more in fashionable clothing and vehicles. Impulsive buying as well as premium buying is a common characteristic of the Bachelor stage

At this stage of the life cycle earnings are relatively low because the individual is often just beginning a career. In spite of a low income, there are also few financial burdens which must be assumed; consequently discretionary income is quite high. This group is generally recreation oriented and high on fashion opinion leadership. As a result, purchase patterns consist of vacations, cars clothing and various other products and services needed for the mating game. In addition, they established their own residence away from their family usually requires the purchase of some furniture and kitchen equipment.

They are the young single adult living apart from parents, the career has just started. However in absence of burdens, they are free to spend as they wish. They tend to buy personal consumption items of food and clothing, are fun loving and buy entertainment, have time to be on vacations and tours, move about on bike, change mobile phones frequently, etc.

Although earnings tend to be relatively low, these consumers usually don’t have many financial obligations and don’t feel the need to save for their futures or retirement. Many of them find themselves spending as much as they make on cars, furnishings for first residences away from home, fashions, recreation,alcoholic beverages, food away from home, vacations, and other products and services involved in the dating game. Some of these singles may have young children, forcing them to give up

Newly Married Couples

In the family life cycle, the new married couples are considered to be in a better financial position in the initial stage due to the absence of children. It might be possible that both, the husband and wife, are earning members. Thus, the buying decisions focus on quality and not quantity.

A family person will always think about savings and insurances, and at the same time, they will invest in long term products like good furniture, new home, etc. Once married, they are less prone to impulsive decisions.

They are also healthier financially than they will be in the next stage, which brings added demands on their resources. But for now this family has the highest purchase rate and the highest average purchase of durable goods especially furniture and appliances. They also spend heavily on cars, clothing and vacations.

These families tent to spend a substantial amount of their income son cars, clothing, vacations, and other leisure activities. They also have the highest purchase rate and highest average purchases of durable good (particularly furniture and appliances) and appear to be more susceptible to advertising.

Newly Married (with child below 6 Years of Age) [Full Nest 1]

When the first child is born many wives have traditionally stopped working, which cause a reduction in family income. At the same time new demands are added to the family’s purchasing requirements.

For examples, the increased family size may necessitate more space so the family moves into a new home and purchases items necessary to fill their new environment.

Furniture for the baby’s room and other furnishings are bought, as well such appliances as a washer, dryer, and television set. In addition,  medicines, child related expenses are now added, including baby food, baby medicines, doctor’s visits and toys of all sorts.

The parents are quite interested in new products and are susceptible to things they see advertised. However, they also grow more dissatisfied with their financial position and the amount of money available for savings.

In this stage, families are likely to move into their first home; purchases furniture and furnishings for the child; buy a washer and dryer and home maintenance items; and purchase new items such as baby food, cough medicine, vitamins, toys, sledges,and skates. These requirements reduce families’ ability to save,and the husband and wife are often dissatisfied with their financial position.

Newly Married (with children more than 6 years old) [Full Nest 2]

In this stage the family’s financial position has improved with the husband’s advancement and perhaps too the wife’s return to work. Families in this stage are still new product oriented but tend be less influenced by advertising because they have more buying experience.

Products heavily purchased during this time include many foods (especially in larger packages and multiple unit deals), cleaning materials, bicycles, musical instruments and lessons.

Needs are expanding faster than income. [me_irl]

Consumption patterns continue to be heavily influenced by the children, since the family tends to buy large-sized packages of food and cleaning suppliers, bicycles, music lessons, clothing, sports equipment, and a computer. Discount department stores are popular with consumers in this stage.

Newly Married with Adult children [Full Nest 3]

During this stage, the family’s income continues to advance more. Wives return to work, and even the children may be employed. Although they are more resistant to advertising, this type of family has a high average expenditure for durable goods, primarily because of their needs to replace older items.

They purchase new, more tasteful furniture, luxury appliances boats and automobiles. They also do more traveling and spend more on dental bills and magazines.

The family typically replaces some worn pieces of furniture, purchases another automobile, buys some luxury appliances and spends money on dental services (braces) and education. Families also spend more on computers in this stage, buying additional PCs for their older children. Depending on where children go to college and how many are seeking higher education, the financial position of the family may be tighter than other instances

Older Couples [with Married Children]

Older Couples are less interested in buying any new products but they prefer replacement buying

Older Couples Living Alone [Empty Nest 1]

This stage sees an increase in Medical Appliances, Medical Care and Products that aid for sleep and digestion.

There are other dimensions of families.

  • Young Married with a child and dual income. Two income cheques come at the end of the month, which provides a faster-paced life but less time with children and for each other. This category prefers convenience goods and spends more on children
  • Older People, married or single, poor on cash, and health conscious. The need for security and recreation products takes place

The below has few extra / lesser Stages, ignore those. It can be referred for others

Consumption-patterns-of-families in life cycle strategy


Subculture and its Types

Culture is the basic behaviour pattern which exists in society. Culture is universal in man’s experience but each local manifestation of it is unique. Within the larger society, there are subsystems of values which result in considerable variation in behaviour pattern within the total culture.

A subculture is a group of people within a culture that differentiates itself from the parent culture to which it belongs, often maintaining some of its founding principles. Subcultures develop their own norms and values regarding cultural, political and sexual matters.

Subcultures are part of society while keeping their specific characteristics intact. Examples of subcultures include hippies, goths and bikers. The concept of subcultures was developed in sociology and cultural studies. Subcultures differ from countercultures.

There are many homogenous or old fashioned groups within any heterogeneous or diverse society.

These groups are subgroups because they have values, customs, traditions that are peculiar to their subgroups within a culture. This means that there are subculture of students, professors. Thus, subculture can be said to be sets of learned beliefs, values, habits and forms of behaviour that are shared by subsets of a society and are transmitted from generation to generation within each subset. Individuals may be members of more than one subculture at the same time.

It is essential that marketers understand who constitutes the most relevant subculture for their particular product or service. Subcultural analysis helps marketing to focus on sizeable and natural market segments.

The power of subcultures, and their impact on potential marketing plans is well recognized. Lifestyle and psychographic segmentation research on different subcultures lead to interest findings. There may be similarities and difference and differences between groups of subcultures and advertisers should be careful to note these for studying product purchase patterns and also the type of effective messaging.

Each subculture group may have a distinctive way of looking at ads. The demographic characteristics, psychographic characteristics, shopping behaviour and media patterns for each subculture has to be studied.

Categories Examples
Ethnic (Ancestors’ Birthplace) English, Chinese, Arab
Religious Muslim, Hindu, Christian
Age Teens, Middle aged, Elderly
Regional Northern, Southern, Central
Singles Unmarried individuals
Gender Male, Female
Occupation Teachers, Doctors, Engineers
Social Class Uppers Upper, Middle, Lower

Different types of Subcultures

Nationality Subculture

Nationality is an important subcultural reference that guides what they value and what they buy. While we are all Asians, we are distinct with respect to culture, and are different in terms of language, customs and traditions etc. Thus, we are classified as Indians, Burmese, Nepalese, Chinese, Japanese, etc.

For many of the Indians, there is frequently a strong sense of identification and pride in the language and customs of their ancestors. When it comes to consumer behaviour, this ancestral pride is manifested most strongly in the consumption of ethnic foods, in travel to the homeland, and in the purchase of numerous cultural artifacts.

Religious Subculture

Commonly, consumer behaviour is directly affect by religion in terms of products that are symbolically and ritualistically associated with the celebration of various religious functions. People exhibit differences when it comes to the religions that they belong to. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis etc. are all different from one another and have different values and beliefs, customs and traditions etc.

As consumers, they make purchase choices and purchase decisions that are influenced by the dictates of their religious leaders, scriptures, and holy books.

In fact, many products/services are symbolically and ritualistically associated with religion. For example, as per Islam, non-vegetarian food must be “Halal”, and this itself comprises a huge segment that marketers across national boundaries are catering to.

Geographic and Regional Subculture

India is a large country, one that enjoys a wide range of climatic and geographic conditions. Given the country’s size and physical diversity, it is only natural that many Indians have a sense of regional identification and use this as a way of describing others. There is a visible difference in consumption behaviour, especially when it comes to food and clothes. We can differentiate between South Indian Chinese, Punjabi Food very easily.

Within a country, we could be different across geography, climatic conditions, regions and terrains, and density of population. This is more so in cases where the country is large and borders spread across a huge population occupying a vast territory. People tend to develop regional affinity and identification, and this gets reflected in the food they eat, clothes they wear, interests they pursue, etc.

They constitute as distinct sub-cultures and people across such sub-cultures are different to each other. For example, we can be classified as North Indians and South Indians. As consumers, our needs are different and would translate into various wants, for example,

  1. differences in food habits, and demand for poori-sabji, paratha, idli-vada etc.
  2. differences in clothing, and demand for cottons, woolens and silk.

Differences in region influences the type of products used as well the way they are produced and used.

The consumption process also is influenced by the urban, suburban, and rural distinctions, another type of regional subculture. The urban, and suburban people, for example, prefer ready or instant food, prefer eating out, and enjoy their leisure in a way different from rural people.

Age Subculture

Important shifts occur in an individual’s demand for specific types of products and services as he or she goes from being a dependent child to a retired senior citizen. The teen segment has a totally different choice from their parents. There are many products, the marketers of which are focusing different age segments.

Infants, kids, teenagers and adolescents, adults and the aged, may all be looked up as distinct subgroups. They have different values and beliefs, and all this impacts upon their priorities in life. Daily lifestyles, activities and interests, fashion and accessories, food and diet, etc. receive varying priorities across the various sub-groups.

For example, an aged person would prioritize health and go in for nutritious home food as opposed to young man who would prioritize work and go in for fast food. Today we see a rising trend amongst kids, adolescents and the young towards junk food, and they constitute a lucrative segment for restaurants providing fast food.

Racial Subculture

India being a huge nation, different races dominate in different parts of the country. They form distinct subgroups and the impact in the choice of product is remarkably visible. They also follow different types of customs which again influences their consumer behaviour. Jats, Jaats, Rajputs, Pathans and Yadavs are all different from one another. Such racial sub-cultures also impact buying behaviour and consumption patterns.

Sex/Gender Subculture.

All societies tend to assign certain traits and roles to males and others to females, based on which we consider certain product to be masculine and certain others to be feminine. The advertising appeals also change accordingly. Working women, especially married working women constitute a big market these days. Products like readymade food or services like baby sitting are becoming popular day by day.

As both men and women have variations in their behaviours, they consume different types of products and respond differently to marketing appeals. Men for example, are influenced more by aggressiveness, competitiveness, independence, self-confidence, and masculinity.

Women on the other hand, are influenced by neatness, gentleness, tactfulness, talkativeness, and femininity. There are products which are equally used by men and women. But, different appeals in the same product are needed for these two groups. Cosmetics, perfumes, clothing, bicycles etc., are used both by men and women. But, different designs, colors, sizes, shapes, and fragrances are provided for by the marketers to appeal people of different sex. Bicycle, for example, is designed differently for men and women.

Ethnocentrism

Ethnocentrism is the act of judging another culture based on preconceptions that are found in values and standards of one’s own culture. Ethnocentric behavior involves judging other groups relative to the preconceptions of one’s own ethnic group or culture, especially regarding language, behavior, customs, and religion. These aspects or categories are distinctions that define each ethnicity’s unique cultural identity.

Ethnocentrism is a major reason for divisions amongst members of different ethnicities, races, and religious groups in society. Ethnocentrism is the belief of superiority is one’s personal ethnic group, but it can also develop from racial or religious differences.

Ethnocentric individuals believe that they are better than other individuals for reasons based solely on their heritage. Clearly, this practice is related to problems of both racism and prejudice.

While many people may recognize the problems, they may not realize that ethnocentrism occurs everywhere and everyday at both the local and political levels.

William G. Sumner defined ethnocentrism as “the technical name for the view of things in which one’s own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it.” He further characterized ethnocentrism as often leading to pride, vanity, belief in one’s own group’s superiority, and contempt for outsiders. These problems may occur from the dividing of societies into in-groups and out-groups. Ethnocentrism is explained in the social sciences and genetics. In anthropology, cultural relativism is used as an antithesis and antonym to ethnocentrism.

All people tend to use the values of the culture we were born in. One of the main goals of anthropology is to not use ethnocentric ideas. Anthropologists try to see other cultures from the point of view of a person from that culture . This is also known as cultural relativism. It is the idea that goes against the idea that some things are always the same in every human culture (human universals). Cultural relativism says that all human action is relative to the culture where the action happens. Anthropologists know that they have to not use the standards of their own culture if they want to understand another society correctly.

_________

Added for reference. Always remember to make your own examples, and try to explain the concept in your own words.

Ethnocentrism in History

Present Day Politics

To solidify the definition of ethnocentrism, looking at the present day politics of the United States is helpful. With instances occurring since its conception, the United States has often thought of itself as more powerful, more economically sound, and just generally “better” than other nations. This has been shown by the country’s tendency to dabble in situations occurring in other nations, such as the country’s current involvement with affairs in the Middle East.

Although the idea of every citizen in the United States belonging to one ethnicity is certainly debatable, since the country has citizens who originally came from all over the world, the feeling of national pride can stand in for a pure ethnicity in this case.

European Imperialism

Imperialism, the practice of taking over other lands, was heavily practiced by Europe starting in the sixteenth century. As most individuals know, the colonies in the United States were one of the regions that the Europeans tried to control from overseas. They also overtook lands in Africa. They believed both Africa and the Americas to be primitive societies based on hunting and farming, and felt that they needed to take over these nations in order to bring them up to speed with modern technologies.

Traces of this sense of European ethnocentrism are still evident today. For example, in schools in Europe, world studies courses tend to focus almost solely on the history of the United States and Europe, and largely ignore other parts of the world.

The Mandate of Heaven

One of the most prominent examples of ethnocentrism was the Sinocentric system developed out of the idea of the “Mandate of Heaven” proliferated by the Chinese philosopher Confucius. The “Mandate of Heaven” meant that the Chinese felt that they had received divine power which entitled them to exert heavy rule over the citizens, and that they had power over the rest of the world. In fact, the Emperor was referred to as the “Son of Heaven” exemplifying the intense control he had over the people.

While this system of government formally ended in the nineteenth century, some scholars believe that the Chinese ethnocentrism lives on.

Nazi Germany

One of the most well known and the most horrible examples of ethnocentrism to ever occur was during Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler decided that he hated Jews, as well as some other groups of people, and had many innocent people slaughtered in concentration camps. They did not deserve the torture that they received, and this was clearly an extreme case of ethnocentrism. While prejudice certainly leads to problems, very rarely in history has ethnocentrism led to the mass slaughter of millions of innocent people.

Ethnocentrism in Pop Culture

In the Movies

Ethnocentrism is not often presented as such a serious problem in movies, and is more often seen as a sort of entertaining device. The father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding constantly states that he can trace any word back to Greek origins. Furthermore, the entire movie is centered around the thrills and issues of planning a Greek wedding. Ultimately though, the movie has a happy ending, subtly suggesting that the positives outweigh the negatives.

Another example of ethnocentrism that is covered with humour occurs in the comedy American Wedding. Upon learning that her grandson is not marrying a Jewish girl, Jim’s grandmother becomes inconsolable. Furthermore, Michelle’s father makes the mistake of toasting to his soon-to-be in laws with hopes that they will sit many happy shivas together. He is painted as a fool for his statement, and the movie subtly indicates a Jewish ethnocentrism.

In Literature

In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, the main character Janie Starks is a very light skinned black woman. For this, the other black woman in her town are often are full of contempt for her. She seems to straddle the line between black and white at various points in the novel. This novel indicates that ethnocentrism is an extremely broad topic because even within one’s own ethnicity or race, divisions will be found. The writing illustrates important components of ethnocentrism in history as well, because before the victory of the Civil Rights era, blacks would often try to “pass” for whites, and those who succeeded were often scorned by other blacks.

The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare portrays an intense disagreement between the Jew, Shylock, and the Christian, Antonio. Antonio constantly scorns Shylock for being a Jew, which ultimately culminated in one of the most famous speeches of all time where Shylock asks:

“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?/If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”

The “us” that Shylock is referring to are Jews.

Opinion Leader

An opinion leader is a well-known individual with an ability to influence public opinion on the subject matter for which the opinion leader is known. An opinion leader can be a common man with good influence among peer groups, a politician, business leader, community leader, journalist, educator, celebrity, or sports star. They are self-motivated individuals who like to give information or advice to others. In doing so, it also enhances their own status and self-image and because such advice tends to reduce any post purchase dissonance that they may have. Other motives to share opinion include product involvement, message involvement or any other involvement.

Opinion leaders are considered as a highly credible, objective source of product information who can help reduce two aspects: search & analysis time and perceived risk.

Generally, opinion leaders are sociable, self-confident, innovative people who like to talk. Additionally, they may feel differentiated from others and choose to act differently (or public individuation). They acquire information about their areas of interest through avid readership of special interest magazines and by means of new product trials.

For marketers, finding and enlisting opinion leaders to help sell a company’s product or idea can be critical to reaching an untapped audience.

  • Opinion leaders largely have the same social-class position as non-leaders, although they may have higher social status within the class.
  • Opinion leaders have greater exposure to mass media that are relevant to their area of interest. For example, opinion leaders for women’s fashions could be expected to have higher exposure to such magazines as Vogue and Femina. Similarly, automobile opinion leaders might be expected to read Motor Trend or Hot Rod. Exposure to relevant mass media provides them with information useful in enhancing their leadership potential.
  • Opinion leaders have greater interest and knowledge of the area of influence than do non- leaders. This finding is closely related to their greater media exposure. Of course, knowledge is not a prerequisite for opinion leader influence. Undoubtedly, much influence takes place by those who are ignorant of the topic of conversation.
  • Opinion leaders are more sociable than non-leaders are. This is logical, given that they must interact with those whom they influence.
  • Opinion leaders have more innovativeness than do non-leaders. This does not mean, however, that they are innovators (the first people to purchase a new item). In fact, innovators and opinion leaders have been found in several studies to have differing characteristics and lifestyles. In the fashion market, for instance, the innovator is seen as an adventurer who is the earliest visual communicator of the newest styles while the opinion leader is seen as an “editor” of fashions, who defines and endorses appropriate standards.
  • Opinion leaders are also more familiar with and loyal to group standards and values than are non-leaders. This refers to the fact that opinion leaders are vested with leadership authority by group members, and in order to maintain this position, the individual has to reflect underlying norms and values for that area of consumption leadership. The clothing influential, for instance, cannot be too far ahead of or behind fashion, but must reflect the current norms in clothing.

Types of Group*

Baron and Byrne (1988) defined: “Groups consist of two or more persons engaged in social interaction who have some stable structure relationship with one another, are interdependent, share common goals and perceive that they are in fact part of a group.”

Thus,when two or more individuals gather together to serve a common purpose or common motive it is called a group.

– A group consists of more than one person
– They meet together to satisfy some common motive or common purpose say to collect money for flood affected persons, or national defense fund. The common motive may be biogenic or sociogenic
– The group may disintegrate when the common motive is satisfied. This refers to a temporary group like a party or groups formed to collect money for relief fund or to celebrate Ganesh Puja.
– But a group can also have permanent motive or purpose like family, religious groups and clubs which are formed to fulfill some permanent purposes. These are stable groups and continue for a long period. Usually sociogenic needs have got an upper hand in group situation.

– They inform or make the individual aware of a specific product or brand. Provide the individual with the opportunity to compare his or her own thinking with the attitudes and behaviour of the group.

–  Influence the individual to adopt attitudes and behaviour that are consistent with the norms of the group. Legitimize the decision to use the same products as the group

1) Friendship groups

Friendship groups are typically classified as informal groups because they are usually unstructured and lack specific authority levels. In terms of relative influence, after an individual’s family, his or her friends are most likely to influence the individual’s purchase decisions. Seeking and maintaining friendships is a basic drive of most people. Friends fill a wide range of needs: They provide companionship, security, and opportunities to discuss problems that an individual may be reluctant to discuss with family members. Marketers of products such as brand-name clothing, fine jewelry, snack foods, and alcoholic beverages recognize the power of peer group influence and frequently depict friendship situations in their advertisements.

2) Shopping Group

Two or more people who shop together, whether for food, for clothing, or simply to pass the time, can be called a shopping group. Such groups are often offshoots of family or friendship groups and therefore, they function as what has been referred to as purchase pal. The motivation for shopping with a purchase pal range from a primarily social motive to helping reduce the risk when making an important decision. A special type of shopping group is the in-home shopping party, which typically consists of a group that gathers together in the same home of a friend to attend a “party” devoted to demonstrating and evaluating a specific line of products.

The sheer amount of time people spend at their jobs, frequently more than 35 hours per week, provide ample opportunity for work groups to serve as a major influence on the consumption behaviour of the members.

3) Formal Work Group:

It consists of individuals who work together as part of a team, and thus have a sustained opportunity to influence each other’s consumption related attitudes and actions.

4) Informal Work Group:

It consists of people who have become friends as a result of working for the same firm, whether or not they work together as a team, and they can influence the consumption behaviour of other members during coffee or lunch breaks or at after-work meetings.

5) Virtual Group

A virtual team (also known as a geographically dispersed team or distributed team) is a group of individuals who work across time, space and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technology. Powell, Piccoli and Ives define virtual teams in their literature review article “as groups of geographically, organizationally and/or time dispersed workers brought together by information and telecommunication technologies to accomplish one or more organizational tasks.” Ale Ebrahim, N., Ahmed, S. & Taha, Z. in their recent (2009) literature review paper, added two key issues to definition of a virtual team “as small temporary groups of geographically, organizationally and/ or time dispersed knowledge workers who coordinate their work predominantly with electronic information and communication technologies in order to accomplish one or more organization tasks”.

Members of virtual teams communicate electronically and may never meet face-to-face. Virtual teams are made possible by a proliferation of fiber optic technology that has significantly increased the scope of off- site communication. Virtual teams allow companies to procure the best talent without geographical restrictions. According to Hambley, O’Neil, & Kline (2007), “virtual teams require new ways of working across boundaries through systems, processes, technology, and people, which requires effective leadership…despite the widespread increase in virtual teamwork, there has been relatively little focus on the role of virtual team leaders.”

Types of Reference Group Appeals

Brand Community

A brand community is a community formed on the basis of attachment to a product or marquee. Recent developments in marketing and in research in consumer behaviour result in stressing the connection between brand, individual identity and culture. Among the concepts developed to explain the behaviour of consumers, the concept of a brand community focuses on the connections between consumers. A brand community can be defined as an enduring self-selected group of actors sharing a system of values, standards and representations (a culture) and recognizing bonds of membership with each other and with the whole. Brand communities are characterized in shared consciousness, rituals and traditions, and a sense of moral responsibility.

The term “brand community” was first presented by Albert Muniz Jr. and Thomas C. O’Guinn in a 1995 paper for the Association for Consumer Research Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In a 2001 article titled “Brand community”, published in the Journal of Consumer Research (SSCI), they defined the concept as “a specialized, non- geographically bound community, based on a structured set of social relations among admirers of a brand.” This 2001 paper has been acknowledged by Thomson Scientific & Healthcare to be one of the most cited papers in the field of economics and business. Many brands provide examples of brand communities. In computers and electronics: Apple Inc. (Macintosh, iPod, iPhone), Holga and LOMO cameras, and Palm and Pocket PC Ultra-Mobile PCs.  In vehicles: Ford Bronco, Jeep, automobiles, and Royal Enfield and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. In toys: Barbie and Lego.

The Expert

A second type of reference group appeals used by marketers is the expert, a person who, because of his or her occupation, special training, or experience, is in a unique position to help the prospective consumer evaluate the product that the advertisement promotes. Example, An ad for a quality frying pan may feature the endorsement of a chef. Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor  Sleek Kitchen ,Wonder Chef etc

Common Man

A reference group appeal that uses the testimonials of satisfied customers is known as the common-man approach. The advantage is that it demonstrates to prospective customers that someone just like them uses and is satisfied with the good or service being advertised.

The common man appeal is especially effective in public health announcement (such as anti smoking or high B.P. messages), for most people seem to identify with people like themselves when it comes to such messages.

The advantage of the common-man appeal is that it demonstrates to prospective    customers that someone just like them uses and is satisfied with the product or service being advertised.

Many television commercials show a typical person or family solving a problem by using the advertised product or service. These commercials are known as slice-of-life commercials because they focus on real-life situations with which the viewer can identify  For example: Complan commercial talks about how it provides growth to a child’s height. The recent Fortune oil commercial shows a mother requesting a nurse to allow her to feed her ailing son few spoons of dal.

Celebrity

A celebrity is a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media. The term is often synonymous with wealth (commonly denoted as a person with fame and fortune), implied with great popular appeal, prominence in a particular field, and is easily recognized by the general public.

To illustrate, when a celebrity endorses only one product, consumers are likely to   perceive the product in a highly favorable light and indicate a greater intention to purchase it. The different types of methods in which celebrities are used to promote the products are

Testimonials: The celebrity has personally used the product
Endorsement: Celebrity adds his/her name to the product which he/she may be an expert with or not

Actor or Spokesperson: The celebrity represents the product over time in a varietyof media and in personal appearances.

A few examples  are : Salman Khan – Revital, Amitabh Bachan – Cadbury’s  M. S Dhoni – Boost, Kareena Kapoor – VIVEL, Katrina Kaif – Slice, Shahrukh Khan- Fair and Handsome, Sachin Tendulkar – Aviva, RAM DEV BABA – PATANJALI, etc.

Trade or Spokes Characters

These are often employed as attention grabbers, acting as spokespersons to promote children’ products. Trade characters are intended to bond a child to a brand so that the child’s brand awareness might form the basis of brand preference either immediately or later in life. Example, Animated characters used by marketers in advertisements for children products Trade or spokes-characters (e.g Amul girl ), as well as familiar cartoon characters (ZOO ZOO Vodafone), serve as quasi-celebrity endorsers.

These trade spokes-characters present an idealized image and dispense information that can be very important for the product or service that they “work for”. With few exceptions, trade characters serve as exclusive spokespersons for a particular product or service.

They sometimes provide a kind of personality for the product or service and make the product appear friendlier (Ronald McDonald)

Consumer Action Group

A Consumer Action Group has emerged in response to the consumerist movement. Today there are a large number of such groups that are dedicated to providing consumer products in a healthy and responsible manner, and to generally add to the overall quality. For example, a diverse range of consumer concerns being addressed by private and public consumer-action groups: neighborhood crime watch, youth development, forest and wildlife concerns, children and advertising, race and ethnicity, community volunteerism, legal assistance, public health, disaster relief, energy conservation, education, smoking, the environment, access to telecommunications, science in the public interest, credit counseling, privacy issues, and children and internet.Two broad categories of Consumer Action Groups: Those that organize to correct a specific consumer abuse and then disband (Agitation against liquor shop in a community) . Those that organize to address broader, more persuasive problem areas and operate over an extended or indefinite period of time (Group against drunk driving).

The Executive  and Employee Spokesperson

The popularity of this type of advt. probably is due to the success and publicity received by a number of executive spokespersons. Like celebrity spokespersons, executive spokespersons seem to be admired by the general population because of their achievements and the status implicitly conferred on business leaders. Example, Ratan Tata, K. Birla, Mukesh Ambani etc.

Other Reference Groups

A variety of other promotional strategies can function creatively as frames of reference for consumers. Respected retailers and the editorial content of selected special interest magazines can also function as frames of reference that influence consumer attitudes and behaviour. Example, Indian Dental Association’s seal of approval for toothpaste.

Self Appraisal or Self Image

Some theorists believe behaviour is socially acceptable or sometimes unacceptable. I.e social or antisocial. By observing his own behaviour, a person begins to develop an awareness about his behaviour falling into the category of ‘social’ or ‘antisocial’.

With repeated confirmation, a portion of the person’s self concept emerges, and plays a dominant role in how he views himself

Interpretation as an element of Perception

After we have attended to a stimulus, and our brains have received and organized the information, we interpret it in a way that makes sense using our existing information about the world. Interpretation simply means that we take the information that we have sensed and organized and turn it into something that we can categorize. For instance, in the Rubin’s Vase illusion (image alongside), some individuals will interpret the sensory information as “vase,” while some will interpret it as “faces.” This happens unconsciously thousands of times a day. By putting different stimuli into categories, we can better understand and react to the world around us. The same holds true for the first image shown at the start of this chapter.

Halo Effect

The halo effect is a well-documented social-psychology phenomenon that causes people to be biased in their judgments by transferring their feelings about one attribute of something to other, unrelated, attributes. For example, a tall or good-looking person will be perceived as being intelligent and trustworthy, even though there is no logical reason to believe that height or looks correlate with smarts and honesty.

The term “halo effect” was first introduced into psychological-research circles in 1920 in a paper authored by Edward Thorndike. Through empirical research, Thorndike found that when people were asked to assess others based on a series of traits, a negative perception of any one trait would drag down all the other trait scores.

The halo effect works both in both positive and negative directions:

  • If you like one aspect of something, you’ll have a positive predisposition toward everything about it
  • If you dislike one aspect of something, you’ll have a negative predisposition toward everything about it

Freudian Theory of Personality

If you read even the first Paragraph of each sub point it would be enough. However, if you read further, you will remember more points to elaborate on.

Sigmund Freud (my hero <3 ) is considered to be the founder of the psychodynamic approach to psychology which looks closely at the unconscious drives that motivate people to act in certain ways.

This theory is regarded as the cornerstone of modern psychology. Freud based his theory on certain assumptions which is as follows: 1) Unconscious needs or drives lie at the heart of human motivation and personality. 2) The socialization process that takes place within people in a social set up has a huge impact on individual behavior.

Freud explained much of how the psyche or the mind operates, and proposed that, human psyche is composed of parts within our awareness and beyond our awareness. He said that all behavior within an individual cannot be explained, since much lies in the subconscious.

The role of the mind is something that Freud repeatedly talked about because he believed that the mind is responsible for both conscious and unconscious decisions based on drives and forces. Unconscious desires motivate people to act accordingly. The id, ego, and superego are three aspects of the mind, Freud believed to make up a person’s personality. Freud believed people are “simply actors in the drama of [their] own minds, pushed by desire, pulled by coincidence. Underneath the surface, our personalities represent the power struggle going on deep within us”.

Freud believed that events in our childhood have a great influence on our adult lives, shaping our personality. For example, anxiety originating from traumatic experiences in a person’s past is hidden from consciousness, and may cause problems during adulthood (in the form of neuroses).

The id, ego, and superego have most commonly been conceptualized as three essential parts of the human personality.

Heres one which describes us

The ID

According to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality, the id operates based on the pleasure principle, which stresses on immediate fulfillment of needs. The id is the personality component made up of unconscious psychic energy which satisfies basic urges, needs, and desires.

The Id is the source of strong inborn drives and urges such as aggression, instinctive cravings which demand immediate gratification. It is the warehouse of primitive and impulsive drives. It operates on what is called the pleasure principle. It is not fully capable of dealing with objective reality. The basic impulses, the aggressive drives are not often expressed by an individual. In Society, these impulses will often be suppressed as they go against the norms of an organized society. The Id operates at the subjective unconscious level. Many of its impulses are not acceptable to values of organized society. For example, if your id walked past a stranger eating ice cream, it would most likely take the ice cream for itself. It doesn’t know, or care, that it is rude to take something belonging to someone else; it would care only that you wanted the ice cream.

The Ego

Ego is that state of awareness which thinks of you as separate from the other. It always thinks of the glories of the past and hopes of the future and focuses on guiltiness. It always thinks of what was and what could be.

The ego develops from the id during infancy. The ego’s goal is to satisfy the demands of the id in a safe a socially acceptable way. In contrast to the id, the ego follows the reality principle as it operates in both the conscious and unconscious mind. In contrast to the instinctual id and the moral superego, the ego is the rational, pragmatic part of our personality. It is less primitive than the id and is partly conscious and partly unconscious. It is like an internal monitor that keeps the balance between the impulsive demands of the Id and the Super Ego. The ego comes into being because of the limitations of the Id in dealing with the real world. Through learning and experiences, the ego develops the individual’s capabilities of realistic thinking and to deal with his environment. It operates on the principle of “Reality”

Much like a judge in a trial, once experiences are processed through the superego and the id they fall into the ego to mediate a satisfactory outcome. Originally, Freud used the word ego to mean a sense of self, but later revised it to mean a set of psychic functions such as judgment, tolerance, reality testing, control, planning, defense, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning, and memory.

So, if you walked past the stranger with ice cream one more time, your ego would mediate the conflict between your id (“I want that ice cream right now”) and superego (“It’s wrong to take someone else’s ice cream”) and decide to go buy your own ice cream. While this may mean you have to wait 10 more minutes, which would frustrate your id, your ego decides to make that sacrifice as part of the compromise– satisfying your desire for ice cream while also avoiding an unpleasant social situation and potential feelings of shame.

The SuperEgo

The superego provides guidelines for making judgments. It is the aspect of personality that holds all our moral standards and ideals that we acquire from both parents and society.

It develops during early childhood and is responsible for ensuring moral standards are followed. The superego operates on the morality principle and motivates us to behave in a socially responsible and acceptable manner. The Superego is conceptualized as individuals internal expression of society’s moral and ethical code of conduct. Its role is to see than an individual satisfies needs in a socially acceptable fashion. The superego is a kind of brake that inhibits impulses of the id. It tells the individual, what is right and wrong.

For example, the superego can make a person feel guilty if rules are not followed. When there is a conflict between the goals of the id and superego, the ego must act as a referee and mediate this conflict. The ego can deploy various defense mechanisms to prevent it from becoming overwhelmed by anxiety.

Super Ego controls the aggressive drives of the Id, which could disrupt the society and it also influences the ego to socially approved goals rather than pure realistic goals. Marketers have sometimes used Freud’s Theory as a basis for influencing consumers. They appeal to fantasy, which plays an important role in the operation of the pleasure principle of the Id. Fantasy has been used in promotions for various products, including perfumes. Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk Advertisement is a very good example of this.

11 Needs That Shape Consumer Behaviour

Everyone has certain basic human needs that serve as motivation for him or her to take action, including buying action.

Identifying and satisfying these needs in selling will bring you more sales and greater customer satisfaction.

Why Do People Buy What They Buy?

In each of the 11 consumer behaviour needs, customer satisfaction comes from the motivation that the customer has the best product they could possibly buy to fulfill one or more of these needs. People buy a product because you as a salesperson has convinced them it fulfills their needs.

1) Money

Everyone wants to have more money.  This is a basic need. Whenever you can use customer service to link your products and services to making or saving money for the customer, you will have his total attention. Money is always a top motivator in consumer behaviour.

2) Security

Each person has a fundamental need for security.  Most people feel that if they had enough money, they would be completely secure.  So although money is hard and cold, the need for security is warm and personal. Just as no one ever feels he has too much freedom, very few people ever feel that they have too much security.  They always want more.

3) Being Liked

Consumer behaviour dictates that everyone wants to be liked by others.  We need to feel accepted and respected by the people around us. We want to be admired by our friends, neighbours, and associates.  Achieving these goals satisfies our deep need for belonging and self-worth. Customer satisfaction comes from the motivation that if they purchase your product, they will be liked by others.

4) Status And Prestige

In dealing with customer needs and consumer behaviour, a very powerful motivation for people to buy a product is status or personal prestige.  We want to feel and be perceived as important and valuable. As customers, we want people to look up to us and praise our possessions or accomplishments. Perhaps the deepest of all needs is the need to feel important, valued, worthwhile, both to ourselves and in the eyes of other people.

5) Health And Fitness

Everyone wants to live a long time and enjoy great health.  Economists predict that health products such as vitamin/mineral supplements and physical fitness equipment will be the next trillion-dollar industry.  We all want to be healthier and to be thin and fit. Consequently, we are attracted to products and services that will enable us to be thinner, more energetic, and in top form.

6) Praise And Recognition

When you can position your products and services in a way that a person feels that he or she will achieve greater recognition or status by using it, you can create buying desire.  Since the need for praise taps into the deepest emotional need in consumer behaviour of all; self-esteem, convincing your prospect that he will get additional recognition by using your product or service weakens their price resistance considerably.

7) Power, Influence, And Popularity

People want power and customer satisfaction will come from products or services that will give them more of these things.  People want to be popular and to be liked by other people. When your product or service offers to make a person more influential and popular, it arouses buying motivation in people.

8) Leading The Field

Another of our deepest needs and desires in consumer behaviour is to be considered up-to-date.  We want to be seen as current and modern. We want to be leaders and trendsetters in our work and social group.

Many people will buy your products and services simply because it is the newest product on the market.  They want to be ahead of the pack. They will buy the product or service for no other reason than that it is new and different. Customer satisfaction comes from the belief that they own the newest and best available.

9) Love And Companionship

One of the primary motivators in consumer behaviour is the desire for love and companionship.  Use customer service to present your products and services as making the prospect more attractive and desirable as a companion, immediate buying desire is achievable through this.

10) Personal Growth

Many products and services appeal to the desire for greater self-understanding or self-actualization.  That’s because the needs for self-expression and personal fulfillment are profound. People want to feel that they are becoming all that they are capable of becoming.  When you promote your products and services as something that can help people reach even greater heights of personal success and self-realization, you again generate a desire to purchase.

11) Personal Transformation

Perhaps the most abstract need in consumer behaviour and the need for which people will pay the most, is the desire for personal transformation.  If a prospect feels that your products and services will take them to a new, higher level in their life or work and make them a different person in some way, there can be no limit to the amount they will spend. The customer will pay the most for these products, because customer satisfaction in this category is the greatest.

Stereotypes

A stereotype is a fixed general image or set of characteristics that a lot of people believe represent a particular type of person or thing. They are a result of incomplete or distorted information accepted as fact without question. Gender, race, culture, nationality, age, sexual orientation, religion and physical ability are various categories which exist in stereotyping.

Example:

In most parts of the world, characteristics such as adventurous, powerful, domineering and independent are associated with men, however, females, are characterized as emotional, submissive and superstitious. – One of the more common stereotype examples is stereotypes surrounding race. For example, saying that all Blacks are good at sports is a stereotype, because it’s grouping the race together to indicate that everyone of that race is a good athlete.

Neo Freudian Theory/ Social Personality Theory (CAD Theory):

There were a group of psychologists who believed that in order form a personality, social relationships are very important. Here, they disagreed with their contemporary, Freud, who believed that personality was: Biological and rooted in genetics and was groomed as a result of early childhood experiences. However, this group of researchers laid emphasis on the process of socialization and they classified personality into three types:

Complaint Personalities

They prefer love and affection and so they move towards them and so they prefer known brands.

Aggressive Personalities

They tend to move against others and they show off their need for power, success etc. which is quite manipulative.

Detached Personalities

They are not much aware of brands and are more self- reliant and independent.

Marketers tend to use Neo-Freudian theories while segmenting markets and positioning their products.

Elaboration Likelihood Model

The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) seeks to explain how humans process stimuli differently and the outcomes of these processes on changing attitudes, and, consequently, behaviour.

A persuasive message will most likely change the attitude of the message recipient. Attitude change occurs even when the intention of message sending is not to change the attitude of the recipient.

The theory is one of the two major models of persuasion along with

Elaboration Likelihood Model

Sometimes, whether listening to a speech or a television advertisement, we are moved by what the speaker says. Other times, we pay less attention to what the person is actually saying and care more about the speaker’s presence.

The Elaboration Likelihood Model indicates the factors that determine which of these is more likely. It is a theory that specifies when people are more likely to be influenced by the content of persuasive communication instead of superficial characteristics, and vice versa.

It helps us explain how attitudes are formed and changed through persuasion. The model describes two routes to persuasion – central and peripheral – that can be successful in changing someone’s attitude under the right circumstances.

Central Route to Persuasion

When discussing the Elaboration Likelihood Model, we use the term ‘elaborate’ to mean ‘to think elaborately about something.’ The central route to persuasion is when people elaborate on a persuasive argument, listening carefully and thinking about the logic behind the message. There are times when people are motivated to pay attention to the facts during a speech or other persuasive communication and during those times are persuaded the most by a strong logical argument. If a person believes the persuasion to be reliable, convincing and well-constructed, he or she will typically be receptive to a change in attitude that is long-lasting.

For example, imagine you are a college student listening to a speech about why the cost of tuition should be increased the following year. If you are attending next year, it’s likely this subject would be important to you, and so you would listen closely to the argument. Obviously, you would probably not want the tuition to increase. However, if you find the argument to be convincing – say, if you were going to receive a substantial number of benefits – you may change your mind.

Peripheral Route to Persuasion

There are other times when people are not motivated by the facts and instead are persuaded by superficial things, such as the attractiveness or fame of the person delivering the message. This is the peripheral route to persuasion – when people do not elaborate on a persuasive argument and instead are swayed by surface characteristics that are peripheral to the message. When using this route, peripheral cues enable the individual to use mental shortcuts, accepting or rejecting the argument based on superficial factors instead of actively thinking about the issue. Attitude change resulting from the peripheral route is typically temporary and susceptible to additional change.

For an example of using the peripheral route, imagine you are listening to a debate between two political candidates. It is long and boring, and you zone out for a bit. At the end, though, you favor one particular candidate because he seems more likable and has a warm, soothing voice. Your attitude toward the candidate has changed even though you were not paying attention to what he was saying – his demeanor and voice were peripheral cues that you (likely unconsciously) used as a mental shortcut to determine his likability. Many psychologists have proposed that this is actually how most of the U.S. population chooses a presidential candidate.

  • When we are motivated and able to pay attention, we take a logical, conscious thinking, central route to decision-making. This can lead to permanent change in our attitude as we adopt and elaborate upon the speaker’s arguments.
  • In other cases, we take the peripheral route. Here we do not pay attention to persuasive arguments but are swayed instead by surface characteristics such as whether we like the speaker. In this case although we do change, it is only temporary (although it is to a state where we may be susceptible to further change).

One of the best ways motivating people to take the central route is to make the message personally relevant to them. Fear can also be effective in making them pay attention, but only if it is moderate and a solution is also offered. Strong fear will just lead to fight-or-flight reactions. The central route leads to consideration of both arguments for and against and a choice is carefully considered.

People are more motivated to use the central route when the issue has personal relevance to them. Some people have a higher need for cognition, deliberately thinking about more things than people with a lower need. These people with a higher need for cognition are more likely to choose the central route.

When they are feeling good, they will want to sustain this and will avoid focusing on things that might bring them down again, so they take a more cursory, peripheral route. People in a negative or neutral mood are more likely to take the central route.

Types of Consumer Decision

Normal Decision Making

It involves no decision as it is a habitual decision making. In this kind a problem is recognised. Internal search provides a single preferred solution for brand. That brand is purchased and an evaluation occurs only if the brand fails to perform as expected. Normal decisions occur when there is very low V Me involvement with the purchase. At the shop, the normal decision maker picks up the product without considering alternative brands, its price or other potentially relevant factors.

Limited Decision Making

It involves internal and limited external search, few alternatives, simple decision rules on a few attributes and little post-purchase evaluation. It covers the middle ground between nominal decision making and extended decision making. Limited decision making also occurs in response to some emotional or environmental needs. If the consumers are bored with the current product then they may purchase a new brand. This decision might involve evaluating only the newness or novelty of the available alternatives or evaluate a purchase in terms of the actual or anticipated behaviour of others.

Extended Decision Making

This involves an extensive internal and external information search followed by a complex evaluation of multiple alternatives and significant post purchase evaluation. It is the response to a high level of purchase involvement. After the purchase, doubt about its correctness is likely and a thorough evaluation of the purchase takes place.

Purchase of Durable Goods and Decision Making

Deciding to purchase durable goods is rather an important and complex decision. In complex decision making, consumers evaluate brands in a detailed and comprehensive manner. More information is sought and more brands are evaluated than in other types of buying decision. Complex decision making is most likely when consumers are involved with the product. The complex decision making is most likely for

  • High priced product.
  • Products associated with performance risks
  • Complex products.
  • Products associated with one’s ego.

The other facilitating conditions also exist. The most important is adequate time for extensive information search and processing. If decision must be made quickly complex decision making will not occur. A study by Greenleaf and Lehmann found that consumers sometimes delay a decision because of insufficient or inaccurate information.

Cognitive Theory

According to Edward Tolman, individuals not only responds to stimuli but also act on beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, feelings and strive towards goals.

In other words, an individual creates a cognitive map in his mind, i.e. an image of the external environment, preserves and organizes information gathered, as a result of the consequences of events encountered during the learning process. Thus, the individual learns about the event and objects on the basis of a meaning assigned to stimuli.

Cognitive learning theory emphasizes on the free will and positive aspects of human behaviour. Cognition refers to the individual’s thoughts, feelings, ideas, knowledge and understanding about himself and the environment. Thus, an individual applies this cognition in learning which results in not merely the response to a stimulus, but the application of internal image of the external environment, so as to accomplish the goal.

Tolman has conducted an experiment to elucidate the cognitive learning theory. He trained a rat to turn right in the ‘T’ maze in order to obtain food. One day, he started a rat from the opposite part of the maze, according to the operant conditioning theory, the rat should have turned right due to the past conditioning, but instead, it turned towards where the food was kept. Thus, Tolman concluded that rat formed a cognitive map in its mind to figure out where the food has been placed, and reinforcement was not a precondition for learning to take place.

Formation of Attitudes

Different people have different attitudes towards the same thing. There are various determinants of this attitude formation, some of which are mentioned below:

Personal Experiences:

Our personal interactions with others and experiences with things shape our attitudes towards certain things. We form positive attitude if we have a pleasant experience with it. Similarly, our bad experiences lead to the formation of negative attitude towards things.

Need Satisfaction & personal interest:

If a thing or idea fulfills our needs satisfactorily, we form a positive attitude towards it. On the other hand, an individual’s personal interest or gains may also influence their attitude towards a thing. Example: Some shopkeepers may deliberately hoard (store secretly) some consumables to create its shortage in the market in order to raise its prices. These shopkeepers have a positive attitude towards hoarding because it increases their profits. At the same time, people who have to pay higher prices for buying those consumables have a negative attitude towards the same practice.

Community Attitudes/ Group Associations:

People around us have a positive or negative attitude towards things. We interact with these community members and their attitudes also influence us to form an attitude towards those things accordingly.

Influence of Mass Media (as well as Social Media):

Media plays a significant role in attitude formation. Every day the sources of mass/social media communication bombard us with certain information which has an impact on the way we think about certain brands, products, industries as well as certain people/celebrities/communities/political parties. From information regarding newest technologies to robbery incidences in the locality, media provides us with information about almost everything. The tonality and context in which this information is shared, forms attitudes & sentiments among readers (us). Example: Our positive or negative attitude towards a certain political party is mostly an outcome of the media we consume.

Culture:

Our cultural norms, values, traditions, beliefs and preferences also form our attitude towards a thing. Culturally approved practices tend to have a positive attitude towards certain things while culturally disapproved practices tend to have a negative impact on some things. Example: Attitudes towards certain fashion trends or food choices are an outcome of cultural differences among consumers.

Stereotypes:

A stereotype is a wide-spread belief about a thing or a practice. It may be true or false judgement which is accepted by the majority of the people. There maybe a positive or negative attitude towards certain stereotypes around some products, gender, ethnic group, people or a person.

Rational Analysis:

Attitude formation is mostly the outcome of rational analysis of things. We analyze things and weigh its pros and cons to make our choices. Observing things in our daily life in this way leads to formation of positive or negative attitudes towards things that come our way.

Hierarchy of Effects Model:

The hierarchy-of-effects theory is a model of how advertising influences a consumer’s decision to purchase or not purchase a product or service. The hierarchy represents the progression of learning and decision-making a consumer experiences as a result of advertising. This model is used to set up a structured series of advertising message objectives for a particular product, with the goal of building upon each successive objective until a sale is ultimately made.

The objectives of a campaign are (in order of delivery): awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, conviction and purchase.

  • Awareness: The customer becomes aware of the product through advertising. This is a challenging step, there is no guarantee that the customer will be aware of the product brand after they view the advert. Customers see many adverts each day but will only remember the brand of a tiny fraction of products.
  • Knowledge: The customer begins to gain knowledge about the product for example through the internet, retail advisors and product packaging. In today’s digital world this step has become more important as consumers expect to gather product knowledge at the click of a button. Consumers will quickly move to competitor brands if they do not get the information they want. The advertiser’s job is to ensure product information is easily available.
  • Liking: As the title states, this step is about ensuring that the customer likes your product. As an advertiser what features can you promote to encourage the customer to like your product?
  • Preference: Consumers may like more than one product brand and could end up buying any one of them. At this stage advertisers will want the consumer to disconnect from rival products and focus on their particular product. Advertisers will want to highlight their brand’s benefits and unique selling points so that the consumer can differentiate it from competitor brands.
  • Conviction: This stage is about creating the customer’s desire to purchase the product. Advertisers may encourage conviction by allowing consumers to test or sample the product. Examples of this are inviting consumers to take a car for a test drive or offering consumers a free sample of a food product. This reassures consumers that the purchase will be a safe one.
  • Purchase: Having proceeded through the above stages, the advertiser wants the customer to purchase their product. This stage needs to be simple and easy, otherwise the customer will get fed up and walk away without a purchase. For example, a variety of payment options encourages purchase whilst a complicated and slow website discourages purchases.

Social Class and its Effect on Purchase

Consumer research has found evidence that within each of the social classes, there is a constellation of specific lifestyle factors (shared beliefs, attitudes, activities, and behaviours) that tends to distinguish the members of each class from the members of all other social classes.

To capture the lifestyle composition of the various social-class groupings, Table below presents a consolidated portrait, pieced together from numerous sources, of the members of the following six social clashes: upper-upper class, lower-upper class, upper-middle class, lower-middle class, upper-lower class, and lower-lower class. Each of these profiles is only a generalized picture of the class. People in any class may possess values, attitudes, and behavioural patterns that are a hybrid of two or more classes.

THE UPPER-UPPER CLASS: COUNTRY CLUB ESTABLISHMENT

Small number of well-established families. Belong to best country clubs and sponsor major charity events Serve as trustees for local colleges and hospitals. Prominent physicians and lawyers. May be heads of major financial institutions owners of major long-established firms. Accustomed to wealth so do not spend money conspicuously

THE LOWER-UPPER CLASS: NEW WEALTH

Not quite accepted by the upper crust of society. Represent “new money ‘Successful business executives. Conspicuous users of their new wealth

THE UPPER-MIDDLE CLASS: ACHIEVING PROFESSIONALS

Have neither family status nor unusual wealth Career oriented, Young successful professionals, corporate managers, and business owners. Most are college graduates, many with advanced degrees. Active in professional, community, and social activities. Have a keen interest in obtaining the “better things in life”Their homes serve as symbols of their achievements. Consumption is often conspicuous. Very child oriented

THE LOWER-MIDDLE CLASS: FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS

Primarily non-managerial white collar workers and highly paid blue collar workers. Want to achieve respectability and be accepted as good citizens. Want their children to be well-behaved. Tend to be churchgoers and are often involved in church-sponsored activities. Prefer a neat and clean appearance and tend to avoid faddish or highly styled clothing. Constitute a major market for do-it yourself products

THE UPPER-LOWER CLASS: SECURITY-MINDED MAJORITY

The largest social-class segment. Solidly blue collar. Strive for security (sometimes gained from union membership)View work as a means to “buy” enjoyment. Want children to behave properly. High wage earners in this group may spend impulsively. Interested in items that enhance their leisure time (e g, TV sets, hunting equipment)Husbands typically have a strong “macho ” self image. Males are sports fans heavy smokers, beer drinkers

THE LOWER-LOWER CLASS: ROCK BOTTOM

Poorly educated unskilled laborers. Often out of work. Children are often poorly treated. Tend to live a day to-day existence

Changing Indian Core Values

The Indian demographic & psychographic landscape have witnessed enormous changes in the past few decades. The increase in income levels, priority given toward education, and rapid industrialization coupled with liberalization policies pursued relentlessly by the Indian government has transformed the Indian economy. Indian values and national culture have not been spared from the attack from Western values.

These cultural nuances influence the purchase and consumption behaviour significantly as well as the personality and behaviour of Indian consumers.

The following are some of the core values of Indian that help is the study of Consumer Behaviour.

Social Sensitivity

In India, social acceptability is still more important than individual achievement and is given priority in an individual’s life. Group affiliations are given precedence with family traditions and values. For most Indians, family is the prime concern and an individual’s duty lies with the family. People search for security and prestige within the confines of the near and dear. Individual achievements are viewed in the light of family and societal achievements. Here an individual and society are interlinked, and one cannot create an individual identity independent from the group.

Mythology

Mythological stories, scriptures and music are an inherent part of the Indian culture. Apart from creating a brand experience in a service like tourism, toys, souvenirs, and artifacts can also be drawn from the Indian cultural background. Such products are marketed in places of tourist interest but not necessarily branded. There is a vast potential for creating a brand in this industry – among both foreign and domestic travelers. A value-based branding experience can create a huge market. Local toy manufacturers cater to this specific market to a great extent. Example: The Chota Bheem franchise that originated in the form of a TV Show on Pogo Network is today a national phenomenon with kids (~3-12 yrs.) are seen buying/using merchandise of this character based on Hindu mythology.

Urbanization

As a result of fast paced life in urban areas people hardly get time for shopping activities, this in turn has led to the growth of e-commerce in India. One of the major reasons behind more and more people shopping online is that it is safe, easy and quick way to shop.Thanks to urbanization and increase in per capita incomes as well as disposable incomes, there is immense focus on the quality of every product, be it FMCG or a rare tech purchase. Under The circumstance, the mindset of Indian consumers has transformed whereby now they viewprice as an indication of quality.

Acculturation (due to Migration)

Acculturation refers to the process of progress and alteration to one country’s cultural environment by an individual from another country”(Blackwell, Miniard and Engel, 2007). From shift in foods habits to influence on clothing and home décor, migration plays a key role in blending values of multiple sub-cultures together.Example: A professional born in Lucknow moves to Chennai for employment opportunities is likely to spread his fondness for kebabs among his native peers who belong to Chennai but don’t have a kebab culture in general. This can be true to dressing style too. The same migrantis likely to purchase & use a lungi to be able to blend into the south Indian way of life, especially during special occasions and festivities.

Influence of Western Culture

While the traditional Indian culture gave more importance to the society, the trend is slowly changing with the impact of westernization. Example: Love marriages were considered to be ant-Indian culture and were prohibited a couple of decades ago among certain castes. However, the outlook towards marriages has evolved. Today love marriage, inter-caste marriages and even live-in relationships and are accepted by and large. While this is at a societal level, there are personal choice influences too. Example: Choice of music has moved from classical/Carnatic to EDMs and Jazz due to greater exposure to western forms of music. Even the concept of having pets in the house or openness towards adoption of kids has evolved.

Concept of Family

Traditionally known for large joint families, Indians have gradually moved to nuclear families (parents with kids, no grandparents and extended family members). While The bond that exists between Indian family members is unique and cannot be seen in western culture, people are seeking independent lifestyles as people prefer to start their chosen life once they are married/ grown up.

Technology

From high-end smartphones to pads, technology is an integral part of the Indian lifestyle today. Consumers from both urban and rural areas have access to internet and technology products like computers, laptops and cellphones. Brands and marketers understand this deep connect of technology in the lives of consumers and strategically use media and channels that can reach their audience in time for promotions and another brand messaging.

Festivities

With an extremely diverse set of cultures and subcultures coexisting, India celebrates several festivals from Eid to Diwali to Christmas, to local harvest festivals such as Pongal, Vishu and Lodhi, and religious ceremonies like Ganesh Chaturthi. Each giving enough and more reason for people celebration and indulge into product consumption. Realizing the needs & wants of consumer around the festive period, marketers activate promotional tactics like special deals and offers to maximize sale of products under the context of auspicious/ ritualistic festive shopping.

Culture of Saving

As a third-world country, India has grown very slowly in terms of economic progress, hence our economy has been oriented highly towards savings unlike the western world where the concept of saving is not as strong. Right from lucrative bank interests to stringent rules on loans, India has managed to safeguard the interest of citizens through systematic saving. Unfortunately, a lot of households still continue to save in cash and breed black money or indulge in grey market (in cash) purchase of gold or property towards saving, thus weakening the efforts of the government.

Food Habits

As in most Asian countries, hot, spicy delicacies are popular in India too. It may be worthwhile to note that food habits have a strong like with the culture and are difficult to change. With the exception of Maggi noodles during the 1980s there has not been a single ‘foreign’ food item that has become as popular. Bread, which has been around for several decades, is still not popular barring certain urban and some semi-urban markets. But, it is interesting to note that several variants of wheat flour are popular throughout India. The consumption of biscuits with tea, too, has almost become a part of the eating culture for millions of Indian both in urban and rural markets. The success of Tiger biscuits, with its low- priced packs, reflects the strength of such a habit.

Concept of Classical Conditioning

Classical Conditioning pairs one stimulus with another that already elicits a given response. Over repeated trials, the new stimulus will also begin to elicit the same or a very similar response. In simpler terms, the process of using an established relationship between a stimulus and response to bring about the learning of the same response to a different stimulus is called Classical Conditioning. [If none of you understand this. We learned it a year ago in Psychology. Unless you had a bad teacher. Or attendance. Ugh who am I kidding. I forgot myself, had to google it up to understand.]

[Imagine you like having something like Icecream or Maggi. You love so much. You eat too much. Like gallons of it. Now anything in excess is bad, and so you vomit. Now, you know one thing, this thing made you vomit. And you are never going to eat it again. And therefore you are conditioned for it. I had similar experience with Frankys. Always mess my stomach up.]

Classical Conditioning theory involves learning a new behaviour via the process of association. Two stimuli are linked together to produce a new learned response in a person or animal.

Pavlov pioneered the study of classical conditioning. Pavlov noticed that his dogs were responding not only on the basis of biological need but also as a result of learning or as it came to be called, classical conditioning. In classical conditioning, an organism learns to respond to a neutral stimulus that normally does not bring about that response.

To demonstrate and analyze classical conditioning, Pavlov conducted a series of experiments. In one, he attached a tube to the salivary gland of a dog. He then sounded a tuning fork/bell and just a few seconds later, presented the dog with meat powder/meat/food.

This pairing was carefully planned so that exactly the same amount of time lapsed between the presentation of the sound and the meat powder occurred repeatedly.

At first the dog would salivate only when the meat powder itself was presented, but soon it began to salivate at the sound of the tuning fork. In fact, even when Pavlov stopped presenting the meat powder, the dog still salivated after hearing the sound. The dog had been classically conditioned to salivate to the tone.

Classical conditioning is also sometimes called respondent conditioning or Pavlovian conditioning. Pavlov won the Nobel Prize in 1904 for his work on digestion. Pavlov is remembered for his experiments on basic learning processes.

John B. Watson further extended Pavlov’s work and applied it to human beings. In 1921, Watson studied Albert, an 11 month old infant child. The goal of the study was to condition Albert to become afraid of a white rat by pairing the white rat with a very loud, jarring noise (UCS). At first, Albert showed no sign of fear when he was presented with rats, but once the rat was repeatedly paired with the loud noise (UCS), Albert developed a fear of rats. It could be said that the loud noise (UCS) induced fear (UCR). The implications of Watson’s experiment suggested that classical conditioning could cause some phobias in humans.

Adopter Categories

The adopter categories were first named and described in the landmark book “Diffusion of Innovations” by sociologist Everett Rogers in 1962. According to Rogers’ research, there are five adopter categories — innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. Rogers identified key characteristics of each adopter category, such as the fact that early adopters have the highest degree of opinion leadership among the adopter categories, while the laggards are likely to be the oldest and most traditional individuals. The concept of adopter categories is widely used in present-day marketing, especially that of revolutionary new products or services. One contemporary area adopter categories are especially relevant to is social network analysis.

Customer adoption patterns are important to understanding how to market new product for adoption. Without a clear understanding of what each type of adopter values it can be difficult, if not impossible to target them through marketing.

The 5 Types of Adopter for New Products and Innovations

Rogers presents a social system for adopters of recent innovation; the adoption of innovation varies throughout the course of the product-life cycle as shown in the diagram above.

  • Innovators
  • Early Adopters
  • Early Majority
  • Late Majority
  • Laggards

Let’s take a look at each type and how they differ from each other:

Innovators

Innovators are venture some risk takers. They are younger, more educated and socially mobile.They have the capacity to absorb risk associated with the new product. They are cosmopolitan in outlook, are aware and make use of commercial media, and eager to learn about new products,are progressive, ready to use new products.

Innovators are the first customers to try a new product. They are, by nature, risk takers and are excited by the possibilities of new ideas and new ways of doing things. Products tend to be more expensive at their point of release (though some products do defy this trend) and as such innovators are generally wealthier than other types of adopters (though in some cases they may adopt products in a very narrow field and devote much of their financial resources to this adoption).

Innovators will often have some connection to the scientific discipline in which a new product is generated from and will tend to socialize with other innovators in their chosen product categories.

It’s also important to realize that innovators are comfortable with the risks that they take. They are aware that some products that they adopt will not deliver the benefits that are promised or will fail to win mass market appeal.

When designing for innovators it might be best to remember what Larry Marine the UI expert says; “It is far better to adapt the technology to the user than to force the user to adapt to the technology.”

Early Adopters

They take a calculated risk before investing and using new innovations. They are opinion leaders and provide information to groups, but they are also concerned about failure. Therefore,they weigh advantages and disadvantages of the product before plunging in for a purchase.

Early adopters are the second phase of product purchasers following innovators. These tend to be the most influential people within any market space and they will often have a degree of “thought leadership” for other potential adopters. They may be very active in social media and often create reviews and other materials around new products that they strongly like or dislike.

Early adopters will normally have a reasonably high social status (which in turn enables thought leadership), reasonable access to finances (beyond those of later adopters), high levels of education and a reasonable approach to risk. However, they do not take as many risks as innovators and tend to make more reasoned decisions as to whether or not to become involved in a particular product. They will try to obtain more information than an innovator in this decision making process.

Early Majority

They tend to be more continuous and use the product after the innovators and early adopters seem to be satisfied with it. They are elders, well educated and less socially mobile. They rely heavily on inter-personal source of information. They constitute 34 per cent of the consumers.

As a product begins to have mass market appeal, the next class of adopter to arrive is the early majority. This class of adopter is reasonably risk averse and wants to be sure that their, often more limited, resources are spent wisely on products. They are however, generally, people with better than average social status and while not thought leaders in their own right – they will often be in contact with thought leaders and use the opinions of these thought leaders when making their adoption decisions.

Late Majority

They are doubtful and skeptical about the innovation of new products. They tend to use the product not so much because of innovation, but because of other pressures non-availability of the product and social pressures. They have less social status, and are less socially mobile than previous group. They are average in age, education, social status, income. They make little use of media (Magazine etc.). They rely heavily on informal sources of information.

The late majority is rather more skeptical about product adoption than the first three classes of adopters. They tend to put their resources towards tried and tested solutions only and are risk-averse. As you might expect, in general terms, this category of adopter has less money, lower social status, and less interaction with thought leaders and innovators than the other groups of adopters. The late majority rarely offer any form of thought leadership in a field.

Laggards

They are more traditional. They possess limited social interaction and are oriented to the past.They adopt the innovations with great reluctance. They have the least education, lowest social status and income. They possess no opinion leadership and are in touch with other laggard sand do not subscribe to many magazines.

Laggards are last to arrive at the adoption party and their arrival is typically a sign that a product is entering decline. Laggards value traditional methods of doing things and highly averse to change and risk. Typically laggards will have low socio-economic status and rarely seek opinions outside of their own limited social set. However, it is worth noting that in many cases laggards are older people who are less familiar with technology than younger generations and in these cases they may still have a mid-level of socio-economic status.

Note: It is important to realize that, as with any generalization, not all members of a class of adopter will conform to the general patterns of that class. There will be high-income, well-educated, risk-taking, laggards as well as low-income, poorly-educated, non-thought leader early adopters. There are also plenty of older people familiar with technology. These categories are useful for generic planning for market entry and should not be used to stereotype individuals.

Additional Stuff

Adoption and Diffusion Through Marketing Strategy

Marketers have been trying to influence consumers to adopt new innovations. This is done through free samples and price promotions. Advertising is done extensively when the results are not found positive by distribution of free samples and promotions. Sometimes price promotions and free samples are backed by advertising techniques. Sometimes change agents are used to overcome resistance to adoption. For medical products, hospitals, clinics and physicians of repute are used as change agents.

Rate of Diffusion.

The rate of diffusion can be low or high. Marketers have 2 options that can influence the rate of diffusion.

Skimming Strategy.

This strategy used for major innovations and when the product is in great demand. Prices are set high and it has slow rate of diffusion. The strategy aims at skimming the cream of the market i.e., to take advantage and get the profits in abundance.The segment is small and specific. The segment is price insensitive. It has its own lifestyle sand demographic characteristics, awareness and information advertising is used in this case.The distribution is done from selective outlets.

Penetration Strategy.

In this, there is rapid and widespread diffusion as the product is of low value and is within the reach of many. The product is sold to a General Market by an intensive campaign. The distribution is extensive and the product used is general. It is used in new products which are not major innovations like cold drink, health drinks, coffee etc. The advertising is widespread and other means of promotion are also used.

The distribution is extensive and covering as many outlets as possible. The price is lowland the product is available. The strategy keeps changing with its position on the diffusion curve. All electronic products of major innovation start with the skimming strategy and gradually move down to penetration strategy. The price of computers, television sets, microwave ovens etc., start with a high price and as the product is adopted and many more competitors come in the skimming strategy is changed to penetration strategies. Some products start withal penetration strategy and raise their prices with the widespread acceptance of the product in the market.

Differential Threshold

A differential threshold is the minimum required difference between two stimuli for a person to notice change 50% of the time (and you already know where that “50% of the time” came from). The difference threshold is also called Just Noticeable Difference, which translates the concept more clearly. Here are a few examples of difference thresholds:

  • The smallest difference in sound for us to perceive a change in the radio’s volume
  • The minimum difference in weight for us to perceive a change between two piles of sand
  • The minimum difference of light intensity for us to perceive a difference between two light bulbs
  • The smallest difference of quantity of salt in a soup for us to perceive a difference in taste
  • The minimum difference of quantity of perfume for us to perceive a difference in something’s smell

You may have already had the experience of turning up the TV or radio volume and not noticing a difference until a certain point. That is the difference threshold concept in action. If you don’t notice the difference, your difference threshold has not been reached yet.

To quantify the difference threshold, psycho-physicist Ernst Weber developed what is known as the Weber’s Law. Weber’s Law states that rather than a constant, absolute amount of change, there must be a constant percentage change for two stimuli to be perceived as different. In other words, the higher the intensity of a stimulus, the more it will need to change so we can notice a difference.

Imagine the TV/radio situation again, and imagine the manufacturers built a bad volume system in which each increase in volume corresponds to a constant increase in absolute (not percentage) amount. You can notice a difference when you go from volume 1 from volume 3, for example, but you don’t perceive the same difference when the volume goes from 40 to 43. According to Weber’s Law, for you to perceive the difference between volume 40 and 43 the same way you perceived the difference between volume 1 and 3 (an increase of 300%), volume 40 would have to go up to 120 (the same increase of 300%).

Diffusion Process

The diffusion process describes how an innovation spreads. In addition, it provides information that enables management to identify target markets. Diffusion process is the process by which the acceptance of an innovation [new product, service, idea, or practise] is spread by communication (mass media, salespeople, or informal conversations) to members of a social system/the target market over a period of time. The marketer needs to understand the diffusion process efficiently so that the marketer can spread the new item and gain optimum benefit

During the market diffusion process, the marketer must recognize that people differ greatly in their readiness to adopt new products. Based on this idea, five market segments can be distinguished by the time consumers take to adopt new products.

Instrumental Conditioning

Skinner is regarded as the father of Operant Conditioning, but his work was based on Thorndike’s (1898) law of effect. According to this principle, behaviour that is followed by pleasant consequences is likely to be repeated, and behaviour followed by unpleasant consequences is less likely to be repeated.

Instrumental conditioning is another term for operant conditioning, a learning process first described by B. F. Skinner. In instrumental conditioning, reinforcement or punishment are used to either increase or decrease the probability that a behaviour will occur again in the future.

For example, if a student is rewarded with praise every time she raises her hand in class, she becomes more likely to raise her hand again in the future.

If she is also scolded when she speaks out of turn, she becomes less likely to interrupt the class. In these examples, the teacher is using reinforcement to strengthen the hand-raising behaviour and punishment to weaken the talking out of turn behaviour.

Instrumental conditioning is often used in animal training as well. For example, training a dog to shake hands would involve offering a reward every time the desired behaviour occurs.

Skinner identified two key aspects of the operant conditioning process. Reinforcement serves to increase the behaviour while punishment serves to decrease the behaviour.

There are also two different types of reinforcement and two different types of punishment. Positive reinforcement involves presenting a favorable outcome, such as giving a child a treat after she cleans her room. Negative reinforcement involves the removal of an unpleasant stimulus, like telling a child that if she eats all her potatoes then she won’t have to eat her broccoli. Since the child considers broccoli an unpleasant consequence and eating the potatoes leads to the removal of this undesirable consequence, eating the potatoes is then negatively reinforced.

Positive punishment means applying an unpleasant event after a behaviour. Spanking, for example, is a common example of positive punishment. This type of punishment is often referred to as punishment by application. A negative consequence is directly applied to reduce the unwanted behaviour.

Negative punishment involves taking away something pleasant after a behaviour occurs. For example, if a child fails to clean her room, her parents might tell her that she cannot go to the mall with her friends. Taking away the desirable activity acts as a negative punisher on the preceding behaviour.

The method of instrumental conditions [also called operant conditioning] also involves developing connections between stimuli and responses, but the process involved differs from classical condition in several aspects.

Tri Component Model of Attitude

According to the tricomponent attitude model, attitude consists of three major components, viz., a cognitive component, an affective component, and a conative component.

Cognitive Component:

The knowledge and perceptions we have about the object Based on personal experience with the object and information from various sources (e.g., opinions of others, ads, articles, etc.) This knowledge and perceptions commonly take the form of beliefs

The cognitive component consists of a person’s cognitions, i.e. knowledge and perceptions (about an object). This knowledge and resulting perceptions commonly take the form of beliefs, images, and long-term memories. A utility function representing the weighted product of attributes and criteria would be used to develop the final ranking and thus choice.

This represents our thoughts, beliefs and ideas about something. Typically these come to light in generalities or stereotypes, such as ‘all teenagers are lazy,’ or ‘all babies are cute.’

Cognition is basically making decisions going through a thinking process. So this thinking process can occur on the basis of knowledge and perceptions that are already existing in our minds. Cognitive Component of attitude is developing a belief based on past experience or perception and whenever we are exposed to attitude object (about which we are to form certain attitude) and our those beliefs will form our behaviour towards that attitude object, and if its positive our attitude towards it will also be positive or vice versa.

Cognition Component is the knowledge or belief about the product that is stored in the memory and influence how incoming stimuli can be interpreted. This forms the base for attitudes, behavioural intention and brand choice.

Cognitive responses are positive or negative thoughts generated by the consumer as a result of being exposed to information. The message sent can be supported retained or degraded.

Suppose you are to make decision between where to lunch either McDonald’s or KFC, now you will think and extract all the knowledge in your mind that may be due to past experience or gathered from different sources, you will be having certain beliefs on the basis of these knowledge bits and bytes and then your behaviour will be led by these beliefs and your attitude would be led by you behaviour.

Affective Component:

A consumer’s emotions or feelings about a particular product or brand Generally a reaction to the cognitive aspect of the attitude Our emotional state may amplify positive or negative experiences, which then have an effect on our attitude

The affective component of attitude comprises of the consumers emotions or feelings (toward an object). Buying of any product or service would be accomplished on the basis of how each product/service makes the decision maker feel. The product that evokes the greatest positive affective response would thus be ranked first. The affective response may be derived through association or directly attributed to the interaction between the product or service and the decision maker.

This component deals with feelings or emotions that are brought to the surface about something, such as fear or hate. Using our above example, someone might have the attitude that they hate teenagers because they are lazy or that they love all babies because they are cute.

This Component of Attitude formation is all about emotional feelings of a consumer about the particular product or brand. People have certain emotions regarding the attitude objects either favorable or unfavorable; good or bad, it may be regardless of any quality, specification, features, utility or brand name. Like, I, may prefer KFC over McDonald’s, as KFC people are more into charitable social work. So my positive emotions would be with KFC.

Sometimes emotionally charged states can also manifest this affect-laden experiences. For instance, if you are at best of your mood and you are asked to have an icecream, your response would most probably be positive, which would be opposite in other cases. So your mood at a certain situation also counts.

It shows the extent to which the individual rates the object as good or bad. Affective laden experiences manifest into emotionally charged states like happiness, sadness, shame, guilt, surprise. Such emotional states can enhance or amplify positive or negative experiences.

Researches that measure feelings, emotions are undertaken to construct a picture of the consumers overall feelings about a product or service.

Conative Component:

The conative component is concerned with the likelihood or tendency of certain behavior with regard to the attitude object. It would also mean the predisposition or tendency to act in a certain manner toward an object.

This Component Is concerned with the likelihood or tendency that a consumer will undertake a specific action or behave in a particular way regarding the attitude object Frequently treated as a consumer’s intention to buy

This can also be called the behavioral component and centers on individuals acting a certain way towards something, such as ‘we better keep those lazy teenagers out of the library,’ or ‘I cannot wait to kiss that baby.’

This final component is concerned with the likelihood or tendency that a specific action will be undertaken by an individual regarding attitude object. It is treated as an expression of consumer’s intention to buy. It may include action itself. Consumers usually make purchases for positively evaluated brands. Their intentions towards those brands are positive, so their attitude towards those brand would be positive.

Changing Trends in Consumer Behaviour

  1. Decline in Loyalty: With every brand competing for its righteous place in the market, there is more attention to quality and efficiency than ever before. This leads to a healthy competition among brands even from a pricing point of view, encouraging consumers to experiment with newer brands outside their comfort zone.
  1. Want for global labels: Despite local brands taking offering contemporary options, the want for global brands is never-ending. Despite being the power house of textiles, India has been opening gates for global apparel brands such as H&M, Zara, Forever 21, keeping consumer demand in mind.
  1. Occasion Agnostic Purchases: From a twice or thrice a year, festival-based shopping to anytime, anyplace shopping, the periodicity of purchases is increasingly becoming dynamic. Today, consumer do not wait for festivals or other specific occasions to purchase as most brands have promotional offers/ discounts running all round the year. This, coupled with the need to be most updated with regard to technology (cellphones), clothing and home appliances, has led to occasion-agnostic purchased.
  1. Online-only purchases: Over the last decade, e-commerce has grown fourfold. From daily essentials to luxury to medical purchases, all are done through online shopping. This has led to a decline in brick & mortar and paved way for online-exclusive launches of products. For example, several cell-phone companies launch & sell their new handsets only through select e- comm partners and have no offline purchase options whatsoever.
  1. Direct access to influencers: Influencers (brand ambassadors, opinion leaders, social media bloggers/reviewers) have always played a crucial role in consumer decision making, however, with strong penetration of social media, consumers now have direct access to influencers. Thus, brands are focusing on engaging with key influencers regularly in order to maintain positive brand resonance among their target audience.
  1. Gratification-driven purchases: Redeemable points, cashbacks and reference discounts are some of the most promising gratification tactics that have attracted consumers over the last few years.
  1. Money for Value over Value-for Money: Consumers are always on the lookout for alternatives that promise value for their money. However, this trend is gradually evolving as consumers have higher disposable incomes and they don’t mind paying a little extra as far as they receive a good shopping experience. For example, moviegoers do not mind paying a little extra for lounge seats as they expect a first-class treatment through the extra purchase.
  1. Focus on Customer Experience: Social media brought a number of positive changes for consumers and their behaviour. It also put big companies within closer reach, allowing customers to share their experiences in a public forum, whether good or bad. The rise of social media and online presences, particularly for businesses, may contribute to the increased focus on customer experience. Companies and their representatives have to work hard to make sure that customers are satisfied.
  1. Rise in Analytics: In the past, companies focused more on sales and the number of people that came through locations and stores, but the rise in online business seems to have advanced the necessity of tracking and analytics. Advancements in technology make it easier to track visitors to a site, along with their locations, buying habits, and other information. Some businesses are responding by hiring full-time employees to track analytics and look for ways to improve sales once a buyer has landed on a specific site or page. Example: Amazon.com. When a shopper looks at products on the website, they will likely start to see that same product pop up in ad space on other sites visited in the next or coming weeks.

Reflected Appraisal

This theory says that the appraisals a person receives from others moulds an individual’s self concept. The extent of this influence depends on the appraiser. The impact will occur when :

  • The Appraiser is perceived as a highly credible source
  • The Appraiser takes a very personal interest in the person being appraised
  • The number of confirmation of any given appraisal is high. Kaafi Jyada
  • The Appraisal is at variance with the person’s self concept at the moment of disagreement.
  • The appraisal comes from a variety of sources and is consistent.
  • The appraisal is supportive of the person’s own belief.

Social Comparison

The reflected appraisal is depressing since it emphasizes that people are passive and merely reflect the appraisals of others. The social comparison theory states that peoples self concepts depends on how they see themselves in relation to others. This theory explains why people so strongly desire to acquire more goods and services, more than necessary. Many of these want to rank higher in comparison with others.

ERG Hierarchy of Needs

This theory proposes a hierarchy of three needs which are existence, relatedness and growth. Though it is similar to Maslow’s Theory in many ways, Alderfer has introduced another useful notion of frustration. He says in the event of a need not being satisfied it can result in frustration which in turn may lead to other behaviours.

In the marketing context it can be said that when consumers are not satisfied with a particular purchase they have made, they may opt for an alternative brand from a competitor, or they can resort to complaining about what product they have purchased. Thus, accepting that frustration is a defence mechanism adopted by consumers, marketers must plan how to handle their consumer frustration.

Clayton P. Alderfer’s ERG theory from condenses Maslow’s five human needs into three main categories: Existence, Relatedness and Growth.

Existence Needs: Include all material and physiological desires (e.g., food, water, air, clothing, safety, physical love and affection). Maslow’s first two levels.

Relatedness Needs

Encompass social and external esteem; relationships with significant others like family, friends, co-workers and employers. This also means to be recognized and feel secure as part of a group or family. Maslow’s third and fourth levels.

Growth Needs

Internal esteem and self-actualization; these compel a person to make creative or productive effects on himself and the environment (e.g., to progress toward one’s ideal self). Maslow’s fourth and fifth levels. This includes desires to be creative and productive, and to complete meaningful tasks.

Even though the priority of these needs differs from person to person, the ERG theory prioritizes in terms of the categories’ concreteness. Existence needs are the most concrete, and easiest to verify. Relatedness needs are less concrete than existence needs, which depend on a relationship between two or more people. Finally, growth needs are the least concrete in that their specific objectives depend on the uniqueness of each person.

Reference Group and its types

In our daily lives, we all get influenced by a variety of people while making our purchase decisions. We, as humans do a lot to try to impress others. We make purchase to get compliments and try that others should not think less of us.

A reference group is the group whose perspective we consider. Now our reference could be very large or very small including few of our family members or few close friends. Reference groups influence people a lot in their buying decisions. They set the levels of lifestyle, purchasing patterns, etc.

A Reference Group is any person or group that serves as a point of comparison for an individual in forming values, attitudes, guides for behaviour, determining his own judgement, preferences, beliefs, and behaviour.

Sociologists call any group that individuals use as a standard for evaluating themselves and their own behaviour a reference group. The individual can refer to a reference group either in part or in whole. The individual may or may not be a member of a reference group.

They often serve as our role models and inspiration. Marketers view reference groups as important because they influence how consumers interpret information and make purchasing decisions. Reference groups influence what types of products you will purchase and which brand of product you choose.

Reference Groups have a direct face to face interaction or indirect influence on a person’s attitude or behaviour. Primary Groups are family, friends, neighbours and coworkers. Secondary groups are religious groups, professional groups which are more formal and require less interaction. It is felt that reference groups have influence mainly on high priced items.

Types of Reference Group

A comparative reference group is a group of individuals whom you compare yourself against and may strive to be like. Examples include celebrities and heroes.

(1) Normative Group

A normative reference group influences your norms, attitudes, and values through direct interaction. Examples of your normative reference groups include your parents, siblings, teachers, peers, associates and friends. When reference groups affect behaviour and attitudes through pres­sures for conformity [compliance with standards, rules, or laws], then this is known as normative influence.

Normative influence can occur even when others do not control tangible outcomes because people are concerned with their perceptions of what other think of them.

These are the groups that care for set norms and ensure that the same are held up at all points of time. Influence exerted on the consumer by such Normative Groups is many a time subjective. Young students who avoid wearing certain style of clothes for the fear of getting mocked by his friends experiences the type influence common to Normative groups.

(2) Comparative Reference Groups

These are groups with whom the individual compares himself and his attitudes. They provide a basis for validating beliefs, values and attitudes.  Value expressive influence. This group could comprise of neighboring families whos lifestyle might appear to be admirable or worth of imitation.

Getting influenced by a like minded neighbor is a typical happening that can be witnessed in Comparative Reference Groups. The main characteristics of such groups is the validation of practices and belief systems that happen between people who belong to the group.

The influence exerted in such type of groups is termed as Value Expressive Influence. The reason for the term ‘Value expressive’ is the uniformity in thoughts and belief systems that prevails between the members of the group. For instance such a group members may be of the same opinion when it comes to smoking or drinking habit.

(3) Membership v/s Non Membership

As the very name suggests[ i have no idea], Membership Groups are the ones which insist on people to become members to avail benefits offered by the same. Non-Membership group are general groups in which one associate them for keeping themselves updated about certain aspects of their interest.

Such groups do not insist on any type of memberships. The influence exerted by Membership groups on consumers and their purchase decisions are many a times higher than that of the same from non-membership groups. This is mainly because of the adherence levels exhibited in Membership groups

Membership groups are those to which the individual belongs. Non membership groups are those to which the individual does not presently belong. Many are aspirational in nature i.e. those to which the individual aspires to belong. Such groups can have a profound influence on non members.

(4) Positive Versus Negative Groups

A positive reference group is for the upwardly mobile consumer while a negative group is that makes a person avoid the group and disassociate from that group

(5) Indirect Reference Groups

Movie Stars, sports personalities, etc. have a huge fan following. There may be absolutely no face-to-face contact between the fan and the star. However this reference group has the ability to influence consumers. Example, makeup, hairstyle, lifestyle, and behaviour

(5) Contractual Groups

Groups with which a person interacts and ahas a regular contact is a contractual group. Example, family, friends, neighbour or any social organization. The individual has to have regular face-to-face contact or have a membership for the contractual group to exist.

(7) Aspirational Groups

These are groups in which people are not members but desires to become one on a future date. The aspiration may become true once they are ready to join the group at the future point of time. The influences exerted by such group members on consumers make them join many groups every now and then.

Aspirational group is a group to which an individual wishes to belong. This aspiration acts as a positive influence on a person’s attitude and behaviour.

(8) Disclaimant Groups

This is a group whose values do not appeal to that individual, and so that person becomes a part of a disclaimant group. An individual may have a membership yet disapprove of the group’s values.

A reference group includes individuals or groups that influence our opinions, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour. They often serve as our role models and inspiration. A reference group may or may not be a membership group. It is common to orient ourselves to more than one reference group at a time. One’s family members, teachers, neighborhood and co- workers shape different aspects of our self- evaluation. In addition, certain reference group attachments change during the life cycle. We shift reference groups as we take on different statuses during our lives. A reference group may be an actual group, a collectivity or an aggregate, a person or personification of an abstraction.

Importance of a Reference Group:

Social Power

Reference groups have the capacity to alter actions of others as they can

influence the purchase behaviour negatively or positively towards a brand or product.

Referent Power

A person who tries to copy the behaviour of another person whom he takes as an idol and wants to be identified as him. The referent power lies with the person whose personality characteristics others try to copy and/or are attracted towards him.

Information Power

The power entrusted by the virtue of knowledge of facts or the truth. It is the most transitory type of power. Once you give your information away, you give your power away. For example, you share the secret, your power is gone. It’s different from other forms of power because it’s grounded in what you know about the content of a specific situation. Other forms of power are independent of the content.

Legitimate Power

This power is based on the position of the person in the society/organization. When someone gets what is legitimately due to them as a consumer, it is termed as legitimate power.

Expert Power

It is the power to withhold information from others. It is based on the group’s experience, skills and knowledge on the subject. The behaviour of consumers tends to get modified when a person who has an expertise in the area of discussion. Such experts influence purchase decisions to a great extent.

Reward Power

It is the power to restrict or allocate material resources and rewards to a person. Consumers are offered rewards in the form of kind or cash whenever they yield to the influencers of the group they are associated with.

Coercive

It is the power based on the application or usage of fear, pain, restrictions etc. on a person. Many a times, consumers are threatened to go in for certain brands or to avoid a particular brand. Here the coerciveness acts as the main power and so is termed as coercive power.

Influence of Reference Groups on CB:

Informational Benefit

Consumers are likely to be influenced if the information is perceived as enhancing their knowledge of the environment or their ability to cope with some aspect of it. That is, if they believe it will help them to achieve some goal, they will respond.

Utilitarian Benefit

Utilitarian benefit occurs when a person complies with perceived expectations of what others want in order to achieve rewards or avoid punishments. Product and/or brand purchases may be influenced.

Value Expressive Benefit:

Individuals can use reference groups to enhance or support their own self-concepts. They may accept a reference group position to bolster their self-concepts through association with the group, or to affiliate or associate with group members that represent desirable values.

Message Factor and Process

Message Factors are characteristics and features (such as persuasive language) which will affect the degree of success and effectiveness a message has when delivered.

“Message factors are characteristics of the message itself in terms of structure and wording which can affect the effectiveness of the message.”

It is important to understand what components make up a persuasive message. This article discusses three sets of message factors; (1) message structure, (2) message order (3) message code and (4) message appeal.

Message structure message structure refers to how the elements of a message are organized. Four structures that have been extensively studied are messages sidedness order of presentation conclusion drawing and repetition.

Message Structure

Some of the decisions that marketers must make in designing the message include the use of resonance, positive or negative message framing, one-sided or two-sided messages, comparative advertising, and the order of presentation

A message can either be one sided or two sided.

One Sided Message

  • A message that presents only those arguments in favor of a particular position – Such a message does not mention negative qualities, problems, or counter arguments on a given subject/ product – Usually works favorably for an audience who is already in favor of the message sender’s subject – Most mass media advertising messages are one-sided
  • Example: A religious fundraising message is usually one-sided on the assumption that the targeted audience is favorably disposed toward the view being explained and is unlikely to be receptive to other religious beliefs

Two Sided:

  • A message that that presents the arguments in favor of a proposition but also considers the opposing arguments
  • While crafting such a message, marketers will show that they favor a certain position, they will also acknowledge the competitor or opposing viewpoint
  • Usually such a message begins with by showcasing points in favor about the issue in which marketers hope to persuade the consumer, however,

Message Order

What is the best order? [Schezwan Fried Rice with Crispy Chickennn baby] Should the most important parts to the communicator be presented at beginning, middle or end? Does the first or last ad have an advantage in influencing attitude change? [now that we are done with obligatory first day of new semester questions, we will jump on to our syllabus]

A Climax order refers to ordering message elements whereby the strongest arguments are presented at the end of a message. An Anticlimax order refers to the presentation of the most important points at the beginning of the message. When the important part is presented in the middle of a message, it is referred to as a Pyramidal order

  • An Anticlimax Order tends to be most effective for an audience having a low level of interest in the subject being presented. In such a message, the marketer puts the best or most important information right at the start. This message order often appeals to the consumer who is not necessarily interested in the product but the campaign manages to attract or trigger learning/memory towards potential future purchase.
  • A Climax  Order however, tends to be the most effective order for an audience with great level of interest in the subject being presented. In such a message, the advertiser or marketer saves or conveys the most important part at the end of the message. In most cases, such a message order is effective for audience that is on the lookout for that particular product/offering. The message then simply validates and emphasizes on the unique selling point.
  • Pyramidal Order  is the least effective order of the presentation. One of the lesser effective orders, pyramidal is when a marketer sandwiches the best material in the middle of the conversation or spreads it across the message without a flow. Such a message is likely to get strong recognition or recollection.

The First Two Orders can be explained in terms of Audience’s Interest Levels. Where the interest is low there, the stronger, more interesting points in a message, has a greater potential for gaining audience’s attention, and therefore they should be placed first [anticlimax order]. In this way, a communicator is better able to get their message across and thus effect change in the audience. However, with this approach, the communicator also must be careful of avoiding an audiences’ “let down” when the weaker points in a message follow

When audience’s interest in the subject is high, there is no need to present the stronger points first, because the message will be attended to, out of interest. Therefore, the climax order should be used, because the points made at the end of the message exceed expectations created by the points initially presented.

For low interest products, anticlimax order appears effective. In some cases, each method can perhaps be strengthened by presenting the important points at both the beginning and end of the message.

When the material presented first produces the greater opinion or attitude change, then a primacy effect has occurred. When the material presented last produces the greater change then a recency effect has been observed.

The question of which presentation of order is more effective when using a two sided message has not been very conclusive. Involvement levels are an important consideration when conclusions are implied but not explicitly drawn for consumers. Under conditions of high involvement implied message conclusions are likely to be inferred by intelligent consumers and this is likely to lead to favorable attitude change. Those consumers having low involvement are less likely to make such inferences.

Message Code

Three Broad Classes of Message Codes are :

(i) Verbal

(ii) Non Verbal

(iii) Paralinguistic

(i) Verbal Codes

The verbal code is a system of word symbols that are combined according to a set of rules. Advertisers tend to use modifier words such as adjectives and adverbs to elicit favorable emotions within a consumer.

(ii) Nonverbal Codes

Nonverbal Codes are extremely important in persuasive communication. For example, a communicators facial expressions, gestures, posture, and dress can affect how a receiver responds to a message. Advertisers are also aware of the importance of nonverbal communications in television and print advertisements, particularly those that use models.

(iii) Paralinguistic Codes

Paralinguistic codes are those which lie between the verbal and nonverbal codes. They primarily involve two components -voice qualities and vocalizations.

Voice Qualities refer to such speech characteristics as rhythm pattern, pitch of voice and precision of articulation. They can communicate urgency, boredom, sarcasm, and other feelings. Vocalizations on the other hand are sounds such as yawn, sighs and various voice intensities which reflect certain emotions.

Advertisers are very careful to select models whose tonal qualities match the product message [all eyes on you trivago]. For example, when facial soaps [SANTOOR], body creams and shampoos that are soft and gentle are being promoted, the model’s voice tends to be quite soothing. However, advertisements for pickup trucks, tool and some heavy duty cleansers typically employ low, powerful sounding voices.

Message Appeals

Message appeals enhance the persuasiveness of messages. The advertising appeal is an attempt to draw a connection between the product being advertised and some need or desire that the audience feels. Appeals fall into two general categories, Rational and Emotional.

Rational appeal aims for the buyers head and emotional aims for the buyers heart. A logical appeal tries to sell products based on performance, features or the ability to solve problems. In contrast, an emotional appeal tries to sell products based on the satisfaction that comes from purchasing and then either owning or giving the product as a gift. Defining appeals as either logical or emotional is oversimplifying them.

All ads contain an element of logic and emotion, and it is unlikely that any successful ad is exclusive to one appeal or the another. Even a highly tech ad can appeal to buyers emotions if the logic in the appeal leads to reduced stress on the job or increased chances of personal success.

Fear Appeal

Fear is an emotional response to some actual or perceived threat or danger. Advertisers use fear appeals in some situations to evoke the desired emotional response and motivate audience to take steps to remove the threat. Some people humourously call these as ‘slice-of-death’ ads.

The fear appeal specifically appeals to a person’s fears in order to encourage them to buy or act. The goal of the fear appeal is to cause someone to fear an outcome or response if they don’t buy a product or act in such a way as to reduce risk.

Toothpaste, deodorants, helmets, anti-dandruff shampoos, life insurance and a large number of other products and services use fear appeals. In some situations, it appears to be quite reasonable for advertisers to consider using fear with explicit purpose of persuading the audience to elicit a favorable response.

Fear is a powerful motivator, but only up to a point. Ad messages using fear appeals to have been used to promote social causes as well, such as wearing helmets while driving two-wheeler autos, safe driving, paying taxes, the dread of drugs, dangers of smoking and AIDS, etc.

As the intensity of the fear increases, its effectiveness in persuading consumers will decrease. Strong fear evoking message component will cause consumers to set up a defense mechanism to screen out fearful aspects of the message and in doing so they reject the rest of the message. For example, a strong message about the harmful effect of smoking can be denied by “there is still no real proof that smoking causes cancer”, “People who don’t smoke also get cancer” “Ligma”.  A personal disaster for driving cars fast may evoke the response that it can’t happen to me.

Consumer are able to recall more information from lower fear appeal that high fear appeal. A Fear appeal is not effective because they generate very little motivation for attitude change. Therefore, moderate fear appeals which provide sufficient motivation but do not activate defense mechanisms, appear to be mere effective in generating attitude change. Adolescents are more persuaded to avoid drug use by messages that depict negative social consequences of drugs use rather than physical threats to their bodies.

2. Humour Appeal

Many marketers use humourous appeals in belief that humour will increase the acceptance and persuasiveness of their advertising message. Some marketers avoid the use of humour because they fear that product will become an object of ridicule and viewers will laugh at them rather than with them.

Appealing to a person’s sense of humour. Because most human beings like to laugh, humour is an effective appeal for grabbing attention and helping people remember and share information about a product or idea. The goal with humour is to help build a positive association with a product, service, or idea.

humour generates feelings of amusement and pleasure and, for this reason it has a potential for the feeling to become associated with the brand and affect consumer attitudes towards the brand and probably its image. humour can also affect information processing by attracting attention, improving brand name recall, creating pleasant mood and reducing the chances of counter-argument.

Many feel that humour appeal is not universally accepted and wears out quickly [ 👏meme👏review👏] Research reveals that there are three basic types of humour, hostile, sexual and nonsensical have a different perception among men and women. Humour is culturally determined and therefore responses to any humourous message may be quite different across groups.

3. Emotional Appeal and Rational Appeal

Rational Appeal

Appealing to a person’s logic and evaluative reasoning. The goal of the rational appeal is to make people feel like they need something because it makes sense and seems necessary. It is technique of designing advertising to appeal audience by using logical arguments stating how it will satisfy customers practical needs. Rational appeal is based on appealing price point and highlighting benefits of the products for the customers. The reasonable, functional and practical aspect of the product or service is highlighted in rational appeal advertisements. Generally small businesses use this kind of advertising method to fend off competition.

The Rational Appeal is especially effective when the product, service, or idea contains many features that will appeal to someone’s sense of reason. For example, if you are advertising a vehicle that you know has technical features that will appeal to your audience (maybe enhanced sound system, better gas mileage, higher safety rating, and so forth), you can use the rational appeal to make your audience nod their head and say, “yep, that makes total sense. I want that.”

Emotional Appeal

Appealing to a person’s emotions. The goal of the personal appeal is to make a consumer feel sad, angry, excited, jealous, fearful, proud, nostalgic, or any other emotion enough to encourage them to buy, donate or act.

The effectiveness of appeals is likely to be a function of the underlying motives consumer have for such considering the product as well as other factors such as the level of involvement. Hence neither approach is superior to the other. When emotional appeals appear to be appropriate the following points have to be kept in mind.

  • The emotionally charged words should have a high personal meaning to the target audience
  • Associate the message with well-known ideas
  • Associate the brand or the message with visual or nonverbal stimuli that arouse emotions
  • The communication should be accompanied by nonverbal cues which support the verbal message

5. Subliminal Appeal

You know how none of the Alcohol Advertisements promote Drinking directly. They promote it in a subtle manner/surrogative manner, and the viewer immediately understands what the Advertisement stands for. That is Subliminal Perception

A subliminal message is a signal or message designed to pass below (sub) the normal limits of perception. For example, it might be inaudible to the conscious mind (but audible to the unconscious or deeper mind) or might be an image transmitted briefly and unperceived consciously and yet perceived unconsciously. This definition assumes a division between conscious and unconscious which may be misleading; it may be truer to suggest that the subliminal message (sound or image) is perceived by deeper parts of what is a single integrated mind.

Merely creating awareness is not the sole aim of advertising it must stimulate a decision about wants and needs. If the need is accepted consumers will make it a goal to go for the brand. The absolute threshold identifies the minimum value of a stimulus capable of being consciously noticed. This threshold also referred to as a limen.

Subliminal Perception actually means the perception of stimuli that are below the level needed to reach conscious awareness. This can be achieved by presenting visual stimuli for a brief duration or embedding or hiding images or words in a pictorial way. The purpose of this appeal is to influence consumers at an unconscious level.

Advertisers make use of associations to trigger emotional responses. If you break down an advert into its constituent parts. Everything on the advert, from shapes and colours, sounds, font and carefully selected imagery is used to build brand identity, positive association and personal identification. Brands with big budgets will test their adverts to fine-tune them before release, this to maximise appeal and ensure their intended message gets across.

These associations and emotional triggers can be very subtle or barely noticeable – but they are not hidden.

Advertisers, however, do not even attempt to hide or conceal distinct, discrete subliminal messages within advertising. Such attempts, if picked up by the unconscious have the potential to backfire. Those influenced generally will exhibit the opposite behaviours – that is, no one likes to be convertly manipulated.)

A Blog on the Internet shows few Indian Examples of Subliminal Advertising. I am not really sure what can we put in its examples during the test. But this might work

6. Sex Appeals

In our highly permissive society, sensual advertising seems to permeate the print media and the airwaves. Advertisers are increasingly trying to provoke attention with suggestive illustrations, crude language, and nudity in their efforts to appear ‘hip’ and contemporary. In today’s advertising, there is a lot of explicit and daring sexual imagery, extending far beyond the traditional product categories of fashion and fragrance into such categories as shampoo, beer, cars and home construction.

Appealing to the natural sexual desires of men and women. The goal of the sex appeal is to grab and increase attention toward a product or service by making people feel attracted to or desirous of the people using the product.

The use of sexually attractive models and sexually suggestive themes has been used many times. The use of sexual themes in promotions may have a small favourable impact and significant limitations. Advertisers use of sexual themes could generate negative reactions from substantial portions of the market.

One purpose for incorporating sexual themes or pictorial material into advertisements is to attract consumers attention to the ad. However, evidence suggests that use of such material may not always have an easily predictable or described effect.

Attracting attention is only one purpose of advertising. Consumers must remember the brand name and the advertising message. Recognition and recall may increase through the use of sexual illustrations, but no strong positive influence could be detected for the brand being advertised. The use of sexual content in ads is not favoured by many advertisers.

7. Price or Value Appeals

Promising to give buyers more for their money is one of the most effective appeals you can use. Particularly in terms of audience recall. A value appeal can be accomplished in several ways, lowering the price and making people aware of the new price, keeping the same price but offering more or keeping the price and the product the same, and trying to convince people that the product is worth whatever price you’re charging.

Price alone, however, is rarely an effective appeal. Only when the rest of the product offering is at least minimally acceptable will price become an effective appeal. Price is used as the extra punch in an appeal

8. Quality Appeals

The flip side of a price appeal is an appeal to quality. An appeal to quality can work only if the product possessesessessssses the right level of quality.

9. Star Appeal and Testimonials

The public fascination with superstar athlete and entertainers is the foundation of the celebrity endorsement ad. Celebrity endorsement is extremely popular. The presumed pull of the start appeal is that people like to identify with their favourite stars and will, therefore, be positively influenced by the appearance of a star in an ad

A related appeal is a testimonial in which real users of the product celebrities or others, make the sales pitch by showing the product in use discussing the benefits they get from using it or comparing it to their competitive products.

10. Ego Appeals

Many consumers is open to appeals to their ego. Whether the appeal relates to physical appearance, intellect, sense of humour or any other real or imagined personal quality. The L’Oreal ads are a classic example of this approach. The model in the advertisement says “I’m worth it”. She is appealing directly to the ego of the potential buyers. Not all ego appeals are quite so up front. A more subtle approach is probably more appropriate when the purchaser will be identified with the particular product for as long as he or she owns it or uses it. The ego appeal happens in private, so it works without embarrassing the audience.

11. Sensory Appeals

Many ads aim right for one or more of the five sense of taste, touch, vision, smell and hearing. As mentioned earlier in the model that there can be incorporation of more than one appeal. There might be a humourous, subliminal, sexual appeal mixed with any of the sensory appeals. Like the Colgate, Slice, Axe, aer Ads.

11. Abrasive Advertising

How effective an unpleasant or annoying ads are? The memory of an unpleasant commercial that antagonizes listeners or viewers may dissipate over time, leaving only the brand name in the minds of consumers. All of us have at one time or other been repelled by so called agony commercials, which depict in diagrammatic detail with the internal and intestinal effects of heartburn, indigestion, clogged sinus cavities, hammer induced headaches, and the like. Pharmaceutical companies often run such commercials with great success that are not visible and thus elicit little sympathy from family and friends.

13. Social Acceptance Appeals

Another common approach is the appeal that implicitly or perhaps even explicitly promises rewards from a spectrum of personal interaction that ranges from social acceptance to friendship. Appealing to a person’s sense of belonging or feeling of inclusion. The goal of the social appeal is to cause people to make purchases and take action based on whether it will make them feel accepted, recognized, respected, affiliated with, or even rejected by a certain group, organization, or people. It’s all about status and fitting in.

The ads give out a message which tells you that buying this won’t embarrass you, or your friends, family or others may accept you.

14. Prestige Appeals

It is the desire for prestige as shown by a person who buys the most expensive brands say mobiles [iPhone.] S/He can afford [selling their families] in order to impress their friends.

15. Youth Appeal

Appealing to a person’s desire to feel younger. The goal of the youth appeal is to make people who may otherwise feel old, out of shape, and less physically able than they were as youth to buy a product or service that will help rejuvenate their physical and emotional selves.

16. Snob Appeal

Appealing to people by making them feel like they will experience luxury, elegance, or superior quality. The goal of the snob appeal is to make people feel like their purchases or actions will put them in a position to experience the highest of qualities and luxuries.

17. Bandwagon Appeal

Appealing to people by making them feel like everyone else is doing it. The goal of the bandwagon appeal is to make people feel like since everyone else is doing something, they should to. It’s a persuasion-by-numbers tactic.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory (By Leon Festinger):

Cognitive dissonance is the term used in modern psychology to describe the state of holding two or more conflicting cognitions (ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions) simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel surprise, dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment.

It states that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by a) altering existing cognitions, b) adding new ones to create a consistent belief system, or c) alternatively by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant elements.

An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke and knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change their feelings about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or they might add the consonant element that the short-term benefits of smoking outweigh the long-term harm.

The need to avoid cognitive dissonance may bias one towards a certain decision even though other factors favour an alternative.

Factors Influencing Attitude Formation

An attitude describes a person’s relatively consistent evaluations, feelings, and tendencies toward an object or an idea. Attitudes put people into a frame of mind for liking or disliking things and moving toward or away from them.

For example, many people who have developed the attitude that eating healthy food is important to perceive vegetables as a healthy alternative to meat and chicken. As a result, the per capita consumption of vegetables has increased during recent years, leading the meat and chicken producers to try to change consumer attitudes that chicken and meat are unhealthy. [shouldn’t vegans stop using vehicles, coz the vehicles use fuel made from dead dinosaurs?]

Companies can benefit from researching attitudes toward their products. Understanding attitudes and beliefs are the first step toward changing or reinforcing them. Attitudes are learned. And they also develop through a personal experience with reality, that is from friends, family, media, etc. Attitudes have consistency. However, despite their consistency, attitudes are not necessarily permanent, they do change.

Attitudes developed as children often influence purchases as adults. Children may retain negative attitudes toward certain vegetables, people, and places. Chances are equally good that they may retain very positive images toward McDonald’s and Disneyland. Disney and McDonald’s both view children as lifelong customers. They want children to return as teenagers, parents, and grandparents and treat them in a manner to ensure future business. Many hospitality and travel companies have still not learned from those two examples.

Factors Influencing Attitude Formation

It is of vital importance to marketers to know how attitudes are formed. Without knowing how attitudes are formed marketers will not be able to understand or be influencing consumer attitudes or behaviour. All attitudes develop from human needs and values placed upon objects that satisfy these perceived needs. [if it’s hard to imagine product/object then imagine music. Man I love good music, so I hear it and boom no long love]

Personal Experience

People maintain contact with various objects in their day to day lives. They evaluate the New and Re-evaluate the old. And this evaluation process helps develop specific attitudes. Our direct experience with objects shapes our attitudes.

Needs

Needs differ over time to time and hence every individual has a different set of attitude towards the same object or product, at different points of time. Which means that it’s never constant, and keeps on changing with time, experience and needs.

Our personality influences the manner in which our direct experiences are processed.

Group Associations

Our attitudes are influenced by groups that we value and wish to associate. Several Groups, including family and work groups, affect an individual’s attitude development.

Groups that have the most immediate influence on an individual’s taste and opinions are face-to-face groups. These include societies, neighbours, fellow associates, friends, etc.

Influential People also influence our attitudes. Hence, advertisers use actors, sportsmen, etc. to endorse their products.

Exposure to Mass Media

Marketers make use of mass media to communicate and provide information to consumers at large, about their various product offerings.

Thus, consumers are constantly exposed to newspapers, other print media and television through which they get introduced to new ideas, products, opinions, advertisements.

Such mass media communications apart from proving to be important sources of information, also influence the formation of attitudes.

Social Cognitive Theory

Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) started as the Social Learning Theory (SLT) in the 1960s by Albert Bandura. It developed into the SCT in 1986 and posits that learning occurs in a social context with a dynamic and reciprocal interaction of the person, environment, and behaviour. The unique feature of SCT is the emphasis on social influence and its emphasis on external and internal social reinforcement. SCT considers the unique way in which individuals acquire and maintain behaviour, while also considering the social environment in which individuals perform the behaviour. The theory considers a person’s past experiences, which factor into whether behavioural action will occur. These past experiences influence reinforcements, expectations, and expectancies, all of which shape whether a person will engage in a specific behaviour and the reasons why a person engages in that behaviour.

Cognitive Dissonance

Trying to Summarize in Short

When two thoughts that hold inconsistency with one another, that’s Cognitive Dissonance.

“I smoke Cigarettes” and “Smoking is Unhealthy” when a person has both these thoughts at the same time, he has inconsistency and thus he is having cognitive dissonance.

Leon Festinger was the one who proposed this idea.

Normally when a person holds cognitive dissonance he tries to change one of the thoughts, let’s say he says “Meh Smokin ain’t bad homie”.

Secondly, you can do is change your behaviour. So maybe give up Smoking. Or just kys. Either works.

Third, add a thought. “I smoke occasionally” yes. 5 times a week. Or quitting and restarting every third day is definitely healthy. Or just try to exercise or eat healthy stuff which adds an extra amount of days and you don’t die soon.

Also Fourth, Trivialize the Thought. Don’t care. Its bad, its bad, so am I.

Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviours. This produces a feeling of discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviours to reduce the discomfort and restore balance, etc.

For example, when people smoke (behaviour) and they know that smoking causes cancer (cognition), they are in a state of cognitive dissonance.

This is the feeling of uncomfortable tension which comes from holding two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time.

Dissonance increases with:

  • The importance of the subject to us.
  • How strongly the dissonant thoughts conflict.
  • Our inability to rationalize and explain away the conflict.

Dissonance is often strong when we believe something about ourselves and then do something against that belief. If I believe I am good but do something bad, then the discomfort I feel as a result is cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is a very powerful motivator which will often lead us to change one or other of the conflicting belief or action. The discomfort often feels like a tension between the two opposing thoughts.

Cognitive dissonance was first investigated by Leon Festinger.

In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance(1957), Leon Festinger proposed that human beings strive for internal psychological consistency in order to mentally function in the real world. A person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and so is motivated to reduce the cognitive dissonance, by making changes to justify the stressful behaviour, either by adding new parts to the cognition causing the psychological dissonance, or by actively avoiding social situations and contradictory information likely to increase the magnitude of the cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive Dissonance is a psychological state which results when a person perceives that two thoughts, both of which he wants to believe are true, but do not fit together. This dissonance produces tension. Dissonance can arise in three basic ways

  • Any logical inconsistency can create dissonance.
  • When a person experiences an inconsistency between his attitude and behaviour.
  • When a strongly held expectation is disconfirmed.

It is necessary for a person to perceive the inconsistency, otherwise no dissonance will occur

Cognitive Dissonance arise after a bad decision has been made. It occurs as a result of discrepancy between a consumer’s decision and the consumers prior evaluation.

  • Consumer  may tolerate a certain level of dissonance until the minimum threshold of tolerance is reached.
  • The action is irrevocable (a high priced car/phone)
  • Unselected alternatives have desirable features.

Dissonance can occur mostly for durables although it can exist for almost every purchase.

A person experiencing cognitive dissonance has three major ways to reduce it.

  • Rationalization and Changing the Product’s Evaluation
  • Seeking Additional information that is consistent, or supportive of his/her behaviour
  • Eliminating or altering some dissonant elements by forgetting or suppressing dissonant elements or changing his attitude or behaviour.

Or, in Easy Words:

  • Change one or more of the attitudes, behaviour, beliefs, etc. to make the relationship between the two elements a consonant one.

When one of the dissonant elements is a behaviour, the individual can change or eliminate the behaviour.

However, this mode of dissonance reduction frequently presents problems for people, as it is often difficult for people to change well-learned behavioural responses (e.g., giving up smoking).

  • Acquire new information that outweighs the dissonant beliefs.

For example, thinking smoking causes lung cancer will cause dissonance if a person smokes.

However, new information such as “research has not proved definitely that smoking causes lung cancer” may reduce the dissonance.

  • Reduce the importance of the cognitions (i.e., beliefs, attitudes).

A person could convince themself that it is better to “live for today” than to “save for tomorrow.”

In other words, he could tell himself that a short life filled with smoking and sensual pleasures is better than a long life devoid of such joys. In this way, he would be decreasing the importance of the dissonant cognition (smoking is bad for one’s health).

Dissonance theory does not state that these modes of dissonance reduction will actually work, only that individuals who are in a state of cognitive dissonance will take steps to reduce the extent of their dissonance.

The theory of cognitive dissonance has been widely researched in a number of situations to develop the basic idea in more detail, and various factors that has been identified which may be important in attitude change.

An Individual changes a products evaluation by enhancing the attributes of the brand selected and decreasing the attributes of the unselected product.

Another way is to reevaluate the products by seeing them as more alike. Selective retention  can allow buyers to forget the positive features of the unselected product and the negative features of the chosen product.

A person can reduce dissonance by seeking more information to confirm the wisdom of the choice. Consumers normally avoid information that would tend to increase their dissonance and seek information supporting their decision. Consumers seek out ads of products they have bought and tend to avoid competing ads

Example

Think about a shampoo commercial. A beautiful woman’s hair blows in the wind. She looks happy, healthy, and gorgeous. The underlying message is that you too could look happy, healthy, and gorgeous if you use the same shampoo she uses. You experience dissonance because you want to look and feel happy, healthy, and gorgeous, but you don’t necessarily use that shampoo.

Max New York Life insurance
 –
 The honest vs the devil
 One of the key competition factors in the insurance business is thetrust on the brand. The reason LIC has been working so well is because over a period of time it has developed very high brand equity where Insurance is concerned. The backing up by the government also helps in creating brand equity for LIC. However, Max New York life insurance now seems to have realized that besides brand equity, another thing which can attract customers is Trust. And that is exactly the value which Max New York is targeting. The communication seems to be very clear–
 See the source image

Our sales representatives do not lie to you.

They would squash the devil inside and would tell the truth and wait patiently for your answer. If you notice, not only is the devil shown to be ignored, but in each ad, the insurance person is shown to be waiting patiently for the customer to finalize. This aspect targets another factor involved in insurance sales which is high pressure by sales executives and thereby sales resistance by customers
The ad seems to be well shot and narration is superb. The best part is the devil that has been disguised very well. He actually looks both scary and hilarious. The voice over is excellently done and gains immediate attention.
In the end, the main actor looks very convincing and honorable and therefore immediately gains our trust. Here strategy of the marketer to earn confidence of customer towards their products and services. They persuade customers that they will maintain good relationship with them and always be honest with them. 

Maslow’s Theory and Ad examples

You know, yall, I feel Doraemons episodes are heavily inspired by this. They follow a trend. And which is why not all the episodes have gadgets from past or similar ones. Nobita needs only certain things at times. Sometimes he just need food, sleep, etc. Other times he needs security from Jian, when we complete a set of episodes he wants some Shizuka, when he feels a sense friendship, connection or intimacy, he wants to go higher to get good grades, or be good, and we have those small emotional endings in episodes.

The Answer has examples which makes it bigger. If you read the first paragraph of each subpoint it can also be enough.

Abraham Maslow is well renowned for proposing the Hierarchy of Needs Theory in 1943. This theory is a classical depiction of human motivation. This theory is based on the assumption that there is a hierarchy of five needs within each individual. The urgency of these needs varies. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.

Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up. From the bottom of the hierarchy to the top, the needs are: physiological, safety, social/love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization.

Maslow’s theory explains why people are driven by particular needs at particular times. Why do some people spend time and energy on personal safety and another on pursuing the high opinion on others. According to Maslow, people will satisfy their most pressing needs first. When this important need is satisfied, it will cease to be a current motivator and people will try to satisfy the next most important need.

Maslow’s Theory helps marketers understand how various products fit into the goals and lives of potential consumers. Advertising campaigns portray the fulfillment of social esteem and self actualisation needs

According to this theory, however, there is some overlap between each level, As no need is ever completely satisfied. For this reason, although all levels of need below the level that is currently dominant continue to motivate behaviour to some extent, the prime motivator – the major driving force within the individual is the level of need largely unsatisfied.

Use in Marketing

Smart marketers know the most direct pathway to selling a product or service is by filling a consumer’s needs. The Maslow Hierarchy provides an easy-to-understand method for determining where a product fits into the progression of human needs.

Maslow theorized that all human decisions are made within the five levels of the hierarchy. While it’s possible to get more granular than that, marketing theory often leverages Maslow’s findings to guide strategy.

Appealing to the motivational drivers behind the needs at each level can, in theory, lead to a higher success rate in marketing. The key is understanding each level and the type of products that fit within them.

Physiological Needs

These form the most dominant needs as they are key for basic survival. They include food, clothing and shelter. If these are not satisfied, the person cannot function optimally. Potential Example: The ‘Meri Masala Maggi’ campaign that features faces of real-life customers on pack.

These are biological requirements for human survival, Example, air, food, drink, shelter, clothing, warmth, sleep. In other words, physiological needs are the needs for basic amenities of life.

If these needs are not satisfied the human body cannot function optimally. Maslow considered physiological needs the most important as all the other needs become secondary until these needs are met.

These base needs are the first people seek to satisfy. Outside of the food and bottled water industries, there’s little here for marketers to consider. Those who are seeking to satisfy needs at this level are typically not the target audience for most marketers.


This ad demonstrates the physiological need of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  The strategy of this need is expressing that water is very important and it is impossible to survive without it.  This ad fits the physiological need because water is something that people will always need and thirst is something that people will always have.

Safety Needs

Safety needs include physical, environmental and emotional safety and protection. For instance- Job security, financial security, protection from animals, family security, health security, etc.

The insurance industry leaps to mind in this category. The entire insurance business is based on fulfilling a need for safety. This is why insurance aids often target the need to avoid the chaos and potential financial ruin of a disastrous event such as a house fire or a flood.

Many car companies today feature campaigns about safety features and evoke the feeling of comfort and security in having them.


This ad is an example of the Safety need of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  The strategy of this ad is conveying that if you rent a home or an apartment and do not have insurance it is equivalent to doing the most dangerous activities in your home.  This ad fits the safety need because people feel secure and safe when they have insurance. Here are a few other examples.



Belongingness, Love, Social Needs

People seek relationships with other people to feel a sense of belonging, that also adds a stronger purpose for living. Potential Example: LinkedIn’s ‘In It Together’ campaign that talks about belonging from a professional network point of view.

After physiological and safety needs have been fulfilled, the third level of human needs is social and involves feelings of belongingness. The need for interpersonal relationships motivates behaviour.

Examples include friendship, intimacy, trust, and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).

Social needs include the need for love, affection, care, belongingness, and friendship.This level deserves perhaps the most attention because so much of marketing falls into this area, where a large number of consumers reside. Once people have insurance, a safe car and a secure home, their attention turns to this area. They are spending disposable income.

Here, marketing moves beyond fear of potential catastrophe and more into the joy of possibilities, especially in relationships. Some of the top modern brands make consumers feel as if purchasing their product makes them part of something special.

More modern examples include campaigns from Apple and motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson. Both give the consumer a feeling of belonging to a special group. Fast-food giant McDonald’s also keyed in on this area of the hierarchy with their “You Deserve a Break Today” campaign, which immediately preceded today’s “I’m Lovin It” campaign. The spots gave customers the feeling that McDonald’s products were something they deserved if they wanted to treat themselves.

Jewelers also focus on this area.

This particular ad falls into the category of “Belonging Needs” of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Belonging needs are social needs like Friendship, group acceptance, intimacy, affection and love. This particular ad is a perfect example as it tries to show how Dreft laundry detergent is the best choice for babies. The ad portrays a baby lying down next to a blanket, the tag line is written at the bottom left in a small font “Cleaning as gentle as a mother’s touch”, by portraying this what the advertiser are trying to convey to the consumers is that by using dreft detergent, you show how much you truly love your baby (sense of belonging). Just how a mother’s touch is soft and full of affection, the detergent is soft and the best for their babies. This ad has smartly conformed to the belonging needs category from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to lure mother’s into buying their product.

Esteem needs

This category of needs satisfies the ego at large. It helps one gain social status/prestige and helps build an image either for self or the larger world. Potential Example: Royal Stag Music’s ‘Make it Large’ campaign.

Maslow indicated that the need for respect or reputation is most important for children and adolescents and precedes real self-esteem or dignity.

Esteem needs are of two types: internal esteem needs (self- respect, confidence, competence, achievement and freedom) and external esteem needs (recognition, power, status, attention and admiration).

Products and services that aim for consumers in this area are typically referred to as “luxury brands.” The obvious examples are in the automobile industry.

Strictly speaking, no one absolutely needs to drive an Audi, BMW, Mercedes or Lexus rather than a sturdy and reliable Honda, Ford, Chevrolet or Toyota. But effective marketing as status cars – plus, admittedly, better features and driving experience – have made these vehicles sought after by those who have fulfilled needs in the lower parts of the hierarchy. Marketing students looking to understand how to appeal to consumers need for esteem and status should spend time studying campaigns from any of these automakers.

Fashion also provides a wealth of examples, such as high-end designers Gucci, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent and Ralph Lauren. Again, there’s no inherent need to have a pair of BLK DNM jeans rather than a pair of regular Levi’s, other than a fulfillment of self-esteem.

Luxury tour companies such as Viking Cruises and Abercrombie and Kent also fulfill needs in this area, offering exclusive experiences at a premium price.

This particular ad falls into the category of “Esteem Needs” of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Esteem needs are those needs that relate to our desire to be accomplished and useful like Self-respect, superiority, prestige, status, mastery, independence, dominance etc. This particular ad is a perfect example as it shows how Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is not just an ordinary car, but is designed like a plane, in fact so much that it’s hard to differentiate between the two. Even the tag line says “You have to file a flight plan before leaving the driveway” which clearly emphasises that this isn’t merely a car, but a car that’s like an airplane, in terms of its design, speed and possibly every other thing. This ad perfectly expresses the esteem need because it is trying to tell it’s consumers that if they buy this car they’ll feel very prestigious. They’ll feel like they have a higher status on the road than others because their car is compared to a plane. Buying this car will make consumers feel superior, dominant and will take their self-esteem to the next level.

Self – Actualization Needs

Self-actualization is achieved when you’re able to reach your full potential. It is about experiencing the feeling of being limitless. Most people do not reach this stage of needs as they are busy meeting pressing needs. Potential Example: Nike’s ‘Find your Greatness’ campaign illustrates this beautifully.

Realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences. A desire “to become everything one is capable of becoming”

This include the urge to become what you are capable of becoming / what you have the potential to become. It includes the need for growth and self-contentment. It also includes desire for gaining more knowledge, social- service, creativity and being aesthetic. The self- actualization needs are never fully satiable. As an individual grows psychologically, opportunities keep cropping up to continue growing.

In this area, there is far less traditional marketing. People at this level are looking for ways to feel good about their achievements and activities. Examples that could fit into this category include campaigns for charities such as the United Way or UNICEF. Here, people are looking to give back and improve their world.

Retirement is another area that sometimes falls into this category. Having met all the needs of the other four levels in Maslow’s Hierarchy, some now look to leave their jobs and move on to achieving their dreams. That can include world travel or turning a hobby into a business. This also can extend to leaving a legacy for family. Some financial services launch campaigns specifically aimed at this top level.

Whatever the place in the hierarchy, the key for marketers is determining the location and building a strategy geared toward the appropriate needs. Creativity and new approaches are also a must, but Maslow’s Hierarchy provides an excellent starting point.

This particular ad falls into the category of “Self-Actualization” needs of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Self-actualization needs are Self-fulfilment needs, needs that make a person realize personal potential, seek personal growth and peak experiences. This ad is a perfect example as it shows that if you join the U.S. army, you will achieve a sense of accomplishment. The tagline says “Being proud is strong. Making others proud is army strong.” By this the advertisers make it clear that by joining the army you will not just  be any ordinary strong person but you will make others around you proud and reach a different level of being strong. You will become a better, stronger and more powerful person. The text written right below the tag line also emphasizes on the fact that by joining the U.S army one can attain self-actualization, can become all that any human being would want to be. This ad fits the self-actualization need perfectly because it offers the viewers a chance to better themselves and become a complete individual. It gives them an opportunity to stand out and become an example for other individuals who are striving to attain self-fulfillment.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory postulates that the higher order needs become the driving force behind the human behaviour as lower level needs are satisfied. The need hierarchy has received wide acceptance in social discipline. The five levels postualted are sufficiently generic to encompass most needs.

The major problem with the theory is that it cannot be tested empirically, there is no way to measure any individuals satiation or satisfaction with precision. It is very hard to estimate or conclude how much an individual needs to be satisfied before she/he proceed to the next need.

Maslow’s hierarchy is a useful tool for understanding consumers motivation and is readily adaptable to marketing strategy because consumer goods often serve to satisfy each of the needs level.

Maslow (1943) initially stated that individuals must satisfy lower level deficit needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. However, he later clarified that satisfaction of a needs is not an “all-or-none” phenomenon, admitting that his earlier statements may have given “the false impression that a need must be satisfied 100 percent before the next need emerges” (1987, p. 69).

When a deficit need has been ‘more or less’ satisfied it will go away, and our activities become habitually directed towards meeting the next set of needs that we have yet to satisfy. These then become our salient needs. However, growth needs continue to be felt and may even become stronger once they have been engaged.

Maslow noted that the order of needs might be flexible based on external circumstances or individual differences. For example, he notes that for some individuals, the need for self-esteem is more important than the need for love. For others, the need for creative fulfillment may supersede even the most basic needs.

Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior

The factors that influence consumer behavior can be classified into internal factors or (individual determinants) and, external environmental factors. External factors do not affect the decision process directly, but percolate or filter through the individual determinants, to influence the decision process as shown in Figure below. The arrow shows how the external influences are filtered towards the individual determinants to affect the decision process

The individual determinants that effect consumer behavior are:

  • Motivation and involvement
  • Attitudes
  • Personality and self concept
  • Learning and memory
  • Information processing

The external influences or factors are:

  • Cultural influences
  • Sub-cultural influences
  • Social class influences
  • Group influences
  • Family influences
  • Personal influences

A. Individual Determinants

1. Motivation and Involvement

In a society, different consumers exhibit different consumer behavior because they are unique and have unique sets of needs. Motivation is that internal force that activates some needs and provides direction of behavior towards fulfillment of these needs.

Involvement refers to the personal relevance or importance of a product or a service that a consumer perceives in a given situation. Depending on the value and personal interest, a consumer can have a high or low involvement. For a professional tennis player, the choice of a tennis racket is made with great car. He sees the weight, size, grip and tension of the strings, etc. The racket is his most important professional tool. Similarly, a professional photographer has to buy a camera with the right specifications and attributes. For another person, a tennis racket may only be a means of entertainment or in the case of a camera, the recording of family and other events by a camera, which is convenient and handy.

2. Attitudes

These are our learned predispositions towards people, objects and events. Attitudes are responsible for our responses and are not inborn but are learnt from people around us. They influence our purchase decisions and consumer behavior. A person having a carefree attitude will buy an object without much involvement. People, who want to play safe and avoid risk taking, will go for a safe investment. People who want convenience and are short of domestic help, will have positive attitudes towards canned and frozen foods.

3. Personality and Self Concept

It is the sum total of our mental, physical and moral qualities and characteristics that makes us what we are. Consumers try to buy the products that match their personality. People wanting to look-manly will buy products with a macho appeal, which would enhance their image and personality. People, who give emphasis on comfort and care, will purchase comfort products and so on. If one wants to emulate a film star his choice will be different from others.

4. Learning and Memory

Every day we are exposed to a wide range of information, but retain only a small portion of it. We tend to remember the information that we are interested in or, that is important to us. Different members of the family are interested in different types of information, which they individually retain. Mothers retain information regarding household items. Father retains information regarding his interest in cars, motorcycles and other objects. Children are interested in objects of their interest like amusement parks, joy rides, Barbie dolls, etc.

Our motives, attitudes, personality filters the information. Keeping only relevant information in our minds and, keeping the others out. This is known as selective retention. We retain in our memory only selective information that is of interest to us.

5. Information Processing

All consumers analyze and process the information they receive. These are activities that a consumer engages in, while gathering, assimilating and evaluating information. Consumers assimilate and evaluate selective information and this reflects on their motives, attitudes and personality and self-concept. Different individuals can evaluate same information in a different manner. The most common example is a glass half filled with a liquid. It can be interpreted as “half empty” or half full. The first is a pessimistic view and the other is an optimistic view of processing the information.

B. External Environmental

1. Cultural Influences

It is defined as a complex sum total of knowledge, belief, traditions, customs, art, moral law or any other habit acquired by people as members of a society. Our consumer behavior, that is the things we buy are influenced by our background or culture. Different emphasis is given by different cultures for the buying, use, and disposing of products. People in South India have a certain style of consumption of food, clothing, savings, etc. This differs from the people in the North of India. Different cultures and habits are predominant in different parts of the world. Japanese have a different culture from that of USA, England or Arabian countries. Therefore, in consumer behavior culture plays a very important part.

2. Sub-Cultural Influences

Within a culture, there are many groups or segments of people with distinct customs, traditions and behavior. In the Indian culture itself, we have many sub­cultures, the culture of the South, the North, East and the West. Hindu culture, Muslim culture. Hindus of the South differ in culture from the Hindus of the North and so on. Products are designed to suit a target group of customers that have similar cultural backgrounds and are homogeneous in many respects.

3. Social Class

By social class we refer to the group of people who share equal positions in a society. Social class is defined by parameters like income, education, occupation, etc. Within a social class, people share the same values and beliefs and tend to purchase similar kinds of products. Their choice of residence, type of holiday, entertainment, leisure all seem to be alike. The knowledge of social class and their consumer behavior is of great value to a marketer.

4. Group Influences

A group is a collection of individuals who share some consumer relationship, attitudes and have the same interest. Such groups are prevalent in societies. These groups could be primary where interaction takes place frequently and, consists of family groups. These groups have a lot of interaction amongst themselves and are well knit. Secondary groups are a collection of individuals where relationship is more formal and less personal in nature. These could be political groups, work group and study groups, service organizations like the Lions, Rotary, etc. Other member of the group influences the behavior of a group. An individual can be a member of various groups and can have varied influences by different members of groups in his consumption behavior. An individual can be an executive in a company and a member of a political party; he may be a member of a service organization and of entertainment clubs and study circles. These exert different influences on his consumption.

5. Family Influence

As has already been said, the family is the most important of the primary group and is the strongest source of influence on consumer behavior. Children learn the family tradition and customs, and they imbibe many behavioral patterns from their family members, both consciously and unconsciously. These behavior patterns become a part of children’s lives. In a joint family, many decision are jointly made which also leave an impression on the members of the family.

These days the structure of the family is changing and people are going in more for nucleus families, which consists of parent and dependent children. The other type of family is the joint family where mother, father, grandparents and relatives are also living together.

6. Personal Influences

Each individual processes the information received in different ways and evaluates the products in his own personal way. This is irrespective of the influence of the family, social class, cultural heritage, etc. His own personality ultimately influences his decision. He can have his personal reasons for likes, dislikes, price, convenience or status. Some individuals may lay greater emphasis on price, others on quality, still others on status, symbol, convenience of the product, etc. Personal influences go a long way in the purchase of a product.

7. Other Influences

Consumers are also influenced by national or regional events, which could be like the Asiad, the Olympics, cricket test matches, World Cup, the war or a calamity. These leave permanent or temporary impressions on the mind of the consumer and affect his behavior. In these events, products are advertised and sometimes the use of a product like drugs, etc. is discouraged. People are urged to adopt family planning methods. Situation variables such as product display, price reduction, free gifts and attractive offers also influence consumer behavior.

External factors cannot affect the decision process directly but these are also instrumental and exert an influence on consumer behavior.

Factors affecting consumers can also be studied by dividing the factors into four groups as shown below. This can be done under four broad headings, which can have sub headings as shown

Culture and Ads representing Core Values of Indian Culture

Indian  Society is driven by a set of Core Values. Though they may be different in Urban Population. These Values remain basic to the Indian Culture. The Change in Urban Population may be due to changing lifestyles, impact of westernisation and the diffusion of technology. Even within the Urban Population, these Value may be Different and Confusing they still hold on to practice these religious beliefs which are totally ethnic in nature.

Young couples working with high technology firms may lead a typically Western Lifestyle (cars,fast food and weekend holidays) but still practice certain religious beliefs. In general, Indian consumers are still culture conscious to the cultural expectations of society.

Core Values are those

  1. which are adapted by a significant number of people
  2. which are enduring and are followed by people for long period of time
  3. which enable marketers to understand the behaviour of consumers.

1. FAMILY ORIENTATION

As against the West, family for an average Indian does not include his own family only but also the extended family which includes parents, brothers and sisters. That is the reality of majority of Indians though the joint family is fast diminishing in urban population. The male consumer is considered as the chief earner, who supports the entire joint family.

This has several marketing implications. First, the disposable income of such a consumer gets reduced and he is always looking for value-based brands at a lower price. This logic works equally for self purchases and family members. The brands at the lower end of the market in a number of product categories like tea, soap, toothpaste and shampoo typically cater to these kinds of consumers.

This type of consumers also mixes up brands from unorganised sectors (unbranded and local) to balance his expenditure on such needs. In fact the low-end brands like A-1tea, Lifebuoy soap, Lux shampoo offer from the unorganised sectors.

A consumer may buy a detergent powder like Surf to wash his ‘special’ clothes and may buy low-end soaps for washing ordinary clothes. He may buy shampoo sachets(offered for Rs1-1.50). He may also downtrade-or buy less expensive brands after using higher-priced ones. Downtrading occurs when consumer responses to the cost of essential services like electricity, water or cooking fuel goes up.

While this kind of downtrading may take place in typical FMCG product categories, consumers may continue to upgrade and buy branded offerings like edible oil.

This shows that consumers at the low-end who are conscious of ‘value’ differentiate across product categories even when they are under pressure to bring down their regular consumption expenses. The examples of edible oil and biscuits show consumers may prefer higher quality branded products when they consider them to be important for their health.

2. SAVINGS

Savings is an inherent value of Indians. Unlike in the developed countries, medical services or assured pension after retirement are not available to most consumers. Consumers fall back on their savings to celebrate festivals, weddings in the family and spend their earnings lavishly. The Indian population can be divided into destitutes, aspirants, climbers, consuming class and very rich. Savings as habit is noticeable in all the sections of the society.

Traditionally, jewellery is more associated with women and for most of them it means investing a considerable amount of their savings on it. Mostly, families with girl children are more likely to spend their savings on jewellery who have been associated with family jewellers to buy for several generations. Branded jewellery like Tanishq target with the popularity of instalment payments for a number of products ranging from cycles to computers can be attributed to consumers splitting savings between traditional purchases like jewellery required for a convenient living.

3. FESTIVITIES

Celebrating festivals is very much part of India’s culture. Such festivals are a huge opportunity for marketers. A number of companies step up their advertising campaigns and logistics during the festive months. Several brands in a number of product categories offer sales promotional programmes during festive seasons and lakhs of consumers make use of the ‘value-based’ deals during these times.

Even a Cadbury and a few local chocolate brands offer special packaging offers as a ‘gift’ among consumers during festivals. Cadbury Celebrations offered during Rakshabandhan. Some of these brands also promote these special packaging offerings as a gift among corporate executives with such festivities in the urban context. Gold coins with images gods are given away as gifts by marketers of durable brands, normally through specified outlets in a city

4. SHOPPING AS A RITUAL

Shopping is a ritual of sorts among both urban and rural Indians. The type of buyers, the shops they buy from and the product they purchase vary across economic range of consumers.

Housewives shop almost regularly for basic commodities even though the trend may be changing in the urban context. Bargaining, especially in the case of commodities is an unwritten rule in the transaction process.

As part of the great shopping ritual, members of a family go visiting different outlets with the objective of comparing prices and arriving at the best deal in a product category. It is extremely difficult to find retailers who refuse to sell the brand below the marked retail price in order to deal with consumers. This has been true of FMCG products in the recent times and such shops use the signboard ‘buy N save’ to achieve big volumes.

Recently, certain brands have tried to get consumers to buy durables at their place of residence. This gives assurance by a service outlet in the vicinity. With regard to durables, brands are not in a position to have a network of outlets reaching out to most parts of the country(like FMCG companies which reach millions of outlets in rural areas).

A base of households in rural areas can be categorised as upper-middle class who have an annual income of around Rs 77,000. Marketers of durables can adopt specialised channel strategies. A brand can identify such customers, have a company-owned outlet and start a direct marketing to reach out these households. Company-owned outlets are preferred because the company establishes contact with these consumers. And multi-branded outlets may not develop the kind that a brand needs or expects.

5.RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY

In India, people are more involved to search unanswered questions of life (Kodikal, 2005). Deeply spiritually inclined country in nature, in India, irrespective of social hierarchy, people are spiritually conscious and more inclined towards religion (Peter, 2002).

Trust on own religion is higher; failures are being rationalized on the idea that one cannot alter events and these are pre-determined. People are happy by depending on supreme power; they are not in a mood to rule God. It can be said that core Indian value is a functional interdependence to the universe. The growth in technology could not play a major role to change the belief that the world goes around because of a supreme power that is above everything else in this universe.

In India, people worship goddess Laxmi as goddess of wealth. Core belief is that if you please her by your prayer, she will bless you with wealth. Sanctity is prime concern to all religions of India. It gives a vital clue to marketers also to market their brands. To address this, Mangaldeep, an agarbatti brand from ITC launched with an original idea of ‘‘fragrance-locked’’ packaging to preserve the sanctity of the agarbattis. There is a vast potential for creating a brand in this industry-both among foreign and domestic travellers. A value based branding experience can create a huge market in tourism. Local toy manufacturers cater to specific markets and in large industry is in the unorganised sector. Branded toys with Indian cultural themes can open up attractive avenues for a brand.

7. FOODS

As with most African countries, hot, spicy delicacies are popular in India too. It may be worthwhile to note that food habits have a strong link with culture and are difficult to change. With the exception of Maggi noodles, there has not been a ‘foreign’ food which became so popular.

Kellogg ran an advertising campaign which criticized the spicy-oily eatables  on the ‘health and nutrition’ platform. Unfortunately, it has to change the campaign and position its cornflakes as a nutritional breakfast for children.

Maggi, after its very successful noodle run, has moved into ethnic, sauce and pickles that a brand has to prefer to succeed in a market like India. It may take several decades before Indian consumers acquire different food habits due to health reason.

8.SUCCESS AND GROWTH

There is a general agreement among experts that socio-cultural influence on the personality and general behaviour of people in India is very strong (Shivani et al., 2006). In Indian society, recognition or social acceptability enjoys much value than individual achievement. ‘‘Where from I?’’ is more important than ‘‘What am I?’’ In the core value system of India, success is enjoyed from the perspectives of a group than individual. Concern for the group welfare is considered as a fundamental virtue for all class of people in the society. Commitment to the service of others for achieving the ultimate objective is the stated route of success

Concern for others has been given the highest place. Marketing implications. In recent past, Femina, popular magazine for women developed a communication on the tune of ‘‘believe’’ to indulge this core value of India. The ad soundtrack was ‘‘know nothing can stop me from trying and breaking the chains and flying, don’t stop me, I can be anything I want to be, don’t stop me’’.

9.AGE AND YOUTHFULNESS

India may be the only single country in this world where gray hair have no grey shades . Indian culture respects for the wisdom and experience of older generation. In India, older generations are much more socially engaged and open enough to renovate their thought process and this lifestyle has been responsible for their happy and longer life (Krishnan and Mahadevan, 1992). They prefer to have more shimmer and shine with their age. They are socially active and ready to enjoy every second of their life. Family elders play this role of transforming the values to next generation through storytelling.

In Indian value system, ‘‘health is wealth’’ and it is a synonym of wellness in the food. It means of eating foods made from whole grains, which provides nutritional benefits such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. Nestle India got positive feedback from consumers by launching ‘‘Maggi vegetable Atta Noodles’’. They worked on same platform. They acknowledged Indian definition of health. And to match itself with that, in their new variants Nestle offered whole wheat and vegetables that gave nutrition equivalent to three rotis.

Consumer Decision Making Process

Whether they’re purchasing a breakfast cereal or a sports car, all consumers go through basic steps, known as the consumer decision-making process, to determine what products and services will best fit their needs. If you work in sales or marketing, review these steps and put yourself in the customer’s shoes to make more of an impact.

The consumer decision-making process involves five basic steps:

Need Recognition:

The first step of the consumer decision-making process is recognizing the need for a service or product. Recognition is driven by both internal and external stimuli. An internal stimulus occurs within you—it could include basic impulses like hunger or a change in lifestyle. An external stimulus originates from an outside source, like a billboard or review from a friend. Need recognition, whether it occurs through internal or external means, prompts the same response: a want. Once a consumer recognizes a want, they need to gather information to understand how they can fulfill that want. Example: This consumer travelling to snow-clad Himalayan mountains. This particular customer has several light jackets, but she’ll need a heavy-duty winter coat if she’s going to survive the snow and lower temperatures.

Search for Information

Once the consumer has recognized the need/want now comes the task of gathering information. Consumers again rely on internal and external factors, as well as past interactions with a product or brand, both positive and negative, to make their decision. In the information stage, the consumer may browse through options at a physical location or consult online resources, such as Google or customer reviews. Example: The customer might look up for “women’s winter coats” on shopping websites/apps to see what options are out there or ask friends and family members for recommendations of brands/shops to buy it from.

Evaluation of Alternatives

At this point in the consumer decision-making process, the prospective buyer has developed criteria for what they want in a product. Now they weigh their prospective choices against comparable alternatives. Alternatives may present themselves in the form of lower prices, additional product benefits, product availability, or something as personal as color or style options. Your marketing material should be geared towards convincing consumers that your product is superior to other alternatives. Example: The customer compares a few brands that she likes. She knows that she wants a bright colored coat that will complement the rest of her wardrobe, and though she would rather spend less money, she also wants to find a coat made from sustainable materials.

Purchase Decision

This is the moment the consumer has been waiting for: the actual purchase. Once they have gathered all the facts, including feedback from previous customers, the consumer should arrive at a logical conclusion on the product or service to purchase.

Throughout this process, external and internal factors impact the end decision. Even ever- changing factors like emotions or the weather can affect when and how a purchase is made. If you’ve done your job correctly, the consumer will recognize that your product is the best option and decide to purchase. Example: The customer finds a red winter coat that’s on Myntra for 20% off. After confirming that the brand uses sustainable materials and asking friends for their feedback, she orders the coat online.

Post-Purchase Behaviour

This part of the consumer decision-making process involves reflection from both the consumer and the seller.

As a seller, you should try to gauge the following:

  • Did the purchase meet the need the consumer identified?
  • Is the buyer happy with their purchase?

Remember, it’s your job, as a marketer, to ensure that your customer continues to have a positive experience with your product. Post-purchase engagement could include follow-up emails, discount coupons, and newsletters to entice the customer to make an additional purchase. If you want to gain life-long customers, and in an age where anyone can leave an online review, it’s more important than ever to keep customers happy.

Whether they’re purchasing a breakfast cereal or a sports car, all consumers go through basic steps, known as the consumer decision-making process, to determine what products and services will best fit their needs. If you work in sales or marketing, review these steps and put yourself in the customer’s shoes to make more of an impact. Advertiser’s Primary Mission is to reach the target audience and create a customer out of him via his communication campaign. Advertisers have to :

  1. Create Awareness
  2. Influence Attitudes
  3. Induce Purchase

Advertisers thus need to know what goes on in the minds of the prospective consumers when they see an ad. As soon as a message is delivered, the consumers brain runs a rapid evaluation called consumer decision making process.

The consumer receives the data(stimulus) and translates them into feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and action. The process starts with :

  1. Perception (Stimulus, Perceptual Screens and Cognition)
  2. Learning
  3. Attitude Formation
  4. Motivation

So Advertisers need to know the theories of perception and learning. They need to know how the mental process of the consumer is affected by :

Interpersonal Influences like Family, Society, Culture, etc. Or Non Personal Influences like Time, Place, Environment.

Advertisers therefore need to study for the Interpersonal and Non Personal influences. The advertiser who understands the processes can develop messages that are more likely to reach and be understood by consumers

Perception

Perception is the personalized way of sensing and understand the stimuli we are exposed to:

There are three elements which together make the perception

  • Stimuli
  • Perceptual Screen
  • Cognition / Comprehension

a. Stimuli

Stimuli is the physical data (ads) that an individual sees or hears. These stimulate the consumer senses with varying degrees of intensity.

b. Perceptual Screen

Before a data is perceived it must first penetrate a set of screens. Perceptual Screens are both physical and Psychological.

If a TV Commercial is too loud or if it is poorly written, the the person may put off the TV, or change the channel. And thus the message is not screened out properly, and perception does not take place.

We are limited not only by the physical capacity of our senses but also by our feelings and interests. The consumer uses his Psychological screens to evaluate, filter and personalize information according to subjective standards. More emotional in nature, these screens make evaluations based on criteria that include the consumer’s personality and instinctive human needs and learned factors such as self concept, interests, attitudes, beliefs, and lifestyles, etc.

c. Cognition/Comprehension

Once our senses detect the stimulus and let it through our perceptual screen we become aware of it. Now the perception has taken place. Comprehension and acceptance of the stimuli make the perception become alive.

At the point of cognition the consumer has to make a judgement where to file the perception. The stored memories are called our mental files. When we receive the information we register a file or we forget about it. We file it both consciously and more often subconsciously. We have files for our needs, wants, attitudes, preferences, beliefs, and habits.

In today’s world, each and every individual is flooded with stimuli from everywhere, crowds our file registry. To cope up with the Advertising Stimuli we rank our products and other data by importance, price, quality, etc. Unfortunately, consumers can rarely hold more than seven brand names in any one file, more often the number is one or two.

Since screens are a challenge to advertisers, it is important to understand what is in the consumers Mental File Register,  and if possible modify those in favor of the product advertised.

Learning

Each time we file a new perception in our minds, it is an additional step in learning. To advertisers, perception is most important because it precedes learning. However, perception and learning are a continuum overlapping each other.

Learning produces habits and skills. It contributes to the development of attitudes, beliefs, preferences, prejudices, emotions and standards of conduct.

Learning is the change in the thought process it behaviour that occurs as a result of reinforced experience. Advertisers classify learning into two broad categories.

  1. Cognitive Theory
    Cognitive theory views learning as a mental process of memory, thinking and the rational application to practical problems. It describes the way people evaluate a complex purchase.
  2. Conditioning Theory

Conditioning theory is also called as stimulus response theory. It treats learning as a trial and error process and is more applicable to less complex basic purchase consumers make everyday

Superior product performances, good service, reminder advertising all provide purchase reinforcement. If learning is reinforced enough and repeat behaviour produced, a purchasing habit may result. Advertising is powerful in that it can get consumers to buy a product once. But if it doesn’t please them, the heaviest media budget in the world will not get the consumers to buy again.

Repetition is important to learning. Learning produces habit. Consumer behaviour is habitual for three unconnected reasons, it is safe, simple, and essential. A major objective of every advertiser is to produce brand loyalty a direct result of the habit of repurchasing.

In quest for brand loyalty, advertisers have three aims related to habit.

  • Breaking a habit
  • Acquiring a new habit
  • Reinforcing the new habit.

Attitude

Attitude guide our basic feelings towards objects, people, events and activities. Attitude strongly influence how consumer will act and react to products and services and how they will respond to communication that advertisers develop to convince them to purchase their products. The nature and function of attitudes, attitude change strategies have thus to be studied by advertised.

Motivation

Motivation is the driving force within individuals that impels them to action . Hence, advertisers need to study the nature and types of motives, motive arousal, motivation theories and motivation research.

Thus, advertiser needs to know the consumers decision making process and has to study perception, learning, motivation, and attitude theories.  Consumer Decision Making Process is a vital necessity for successful Advertising. Advertisers also need to study the personality of the consumers. The decision making process is dependent on the cultural environment of the target audience, one’s family set up, friends, neighbours and groups.

Thus for effective communication, advertisers need to know about all elements that influence the behaviour of consumers.

Social Class Classification by Lloyd Warner:

Based on social anthropology, Warner divided Americans into three classes (upper, middle, and lower), then further subdivided each of these into an “upper” and “lower” segment, with the following postulates:

Upper-upper class.

“Old money.” People who have been born into and raised with wealth; mostly consists of old, noble, or prestigious families (e.g., Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Hilton. In the India context the Ambani or Godrej or Birla families can be an apt example).

Lower-upper class

“New money.” Individuals who have become rich within their own lifetimes (entrepreneurs, successful movie stars).

Upper-middle class.

High-salaried professionals like doctors, lawyers, higher order executives in the corporate world and senior professors).

Lower-middle class

Lower-paid professionals, but not manual laborers (non-management office workers, small business owners).

Upper-lower class

Blue-collar workers and manual laborers. Also known as the “working class.”

Lower-lower class

The homeless and permanently unemployed, as well as the “working poor.”

To Warner, social class is based more on attitudes than on the actual amount of money an individual made. For example, the richest people in America would belong to the “lower-upper class” since many of them created their own fortunes; one can only be born into the highest class. Nonetheless, members of the wealthy upper-upper class tend to be more powerful, as a simple survey of U.S. presidents demonstrates (the Roosevelts or Kennedys).

Another observation: Members of the upper-lower class might make more money than members of the lower-middle class (a well-salaried factory worker vs. a secretarial worker), but the class difference is based on the type of work they perform.

In his research findings, Warner observed that American social class was largely based on these shared attitudes. For example, he noted that the lower-middle class tended to be the most conservative group of all, since very little separated them from the working class. The upper- middle class, while a relatively small section of the population, usually “set the standard” for proper American behaviour, as reflected in the mass media.

Professionals with salaries and educational attainment higher than those found in the middle of the income strata (bottom rung professors, managerial office workers, architects) may also be considered as being true middle class.

Laggards

Laggards in marketing comprise a group of consumers who avoid change and may not be willing to adopt a new product until all traditional alternatives are no longer available. The group is mostly concerned with reliability and low cost and represents about 16% of the consumer population. They are typically not interested in higher content, but rather the products or services must have credibility, be available easily, and be simple to use.

Studies have shown that laggards contain some specific characteristics, which are important for a marketing team to recognize when developing their plan. Laggards typically have lower income with low levels of education. They have low status and low social mobility. In many cases, their low level of income restricts them from having the financial resources to spend on innovative products at higher prices. As a result, they tend to wait until the price falls before making a purchase.

Traits of Early Adopters

Laggards, much like the innovators, are not reliant on group status quo and values. Instead, their past experience and background deeply impacts their decision-making process. Typically, by the time a laggard has adopted an innovation, it has become outdated and oftentimes has been replaced with a newer product or version. The laggard group is a doubtful group that feels isolated from the changes in society. An example of this mentality would be purchasing a VHS player after the DVD player was already dominating the market.

Marketing professionals and advertising agencies try to ignore laggards simply because they are not enthused by the techniques or by personal selling and will likely only purchase a new product if they are in a situation where they absolutely must. Understanding the diffusion of innovation plays a key role in successfully spreading the innovation across the different audiences. Interpersonal communication becomes an essential component for the adoption of the product, especially for the risk-averse laggards. The recognition of this principle will be critical when tailoring the marketing plan to this group. It must portray how interpersonal communication is influential through time and to the group of laggards in particular.

Elements of Learning:

  • Drive/Motivation: Learning frequently occurs in the presence of drive – any strong stimulus that impels action. Drives are basically of two types -primary (or physiological); and secondary (or psychological). These two categories of drives often interact with each other. Individuals operate under many drives at the same time. To predict a behaviour, it is necessary to establish which drives are stimulating the most.
  • Cue: Cue stimuli are those factors that exist in the environment as perceived by the individual. The idea is to discover the conditions under which stimulus will increase the probability of eliciting a specific response. There may be two types of stimuli with respect to their results in terms of response concerned: stimulus generalization and stimulus discrimination.
  • Response: The stimulus results in responses. Responses may be in the physical form or may be in terms of attitudes, familiarity, perception or other complex phenomena. In the above example, the supervisor discriminates between the worker producing low quality products and the worker producing high quality products, and positively responds only to the quality conscious worker.
  • Reinforcement: Reinforcement is a fundamental condition of learning. Without reinforcement, no measurable modification of behaviour takes place. Reinforcement may be defined as the environmental event’s affecting the probability of occurrence of responses with which they are associated.
  • Retention: The stability of learned behaviour over time is defined as retention and its contrary is known as forgetting. Some of the learning is retained over a period of time while others may be forgotten.

Dynamic Nature of Learning

The psychology of learning focuses on a range of topics related to how people learn and interact with their environments. Here are some characteristics that make learning a dynamic function of life:

Unpleasant things/situations/reactions might be learnt as readily as pleasant things. Ex: Harmful effects of smoking shown in a campaign

The capacity of each learner is different

The most effective way to impart learning among consumers is to distribute the practice rather than concentrate is all at once, i.e. phase out communication instead of bombarding audience with the same message multiple times during the same phase.

Order of presentation is critical in the process of learning. One can learn something quickly or slowly depending on the structuring of the message/ presentation. Ex: Important points to come up first for high impact and consumer learning

If something unusual or out of theme occurs, it is likely to be learnt first. Ex: A black & white ad in a colorful magazine

Showcasing errors can help learn faster. Ex: Lack of wireless jack in the Pixel phone was smartly positioned to get consumers to realize that the product is worth the money despite a feature missing

Sleeper Effect plays a key role in learning. Time impacts learning. People tend to change opinions or learn something different over a period of time

Consumers forget rapidly, largely due to information overload and immense media exposure at all times

Repetition of identical material is often effective for learning. Ex: The Ramesh & Suresh campaign or the Zoo Zoo campaign where creative theme repeats in campaigns, thus building stronger brand association and learning

Choose of appeals enhances chances of higher learning. Ex: An emotional appeal is likely to stay in the minds of a consumer, especially for purchase of products like wedding jewelry

Knowledge of result leads to learning, i.e. if the outcome of an action is understood, it becomes easier for the audience to learnt about the product/service

Subliminal Perception

Look guys this is a weird answer. But all it means that some ads have suggestive meaning or hidden meaning, which is taken indirectly. The best example being an Indian would be Surrogative Ads, like Alcohol, Cigarettes, etc. Placement of certain products in movies, you know, how every Sony of Spiderman Game has a Sony Phone? This is a sort of Subliminal Perception. There was a research done [and no. not in Russia this time] people were shown a movie and there was a flash of Lipton Brand shown in certain intervals, it appeared for a duration of few milliseconds, not long, and after the movie, the people were asked for refreshments and made to choose between Lipton and other branded mineral water, or something else. And few did choose Lipton. Don’t include my Lipton example since it was a okayish research but do include surrogative ads. Men will be Men is a good example, or Bagpiper, or Kingfisher.

An organization’s marketing is effective when it delivers a message that sticks in consumers’ minds and influences them to buy. Consumers experience subliminal perception from marketing messages that influence them without their conscious knowledge. Subliminal influence on consumer buying behaviour has been studied and debated for decades. Many marketers include subliminal words and images in advertising, while others don’t make it a priority.

People are stimulated [encouraged/triggered/sparked/motivated] below their level of conscious awareness, which means, they can perceive stimuli without being consciously aware that they are doing so. This process is called Subliminal Perception, because the stimulus is beneath the threshold[the level/door/entrance/gateway] or “limen” of conscious awareness.

Consumers are exposed to subliminal advertising messages they are not aware of receiving. These messages purportedly are persuading people to buy goods and services without being aware of why they were motivated to do so.

When peoples’ thoughts, feelings and actions are influenced by stimuli without awareness. When perception about a product is more powerful than the awareness about that product. It is the mind control that can be achieved without awareness. Two basic types of subliminal messages can be sent to the unconscious- auditory & visual. It occurs even when the stimulus is very weak but still can influence people.

An organization message is called effective when it sticks in consumers’ minds and influences them to buy. Thus, marketing messages that influence them unconsciously are called subliminal perception of customer’s experience. Many marketers include these subliminal words and images in advertising. They use the subliminal references to power, happiness, wealth or hunger in their online, print and television ads or in brand logos.

For Example:

The Amazon Logo features a smiley face that connects A to Z, as to suggest that amazon can find anything starting with A to Z and customers will always be happy doing business with Amazon.

It was alleged for example that liquor advertisers were trying to increase the subconscious appeal of their products by embedding sexually suggestive symbols. There is no evidence that subliminal advertising persuades people to buy goods or services.

Although there is some evidence that subliminal stimuli may influence affective reasons, there is no evidence that subliminal stimulation can influence consumption motives or actions.

As to sexual embeds, most researchers are of the opinion that “What you see is What you get” that is a vivid imagination can see whatever it wants to see in just about any situation. Individuals see what they want to see (what they are motivated to see) and what they expect to see.

Advantages of Studying Consumer Behavior

1. Saves From Disaster

The failure rate of new products is surprisingly high not only in highly competitive economies of USA, Europe and Japan etc but even in India. For instance Roohafza of Hamdard succeeded well but when other companies tried like Dabur to produce similar products they could not succeed. Dabur had to stop production of Sharbat, because consumers did not like its taste. Maggi became very popular with consumers but when other companies tried they failed, some of them have become sick. There are many more such examples. If one tests the market before launching a new product this type of disaster can be avoided or minimized.

2. Helps in Formulating The Right Marketing Strategy

If one studies well what factors will influence demand of a product accordingly production and marketing strategies can be framed. Nirma in initial stages succeeded in its washing powder only on account of its price. It gave tough competition to Hindustan Lever, Surf the market leader and today Nirma has become a big producer.

In food items it is taste, which decides whether consumer will buy the product or not. Besides big names even small producers have succeeded because of proper product. For instance, a small producer of Shikanji (cold drink prepared by mixing syrup and lemon) at Modinagar has become a name in the region and now he provides franchise to others. From a small pan shop he has become a well-known name in the area of Delhi-Modinagar and made huge profits.

3. Helps in Sales Promotion

If through the study of consumer behavior one is able to know correctly the factors which influence buying decision of the consumer one can promote sales of existing or new product The scheme of buying back old items has helped a lot LML in pushing sales. Akai TV and number of other companies like Bajaj Auto followed this strategy. Manufacturers of diesel generator sets, refrigerators, electric iron, pressure cookers etc also adopted the strategy and benefited.

Similarly introduction of small packs of shampoos, washing powder and pan masala etc has helped the companies to expand their market. “When producers found that even a poor person does not mind trying a new costly product if it is available in affordable price pack many companies introduced such packaging and when the product was liked they became regular customers.

4. Aids in Segmentation of Market

The study of consumer behavior suggested that everyone does not buy on price consideration or utility consideration only. For high-income groups high priced cloth, cars, etc have been produced. In certain cases the price of such cloth is three to eight times of normal suiting price but some section still buy it for prestige or show. The producers of such items make heavy profits, which would not have been possible without study of consumer behavior because it is against basic economic theory. Even some producers to cater different segments produce varieties of products such as soaps, creams, toothpastes etc.

5. Enables Development of New Products

Before launching a new product proper study of consumer tastes i.e. behavior avoids later failure and loss. This is particularly true for food items and daily consumption products. It is equally true for fashion goods like garments, cosmetics, cigarettes and new flavors of existing products. In certain cases if a product is reintroduced after a long gap this type of study helps. For instance Coca-Cola was banned in India in 1977 and consumers by and large forget its taste and liking. Thumbs up and other drinks took its place. When Coca-Cola was reintroduced in 90’s it could as yet not reach the same supremacy. Lifebuoy re-oriented its product and produced different items like Lifebuoy Gold, Lifebuoy Plus to meet demand of different consumers.

6. Helps in Product Orientation

The study of consumer behavior helps to find out why consumers are drifting away from a product or why they do not like it. For instance some of Indian toothpastes are being produced for long like Neem but it could not capture the market. There are many other instances when a new product has been developed or reoriented to again capture its old glorious position. Those who do it scientifically succeed and others who do not study consumer behavior properly or do not orient loose the market, merely by pretty faces or fancy claims he wants to be assured that what is claimed is really true. Therefore based on consumer research new technique are used Hindustan Unilever and Procter & Gamble for Surf Ultra and Ariel has brought in producers of cloth Bombay Dyeing and Reliance to testify claims of producers of these washing powders. This is not an isolated case but this type of study had paid good results to others also.

7. Aids in Reorientation of Packaging

A great deal of importance is being given to packaging for quite sometime by marketing department and market research. But whether a particular packaging is liked by consumers or not is a recent phenomenon. Consumer if likes a packing helps in pushing sales. Producers of Vanaspati (hydrogenated oil), milk, drinks items, etc have developed utility packaging so that once container becomes empty they can be used for refilling. In certain cases this fact is advertised also. But in many cases this has been done without study of consumer behavior and his attraction or disliking of a particular packaging. The fact however remains that proper study can help in pushing sales.

8. Helps Consumers to Study their Behavior

The consumers often are guided by their income, emotions, opinion of others and they do not undertake study of their behavior whether it is scientific or not. The science however can help them to study cost benefit of their buying decisions. The study can reveal to them whether buying an expensive item is rational or not. Whether they should buy Rs. 2 ball pen or fancy pen costing Rs. 100 or more. Whether they should decide in favor of expensive cloth, car, consumer durables and other fashion goods or should they buy on utility consideration. If there are competitive goods it can help them to make consumer preference chart and then decide what to buy immediately and what to postpone and what should be rejected.

Disadvantages of Studying Consumer Behavior

  1. The marketers study the behavior of consumer to mould it in favor of their product and sometimes make fancy claims and use objectionable techniques.
  1. They also take the help to produce and market such products that have no utility. In many cases consumers are exploited by sexy or otherwise attractive advertisements through the media. They take full advantage of weaknesses of consumers to mould it in their favor whether it is scheme of exchange, gifts, lotteries or otherwise. All over the world consumers have been exploited by sales promotion schemes and campaigns. For instance producers certain producers claim that use of their toothpaste will guard against germs and cavity. Producers of medicines claim cure of certain diseases. Producers of hair oils claim that it will stop falling of hairs and/or new hairs will start growing. Slim centers claim to reduce weight in magic speedy manner. Someone claims that baldness can be cured by replanting of new hairs in short period. Someone claims regeneration of vitality even in old person. Any number of examples can be given but such claims sometimes even by big companies are only partially true.
  2. Higher priced products are introduced to take advantage of consumers’ weakness just by changing shape, packing etc.
  3. Customers are as attracted by gifts, lotteries, exchange schemes, etc. In such cases often claims are exaggerated and benefits in the form of sales promotion scheme is only to seller and not to buyer.

The governments in most of the countries have found that though consumer is the king he is exploited. Hence most of countries have framed and enacted many acts and regulations to safeguard the interest of consumers In India also there are a large number of laws in this direction like Monopoly and Restrictive Trade Practices Act (MRTP), Essential Commodities Act, Consumer Protection Act, compulsory printing of maximum retail price on each packing, weights and Measures Act and Code of Advertising For specific commodities there are special Union and state government laws like for drugs and regulations of telephone rates. In addition there are public forums to protect consumers

Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior

The factors that influence consumer behavior can be classified into internal factors or (individual determinants) and, external environmental factors. External factors do not affect the decision process directly, but percolate or filter through the individual determinants, to influence the decision process as shown in Figure below. The arrow shows how the external influences are filtered towards the individual determinants to affect the decision process

The individual determinants that effect consumer behavior are:

  •    Motivation and involvement
  •    Attitudes
  •    Personality and self concept
  •    Learning and memory
  •    Information processing

The external influences or factors are:

  •    Cultural influences
  •    Sub-cultural influences
  •    Social class influences
  •    Group influences
  •    Family influences
  •    Personal influences

A. Individual Determinants

1. Motivation and Involvement

In a society, different consumers exhibit different consumer behavior because they are unique and have unique sets of needs. Motivation is that internal force that activates some needs and provides direction of behavior towards fulfillment of these needs.

Involvement refers to the personal relevance or importance of a product or a service that a consumer perceives in a given situation. Depending on the value and personal interest, a consumer can have a high or low involvement. For a professional tennis player, the choice of a tennis racket is made with great car. He sees the weight, size, grip and tension of the strings, etc. The racket is his most important professional tool. Similarly, a professional photographer has to buy a camera with the right specifications and attributes. For another person, a tennis racket may only be a means of entertainment or in the case of a camera, the recording of family and other events by a camera, which is convenient and handy.

2. Attitudes

These are our learned predispositions towards people, objects and events. Attitudes are responsible for our responses and are not inborn but are learnt from people around us. They influence our purchase decisions and consumer behavior. A person having a carefree attitude will buy an object without much involvement. People, who want to play safe and avoid risk taking, will go for a safe investment. People who want convenience and are short of domestic help, will have positive attitudes towards canned and frozen foods.

3. Personality and Self Concept

It is the sum total of our mental, physical and moral qualities and characteristics that makes us what we are. Consumers try to buy the products that match their personality. People wanting to look-manly will buy products with a macho appeal, which would enhance their image and personality. People, who give emphasis on comfort and care, will purchase comfort products and so on. If one wants to emulate a film star his choice will be different from others.

4. Learning and Memory

Every day we are exposed to a wide range of information, but retain only a small portion of it. We tend to remember the information that we are interested in or, that is important to us. Different members of the family are interested in different types of information, which they individually retain. Mothers retain information regarding household items. Father retains information regarding his interest in cars, motorcycles and other objects. Children are interested in objects of their interest like amusement parks, joy rides, Barbie dolls, etc.

Our motives, attitudes, personality filters the information. Keeping only relevant information in our minds and, keeping the others out. This is known as selective retention. We retain in our memory only selective information that is of interest to us.

5. Information Processing

All consumers analyze and process the information they receive. These are activities that a consumer engages in, while gathering, assimilating and evaluating information. Consumers assimilate and evaluate selective information and this reflects on their motives, attitudes and personality and self-concept. Different individuals can evaluate same information in a different manner. The most common example is a glass half filled with a liquid. It can be interpreted as “half empty” or half full. The first is a pessimistic view and the other is an optimistic view of processing the information.

B. External Environmental

1. Cultural Influences

It is defined as a complex sum total of knowledge, belief, traditions, customs, art, moral law or any other habit acquired by people as members of a society. Our consumer behavior, that is the things we buy are influenced by our background or culture. Different emphasis is given by different cultures for the buying, use, and disposing of products. People in South India have a certain style of consumption of food, clothing, savings, etc. This differs from the people in the North of India. Different cultures and habits are predominant in different parts of the world. Japanese have a different culture from that of USA, England or Arabian countries. Therefore, in consumer behavior culture plays a very important part.

2. Sub-Cultural Influences

Within a culture, there are many groups or segments of people with distinct customs, traditions and behavior. In the Indian culture itself, we have many subcultures, the culture of the South, the North, East and the West. Hindu culture, Muslim culture. Hindus of the South differ in culture from the Hindus of the North and so on. Products are designed to suit a target group of customers that have similar cultural backgrounds and are homogeneous in many respects.

3. Social Class

By social class we refer to the group of people who share equal positions in a society. Social class is defined by parameters like income, education, occupation, etc. Within a social class, people share the same values and beliefs and tend to purchase similar kinds of products. Their choice of residence, type of holiday, entertainment, leisure all seem to be alike. The knowledge of social class and their consumer behavior is of great value to a marketer.

4. Group Influences

A group is a collection of individuals who share some consumer relationship, attitudes and have the same interest. Such groups are prevalent in societies. These groups could be primary where interaction takes place frequently and, consists of family groups. These groups have a lot of interaction amongst themselves and are well knit. Secondary groups are a collection of individuals where relationship is more formal and less personal in nature. These could be political groups, work group and study groups, service organizations like the Lions, Rotary, etc. Other member of the group influences the behavior of a group. An individual can be a member of various groups and can have varied influences by different members of groups in his consumption behavior. An individual can be an executive in a company and a member of a political party; he may be a member of a service organization and of entertainment clubs and study circles. These exert different influences on his consumption.

5. Family Influence

As has already been said, the family is the most important of the primary group and is the strongest source of influence on consumer behavior. Children learn the family tradition and customs, and they imbibe many behavioral patterns from their family members, both consciously and unconsciously. These behavior patterns become a part of children’s lives. In a joint family, many decision are jointly made which also leave an impression on the members of the family.

These days the structure of the family is changing and people are going in more for nucleus families, which consists of parent and dependent children. The other type of family is the joint family where mother, father, grandparents and relatives are also living together.

6. Personal Influences

Each individual processes the information received in different ways and evaluates the products in his own personal way. This is irrespective of the influence of the family, social class, cultural heritage, etc. His own personality ultimately influences his decision. He can have his personal reasons for likes, dislikes, price, convenience or status. Some individuals may lay greater emphasis on price, others on quality, still others on status, symbol, convenience of the product, etc. Personal influences go a long way in the purchase of a product.

7. Other Influences

Consumers are also influenced by national or regional events, which could be like the Asiad, the Olympics, cricket test matches, World Cup, the war or a calamity. These leave permanent or temporary impressions on the mind of the consumer and affect his behavior. In these events, products are advertised and sometimes the use of a product like drugs, etc. is discouraged. People are urged to adopt family planning methods. Situation variables such as product display, price reduction, free gifts and attractive offers also influence consumer behavior.

External factors cannot affect the decision process directly but these are also instrumental and exert an influence on consumer behavior.

Factors affecting consumers can also be studied by dividing the factors into four groups as shown below. This can be done under four broad headings, which can have sub headings as shown

Factors influencing consumer behavior (Classification in four broad categories)

Needs for studying Consumer Behaviour

Buyer behaviour is studied to predict buyers’ reaction in markets. If a firm understands its customers, it becomes successful in the marketplace. The success of any business is based on understanding the consumer and providing the kind of products that the consumer wants.

To satisfy need of customers

Consumers respond favourably while evaluating the products that best satisfy their needs. A marketer studies how consumers spend their available resources on the consumption of related items. It includes the study of what they buy, when they buy it, where they buy it and how often they use it. So, knowledge of consumer behaviour will be of immense help to the marketer which will help to satisfy their needs.

Helps to understand consumer motives

A study of the behaviour of a consumer is essential to understand his/her buying motives. A motive is an urge for which an individual seeks satisfaction. He can understand the consumer’s reaction to a firm’s marketing strategies. It would help in planning and implementing marketing strategies.

Helps to understand consumer psychology

The study of consumer behaviour enables the marketer to understand the psychology of consumers. Consumer psychology is based on his knowledge, attitude, intention and motive. Consumers have several motives. All these motives may not have the same intensity of purchase. Only a few motives prompt the consumer to buy a product or service. The study of consumer behaviour involves both motives and purchases.

Helps to understand consumer choices

It is important for the marketer to understand how consumers make their choices. Human beings are usually very rational. They make systematic use of information available to them before they buy. A marketer studies the behaviour of the customer and accordingly alters his presentation, enticing the customer to go for the product.

Consumer Differentiation:

Market exhibits considerable differentiations. Each segment needs and wants different products. For every segment, a separate marketing programme is needed. Knowledge of consumer differentiation is a key to fit marking offers with different groups of buyers. Consumer behaviour study supplies the details about consumer differentiations.

Competition:

Consumer behaviour study assists in facing competition, too. Based on consumers’ expectations, more competitive advantages can be offered. It is useful in improving competitive strengths of the company.

Creation and Retention of Consumers:

Marketers who base their offerings on a recognition of consumer needs find a ready market for their products. Company finds it easy to sell its products. In the same way, the company, due to continuous study of consumer behaviour and attempts to meet changing expectations of the buyers, can retain its consumers for a long period.

Useful for Dealers and Salesmen:

The study of consumer behaviour is not useful for the company alone. Knowledge of consumer behaviour is equally useful for middlemen and salesmen to perform their tasks effectively in meeting consumer needs and wants successfully. Consumer behaviour, thus, improves performance of the entire distribution system.

Role of Advertsing in Indian Economy

Almost all people from the richest to the poorest participates in the world’s wealth through global trading. The emerging global economy brings us into worldwide competition with significant advantages for both marketers and consumers. Due to satellite communications and global companies, consumers are demanding an ever-expanding variety of goods. Indian economy had been constrained and shaped by policies of import substitution and an aversion to free trader. Real competition was eliminated through import ban and prohibited tariffs on foreign companies. Industry was so completely restricted that only those with proper license would count on the specific share of the market.

Advertising helps to presell to customers that is to arouse their buying desire in advance. It is most efficiently used with personal selling or point of purchase display. Non-business enterprises have profitably used advertising.

EG: family planning, recruitment in an army, water preservation, pollution control and physical fitness.

With time, like India, advertising in India has also changed multifold. ‘Advertising pays for entertainment and educational aspects of CONTEMPORARY life as well as reduced product cost.’

The role of advertising in contemporary India are as follows :

1) All round growth of media –

In the past fifty years advertising in India has grown multifold. Today, the no of ad agencies working in India have also multiplied. The opening of the Indian market and the emergence of middle-class consumers have greatly helped the fast development of the advertising industry. Eg: total circulation of language newspaper is 13 lac 30 thousand approx, approx 17 thousand weeklies and 20 thousand biweeklies, tv taking approx 46% of the total industry and nth no of media industries like Lintas, Ogilvy, etc.

2) Growth and popularity of internet:

The Internet is the new baby of advertisers. It is a low-cost alternative to traditional advertising with a wide reach. It skyrocketed in the 1990s. Online advertising serves three purposes
it provides a brand reminder message
it delivers a persuasive message.
it entices the people to visit the advertisers’ sight by clicking on a banner or a button on a website. The Internet has become a standard communication tool in both business and personal use. It is particularly good at reaching teens who spend more time online than any other age group. Many users have a modem and broadband lines hence it is becoming simpler to download the images of rich  media. In metro cities, the internet has become more like mainstream television and hence we can say the role of internet advertising has a promising future in India.

3) Quality matters:
Experience has indicated that product will be sold on their quality rather than effective advertising. Good quality ensures repeat purchase. With well known international brands freely available in India manufacturers now are compelled to concentrate on the quality aspects. An ad campaign is supportive of good quality.

4) Changed format of advertisement:
In print and tv media where ads were presented predominantly in the English language now the copy liberally use the Hindi language. This is because of Hindi in the link language in India. The result is the use of Hinglish. The use of Hinglish has become a way of life in the world of advertising. Eg: ‘Youngistan Meri Jaan’, ‘Ye Dil Maange more’, ‘Khushiyon ki home delivery’

5) Rise of surrogate advertising:

A Surrogate Ad is a marketing tactic where a company uses their brand image of one product in order to promote their other product’. The main product is advertised indirectly by advertising a product that is quite distinct from the main product but they share a brand in common. The consumer can read between the lines. In the surrogate ad, the product that you actually watch is innocent whereas, one which is been advertised is in the banned list. Eg: ‘502 Pataka Chai’ a popular bidi brand, ‘Kya Lenge Aap haywards 5000-soda’ but Hayward is known as a brand of liquor.

6) Invasion of branded products:

More than 10,000 branded products are advertised in India with various media mix. The range of products advertised covers ‘pin to a plane’.

7) Growth of media business:
The media, the advertisers and the ad agencies have equally contributed to the fast growth of Indian advertising. Overall economic prosperity has helped the business of ad agencies.in terms of professional skills and techniques ad agencies in India are well equipped and world class.

8) Rise of Animation Era:
The trends in advertising have changed rapidly. Today we are living in an animation era. For eg: a machine jumps up like a frog and devours mosquitoes ( All out ) is thus promoted to be ‘Macharon ka Yamraj’. A penguin declares Kelvinator refrigerator to be the coolest one. Vicks ki Goli fights ‘khich khich’ to clear the throat. There’s a great scope for youngsters to make a career in the animation industry.

9) Increase of advertisers:
As our country witnessed an increase in industrial goods and consumer goods sector along with an increase in the service sector. There was a greater need to communicate with the consumers. Every manufacturer had to become an advertiser and to take advantage of their expanding  business. This resulted in the use of advertising in a big way.

10) Dominance of television:
Invasion of satellite television has motivated people to remain glued to their tv sets with a large variety of programs. A multiplicity of channels with set-top box has resulted in viewership fragmentation. TV is ruling and will rule the business of advertising because the messages are flashed in the drawing rooms of the viewers.

11) Market for designer luxury brands:
India is emerging as an industrial economy. The country has recorded fast agro-industrial expansions. It has witnessed an increase in national income, per capita income and per capita consumption. It has raised their standard of living. Well-known global brands are now openly available in India such as mont blanc, BMW, Gucci, etc. these brands are regularly advertised and there’s a vast scope to advertise them in the future. The westernised ideas are fast catching up in India through demonstration effect brought to us through media mix.

12) Changes in lifestyle:
Lifestyle refers to the pattern of living that reflects how people allocate their time, energy and money. Lifestyle is based on individual preferences. In the years ahead lifestyle marketing will catch up in a big way. Creativity and energy are tremendous assets in the introduction of new products, service or ideas to the local communities.

13) Rapid changes in information and technology :
The Indian IT and the electronic industry recorded multifold increase. Today all the famous global brands have technical and financial collaboration. In order to ensure that consumers are well served throughout the length and breadth of the country, advertising plays the role of paramount importance.

14) Advertising linked with sports and tourism :
These are the days of mega sports events in cricket, hockey, football, etc. Large industrial houses are always willing to sponsor sports events because they get an opportunity to advertise their products and services in India. Tourism is a fast expanding business in India. Nowadays, there are weekly films on tourist spots in India shown on TV providing relevant information.

15) Importance of tween power:
Children age between 8 and 12 are said to represent the tween market. Every year children between 8 and 12 years spend a whopping 20,000 crore on everything from clothes to food to recreation. No wonder marketers are going all out to win them over.

In short, the role of advertising in India can broadly be said to be distribution, employment, lifestyle enhancement, consumer choice provider, consumer welfare and reduce in price due to economies of scale.

Congruity Theory (By Osgood & Tannenbaum):

Though similar to balance theory, Congruity theory deals specifically with the attitudes a person holds toward sources of information and the objects of the source’s assertions. –

In the congruity model, a person (P) receives an assertion from a source (S), toward which he has an attitude, about an object (O), toward which he also has an attitude. –

In Osgood’s model, how much P likes S and O will determine if a state of congruity or consistency exists. – According to congruity theory, people strive to maintain consistency among their cognitions.

  • Here, congruity exists when a person holds identical attitudes towards a source and a topic or issue.
  • Incongruity exists when there is a tendency to change cognitions so as to achieve psychological equilibrium
  • When two or more attitudes are linked by an assertion there is a tendency for both attitudes to change – Example: When your favorite cricketer starts to endorse a brand you dislike, you are likely to be in a state of incongruence due to differences in attitudes towards the source and the person. Such situations are likely to cause tension.

Balance Theory (By Fritz Heider):

As a psychologist, Heider was concerned with the way an individual organizes attitudes toward people and objects in relation to one another within that individual’s own cognitive structure. Heider postulated that unbalanced states produce tension and generate forces to restore balance. He says that “the concept of a balanced state designates a situation in which the perceived units and the experienced sentiments co-exist without stress

The Balance Theory, is focused on two individuals, a person (P), the object of the analysis, some other person (O), and a physical object, idea, or event (X). Heider’s concern was with how relationships among these three entities are organized in the mind of one individual (P). Heider distinguished two types of relationships among these three entities. – It is assumed that a balanced state is stable and resists outside influences. An unbalanced state is assumed to be unstable and is assumed to produce psychological tension within an individual. This tension “becomes relieved only when change within the situation takes place in such a way that a state of balance is achieved”.

VALS

VALS is a psychographic segmentation measuring and categorizing consumers lifestyles with available demographic data. By identifying different consumer lifestyles marketers can achieve more precision in their targeting. VALS was designed to yield insights into why people believe and act as they do, and how internal values and attitudes are expressed as external lifestyles.

The VALS System breaks consumers into eight groups each so distinctive in its behaviour and emotional makeup that it becomes a specific market segment. Each group exhibits distinctive decision-making patterns and product consumption tendencies. By using VALS to understand consumers, advertisers hope to establish an emotional bond between the brand and the consumer.

VALS places consumers with abundant resources at the top and those with minimal resources at the bottom. Horizontally, consumers are segmented by their basis for decision-making principles oriented, status-oriented or action oriented. The Principle oriented consumers are guided in their choice by their beliefs or principles rather than by feelings, events or desire for approval. Status-oriented consumers are highly influenced by the actions approval and opinion of others. Action-oriented consumers are guided by a desire for social or physical activity, variety and risk-taking.

  1. Actualizers- High income and high resource group for whom independence is very important
  2. Fulfillers- well educated rational thinking consumers
  3. Believers- more social in nature and believe other consumers. Also called word of mouth consumers.
  4. Achievers- want to excel at their job and follow successful things
  5. Strivers- do not have resources but want to become achievers
  6. Experiencers- have high resources but also need a mode of self -expression and love to indulge
  7. Makers- have limited resources and want to make themselves better individuals
  8. Strugglers- have the least resources and thus, are the least likely to adopt any innovation
  1. Actualizers :

Successful, sophisticated, people who take charge, people with high esteem, and abundant resources, interested in growth and express themselves in  variety of ways.

Image is important to them, not for status or power but as an expression of their taste, character, and independence. They are established in business yet they continue to seek challenges.

2. Fulfilled

Fulfilleds are mature, satisfied, reflective people. They are principle oriented and value order, knowledge, and responsibility. Most are well educated and in – or recently retired from – professional occupations. They are content with their careers, families, and station in life; are well informed about the world and national events; and are alert to opportunities to broaden their knowledge.

Their leisure activities tend to center on their homes. Fulfilleds have a moderate respect for the status quo, institutions, and social change. They tend to base their decisions on strongly held principles and consequently appear calm and self -assured.

Although their incomes allow them many choices, Fulfilleds are conservative, practical consumers; they are concerned about functionality, value, and durability in the products they buy.  More than one-third of Fulfilleds are employed in white-collar positions. Most are married, and close to half have dependent children.

3. Believers

Believers are motivated by ideals. They are conservative, conventional people with concrete beliefs based on traditional, established codes: family, religion, community, and the nation. Many Believers express moral codes that have deep roots and literal interpretation. They follow established routines, organized in large part around home, family, community, and social or religious organizations to which they belong. As consumers, Believers are predictable; they choose familiar products and established brands. They favor U.S. products and are generally loyal customers.

4. Achievers

Achievers are motivated by the desire for achievement. Achievers have goal-oriented lifestyles and a deep commitment to career and family. Their social lives reflect this focus and are structured around family, their place of worship, and work. Achievers live conventional lives, are politically conservative, and respect authority and the status quo. They value consensus, predictability, and stability over risk, intimacy, and self-discovery. With many wants and needs, Achievers are active in the consumer marketplace. Image is important to Achievers; they favor established, prestige products and services that demonstrate success to their peers. Because of their busy lives, they are often interested in a variety of time-saving devices.

5. Strivers

Strivers are trendy and fun loving. Because they are motivated by achievement, Strivers are concerned about the opinions and approval of others. Money defines success for Strivers, who don’t have enough of it to meet their desires. They favor stylish products that emulate the purchases of people with greater material wealth. Many Strivers see themselves as having a job rather than a career, and a lack of skills and focus often prevents them from moving ahead. Strivers are active consumers because shopping is both a social activity and an opportunity to demonstrate to peers their ability to buy. As consumers, they are as impulsive as their financial circumstance will allow.

6. Experiencers

Experiencers are motivated by self-expression. Young, enthusiastic, and impulsive consumers, Experiencers quickly become enthusiastic about new possibilities but are equally quick to cool. They seek variety and excitement, savoring the new, the offbeat, and the risky. Their energy finds an outlet in exercise, sports, outdoor recreation, and social activities. Experiencers are avid consumers and spend a comparatively high proportion of their income on fashion, entertainment, and socializing. Their purchases reflect the emphasis that they place on looking good and having “cool” stuff.

7. Makers

Makers are motivated by self-expression. They express themselves and experience the world by working on it—building a house, raising children, fixing a car, or canning vegetables—and have enough skill and energy to carry out their projects successfully. Makers are practical people who have constructive skills and value self-sufficiency. They live within a traditional context of family, practical work, and physical recreation and have little interest in what lies outside that context. Makers are suspicious of new ideas and large institutions such as big business. They are respectful of government authority and organized labor but resentful of government intrusion on individual rights. They are unimpressed by material possessions other than those with a practical or functional purpose. Because they prefer value to luxury, they buy basic products.

8. Strugglers

Their lives are constricted. Chronically poor, ill educated, low skilled, without social bonds, they are often resigned and passive. They do not show a strong self orientation as they are too involved in trying to meet the need of the present moment. Their chief concerns are safety and security.

Involvement Theory

Like motivation, involvement too is an internal state of mind which a consumer experiences. It makes one analyze and rationalize his/her choice. Involvement of consumers can be induced by external sources and agencies. Involvement is the embodiment of time, effort, consideration given and the enjoyment that is derived by consumer while choosing a product or service.

  • The involvement theory holds that there are low and high involvement purchases. Consumers’ involvement depends on the degree of involvement of purchase to a consumer. For example, while buying a loaf of bread, the consumer does not feel very much involved. It is because the life of the product is very short. Once it is consumed, it gets exhausted. If the consumer is not satisfied with the particular bread brand, he will purchase some other brand next time.
  • In the case of purchase of consumer durable (Laptop, refrigerator, household furniture, two- wheeler etc.), the involvement of the consumer in making the purchase decision is high. Consumers take a decision after much deliberations. These products have long-term consequences. Consumers make lot of inquiries before they purchase the products which have a high degree of involvement. The following table shows various degrees of involvement depending upon the nature of the product or service.

Selection as an element of Perception

The world around us is filled with an infinite number of stimuli that we might attend to, but our brains do not have the resources to pay attention to everything. Thus, the first step of perception is the (usually unconscious, but sometimes intentional) decision of what to attend to.

Depending on the environment, and depending on us as individuals, we might focus on a familiar stimulus or something new. When we attend to one specific thing in our environment—whether it is a smell, a feeling, a sound, or something else entirely—it becomes the attended stimulus.

Perceptual selection is driven by internal and external factors.

Internal factors include:

  • Personality – Personality traits influence how a person selects perceptions. For instance, conscientious people tend to select details and external stimuli to a greater degree
  • Motivation – People will select perceptions according to what they need in the moment. They will favor selections that they think will help them with their current needs, and be more likely to ignore what is irrelevant to their needs
  • Experience – The patterns of occurrences or associations one has learned in the past affect current perceptions. The person will select perceptions in a way that fits with what they found in the past

External factors include:

  • Size – if an object is of a larger size it is more likely for it to be selected among clutter
  • Intensity – Greater intensity, in brightness, for example, also increases perceptual selection
  • Contrast – When a perception stands clearly out against a background, there is a greater likelihood of selection
  • Motion – A moving perception is more likely to be selected
  • Repetition – Repetition increases perceptual selection
  • Novelty and familiarity – Both of these increase selections. When a perception is new, it stands out in a person’s experience. When it is familiar, it is likely to be selected because of this familiarity

Organization of Perception & GESTALT

Once we have chosen to attend to a stimulus in the environment (consciously or unconsciously, though usually the latter), the choice sets off a series of reactions in our brain. This neural process starts with the activation of our sensory receptors (touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing). The receptors transfer the energy into an activity, which is then transmitted to our brains, where we construct a mental representation of the stimulus.

In the early part of the 20th century, Max Wertheimer published a paper demonstrating that individuals perceived motion in rapidly flickering static images — an insight that came to him as he used a child’s toy tachistoscope. Wertheimer, and his assistants Wolfgang Köhler and Kurt Koffka, believed that perception involved more than simply combining sensory stimuli.

This belief led to a new movement within the field of psychology known as Gestalt psychology. The word gestalt literally means form or pattern, but its use reflects the idea that the whole is different from the sum of its parts. In other words, the brain creates a perception that is more than simply the sum of available sensory inputs, and it does so in predictable ways. Gestalt psychologists translated these predictable ways into principles by which we organize sensory information. Some of these principles include:

  • Figure-ground – Once perceived, objects stand out against their background. This can mean, for instance, that perceptions of something as new can stand out against the background of everything of the same type that is old.
  • Perceptual grouping – Grouping is when perceptions are brought together into a pattern.
  • Closure – This is the tendency to try to create wholes out of perceived parts. Sometimes this can result in error, though, when the perceiver fills in unperceived information to complete the whole.
  • Proximity – Perceptions that are physically close to each other are easier to organize into a pattern or whole.
  • Similarity – Similarity between perceptions promotes a tendency to group them together.
  • Perceptual Constancy – This means that if an object is perceived always to be or act a certain way, the person will tend to infer that it actually is always that way.
  • Perceptual Context – People will tend to organize perceptions in relation to other pertinent perceptions, and create a context out of those connections.

Each of these factors influence how the person perceives their environment, so responses to their environment can be understood by taking the perceptual process into account.

Factors that influence Cultural Communication:

Cross-cultural communication has become strategically important to companies due to the growth of global business, technology, and the Internet. Understanding cross-cultural communication is important for any company that has a diverse workforce or plans on conducting global business. This type of communication involves an understanding of how people from different cultures speak, communicate, and perceive the world around them.

Cross-cultural communication in an organization deals with understanding different business customs, beliefs and communication strategies. Language differences, high-context vs. low-context cultures, nonverbal differences, and power distance are major factors that can affect cross-cultural communication.

Let’s take a look at how cross-cultural differences can cause potential issues within an organization. Jack is a manager at a New Mexico-based retail conglomerate. He has flown to Japan to discuss a potential partnership with a local Japanese company. His business contact, Yamato, is his counterpart within the Japanese company. Jack has never been to Japan before, and he’s not familiar with their cultural norms. Let’s look at some of the ways that a lack of cultural understanding can create a barrier for business success by examining how Jack handles his meeting with Yamato.

High- vs. Low-Context Culture

The concept of high- and low-context culture relates to how an employee’s thoughts, opinions, feelings, and upbringing affect how they act within a given culture. North America and Western Europe are generally considered to have low-context cultures. This means that businesses in these places have direct, individualistic employees who tend to base decisions on facts. This type of businessperson wants specifics noted in contracts and may have issues with trust.

High-context cultures are the opposite in that trust is the most important part of business dealings. There are areas in the Middle East, Asia and Africa that can be considered high context. Organizations that have high-context cultures are collectivist and focus on interpersonal relationships. Individuals from high-context cultures might be interested in getting to know the person they are conducting business with in order to get a gut feeling on decision making. They may also be more concerned about business teams and group success rather than individual achievement.

Jack and Yamato ran into some difficulties during their business negotiations. Jack spoke quickly and profusely because he wanted to seal the deal as soon as possible. However, Yamato wanted to get to know Jack, and he felt that Jack spoke too much. Yamato also felt that Jack was only concerned with completing the deal for his own self-interest and was not concerned with the overall good of the company. Jack’s nonverbal cues did not help the negotiations either.

Additionally, companies that have to deal with cross-cultural communication can hire employees with proficiency in other languages. Fortunately for Jack and Yamato, they both had excellent translators who communicated their words. The next cross-cultural issue regards how individuals deal with power distance.

Power Distance

Power distance relates to how power is distributed within an organization. Typically, American companies utilize a low power distance and have more informal hierarchies that allow for interaction between executives and their subordinates. Managers ask for feedback from employees and will even socialize with subordinates. Companies with high power distance are typically very hierarchical in nature and have severe differences in authority. Some Japanese companies may utilize this power structure.

For example, Yamato would never consider asking his employees for their feedback on his managerial style. Jack made a big mistake when he asked Yamato’s workers for their thoughts on his business ideas. Jack did not realize how segregated the power structure is in a high power distance culture.

Cross-Cultural Strategies

Jack’s meeting with Yamato did not go very well. He returned to the U.S. without having secured a partnership for the retail conglomerate. However, Jack has learned some basic strategies to follow in order to succeed in cross-cultural communication:

  • Employees should become proficient in the language of the company they are visiting or arrange for an interpreter to ensure efficient communication.
  • Employees need to understand whether a culture is high- or low-context and approach the business situation with an understanding of how the employee views relationships.
  • Companies need to familiarize employees with cultural differences in nonverbal communication through mock interviews and business meetings to eliminate the potential for any offensive gestures, touches, or eye contact.
  • Employees should understand how power distance within an organization relates to culture, including the hierarchical differences across cultures.

Jack learned his lesson. He decided to conduct extensive research into the key factors of cross-cultural communication and has created a cultural awareness workshop that all employees must take in order to conduct any global business. The workshop covers language studies, awareness of cultural differences, and how to negotiate with people of diverse backgrounds.

Nonverbal Differences

Gestures and eye contact are two areas of nonverbal communication that are utilized differently across cultures. Companies must train employees in the correct way to handle nonverbal communication as to not offend other cultures. For example, American workers tend to wave their hand and use a finger to point when giving nonverbal direction. Extreme gesturing is considered rude in some cultures. While pointing may be considered appropriate in some contextsin the United States, Yamato would never use a finger to point towards another person because that gesture is considered rude in Japan. Instead, he might gesture with an open hand, with his palm facing up, toward the person.

Eye contact is another form of nonverbal communication. In the U.S., eye contact is a good thing and is seen as a reflection of honesty and straightforwardness. However, in some Asian and Middle Eastern cultures, prolonged eye contact can be seen as rude or aggressive in many situations. Women may need to avoid it altogether because lingering eye contact can be viewed as a sign of sexual interest. During their meeting, Jack felt that Yamato was not listening to his talking points because Yamato was not looking Jack in the eyes. However, Yamato did not want Jack to think he was rude, so he avoided looking directly into Jack’s eyes during his speech.

Language Differences

The biggest issue dealing with cross-cultural communication is the difficulty created by language barriers. For example, Jack does not speak Japanese, so he is concerned with his ability to communicate effectively with Yamato. There are some strategies that Jack can use to help establish a rapport with Yamato. Jack can explain himself without words by using emotions, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues. He can also use drawings and ask for an interpreter.

  • Eye contact: In most Western cultures, eye contact is considered to be a good thing. It demonstrates attentiveness, confidence and honesty. In Asia, the Middle East, Hispanic cultures and Native American cultures – eye contact is often considered disrespectful. In many Eastern cultures, women are discouraged from having eye contact with men as it conveys authority or sexual interest. In some cultures, gazing at someone is normal but, in most cultures, staring is considered rude.
  • Touch: Cultural expressions and communication is often derived through touch. However, touching other people is often taken as rudeness in many cultures. Yet, shaking hands is considered to be acceptable in most cultures. People in Asia are more conservative in these types of nonverbal communication. Patting head or shoulder also has different meanings in different cultures. In some Asian cultures touching children on the head is very bad signal as head is taken to be sacred but in the United States, we often pat children on the head and it is okay. There are also a wide range of cultural viewpoints on the appropriate rules regarding physical contact between both similar and opposite genders. In parts of the European Union it is common to kiss someone you greet informally on both cheeks. In the Middle East, the left hand is customarily used to handle bodily hygiene, so using the left hand to accept a gift or shake hands (or eat) is considered extremely rude.
  • Gestures: Gestures are a common form of nonverbal communication whether we shrug our shoulders, give a high five or nod our heads (the most recognized gesture in the world). When traveling in Costa Rica, pedestrians give drivers a thumb up if they allowed them to walk by. In the United States, the thumbs up means “Okay” but is seen as a vulgarism other cultures and in Japan some even take it as money. Snapping your fingers to get the attention of a waiter is okay in some parts of the world but is disrespect and very offensive in other areas of the globe. Some cultures consider pointing fingers as insulting whereas in other parts of the world it is often used as a reference. In Polynesia, people stick out their tongue to greet people, but in most other cultures it is considered a sign of mockery.
  • Physical Space: Also known as proxemics, the physical space between others is a form of nonverbal communication. There are four zones of proxemics: intimate, personal, social and public. People in different cultures have various levels of tolerance for proxemics between people. In many cultures, people are uncomfortable with close proximity (intimate and personal) to others and prefer a more social distance (four to seven feet) when communicating. Entering somebody’s personal space (1.5 – 2.5 feet) is normally an indication of familiarity or intimacy. However, it can be problematic to maintain personal space when in a crowded situation such as a train, elevator or street. Many people find such physical proximity to be psychologically disturbing and uncomfortable, although it is accepted as a fact of modern life.
  • Facial Expressions: Facial expressions are responsible for a huge percentage of nonverbal communication. A simple smile, frown or smile can convey much information and a person’s face is often the first thing we see, even before we hear what they have to say, giving rise to a lot of nonverbal speak. Interestingly, the facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, and fear are alike around the world.
  • Appearance: How we present ourselves to the public eye though our outward appearance is nonverbal communication. People are often judged or assessed based on their appearance. How one dresses (clothing), grooms oneself (hair, makeup, etc.) and even modesty can convey various messages in communication.
  • Body Movement & Posture: Body movements can clearly convey intent, emotion and communication. It can show how people feel or think about you. Whether you face a person while talking, how you hold yourself when expressing confidence or simply whether you sit near or far from another person can provide nonverbal communicative messages. Posture not only can communicate or mental status at the time (i.e. defeated) but also our physical condition (i.e. slouching may indicate being tired). In some cultures, keeping your hands in your pockets is a sign of disrespect while in other countries, sitting cross-legged is offensive.
  • Paralanguage: Paralanguage refers to vocal communication that is separate from actual language and was invented by George L. Trager in the 1950s. Paralanguage includes factors such as tone of voice, inflection, loudness, speed and pitch. Simply changing your tone of voice may change the meaning of a sentence. A film from the early ‘80’s called Multiracial Britain: Crosstalk, does an excellent job of demonstrating cultural differences in paralanguage and the impact on relationships.

Functions of Attitude

The most important function of an attitude can only be ascertained by considering it in relation to the person who holds it and the environment in which they operate. Broadly there are four functions of attitude:

Utilitarian Function:

This function directs people towards pleasurable or rewarding objects and away from unpleasant, undesirable ones. It helps maximize reward and minimize punishment. We develop favorable attitude towards things that aid or reward us.

Ego-defensive Function:

This function refers to holding attitudes that protect our self- esteem or that justify actions that make us feel guilty. Example: A consumer who has made a poor investment will staunchly defend his decision by stating that he was correct at the time of investing or it was an outcome of a poor advice from someone. Such an attitude helps safeguard self-image.

Value-expressive Function:

This function enables the expression of the person’s centrally held values. Central values tend to establish our identity and give us social approval, thereby showing us who we are and what we stand for.

Knowledge Function:

Some attitudes are useful because they help make the world more understandable. It allows people to organize a considerable amount of information to which they are exposed every day.

Communication Process

The basic objectives of an advertiser are to reach to the consumers, create an awareness, influence their attitudes and induce purchase. To do this, the advertiser has to study the consumer decision process which depends on the Perception Factor, influences by culture, subculture, family, friends, groups, society, WhatsApp Forwards,  the personality of the consumer learning process, attitude and the motivation of the consumers. The study of these components of consumer behaviour will help the advertiser to draw up an effective advertising communication campaign.

This communication campaign has to be communicated to the consumers. This communication involves the transmission of a message from a  sender to a receiver via a medium (or a channel) of transmission. In addition, to these four basic components – sender, receiver, medium and message – most communicators would also agree that the fifth essential component of communication is feedback, which plays the role of alerting the sender as to whether the intended message was in fact received.

The Sender

The sender or the communicator generates the message and conveys it to the receiver. He is the source and the one who starts the communication

The sender initiates the process of communication with a message. This message must be formed appropriately for the channel selected for its delivery. This message must be encoded into symbols i.e. words, pictures, or action. The most important goal of an advertiser is to encode the message in a way, that will make sure that the message is understood, the way it was meant to be understood by the sender.

Many a times, the sender can be an informal source as well. Consumers often rely on informal communication sourcers in making purchase decision because unlike the formal sources, the sender, apparently has nothing to gain from the  receivers subsequent actions. For this reason, informal or “word of mouth” communication tends to be highly persuasive.

The Message

It is the idea, information, view, fact, feeling, etc. that is generated by the sender and is then intended to be communicated further.

The message is transmitted over channels of communication and for this reason, the channel, for the transmission should be carefully planned. Very often, the received message can differ significantly from the sent message. The received message is transformed into a perceived message through the receiver’s information processing activities.

The Message can be verbal (spoken or written) non verbal (a photograph, an illustration or a symbol) or a combination of the two. A verbal Message whether it is written or spoken, can usually contain more specific product or service information than a nonverbal message. A verbal message combined with a nonverbal message often provides more information to the receiver than the either would, if used alone.

Nonverbal Information takes place in both interpersonal channels and in impersonal channels and often takes form of symbolic communication. The individuals experiences as well as the context in which it is received will influence any meaning derived from it. Attitude change and or actions will be based on this perceived message.

The Medium

It is the manner in which the encoded message is transmitted. The message may be transmitted orally or in writing. The medium of communication includes telephone, internet, post, fax, e-mail, etc. The choice of medium is decided by the sender.

The Medium or Communications channels can be impersonal (mass mediums like newspaper, radio, tv programmes, internet) or interpersonal (formal conversation between salesperson and a customer or an informal conversation between two or more people that takes place fact to face by telephone by mall or online)

Mass Media is generally classified as Print (NewsPapers, Magazines, Billboards), Broadcast (Radio, Television) or Electronic ( Internet). Most marketers today include their Websites in their Print and Television Ads, encouraging consumers to visit their website to find out more about the product or service being advertised to or order online.

The Receiver

The person who is last in the chain and for whom the message was sent by the sender. Once the receiver receives the message and understands it in proper perspective and acts according to the message, only then the purpose of communication is successful.

The receiver of formal marketing communications is likely to be a targeted prospect or a customer (member of the marketers target audience). Intermediary and unintended audiences are also likely to receive marketing communications. Example of intermediary audiences are wholesalers to persuade them to order and stock merchandise, and relevant professionals (such as architects or physicians.) who are sent professional advertising in the the hopes that they will specify or prescribe to the message that is not specifically targeted by the sender.

Unintended receivers of marketing of communications often include responses that are important to the marketer such as shareholders, creditors, suppliers, employees, bankers and the local community. It is important to remember that the audience – no matter how large or how diverse – is composed of individual receivers, each of whom interprets the message according to his or her own personal perceptions and experiences.

Feedback

Once the receiver confirms to the sender that he has received the message and understood it, the process of communication is complete.

Feedback is an essential component of both interpersonal communications. Prompt feedback permits the sender to reinforce, to change or to modify the message to ensure that it is understood in the way it was originally intended. Generally, it is easier to obtain feedback (both verbal and nonverbal) from interpersonal communication[normal talks, conversations of feelings] than impersonal communication[sales representative, etc.].

Because of the high cost of space and time in impersonal media, it is very important for sponsors of impersonal communication to devise methods to obtain feedback as promptly as possible, so that the may revise a message if its meaning is not being received as it was originally intended.

Additional

Importance of Communication

  1. The Basis of Coordination

The manager explains to the employees the organizational goals, modes of their achievement and also the interpersonal relationships amongst them. This provides coordination between various employees and also departments. Thus, communications act as a basis for coordination in the organization.

  1. Fluent Working

A manager coordinates the human and physical elements of an organization to run it smoothly and efficiently. This coordination is not possible without proper communication.

  1. The Basis of Decision Making

Proper communication provides the information to the manager that is useful for the decision making. No decisions could be taken in the absence of information. Thus, communication is the basis of taking right decisions.

  1. Increases Managerial Efficiency

The manager conveys the targets and issues instructions and allocates jobs to the subordinates. All these aspects involve communication. Thus, communication is essential for the quick and effective performance of the managers and the entire organization.

  1. Increases Cooperation and Organizational Peace

The two-way communication process promotes co-operation and mutual understanding amongst the workers and also between them and the management. This leads to less friction and thus leads to industrial peace in the factory and efficient operations.

Adoption Process

Okay completely out of context. A guy had a caption saying “chicken aisa banao ki kaccha na ho, pyaar aisa karo ki baccha na ho” This has put a hole in my heart. I am dead guys. Please.

Adoption process is a series of stages by which a consumer might adopt a NEW product or service. Whether it be Services or Products, in today’s competitive world, a consumer is faced with a lot of choices. How does he make a decision to ADOPT a new product is the Adoption process.

There are numerous stages of adoption which a consumer goes through. These stages may happen before or even after the actual adoption.

Companies work hard to create a product, but in order to sustain and succeed in the market, organizations also need  to create a process that successfully walks their consumers through the stages of the consumer adoption process.

Philip Kotler considers five steps in consumer adoption process. On the other hand, William Stanton considers six steps. Mummy ko bolo ki tum Savage ho, let’s follow six steps.

1. Awareness Stage:

Individual consumer becomes aware of the innovation. He is exposed to innovation but knows very little regarding the innovation. He has only limited information about it. He is aware of either by discussion with friends, relatives, salesmen, or dealers. He gets idea about a new product from various means of advertising like newspapers, magazines, Internet, television, outdoor media, etc. At this stage, he doesn’t give much attention to the new product.

2. Comprehension

Consumers have knowledge about the innovation, they begin to understand what the product is and what it is capable of.

3. Attitude

Consumers develop a favourable, or unfavourable, or a neutral attitude about the product. If the attitude happens to be negative, then the adoption process ends right there.

4. Legitimization

Consumers are finally convinced that the product should be bought.

5. Trial

Consumers buy the product

6. Adoption

If reaction to the product is positive, then the continuation in purchase or use of the item completes the adoption process

In every stage of consumer adoption, a marketer is required to facilitate consumers. He must take all possible actions to make them try, buy, and repeat buy the innovation. Be clear that every type of consumer (innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, or laggards) follows all the stages of adoption process, but takes different amount of time to adopt the innovation.

The task of the marketer here is to understand what is involved in the psychological adoption process of consumers for particular product and service in order to be able to positively influence such consumers at appropriate stages. Only when this process has been understood we can encourage our consumers to actually purchase the product / service offering.

For example –

  • Product trial may be an important stage to be completed before adopting some new products such as newly flavored soft drinks, prompting marketers to offer free samples of the products in supermarkets.
  • One strategy adopted in FMCG, is to give away small trial-sized packages of products such as shampoos or laundry detergents to encourage adoption. Yet, in adopting other products such as mobile phones, awareness, interest, and evaluation become more essential. Thus in these sectors, marketers emphasize on marketing communications and promotions to lead consumers towards adopting their product.
  • Finally, Market research needs to be done by marketers to understand the time and effort taken by the consumer in each stage of the adoption process so as to lead the consumer to the final stage of ADOPTION.

Cognitive Theory

Edward Tolman has contributed significantly to the Cognitive Learning Theory. According to him, individuals not only responds to stimuli but also act on beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, feelings and strive towards goals.

A considerable amount of learning takes place as a result of consumer thinking and problem solving. Sudden learning is also a reality. When confronted with a problem, we sometimes see the solution instantly. We are likely to search for information on which to base decision possible for our purposes. Learning based on mental activity is called “cognitive learning”. It holds that the kind of learning most characteristics of human beings is problem solving, which enables individuals to gain some control over their environment.

Cognitive Learning Theory is a broad theory that explains thinking and differing mental processes and how they are influenced by internal and external factors in order to produce learning in individuals. When cognitive processes are working normally then acquisition and storage of knowledge works well, but when these cognitive processes are ineffective, learning delays and difficulties can be seen.

Just as computers process information received as input, in a similar manner, the human mind processes the information, it receives as inputs. Information processing is related to both, the consumer’s cognitive ability, and the complexity of the information to be processed.

Consumers process product information with the help of attributes included in the brand’s message and the number of available alternatives, influence the intensity or degree of information processing. Consumers with higher cognitive ability apparently acquire more product information and are more capable of integrating information on several product attributes than consumers with lesser ability.

Individuals also differ in terms of imagery that is in their ability to form mental images and these differences influence their ability to recall information. The more experience a consumer has with a product category, the greater his or her ability to make use of product category also increases cognitive ability and learning during a new purchase decision, particularly with regard to technical information. Some consumers learn by analogy, that is they transfer knowledge about products they are familiar with to new or unfamiliar products in order to enhance their understanding.

The consumer is a thinking problem solver. Within this framework, consumers frequently are pictured as either receptive to or actively searching for products and services that fulfill their needs and enrich their lives. The cognitive model focuses on the processes by which consumers seek and evaluate information about the selected brand and retail outlets.

Within the context of the cognitive model, consumers are viewed as information processors. Information processing leads to the formation of preferences and ultimately to purchase intentions. The cognitive view also recognizes that the consumer is unlikely to even attempt to obtain all available information about every other choice.

These cognitive processes are: observing, categorizing, and forming generalizations about our environment. A disruption in these natural cognitive processes can cause behavioural problems in individuals and the key to treating these problems lies in changing the disrupted process. For example, a person with an eating disorder genuinely believes that they are extremely overweight. Some of this is due to a cognitive disruption in which their perception of their own weight is skewed. A therapist will try to change their constant pattern of thinking that they are overweight in order to decrease the unhealthy behaviours that are a result of it.

Perception Process

Perception is the process in which an individual selects, organizes and interprets the stimuli into a meaningful and coherent picture of the world.

The process of perception has three stages- Selection, Organization, and Interpretation.

  1. Selection:

Depending on the environment and on the individuals, we might focus on a familiar stimulus or something new. This process is called selection. When we attend to a stimulus our environment provides us with, it becomes attended stimulus. Even though we do this unconsciously, this process becomes sometimes is intentional.

For Ex: In a hypothetical situation where there is a dog and a cat in front of you, subconsciously you may or may not choose to touch the dog, but you would want to touch the cat. This might be because you might already know how dogs are and you choose to approach the cat to gain a new form of stimulus, one which is unfamiliar to you.

  1. Organization:

Once we attend a stimulus, our brain starts to react to the information, processing it and construct a mental representation of the stimulus. This mental image is called a percept.

An ambiguous (unclear) stimulus may form multiple percepts and is experienced randomly, although one at a time. This is called “multistable perception”.

For Ex: when you go near a cat, which you might have not done before, your instincts will tell you that it might not be friendly by just looking at its face. But when you touch it, it may or may not hurt you in any way, thereby you forming a mental image of a cat being passive-aggressive.

  1. Interpretation:

After we have attended the stimulus and our brains organizing this information, we interpret it in a way that makes sense using existing information. In simple terms, we organize the information into categories that already exist, or make new ones.

Self Concept:

This term describes the collection of beliefs people have about themselves including elements such as intelligence, gender roles, sexuality, racial identity, etc. This plays a crucial role in the process of interpretation as it will provide you with the context of your perception.

For Ex: If you believe that you’re very good looking, then you may interpret people looking at you (stimulus) as a positive phenomenon (perception) and vice-versa. Self-concept is important as it can change the aspect of your perception from positive to negative and the same in the other way around.

Perceptual Constancy:

The tendency to see familiar objects as having a standard shape, color, size or proximity regardless of the changes in the angle of perspective, distance, or lighting. In simple words, the perception about a certain object remains the same regardless of the differences in stimuli.

Herzberg Theory

Frederick Herzberg developed a two factor theory that distinguishes dissatisfiers (factors that cause dissatisfaction) from satisfiers (factors that cause satisfaction). The absence of dissatisfiers is not enough to motivate a purchase; satisfiers must be present.

For example a worker will only turn up to work if a business has provided a reasonable level of pay and safe working conditions but these factors will not make him work harder at his job once he is there.

This is also known as the two factor theory. It states that there are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction and certain factors that cause dissatisfaction. Herzberg classified these factors into two categories:

  1. Hygiene factors:

Hygiene factors are those which are essential for the existence of motivation at a workplace. These factors are extrinsic for work. They do not lead to positive satisfaction on a long-term. Also called maintenance factors or dissatisfiers, these factors describe the job environment/scenario.

Hygiene factors symbolize the physiological needs which individuals expect to be fulfilled. These factors include:

  • Pay: The salary of the employee must be reasonable. It must be competitive and equal to those in the industry in the same position.
  • Physical Working Conditions: The environment of the working space must be safe, clean and hygienic. The equipment must be updated and well-maintained.
  • Company and Administration Policies:  The company policies should not be too rigid. They should be fair and clear. It should include flexible working hours, dress code, breaks, vacation, etc.
  • Fringe benefits: The employees should be offered health care plans (mediclaim), benefits for the family members, employee help programmes, etc.
  • Interpersonal Relations: it is important that there exists a bond in between the employees as well as in between the employees and the manager. There shouldn’t be any elements of conflict present in any level of management.
  • Job Security: The organization must provide job security to the employees.
  1. Motivational factors:

Herzberg stated that the above-mentioned factors were not necessarily motivators. These factors yield positive satisfaction. These factors are inherent to work and motivate employees for a superior performance.

Motivational factor symbolize psychological needs and are perceived as additional benefits. These factors include:

  • Sense of Achievement: The employees must have a sense of achievement and it depends on the job and there must be some fruit for the job performed.
  • Meaningfulness of the work: The work itself should have a meaning for the employee. It must be meaningful, challenging and interesting to perform in order to get motivated.
  • Recognition: The employees must be praised and recognized for their results of their work by their managers.
  • Responsibility: The employees must hold themselves responsible for their work. The managers should give them the ownership of the work. This is to maintain accountability of both the employee and the manager.

Limitations of The Two-Factor Theory

As of any theory, this theory also has its sets of limitations. These limitations include:

  1. This theory doesn’t consider situational variables.
  2. This theory looks mainly at satisfaction rather than productivity as it assumes that there is a correlation.
  3. The reliability of this theory is not certain. The job satisfaction is not quantified, and the data is assumed to be error-free.
  4. The implications of this theory is not applicable for blue-collar workers i.e. people who work in the service sector. This is because the variables of the job are very different from that of a corporate.
  5. Sometimes, the employees may give themselves the credit for the factor of satisfaction at work, blaming the organization for factors like company policy and interpersonal relationships with other employees.
  6. The data collected from the employees might not be highly accurate as their responses might not be completely natural. They may respond to as being satisfied, but might not entirely love their job or the position that they are at.

Vroom Theory

Vroom’s Expectancy Theory is based on the assumption that an individual’s behaviour results from the choices made by him with respect to the alternative course of action, which is related to the psychological events occurring simultaneously with the behaviour. This means an individual selects a certain behaviour over the other behaviours with an expectation of getting results, the one desired for.

Thus, Vroom’s Expectancy Theory has its roots in the cognitive concept, i.e. how an individual processes the different elements of motivation. This theory is built around the concept of valence, instrumentality, and Expectancy and, therefore, is often called as VIE theory.

Vroom’s expectancy theory assumes that behaviour results from conscious choices among alternatives whose purpose it is to maximize pleasure and to minimize pain. Vroom realized that an employee’s performance is based on individual factors such as personality, skills, knowledge, experience and abilities. He stated that effort, performance and motivation are linked in a person’s motivation. He uses the variables Expectancy, Instrumentality and Valence to account for this.

In 1964, Victor Vroom came up with a theory to study people’s motivation. He concluded that it depends upon three factors: Expectancy, Instrumentality, and Valence. Unlike Maslow and Herzberg, Vroom distinguished between the efforts put in, performance and the final result i.e. productivity. He argues that the employees will choose what motivates them the most.

The expectancy theory of motivation explains the behavioural process of why individuals choose one behavioural option over the other. This theory explains that individuals can be motivated towards goals if they believe that there is a positive correlation between efforts and performance, the outcome of a favorable performance will result in a desirable reward, a reward from a performance will satisfy an important need, and/or the outcome satisfies their need enough to make the effort worthwhile.

The three instrumental constituents of this theory are:

Expectancy:

This is about what the employees expect from their own efforts and the relation to good performance. This expectancy has several parts, one of which is the difficulty of the job. The organization can respond to this by providing support, training and other factors that could motivate the employee to deliver his/her best.

Vroom stated that more efforts could lead to better results, in general. Employees could be stimulated by providing them with incentives and other benefits that could lead them to work better. He also stated that it was crucial to provide them with resources to do the same. Other than that, it is also important for the employee to have the skill necessary and the management to give them the right amount of support.

  1. Instrumentality:

The organization is a machine and every employee is a part of this machine. The success of the company depends upon the working of each and every employee. An organization can stimulate good performance by making promises of additional rewards like promotion and bonuses. The employee must also believe that his/her work will be identified, accounted and will be appreciated. Transparency throughout this process is key to instrumentality.

3. Valence:

The final result that the employee achieves is valued differently by each individual. This value is different as each individual has different needs. It is a good idea for an organization to find out what the employee values and his/her personal needs. For ex: an employee might value

The algebraic representation of Vroom’s Expectancy theory is:

Motivation (force) = Valence x Expectancy

In short, more the efforts put in, more the performance and higher the rewards.

Types of Celebrity Appeal

Using a famous & influential individual’s personality and charisma to sell a product or service is called a Celebrity appeal. {A bad example would be Pierce Brosnan selling Rajnigandha}. There are five types of celebrity appeal. They are as follows:

  1. Testimonial: In this type of appeal, the celebrity refers to his/her personal time with the product or service, assuring and assessing its quality.
  2. Endorsement: This is a type when a celebrity lends his/her name on behalf of a product, service, or a company, even if he/she may not be an expert in it. For Ex: Hritik Roshan for Rado.
  3. Actor: When a celebrity presents a product or service as a part of a character endorsement. For ex: Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt for MakeMyTrip.com
  4. Spokesperson: This is when the celebrity represents the brand or the company for an extended period of time. Ex: Amitabh Bachchan for Dabur and Parker.

Sleeper Effect

Before reading this answer. Stop. And don’t swallow that chewing gum. Yes. Dont. It will stay in your stomach for a long time.

It won’t really. Right? Ofcourse it wont.

This is all stupid. Come on.

But what if it does?

Um..

Yes. That’s sleepers effect.

Basically you get a message. Or lets say you hear a song, or lets say you watch a youtube video or some other video you will remember the message/song/video for sometime. Yea. No Platinum. But sometime later it might still pop in your head. But you won’t remember the source. You will remember the message Accurately. You will struggle to find the source as well. This theory forms basis for Recall Value in Advertising. If you don’t persuade your customers from time to time, they will forget about the source but just remember the message, and will never find out how to contact you.

[The Answer was found on an advertisement for Sleepers Effect book or something. I will write something from Wikipedia for the answer and exam first and then rest would have a cheesiness to way its written.]

Answer

When people are exposed normally to a persuasive message (such as an engaging or persuasive television advertisement), their attitudes toward the advocacy of the message display a significant increase.

Over time, however, their newly formed attitudes seem to gravitate back toward the opinion held prior to receiving the message, almost as if they were never exposed to the communication. This pattern of normal decay in attitudes has been documented as the most frequently observed longitudinal pattern of persuasion research (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993).

In contrast, some messages are often accompanied with a discounting cue (e.g., a message disclaimer, a low-credibility source) that would arouse a recipient’s suspicion of the validity of the message and suppress any attitude change that might occur by exposure to the message alone. Furthermore, when people are exposed to a persuasive message followed by a discounting cue, people tend to be more persuaded over time; this is referred to as the sleeper effect (Hovland & Weiss, 1951; Cook & Flay, 1978).

For example, in political campaigns during important elections, undecided voters often see negative advertisements about a party or candidate for office. At the end of the advertisement, they also might notice that the opposing candidate paid for the advertisement. Presumably, this would make voters question the truthfulness of the advertisement, and consequently, they may not be persuaded initially. However, even though the source of the advertisement lacked credibility, voters will be more likely to be persuaded later (and ultimately, vote against the candidate disfavored by the advertisement).

This pattern of attitude change has puzzled social psychologists for nearly half a century, primarily due to its counter-intuitive nature and for its potential to aid in understanding attitude processes (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). It has been a very widely studied phenomenon of persuasion research (Kumkale & Albarracín, 2004; see also Cook & Flay, 1978). Despite a long history, the sleeper effect has been notoriously difficult to obtain or to replicate, with the exception of a pair of studies by Gruder et al. (1978).

If you ever read anything about influencing others and making them do what you want, then you probably know one crucial thing you need to do to succeed: leverage the momentum.

Once you hook a potential customer, you need to keep them engaged. You don’t want to lose them now. If you do, you won’t close the sale. This is because the effects of your persuasive message decreases with time. However, there is an exception to this rule – and this is what sleeper effect is all about.

A sleeper effect takes place in a situation when effects of a persuasive message are stronger when more time passes. This is the opposite to what is usually known (and taught) by experts on the topic.

Whatever your thing and/or business is, you are always trying to persuade other people to do something you want them to do. If you’re in sales – then, of course, you want them to buy from you. But you don’t need to be a salesman to understand the sleeper effect and use it to your benefit (or even worse: have it work against you!)

  • If you have a blog – you want people to read your posts. You want them to comment. You want them to like and share your articles. You want them to sign up for your newsletter.
  • If you have a Facebook fan page, then you want people to like your page. And you want them engage: commenting, liking and sharing your posts.
  • And no matter what you do, you want people to like and benefit from your content and offer, you want them to recommend you to their friends and rave about you.

You achieve all this by actually having great content and/or offer, but also by effectively applying the art of persuasion. This is one knowing how the sleeper effect works, and how you can use it to your benefit can determine your success… or a failure. (let’s chose success, ok?)

So let’s talk about this mysterious sleeper effect…

What is sleeper effect and how does it work

Sleeper effect at work: persuasive message increases over time

Sleeper effect at work: persuasive message increases over time

Persuasion decreases over time

Persuasion decreases over time

 

Normally, the persuasiveness of information gradually decreases over a period of time. Often, this information is associated with cues such as source credibility and morality. Some of these cues are positive, while some are negative. Messages accompanied by positive cues are usually readily accepted and believed by people, while those associated with negative cues (discounting cues) are viewed suspiciously and sometimes even dismissed.

However, it has been observed in many studies that despite the initial rejection of the message, people tend to get persuaded over time, leading to an increase in the acceptance of that message. This phenomenon of delayed persuasion is called the sleeper effect.

However, for the sleeper effect to manifest, three basic conditions must be met. They are:

    • The message itself should be persuasive
    • The discounting cue must initially suppress attitude change
  • The discounting cue must become dissociated from the message over time

It must be noted that the effect is seen to disappear if the audience is reminded of the source.

How Does It Work Real-life Examples

American people encourage voting

➠ During political election campaigns, often, the candidates of the opposing party are targeted via negative remarks, advertisements, or news. This largely affects the undecided voters, who initially dismiss these occurrences as being slanderous attempts, but later, due to the sleeper effect, retain only the memory of the message but not the source, causing them to vote against the defamed candidates.

Sad child suffering and parents having discussion

➠ Young children of divorced parents, who show no signs of mental stress or trauma as a result of the divorce, often exhibit difficulties regarding relationships, trust, and intimacy during early adulthood.

➠ The prevalent idea that autism is caused by MMR vaccines is due to the sleeper effect caused by an unreliable source in the form of an incorrect scientific study.

Seller and buyers

➠ The sleeper effect is evident in the case of word of mouth marketing. Product reviews are often spread this way. It may either be a friend telling you about it, or a salesman. The same can occur on websites and forums as well.

➠ Reading about facts, statistics, or anecdotes from an unreliable source may also result in the presentation of this effect.

Popular social media icons

➠ Social media applications can act as platforms for the propagation of untruths or propaganda against or in support of an individual or entity.

The only effective way to overcome any and all effects of the sleeper effect is to question and investigate the source of your knowledge. If a certain piece of information reaches you, you must determine the soundness of the source, and verify the validity of the information before applying it in any way.

Acculturation

Acculturation is the process of social, psychological, and cultural change that stems from blending between cultures. The effects of acculturation can be seen at multiple levels in both the original (native) and newly adopted (host) cultures.

Historically speaking, acculturation is a direct change of one’s culture through dominance over another’s culture through either military or political conquest.

At this group level, acculturation often results in changes to culture, customs, religious practices, diet, healthcare, and other social institutions. Some of the most noticeable group level effects of acculturation often include changes in food, clothing, and language.

Acculturation studies have shown that children in the United States have adopted bicultural identities on all four measures of ethnic identification. Children in India were dominantly Indian identified, however there was a strong indication of bicultural identity among children in India. Parents who have lived in USA for 20 years or more dominantly emerged as bicultural on external aspects of ethnic identification and in terms of their values and behavioural competencies. Parents in India while mostly Indian-identified, indicated a strong shift towards bicultural identification in terms of their values and behavioural competencies. Thus, Asian Indians in India and USA are moving towards bicultural identities. Among parents in both the countries attitudes and values related to marriage and mate selection resembled traditional Hindu values with some shifts towards western values. Children in India and USA indicate a stronger bias towards western values. The bias was more pervasive among the immigrant children.

Additionally, several issues affecting family life of Indian immigrants is proposed for future research.

Redefining Acculturation coz Swag. Acculturation is a process of cultural contact and exchange through which a person or group comes to adopt certain values and practices of a culture that is not originally their own, to a greater or lesser extent.  It is the processes of change in artifacts, customs, and beliefs that result from the contact of two or more cultures. The term is also used to refer to the results of such changes.

Two major types of acculturation, incorporation and directed change, may be distinguished on the basis of the conditions under which cultural contact and change take place. We may not be asked the two types of Acculturation. So dont worry, read for reference.

Incorporation refers to the free borrowing and modification of cultural elements and occurs when people of different cultures maintain contact as well as political and social self-determination. It may involve syncretism, a process through which people create a new synthesis of phenomena that differs from either original culture; adoption, in which an entirely new phenomenon is added to a cultural repertoire; and adaptation, in which a new material or technology is applied to an extant phenomenon. Religious beliefs are often incorporated in a syncretic manner, as with synthesis of indigenous and Roman Catholic beliefs in much of Mexico. Technology is often subject to adoption, as with the rapid diffusion of new metalworking techniques and weapon types that marked the transition from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age, and later to the Iron Age in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Ornamentation is often subject to adaptation, as when Native American groups replaced heavy stone pendants with metal ornaments in the period between Columbian contact and military conquest; such ornaments are readily visible in historical portraits of important indigenous personages. Because incorporation is a product of free choice, the changes it engenders are often retained over the long term.

Acculturation is not the same as the process of assimilation, though some people use the words interchangeably. Assimilation can be an eventual outcome of the acculturation process, but the process can have other outcomes too, including rejection, integration, marginalization, and transmutation.

Ads portraying Indian Culture

From camels to the moustache, see it however you want. This Rajasthan tourism ad captures the essence of the state.

A great technique employed by naukri.com!

A Joint Account proposal by Union Bank.

Havells Fans – Hawa Badlegi

A newly wed couple walks into the registrar’s office and the husband tells the officer that he would like to adopt his wife’s last name.

Another scene shows a couple getting discharged from a hospital after delivering a baby girl, while they fill “Himu” in the religion column on the sign out forms. When asked, the father explains that it is the combination of ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ and how their daughter can adopt any religion she likes when she grows up.

Yet another instance shows a maid being asked by the family to join them on the same table for the dinner. Aimed to tell a powerful story within common circumstances all of us relate to, the ad has captured a lot of attention and have received more than 20,000 YouTube hits together.

Google – Reunion

This was the most shared ad of 2013. The three-and-a-half minute film poignantly capturing the reunion of two friends who meet for the first time after the partition of India and Pakistan, with help of Google search, struck a resonant chord across the nation.

The O&M video has, so far, notched up 10 million views and counting.

Lifebuoy: Help a child reach 5

This could probably go down as one of the most powerful ads made in this decade.

Every year, millions of children under the age of 5 die due to infections from unhealthy living practices.The film is set in Thesgora, an Indian village with one of the highest rates of diarrhoea in India. The ad starts with a man walking on his hands, followed by his son Muthu, and then slowly accompanied by a big mob. He walks miles and finally reaches a temple, and thanks the god and priest as his son has turned 5; none of his previous children lived to the age of 5.

Capitalizing on virality, Lifebuoy donated over 3.5 lakhs to children, 1 rupee for every social media share of the ad.

Virtual Group

A Virtual Group is a type of group where the members may have not possibly met each other in real world/offline, but they have interacted and socialized online on chat rooms, social networking sites or forums, etc.

These groups are not limited to any topic. The members can influence and guide the members on different topics including decision making and this makes them of a major importance to marketers.

Ths category of group is seeing  a tremendous rise in recent days. Virtual groups refers to web-based consumer groups. Use of computers and Internets has paved the way for the emergence of a new type of group — virtual groups or communities.

Adults and children log on to the web. They visit special interest websites often with chat rooms. A person can chat online with others who share his interest. He can send or receive instant messages. Thus, an exchange of knowledgy takes place within a virtual community on a wide range of topics and interests (vegetarianism, cooking, collecting, trading, finance, filmmaking, romance, politics, technology, art, hobbies, spiritualism, age grouping, online game, voice-video chats, See e-mail, travel and vacations, educational opportunities and a host of lifestyle options.

On the internet, people are free to express their thoughts. The anonymity of web gives its users the freedom to express their views freely.

Hobson’s Choice

A Hobson’s choice is a free choice in which only one thing is offered. Because a person may refuse to accept what is offered, the two options are taking it or taking nothing. In other words, one may “take it or leave it”. The phrase is said to have originated with Thomas Hobson (1544–1631), a livery stable owner in Cambridge, England, who offered customers the choice of either taking the horse in his stall nearest to the door or taking none at all.

No real choice at all – the only options being to either accept what is offered or refuse it. The expression is effectively the same as ‘take it or leave it’.

Comparative Advertising

Comparative advertising or advertising war is an advertisement in which a particular product, or service, specifically mentions a competitor by name for the express purpose of showing why the competitor is inferior to the product naming it. Also referred to as “knocking copy”, it is loosely defined as advertising where “the advertised brand is explicitly compared with one or more competing brands and the comparison is obvious to the audience.”

Comparative advertising is a marketing strategy in which a company’s product or service is presented as superior when compared to a competitor’s. A comparative advertising campaign may involve printing a side-by-side comparison of the features of a company’s products next to those of its competitor. It may also feature a comparison based on value or cost. Typically, the competing product is shown in a disparaging light.

This should not be confused with parody advertisements, where a fictional product is being advertised for the purpose of poking fun at the particular advertisement, nor should it be confused with the use of a coined brand name for the purpose of comparing the product without actually naming an actual competitor. (“Wikipedia tastes better and is less filling than the Encyclopedia Galactica.”)

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defined comparative advertising as “advertisement that compares alternative brands on objectively measurable attributes or price, and identifies the alternative brand by name, illustration or other distinctive information.” This definition was used in the case Gillette Australia Pty Ltd v Energizer Australia Pty Ltd Similarly, the Law Council of Australia recently suggested that comparative advertising refers to “advertising which include reference to a competitor’s trademark in a way which does not impute proprietorship in the mark to the advertiser.”

Comparative advertisements could be either indirectly or directly comparative, positive or negative, and seeks “to associate or differentiate the two competing brands”. Different countries apply differing views regarding the laws on comparative advertising.

Negative Motivation

Positive motivation is a response which includes enjoyment and optimism about the tasks that you are involved in. Positive motivation induces people to do work in the best possible manner and to improve their performance. Under this better facilities and rewards are provided for their better performance. Such rewards and facilities may be financial and non-financial.

Negative motivation aims at controlling the negative effects of the work and seeks to create a sense of fear for the worker, which he has to suffer for lack of good performance. It is based on the concept that if a worker fails in achieving the desired results, he should be punished. Negative motivation involves undertaking tasks because there will be undesirable outcomes, eg. failing a subject, if tasks are not completed.

Almost all students will experience positive and negative motivation, as well as loss of motivation, at different times during their life at University.

Both positive and negative motivation aim at inspiring the will of the people to work but they differ in their approaches. Whereas one approaches the people to work in the best possible manner providing better monetary and non-monetary incentives, the other tries to induce the man by cutting their wages and other facilities and amenities on the belief that man works out of fear.

Central and Peripheral Route to Persuasion

The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) seeks to explain how humans process stimuli differently and the outcomes of these processes on changing attitudes, and, consequently, behaviour.

A persuasive message will most likely change the attitude of the message recipient. Attitude change occurs even when the intention of message sending is not to change the attitude of the recipient.

The theory is one of the two major models of persuasion along with Heuristic-Systematic Model. It came as an opposition to social judgment-involvement theory.

The theory is applied in the advertisement, marketing, media, and psychology.

Elaboration Likelihood Model

Sometimes, whether listening to a speech or a television advertisement, we are moved by what the speaker says. Other times, we pay less attention to what the person is actually saying and care more about the speaker’s presence. The Elaboration Likelihood Model indicates the factors that determine which of these is more likely. It is a theory that specifies when people are more likely to be influenced by the content of persuasive communication instead of superficial characteristics, and vice versa. It helps us explain how attitudes are formed and changed through persuasion. The model describes two routes to persuasion – central and peripheral – that can be successful in changing someone’s attitude under the right circumstances.

Central Route to Persuasion

When discussing the Elaboration Likelihood Model, we use the term ‘elaborate’ to mean ‘to think elaborately about something.’ The central route to persuasion is when people elaborate on a persuasive argument, listening carefully and thinking about the logic behind the message. There are times when people are motivated to pay attention to the facts during a speech or other persuasive communication and during those times are persuaded the most by a strong logical argument. If a person believes the persuasion to be reliable, convincing and well-constructed, he or she will typically be receptive to a change in attitude that is long-lasting.

For example, imagine you are a college student listening to a speech about why the cost of tuition should be increased the following year. If you are attending next year, it’s likely this subject would be important to you, and so you would listen closely to the argument. Obviously, you would probably not want the tuition to increase. However, if you find the argument to be convincing – say, if you were going to receive a substantial number of benefits – you may change your mind.

Peripheral Route to Persuasion

There are other times when people are not motivated by the facts and instead are persuaded by superficial things, such as the attractiveness or fame of the person delivering the message. This is the peripheral route to persuasion – when people do not elaborate on a persuasive argument and instead are swayed by surface characteristics that are peripheral to the message. When using this route, peripheral cues enable the individual to use mental shortcuts, accepting or rejecting the argument based on superficial factors instead of actively thinking about the issue. Attitude change resulting from the peripheral route is typically temporary and susceptible to additional change.

For an example of using the peripheral route, imagine you are listening to a debate between two political candidates. It is long and boring, and you zone out for a bit. At the end, though, you favor one particular candidate because he seems more likable and has a warm, soothing voice. Your attitude toward the candidate has changed even though you were not paying attention to what he was saying – his demeanor and voice were peripheral cues that you (likely unconsciously) used as a mental shortcut to determine his likability. Many psychologists have proposed that this is actually how most of the U.S. population chooses a presidential candidate.

  • When we are motivated and able to pay attention, we take a logical, conscious thinking, central route to decision-making. This can lead to permanent change in our attitude as we adopt and elaborate upon the speaker’s arguments.
  • In other cases, we take the peripheral route. Here we do not pay attention to persuasive arguments but are swayed instead by surface characteristics such as whether we like the speaker. In this case although we do change, it is only temporary (although it is to a state where we may be susceptible to further change).

One of the best ways motivating people to take the central route is to make the message personally relevant to them. Fear can also be effective in making them pay attention, but only if it is moderate and a solution is also offered. Strong fear will just lead to fight-or-flight reactions.

The central route leads to consideration of both arguments for and against and a choice is carefully considered.

People are more motivated to use the central route when the issue has personal relevance to them. Some people have a higher need for cognition, deliberately thinking about more things than people with a lower need. These people with a higher need for cognition are more likely to choose the central route.

When they are feeling good, they will want to sustain this and will avoid focusing on things that might bring them down again, so they take a more cursory, peripheral route. People in a negative or neutral mood are more likely to take the central route.

Adoption Process

Adoption process is a series of stages by which a consumer might adopt a NEW product or service. Whether it be Services or Products, in today’s competitive world, a consumer is faced with a lot of choices. How does he make a decision to ADOPT a new product is the Adoption process.

There are numerous stages of adoption which a consumer goes through. These stages may happen before or even after the actual adoption.

Companies work hard to create a product, but in order to sustain and succeed in the market, organizations also need  to create a process that successfully walks their consumers through the stages of the consumer adoption process.

Philip Kotler considers five steps in consumer adoption process. On the other hand, William Stanton considers six steps. Mummy ko bolo ki tum Savage ho, let’s follow six steps.

1. Awareness Stage:

Individual consumer becomes aware of the innovation. He is exposed to innovation but knows very little regarding the innovation. He has only limited information about it. He is aware of either by discussion with friends, relatives, salesmen, or dealers. He gets idea about a new product from various means of advertising like newspapers, magazines, Internet, television, outdoor media, etc. At this stage, he doesn’t give much attention to the new product.

2. Comprehension

Consumers have knowledge about the innovation, they begin to understand what the product is and what it is capable of.

3. Attitude

Consumers develop a favourable, or unfavourable, or a neutral attitude about the product. If the attitude happens to be negative, then the adoption process ends right there.

4. Legitimization

Consumers are finally convinced that the product should be bought.

5. Trial

Consumers buy the product

6. Adoption

If reaction to the product is positive, then the continuation in purchase or use of the item completes the adoption process

In every stage of consumer adoption, a marketer is required to facilitate consumers. He must take all possible actions to make them try, buy, and repeat buy the innovation. Be clear that every type of consumer (innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, or laggards) follows all the stages of adoption process, but takes different amount of time to adopt the innovation.

The task of the marketer here is to understand what is involved in the psychological adoption process of consumers for particular product and service in order to be able to positively influence such consumers at appropriate stages. Only when this process has been understood we can encourage our consumers to actually purchase the product / service offering.

For example –

  • Product trial may be an important stage to be completed before adopting some new products such as newly flavored soft drinks, prompting marketers to offer free samples of the products in supermarkets.
  • One strategy adopted in FMCG, is to give away small trial-sized packages of products such as shampoos or laundry detergents to encourage adoption. Yet, in adopting other products such as mobile phones, awareness, interest, and evaluation become more essential. Thus in these sectors, marketers emphasize on marketing communications and promotions to lead consumers towards adopting their product.
  • Finally, Market research needs to be done by marketers to understand the time and effort taken by the consumer in each stage of the adoption process so as to lead the consumer to the final stage of ADOPTION.

Needs and Goals

Human needs / consumer needs – are the basis of all modern marketing. Needs is defined as ‘felt deprivation’. Needs are the essence of the marketing concept. The key to a company’s survival, profitability and growth in a highly competitive marketing environment is its ability to identify and satisfy unfulfilled consumer needs better and sooner than the competition.

Marketers do not create needs, though in some instances they may make consumers more keenly aware of unfelt needs. E.g.: The need for Hand Sanitizers. This is a market-oriented, rather than a production-oriented, approach to marketing. A marketing orientation focuses on the needs of the buyer; a production-orientation focuses on the needs of the seller. The Marketing concept implies that the manufacturer will make only what it knows people will buy; a production orientation implies that the manufacturer will try to sell what it decides to make.

Motivation is the driving force of behaviour and there must be a reason, a motive for purchasing, and using products. Motivation can be described as the driving force within individuals that impels them to action. The driving force is produced by a state of tension, which exists as a result of an unfulfilled need.

Needs

We use the term ‘need’ when referring to any human requirement, although there is a variety of other words that may be used – such as wants or desires. Every individual has needs; some are innate, others are acquired, but, most importantly, needs underlie all human action. Innate needs are physiological (i.e. biogenic); they include the needs for food, water, air, clothing, shelter and sex. Because they are needed to sustain biological life, biogenic needs are considered primary needs or motives.

Acquired needs are needs that we learn in response to our culture or environment. They may include the need for self-esteem, prestige, affection, power or learning. Because acquired needs are generally psychological (i.e. psychogenic), they are considered secondary needs or motives.

Goals

Goals are sought-after results of motivated behaviour. All behaviour is goal-oriented. Marketers are even more concerned with consumers’ product-specific goals – that is, the specifically branded or labeled products they select to fulfill their needs. For example, Lipton Company wants their consumers to view iced tea as a good way to quench summer thirst (i.e. as a product-specific goal).

The Selection of Goals

People have many needs, and for any given need there are many different and appropriate goals. The goals selected by individuals depend on their personal experiences, physical capacity, prevailing norms and values, and the goal’s accessibility in the physical and social environment.

Ones perception about self also serves to influence the specific goals they select. The products they own, would like to own, or would not like to own, are often perceived in terms of how closely they reflect their self-image. A product that is perceived as matching ones self-image has a greater probability of being selected than one that is not. Thus, a man who perceives himself as young or sophisticated may drive a Porsche who perceives herself as rich and conservative may drive a Mercedes.

Interdependence of Needs and Goals

Needs and goals are interdependent; neither exist without the other. However, people are often not as aware of their needs as they are of their goals. For example, a teenager may not be consciously aware of her social needs but may join a photography club to meet new friends.

Needs and Goals are Constantly Changing

Needs and goals are always growing and changing in response to one’s physical condition, environment, interactions with others, and experiences. As we attain our goals, we develop new ones. If we do not attain our goals, we continue to strive for old ones, or develop substitute goals. Some of the reasons why need-driven human activity never ceases include the following:

  • Existing needs are never completely satisfied; they continually induce activity designed to attain or maintain fulfillment.
  • As needs become satisfied, new and higher order needs emerge to be fulfilled.
  • People who achieve their goals set new and higher goals for themselves.

Innovation

An innovation is an idea, practice, or product, perceived to be new by an individual or a group. A product is said to be an innovation when it is perceived by the potential market as a change,and not by a technological change brought in it.

New products or new services have been classified as under:

Innovation can be of 3 types, on the basis of extent of change they cause in consumer’s existing habits. – Discontinuous innovations, Dynamically continuous innovations and Continuous innovations. The classification of an innovation along the above lines is done on the basis of the extent to which the innovation causes change in existing customer habits.

Therefore, the type of innovation depends on the type of customer towards which it is aimed at. The same innovation may be continuous for one segment of customers and dynamically continuous for another. The discontinuous innovation causes a drastic change in customers’ existing habits.

Types of Innovations

Discontinuous Innovations

Discontinuous innovations by their very nature are discontinuous to every customer segment, since they comprise new-to-the-world products only. These new products are so fundamentally different from products that already exist that they reshape markets and competition. For instance, mobile phone technology and the Internet drastically changed the way people communicate.

Continuous Innovations

Continuous innovation is the other extreme where an existing product undergoes marginal changes, without altering  customer habits. Sometimes the customer may not even perceive these products to be new though the company may invested a lot of money to improve its existing products. For instance, a shampoo which is different from existing products only in its brand name, fragrance, color, packaging is also a new product, though it is a continuous innovation.

The continuous innovation should be above the perceptual threshold of the customer i.e. there should be a ‘Just Noticeable Difference’ (jnd) between the continuous innovation and the existing options for the customer to perceive this innovation as an improvement. Put simply, the customer should find the new product different from the existing options that he is aware of.

Dynamically Continuous

Dynamically continuous innovation falls between the discontinuous and continuous innovation. The changes in customer habits caused by such an innovation are not as large as in a discontinuous innovation, and not as negligible as in a continuous innovation. The progression from a manual to an electronic typewriter, and the advent of cable and satellite television are examples.

What has given rise to the study of Consumer Behaviour?

Huge Introduction

Understanding consumer behaviour is important for any organization before launching a product. If the organization failed to analyse how a customer will respond to a particular product, the company will face losses. Consumer behaviour is very complex because each consumer has different mind and attitude towards purchase, consumption and disposal of product (Solomon, 2009).

Consumer Behaviour may be defined as the decision process both mental and physical activity individuals engage in while evaluating, acquiring, using or disposing of goods and services

Consumers differ not only in the usual ways of age,gender, occupation, marital status, but they are all uniquely different in terms of their activities, interests, preferences, opinions, eating habits, buying habits. Marketers give their all to understand, predict and to satisfy the needs and wants of consumers.

The main purpose behind marketing a product is to satisfy demands and wants of the Consumers. Study of consumer behaviour helps to achieve this purpose. As consumers are the most important person for marketer or sales person, therefore it is important for them to consider the likes and dislikes the consumers so that they can provide them with the goods and services accordingly (Solomon, 2009). The more careful analysis helps in more exact prediction about the behaviour of consumers of any product or services.

It is important for marketers to study consumer behaviour. It is important for them to know consumers as individual or groups opt for, purchase, consumer or dispose products and services and how they share their experience to satisfy their wants or needs (Solomon, 2009). This helps marketers to investigate and understand the way in which consumers behave so that they can position their products to specific group of people or targeted individuals.

Let us take an ordinary example of buying something as ordinary as Noodles. But even in something this ordinary we have many types like premium, soy, ramen, masala, chicken, veg, fish, chowmein, soba, dry, soupy, udon, somen, cellophane, spaghetti [?is it different from noodles?] and many more. We have a huge library to choose from.  There are a number of brands to choose from as well. Like Maggi, Top Ramen, Chings, Knorr, Nissin, Sunfeast, Wai Wai, Indomie [here’s one 💖for the Dubai Lovers]

What prompts us to buy a particular noodle? Its softness, taste, brand ambassador, friends suggestion, popularity?

From where do you buy it? Online, Local Shop, Mall, Rob it from a friends house because Maggi just stopped in the market and s/he just happened to have a bunch?

How often do we buy it? Once a week, Twice a week, Thrice a week, Fri-.. a.. week … , Daily..?

How often do we use it? Alright enough Questions. I am hungry. I eat noodles a lot. Okay? Back to answer.

The Answer begins here tbvh.

Behaviour is the interaction with the surrounding ambiance, inherent in living creatures and mediated by their external and inner activeness. Thus we can say that consumer behaviour is the action of people or consumers in the marketplace and the underlying motives for those actions. Marketers expect that by understanding what causes consumers to buy particular goods and services, they will be able to determine which products are needed in the market place, and which are obsolete and how best to present those goods to the consumer.

Consumer Behaviour or the Buyer Behaviour is referred to the behaviour that is displayed by the individual while they are buying, consuming or disposing any particular product or services. These behaviours can be affected by multiple factors. Moreover, it also involves search for a product, evaluation of product where the consumer evaluate different features, purchase and consumption of product. Later the post purchase behaviour of product is studied which shows the consumer satisfaction or dissatisfaction where it involves disposal of product (Solomon, 2009).

The customers while buying a product goes through many steps. The study of consumer behaviour helps to understand how the buying decision is made and how they look for a product. Moreover, the understanding consumer behaviour also helps marketers to know the what, where, when, how and why of the consumption of product consumption (Kumar, 2004). These help marketers or organizations to know the reason behind the purchase of product by consumers and how it satisfies them. Among other factors, the basic needs like shelter and hunger along with craving for psychological fulfilment tends consumer to buy a certain product or services.

The study of consumer behaviour is the study of how individuals make decisions to spend their available resources (time, money, effort) on consumption-related items. In the words of Walters and Paul “consumer behaviour is the process whereby individuals decide what, when, where, how and from whom to purchase goods and services.”

The needs of studying consumer behaviour have significant bearing on marketing decisions. It yields important information and insight into what consumers are thinking. With these insights, marketing firms may enhance their particular marketing campaigns to successfully connect with consumers. Need to study consumer behaviour help marketers in many ways some points are as follows.

  1. Perception: Studying consumer behaviour helps marketers understand consumer perceptions about a particular product or range of products. Uncovering and correcting erroneous perceptions about a particular product may give marketers an additional competitive advantage over competitors.
  2. Attitudes: Consumer attitudes very often determine consumer beliefs about certain products. Discovering consumer attitudes allows marketers in tune with their campaigns to resonate with a particular consumer niche and deepen marketing reach.
  3. Cultures: Changing population demographics around the world affect the way marketing campaigns are designed. Understanding cultural nuances and subtleties may allow marketers to help further define their particular target market.
  4. Lifestyles: Consumer lifestyles also determine what products appeal to certain consumer markets. Understanding consumer lifestyles is also a key component of consumer behaviour that lets marketers make the appropriate appeals in promoting lifestyle products and further consumption of lifestyle products.
  5. Experience: Like consumer attitudes, experience also covers consumer responses to certain products. By studying consumer behaviour, marketing professionals can tap into consumer experiences with similar products to promote consumption and gain competitive advantage over competitors.

The modern marketing management tries to solve the basic problems of consumers in the area of consumption. To survive in the market, a firm has to be constantly innovating and understand the latest consumer needs and tastes. It will be extremely useful in exploiting marketing opportunities and in meeting the challenges that the Indian market offers. It is important for the marketers to understand the buyer behaviour due to the following reasons.

The study of consumer behaviour for any product is of vital importance to marketers in shaping the fortunes of their organizations.

  • It is significant for regulating consumption of goods and thereby maintaining economic stability.
  • It is useful in developing ways for the more efficient utilization of resources of marketing. It also helps in solving marketing management problems in more effective manner.
  • Today, consumers give more importance on environment friendly products. They are concerned about health, hygiene and fitness. They prefer natural products. Hence detailed study on upcoming groups of consumers is essential for any firm.
  • The growth of consumer protection movement has created an urgent need to understand how consumers make their consumption and buying decision.
  • Consumers’ tastes and preferences are ever changing.
  • Study of consumer behaviour gives information regarding color, design, size etc. which consumers want. In short, consumer behaviour helps formulate production policy.
  • For effective market segmentation and target marketing, it is essential to have an understanding of consumers and their behaviour.
  1. Show how the needs shaped by environment and culture affects necessitate the study of consumer behaviour?

Consumers Decision Making Process consists of Physical as well as mental activities which result in how an individual makes a decision or a choice about making their purchases, expenditure, spending their resources, etc.

Consumer behaviour refers to the selection, acquisition and consumption of goods and services to meet their needs. There are different processes involved in consumer behaviour. Initially, the consumer tries to find what products you would like to consume, then select only those products that promise greater utility. After selecting the products, the consumer makes an estimate of available funds that can happen. And finally, the consumer looks at the current prices of commodities and makes the decision about which products to consume. Meanwhile, there are several factors that influence consumer purchases, such as social, cultural, personal and psychological.

Culture

Consumer behaviour is deeply influenced by cultural factors, such as buyer’s culture, subculture and social class. Culture is a complex system that includes knowledge, belief, arts, morals, laws, customs, habits and many more ideologies and norms which are acquired by man as a member of the society.

Culture forms the basis of many of our values, beliefs, actions as consumers. All these are relevant to the study of consumer behaviour. Each aspect provides an effective basis for segmenting the market.

Culture is the most fundamental determinant of an individual’s wants and behaviours. The growing child acquires a set of values, perception preferences and behaviours through his or her family and other key institutions. Culture influences considerably the pattern of consumption and the pattern of decision-making.

Marketers have to explore the cultural forces and have to frame marketing strategies for each category of culture separately to push up the sales of their products or services. But culture is not permanent and changes gradually and such changes are progressively assimilated within society.

Culture is a set of beliefs and values that are shared by most people within a group. The groupings considered under culture are usually relatively large, but at least in theory a culture can be shared by a few people. Culture is passed on from one group member to another, and in particular is usually passed down from one generation to the next; it is learned, and is therefore both subjective and arbitrary.

For example, food is strongly linked to culture. While fish is regarded as a delicacy in Bengal, and the Bengalis boast of several hundred different varieties, in Gujarat. Rajasthan or Tamil Nadu, fish is regarded as mostly unacceptable food item. These differences in tastes are explained by the culture rather than by some random differences in taste between individuals; the behaviours are shared by people from a particular cultural background.

Culture can change over a period of time, although such changes tend to be slow, since culture is deeply built into people’s behaviour. From a marketing viewpoint, therefore, it is probably much easier to work within a given culture than to try to change it.

Essentially, culture is the share of each company and is the major cause of the person who wants and behaviour. The influence of culture on the purchasing behaviour varies from country to country, therefore sellers have to be very careful in the analysis of the culture of different groups, regions or even countries.

Subculture [additional]

Each culture consists of smaller sub-cultures that provide more specific identification and socialisation for their members. Subculture refers to a set of beliefs shared by a subgroup of the main culture, which include nationalities, religions, racial groups and geographic regions. Many subcultures make up important market segments and marketers have to design products and marketing programs tailored to their needs. Although this subgroup will share most of the beliefs of the main culture, they share among themselves another set of beliefs, which may be at odds with those held by the main group. For example, Indians are normally seen as orthodox, conservative people, but rich, up-market youths do not hesitate to enjoy night parties with liquor and women. [people like me love to stay up till 4. Anime, Netflix, Torrented Movies, Comics, Spiderman PS4 Hentai. ]

Each culture has different subcultures, such as religions, nationalities, geographical regions, racial, etc. marketing groups may use these groups, segmenting the market in several small portions. For example, marketers can design products according to the needs of a specific geographical group.

Situational Variables [considered over here as Environment]

A number of factors unique to a specific situation can also influence consumer behaviour. Temporary environmental factors that for the context within which a  consumer activity occurs at a particular time and place is known as Situational Influences.

The urgency of need or the amount of time available may influence purchase decision. These situations occur often for gift purchase or emergency purchase. Various instances of a change of the situations that consumers come across may result in a purchase decision which may not take place in the normal course

Five major environmental situational influences

  1. Physical surroundings [music, lighting, noise, store location, store display, etc.
  2. Social surroundings [other persons impact on the consumer, cultural impact, etc.
  3. Task definition [shopping for gift, product for workplace or home, etc.]
  4. Time and temporal perspective [when the activity is taking place, Example, purchasing a clothing during own sisters marriage, vis-a-vis, purchasing a clothing for office picnic]
  5. Antecedent states [momentary moods and conditions like high excitements or feeding tired or ill, etc.]

Summing up we may say that consumer behaviour is a function of personalities attitudes knowledge motivations and social setting and social forces.

Observational Learning

Observational learning, method of learning that consists of observing and modeling another individual’s behaviour, attitudes, or emotional expressions. Although it is commonly believed that the observer will copy the model, American psychologist Albert Bandura stressed that individuals may simply learn from the behaviour rather than imitate it. Observational learning is a major component of Bandura’s social learning theory. He also emphasized that four conditions were necessary in any form of observing and modeling behaviour: attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation.

Conditions For Observational Learning

Attention

If an organism is going to learn anything from a model, he or she must be paying attention to it and the behaviour it exhibits. Many conditions can affect the observer’s attention. For instance, if the observer is sleepy, ill, or distracted, he or she will be less likely to learn the modeled behaviour and imitate it at a later date. In addition, the characteristics of the model have an influence on the observer’s attention. Bandura and others have shown that humans pay more attention to models that are attractive, similar to them, or prestigious and are rewarded for their behaviours. This explains the appeal that athletes have on the behaviour of young children and that successful adults have on college students. Unfortunately, this aspect of modeling can also be used in detrimental ways. For example, if young children witness gang members gaining status or money, they may imitate those behaviours in an effort to gain similar rewards.

Retention

The second requirement of observational learning is being able to remember the behaviour that was witnessed. If the human or animal does not remember the behaviour, there is a less than probable chance that they will imitate it.

Reproduction

This requisite of behaviour concerns the physical and mental ability of the individual to copy the behaviour he or she observed. For instance, a young child may observe a college basketball player dunk a ball. Later, when the child has a basketball, he or she may attempt to dunk a ball just like the college player. However, the young child is not nearly as physically developed as the older college player and, no matter how many times he or she tries, will not be able to reach the basket to dunk the ball. An older child or an adult might be able to dunk the ball but likely only after quite a bit of practice. Similarly, a young colt observes another horse in the herd jump over the creek while running in the pasture. After observing the model’s jumping behaviour, the colt attempts to do the same only to land in the middle of the creek. He simply was not big enough or did not have long enough legs to clear the water. He could, however, after physical growth and some practice, eventually be able to replicate the other horse’s jump.

Motivation

Perhaps the most important aspect of observational learning involves motivation. If the human or animal does not have a reason for imitating the behaviour, then no amount of attention, retention, or reproduction will overcome the lack of motivation. Bandura identified several motivating factors for imitation. These include knowing that the model was previously reinforced for the behaviour, being offered an incentive to perform, or observing the model receiving reinforcement for the behaviour. These factors can also be negative motivations. For instance, if the observer knew that the model was punished for the behaviour, was threatened for exhibiting the behaviour, or observed the model being punished for the behaviour, then the probability of mimicking the behaviour is less.

Applications Of Observational Learning

Modeling has been used successfully in many therapeutic conditions. Many therapists have used forms of modeling to assist their patients to overcome phobias. For example, adults with claustrophobia may observe a model in a video as they move closer and closer to an enclosed area before entering it. Once the model reaches the enclosed area, for instance a closet, he or she will open the door, enter it, and then close the door. The observer will be taught relaxation techniques and be told to practice them anytime he or she becomes anxious while watching the film. The end result is to continue observing the model until the person can enter the closet himself or herself.

Bandura’s findings in the Bobo doll experiments have greatly influenced children’s television programming. Bandura filmed his students physically attacking the Bobo doll, an inflatable doll with a rounded bottom that pops back up when knocked down. A student was placed in the room with the Bobo doll. The student punched the doll, yelled “sockeroo” at it, kicked it, hit it with hammers, and sat on it. Bandura then showed this film to young children. Their behaviour was taped when in the room with the doll. The children imitated the behaviours of the student and at times even became more aggressive toward the doll than what they had observed. Another group of young children observed a student being nice to the doll. Ironically, this group of children did not imitate the positive interaction of the model. Bandura conducted a large number of varied scenarios of this study and found similar events even when the doll was a live clown. These findings have prompted many parents to monitor the television shows their children watch and the friends or peers with which they associate. Unfortunately, the parental saying “Do as I say, not as I do” does not hold true for children. Children are more likely to imitate the behaviours versus the instructions of their parents.

One of the most famous instances of observational learning in animals involves the blue tit, a small European bird. During the 1920s and through the 1940s, many people reported that the cream from the top of the milk being delivered to their homes was being stolen. The cream-stealing incidents spread all over Great Britain. After much speculation about the missing cream, it was discovered that the blue tit was the culprit. Specifically, one bird had learned to peck through the foil top of the milk container and suck the cream out of the bottle. It did not take long before other blue tit birds imitated the behaviour and spread it through the country.

Personality Trait Theory

A personality theory with a primarily empirical/quantitative orientation. It focuses upon the measurement of personality in terms of specific psychological characteristics called traits. Trait is a distinguished relatively enduring way in which one individual differs from another. Trait theorists are concerned with construction of personality tests (or inventories) that enable them to pinpoint individual

A Trait is defined as a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person. It differs from individual to individual. And is the identity of each Individual. Trait theory focuses on the measurement of personality in terms of specific characteristics.

The concept of trait is based on three assumptions

  • Individuals behave in a relatively stable manner.
  • Many individuals have certain common characteristic. However, these differ in the degree to which each individual possesses these tendencies
  • Identifying there behavioural traits and measuring the extent to which each operates is useful in the understanding of personalities. Traits like tolerance, rigidity, self actualization, need for affiliation, etc. studied with relationship to certain types of behaviour.

Trait theories are concerned with the construction of personality tests. Selected single trait personality tests are often developed specially for use in consumer behaviour studies.

Traits must measure

  1. Consumer Innovativeness
  2. Consumer Materialism
  3. Consumer Ethnocentrism

Consumer Innovativeness

Innovative consumers are those who try out new products. Knowledge about the personalities of these consumers help to target out those who are likely to try out new products. Advertisers are interested in understanding how personalities influence consumption behaviour because this will help in segmentation and thus target consumers who will respond positively to their product

Consumer Materialism

Materialism refers to the attachment people have towards material possessions. When looking at a materialism as a personality trait, advertisers differentiate between consumers who identify themselves and others on the basis of material goods possessed by them,. It is necessary to note that apart from the group of consumers who are attached to material goods, there are also certain groups of people for whom possession of material goods is secondary.

Consumer Ethnocentrism

Some consumers, who are highly ethnocentric are likely to feel that they should not purchase foreign made goods. These people are patriotic. Non Ethnocentric Consumers tend to evaluate foreign goods more objectively.

Other personality traits that influence consumer personality are:

  1. Dogmatism: Opposite of open-mindedness, Dogmatism is a personality trait associated with a tendency to habitually, arrogantly assert opinions, sometimes with little regard to evidence. This may be an aspect of authoritarianism. The dogmatic personality style is characterized by oversimplified thinking, resistance to changing attitudes or beliefs, and appealing to authority to justify their beliefs. The personality may have its origins in childhood, caused by anxieties linked to the parent-child relationship or modeling from parents.
  1. Novelty Seeking Consumers (Neophilia): It is defined as liking anything new or being a novelty-seeker. Such individuals are always eager to buy or try new products/services/experiences. Most often they are the first movers to adopt something new as well as the first ones to discontinue the same for a newer alternative.

Cognitive Personality Traits:

1. Visualizers:

Consumers who prefer visual information and products that shows the visual / visually appealing.

  1. Verbalizers: Consumer who prefer verbal or written information about the products. They don’t get attracted just by visuals of the product.

Multi-attribute Attitude Model (Fishbein):

The Fishbein Model is a multi-attribute model, which means it has more than 2 elements: attributes, beliefs, and weights. Multi-attribute models allow many pieces of information to be evaluated and applied to form a behavioral prediction. Some key features of this model are:

– It evaluates any relevant beliefs an individual may hold regarding a product or service on a numerical scale

– The model then evaluates a few additional factors, including social pressure, what motivates the individual to act, and their motivation to act according to what they believe is right

– The result produces an indicator representing the likeness the individual would respond favorably to a message or call to action

– Mathematically, Fishbein is represented as: A0 = Σ Bi Ei ( i=1)

  • A0 = Person’s overall attitude
  • Bi = The strength of his belief related to attribute
  • Ei = His evaluation or intensity of feelings
  • N = Number of relative beliefs

With Fishbein Model, the marketer can better identify how to persuade consumers to take a desired action, reaching primary business goal. Variations to this model are as follows:

Attitude towards object model: This model says that the consumer’s attitude toward a product or specific brands of a product is a function of the presence or absence and evaluation of certain product-specific beliefs or attributes. Consumers generally have favorable attitudes toward those brands that they believe have an adequate level of attributes that they evaluate as positive, and they have unfavorable attitudes towards those brands they feel do not have an adequate level of desired attributes or have too many negative or undesired attributes. For instance, you may like BMW cars.

Attitude toward behavior model: This model is the individual’s attitude toward the object itself. The crux of the attitude-towards-behavior model is that it seems to correspond somewhat more closely to actual behavior than does the attitude-toward-object model. So taking on from liking a BMW, we may say you are not ready to buy/drive one because you believe that you are too young/old to do so.

Theory of reasoned-action-model: This model represents a comprehensive integration of attitude components into a structure that is designed to lead to both better explanations and better predictions of behavior. This model incorporates a cognitive component, an affective component, and a conative component; however, these are arranged in a pattern different from that of the tricomponent model.

Attitude towards the ad model: This model lays emphasis on the impact of an advertisement, on the formation of consumer attitudes towards product and service offerings and or brands. The

Types of Appeals

Message appeals enhance the persuasiveness of messages. The advertising appeal is an attempt to draw a connection between the product being advertised and some need or desire that the audience feels. Appeals fall into two general categories, Rational and Emotional..

Rational appeal aims for the buyers head and emotional aims for the buyers heart. A logical appeal tries to sell products based on performance, features or the ability to solve problems. In contrast, an emotional appeal tries to sell products based on the satisfaction that comes from purchasing and then either owning or giving the product as a gift. Defining appeals as either logical or emotional is oversimplifying them.

All ads contain an element of logic and emotion, and it is unlikely that any successful ad is exclusive to one appeal or the another. Even a highly tech ad can appeal to buyers emotions if the logic in the appeal leads to reduced stress on the job or increased chances of personal success.

  1. Fear Appeal

Fear is an emotional response to some actual or perceived threat or danger. Advertisers use fear appeals in some situations to evoke the desired emotional response and motivate audience to take steps to remove the threat. Some people humourously call these as ‘slice-of-death’ ads.

The fear appeal specifically appeals to a person’s fears in order to encourage them to buy or act. The goal of the fear appeal is to cause someone to fear an outcome or response if they don’t buy a product or act in such a way as to reduce risk.

Toothpaste, deodorants, helmets, anti-dandruff shampoos, life insurance and a large number of other products and services use fear appeals. In some situations, it appears to be quite reasonable for advertisers to consider using fear with explicit purpose of persuading the audience to elicit a favorable response.

Fear is a powerful motivator, but only up to a point. Ad messages using fear appeals to have been used to promote social causes as well, such as wearing helmets while driving two-wheeler autos, safe driving, paying taxes, the dread of drugs, dangers of smoking and AIDS, etc.

As the intensity of the fear increases, its effectiveness in persuading consumers will decrease. Strong fear evoking message component will cause consumers to set up a defense mechanism to screen out fearful aspects of the message and in doing so they reject the rest of the message. For example, a strong message about the harmful effect of smoking can be denied by “there is still no real proof that smoking causes cancer”, “People who don’t smoke also get cancer” “Ligma”.  A personal disaster for driving cars fast may evoke the response that it can’t happen to me.

Consumer are able to recall more information from lower fear appeal that high fear appeal. A Fear appeal is not effective because they generate very little motivation for attitude change. Therefore, moderate fear appeals which provide sufficient motivation but do not activate defense mechanisms, appear to be mere effective in generating attitude change. Adolescents are more persuaded to avoid drug use by messages that depict negative social consequences of drugs use rather than physical threats to their bodies.

2. Humour Appeal

Many marketers use humourous appeals in belief that humour will increase the acceptance and persuasiveness of their advertising message. Some marketers avoid the use of humour because they fear that product will become an object of ridicule and viewers will laugh at them rather than with them.

Appealing to a person’s sense of humour. Because most human beings like to laugh, humour is an effective appeal for grabbing attention and helping people remember and share information about a product or idea. The goal with humour is to help build a positive association with a product, service, or idea.

humour generates feelings of amusement and pleasure and, for this reason it has a potential for the feeling to become associated with the brand and affect consumer attitudes towards the brand and probably its image. humour can also affect information processing by attracting attention, improving brand name recall, creating pleasant mood and reducing the chances of counter-argument.

Many feel that humour appeal is not universally accepted and wears out quickly [ 👏meme👏review👏] Research reveals that there are three basic types of humour, hostile, sexual and nonsensical [me irl] have different perception among men and women. Humour is culturally determined and therefore responses to any humourous message may be quite different across groups.

3. Emotional Appeal and Rational Appeal

Appealing to a person’s logic and evaluative reasoning. The goal of the rational appeal is to make people feel like they need something because it makes sense and seems necessary.

Appealing to a person’s emotions. The goal of the personal appeal is to make a consumer feel sad, angry, excited, jealous, fearful, proud, nostalgic, or any other emotion enough to encourage them to buy, donate, or act.

The effectiveness of appeals is likely to be a function of the underlying motives consumer have for such considering the product as well as other factors such as the level of involvement. Hence neither approach is superior to the other. When emotional appeals appear to be appropriate the following points have to be kept in mind.

  • The emotionally charged words should have a high personal meaning to the target audience
  • Associate the message with well known ideas
  • Associate the brand or the message with visual or nonverbal stimuli that arouses emotions
  • The communication should be accompanied by nonverbal cues which support the verbal message

4. Subliminal Appeal

A subliminal message is a signal or message designed to pass below (sub) the normal limits of perception. For example it might be inaudible to the conscious mind (but audible to the unconscious or deeper mind) or might be an image transmitted briefly and unperceived consciously and yet perceived unconsciously. This definition assumes a division between conscious and unconscious which may be misleading; it may be more true to suggest that the subliminal message (sound or image) is perceived by deeper parts of what is a single integrated mind..

Merely creating awareness is not the sole aim of advertising it must stimulate a decision about wants and neds. If the need is accepted consumers will make it a goal to go for the brand. The absolute threshold identifies the minimum value of a stimulus capable of being consciously noticed. This threshold also referred to as a limen.

Subliminal Perception actually means perception of stimuli that are below the level needed to reach conscious awareness. This can be achieved by presenting a visual stimuli for a brief duration or embedding or hiding images or words in a pictorial way. The purpose of this appeal is to influence consumers at an unconscious level.

Advertisers make use of associations to trigger emotional responses. If you break down an advert into its constituent parts . Everything on the advert, from shapes and colours, sounds, font and carefully selected imagery is used to build brand identity, positive association and personal identification. Brands with big budgets will test their adverts to fine tune them before release, this to maximise appeal and ensure their intended message gets across.

These associations and emotional triggers can be very subtle or barely noticeable – but they are not hidden.

Advertisers however do not even attempt to hide or conceal distinct, discrete subliminal messages within advertising. Such attempts, if picked up by the unconscious have the potential to backfire. Those influenced generally will exhibit the opposite behaviours – that is, no one likes to be conversely manipulated.)

A Blog on the Internet shows few Indian Examples of Subliminal Advertising. I am not really sure what can we put in its examples during the test. But this might work

5. Sex Appeals

In our highly permissive society, sensual advertising seems to permeate the print media and the airwaves. Advertisers are increasingly trying to provoke attention with suggestive illustrations, crude language, and nudity in their efforts to appear ‘hip’ and contemporary. In today’s advertising, there is a lot of explicit and daring sexual imagery, extending far beyond the traditional product categories of fashion and fragrance into such categories as shampoo, beer, cars and home construction.

Appealing to the natural sexual desires of men and women. The goal of the sex appeal is to grab and increase attention toward a product or service by making people feel attracted to or desirous of the people using the product.

The use of sexually attractive models and sexually suggestive themes has been used many times. The use of sexual themes in promotions may have a small favourable impact and significant limitations. An advertisers use of sexual themes could generate negative reactions from substantial portions of the market.

One purpose for incorporating sexual themes or pictorial material into advertisements is to attract consumers attention to the ad. However, evidence suggests that use of such material may not always have an easily predictable or described effect.

Attracting attention is only one purpose of advertising. Consumers must remember the brand name and the advertising message. Recognition and recall may increase through the use of sexual illustrations, but no strong positive influence could be detected for brand being advertised. The use of sexual content in ads is not favored by many advertisers.

6. Price or Value Appeals

Promising to give buyers more for their money is one of the most effective appeals you can use. Particularly in terms of audience recall. A value appeal can be accomplished in several ways, lowering the price and making people aware of the new price, keeping the same price  but offering more or keeping the price and the product the same, and trying to convince people that the product is worth whatever price you’re charging.

Price alone however is rarely an effective appeal. Only when the rest of the product offering is at least minimally acceptable will price become an effective appeal. Price is used as the extra punch in an appeal

7. Quality Appeals

The flip side of a price appeal is an appeal to quality. An appeal to quality can work only if the product possesses the right level of quality.

8. Star Appeal and Testimonials

The public fascination with superstar athlete and entertainers is the foundation of the celebrity endorsement ad. Celebrity endorsement are extremely popular. The presumed pull of the start appeal is that people like to identify with their favorite stars and will therefore be positively influenced by a stars appearance in an ad

A related appeal is the testimonial in which real users of the product celebrities or others, make the sales pitch by showing the product in use discussing the benefits they get from using it or comparing it to their competitive products.

9. Ego Appeals

Many consumer are open to appeals to their ego. Whether the appeal relates to physical appearance, intellect, sense of humour or any other real or imagined personal quality. The L’Oreal ads are a classic example of this approach. The model in the advertisement says “I’m worth it”. She is appealing directly to the ego of the potential buyers. Not all ego appeals are quite so up front. A more subtle approach is probably more appropriate when the purchaser will be identified with the particular product for as long as he or she owns it or uses it. The ego appeal happens in private, so it works without embarrassing the audience.

10. Sensory Appeals

Many ads aim right for one or more of the five sense of taste, touch, vision, smell and hearing. As mentioned earlier in the model that there can be incorporation of more than one appeal. There might be a humourous, subliminal, sexual appeal mixed with any of the sensory appeals. Like the Colgate, Slice, Axe, aer Ads.

11. Abrasive Advertising

How effective an unpleasant or annoying ads are? The memory of an unpleasant commercial that antagonizes listeners or viewers may dissipate over time, leaving only the brand name in the minds of consumers. All of us have at one time or other been repelled by so called agony commercials, which depict in diagrammatic detail with the internal and intestinal effects of heartburn, indigestion, clogged sinus cavities, hammer induced headaches, and the like. Pharmaceutical companies often run such commercials with great success that are not visible and thus elicit little sympathy from family and friends.

12. Social Acceptance Appeals

Another common approach is the appeal that implicitly or perhaps even explicitly promises rewards from a spectrum of personal interaction that ranges from social acceptance to friendship. Appealing to a person’s sense of belonging or feeling of inclusion. The goal of the social appeal is to cause people to make purchases and take action based on whether it will make them feel accepted, recognized, respected, affiliated with, or even rejected by a certain group, organization, or people. It’s all about status and fitting in.

The ads give out a message which tells you that buying this won’t embarrass you, or your friends, family or others may accept you. Once again Hi to the people studying in Starbucks. Although there aren’t any ads, but you get what I am saying dontcha. You don’t? Then why is there a story on your…

13. Prestige Appeals

It is the desire for prestige as shown by a person who buys the most expensive brands say mobiles [iPhone.] S/He can afford [selling their families] in order to impress their friends.

14. Youth Appeal

Appealing to a person’s desire to feel younger. The goal of the youth appeal is to make people who may otherwise feel old, out of shape, and less physically able than they were as youth to buy a product or service that will help rejuvenate their physical and emotional selves.

15. Snob Appeal

Appealing to people by making them feel like they will experience luxury, elegance, or superior quality. The goal of the snob appeal is to make people feel like their purchases or actions will put them in a position to experience the highest of qualities and luxuries.

16. Bandwagon Appeal

Appealing to people by making them feel like everyone else is doing it. The goal of the bandwagon appeal is to make people feel like since everyone else is doing something, they should to. It’s a persuasion-by-numbers tactic.

Types of Opinion Leader

An Opinion Leader (OL) is an individual capable to repeatedly persuade and influence other people’s behaviours according to her/his own preferences.

A person who informally gives product information and advice to others OR trendsetters who purchase new products before others in a group and then influence others in their purchases example During a coffee break, a co-worker talks about the movie he saw last night and recommends seeing it.

Opinion leaders are four times more likely to be asked about political issues, three times more likely to be asked about computers or investments, and twice as likely to be asked about restaurants.

An Opinion Leader, also known as Influential, is someone who has the power to informally manipulate attitudes and behaviours of other individuals. The concept has been researched by Robert Merton in 1949 and lately developed by Katz and Lazarsfeld.

Opinion leadership is achieved and sustained through a leader’s technical competence, social skills and compliance with values and norms of his current social system. It is a type of informal leadership where the persuasion is indirect and frequent in time. Usually the relationship between an OL and his followers is based on their admiration and willingness to look like the leader.

Often in the followers’ perspective, OLs are of a higher social status, more exposed to international activities and relationships, and more concerned with any forms of external communication. These characteristics are not necessarily true, they could be only the followers’ perception.

Due to their exposure and their influencing abilities, OLs play a fundamental role in society when it comes to spread new ideas, values and beliefs. Techniques. In addition, they are often exploited to launch new trends and to position products in prospects mind. According to Bass’s Model of Innovation Diffusion OLs are among the first to adopt new hi-tech products. See also: Innovation Adoption Curve.

TYPES OF OPINION LEADERSHIP

Marketing and communication literature distinguishes two types of opinion leadership:

Monomorphic opinion leadership

This applies when a leader’s influence is limited to one specific topic. This is a typical leadership style of modern industrial societies characterized by specialization of roles and division of labor. Nowadays, this is the most common style of opinion leadership in developed countries.

Polymorphic opinion leadership

This applies when a leader’s influence covers different topics. This is a more conventional leadership style, nowadays obsolescent, typical of traditional societies. In small towns not dominated by industrial logics and media culture, some elder and highly respected people might give advices on a variety of topics manipulating thus behaviours of surrounding people.

A Trio of Needs / Theory of Need Achievement

The Answer is Huge due to the explanation for examples.

Thanks to Prishita Nair for helping me with this Answer.

McClelland identified three motivators that he believed we all have: a need for achievement, a need for affiliation, and a need for power. People will have different characteristics depending on their dominant motivator. According to him, these motivators are learned (which is why this theory is sometimes called the Learned Needs Theory) and he says that, regardless of our gender, culture, or age, we all have three motivating drivers, and one of these will be our dominant motivating driver at each phase in life. This dominant motivator is largely dependent on our culture and life experiences:

David McClelland & his colleagues formulated this theory:

  • Achievement motivation (n-ach)
  • Authority/power motivation (n-pow)
  • Affiliation motivation (n-affil)

These needs are found to varying degrees in individuals, and this mix of motivational needs characterizes a person’s style and behaviour, in terms of being motivated.

Need for Power

Those with a high need for power work best when they’re in charge of situations as they enjoy competition. They do well with goal-oriented tasks and are very effective in negotiations. They like to stand out/get attention at all times.

The Power need relates to our desire to control our environment. It includes the need to control other people and various objects. This need appears to be closely related to the ego need, in that many individuals experience increased self enhancement when they exercise power over objects or people. A number of products, such as cars, lend themselves to promises of power or superiority for users.

Example

We all crave power consciously and unconsciously, which relates to our desire to want to control environment to give us exactly what we want. This need for power relates to the Maslow’s Ego need in that individuals who exercise power experience increased self-enhancement, self-esteem, success and person satisfaction. One particular ad that portrays the ideas of power is the advertisement for Mercedes. It reads “Men talk about women, sport and cars. Women talk about men inside sports cards” suggests that men will have power over women’s attentions if they buy this car. It implies that if you buy this car, you will attract female attention. It appeals to imagination, as you can imagine the possibilities that could occur when you buy the car.

Our behaviour is created by our desires for friendship, acceptance and belong and the affiliation need implies this specifically. We have a strong dependence on others, as we are all social human beings that need interaction especially from those who we love. This element closely links in with Maslow’s social need.

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Need for Affiliation

People motivated by affiliation work best in a group environment, versus working alone, whenever possible as they constantly seek social validation and warmth/affection. They also don’t like uncertainty and risk. These people often don’t want to stand out.

Affiliation is a well-known and well-researched social motive that has far-reaching influence on consumer behaviour. The Affiliation need suggests that behaviour is highly influenced by the desire for friendship, acceptance, and belonging. People with high affiliation needs tend to have a strong dependence on others. They often select goods they feel will meet with the approval of friends.

Example

Coca Cola is a world known brand that we can recognize as displaying a strong connection with the need for affiliation through their advertisements.

They took over 150 of Australia’s most popular names and incorporated them into the label design. Over night Coke reconnected with consumers making us the face of their campaign. Their message was everywhere, digital and interactive. Everywhere someone turned they made a connection by sharing a coke with someone who they love.

They painted the country red and this was a clear indication of the need to be affiliated with something or someone.

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Need for Achievement

People motivated by achievement need challenging, but not impossible, projects. They thrive on overcoming difficult problems or situations.

A considerable number of research studies have focused on the Achievement need. Individuals with a strong need for achievement often regard personal accomplishment as an end in itself. The achievement need is closely related to both the egoistic need and self-actualization need. People with a high need for achievement have certain traits that make them open to relevant appeals. They are more self-confident, and enjoy taking calculated risks. They research their environment actively, and are very interested in feedback. Their interest in monetary rewards or profits is primarily due to the feedback that money provides as to how they are doing.

Example

The final element of the trio is the need for achievement. Individuals with a strong need for achievement often regard personal accomplishment as an end in itself. Achievement has clear and strong elements of Maslow’s ego and self-actualisation needs. Nike’s #MakeItCount campaign started in 2012 with this advert of staring Mo Farah promoting Nike has a strong connection to the need for achievement.  nike-make-it-count-campaign-011The motivation in this advertisement shows that achieving, accomplishing and making it count is expected to be attained when using or owning Nike’s product. Celebrity endorsement further enhances the message as an “achievement need” because people always idolize and aspire to be like their role models which are more often than not celebrities.

It is clear that marketers seek inspiration from consumers natural human behaviours and aim to use them in order to sell a product or service because they know our soft spots to hit and therefore make us want to buy them.

Types on Motives

Physiological Motives: Are oriented towards satisfying biological or physiological needs of the individual like hunger, thirst, etc.

Psychogenic Motives: Psychogenic motives focus on the satisfaction of their psychological desires such as seeking achievements or status.

Conscious Motives: Refers to conscious intents that drives a person towards a purchase knowingly, such as purchase of new refrigerator for lifestyle upgrade.

Unconscious Motives: Refers to hidden and unknown desires that are the real reasons for things people do, such as impulse shopping of clothes while one’s objective was to save money instead.

Positive Motives: The type of motivation that is resulted from positive incentives/ rewards such as promotion leading to hard work & better performance.

Negative Motives: The type of motivation that is resulted from negative incentives or

punishments such as demotion leading to poor performance.

Rational Motives: Refers to purchase goals that are totally objective driven and practically thought through such as purchase of Mediclaim or Life insurance cover.

Emotional Motives: Refers to selection of goals basis personal or subjective criteria.

Example: purchase of travel to an exotic location.

Motivation

“Motivation is an inner drive that reflects goal-directed arousal. In consumer behavior context, the result is a desire for a product, service, or experience. It is the drive to satisfy needs and wants, both physiological and psychological, through the purchase and use of products and services.

Motivation Process:

  • In the initiation a person starts feeling the lack of something. There is the starting point of the need generation and the urge leads the bearer to venture in search of it.
  • The search may lead to creation of some amount tension, which further urges the person to forget everything else and cater to the need first.
  • This tension also creates drives and attitudes and leads the person to seek adequate information regarding the purchase.
  • Ultimately the person indulges in the final step of evaluation of alternatives where the best alternative is chosen/purchased.
  • Once the best alternative is chosen (and if), the activity satisfaction is achieved, it helps relieves the tension in the individual

Arousal of Motives:

The arousal of any particular set of needs at a specific moment in time may be caused by internal stimuli found either in the individual’s physiological condition or by some emotional drive or cognitive processes or simply by a stimulus in outside environment.

Arousal of Motives

The arousal of any particular set of needs at a specific moment in time may be caused by internal stimuli found either in the individual’s physiological condition or by some emotional drive or cognitive processes or simply by a stimulus in outside environment.

• Physiological Arousal:

Bodily needs at any one specific moment in time are based on the individual physiological condition at the moment. Example: A drop in blood sugar level or stomach contractions will trigger awareness of a hunger need. OR A decrease in body temperature will induce shivering, which makes individual aware of the need for warmth, which arouse related needs that cause uncomfortable tensions until they are satisfied (i.e.: Necessary medication, low fat diet, exercise, etc.)

• Emotional Arousal:

Sometimes daydreaming results in the arousal (autistic thinking) or stimulation of latent needs. People who are bored or who are frustrated in trying to achieve their goals often engage in daydreaming, in which they imagine themselves in all sorts of desirable situations. Example: A young boy who may take a solo biking trip to get away from the dissatisfaction of his job.

• Cognitive Arousal:

Sometimes random thoughts can lead to a cognitive awareness of needs. An advertisement that provides imagery of a perfect home décor might trigger instant yearning to renovate your house or buy some new piece of furniture that isn’t necessarily required.

• Environment Arousal:

Specific cues in the environment trigger certain needs. Without these cues the needs might remain dormant. Example: The 8 o’clock news, the sight or smell of bakery goods, fast food commercials on television, cold weather, festivities in the locality, etc. may arouse the need for purchase of related products/services/experiences.

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