Peer Pressure

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Peer pressure doesn’t influence purchase behavior, or does it?

In this essay, I will discuss the effects of peer pressure on consumer’s purchase behavior. First of all we will look at the origins of peer pressure, the different groups it can affect, we will then look at the negative aspects and positive aspects of peer pressure, and finally we will analyze the effects that this phenomenon has on consumers and how marketers can make this phenomenon useful to them.

We can define peer pressure as the pressure exerted on a person by a group of people the same age, same socio-cultural category or sharing the same interests to change their behavior, their morals or their attitudes towards different aspects in life just to be in line with the way other people in their peer group are. As my previous definition leads to understand, one may be affected by a multitude of peer groups. For instance, a young, black, afro-centric boy brought up in a rough, ethnic minority community will be faced with all these aspects of his life and all his peers. Other people sharing the same situation as him or with a similar, profile, similar thoughts, ideals or experiences will influence his behavior. He may decide to adapt his morals to be in line with his afro-centric peers in order for his “afro-centric” tag to fit him. He may also adapt his speech to the community he lives in, in order to be accepted by others in that same community or his fashion sense in order to be like all the other young boys of his age. When peer pressure is exerted on one, one often gives in to that pressure as one desires to confirm their status, and often give in to peer pressure perceiving the morals, ideals, behavior or even just materials that are suggested to them as being linked to their status. For instance, a doctor may start playing golf just to show their status, or a rap star may decide to cover themselves in platinum chains and own a hummer because it’s linked to the “Rapper-status”. They...
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