Chapter 11: Group Influence and Opinion Leadership
When other consumers' actions or images affect the decision making process of individuals
The ability to influence others' attitudes or behaviours based on knowledge
An actual or imaginary individual or group conceived as having significant relevance upon an individual's evaluations, aspirations or behaviours; any external influence that provides social cues
What are the 3 ways reference groups influence consumers?
1. Utilitarian: preference based on associations 2. Informational: reliable info, seal of approval 3. Value-expressive: enhance personal image
The type of influence a reference group who helps to set and enforce fundamental standards of conduct is know as...
The type of influence a reference group who alters decisions about specific brands or activities is know as...
True of False: Marketers tend to be more successful at influencing formal groups?
TRUE: more easily identifiable and accessible
True or False: Formal groups have more influence on individual consumers than do informal groups?
FALSE: informal groups are more powerful because they are often involved in the individuals day-to-day life and are high in normative influence
A set of consumers who share a set of social relationships based on usage or interest in a product
A group of people who share a lifestyle and who can identify with each other because of a shared allegiance to an activity or a product
Linking one's product to the needs of a group as whole
Aspirational Reference Groups
Comprised of idealized figures who have the ability to influence the social cues and decision making of others/consumers
What are the 3 factors that dictate whether or not a person will be end up being part of a consumer's reference group?
1. Propinquity: physical nearness, ability to network 2. Mere Exposure: greater frequency on contact 3. Group Cohesiveness: attractiveness of group members and the value placed on the group
Those groups an individual does not wish to see influence their consumption decisions
An avoidance group created on the web that unites individuals who show disdain for certain (aspirational) reference groups or brand communities
What are the 2 dimensions that influence the degree to which a reference group is important?
1. Whether the product is to be consumed publicly or privately 2. Whether the product is a luxury or a necessity
True or False: Reference groups are more powerful when the purchase is a luxury item and socially conspicuous?
TRUE: because these products are purchased with discretionary income and are subject to personal preference, and because consumer's are infinitely more swayed when their purchase is visible to others
The capacity to alter the actions of others
When an individual aims to imitate the admired qualities of another by copying their behaviours, as a guide to forming consumption preferences
When an individual holds power over another due to the fact that they know something the other does not
When certain individuals are granted power by virtue of social agreements or personal/professional hierarchy
When an individual possesses a specific knowledge or skill that is not held by another, and are able to evaluate a product in an objective, informed way
Exists when a person or group has the mean to provide positive reinforcement to a consumer, as long as the rewards in question is valued or desired by said consumer (either tangible or intangible)
Exists when the a group or individual as the ability to force another to do something they do not wish to do; often only effective in the short term and rarely used in marketing situations
Refers to a change in beliefs or actions as a reaction to real or imagined group pressure
Informal rules that govern behaviour
What are 5 factors that may influence the likelihood of conformity?
1. Cultural Pressure 2. Fear of Deviance 3. Commitment- principle of least interest 4. Susceptibility to interpersonal influence 5. Group unanimity, size, and expertise
Social Comparison Theory
Occurs as a way to increase the stability of one's self-evaluation, especially when physical evidence is unavailable; applies even in cases where there is no objectively correct answer
What are some of the possible methods for getting a person to conform to our wishes?
1. Foot-in-the-door Technique: small to large request 2. Low-ball Technique: small favour to large cost 3. Door-in-the-face Technique: extreme to small request
When a person's individual identity becomes submerged within a group
When an individual considers a riskier option than they would than they would normally, after participating a group discussion; there is a diffusion of responsibility and a conformity to the value hypothesis
When whatever decision group members were learning towards (majority opinion) before discussion, becomes the favoured decision afterwards
Refers to the fact that people do not devote as much effort to a task when their contribution is part of a larger group effort
What is the difference between independence and anticonformity?
The latter's objective is to ultimately defy the group, while the former seeks only to show self-reliance and individual uniqueness
The negative emotional state which occurs after an individual's freedom is threatened or lost
Word-of-Mouth Communication (WOM)
Product information that is transmitted by individuals to individuals; often more reliable than formal marketing channel's recommendations
What are 3 factors that encourage WOM?
1. High involvement which leads to taking pleasure in talking about the product 2. High knowledge which leads to discussion with others to show said knowledge about the product 3. Genuine concern for another
Poor reviews or criticisms of a product or service circulated by individuals for individuals; more important than positive WOM
What are the factors that affect serial reproduction?
1. The need to assimilate the story 2. Levelling- where details are omitted 3. Sharpening- where prominent details are accentuated
Wisdom of Crowds Perspective
Groups are smarter than the smartest people in them
Promotional strategies that use unconventional locations and intensive WOM campaigns to push products
What are the four types of groups inside virtual communities?
1. Tourists: no strong social tie, passing interest 2. Minglers: strong social ties, not very interested in the central consumption activity 3. Devotees: strong interest in activity, few social attachments 4. Insiders: strong social ties and interest
The strategy of getting customers to sell a product on behalf of the company the creates it
People who are knowledgeable about products who advice is taken seriously by others, and are frequently able to influence the others' attitudes or behaviours
What are some of the defining characteristics of opinion leaders?
1. Technically competent, possess expert power 2. Evaluated and synthesized product info, posses knowledge power 3.. Similar to the consumer, possess referent power 4. Purchase first & absorb risk, deflate uncertainty
What is the difference between an opinion leader who is monomorphic and polymorphic?
The latter is an expert in several fields, whereas the former is an expert in only one
Two-Step Flow Model of Influence
Proposes that a small group of influencers are responsible for dissemination of information since they can modify the opinion of a large number of other people; original model, failed because influence is driven more by interaction among those who are easily influenced, rather than influentials
A group of people who are actively involved in transmitting marketplace information of all types; closer to the function of a generalized opinion leader
A person who is hired to provide input into purchase decisions; typically compensated for their involvement
Tracing communication patterns among group members, allowing researchers to systematically map out interactions that take place among group members