Theory of Perception and Its Implications for Marketers

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Executive Summary

In the past, Australians have perceived potatoes as boring, time-consuming to cook, and high in carbohydrates. This negative perception resulted in a decreasing consumption and an inferior image of potatoes. Among other national and regional boards, Western Potatoes is now trying to change customers’ negative perception. This report examined Western Potatoes marketing campaign for the years 2008 and 2009. It was the aim of the report to evaluate, whether the undertaken actions of Western Potatoes were appropriate with respect to the existing theories and concepts of perception. In addition the report proposed possible recommendations for ameliorations. The first section reviewed the contemporary literature in order to build a base for the further analysis. This research revealed some valuable findings for marketers: Perception has a crucial impact on the image a consumer attributes to a brand or product. Customer’s perception can be influenced by personal, situational and stimulus factors. Image is the long lasting perception of a brand and influences consumers’ buying decision. A positive image results in economic benefits. The link between perception and image is the positioning. There are five major positioning strategies through which marketers can change consumers’ perception of a brand and thus alter the image of a product or brand. In the next section, the strategic marketing plan was examined. Western Potatoes tries to change the perception of potatoes by providing information and education to customers, retailers and school kids. The basic means of communication are self-produced brochures (Feel Good Magazine), ads, education material and POS activities. The report found that the strategic plan by Western Potatoes is appropriate and is not lacking any important activities. In terms of perception theories and concepts, many of the planned activities are suitable and reasonable. To make the activities more interesting and as a result more effective, the report suggested increasing the interactivity of the communication activities. In addition, a more distinct labeling and packaging have been proposed.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction1
2.Theory of Perception2
2.1Definition of Perception2
2.2The Stages of Perception3
2.3Factors that influence Perception4
2.4The Link between Perception and Image5
2.5The Importance of Image for Marketers6
2.6Changing Perception7
3.The Western Potatoes Case9
3.1Company Background, General Activities and Market Conditions9 3.2Data Collection11
3.3Strategies and Activities of Western Potatoes in 200811 3.4 Western Potatoes’ Actions in the Context of Perception Theory12 4.Recommendations17
List of AppendicesVII

1. Introduction
Perception is the process through which people transform abstract stimuli like sound, light or odour into a unified and meaningful picture of the world (Spector 2006). Thus, perception creates reality for a person. In the context of consumer behaviour, perception is the key to understand how and why customers form a certain image of a brand or product. For this reason, the theory of perception helps marketers to create effective communication and marketing strategies. In the past, Australian consumers have perceived potatoes as boring, time-consuming to cook, and high in carbohydrates. In 2008, potato related organizations like AusVeg or Western Potatoes are trying to alter this negative image by changing consumer’s perceptions (O’Tool 2008). This case study will analyze the marketing campaign of Western Potatoes. The aim of the report is to understand how Western Potatoes is trying to influence the perception of potatoes and to evaluate whether the chosen methods are appropriate in reference to the existing theories and concepts of perception. In chapter two, an overview of the theories and concepts of perception will be presented. This chapter...
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