Consumer Behaviour unit -1Q.1:- Explain the meaning of Consumer Behavior. Why should a marketer study the hierarchyof needs model under this are of marketing?Ans:- Consumer behavior:- A Consumer is an individual of a set of individuals who have an actual or potential interest inthe purchase of usage of any Product. Idea or a Service. The study of the behavioral aspects of aconsumer:- Purchase –intention Purchase- decision Product usage Product disposition is called Consumer Behavior.Thus consumer behavior is the study of the processes involved when individuals or groups selectpurchase, use or dispose off products to satisfy their needs of wants. Earlier the emphasis was on Buyer Behavior. This means on attempt was made to study thebehavior of an individual at the time of purchase of a product, service, idea, and experience etc.however it has been realized that consumer behavior is an on-going decision is important, but alsothe using & disposing off the product gives a lot of insight into a customer’s future purchases.The marketer is interested in understanding the entire consumption process:- How does a customer decide which product to purchase? Before From which sources does he collect information about a product and its Purchasing alternative Brands? How does a customer acquire a product? During What all situational factors affect his choice? Purchasing What does the purchase say about the consumer? Is the consumer satisfied with the product? Post Purchasing Will he buy/recommend the brand again? Behavior How does he use a product? How does he dispose off the product? What are the environmental consequences of disposing?Thus the concept of consumer behavior entails all above mentioned stages and the issues involvedin all the stages. The study involves the in-depth analysis of what a customer buys why he buys,what influences his choice and how does a customer disposes off a product? This study discussesthe psychological, economic, social and demographic aspects of a customer, which is turn affectsthe environmental variables.Inter disciplinary approach to consumer behaviour The study of consumer behavior is interdisciplinary in nature. Various subjects havecontributed to the development of this subject. Psychology- as a field of study of an individual;Sociology as a filed of study of an individual in a society; Anthropology as a field of study ofvarious cultures; History as a field of study of various past experiences of a consumer etc.
Economics Psychology Sociology Interdisciplinary approach to C.B Demography Anthropology HistoryRoles of a consumer: - A marketer studies the various roles a consumer play in the decisionmaking process:- Influencer (who influence the purchase decision) Role User (Who uses a product) Purchase(Who actually purchase a product in May circumstances, user or purchaser may be the same. Foreg. When a doctor purchases a B.P. Apparatus for himself, he is a purchaser as well as a user. The two may be different, when an individual gives the Apparatus as a gift to a friend who isa medical student. Influencer is the person providing information or recommendations for or against a particularProduct or Brand without actually buying or using the same e.g. the shop owner may guide thepurchaser on which brand of apparatus to buy. Before taking a decision on which product, whichbrand , from where, in what quantity & at what price to buy a product, a consumer goes through anumber of steps:-STAGES IN CONSUMER DECISION-MAKING PROCESS Stage- I Marketer Family Awareness This is a stage from being ignorant about a Friends Reference product. The customer becomes aware of the 4P’s of an offering. Stage-II At this stage the marketer aims at building the Marketing efforts Interest interest of a customer in a Brand. The customer seeks more information and becomes receptive to marketing efforts. The marketer lures the customer to an event Stage-III where he gets keenly involved in the product & Choice of a brand desires to obtain the same. He identifies & Choice of store Desire evaluates the various alternatives available for Choice of time of purchase a specific product. Choice of quantity. This is stage when the customer purchase and Stage- IV owns a Brand of his choice.
ActionThus above mentioned are the stages through which a consumer goes through before decidingupon which product to buy. The duration and the sequence of stages may differ from consumer toconsumer and from products to product.The study of the above mentioned process of consumer behaviour helps the marketer in choosing aright appeal to influence a customer.HIERARCHY-OF NEEDS:- The study of consumer behaviour entails the hierarchy of needs as discussed by A.H.Maslow. This model of need divides the needs of an individual in various levels. Depending uponwhich level of need is more dominating at a given point of time, the marketer can design thepromotional campaign accordingly.a) Physiological Needs:- The physiological needs are the first and the most basic level of human needs. These needswhich are required to sustain biological life, include food, water, air, shelter, clothing, sex etc. themarketers may appeal to the physiological needs of a customer by:-Promoting physical healthAppealing to taste buds etc.B) Safety & Security Needs:- These are the second level of needs which arise in a customer and may be tapped by amarketer. These needs are concerned with physical safety, order, stability, routine, familiarly andcontrol over ones life and environment. For example:-Insurance policiesSavings accountsEducation &Vocational training etc. is some products which generally use the appeals to the safety & securityneeds of a consumer.c) Social Needs These are the needs for love, warmth, affection, belongingness and acceptance. Peopleseek warm and satisfying human relationships with other people and are motivated by love for theirfamilies and friend. Toothpaste, Deodorants etc.Are some products, which appeal to the social need of the customer?d) Logistic needs Inward-Self acceptance Self esteem Success IndependenceLogistic orientation Outward-Prestige reputation Status & recognitionsThese needs presume the desire to show off one’s success and achievement through materialpossessions eg. Car, Suiting & Shirting’s, Jewellary etc.]e) Self-actualization Needs
This set of needs refers to an individual’s desire to fulfill his or her potential to becomeeverything he or she is capable of becoming. Many large companies use this level of needs toappeal to a customer.Suiting & shirtingHoliday PackageResidential place in a peaceful area etc. Therefore a study of any of the above mentioned needs may help a marketer to customizehis offerings or appeals to suit the customer.The concept of hierarchy of needs may also be used by a marketer for the purpose ofSegmentation, Positioning & designing Promotional programme.a) Segmentation:- Segmentation is the process of dividing the market into various categories. By identifying thevarious level of needs the marketer can divide the market on the basis of needs for example for asoap the needs may be hygiene, clearness, fairness, softness, moisturizer etc, Segments Total Marksb) Positioning: - Positioning is the process of creating an image in the mind of the customerabout a brand. The need, which is aroused in a customer, may be used as a platform to position aproduct.For example, The need market for fairness was more in numbers & not being satisfied by anymarketer, HLL launched its ‘Fair & Lovely fairness soap’ which has been positioned as a soap tocater to the need of fair skin. Following its success a number of brands have now positioned theirproduct in the same category. Therefore, various types of needs if identified well in advance by a marketer may be useful indesigning its promotional strategies etc.CONCLUSION:- The field of study of consumer behaviour is very vast.It includes the understanding of a customer’s personality, perception, motivation, attitudes & values.gThe sequential decision-making of a consumerThe various levels of needs present in a consumer which affects his purchase decision etc.All these area help the marketer in understanding the consumer better and serving him better bycustomizing his offering accordingly.************************************************************************************************** UNIT - 2Q.2:- What do you mean by Diffusion of Innovations? Explain the process of diffusion ofinnovation.Ans: - DIFFUSION OF INNOVATION:- An innovation is any product or service that is perceived to be new by consumers. Aninnovation may be Consumer Setting Industrial Setting Product Product Technology Technology
Service Service If an innovations successful it spreads through the population. First it is bought or used byonly a few people, and then more and more consumers decide to adopt it. Most of the Innovationsare a failure. However, every marketer tries to make its innovation available to the maximumnumber of people in a given market. Diffusion of Innovations refers to the process whereby a new product, service, or idea spreadthrough population. The rate at which the product diffuses may vary on a number of factors. The diffusion of innovation takes an entire sequence and resembles the decision-makingsequence where a person moves through the stage of Awareness Information Search Evaluation Trial AdoptionProcess of Diffusion of Innovations: - Types of Adopters 34% Early 34% Late Majority Majority 13.5% early innovators 2.5% 16% Laggards innovators Maturity Introduction Growth Life Cycle DeclineThe process of diffusion of innovation spreads in the market with one person adopting an innovationand communicating it to the other people.a) Innovators:- Innovators are the first ones to try and adopt a new innovation. Though only 25% of thepopulations are innovators, marketers are always interested in identifying them. They are peoplewho are on the lookout for novel development and are the first ones to try a new offering. They arethe ones who spread innovation through word of mouth to others.
B) EARLY ADOPTERS:- Early adopters share many of the same characteristics as innovators but an important d` Wifference is their degree of concern for social acceptance, especially with regard toexpensive products. An early adopter is receptive to new styles because he or she is involved in the productcategory and also places high value on being in fashion. They are not first ones to adopt aninnovation, but are relatively early one to adopt the same.c) Early majority There are 34% of the societies who are early group as compared to most of the society.They are a major group but who adopt a product only when it has been adopted by a substantialnumber of people.d) Late Majority This is a majority of 34% but who are late to adopt a product. They represent the mainstreampublic. They do not want to adopt new products due to several reasons. However thy do adopt theproduct when it reaches its maturity.e) Laggards:- Constituting 16% of the population, they are the most conservative and traditional in theiroutlook. They are the late group who adopt an innovation when it is no more an innovation. Whenthe product is on the declining stages, this group adopts the same. Therefore, this is the sequence and the categories of people in a market who adopt an Consumer Modification of aninnovation. existing product Dynamically Continuous Pronounced change in an Types of Discontinuous- major existing product innovations changes in the way we liveFor a successful adoption an Innovation should have Compatibility Traibility Complexity Pre- requisites Observability Relative AdvantageConclusion:- Some Innovations like mobile phones etc. to diffuse itself took vary less time. It took Radio30 years reach 60 million users and TV 15 years to reach this number. In contrast, within 3 years 90million were surfing the web. Today with the development of technology, innovations are diffused ata faster rate, yet as in India, Rural India is not very quick to adopt the Innovations at the same pace.************************************************************************************************* UNIT - 3Q.2:- Ans: PersonalityPersonality may be defined as those inner characteristics which help psychological in nature thatboth determine and reflect how a person responds to his or her environment. Thus personality
comprises of inner characteristics, which are the specific qualities, attributes, traits, factors andmannerisms that distinguish one individual from other individuals.The concept of personality has the following:Characteristics:-Personality reflects individual differencesPersonality is consistent and enduringCertain circumstances may force personality in change.These deeply engrained characteristics of individual called personality traits are very likely toinfluence the product choice of an individual as well as the store choice. It affect the way consumers respond to marketer’s promotional efforts. The concept of personality is highly useful for marketers for the segmentation strategies. Many marketers use the concept of personality for the purpose of Positioning of a product. Freudian TheoryTHEORIES OF PERSONALITIES Neo- Freudian Theory Trait Theorya) Freudian Theory:- - Sigmund Freud - Psychoanalytical theoryThis theory was built on the premise that unconscious needs or drives, especially biological drives,are at the heart of human motivation and personality. Social code of conduct Super Ego Ego Individual’s conscious control Id Basic Biological needs Researchers believe that it is these basic, biological, unconscious needs of the customers,which shape their personality and guide their product choice. Thus a consumer’s appearance andpossessions are the reflections of the individual’s personality.Eg. The promotional campaign of Denim products also appeals to the hidden biological needs “Id”though subtle sexual appeals.b) Neo-Freudian Theory:-Alfred AdlerHarry StackThis theory believes that social relationships are fundamental to the formation & development ofpersonality.Acc. To Karen Horney- three personality groups are:-
Compliant individuals- Those who want to adjust themselves to the society at large.Aggressive individuals- Those who move against people & stress the need for power, strength &the ability to manipulate others.Detached Individuals: - Those who are indifferent and want to stay away from the social norms. Many marketers position their product in relation to how an individual relates himself to theother people in the society. For example: - The advertisement campaign designed for RexonaDeodorant targets the compliant personality.E.g. Elle 18 colour cosmetics targets the aggressive personality.c) Trait Theory:- A trait is any distinguishing, relatively enduring way in which one individual differs fromothers. The orientation of trait theory is primarily quantitative or empirical. It focuses on themeasurement of personality in terms of specific psychological characteristics called –traits.Traits may be:- Self confidence Risk-taking Consumer materialism Ethnocentrisms etc.Traits researchers have found that it is generally more realistic to expect personality to be linked tohow consumers make their choices. For example, a consumer with a high risk taking trait may bemore receptive to new innovations and new brand launches in the market. A consumer with low ethnocentrisms is more likely to buy foreign-made products as againstbuying their own country-of-origin made product. Consumer Innovators Need for Uniqueness Traits Optimum Stimulation level Sensation Seeking Variety novelty SeekingThus a marketer tries to identify specific traits in the target customers to be able to appeal to them.The Personality of individuals is one of the most significant factors affecting the choice of the type ofproduct and the brand chosen.CONCLUSION:- It is very popularly believed that:-What product or brands consumers purchaseWhen & how they consume the products or brandsFrom where they buy themHow they dispose off.Is very likely to be influenced by the personality factors. For this reason, several advertising and marketing people have depicted and thenincorporated specific personality traits or characteristics in their marketing and advertisingprogramme.
For example the purchase of ‘Ray Ban’ sun glasses targets the studies of the individual asone of the personality attribute to position its brands. Thus the concept of Personality has a very wide application, in helping the marketers to builda brand image of the product. The marketers try to build an image which may be consistent with thepersonality of the target customers so that the customers are able to relate themselves to the brandand therefore purchase the same.************************************************************************************************* UNIT - 3Q.4:- Is it possible to change Attitudes? How? (With reference to ELM)Ans: - ATTITUDE:- Attitude is a lasting, general evaluation of people, objects, advertisement or issues eitherfavorable or unfavourable, which is enduring.An attitude performs the following functions:-Utilitarian functionValue-expressive functionEgo-defensive functionKnowledge functionAn attitude can serve more that one functions, but in many cases a particular one will be dominant.By identifying the dominant function a product serves for consumers what benefits its provides-marketers can emphasize these benefits in their communication and packaging. As discussed, an attitude is a predisposition to evaluate an object or product positively ornegatively. Every marketer wants its target segment to have a positive attitude towards its brand ofoffering. Though attitudes are enduring, every marketer attempts to change a negative attitude intoa positive one. One of the most important methods of converting a negative attitude into positive iscommunication.Sender Communication Medium ReceiverI the source:- Source of a message is the person or authority promoting an offering. It is veryunderstandable that the same words uttered or written by different people can have very differenteffects. Under most conditions the source of a message can have a big impact on the likelihood thatthe message will be accepted. The source can be chosen because he or she is an expert,attractive, famous or even a typical consumer who is both likeable & trustworthy. Credibility: Source’s perceived expertise, objectivity or trustworthiness. Source Attractiveness: - Source’s perceived social value due to physical appearance, personality, social status or his similarity to receiver.II. The message Characteristics of the message itself help to determine its impact on attitudes. Thesevariables include how the message is said as well as what it said. These include:-
The use of words & pictures Repetition Conclusion – Explicit or implicit One-sided or two-sided argument Comparative advertising.Type of appeal: - Sexual/Fear/Humorous/ Emotional/LogicalForm of a story presentation Drama/Lecture.Effects of Visual & Verbal components of Advertisements on Brand Attitudes. Visual Component Attitude towards the of Advertisement advertisement Brand Attitudes Verbal Component Benefits about of advertisement product attributeThus we have reviewed the two major components of the communication model-the source and themessage. Depending upon the consumer’s level of involvement either of the two components willbe more influential in the process of attitude change. Research indicates that this level of involvement determines which aspects- the Source(endorser Celebrity) or the message shall be processed. This concept can be understood with the ELABORATION LIKELIHOOD MODEL (ELM) It assumes that once a consumer receives a message, he or she begins to process it.Depending on the personal relevance of this information, the receiver will follow one of two routes topersuasion.Under conditions of high involvement, the consumer takes the central route to persuasion. Underconditions of low involvement a peripheral is taken instead. Behaviour Change Attitude Change Belief & Attitude Behavioral change change Peripheral Route Belief change Responses Central Route High-Involvement Cognitive (Message) (Source) Comprehensive Attention & Low-Involvement Processing processing
Communication Message Channel) (Source,Q.5:- “Do consumers form strong relationship with products and service?”How can the marketer increase the customer’s level of involvement with aproduct?Ans: - CONSUMER INVOLVEMENT:- A product or a service is a means to satisfy an individual’s needs & desires. Very often these productsor services from an integral part of an individual’s life. Therefore the statement that “Consumers form strongrelationships with products & services” is true. However, the degree of involvement of a consumer with a product may not be the same forall product types. Generally, an individual may be more involved in an expensive product but maynot be equally involved in a product which is just a rupee or two priced. Consumer Involvement may be defined as a person’s perceived relevance of the objectbased on their inherent needs, values and interest. The object here refers to any product, which acustomer involvement refers to the degree of information processing or extent of importance that aconsumer attaches to a product. For example: - if a customer wants to purchase a mid-segment Car, be has to spend anapproximate amount of Rs. Three lakhs. Thus for any individual spending such a big amount onpurchasing a product, be tends to get highly involved in the process of search for alternativesevaluation of various alternatives & finally taking a decision. Therefore it is clear that most of thetimes, when more expensive products are to be purchased the consumer gets more involved in thepurchase process. Expensive product: - Higher Involvement When a student is purchasing a book for preparing for a competitive examination, the book tobe purchased may not be as expensive as a car, yet the customer gets highly involved in theprocess of evaluation of alternatives & making a final purchase decision. This is because for the student the purchase decision may affect his career objectives & theefficiency with which he achieves it. Therefore, in such circumstances, the consumer involvement is high, as the relevance of theproduct to be purchased is perceived to be very high. A similar situation may occur when a medicine is being purchased, which may not be veryexpensive, yet the consumer may be highly involved in checking that it shouldn’t react him.Important products: - Higher involvement Broadly, speaking consumer involvement may be considered as the motivation to processthe information related to the product. The level of involvement may be influenced by”-
Personal Factors Objects factors Situational Factors Needs Differentiation Purchase Importance of alternatives Use Interest Source of communication Occasion Values Content of Communication Levels of involvement The degree to which an individual is involved in the processing of information about any product or a specific brand ranges from simple processing to elaboration. I Level Low involvement Inertia Habitual decisions Lack of motivation to evaluate alternative e.g. Tea, Tooth brush, Washing powder, cigarettes. Etc. II Level Simple processing some involvement Some evaluation of alternatives Simple decision-making E.g. skin creams, torch, snacks etc. III Level Elaboration High involvement Lengthy decision-making process Evaluation of alternatives of various factors. E.g. Cars, Diamond, Property etc. Thus from low to high, the consumer may be involved in the process of purchase in varying degrees. This involvement may be of any type:- Product Involvement High Involvement if the Consumer is highly interested in a given product category. High Involvement at the time ofHigh Involvement is the processing Types purchase if the product is beingof marketing communication e.g. Purchase purchased to impress someone orlooking for Advertisement Situation as a gift. Involvement Involvement The type of consumer may be cognitive or emotional Based on the object to be purchased Cognitive: - Expensive products, highly differentiated products. Emotional: - Less expensive products, gifts, low degree of differentiation. The level of consumer involvement broadly speaking depends upon the following components. Personal Interest in the Probability of making a product bad purchase. Perceived Importance
Pleasure value of the Status value of the product productHence, any of the above mentioned characteristics may decide, how much will a consumer beinvolved in the process of purchasing a product? For a marketing manager, it is important to understand that what creates or affect theinvolvement of a consumer in a product category. This is so, because if the marketers havesomething different to offer to the consumer, he would influence the customer’s cognitiveinvolvement to get a sale. Further, a marketing manager must also analysis the level to which the consumer is involvedin the product category, so that a communication strategy may be designed accordingly.For products falling in low involvement category: Attractive celebrity Musical message Emotional appeal Humor etc. may be used E.g. Kurkure, Pepsi etcHigh Involvement Category: Logical Reasoning Arguments & counter arguments USP E.g. Automobiles, Real Estate etc.Although consumers differ in their level of involvement with respect to a product, marketers try to beaware of those factors that increase or decrease attention. With this they can take steps to increasethe likelihood that product information will get through.A consumer’s motivation to process relevant information can be enhanced fairly by the marketerwho uses any of the following techniques:-An appeal to the consumer hedonic needs generally generate higher levels of attention e.g. Denim,Tale, LML Motorcycles.Use of new stimuli, tends to catch the attention of the audience e.g. Onida Television shows a ‘devil’in the advertisement.Highly popular or sought-after celebrities may be used as endorsers in a product advertisement e.g.Amitabh Bachchan for Nerolac, Cadbury’s, Parker.Customer Relationship Management techniques may be an individual to the company with anongoing relationship & in turn loyalty.Conclusion:- From the above discussion, it is clear that generally people get attached to products. Thoughnot everyone is motivated to the same extent and in the same form. But a marketing manager can study the level, type & form of a consumer’s involvement andaim to increase the same with a view to improve the bond between the consumer and the product.
UNIT - 4Q.6:- Discuss the stages in Consumer Decision Making. Do all Consumerspass through the same stage?Ans: - CONSUMER DECISION- MAKING:-Generally speaking, the decision of a consumer to purchase a product is a response to a problemrealized by him traditionally, consumer researches have approached decision-making from arational perspective. It was viewed that consumers pass through a series of stages to finally arriveat a purchase decision. This implies that these steps in the decision-making process should becarefully studied by marketing managers to understand how consumers obtain information, howbeliefs are formed and what product choice criteria are specified by consumers.Before we discuss the stages involved in the consumer decision-making process, let us look at thetypes of consumer decisions. Routine Response Limited Problem Extensive Problem Behaviour Solving SolvingLow cost products More Expensive productsFrequent purchasing infrequent purchasingLow involvement High InvolvementFamiliar Products & Brand Unfamiliar products & Brands & theirDifferencesLess time spent on purchasing Extensive time spent on purchasing.Low risk High riskDecision may be taken at the multiple consultations prior to store visits.Point of purchasingBroadly speaking an elaborate process of decision-making is adopted in extensive problem solvingtype of consumer decision.STAGES IN CONSUMER DECISION-MAKING Problem Recognition Information Search Evaluation of Alternatives Product choice
OutcomesStage I: - PROBLEM RECOGNITION:-This is the first stage in the consumer decision-making and occurs whenever the consumer sees a differencebetween his current state of affairs and some desired state. IdealIdeal State IdealActual State ActualNo Problem Opportunity Actual need Recognition RecognitionNeed Recognition can occur due to Running out of a product By buying a product that doesn’t satisfy the need Creation of new needs. By watching a friend use a product By watching an advertisement By discussions By cognitionAt the Problem Recognition stage, the consumer becomes aware of some lack of comfort in his lifedue to the absence of some product in his possession.Stage II: - Information search Once a problem has been recognized consumer need adequate information to resolve it.Information search is the process by which the consumer surveys his environment for appropriatedata to make a reasonable decision. Types of Information searchPrepurchase Search On- going searchSearch for information Search is done duringBefore a purchase is made the process of purchase.Aim to make a better Aim to gatherPurchase decision information just at the time of Purchase.Sources of Internal-prior experience, prior learningInformation External- Advertisements, friends, observation. Deliberate search – Search for information actively.Search forInformation Accidental Search – Coming across information passively. E.g. advertisement, packaging, sales promotion.
According to the Economics- of information approach to the search process, consumers gather onlyas much data as needed to make an informed decision. Consumers form expectation of the value ofadditional information & continue to search to the extent that the rewards of doing so exceed thecosts. This also implies that the most valuable units of information will be collected first. The amountof external search for most products is generally very small, but is more for expensive products. However, consumers differ in the amount of search they tend to undertake. All things beingequalYounger, better-educated to search people tend to collect more information.Women are inclined to search than men.Those who place greater value on style and image do more searchSearch is more for products with high perceived risk.Stage III: - Evaluation of alternatives In this stage of information search, a consumer may come across various alternatives tosolve a problem. A consumer engaged in extended problem solving may be fully evaluating severalBrands, whereas someone making habitual decision may not consider any alternatives to theirnormal brand. All the alternatives may be categorized as under:- All Alternatives All existing brands Evoked set Aware Inert set Inept set Considered Aware but not Brand not aware considered Brands alreadyRetrieval Prominent in memoryset products in retail EnvironmentGenerally the consumer evaluates the brand from his evoked set i.e. the brands about which aconsumer is aware and would like to take a decision to purchase.Stage IV: - Selection among alternatives Once the relevant options from a category have been assembled and evaluated, a choicemust be made among them. The decision rules guiding choice can range from very simple andquick strategies to complicated process requiring much attention & cognitive processing.
There are various dimensions used to judge the alternatives which are called as evaluativecriteria. Evaluative criteria may be Functional attributesExperiential attributesSignificant differences amongst brandsEmotional attributes etc.Many a times, certain shortcuts may be used for selecting among alternatives, called, Heuristics.For e.g.Relying on a product Signal ISI/Agrmark/ISDCountry of origin, - Made in USA’Choosing Familiar BrandsHigh price means high qualityHabitual purchase.CONCLUSION:- Thus, a decision of purchase is made using several short cuts. Consumers are faced theneed to make decision about products almost all the time. Some of these decisions are veryimportant & entail great effort and an elaborate decision-making process, as described above.However, other habitual or routine decisions which are virtually automatically made may not passthrough a detailed & time consuming process.Q.7:- (A) WHAT IS SUBLIMINAL PERCEPTION? IS IT EFFECTIVE?ANS: - PERCETPION:- Perception is the process by which the sensory organs of an individual selects, organizes &interprets the stimuli from the environment. Perception is an intellectual process and is differentfrom sensation. Sensation refers to the immediate response of our sensory receptors i.e. Eyes,ears, nose, mouth etc. perception focuses on what we add to the raw sensations in order to give ameaning to the stimuli.Perceptual processSensory Stimuli Sensory ReceptorsSight EyesSound EarsSmell Nose Exposur Attention InterpretatioTaste Mouth e nTextures SkinSubliminal Perception Most marketers are concerned with creating messages about consumer’s thresholds so thatit ma get noticed by the audience. At the same time, there are advertisements whose messageshave been deliberately designed to be perceived below the conscious level. The concept of subliminal perception is based on twin concepts ofAbsolute Threshold Differential Threshold Threshold refers to the lowest level of sensory reception at which a stimuli can be noticed byan individual absolute threshold is the minimum amount of stimulation that can be detected on agiven sensory channel. E.g. there may be very creatively designed message on a banner on theroad. But if its font size is small enough to be visible, it is not noticed. Thus it is below the absolutethreshold.
Differential threshold It refers to the ability of a sensory system to detect changes or differences between twostimuli. The minimum difference that can be detected between two stimuli is known as the JustNoticeable Difference. Many times if any marketer has made some negative changes in the product quality isreduced product price is increased etc. he doesn’t want the customer to notice the same. Thereforehe keeps these changes below the just noticeable difference level. In the other hand any positive changes made by a marketer, however small it may be ispreferred to be kept above the Just Noticeable Difference. Thus the changes which a marketer wants to be observed by the customers are deliberatelymade known to the audience by making them notice the same. The concept of the threshold helps in the subliminal Perception. Another word for threshold is‘limen’, stimuli that fall below the limen are termed subliminal. Subliminal perception occurs whenthe stimulus is below the level of the consumers conscious or awareness. The topic of subliminal perception has been debated for over 40 years. Some believe that itis not ethical to use it because by this you are exploiting the sub-conscious level of a consumer.Research has shown that many consumers believe that subliminal advertising actually made thembuy things that they do not really want. Subliminal advertising makes use of hidden messages and images which are not consciouslyperceived. Subliminal messages can be sent on both visual and oral channels.Subliminal Techniques Visual OralEMBEDS: - These are tiny figures inserted into print advertisements, by use of high-speedphotography or airbrushing. These hidden figures, usually of a sexual nature, supposedly exertstrong but unconscious influence on innocent readers.B) SOUND RECORDING: Generally used in self-help cassettes the audio message containssound of waves crashing or some other natural sound. These tapes are mean to help the listenerstop smoking, lose weight, gain confidence etc. As on the debate on the use of the technique of subliminal perception, so does a debateexist on the effectiveness of this technique? Some research on clinical psychologist suggests thatpeople can be influenced by subliminal messages under very specific conditions. However it isdoubtful that these techniques would be of much use in most marketing contexts. Effective subliminal perceptions must be very specifically tailored to individuals, rather thanthe mass messages required by advertising. Also these messages should be close to ‘liminal’messages. For example in PVR multiplex cinema halls during intervals, a slide shows the message’Mac Donald Burger Ndn Coke”. Though there is nothing written on the slide to the effect ofpurchasing the same. Yet the audience may times are induced to buy the Burger& the Cold drink. LML, when first introduced its motorcycles in India, used a subliminal perception message ofcomparing the body of the motorcycles with a female body. There are consumer groups whoconsider subliminal advertising as unethical and discourage marketers to use it. At the same time there are many advertisers who have questioned the very usefulness ofthese messages on the following issues.The individuals differ widely on threshold levels. Some people have a low threshold as compared toothers. To target such people, the message has to be so weak that it would not reach those whohave a high threshold.
Advertisers lack control over consumers distance & position from a screen. In a big cinema hall,only a small portion of the audience would be in exactly the right seats to be exposed to asubliminal message.At home people may not be watching the TV commercial with such a great attention that they maycatch a subliminal message.Conclusion:- There is not much proof on the effectiveness of subliminal messages on the buyingbehaviour of the audience. Further even if the desired effect is induced it operates at a very generallevel. For example, a message for a specific drink. Because basic drives are affected, if affected atall and it helps the competitors equally.