Opinion Leadership

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Opinion leaders
a person who is frequently able to influence others attitudes or behaviours and are extremely valuable information sources
Why are opinion leaders so important?
- they possess expert power e.g. technically competent
- they possess knowledge power e.g. evaluated product
- they wield legitimate power e.g. socially active in communities
- they possess referent power e.g. similar to consumers in values and beliefs/relatable
- first to buy new product therefore absorb risk factors e.g. innovators
- hands on experiencers therefore can supply both negative and positive information about products
Monomorphic Opinion leader
expert in a limited feild
Polymorphic Opinion leader
expert in several fields
Types of opinion leaders
Innovative communicators: early purchasers of products
Opinion seekers: more involved in a product category and actively search for information/more likely to talk about products with others and solicit their opinions aswell
Communication process
Mass media -> Opinion leaders & Gatekeepers -> Recipients
The market maven
people who are actively involved in transmitting marketplace information of all types
The surrogate consumer
people who are hired to provide input into purchase decisions, usually paid for e.g. interior decorators, stockbrokers
Identifying Opinion Leaders
Self designated opinion leader: asking individual consumers weather they consider themselves to be opinion leaders
Sociometry: trace communication patterns between members of a group. This involves interviewing participants and asking them who they go to for product information.
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