2.3 Effect Of Reference Groups On Consumer Decision Making

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2.2.3 Effect of Reference Groups on Consumer Decision Making
Table 2.2.1 shows the different reference group influence on people. Opinion leaders and role models are associated with these reference group and exert pressure on consumers. When marketers want their message to go viral, they resort to word-of-mouth using social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The re-tweeting and sharing option on Twitter and Facebook respectively ensures that the message is carried through the respective reference group. Marketers identify these ‘re-tweeters’ since they have the capability to influence the audience.

Normative Influence Comparative Influence
Membership Group High level of conformity to the standards of immediate membership groups, such as family and peers. The
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Friendships represent breaking away from the family and forming bonds outside the family structure. Friendship groups have a lot of influence on the buying behaviour since people conform to the group norms by adhering to purchase practices followed by the group.

• Shopping Groups
People enjoy shopping together in order to make shopping a fun activity and to also reduce the risk associated with purchasing. People take someone along for shopping whom they believe possess the expertise for the product category and will reduce the chance of making an incorrect purchase. When no one from the shopping group has knowledge about the product, consumers take a collective decision.

• Virtual Communities
Many companies encourage consumers to comment, leave response and interact with them through the means of websites, blog post and social media. Consumers are part of virtual communities and communicate regularly even when they have never met in person. The online platform provides an environment of anonymity which helps consumers to express their views
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