2What Is Perception?The process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting sensation into a meaningful and coherent picture of the world“How we see the world around us”Two individuals may be exposed to the same stimuli but recognize, select, organize and interpret them differently based on their own needs, values and expectationsKind of like two people looking at the same cloud formations and seeing two different things…
3Consumer perceptions are vital to marketers and often underlie the success or failure of products in the marketplaceIn order to understand how perception affects the marketing process, we need to understand some of the basic concepts that underlie the perceptual processExamples?Quality of Japanese vs. American carsPerception of Volvos as a very safe carPerception may not coincide with reality, but if the perception is strong enough the reality doesn’t matterIn Japan, the perception that American cars are inferior is so strong, it doesn’t matter what the reality is!
4Three Concepts Related to Perception ExposureThe act of deliberately or accidentally coming into contact with stimuliAttentionThe allocation of mental capacity to a stimulusSensationResponses of the sensory receptors to a stimulus and transmission of this information to the brainWith respect to ads, how are we exposed to them?Turn on radio or television, go to a store, or simply look out the car window when drivingDo we necessarily pay attention to them?Let’s focus on this third concept, Sensation
5SensationSensation is the immediate and direct response of the sensory organs to simple stimuliThe human organs that receive sensory inputs are called sensory receptorsWhat is “sensation”?What is the stimulus?In this case, an ad, a package, even a brand nameCould also be a smell or a soundWhat are some of the sensory receptors?
6Interpretation of Inputs Sensory SystemsEyeSightEarSoundNoseSmellMouthTasteSkinTouchExposure to Raw DataAccording to your book, the process looks something like thisProcessing of InputsInterpretation of Inputs
7VisionVision is the dominant human sense, so we know more about it than the other sensesVision is known to stimulate physiological changesWarm hues (red, orange) increase blood pressure and heart rateCool hues (blue, green) have the opposite effectOrange is used in fast food restaurants to increase hungerBlues and greens are used in hospitals to reduce patient anxietyOK, let’s look at each of the senses and see how they relate to marketingLet’s start with vision, because…What are the implications of these differences in terms of marketing goods or services?
8Smell Smell is the most direct of the senses No sense evokes memory more than smellExposure to odors remembered from childhood can induce mood effects like those experienced in childhoodMarketers understand this and build mood effects into products through odorsExample?Three of the best-selling perfumes are scented with baby powder—evoking the warm feelings associated with the fragrance of baby powderWhat about “new car” smell?Others?
9Research has shown that a pleasant odor increases lingering and the amount of time spent in a store Another aspect of smell is that…
10Taste Taste has an obvious impact on the success of food and beverages North Americans appear to have a preference for fatty foodsThus the success of fast food and pizza restaurantsCulture plays a powerful role in determining tasteAre tastes the same in all countries?No, Culture plays…Examples?Masai drink cow’s bloodSome societies eat stir-fried canine and catGermans eat rancid cabbage (sauerkraut)French eat snailsPeople eat rodents, grasshoppers, snakes, kangaroos, and bats
11SoundSound, in the form of speech and music, is important to marketersResearch shows a positive connection between the use of popular songs in ads and consumers’ recall of those adsResearch also shows a positive connection between music and store sales and a negative connection between noise and salesWhat about sound? Is it an important sense in terms of marketing?Too bad, though, that some of the best songs are now associated primarily with commercials (e.g., Gershwin and UAL)What about store music? Is there a connection between music and sales?
12TouchPhysical contact with a product often provides consumers with vital informationWhat about touch?Examples?People often squeeze a melon or feel the texture of a fabric or piece of woodCashmere sweater or coat—you often see people rubbing it against their skinOthers?
13Input Variation and Sensation Changes in what we feel, hear, see, etc. at any given timeAs input increases, the ability to distinguish differences decreasesAs input decreases, the ability to distinguish differences increasesWhat does “input variation” mean?Is there a relationship between input variation and sensation?Examples?What about all those choices in the salad dressing aisle in the supermarket (recall post-Kenya experience)
14Consumers easily ignore ads when bombarded by them constantly Perceptual overloading: the inability to perceive all competing stimuli for one’s attentionPerceptual vigilance: the ability to disregard much of the stimulation one receivesConsumers easily ignore ads when bombarded by them constantlyThis may lead to…perceptualImplication for advertisers?Are consumers bombarded by ads?
15Perceptual Selection Each day consumers are surrounded by stimuli They are able to subconsciously exercise selectivity over which stimuli they perceiveWhich stimuli are selected depend on two major factorsConsumers’ previous experience (what they are prepared to see)Their motives (needs, desires, interests, etc.)Which leads to this concept:Example?When you’re driving down the highway, do you begin to ignore the radio ads? The billboards?Supermarket as an example (you can ignore all the salad dressings because you know which one you want!)
16Some Important Concepts Regarding Selective Perception Selective ExposureConsumers actively seek out messages they find pleasant or are sympathetic to and avoid painful or threatening onesSelective AttentionConsumers exercise selectivity over attention given to commercial stimuli; they have a heightened awareness of stimuli that meet needs/interests and minimal awareness of irrelevant stimuliExamples?How about political ads during elections?Example?Men might gloss over a Ron Popeil infomercial for a dehydrator but stop channel surfing at a golf infomercial; same might go for walking down a street looking in store windowsEnvironmental StimuliSelective ExposureSelective AttentionPerception
17Selective Interpretation The interpretation of stimuli is also uniquely individual, because it is based on what people expect to see in light of previous experience, their motives and interestsAs we’ve seen, perception is a personal phenomenon.
18Attention Stimulation Adaptation LevelsIndifference to a stimulus to which one has become accustomedAttention StimulationPlacement, timing, and presentation of stimuli so that target consumers are most likely exposed to themExample?Television commercials!!Again with television, advertising goods most appropriate for the people likely to be watching the show
19Threshold Levels of Perception Sensation is the immediate and direct response of the sensory organs (e.g., eyes, ears, etc.) to a stimulus (e.g., an ad, a package, a brand name)Sensation is provoked by changes in sensory inputThe more stimuli that are present, the greater the change must be, and vice versa (e.g., pin dropping)OK, we already know that…Further…Thus…
20Differential threshold (“just noticeable difference”) For marketers’ purposes, there are two levels of sensory input (thresholds) of importance:Absolute thresholdDifferential threshold (“just noticeable difference”)What are they?
211. The absolute threshold The lowest level at which an individual can experience a sensationI.e., the lowest level of stimuli at which a person can detect a difference between something and nothingWhat is it?The “pin drop” concept
22Over time and exposure, the absolute threshold drops as consumers “get used to” a stimulus (sensory adaptation)Marketers need to increase/change sensory input in order to keep the attention of their target marketE.g. to television ads; it’s going to have to get quieter and quieter in order to hear that pin drop!What is the implication for marketers?How can they do that?Increase the volume (they already do that, unfortunately)Magazine ads include smells
232. Differential Threshold (JND) The minimum change in sensation necessary for a person to detect it19th century German scientist Ernst Weber discovered that the JND between two stimuli was not absolute, but varied according to the intensity of the first stimulusWeber’s Law thus states that the greater the initial stimulus, the greater the additional stimulus needs to be in order to be noticeableWhat is it?Examples?Let’s say a household cleaning product is being marketed as having “more lemon scent.” The stronger the initial scent, the greater the increase is going to have to be to be noticed.Or a potato chip with no salt. Just a little bit of salt added is going to be very noticeable. But as the salt content increases, the greater the increase needs to be in order to be noticed
24Implications for marketers Manufacturers and marketers try to determine the JND for their productsThere are two primary reasonsSo that negative changes (e.g., reduction in product size or quality or increases in price) are not noticeableSo that product improvements (improved packaging, larger quantities, lower price) are very apparentWhat are they?
25Ethical issueReductions in quantity and size may not be reflected in different packagingMarketers may attempt to differentiate product lines that are minimally different by increasing price differences between the linesThus consumers perceive the lines as different when they are notSo you see any ethical issues here?Is this deceptive?Bausch & Lomb example (see press release in file)
26Perception and ImageThe view or portrait of a product, brand, store or company created in consumers’ mindsImage is a major factor in consumers’ choice of one brand or store over anotherWhen we talk about “image” in this context, what are we talking about?Examples?What’s the image associated with Dodge and Buick? Lexus and Infiniti? Honda and Toyot?Wal-Mart/Sears/Penney’s vs. Saks, Lord & Taylor, etc.Old Navy vs. Banana Republic? And it’s the same company!What image does LL Bean project? Why?Nordstrom’s?Is image a factor in a consumer’s choice of stores?
27Images may be created around a number of categories: Economy Safety ReliabilityPleasureStatusDistinctivenessExamples?VW, Volvo, BMW, Honda, Cadillac, VW again with Beetle
28Subliminal Perception Research shows that people are stimulated below their level of conscious awareness—they can perceive stimuli without being consciously aware they are doing soFederal Communications Commission was concerned enough to ban it from television and radioOne last issue on perception is the issue of….I’m sure you’ve all heard about it.Is there such a thing?But does it work the way it has been suggested?What was the event that first stirred interest in this topic?1957 movie theatre experiment (see text p. 126)Has this experiment ever been successfully replicated? No!In fact, it has even been suggested that the theatre owner lied about the experiment.The link is to an interesting article on the web about this experimentAt present it is the general consensus that subliminal advertising does not influence consumers in their purchasing decisionsBut what about all the sexual connotations in ice cubes in liquor ads?
29In the 70’s interest was renewed due to claims advertisers were using subliminal embeds in print ads The most common claims involved the use of suggestive symbols in ice cubes floating in a pictured drinkResearch indicates sexually oriented embeds do not influence consumer preferencesBecause there is no evidence it works, there are no laws or regulations prohibiting it
30Link to Subliminal Advertising Websites However, anyone interested in the topic can begin with this interesting website: