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Chapter 11 Group Influence and Opinion Leadership By Michael R. Solomon Consumer Behavior Buying, Having, and Being Sixth Edition Opening Vignette: Zachary Does Zachary meet your mental stereotype for a Harley Davidson owner? Why does Zachary desire to have more Harley “stuff”?

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chapter 11 group influence and opinion leadership

Chapter 11Group Influence and Opinion Leadership

By Michael R. Solomon

Consumer Behavior

Buying, Having, and Being

Sixth Edition

opening vignette zachary
Opening Vignette: Zachary
  • Does Zachary meet your mental stereotype for a Harley Davidson owner?
  • Why does Zachary desire to have more Harley “stuff”?
  • How do Zach’s fellow RUBs influence his purchases?
  • What benefits does Zach enjoy from his association with other Harley owners?
reference groups
Reference Groups
  • Reference Group
    • An actual or imaginary individual or group conceived of having significant relevance upon an individual’s evaluations, aspirations, or behavior
    • Three ways reference groups influence consumers
      • Informational
      • Utilitarian
      • Value-Expressive
    • Some people are more influential than others in affecting consumers’ product preferences.
when reference groups are important
When Reference GroupsAre Important
  • Social Power:
    • The capacity to alter the actions of others
  • Referent Power:
    • When consumers imitate qualities by copying behaviors of a prominent person they admire.
  • Information Power:
    • Able to influence consumer opinion by virtue of their (assumed) access to the “truth”
  • Legitimate Power:
    • Granted to people by virtue of social agreements, sometimes conferred by a uniform
expert power
Expert Power
  • A physician has expert power, and a white coat reinforces this expertise by conferring legitimate power.
when reference groups are important cont
When Reference GroupsAre Important (cont.)
  • Expert Power:
    • Derived from possessing specific knowledge about a content area
  • Reward Power:
    • When a person or group has the means to provide positive reinforcement
  • Coercive Power:
    • Influencing a person by social or physical intimidation
types of reference groups
Types of Reference Groups
  • Reference Group:
    • Any external influence that provides social cues
  • Normative Influence:
    • The reference group helps to set and enforce fundamental standards of conduct.
  • Comparative Influence:
    • When decisions about specific brands or activities are affected.
discussion question
Discussion Question
  • Marketers often portray products being used in groups that represent favorable reference groups to the target market.
  • What type of message does this ad convey? What type of influence is this ad designed to exert on its target audience?
brand communities and tribes
Brand Communities and Tribes
  • Brand Community:
    • A set of consumers who share a set of social relationships based upon usage or interest in a product.
      • Brandfests
  • Consumer Tribe:
    • A group of people who share a lifestyle and who can identify with each other because of a shared allegiance to an activity or product.
  • Tribal Marketing:
    • To link one’s product to the needs of a group as a whole.
products as a way to be popular
Products as a Way to be Popular
  • Many products, especially those targeted to young people, are often touted as a way to take the inside track to popularity. This Brazilian ad lets us know about people who don’t like a certain shoe.
membership vs aspirational reference groups
Membership vs. AspirationalReference Groups
  • Aspirational Reference Groups
    • Comprise idealized figures such as successful business people, athletes, or performers.
  • Membership Reference Group
    • Ordinary people whose consumption activities provide informational social influence.
      • Propinquity:Physical nearness.
      • Mere Exposure:Liking persons or things simply as a result of seeing them more often (mere exposure phenomenon)
      • Group Cohesiveness:The degree to which members of a group are attracted to each other and value their group membership.
positive versus negative reference groups
Positive Versus NegativeReference Groups
  • Avoidance Groups
    • Groups that consumers purposely try to distance themselves from
      • Nerds
      • Druggies
      • Preppies
    • The motivation to distance oneself from a negative reference group can be as powerful or more powerful than the desire to please a positive group
positive reference groups
Positive Reference Groups
  • This recruiting ad presents a compelling role model for young women contemplating a career in the armed forces.
consumers do it in groups
Consumers Do it in Groups
  • Deindividuation:
    • A process in which individual identities become submerged within a group.
  • Social Loafing:
    • People do not devote as much to a task when their contribution is part of a larger group effort
  • Risky Shift:
    • Group members are willing to consider riskier alternatives subsequent to group discussion
  • Diffusion of Responsibility:
    • As more people are involved in a decision, each individual is less accountable for the outcome
deindividuation
Deindividuation
  • Costumes hide our true identities and encourage deindividuation.
consumers do it in groups cont
Consumers Do it in Groups (cont.)
  • Value Hypothesis:
    • Riskiness is a culturally valued characteristic to which individuals feel pressure to conform
  • Decision Polarization:
    • Whichever direction the group members were leaning toward before discussion becomes more extreme subsequent to discussion
  • Home Shopping Parties:
    • Capitalize on group pressures to increase sales
home shopping parties
Home Shopping Parties
  • Women at a home Tupperware party.
group influences
Group Influences
  • Group pressure often influences our clothing choices.
conformity
Conformity
  • Conformity
    • A change in beliefs or actions as a reaction to real or imagined group pressure.
  • Norms
    • Informal rules that govern behavior.
  • Factors Influencing the Likelihood of Conformity
    • Cultural Pressures
    • Fear of Deviance
    • Commitment
      • Principle of Least Interest
    • Group Unanimity, Size, and Expertise
    • Susceptibility to Interpersonal Influence
      • Role-relaxed consumers
social comparison
Social Comparison
  • Social Comparison Theory:
    • Asserts that people look to the behavior of others to increase the stability of their self-evaluation
    • Co-oriented peer: A person of equivalent standing
  • Resisting Conformity:
    • Independence: Being oblivious or indifferent to the expectations of others
    • Anticonformity: Defiance of the group is the actual behavior
    • Reactance: The negative emotional state that results when we are deprived of our freedom to choose
word of mouth communication
Word-of-Mouth Communication
  • Word-of-Mouth (WOM):
    • Product information transmitted by individuals to individuals.
  • Negative WOM and the Power of Rumors:
    • Negative WOM: Consumers weigh negative info from other consumers more heavily than they do positive comments
discussion question26
Discussion Question
  • This ad for a video game says, “Conformity Bytes!”, but then captions, “Join the Revolution!” Why?
  • Does this ad encourage independence or anticonformity?
word of mouth27
Word-of-Mouth
  • The U.S. Postal Service hopes to create a buzz via word of mouth.
rumors
Rumors
  • Hoaxkill.com is a Web site dedicated to tracking hoaxes and debunking product rumors.
changing information
Changing Information
  • Serial Reproduction:
    • Technique to examine the phenomenon that information changes as it is transmitted among consumers
      • Assimilation: Distortions tend to follow a pattern from ambiguous to conventional to fit with existing schemas
      • Leveling: Details are omitted to simplify structure
      • Sharpening: Prominent details are accentuated
cutting edge wom strategies
Cutting-Edge WOM Strategies
  • Virtual Communities
    • Virtual Community of Consumption: A collection of people whose online interactions are based upon shared enthusiasm for and knowledge of a specific consumption activity.
      • Multi-user Dungeons (MUD)
      • Rooms, rings and lists (e.g. chat rooms)
      • Boards
      • Blogs (weblog)
four types of virtual community members
Four Types of VirtualCommunity Members
  • Tourists:
    • Lack strong social ties to the group
  • Minglers:
    • Maintain strong social ties, but are not interested in the central consumption activity
  • Devotees:
    • Express strong interest in the activity, but have few social attachments to the group
  • Insiders:
    • Exhibit both strong social ties and strong interest in the activity
guerrilla marketing
Guerrilla Marketing
  • Guerrilla Marketing
    • Promotional strategies that use unconventional locations and intensive word-of-mouth campaigns to push products.
      • Brand Ambassadors
  • Viral Marketing
    • Refers to the strategy of getting customers to sell a product on behalf of the company that creates it.
guerrilla marketing ads
Guerrilla Marketing Ads
  • Ads painted on sidewalks are one form of guerrilla marketing.
opinion leadership
Opinion Leadership
  • The Nature of Opinion Leadership
    • Opinion Leaders: People who are knowledgeable about products and whose advice is taken seriously by others.
    • Homophily: The degree to which a pair of individuals is similar in terms of education, social status, and beliefs.
  • How Influential Is an Opinion Leader?
    • Generalized Opinion Leader: Somebody whose recommendations are sought for all types of purchases.
    • Monomorphic: An expert in a limited field.
    • Polymorphic: An expert in many fields.
opinion leaders market shoes
Opinion Leaders Market Shoes
  • Opinion leadership is a big factor in the marketing of athletic shoes. Many styles first become popular in the inner city and then spread by word-of-mouth.
types of opinion leaders
Types of Opinion Leaders
  • Innovators
    • Early purchasers
  • Innovative Communicators
    • Opinion leaders who also are early purchasers
    • Opinion leaders also are likely to be opinion seekers
  • The Market Maven
    • Describes people who are actively involved in transmitting marketplace information of all types.
  • The Surrogate Consumer
    • A person who is hired to provide input in purchase decisions.
cool hunters and mavens
Cool hunters and mavens
  • Maven - unpaid enthusiasts who initiate discussions with consumers and respond to requests for information
    • neighbourhoods mavens
    • professional mavens (critics, reviewers, correspondents)
    • celebrity mavens (Beckham)
  • modern consumers need maverns to
    • seek relevant information
    • provide a ‘trustworthy’ recommendation
    • decide which is best
  • examples
    • Blair Witch Project
    • Harry Potter

http://www.sharperimage.com

http://www.NewConsumer.co.uk/

Lewis and Bridger 2000

fashion opinion leaders
Fashion Opinion Leaders
  • Fashion opinion leaders tend to be knowledgeable about clothing and highly motivated to stay on top of fashion trends.
identifying opinion leaders
Identifying Opinion Leaders
  • Self-designated Opinion Leaders
  • Sociometric Methods
    • Trace Communication patterns among members of a group.
    • Referral Behavior
    • Network Analysis: Focuses on communication in social systems
    • Referral Network
    • Tie Strength: The nature of the bond between people.
    • Bridging Function: Allows a consumer access between subgroups.
    • Cliques: Subgroups