a set of individuals who interact with one another and who share some common need or goal; their behaviors are interdependent
Note: almost all consumer behavior takes place in a group setting of some sort.
a group whose presumed perspectives or values are being used by an individual as the basis for her/his current behavior in a specific situation
Note: as the situation changes, so do reference groups and so does out behavior.
a change in behavior or belief toward a group as a result of real or imagined group pressure
Conformity is often viewed as following the crowd, not acting and thinking as an individual.
Violation of norms can result in sanctions.
Conformity: the Asch experiment
Eight subjects are asked which of three unequal lines is closest in length to a fourth line.
Seven subjects (who actually are 'cohorts') announce incorrect answers. These subjects are actually working for the experimenter, but this is unknown to the eight subject.
If the eighth subject makes a decision without prior knowledge of the other's choices, then the eighth subject is likely to make a correct choice.
If the eighth subject makes a decision after hearing the incorrect choices of the other seven subjects, then the eighth subject is very likely to make an incorrect response that is in agreement with the group.
C.f., Latane's social loafing experiments.
What sorts of products might a 'supermom' buy? How do product choices differ between a traditional mom of the 1950s and a working mom, going to college, in the 1990s?
Word of Mouth (WOM) communications
a group member who consistently filters, interprets, or provides information for others
Opinion leaders are likely to be used under conditions where an individual has low knowledge but is in a high involvement situation. E.g., interview outfit.
DIFFUSION OF INNOVATION
dynamic continuous innovation
Turning a discontinuous innovation into a continuous innovation, or, the best marketing move that I've ever seen:
George Eastman couldn't sell his new strippable film to even photography amateurs of the day: it was too difficult to develop and print.
His solution: the world's first 'disposable' camera. A box camera came loaded with enough strippable film for 100 pictures. The user paid $25 for the preloaded box and sent the whole box back to the factory when all of the pictures had been taken. The promotion: "You press the button; we do the rest."
Teletronix has just introduced a new wristwatch which contains a "personal communicator." It will transmit and receive picture and voice signals with another wristwatch on the same frequency code within a half-mile distance.
Picture and voice clarity is constrained due to the small physical size of the device. In size, the wristwatch is a little larger and about twice as thick as a standard wristwatch. Price: $999; not discounted due to limited distribution channels.
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