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17334433 Consumer Behaviour MM4

17334433 Consumer Behaviour MM4

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O.D.M Computer & Mgt. Education

Consumer Behaviour
unit -1 Q.1:- Explain the meaning of Consumer Behavior. Why should a marketer study the hierarchy of needs model under this are of marketing?
Ans:- Consumer behavior:A Consumer is an individual of a set of individuals who have an actual or potential interest in the purchase of usage of any Product. Idea or a Service. The study of the behavioral aspects of a consumer:Purchase –intention Purchase- decision Product usage Product disposition is called Consumer Behavior. Thus consumer behavior is the study of the processes involved when individuals or groups select purchase, use or dispose off products to satisfy their needs of wants. Earlier the emphasis was on Buyer Behavior. This means on attempt was made to study the behavior of an individual at the time of purchase of a product, service, idea, and experience etc. however it has been realized that consumer behavior is an on-going decision is important, but also the using & disposing off the product gives a lot of insight into a customer’s future purchases. The marketer is interested in understanding the entire consumption process:Before Purchasing How does a customer decide which product to purchase? From which sources does he collects information about a product and its alternative Brands? How does a customer acquire a product? What all situational factors affect his choice? What does the purchase say about the consumer?

During Purchasing Post Purchasing Behavior

Is the consumer satisfied with the product?
Will he buy/recommend the brand again? How does he uses a product? How does he dispose off the product? What are the environmental consequences of disposing?

Thus the concept of consumer behavior entails all above mentioned stages and the issues involved in all the stages. The study involves the in-depth analysis of what a customer buys why he buys, what influences his choice and how does a customer disposes off a product? This study discusses the psychological, economic, social and demographic aspects of a customer, which is turn affects the environmental variables. Inter disciplinary approach to consumer behaviour The study of consumer behavior is interdisciplinary in nature. Various subjects have contributed to the development of this subject. Psychology- as a field of study of an individual; Sociology as a filed of study of an individual in a society; Anthropology as a field of study of various cultures; History as a field of study of various past experiences of a consumer etc.
Economics Psychology Sociology
Interdisciplinary approach to C.B

2 Demography

O.D.M Computer & Mgt. Education Anthropology

History Roles of a consumer: - A marketer studies the various roles a consumer play in the decision making process:Influencer (who influence the purchase decision) Role Purchase User (Who uses a product)

(who actually purchase a product in may circumstances, user or purchaser may be the same. For eg. When a doctor purchases a B.P. Apparatus for himself, he is a purchaser as well as a user. The two may be different, when an individual gives the Apparatus as a gift to a friend who is a medical student. Influencer is the person providing information or recommendations for or against a particular Product or Brand without actually buying or using the same e.g. the shop owner may guide the purchaser on which brand of apparatus to buy. Before taking a decision on which product, which brand , from where, in what quantity & at what price to buy a product, a consumer goes through a number of steps:-

Stage- I Marketer Family STAGES IN CONSUMER DECISION-MAKINGThis is a stage from being ignorant about a PROCESS Friends Reference product. The customer becomes aware of the Awareness 4P’s of an offering. Stage-II Marketing efforts At this stage the marketer aims at building the interest of a customer in a Brand. The customer seeks more information and Interest becomes receptive to marketing efforts. Stage-III Choice of a brand Choice of store Choice of time of purchase Choice of quantity. Stage- IV The marketer lures the customer to an event where he gets keenly involved in the product & desires to obtain the same. He identifies & evaluates the various alternatives available for a specific product. This is stage when the customer purchase and owns a Brand of his choice.


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Thus above mentioned are the stages through which a consumer goes through before deciding upon which product to buy. The duration and the sequence of stages may differ from consumer to consumer and from products to product. The study of the above mentioned process of consumer behaviour helps the marketer in choosing a right appeal to influence a customer. HIERARCHY-OF NEEDS:The study of consumer behaviour entails the hierarchy of needs as discussed by A.H. Maslow. This model of need divides the needs of an individual in various levels. Depending upon which level of need is more dominating at a given point of time, the marketer can design the promotional campaign accordingly. a) Physiological Needs:The physiological needs are the first and the most basic level of human needs. These needs which are required to sustain biological life, include food, water, air, shelter, clothing, sex etc. the marketers may appeal to the physiological needs of a customer by:Promoting physical health Appealing to taste buds etc. b) Safety & Security Needs:These are the second level of needs which arise in a customer and may be tapped by a marketer. These needs are concerned with physical safety, order, stability, routine, familiarly and control over ones life and environment. For example:Insurance policies Savings accounts Education & Vocational training etc. are some products which generally use the appeals to the safety & security needs of a cunsumer. c) Social Needs These are the needs for love, warmth, affection, belongingness and acceptance. People seek warm and satisfying human relationships with other people and are motivated by love for their families and friend. Toothpaste, Deodorants etc. Are some products, which appeal to the social need of the customer. d) Logistic needs Inward-Self acceptance Self esteem Success Independence Logistic orientation Outward-Prestige reputation Status & recognitions These needs presume the desire to show off one’s success and achievement through material possessions eg. Car, Suiting & Shirting’s, Jewellary etc.

4 ] e)

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Self-actualization Needs This set of needs refers to an individual’s desire to fulfill his or her potential to become everything he or she is capable of becoming. Many large companies use this level of needs to appeal to a customer. Suiting & shirting Holiday Package Residential place in a peaceful area etc. Therefore a study of any of the above mentioned needs may help a marketer to customise his offerings or appeals to suit the customer. The concept of hierarchy of needs may also be used by a marketer for the purpose of Segmentation, Positioning & designing Promotional programme. a) Segmentation:Segmentation is the process of dividing the market into various categories. By identifying the various level of needs the marketer can divide the market on the basis of needs for example for a soap the needs may be hygiene, clearness, fairness, softness, moisturizer etc, Segments

Total Marks b) Positioning: - Positioning is the process of creating an image in the mind of the customer about a brand. The need, which is aroused in a customer, may be used as a platform to position a product. For example, The need market for fairness was more in numbers & not being satisfied by any marketer, HLL launched its ‘Fair & Lovely fairness soap’ which has been positioned as a soap to cater to the need of fair skin. Following its success a number of brands have now positioned their product in the same category. Therefore, various types of needs if identified well in advance by a marketer may be useful in designing its promotional strategies etc. CONCLUSION:The field of study of consumer behaviour is very vast. It includes the understanding of a customers personality, perception, motivation, attitudes & values. The sequential decision-making of a consumer The various levels of needs present in a consumer which affects his purchase decision etc. All these area help the marketer in understanding the consumer better and serving him better by customizing his offering accordingly. ************************************************************************************************** UNIT - 2 Q.2:- What do you mean by Diffusion of Innovations? Explain the process of diffusion of innovation. Ans: - DIFFUSION OF INNOVATION:An innovation is any product or service that is perceived to be new by consumers. An innovation may be

Consumer Setting

Industrial Setting

5 Product Technology

O.D.M Computer & Mgt. Education Product Technology

Service Service If an innovations successful it spreads through the population. First it is bought or used by only a few people, and then more and more consumers decide to adopt it. Most of the Innovations are a failure. However, every marketer tries to make its innovation available to the maximum number of people in a given market. Diffusion of Innovations refers to the process whereby a new product, service, or idea spread through population. The rate at which the product diffuses may vary on a number of factors. The diffusion of innovation takes an entire sequence and resembles the decision-making sequence where a person moves through the stage of Awareness Information Search Evaluation Trial Adoption Process of Diffusion of Innovations. Types of Adopters 34% Early Majority 34% Late Majority

13.5% Early innovators 2.5% innovators Maturity Life Cycle 16% Laggards

Introduction Growth


The process of diffusion of innovation spreads in the market with one person adopting an innovation and communicating it to the other people. a) Innovators:Innovators are the first ones to try and adopt a new innovation. Though only 25% of the populations are innovators, marketers are always interested in identifying them. They are people


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who are on the lookout for novel development and aer the first ones to try a new offering. They are the ones who spread innovation through word of mouth to others. B) EARLY ADOPTERS:Early adopters share many of the same characteristics as innovators but an important difference is their degree of concern for social acceptance, especially with regard to expensive products. An early adopter is receptive ot new styles because he or she is involved in the product category and also places high value on being in fashion. They are not first ones to adopt an innovation, but are relatively early one to adopt the same. c) Early majority There are 34% of the society who are early group as compared to most of the society. They are a major group but who adopt a product only when it has been adopted by a substantial number of people. d) Late Majority This is a majority of 34% but who are late to adopt a product. They represent the mainstream public. They do not want to adopt new products due to several reasons. However thy do adopt the product when it reaches its maturity. e) Laggards:Constituting 16% of the population, they are the most conservative and traditional in their outlook. They are the late group who adopt an innovation when it is no more an innovation. When the product is on the declining stages, this group adopts the same. Therefore, this is the sequence and the categories of people in a market who adopt an Consumer Modification of an innovation. existing product
Dynamically Continuous Pronounced change in an existing product

Types of innovations

Discontinuous- major changes in the way we live

For a successful adoption an Innovation should have Compatibility Traibility Complexity Prerequisites Observability Relative Advantage

Conclusion:Some Innovations like mobile phones etc. to diffuse itself took vary less time. It took Radio 30 years to reach 60 million users and TV 15 years to reach this number. In contrast, within 3 years 90 million were surfing the web. Today with the development of technology, innovations are diffused at a faster rate, yet as in India, Rural India is not very quick to adopt the Innovations at the same pace. **************************************************************************************** *********

UNIT - 3

Q.2:- Ans: Personality


O.D.M Computer & Mgt. Education

Personality may be defined as those inner characteristics which helps psychological in nature that both determine and reflect how a person responds to his or her environment. Thus personality comprises of inner characteristics, which are the specific qualities, attributes, traits, factors and mannerisms that distinguish one individual from other individuals. The concept of personality has the following: Characteristics :Personality reflects individual differences Personality is consistent and enduring Certain circumstances may force personality in change. These deeply engrained characteristics of an individual called personality traits, are very likely to influence the product choice of an individual as well as the store choice. It affect the way consumers respond to marketer’s promotional efforts. The concept of personality is highly useful for marketers for the segmentation strategies. Many marketers use the concept of personality for the purpose of Positioning of a product. Freudian Theory THEORIES OF PERSONALITIES

Neo- Freudian Theory a)

Trait Theory

Freudian Theory:- Sigmund Freud - Psychoanalytical theory This theory was build on the premise that unconscious needs or drives, especially biological drives, are at the heart of human motivation and personality. Super Ego Ego Id Social code of conduct Individual’s conscious control Basic Biological needs

Researchers believe that it is these basic, biological, unconscious needs of the customers, which shape their personality and guide their product choice. Thus a consumer’s appearance and possessions are the reflections of the individual’s personality. Eg. The promotional campaign of Denim products also appeal to the hidden biological needs “Id” though subtle sexual appeals. b) Neo-Freudian Theory:Alfred Adler Harry Stack


O.D.M Computer & Mgt. Education

This theory believes that social relationships are fundamental to the formation & development of personality. Acc. To Karen Horney- three personality groups are:Compliant individuals- Those who want to adjust themselves to the society at large. Aggressive individuals- Those who move against people & stress the need for power, strength & the ability to manipulate others. Detached Individuals:- Those who are indifferent and want to stay away from the social norms. Many marketers position their product in relation to how an individual relates himself to the other people in the society. For example:- The advertisement campaign designed for Rexona Deodorant targets the compliant personality. e.g. Elle 18 colour cosmetics targets the aggressive personality. c) Trait Theory:A trait is any distinguishing, relatively enduring way in which one individual differs from others. The orientation of trait theory is primarily quantitative or empirical. It focuses on the measurement of personality in terms of specific psychological characteristics called –traits. Traits may be:Self confidence Risk-taking Consumer materialism Ethnocentrisms etc. Traits researchers have found that it is generally more realistic to expect personality to be linked to how consumers make their choices. For example, a consumer with a high risk taking trait may be more receptive to new innovations and new brand launches in the market. A consumer with low ethnocentrisms is more likely to buy foreign-made products as against buying their own country-of-origin made product.
Consumer Innovators

Need for Uniqueness

Optimum Stimulation level Sensation Seeking

Variety novelty Seeking Thus a marketer tries to identify specific traits in the target customers to be able to appeal to them. The Personality of individuals is one of the most significant factor affecting the choice of the type of product and the brand chosen. CONCLUSION:It is very popularly believed that:What product or brands consumers purchase When & how they consume the products or brands From where they buy them How they dispose off. Is very likely to be influenced by the personality factors.


O.D.M Computer & Mgt. Education

For this reason, several advertising and marketing people have depicted and then incorporated specific personality traits or characteristics in their marketing and advertising programme. For example the purchase of ‘Ray Ban’ sun glasses targets the studies of the individual as one of the personality attribute to position its brands. Thus the concept of Personality has a very wide application, in helping the marketers to build a brand image of the product. The marketers try to build an image which may be consistent with the personality of the target customers so that the customers are able to relate themselves to the brand and therefore purchase the same. ************************************************************************************************* UNIT - 3

Q.4:- Is it possible to change Attitudes? How? (With reference to ELM)
Ans:- ATTITUDE:Attitude is a lasting, general evaluation of people, objects, advertisement or issues either favourable or unfavourable, which is enduring. An attitude performs the following functions:Utilitarian function Value-expressive function Ego-defensive function Knowledge function An attitude can serve more that one functions, but in many cases a particular one will be dominant. By identifying the dominant function a product serves for consumers what benefits its providesmarketers can emphasise these benefits in their communication and packaging. As discussed, an attitude is a predisposition to evaluate an object or product positively or negatively. Every marketer wants its target segment to have a positive attitude towards its brand of offering. Though attitudes are enduring, every marketer attempts to change a negative attitude into a positive one. One of the most important methods of converting a negative attitude into positive is communication. Sender I Communication Medium Receiver

The source:Source of a message is the person or authority promoting an offering. It is very understandable that the same words uttered or written by different people can have very different effects. Under most conditions the source of a message can have a big impact on the likelihood that the message will be accepted. The source can be chosen because he or she is an expert, attractive, famous or even a typical consumer who is both likeable & trustworthy. Credibility: Source’s perceived expertise, objectivity or trustworthiness. Source

Attractiveness:- Source’s perceived social value due to physical appearance, personality, social status or his similarity to receiver.

10 II.

O.D.M Computer & Mgt. Education

The message Characteristics of the message itself help to determine its impact on attitudes. These variables include how the message is said as well as what it said. These include:The use of words & pictures Repetition Conclusion – Explicit or implicit One-sided or two-sided argument Comparative advertising. Type of appeal:- Sexual/Fear/Humorous/ Emotional/Logical Form of a story presentation Drama/Lecture. Effects of Visual & Verbal components of Advertisements on Brand Attitudes.
Visual Component of Advertisement Attitude towards the advertisement Brand Attitudes Verbal Component of advertisement Benefits about product Attribute

Thus we have reviewed the two major components of the communication model-the source and the message. Depending upon the consumer’s level of involvement either of the two components will be more influential in the process of attitude change. Research indicates that this level of involvement determines which aspects- the Source (endorser Celebrity) or the message shall be processed. This concept can be understood with the ELABORATION LIKELIHOOD MODEL (ELM) It assumes that once a consumer receives a message, he or she begins to process it. Depending on the personal relevance of this information, the receiver will follow one of two routes to persuasion. Under conditions of high involvement, the consumer takes the central route to persuasion. Under conditions of low involvement a peripheral is taken instead.
Behaviour Change

Belief & Attitude change

Peripheral Route (Source)

Central Route (Message)

Attention & Comprehensive

Belief change

Cognitive Responses

Behavioural change

Attitude Change


O.D.M Computer & Mgt. Education

High-Involvement Processing

Q.5:- “Do consumers form strong relationship with products and service?” How can the marketer increase the customer’s level of involvement with a product?
Ans:- CONSUMER INVOLVEMENT :A product or a service is a means to satisfy an individuals needs & desires. Very often these products or services from an integral part of an individuals life. Therefore the statement that “Consumers form strong relationships with products & services” is true. However, the degree of involvement of a consumer with a product may not be the same for all product types. Generally, an individual may be more involved in an expensive product but may not be equally involved in a product which is just a rupee or two priced. Consumer Involvement may be defined as a persons perceived relevance of the object based on their inherent needs, values and interest. The object here refers to any product, which a customer involvement refers to the degree of information processing or extent of importance that a consumer attaches to a product. For example:- if a customer wants to purchase a mid-segment Car, be has to spend an approximate amount of Rs. Three lakhs. Thus for any individual spending such a big amount on purchasing a product, be tends to get highly involved in the process of search for alternatives evaluation of various alternatives & finally taking a decision. Therefore it is clear that most of the times, when more expensive products are to be purchased the consumer gets more involved in the purchase process. Expensive product:- Higher Involvement When a student is purchasing a book for preparing for a competitive examination, the book to be purchased may not be as expensive as a car, yet the customer gets highly involved in the process of evaluation of alternatives & making a final purchase decision. This is because for the student the purchase decision may affect his career objectives & the efficiency with which he achieves it. Therefore, in such circumstances, the consumer involvement is high, as the relevance of the product to be purchased is perceived to be very high. A similar situation may occur when a medicine is being purchased, which may not be very expensive, yet the consumer may be highly involved in checking that it shouldn’t react him. Important products:- Higher involvement Broadly, speaking consumer involvement may be considered as the motivation to process the information related to the product. The level of involvement may be influenced by”-

Communication (Source, Message channel)

Low-Involvement processing


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Personal Factors Needs Importance Interest Values Levels of involvement

Objects factors Differentiation of alternatives Source of communication Content of Communication

Situational Factors Purchase Use Occasion

The degree to which an individual is involved in the processing of information about any product or a specific brand ranges from simple processing to elaboration.


Low involvement Inertia Habitual decisions Lack of motivation to evaluate alternative e.g. Tea, Tooth brush, Washing powder, cigarettes. Etc. II Level Simple processing Some involvement Some evaluation of alternatives Simple decision-making E.g. skin creams, torch, snacks etc.



High involvement Lengthy decision-making process Evaluation of alternatives of various factors. e.g. Cars, Diamond, Property etc. Thus from low to high, the consumer may be involved in the process of purchase in varying degrees. This involvement may be of any type:Product Involvement High Involvement if the Consumer is highly interested in a given product category. High Involvement at the time of purchase if the product is being purchased to impress someone or as a gift.



Types High Involvement is the processing Purchase of marketing communication e.g. Advertisement Situation looking for Involvement Involvement

The type of consumer may be cognitive or emotional Based on the object to be purchased Cognitive:- Expensive products, Highly differentiated products. Emotional:- Less expensive products, gifts, low degree of differentiation. The level of consumer involvement broadly speaking depends upon the following components.

13 Probability of making a bad purchase.

O.D.M Computer & Mgt. Education Personal Interest in the product Perceived Importance

Pleasure value of the product

Status value of the product

Hence, any of the above mentioned characteristics may decide, how much will a consumer be involved in the process of purchasing a product. For a marketing manager, it is important to understand that what creates or affect the involvement of a consumer in a product category. This is so, because if the marketers have something different to offer to the consumer, he would influence the customers cognitive involvement to get a sale. Further, a marketing manager must also analysis the level to which the consumer is involved in the product category, so that a communication strategy may be designed accordingly. For products falling in low involvement category: Attractive celebrity Musical message Emotional appeal Humour etc. may be used e.g. Kurkure, pepsi etc High Involvement Category: Logical Reasoning Arguments & counter arguments USP e.g. Automobiles, Real Estate etc. Although consumers differ in their level of involvement with respect to a product, marketers try to be aware of those factors that increase or decrease attention. With this they can take steps to increase the likelihood that product information will get through. A consumer’s motivation to process relevant information can be enhanced fairly by the marketer who uses any of the following techniques:An appeal to the consumer hedonic needs generally generate higher levels of attention e.g. Denim, Tale, LML Motorcycles. Use of new stimuli, tends to catch the attention of the audience e.g. Onida Television shows a ‘devil’ in the advertisement. Highly popular or sought-after celebrities may be used as endorsers in a product advertisement e.g. Amitabh Bachchan for Nerolac, Cadbury’s , Parker. Customer Relationship Management techniques may be an individual to the company with an ongoing relationship & in turn loyality. Conclusion:From the above discussion, it is clear that generally people get attached to products. Though not everyone is motivated to the same extent and in the same form. But a marketing manager can study the level, type & form of a consumer’s involvement and aim to increase the same with a view to improve the bond between the consumer and the product. **************************************************************************************************


O.D.M Computer & Mgt. Education

UNIT - 4

Q.6:- Discuss the stages in Consumer Decision Making. Do all Consumers pass through the same stage?
Ans:- CONSUMER DECISION- MAKING:Generally speaking, the decision of a consumer to purchase a product is a response to a problem realized by him traditionally, consumer researches have approached decision-making from a rational perspective. It was viewed that consumers pass through a series of stages to finally arrive at a purchase decision. This implies that these steps in the decision-making process should be carefully studied by marketing managers to understand how consumers obtain information, how beliefs are formed and what product choice criteria are specified by consumers. Before we discuss the stages involved in the consumer decision-making process, let us look at the types of consumer decisions. Extensive Problem Solving

Routine Response Behaviour Low cost products Frequent purchasing Low involvement Familiar Products & Brand Differences Less time spent on purchasing Low risk Decision may be taken at the Point of purchasing

Limited Problem Solving

More Expensive products Infrequent purchasing High Involvement Unfamiliar products & Brands & their Extensive time spent on purchasing. High risk Multiple consultation prior to store visits.

Broadly speaking an elaborate process of decision-making is adopted in extensive problem solving type of consumer decision. STAGES IN CONSUMER DECISION-MAKING Problem Recognition

Information Search

Evaluation of Alternatives Product choice



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This is the first stage in the consumer decision-making and occurs whenever the consumer sees a difference between his current state of affairs and some desired state. Ideal Ideal State Actual State No Problem Actual Ideal

Opportunity Actual need Recognition Recognition Need Recognition can occur due to Running out of a product By buying a product that doesn’t satisfy the need Creation of new needs. By watching a friend use a product By watching an advertisement By discussions By cognition At the Problem Recognition stage, the consumer becomes aware of some lack of comfort in his life due to the absence of some product in his possession. Stage II:Information search Once a problem has been recognized consumer need adequate information to resolve it. Information search is the process by which the consumer surveys his environment for appropriate data to make a reasonable decision. Types of Information search

Prepurchase Search Search for information Before a purchase is made Aim to make a better Purchase decision Sources of Information

On- going search Search is done during the process of purchase. Aim to gather information just at the time of Purchase.

Internal-prior experience, prior learning External- Advertisements, friends, observation. Deliberate search – Search for information actively.

Search for Information Accidental Search – Coming across information passively. e.g. advertisement, packaging, sales promotion. According to the Economics- of information approach to the search process, consumers gather only as much data as needed to make an informed decision. Consumers form expectation of the value of additional information & continue to search to the extent that the rewards of doing so exceed the costs. This also implies that the most valuable units of information will be collected first. The amount of external search for most roducts is generally very small, but is more for expensive products.


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However, consumers differ in the amount of search they tend to undertake. All things being equal Younger, better-educated to search people tend to collect more information. Women are inclined to search than men. Those who place greater value on style and image do more search Search is more for products with high perceived risk. Stage III:Evaluation of alternatives In this stage of information search, a consumer may come across various alternatives to solve a problem. A consumer engaged in extended problem solving may be fully evaluate several Brands, whereas someone making habitual decision may not consider any alternatives to their normal brand. All the alternatives may be categorized as under:All Alternatives All existing brands

Evoked set Aware Considered

Inert set Aware but not considered

Inept set Brand not aware

Retrieval set

Brands already in memory

Prominent products in retail Environment

Generally the consumer evaluates the brand from his evoked set i.e. the brands about which a consumer is aware and would like to take a decision to purchase. Stage IV:Selection among alternatives Once the relevant options from a category have been assembled and evaluated, a choice must be made among them. The decision rules guiding choice can range from very simple and quick strategies to complicated process requiring much attention & cognitive processing. There are various dimensions used to judge the alternatives which are called as evaluative criteria. Evaluative criteria may be Functional attributes Experiential attributes Significant differences amongst brands Emotional attributes etc. Many a times, certain shortcuts may be used for selecting among alternatives, called, Heuristics. For e.g. Relying on a product Signal ISI/Agrmark/ISD

17 Country of origin,- Made in USA’ Choosing Familiar Brands High price means high quality Habitual purchase.

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CONCLUSION:Thus, a decision of purchase is made using several short cuts. Consumers are faced the need to make decision about products almost all the time. Some of these decisions are very important & entail great effort and an elaborate decision-making process, as described above. However, other habitual or routine decisions which are virtually automatically made , may not pass through a detailed & time consuming process. **************************************************************************************************

ANS:- PERCETPION:Perception is the process by which the sensory organs of an individual selects, organizes & interprets the stimuli from the environment. Perception is an intellectual process and is different from sensation. Sensation refers to the immediate response of our sensory receptors ie. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth etc. perception focuses on what we add to the raw sensations in order to give a meaning to the stimuli. Perceptual process Sensory Stimuli Sensory Receptors Sight Eyes Sound Ears Exposur Interpretatio Smell Nose Attention e n Taste Mouth Textures Skin Subliminal Perception Most marketers are concerned with creating messages about consumer’s thresholds so that it ma get noticed by the audience. At the same time, there are advertisements whose messages have been deliberately designed to be perceived below the conscious level. The concept of subliminal perception is based on twin concepts of Absolute Threshold Differential Threshold

Threshold refers to the lowest level of sensory reception at which a stimuli can be noticed by an individual absolute threshold is the minimum amount of stimulation that can be detected on a given sensory channel. e.g. There may be very creatively designed message on a banner on the road. But if its font size is small enough to be visible, it is not noticed. Thus it is below the absolute threshold. Differential threshold It refers to the ability of a sensory system to detect changes or differences between two stimuli. The minimum difference that can be detected between two stimuli is known as the Just Noticeable Difference.


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Many times if any marketer has made some negative changes in the product quality is reduced product price is increased etc. he doesn’t want the customer to notice the same. Therefore he keeps these changes below the just noticeable difference level. In the other hand any positive changes made by a marketer, however small it may be is preferred to be kept above the Just Noticeable Difference. Thus the changes which a marketer wants to be observed by the customers are deliberately made known to the audience by making them notice the same. The concept of the threshold helps in the subliminal Perception. Another word for threshold is ‘limen’, stimuli that fall below the limen are termed subliminal. Subliminal perception occurs when the stimulus is below the level of the consumers conscious or awareness. The topic of subliminal perception has been debated for over 40 years. some believe that it is not ethical to use it because by this you are exploiting the sub-conscious level of a consumer. Research has shown that many consumers believe that subliminal advertising actually made them buy things that they do not really want. Subliminal advertising makes use of hidden messages and images which are not consciously perceived. Subliminal messages can be sent on both visual and oral channels. Subliminal Techniques Visual Oral

EMBEDS:- These are tiny figures inserted into print advertisements, by use of high-speed photography or airbrushing. These hidden figures, usually of a sexual nature, supposedly exert strong but unconscious influence on innocent readers. B) SOUND RECORDING: Generally used in self-help cassettes the audio message contains sound of waves crashing or some other natural sound. These tapes are mean to help the listener stop smoking, lose weight, gain confidence etc. As on the debate on the use of the technique of subliminal perception, so does a debate exist on the effectiveness of this technique? Some research on clinical psychologist suggests that people can be influenced by subliminal messages under very specific conditions. However it is doubtful that these techniques would be of much use in most marketing contexts. Effective subliminal perceptions must be very specifically tailored to individuals, rather than the mass messages required by advertising. Also these messages should be close to ‘liminal’ messages. For example in PVR multiplex cinema halls during intervals, a slide shows the message’ Mac Donal Burger Ndn Coke”. Though there is nothing written on the slide to the effect of purchasing the same. Yet the audience may times are induced to buy the Burger& the Cold drink. LML, when first introduced its motorcycles in India, used a subliminal perception message of comparing the body of the motorcycles with a female body. There are consumer groups who consider subliminal advertising as unethical and discourage marketers to use it. At the same time there are many advertisers who have questioned the very usefulness of these messages on the following issues. The individuals differ widely on threshold levels. Some people have a low threshold as compared to others. To target such people, the message has to be so weak that it would not reach those who have a high threshold. Advertisers lack control over consumers distance & position from a screen. In a big cinema hall, only a small portion of the audience would be in exactly the right seats to be exposed to a subliminal message. At home people may not be watching the TV commercial with such a great attention that they may catch a subliminal message.


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Conclusion:There is not much proof on the effectiveness of subliminal messages on the buying behaviour of the audience. Further even if the desired effect is induced it operates at a very general level. For example, a message for a specific drink. Because basic drives are affected, if affected at all and it helps the competitors equally.

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