CONSUMER Group members can mediate some rewards

CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR REPORT By Marie-Christine Landry (1704871) and Sukhminder Kaur Lamba (1705988) MRK 2051 Consumer Behaviour Mark Aquilina University of Malta M’sida, Malta January 14, 2018 Consumer Behaviour Report Question 1 Informational Influence (Social Proof)Utilitarian Influence (Normative influence) Value Effective Influence (Identification influence) DefinitionIt is conformity under      acceptance of evidence about   reality which has been provided by others (Myers, M. 2009) where Conformity is a change in behavior or belief as the result of real or imagined group pressure (Myers, M. 2009) It refers to the compliance of an individual with perceived expectations of others in order to achieve rewards or avoid punishments. It refers to buying a brand (say clothes etc) which the consumer thinks will enhance his/her image in a group as the brand is expressive of the group’s values , norms. Type of influence Reference group influence (Park and Lessig, L.1977); a type of conformity.

Reference group influence based on utilitarian function, one of Daniel Katz’s four defined functions. Also, second type of conformity. Reference group influence based on value-expressive function, one of Daniel Katz’s four defined functions. Factors Affecting 1. Ambiguity 2. No time to think and experiment. 3. Accepting others authority 4.

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To make informed decisions. 5. Inference by watching behaviour of others.

1. Behaviour is visible or known to others. 2. Use of product is conspicuous.

3. Group members can mediate some rewards or punishments. 1. A likability for those in the reference group.

2. To enhance or support one’s self concept. Example While buying a new electronic device say mobile, television etc., we seek information from friends, family or perceived experts. Scratch a card and win prices can influence consumer to buy the product.

Imitating a celebrity’s attire or someone who is idolized by the reference group in order to fit in the group. Considering car sharing a publicly consumed necessity, the group has less impact on the decisions since almost everyone has access to it. However, influence on few factors are very strong. They are:  Brand choices. Local examples: Goldcar (rental cars), CAR2GO (electric car sharing), Bumalift (carpooling and ridesharing). Bumalift aims at organizing carpooling to workplace, helps parents take turns driving their kids to school. Here, consumers can have group influence with respect to information seeking (social proof), complying with others (normative influence) and internalizing with group’s, here could be with co-workers or kid’s parents, values and norms (identification influence).

A group may think car ownership is better than car sharing. This might influence a person’s attitude who has a likability for the group. At the same time if car sharing is endorsed by celebrities adored by consumer, his/her attitude towards it will change. Purchasing of membership may depend on inferences by watching the behaviour of others. An individual may purchase membership because he/she wants to comply with the expectations (like accessibility, feasibility, fuel-efficiency) of family and friends. Question 2The four online marketing domains are business-to-consumer, business to business, consumer to consumer, and consumer-to-business.

Mr. Peterson has already attracted: businesses as clients and people looking for second cars in U.S. (business-to-consumer) business partners like King County (business to business) Partnership with local transportation, universities. Following would be effective in boosting sales for Flexcar: Interviewing customers and a handful of experienced drivers Targeting those who cannot drive. Consumers who consider cars as means of transportation only and are willing to utilize that time in reading, working etc. CSR initiative To find a way to debar the same pick up location, command over the motion can be controlled and thus would bring a lot of revenue.

Young people, start-ups and small scale companies could be a great deal-starters.Also, researches says that companies that are tracked online(social media) have a edge over othersoffering car leases for their executives and subsidizing subordinates’ bus passes Discounted rates (say maximum 50 %) may be an excellent selling point 24/7 convenience store chains could become an ideal client with use of as low as 4 cars making spot deliveries on-demand. The service should be a customer delight. Car sharing business have a negative reputation since consumers report that the companies charge for minor details such as little scratches and thus this is a way in which Flexcar can differentiates itself.Question 3Self-image does not pertain to a consumer’s actual personality but self-perceived personality. It is used by the consumer for self-understanding and to create their self-image and marketers can target that self-image to try to create or convince the consumer that their brand and product/service is congruent with the consumer’s self-image. For the consumers, perception of the self and perception of car-ownership and car-sharing can explain transport choice.

Since cars are a socially charged product in many countries, it is more important to consider ideal social self-image than actual self-image because what is important to consumers is how they would like others to see them and not how they see themselves now. When a consumer’s ideal social self-image matches the values of the brand, one can talk of social self-image congruence. For example, in the US, cars are a symbol of status and freedom, which is how consumers would like others to see them, and by owning a car the consumer is achieving social self-image congruence. The electric car company Tesla for instance targets social self-image congruence: if you are savvy, tech-knowledgeable and part of a community that seeks only the best and looks to the future, own a Tesla and everyone will know this.  To mitigate this view of car-ownership as sole way to achieve freedom and self-image congruence, marketers of car-sharing can influence consumers’ self-image congruence by targeting self-image in marketing efforts so that consumers can have “more favourable attitudes towards the brand and the ad” (Evans, E. 2009, 216). It could be very useful for the marketers of Flexicar to use advertisements that portray consumers that use car-sharing as money-wise and savvy, and car-sharing itself as more of a symbol of freedom than traditional car-owning by freeing consumers from wasted-time and money of car repair and maintenance.

Indeed, influencing self-image congruence can be key to targeting consumers adequately: “Self-image congruence is of high relevance to advertisers also because they can tailor the contents their messages depending on the degree of self-image congruence experienced by their target consumers” (Evans, E. 2006, 215).  Question 4Emotions and status definitely play a key role in creating a difference between car ownership and car sharing in consumers’ minds. Indeed, a consumer who searches to show his status through car ownership will not consider car sharing as a worthwhile option. The need for status is a need to be able to “command attention and respect from others” and owning a very expensive, premium and luxurious car does this (Evans, E. 2009, 25). For example, a Mercedes-Benz is a luxury car that is one of the most expensive in the world and thus immediately projects a wealthy status.

Less status driven consumers would tend to see the benefits of car sharing not pertaining to status as more relevant in their decision. Car ownership may also create positive emotions by satisfying this need for status. On the other hand, car sharing may create positive emotions for the consumer by reducing the stress caused by car ownership. Consumer personality and attitudes can also be a factor that influences the perceived difference between car sharing and ownership. One can consider the personality big five factors and how they relate to a consumer’s attitudes using the structural approach to attitudes and attitude change: Those open to new experiences would be more open to car sharing as they may seek a variety of different types of transports to fill their needs while those closed to new experiences may see car-sharing as too new and since they do not know it very well they may rather conform and own a car. These attitudes to car-sharing and car-ownership are based on the cognitive component, with the former most likely willing to change their beliefs according to actual knowledge and the latter more like have beliefs about car-sharing that may not be accurate.

Extraverted consumers may prefer car ownership as it makes spontaneous social interactions with friends easier whereas introverts who tend to go out less or plan their social interactions in advance prefer car sharing since they can easily book a slot in advance. This is more linked to the affective component of attitudes; the extroverted people may feel negatively towards the car-sharing based on the belief that it cannot satisfy adequately the need to socialize with friends whenever they want. Conscientious people are disciplined enough to plan is advance where they want to go and when, which is compatible with car sharing, while more disorganized people may just opt for car ownership because they believe and feel that they are not disciplined enough to use the car sharing system. This would relate to the behavioural component of attitudes or one’s “dispositions to act a certain ways” (Evans, E. 2009, 105).

Question 5Yes, ingrained consumer behaviour can be extremely difficult to change overnight. At the same time, it’s easier to change behaviour than belief. 1.    Optimize the goal It is necessary to have consumers interact with products/services instead of simple  causing them to think about these products/services.

Marketers must help consumers achieve significant level of engagement by conducting surveys, interviewing them on their views regarding car sharing. 2. Make the product or service available to important influencers.

Influencers can be friendly customers, prospects, or even bloggers who have a sizable online presence.  3.   Brief industry analysis: Before entering, it is important to understand and analyse the competition, demand and scope of market. 4.  Seeding the social space with what marketers call”leaks” is also advantageous.

To do this one can target consumers who show a natural eagerness to learn about the product/service offering. Share posts on social media about opening of a new car share service. 5. Word of mouth is also very important.6. Overcome temptations 7.

To keep customers from falling for next to door markets to buy stuffs like diapers and laundry detergent, Amazon can be used to create a regular shipments schedule right to the consumers door. 8. Manage their environment: Packaging that encourages consumers to put the product into their environment.  9.

Credibility: When BMW electric-vehicles partnered with EVCARD, one of the largest electric car-sharing service providers in China, people’s trust was automatically build for the new service providing sustainable low-carbon lifestyle in its urban areas  10. Start with a bang: When Nissan entered car sharing market, it offered zero monthly fees in Japan connecting 30 stations in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka etc. There’s also no additional distance-based fee.

  References Evans, M., Jamal, A., and Foxall, G., 2009. Consumer Behaviour. 2nd Edition.  West Sussex, England: John Wiley and Sons. Myers, D.

G., 2008. Social Psychology. Ninth Edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Park, G. W. and Lessig, V.

P., 1977. “Students and Housewives: Differences in Susceptibility to Reference Group Influence”, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol 4, pp 102-110. Bibliography Deutsch, M., & Gerard, H. B., 1955.

“A study of normative and informational social influences upon individual judgment.” Abnormal Psychology, 51(3), 629-636. Turner, J. C., 1991. Social Influence. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Solomon, Michael R., Zaichkowsky, Judith and Rosemary Polegato. Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having, Being. Fifth Canadian Edition.

Toronto: Pearson Education Canada.