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Chapter 2 Perception. By Michael R. Solomon. Consumer Behavior Buying, Having, and Being Sixth Edition. Opening Vignette: Parmalat. What was Gary’s perception of Parmalat? Why is shelf-stable milk popular in Europe?

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chapter 2 perception

Chapter 2Perception

By Michael R. Solomon

Consumer Behavior

Buying, Having, and Being

Sixth Edition

opening vignette parmalat
Opening Vignette: Parmalat
  • What was Gary’s perception of Parmalat?
  • Why is shelf-stable milk popular in Europe?
  • In the focus group research, what were the U.S. consumers’ perceptions of Parmalat?
  • What is Parmalat doing to overcome the obstacles associated with marketing shelf-stable milk in the United States?
sensation and perception
Sensation and Perception
  • Sensation:
    • The immediate response of our sensory receptors (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, fingers) to basic stimuli such as light, color, sound, odors, and textures
  • Perception:
    • The process by which sensations are selected, organized, and interpreted
  • The Study of Perception:
    • Focuses on what we add to raw sensations to give them meaning
sensory systems
Sensory Systems
  • External stimuli, or sensory inputs, can be received on a number of different channels.
  • Inputs picked up by our five senses are the raw data that begin the perceptual process.
  • Hedonic Consumption:
    • The multisensory, fantasy, and emotional aspects of consumers’ interactions with products
advertisements appeal to our sensory systems
Advertisements Appeal to Our Sensory Systems
  • This ad for a luxury car emphasizes the contribution made by all of our senses to the evaluation of a driving experience.
sensory systems vision
Sensory Systems - Vision
  • Marketers rely heavily on visual elements in advertising, store design, and packaging.
  • Meanings are communicated on the visual channel through a product’s color, size, and styling.
  • Colors may influence our emotions more directly.
    • Arousal and stimulated appetite (e.g. red)
    • Relaxation (e.g. blue)
this ad targets which senses
This ad targets which senses?
  • This Finnish ad emphasizes the sensual reasons to visit the city of Helsinki.
sensory perceptions vision
Sensory Perceptions - Vision
  • Some reactions to color come from learned associations.
    • (e.g. Black is associated with mourning in the United States, whereas white is associated with mourning in Japan.)
  • Some reactions to color are due to biological and cultural differences.
    • (e.g. Women tend to be drawn to brighter tones and are more sensitive to subtle shadings and patterns)
perceptions of color
Perceptions of Color

This ad campaign by

the San Francisco

Ballet uses color

perceptions to get urban

sophisticates to add

classical dance to their

packed entertainment


sensory perceptions vision11
Sensory Perceptions - Vision
  • Color plays a dominant role in Web page design.
  • Saturated colors (green, yellow, orange, and cyan) are considered the best to capture attention.
    • Don’t overdo it. Extensive use of saturated colors can overwhelm people and cause visual fatigue.
  • Trade Dress:
    • Colors that are strongly associated with a corporation, for which the company may have exclusive rights for their use.
      • (e.g. Kodak’s use of yellow, black, and red)
perceptions of color12
Perceptions of Color
  • As this Dutch detergent ad demonstrates (Flowery orange fades without Dreft), vivid colors are often an attractive product feature.
discussion question
Discussion Question
  • First Heinz gave us “Blastin’ Green” ketchup in a squeeze bottle. Now they have introduced “Funky Purple” ketchup.
  • What sensory perception is Heinz trying to appeal to? Do you think this product will be successful? Why or why not?
sensory perceptions smell
Sensory Perceptions - Smell
  • Odors can stir emotions or create a calming feeling.
  • Some responses to scents result from early associations that call up good or bad feelings.
  • Marketers are finding ways to use smell:
    • Scented clothes
    • Scented stores
    • Scented cars and planes
    • Scented household products
    • Scented advertisements
smell in advertising
Smell in Advertising
  • This ad pokes fun at the proliferation of scented ads. Ah, the scent of sweat.
sensory perceptions sound
Sensory Perceptions - Sound
  • Advertising jingles create brand awareness.
  • Background music creates desired moods.
  • Sound affects people’s feelings and behaviors.
  • Muzak uses a system it calls “stimulus progression” to increase the normally slower tempo of workers during midmorning and midafternoon time slots.
  • Sound engineering:
    • Top-end automakers are using focus groups of consumers to help designers choose appropriate sounds to elicit the proper response.
sensory perceptions touch
Sensory Perceptions - Touch
  • Relatively little research has been done on the effects of tactile stimulation on the consumer, but common observation tells us that this sensory channel is important.
  • People associate textures of fabrics and other surfaces with product quality.
  • Perceived richness or quality of the material in clothing is linked to its “feel,” whether rough or smooth.
applications of touch perceptions
Applications of Touch Perceptions
  • Kansai engineering: A philosophy that translates customers’ feelings into design elements.
  • Mazda Miata designers discovered that making the stick shift (shown on the right) exactly 9.5 cm long conveys the optimal feeling of sportiness and control.
sensory perceptions taste
Sensory Perceptions - Taste
  • Taste receptors contribute to our experience of many products.
  • Specialized companies called “flavor houses” are constantly developing new concoctions to please the changing palates of consumers.
  • Changes in culture also determine the tastes we find desirable.
  • Exposure:
    • Occurs when a stimulus comes within the range of someone’s sensory receptors
  • Consumers concentrate on some stimuli, are unaware of others, and even go out of their way to ignore some messages.
sensory thresholds
Sensory Thresholds
  • Psychophysics:
    • The science that focuses on how the physical environment is integrated into our personal subjective world.
  • Absolute Threshold:
    • The minimum amount of stimulation that can be detected on a given sensory channel.
  • Differential Threshold:
    • The ability of a sensory system to detect changes or differences between two stimuli. The minimum difference that can be detected between two stimuli is known as the j.n.d. (just noticeable difference).
weber s law
Weber’s Law
  • The amount of change that is necessary to be noticed is systematically related to the intensity of the original stimulus
  • The stronger the initial stimulus, the greater a change must be for it to be noticed.
  • Mathematically:
    • K = A constant (varies across senses)
    • Δi = The minimal change in the intensity required to produce j.n.d.
    • I = the intensity of the stimulus where the change occurs
subliminal perception
Subliminal Perception
  • Subliminal perception:
    • Occurs when the stimulus is below the level of the consumer’s awareness.
  • Subliminal techniques:
    • Embeds: Tiny figures that are inserted into magazine: advertising by using high-speed photography or airbrushing.
  • Does subliminal perception work?
    • There is little evidence that subliminal stimuli can bring about desired behavioral changes.
subliminal messages in ads
Subliminal Messages in Ads
  • Critics of subliminal persuasion often focus on ambiguous shapes in drinks that supposedly spell out words like S E X as evidence for the use of this technique. This Pepsi ad, while hardly subliminal, gently borrows this message format.
  • Attention:
    • The extent to which processing activity is devoted to a particular stimulus.
  • Attention economy:
    • The Internet has transformed the focus of marketers from attracting dollars to attracting eyeballs.
  • Perceptual selection:
    • People attend to only a small portion of the stimuli to which they are exposed.
attention and advertising
Attention and Advertising
  • Nike tries to cut through the clutter by spotlighting maimed athletes instead of handsome models.
personal selection factors
Personal Selection Factors
  • Experience:
    • The result of acquiring and processing stimulation over time
  • Perceptual vigilance:
    • Consumers are aware of stimuli that relate to their current needs
  • Perceptual defense:
    • People see what they want to see - and don’t see what they don’t want to see
  • Adaptation:
    • The degree to which consumers continue to notice a stimulus over time
factors that lead to adaptation
Factors that Lead to Adaptation
  • Intensity:Less-intense stimuli habituate because they have less sensory impact.
  • Duration:Stimuli that require relatively lengthy exposure in order to be processed tend to habituate because they require a long attention span.
  • Discrimination:Simple stimuli tend to habituate because they do not require attention to detail.
  • Exposure:Frequently encountered stimuli tend to habituate as the rate of exposure increases.
  • Relevance:Stimuli that are irrelevant or unimportant will habituate because they fail to attract attention.
stimulus selection factors
Stimulus Selection Factors
  • Size:
    • The size of the stimulus itself in contrast to the competition helps to determine if it will command attention.
  • Color:
    • Color is a powerful way to draw attention to a product.
  • Position:
    • Stimuli that are present in places we’re more likely to look stand a better chance of being noticed.
  • Novelty:
    • Stimuli that appear in unexpected ways or places tend to grab our attention.
discussion question32
Discussion Question
  • What technique does this Australian ad rely on to get your attention?
  • Does the technique enhance or detract from the advertisement of the actual product?
attention to stimuli
Attention to Stimuli
  • Interpretation:
    • The meaning that we assign sensory stimuli.
  • Schema:
    • Set of beliefs to which the stimulus is assigned.
  • Priming:
    • Process by which certain properties of a stimulus typically will evoke a schema, which leads consumers to evaluate the stimulus in terms of other stimulus they have encountered and believe to be similar.
schema based perception
Schema-Based Perception
  • Advertisers know that consumers will often relate an ad to preexisting schema in order to make sense of it.
stimulus organization
Stimulus Organization
  • A stimulus will be interpreted based on its assumed relationship with other events, sensations, or images.
  • Closure Principle:
    • People tend to perceive an incomplete picture as complete.
  • Principle of Similarity:
    • Consumers tend to group together objects that share the same physical characteristics.
  • Figure-ground Principle:
    • One part of a stimulus will dominate (the figure) and other parts will recede into the background (the ground).
gestalt principle
Gestalt Principle
  • This Swedish ad relies upon gestalt perceptual principles to insure that the perceiver organizes a lot of separate images into a familiar image.
principle of closure
Principle of Closure
  • This Land Rover ad illustrates the use of the principle of closure, in which people participate in the ad by mentally filling in the gaps in the sentence.
figure ground principle
Figure-ground Principle
  • This billboard for Wrangler jeans makes creative use of the figure-ground principle.
semiotics the symbols around us
Semiotics: The Symbols Around Us
  • Semiotics:Field of study that examines the correspondence between signs and symbols and their role in the assignment of meaning.
  • A message has 3 components:
    • 1) Object: the product that focuses the message
    • 2) Sign: the sensory imagery that represents the intended meanings of the object
    • 3) Interpretant: the meaning derived
semiotics cont
Semiotics (cont.)
  • Signs are related to objects in one of three ways:
    • 1) Icon: a sign that resembles the product in some way
    • 2) Index: a sign that is connected to some object because they share some property
    • 3) Symbol: a sign that is related to a product through conventional or agreed-upon associations
  • Hyperreality:The becoming real of what is initially simulation or “hype”
perceptual positioning
Perceptual Positioning
  • Positioning Strategy
    • A fundamental part of a company’s marketing efforts as it uses elements of the marketing mix to influence the consumer’s interpretation of its meaning.
    • Many dimensions can establish a brand’s position in the marketplace:
perceptual map
Perceptual Map
  • Figure 2.3: HMV Perceptual Map