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Saturday, 22 September 2018

Factors Affecting Reference Group Influence



 Reference group influences individual in their consumption behaviour. The degree of influence that a reference group exerts on an individual's behaviour usually depends on the nature of the individual,the product and on specific social product.

1) Information and Experience: When an individual has first hand experience with a product or service,or can easily obtain full information about it,he is less likely to be influenced by the advice or example if others. However,if a person has little or no first hand experience with a product or service,and does not expect to have access to objective information about it,he is more likely to seek out the advice or example of others.

2) Credibility, Attractiveness and Power of the Reference Group: A reference group that is perceived as credible attractive,or powerful can influence consumer attitude and behaviour. For example, when consumers are concerned with obtaining accurate information about the performance or quality of a product or service,they a likely to be persuaded by those they consider to be trustworthy and knowledgeable. That is,they are sources with high credibility. When consumers are mainly concerned with the acceptance or approval of others they like, with whom they identify,or who offers them status or other benefits,they are likely to adopt their product, brand or other behavioural characteristics. Also,when consumers primarily concerned with the power that a group or groups can exert over them,they might chose products or services that conform to the norm of that person or group in other to avoid ridicule or punishment.

3) Conspicuousness of the Product: The influence,which a reference group exerts on the  consumers,varies according to how visually or verbally conspicuous a product is. A visually conspicuous product is one that can be seen and identified by others,and that will stand out and be noticed. Even if a product is not visually conspicuous,it may be verbally conspicuous ,it may be highly interesting or it may be easily described to others. Products that are especially conspicuous and status revealing such as new car,fashion clothing and home furniture are most likely to be purchased with an eye to the reflection of relevant others. On the contrary, products that are less conspicuous like canned fruits,and laundry soaps are less likely to be purchased with a reference group in mind. (Lessig and Park 1978)

4) Reference Group Impact on Product and Brand Choice: In some cases and for some products, reference group may influence both a person's product and brand (or type) choices. Such products are called product plus,brand plus item. In other cases,reference groups influence only the product category decision. Such product are called product plus,minus items. In still other cases, reference groups influence the brand (or type) decision. These products are called product minus,brand plus items. Finally in some cases,reference groups influence neither the product category nor the brand decision: these products are called product minus, brand minus item(Schiffman and Kanuk,1987).