Presentation on theme: "Chapter 11 Group Influence and Opinion Leadership"— Presentation transcript:
1 Chapter 11 Group Influence and Opinion Leadership
2 Reference GroupsReference group: an actual or imaginary individual/group that influences an individual’s evaluations, aspirations, or behavior
3 Reference Group Influences Reference group influences stronger for purchases that are:Luxuries rather than necessitiesSocially conspicuous/visible to others
4 When Reference Groups Are Important Social power: capacity to alter the actions of othersTypes of social power:Referent powerInformation powerLegitimate powerExpert powerReward powerCoercive power
5 Types of Reference Groups Any external influence that provides social clues can be a reference groupFriends / PeersCultural figure (Barack Obama)Parents or FamilyLarge, formal organizationSmall and informal groupsCan exert a more powerful influence on individual consumers than larger groupsA part of our day-to-day lives: normative influence
6 Brand Communities and Consumer Tribes A group of consumers who share a set of social relationships based upon usage or interest in a productBrandfests or Productfests enhance brand loyaltyConsumer tribes share emotions, moral beliefs, styles of life, and affiliated productTribal marketing: linking a product to the needs of a group as a whole
7 Membership & Aspirational Reference Groups Membership reference groups: people the consumer actually knows and admiresAdvertisers use “ordinary people”Aspirational reference groups: people the consumer doesn’t personally know but admiresAdvertisers use celebrity spokespeople
8 Positive versus Negative Reference Groups Reference groups may exert either a positive or negative influence on consumption behaviorsAvoidance groups: motivation to distance oneself from other people/groups (a.k.a. “Dissociative Groups”)First class vs. coach on airplanesMarketers show ads with undesirable people using competitor’s productAntibrand communities: coalesce around a celebrity, store, or brand—but are united by their disdain for itrachelraysucks.comihatewalmart.comDelfina in SF (anti-yelp?)
9 Consumers in GroupsDeindividuation: individual identities become submerged within a groupExample: binge drinking at college partiesExample 2: Army training boot campSocial loafing: people devote less effort to a task when they’re in groupsExample: we tip less when eating in groupsExample 2: Kitty Genovese caseRisky shift: group show a greater willingness to consider riskier alternatives than if members made their own decisions individually (Why?)
10 Consumers in Groups (cont.) Decision polarization: after group discussion of an issue, opinions become more extremeHome shopping parties (Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Botox) capitalize on group pressure to boost sales
11 ConformityMost people tend to follow society’s expectations regarding how to look, act and even feelFactors influencing conformity:Cultural pressuresFear of deviance and being ostracizedCommitment to and benefits of group membershipGroup influence, power and sizeSusceptibility to interpersonal influence
12 Word-of-Mouth Communication WOM: product information transmitted by individuals directly to individualsMost reliable / efficacious form of marketingCheapest form of marketing *Uses social pressure to conformInfluences two-thirds of all salesWe rely upon WOM more in later stages of product adoption / mature productsEspecially powerful when we are unfamiliar with product category
13 Negative WOM and Power of Rumors We weigh negative WOM more heavily than positive WOM.Negative WOM is easy to spread, especially onlineAny one can start a negative WOM threadInformation/rumor distortionLarger companies can sustain bigger damages, but can cope better than smaller companiesPrentice-Hall, cr 2009
15 Negative WOM and the Power of Rumors Three basic themes found in Web-based “protest” communities:Injustice: consumers talk about their repeated attempts to contact the company and seek help only to be ignored.Identity: characterize the violator as evil, rather than simply wrong. (e.g. Starbucks, P&G)Agency: individual Web site creators try to create a collective identity for those who share their anger with a company. (is this just social bonding?)
16 Virtual CommunitiesA collection of people who share their love or hatred of a product in online interactionsChat Rooms (IRC), rings, and listsMessage BoardsBlogsGreat potential for abuse via untrustworthy / questionable practicesAmazon.com lawsuit (charging publishers to post positive reviews of Web site)Retailers buy off critical Yelpers
17 Virtual CommunitiesWhich type of Web surfer are you?
18 Guerrilla MarketingGuerilla marketing: promotional strategies that use unconventional locations and intensive WOM efforts to push productsRecruits legions of real consumers for street theaterHip-hop “mix tapes”/street teamsBrand ambassadorsStealth Marketers in bars, tourist locations, etc.
19 Viral MarketingViral marketing: WOM that spreads electronically (like a virus)Consumers knowingly or unknowingly forward information to others typically viaTypically drive recipients to web site and encourage them to recruit others, reinforcing the viral cycle
20 Social Networking and Crowd Power Web sites where members post information about themselves and make contact with similar othersShare interests, opinions, business contacts, etc.
21 Social Networking and Crowd Power (cont.) Wisdom of crowds perspective: under the right circumstances, groups are smarter than the smartest people in them (“40,000 Frenchmen”)Some crowd-based Web sites:CrowdSpirit.com: participants submit ideas for consumer electronics products and the community votes for the best onesSermo.com: social network for physiciansEventful.com: fans can demand events and performances in their town and spread the word to make them happen
22 Opinion LeadershipOpinion leaders: influence others’ attitudes and behaviorsThey are good information sources because they:May be expertsProvide unbiased evaluationAre socially active and popularAre similar to the consumerAre usually among the first to buy (i.e. “adopters” or “innovators”)Hands-on product experience (absorb risk)Companies spend lots of $ to court opinion leaders
23 Opinion Leadership (cont.) Monomorphic vs. Polymorphic Opinion LeadersExpertise tends to overlap across similar categories (i.e. cosmetics and fashion or appliances and computers)It is rare to find a “general” opinion leader, but they do existOpinion seekersMore likely to talk about products with others and solicit others’ opinionsTypically at lower rungs of the social hierarchyMay lack self-esteem
24 The Market MavenMarket maven: actively involved in accumulating and disseminating marketplace information of all typesMakes efforts to be continuously aware of what’s happening in the marketplaceKnow how and where to get stuffMay not actually buy products!
25 Surrogate ConsumersSurrogate consumer: a marketing intermediary hired to provide input into purchase decisionsInterior decorators, stockbrokers, professional shoppers, college consultantsConsumer relinquishes control over decision-making functionsMarketers should not overlook influence of surrogates!