Chapter 6 Consumer Behavior.docx

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Chapter 6
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.
3) Interpretation
- 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
and External)
Perceived Quality of Products: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Cues
Intrinsic: concerns physical characteristic of a product
Extrinsic: concerns the quality
Pricing Strategy:
(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
Seek information
Stay Brand Loyal
Select by Brand Image
Rely on Store Image
Buy the Most Expensive Model
Seek Reassurance