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Chapter 6

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Marketing and Consumer Studies
MCS 2600
Lianne Foti

Chapter 6 – Consumer Perception -consumers act/react on the basis of their perceptions, not on basis of objective reality -individual reality is totally personal, based on owns needs, wants, values and personal experiences -advertising creates & shapes consumers perceptions of products by positioning their offerings as fulfilling consumers’ needs & delivering important benefits more effectively than competing alternatives -most difficult products to position or differentiate clearly from competition are commodities (which are largely the same, with little real physical differences among competing alternatives) Perception- process which an individual selects, organizes, & interprets stimuli into meaningful & coherent picture of the world -unique to individuals (two people can view things, perceive things, very differently) Elements of perception- sensation, absolute threshold, differential threshold, subliminal perception Sensation- immediate & direct response of sensory organs to stimuli (a stimulus is any unit of input to any of the senses) Absolute threshold- lowest level at which an individual can experience a sensation (point at which person can detect difference between “something” and “nothing”) Differential threshold (just noticeable difference (j.n)–minimal difference detected between two similar stimuli -Weber’s Law: stronger the initial stimulus, the greater the additional intensity needed for the second stimulus to be perceived as different -marketers need to determine relative j.n.d for ads so they can change them a little each time so that they get noticed, but can use the same idea for stretched amount of time- it’s important that features that differentiate & attract customers are not lost in changes (symbols change a little at a time, but not enough that consumers cannot identify the new symbol with the products) Sensory receptors- human organs (eyes, ears, nose, moth, skinthat receive sensory inputs -most marketing appeal to sight & sound, however smell & touch also represent considerable opportunities for targeting consumers Sensory adaptation –concern that consumers will get use to current ads & will no longer “see” it Subliminal perception- perception of a stimuli that are above the level of conscious awareness -stimuli that’s too week or brief to be consciously seen or heard (may be strong enough to be perceived by one or more receptor cells)(ie. “Drink Coke” flashed across screen in movie theater) -research has shown no evidence that subliminal ads can cause behaviour changes Elements of Perception: -two types of input: physical stimuli (from the outside environment) & the other is provided by individuals in the form of certain predispositions (expectations, motives, and learningbased on previous experience (combination of these two stimuli private, personal pictures of the world) 1. Selection –consumers subconsciously exercise selectivity to which stimuli they perceive -which stimuli gets selected depends on: 1. Nature of the stimulus – includes products physical attributes, package design, brand name, advertising, etc. (contrast is one of most attention-compelling attributes of stimulus) 2. Expectations – Consumers previous experience as it affects their expectations (what they are prepared or ‘set’ to seebased on previous experience or familiarity, preconditioned set of expectations 3. Motives – needs, wants, desires, interests at the time Perceptual Selection: Selective Selective Perceptual Perceptual Exposure Attention Defense Blocking •Consumers •Heightened •Screening out •Consumers seek out awareness of stimuli which avoid being messages when stimuli are threatening bombarded by: which: meet their •Tuning out needs •Are pleasant •TiVo •They can •Consumers sympathize prefer different •Reassure them messages and medium of good purchases 2. Organization -people organize stimuli into groups and perceive them as unified wholes according to Gestalt Principals: -figure and ground- people tend to organise perceptions into figure-and ground relationships (contrast) -marketers usually design so the figure is noticed stimuli (ie hazy background, use of colour) Product placement (branded entertainment- advertised product is integrated into the TV show/film (ground)in either: product used by cast, integrated into plot, or is associated with a character -grouping- people group stimuli to form a unified impression or concept -helps memory and recall (ie. phone numbers grouped into (3)(4) helps for memory recall) -closure – people have a need for closure and organize perceptions to form a complete picture -incomplete messages remembered more than complete -consumers like to complete picture, work to fill in missing information *people remember more of what we have to do than what we have done (ie. bank can use this by…”your richer than you think”-scotia bank) 3. Interpretation Stereotypes- people hold biased (relatedmeanings related to stimuli -main factors that can trigger stereotypes are: ●Physical Appearances- positive attributes of people they know to those who resemble them -important for model selection (ie. beautiful salesperson must have knowledge on beauty products) -colour of food makes things seem more healthy (did not perceive green/purple ketchup well) ●Descriptive Terms- verbal messages reflect stereotypes -people tend to attribute qualities they associate with certain types of people to others who resemble them, whether or not they consciously recognize the similarity -must be careful about using canned stereotypes & ‘common wisdom’ in persuasive messages (ie. it’s a big fat cheeseburger in a land of tofu) ●First Impressions- are lasting, perceivers trying to determine which stimuli’s relevant, important, or predictive ●Halo Effect- consumers perceive & evaluate multiple objects based on just one dimension -managers & retailers hope to acquire instant recognition & status for their products by associating them with a well-known name (making assumption on a few assumptions (ie. Doctors office is clean, receptionist is nice, nice décorassume doctor is good) Consumer Imagery: Product Positioning -defines product uniquely in consumers mind; conveys the product in terms of how it fulfills a need -successful positioning creates a distinctive, positive brand image -more important than products actual characteristics, but if products are poorly made they won’t exceed on long run on basis of image alone Packaging as a Positioning Element -must convey image the brand communicates to buyer (colour, weight, image, shape -all important) -repositioning may be necessary because of increased competition and/or changing consumer tastes Product Repositioning -marketer may be forced to reposition it in response to market events (competitors cutting into brands market share, too many competitors stressing same attribute) -reposition to satisfy changing consumer preferences Perceptual Mapping- analytical technique that enables marketers to plot graphically consumer’ perception
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