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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Distorting Influences



Consumers are subject to a number of influences which tend to distort their perceptions, some of which are discussed below.

(1) Physical Appearance: Consumers tend to attribute qualities they associate with certain people to others who may resemble them, whether or not they consciously recognize the similarity. This is why the selection of models for advertisements and for television commercials can be major factor in their ultimate persuasibility. Some studies on physical appearance have found that attractive models are more persuasive and have more positive influence on consumer attitude and behavior than average looking models.

(2) Stereotypes: Stereotypes are those conclusions which consumers already carry in their minds and which influence their interpretation of stimuli. Consumers tend to carry "pictures" in their minds of the meaning of various kinds of stimuli. These stereotypes serve as expectations of what specific situations or people or events will be like,and are important determinants of how such are subsequently perceived.

(3) Respected Sources: Consumers tend to give more or added perceptual weight to advice coming from sources they respect. For this reason,marketers use celebrities or known experts to give testimonials or recommendations for their products or to act as company's spokesperson to ensure that their product will be well perceived .

(4) Irrelevant Cues: It is normally expected that in deciding whether a product should be purchased,or not,consumers should base it on important dimensions of the product. But this is not always the case. When required to form a difficult perceptual judgement,consumers often respond to irrelevant stimuli. For example,many high priced cars are purchased because of their colour,or a luxury option like retractable headlights or leather upholstery rather than on the basis of mechanical or technical superiority.

(5) First Impressions: It is said that first impressions tend to be lasting. Yet in forming such impressions the perceiver does not yet know which stimuli are relevant,important,or predictive of later behavior. Since first impressions are often lasting,marketers should not make the mistake of introducing a new product before it has been perfected. If they do this,it may prove fatal because subsequent information about the product's superiority,even if true,will often be nagated by memory of it's early failure.

(6) Jumping to Conclusions;Many consumers tend to jump to conclusions before examining all the relevant evidence or facts. For example,the consumer may perceive just the beginning of a commercial message and draw conclusions regarding the product or service being advertised on the basis of such limited information. For this reason,copywriters should be careful not to place their most persuasive arguments at the end of the advert.

(7) Halo Effect: Sometimes,a generalized impression that may be favourable or unfavourable is extended by the consumer to the interpretation of non relevant stimuli. This tendency tends to be more pronounced when the perceiver is interpreting stimuli with which he has had little experience. Marketers in their strategy,take advantage of the halo effect when they extent a brand name associated with one line of products to another: (e.g Guinness Beer and Guinness Malta).

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