Group Influences. 1996. What is a Reference Group?. Institutions, individuals, or groups, imagined or real, who serve as points of comparison or reference. What do they do?. Play a vital role in socializing the consumer and transmitting society’s norms and values.
What do they do?
From a marketer’s point of view why are they important?
Consumers want to be like the people the admire and respect. They will emulate them, aspire to be like them, listen to them, identify with them and buy what they buy.
Doctor (Specialist) 22.1
Hair dresser/beautician) 18.6
What specific reference persons or groups are likely to be influential to:
A newlywed couple planning to visit Europe for a month?
A recent home buyer planning to renovate the house with the latest available materials and fixtures
A student intending to buy a personal computer for the first time
A graduate about to outfit herself with a wardrobe for her new job
Gain esteem in the eyes of others
I can impress my guests, who will think I have taste. Since only people who buy Duke of Gloucester china have taste
Duke of Gloucester china
…If I set out Duke of Gloucester china
Guests might notice this exclusive dinner service
High school student
Christy Turlington has referent power over admirers. She expects me not to smoke
If I don’t smoke Christy Turlington will approve
Idea endorsed by a celebrity
Consumer Reports has expert power
Health Plan shopper
The experts have declared this product the best buy for my needs
Brand evaluated favorably in Consumer Reports
Health Plan X
After “the Fonz” (Henry Winkler) the popular lead actor in Happy Days took out a library card in one episode of the show there was a 500% increase in library-card applications by 9-14 year olds. Describe which specific function or reference group theory is operating here.
Reference Group Influence
What does it mean for a Reference group to have Power?
The ability to change a person’s behavior.
purveyors of knowledge
officers in a formal structure
your friend the computer geek
tangible or intangible
Changes in beliefs or actions due to group pressure to conform
Reference groups have a strong influence on brand choice in certain situations
What are the implications of this?
Using U of L students as the market segment, describe the most relevant reference group(s) and indicate the probable degree of influence for each of the following decisions:
a. Brand of mouthwash
b. Purchase of Car Insurance
c. Contribution to United Way
d. Purchase of a Pet
e. Choice of Restaurant
Caffeine comparison in refreshment beverages:Beverage Caffeine (mg)
Mountain Dew 55.0
Diet Mountain Dew 55.0
Mello Yellow 52.8
Diet Cola 45.6
Mr. Pibb 40.8
OK Soda 40.5
Dr. Pepper 39.6
Pepsi Cola 37.2
Mountain Dew is the leading soft drink among Generation Y due in large part to Word-of mouth communication that it was loaded with more caffeine than Coke
In Canada Mountain Dew does not contain caffeine.
You and your partner/friend have decided to go out to dinner and want to try some place new, and a little classier than Taco Bell. How do you choose which restaurant to go to?
You went to a restaurant suggested by a friend but didn’t enjoy the experience. What might some of the reasons be?
1. People talk.
2. People talk because they feel.
3. People talk about things that have meaning.
4. People talk about things of mutual interest.
5. Some people get listened to more than others.
6. You can identify the talkers who get listened to in your business.
7. Champion customers who spread your reputation can expand and exaggerate your virtues or faults when you cannot.
8. When you tell a friend what a great (or terrible) meal you had at Mitilini’s Pizza Palace, then that's word of mouth.
“Did you know that Pop Rocks can explode in your stomach, cut holes in your throat and little Mikey (of Life cereal Fame) died when his stomach exploded after drinking a Coke shortly after eating a packet of Pop Rocks.”
1. If you try to stop it, word-of-mouth momentum increases.
2. If you try to force it into motion, you will probably stop it or prevent it from beginning.
3. Word of mouth increases as the product is more difficult to get.
4. The more secrecy shrouds a product, the more people want to talk about it.
5. In the perception of the consumer WOM always tells the truth
6. Word of mouth usually goes fast in all directions.
7. Negative WOM travels farther and faster than positive WOM
8. For any given product, word of mouth is time-limited and eventually will end or shift to focus on another product when the community is satisfied that it has heard enough
9. WOM moves under its own power and according to its own rules.
10.The following tend to accelerate word of mouth: Controversy, surprises, the bizarre or unusual, free samples, a human-interest story, moral dilemmas, irony, curiosity, any core element of culture.
11.Word-of-mouth is the primary means by which your reputation is spread.
12.Word-of-mouth universally is considered the best method to signal value to customers.
13.Word-of-mouth is controlled by your customers.
This change brings?
1) Deliver quality products and services and continually improve.
2) Solicit feedback in the form of questions, comments, and even complaints from customers and prospects. View these as opportunities to improve your products, services and customer support.
3) Follow through with what you say you're going to do. Don't make unreasonable promises you know you can't keep.
4) Don't just try to meet your customer's expectations. Exceed them. In other words, under-promise and over-deliver.
5) If a customer is not satisfied, take reasonable steps to try to make them happy. Satisfied, loyal customers will be your best form of advertising.
Likelihood of Seeking an Opinion Leader