Sensory Dynamics of Perception: to understand the sensory
dynamics of perception
- perception is the process by which an individual selects, organizes, and
interprets stimuli into a meaningful and coherent picture of the world. How
we see the world around us.
- Sensation is the immediate and direct responses of the sensory organs to
o Stimulus is any unit of input to any of the senses
o Absolute threshold is the point at which a person can detect a
difference between something and nothing.
- Differential threshold (j.n.d just noticeable difference) is the minimal
difference that be detected between similar stimuli.
o Webber’s Law: the j.n.d between two stimuli is not an absolute
amount but an amount relative to the intensity of the first stimulus –
the strong the initial stimulus, the greater the additional intensity
needed for the second stimulus to be perceived as different. i.e price
of something needs to drop by a lot in order for it to be j.n.d
- Subliminal perception: stimuli that are too weak or too brief to be
consciously seen or heard
o There is no evidence that subliminal advertising persuades people to
buy goods or services
Elements of Perception: to learn about the three elements of
The following sections examine each of these three aspects of perception; the
selection, organization, and interpretation of stimuli.
1) Perceptual selection is when a consumer exercises a great deal of
selectivity as to which aspects of the environment (stimuli) they perceive.
i.e a lady at the grocery store, may not pay attention to any of the
products because she knows what she needs . It depends upon…..
o nature of the stimulus which includes the products physical
attributes, package design, brand name, advertising and more.
Advertising that stands in contrast to its environment achieves a high
degree of differentiation.
o Expectation: based on familiarity, previous experience, or
o Motives: needs or wants for a product or service
o Selective perception
o Selective exposure: consumers seek out messages, which are
pleasant can sympathize and reassure themselves of a good
o Selective Attention: consumer note products that would satisfy
their needs and disregard those in which they have no interest
o Perceptual Defense: screening out stimuli which are
o Perceptual Blocking: consumers avoid being bombarded by
tuning out using things like TiVo
2) Perceptual Organization
- Figure and ground: people tend to organize perceptions into figure-and-
ground relationships , the ground is usually hazy, marketers usually design
so the figure is the noticed stimuli.
- Grouping: people group stimuli to form a unified impression or concept-
grouping helps memory and recall.
- Closure: people have a need for closure and organize perceptions to form
complete pictures. Will often fill in missing pieces- incomplete messages are
remembers more than complete messages.
- stereotypes, people hold meanings to related stimuli
- physical appearance, positive attributes of people they know to those who
resemble them – important for model selection
- descriptive terms, stereotype is often reflected with verbal messages
- first impressions
- halo effect, is how the consumers perceive and evaluate multiple objects
based on just one dimension. i.e a man is trustworthy, fine, and noble
because he looks you in the eye when he speaks
Consumer Imagery: to understand the components of consumer
imagery and their strategic applications.
- Product positioning is the image that a product has in the mind of the
consumer. It established a specific image for a brand in the consumers mind
in relation to competing brands.
o Packaging as a positioning element: packaging conveys the image that
the brand communicates to the buyer. Color, weight, image and shape
are all important. Repositioning is sometimes important because of
increased competition, changing consumer tastes.
o Perceptual mapping, is the analytical technique that enables
marketers to determine just how they want their products or services
to appear to consumers in relation to competitive brands. (page 174)
- Service positioning, image is a key factor for service: services often want a
differentiated positioning strategy to market several versions of their service
to different markets.
Perceived Price and Perceived Quality
References Prices: used as a basis for comparison in judging another price (Internal
Perceived Quality of Products: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Cues
Intrinsic: concerns physical characteristic of a product
Extrinsic: concerns the quality
(1) Satisfaction-based pricing: recognizing and reducing customer’s
perceptions of uncertainty, which the intangible nature of services magnifies
(service guarantees, benefit-driven pricing and flat-rate pricing)
(2) Relationship pricing: Encouraging long-term relationships with the
company that the customer view as beneficial (long-term contracts, price
(3) Efficiency pricing: Sharing with customers the cost savings that the
company has achieved by understanding, managing and reducing the costs of
providing the service (cost-leader pricing)
Perceived Quality of Service: difficult due to characteristics of services: intangible,
variable, perishable and simultaneously produced and consumed
Price/Quality Relationships: perception of price is an indicator of product quality
(e.g. the higher the price, the higher the perceived quality of the product)
Retail Store Image: brands carried, prices, level of service, store ambiance, clientele,
product assortment, discounts
Manufacturers Image: favorable image tied to new product acceptance, companies
sponsor community events to enhance images, product and institutional images
- outcome dimension: focuses on reliable delivery of the core service
- process dimension: how the service is delivered
Perceived Risk: the degree of uncertainty perceived by the consumer as to the
consequences (outcome) of a specific purchase decision (Types: functional risk,
physical risk, financial risk, social risk, psychological risk, time risk)
How Consumers Handle Risks: read types of risk page 184
Stay Brand Loyal
Select by Brand Image
Rely on Store Image
Buy the Most Expensive Model