A group is defined as two or more individuals who share a set of norms, values, or beliefs and have certain implicitly or explicitly defined relationships to one another such that their behaviors are interdependent. A reference group is a group whose presumed perspectives or values are being used by an individual as the basis for his/her current behavior.
Reference Groups (1)Primary: Daily STUDENT a.Direct (2)Secondary: CLUBS Types ofReference Groups (1) Aspirational (+ve)“Want-to-Be” IDOLS b. Indirect (2) Non-inspirational (-ve) “DON’T Want to Be” MICHEAL JACKSON
Normative vs. Comparative Reference Groups
Normative Reference Groups - A group in which individuals are motivated to gain or maintain acceptance. To promote this acceptance, individuals hold their attitudes in conformity with what they perceive to be the consensus of opinion (norms) among the group members. Comparative Reference Groups - A group which individuals use as a standard or point of reference in making evaluations or comparisons of themselves and of other individuals or groups
Types of Reference Groups
Friendship Groups – Most likely to influence after the family
Shopping Groups – 2 or more people who shop together
Work Groups – Who work together as a part of a work team
Virtual Groups/ Communities
Consumer–Action Groups – Who are dedicated in providing assistance to consumers in order to make correct purchase decisions
Reference Group Appeals Celebrities Experts Common Man (someone just like them uses it) The Executive/ Employee Spokesperson Trade/ Spokes Characters or Familiar Cartoon Characters Respected Retailers Editorial content of Special –interest Magazines Seals of Approval High Rating in Consumer Reports
Factors that affect Reference Group Influence Information and Experience
High for consumers – less likely to be influenced by reference groups
Credibility, Attractiveness and Power of the Reference Group Conspicuousness of the Product
Verbally conspicuous product – easily explained to others – higher influence by the reference group
Communications within Groups and Opinion Leadership
Market Mavens, Influentials, and e-fluentials
Marketing and Online Strategies
Communications within Groups and Opinion Leadership WOM Versus Advertising (% who put people vs. advertising as best source) 7-9
Communications within Groups and Opinion Leadership Opinion Leaders
An opinion leader is the “go to person” for specific types of information. This person filters, interprets, and passes along information.
Opinion leaders possess enduring involvement for specific product categories. This leads to greater knowledge and expertise.
Opinion leadership is category specific – an opinion leader in one product category is often an opinion seeker in others.
Communications within Groups and Opinion Leadership Mass Communication Information Flows 7-11
Communications within Groups and Opinion Leadership Situations in Which WOM and Opinion Leadership Occur The exchange of advice and information between group members can occur directly via WOM in the following situations: Likelihood of Seeking an Opinion Leader Individual seeks information from another or Individual volunteers information 7-12
Communications within Groups and Opinion Leadership Mavens, Influentials, and e-fluentials A market maven is a generalized market influencer who provides significant amounts of information about various products, places to shop, and so on. Roper Starch identifies a group similar to market mavens called influentials. Influentials are 10% of population but use broad social networks to influence the other 90%! Roper Starch identifies a group similar to internet market mavens called e-fluentials. They wield significant online and offline influence. 7-13
Communications within Groups and Opinion Leadership Marketing Strategy, WOM, and Opinion Leadership
Marketers are increasingly relying on WOM and influential consumers as part of their marketing strategies. Strategies designed to generate WOM and encourage opinion leadership include: