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The psychological process by which an individual selects, organizes, and

interprets stimuli (encouraging activities) into a meaningful and sensible picture of the world. In marketers context, the stimuli include brand name, advertisements, colors, sounds & packages etc.
How we see the world around us i.e. same object but different perception by

different people.

1. Perceiving through vision:

Size & shape, lettering, color. It is of great importance specially in case of food products. e.g. bright colors for packaging.

2. Perceiving through smell:

Consumers differ in degree of labeling the odors. E.g. women are more odor-sensitive then men. Smell produces psychological & emotional responses. Marketers are concerned about smell-responses of the consumers regarding their offerings. e.g. bakeries design their outlets in such a way that the aroma of fresh baked items can be smelled easily by the customers. In malls, perfumes & scented candles are placed at the entrance to stimulate the mood for shopping. In grocery stores, coffee packs are placed so that fresh coffee lets the scent waft out

3. Perceiving through touch:

Touch is how the person & things come in contact with our fingers & skin. Depending on how we are touched, we feel relaxed or stimulated. It varies culture to culture. Consumers like some products just because of their feel. e.g. clothing & carpeting. Consumer prefer the products that they can touch & examine rather than only seeing it.

Factors Influencing Perception

1. 2. 3. 4.

Social Factors Cultural Factors Psychological Factors Personal Factors

Social Factors
When perceiving is influenced by the people whom we relate to. The important social factors for affecting buying behavior are:

Family Influence:

Family has a great influence on consumer behavior. Esp. in India where the family tie ups are very strong, the members influence the decision-making to a great extend. E.g. In marriage occasion, mother-in-law decides the jewellery for bride Father decides in which bank the account be opened for his young son


Reference Group Influence:

A group that influences an individuals perception, cognitions, responses & behaviour. People rely on different reference groups for different decision making process. E.g. Planning a holiday: friends Buying an expensive car: Bread earner

3. Roles & Status:

The pattern of needs, goals, beliefs, attitudes, values & behavior expected from an individual when he/she is the part of a society. Role could be of father/mother/daughter/sales-person/supervisor etc.

Status is the position of an individual in a group, organization or society. Ambitions & desires decide your status needs.
This definitely affect their buying behavior. E.g. prestigious brands & services & willingness to pay higher prices.

Cultural Factors
Human perception & behavior is noticeably influenced by a particular culture in which people live. It includes:
1. Culture:

A complex of symbols & artifacts created by a society & handed down to generations. Habits, skills, art, institutions & values of a group of people Culture also determines what is acceptable with product advertising. A key factor for marketer to consider customs & beliefs in a country or region E.g. bargaining in India is fashion & in western countries it can be a rude custom.

2. Sub-culture
A segment of culture that shares different patterns of meaning, values & beliefs E.g. factors like national (Indian, German etc.) race (Asian, American, African) Marketers who aim to target sub-culture should understand its members needs & wants to develop the strategies.

3. Social


Division of ranking within the society based on education, occupation, religion, wealth, work & type of residential hood. Typical structure is: Upper class Upper middle class Middle class Working class Lower class

Middle & working class combined makes the mass market for any country. Upper & Upper middle class form the affluent consumers. These are early adopter & opinion leaders.

Psychological Factors
Factors operating from within. These factors are the foundation of all the factors & these directly affect the consumer behavior. Learning: Changing ones behavior on the basis of past experiences. In case of continuous rewarding experience, the consumer becomes brand loyal.

Beliefs & Attitudes: A specified deeply held conviction. E.g. Shares are profitable than debentures. Then the person will be keen to invest in shares. Marketers must keep in mind to induce Consumers belief.

An attitude is a positive or negative tendency, education, feeling towards something. For example: peoples attitude towards lending money

MotivesAn internal energizing force that orients a person's activities toward satisfying a need or achieving a goal. Actions are effected by a set of motives, not just one. If marketers can identify motives then they can better develop a marketing mix. e.g. MASLOW hierarchy of needs!!

Elements of Perception
o Sensation o Absolute threshold o Differential threshold o Subliminal perception

Elements: Sensation
The immediate and direct response of the sensory organs to stimuli
For example ads, brand names, packages etc. A stimulus is any unit of input to any of the senses. Sensory receptors are human sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, toung, skin) There are numerous of stimuli around us, but we are exposed to only few. E.g. leaving the room or zapping the channel when an ad commercial appears on TV. Sensitivity differs person to person. A static & unchanging environment provides little or no sensation. E.g. people living near railway station are used to the honking horns.

Lowest/intensity level at which an individual can experience a sensation. The point at which a
person can detect a difference between something and nothing is that persons absolute threshold for that stimulus.

Absolute Threshold

EXAMPLE: THE IMPACT OF UPWARD PRICE MOVEMENTS ON DAILY HOUSEHOLD GOODS. The billboards on the side way of the High-way. The point you notice it, it is absolute threshold.

In hearing, the absolute threshold refers to the smallest level of a tone that can be detected by normal hearing when there are no other interfering sounds present. E.g. ticking sound of clock.

In vision, the absolute threshold refers to the smallest level of light that a participant can detect. For e.g. a shadow in the after-noon

For odors, the absolute threshold involves the smallest concentration that a participant is able to smell. e.g. smallest amount of perfume that a subject is able to smell in a large room. e.g. Some TV advertisers have tendency to change their ad campaign very frequently so that the viewers will no longer give sense to the ad for long.

Differential Threshold
Minimal difference that can be detected between two similar stimuli i.e. smallest detectable difference between a starting and secondary level of a

particular sensory stimulus Also known as the just noticeable difference (the j.n.d.) The concept of differential threshold is applied to almost all aspects of marketing strategies.

E.g. Rise/fall in price of a car by Rs. 400 is just noticeable. Eye-check up by different lenses by an eye-specialist (is the new lens different

enough to differ from the previous one.)

Packaging updates must be subtle enough over time to keep current customers.

Webers Law
the stronger the initial stimulus, the greater the additional intensity needed

for the second stimulus to be perceived as different Two situations arise in differential threshold: 1. When marketer wants the consumer to notice the difference. E.g. If McDonalds increases the size of the burger leaving the price same, it would want the consumer to notice it. 2. When marketer doesnt want the consumer to notice the difference. e.g. marketer of non-alcoholic beer would not want the consumer to guess the difference between the taste of real beer & the non-alcoholic beer.

Subliminal Perception
Stimulus below the threshold of awareness- where an individual or

group of individuals can be controlled without their awareness. being aware of it.

Unconscious state of perception that affects the mind without you People dont know the reason but still can perceive it. Individuals differ in their susceptibility to subliminal stimuli It can trigger basic drive but cant quickens the action Stimuli that are too weak or too brief to be consciously seen or heard

may be strong enough to be perceived by one or more receptor cells.

E.g. in 1957- A researcher James Vicary flashed this phrase

drink coca-cola & eat pop-corn during a movie Picnic in cinema halls. The statistics showed an increase in popcorn sales by 58%, with an increase in Coca-Cola sales by 18%. (Cane) This is perhaps the shocking information that led to an enormous response from the public.
In 1974, subliminal advertising was banned from

everywhere despite it wasnt proved to be effective

It is still used, still no evidence of its effectiveness

Aspects of Perception
1. Selection: Individuals are very selective as to which stimuli they recognize. 2. Organization: They subconsciously organize the stimuli they do recognize according to widely held psychological principles. 3. Interpretation: They interpret such stimuli (i.e., they give meaning to them) subjectively in accordance with their needs, expectations, and experiences.

1. Perceptual Selection
Consumers subconsciously are selective as to what they perceive. Stimuli selected depends on two major factors Consumers previous experience Consumers motives Concepts: 1. Selective Exposure 2. Selective Attention 3. Perceptual Defense 4. Perceptual Blocking


Selective Exposure:

Consumer actively choose exposure that they want to see. Exposure occurs when consumers senses are activated by stimulus. Consumers seek out messages which: Are pleasant They can sympathize Reassure them of good purchases
They readily expose themselves to ads which they admire or prefer. E.g. ----A Dell laptop user would like to watch or read ads about Dell products to reassure his purchase decision. ----A Tobacco user will avoid messages that link it with cancer.

2. Selective Attention
Consumers decide how much attention they will pay to a stimulus

Attention means focusing of cognitive capacity on a particular stimulus.

Consumers readily notice ads of products that they need Heightened awareness when stimuli meet their needs Consumers prefer different messages and medium

according to their mindset E.g. for some, price is of great importance & for some, quality matters more.

3. Perceptual Defense
Screening out of stimuli which are threatening. -- An anxiety producing situation --An unpleasant, threatening, damaging stimuli has less chances of being perceived than neutral stimuli --Consumers will modify/distort the information that is not consistent with his attitude, beliefs & motives. --Sometimes an intense fear appeal used in selling a product becomes the reason for defense for the entire message by the consumer

4. Perceptual Blocking
Protection from being overwhelmed & overburdened by blocking such numerous stimuli form conscious awareness. Consumers avoid being bombarded by:
Tuning out

Perceptual Organizing
Individuals tend to organise these sensations in a meaningful pattern. The 3 basic principles of perceptual organisation are:

Figure & Ground 2. Grouping 3. Closure


a. Figure and ground

Definition of figure depends on the background. People tend to organize perceptions into figure-and-

ground relationships. The ground is usually hazy & dull. Marketers usually design in contrast so the figure is the noticed stimuli. Our learning & experience influences which stimuli is figure & which is ground.

Lacostes campaign uses a very plain ground so the symbol really shows.

b. Grouping
People group stimuli to form a unified impression or

concept. Grouping helps memory and recall. Marketers use this tendency in individuals with advantage to imply certain desired meanings related to their products & services. E.g. soft drinks are usually shown being enjoyed in funloving settings A lot can happen over a cup of coffee Caf Coffee Day

You can refer the source to study perception in details.. . .from page 80s.

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