How Do Groups Affect and Shape Consumer Behavior?

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  • Topic: Sociology, Diffusion of innovations, Opinion leadership
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Consumer Behavior Topic 10
Personal Influence: Reference Group and Opinion Leadership

Reference Groups – use other people as a frame of reference.

Primary groups are intimate, face-to-face such as family and peer groups. Informal primary groups include family and peer groups. Formal groups are highly defined in structure, interact frequently, such a school groups, business groups and work groups. Primary groups are more important to you. Secondary groups are seen less frequently. Informal groups are considered secondary and more impersonal as they only interact occasionally (i.e. shopping groups, sports group). Secondary formal groups might include alumni organizations and technical associations.

Symbolic groups are those that you can never join but that you try to take on your values (i.e., sport team).

How do groups affect us and shape our consumer behavior?
Social Power Theory (Raven & French):
There are 5 basis of power, that is 5 ways in which groups influence people: 1.Rewarded power – parents often use rewards as well as supervisors (lots of ads use reward power) 2. Coercive power (punish) – you can be punished if you don’t do what they want 3. Legitimate power – the other person has a legitimate right to try to influence you (i.e., religious leaders, rabbi, priest; in advertising to buy American products or union label) 4. Referent power – persuaded by groups you’re either similar to or want to be like (ie., sports celebrities used in advertising, Michael Jordan for Hanes – want to be like him) 5. Experent power -with superior expertise increases trustworthiness

The 3 Processes of Social Influence (Kelman)
1. compliance – sometimes do something overtly but not believe in it – compliance (i.e., to work on time – maybe do it because afraid of coercive power, that is lose job) 2. identification – sometimes satisfaction comes from conforming (i.e., dressing like members of the group you admire)...
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