The Nature Of Reference Group Influence Marketing Essay

By September 30, 2017 Marketing

Referent power plays a really of import function in marketing communicating, following study expression in to different influences groups and referent power. How referent power affect one. How affectional a referent power is? How a seller can utilize it to his advantage. What are the factors which make referent power effectual? Different theories have been discussed. This study will be looking critically on measuring the function of referent power in selling, measure the function it will play in future, and supply a hereafter selling program.

This study of “ Referent power and why it can be a powerful force for selling entreaties ” was written as a concluding assignment for the Consumer Behavior faculty.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Worlds are societal animate beings and they ever looks to other for grasp, they want credence in the societal circle. They identify themselves with some groups and consciously or subconsciously they imitate members of the group “ to suit in ” . They try to copy those qualities by copying the referent ‘s behaviour. What we think of ourselves is influenced in our societal interaction by the reaction of others whose values we portion or judgement we respect. Our garb, vehicles we use and career do statements about us, and our behaviours and life styles are the presentation of ourselves to our influence groups. By have oning a peculiar trade name T shirt bring us closing to our group.

Advertisers have different undertaking while making a promo or advertisement depending on what are their mark section. Sellers use all three major act uponing groups before establishing a run. There are three signifier of mention group ; Informational, normative and designation

When an person is non certain he uses the behaviour and sentiment of mention group members as potentially utile spots of information and attempt to copy it. In this instance person may hold similarity with the other members of the group or expertness of the member group. So a individual sees members of group utilizing the same trade name of tea he may make up one’s mind to seek same for Himself because he has grounds that it may be a good trade name. Ads which wants to utilize informational power will cite something like ” they used it will you? ” “ Intelligent people like merely one thingaˆ¦ ”

REFERRENT power is the power of outstanding people to impact others ‘ ingestion behaviours by virtuousness of merchandise indorsement ( 50 cents for Reebok ) ( Pic 1.1 ) , typical manner statements On the screen of US Magazine today. Celebrity Baby Jessica Alba ‘s small princess, Honor Marie Wearing Ooh La La Mama ‘s FLY SPIRIT onesie ) . or defending of causes. Campaign began with placing three major athleticss figures who had a connexion to lung malignant neoplastic disease ( Troy Aikman, Joe Buck, and Cal Ripken, Jr ( Pic 1.2 )

To understand this mechanism an illustration is helpful. Suppose there are two eating houses and a group of people on the street outside make up one’s minding which one to eat at. The most intelligent persons ( those with higher preciseness in doing these types of determinations ) will make up one’s mind foremost and everyone will see some people start to line up outside of one eating house. If the others know this individual is of higher preciseness ( and even if they do n’t ) a few people will follow their lead and fall in the line. Each new individual who lines up exterior of the eating house sends a signal to the remainder of the group ( and in peculiar their friends and household ) that this is the eating house to pick. The more people who follow the signal, the stronger it gets and you have an Informational Cascade.

Pic 1.2

The thought is presented in strict item in a paper called “ Theory of crazes, Fashion, Custom and Cultural Change as Informational Cascadess ” ” written by Sushil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer and Ivo Welch and published in 1992. To rephrase:

An informational cascade occurs when it is optimum for an person, holding observed the actions of those in front of him to follow the behaviour of the predating single without respect to his ain informationaˆ¦

The anticipation that a low-precision single imitates a higher-precision predecessor is consistent with the grounds of legion psychological experiments showing that a topic ‘s old failure in a undertaking raises the chance that in farther tests he will copy a theoretical account executing the undertaking ( see Thelen, Dollinger, and Kirkland 1979, p. 146 ) aˆ¦

Reference group does n’t hold equal power for all types of merchandises and ingestion activities. Question is does consumers seek rationally or it depends on Need It has been seen that hunt is more in consumers who are reasonably knowing, when the merchandise is low in sensed hazard. There are two dimension that influence the grade to which referent power can work they are whether the purchase is to be consumed publically or in private and whether its luxury or a necessity. Referent has more power over purchase which re for luxury instead than necessity and 2nd of import topographic point where we can see the referent power is when the purchase is socially seeable to other ( William. , O, et al,1982 )

Referent power is inferred to the influencer by their subsidiaries. Project squad members who have a great trade of regard and high respect for their undertaking directors volitionally go along with determinations made by the undertaking director because of referent power. If one admires the quality of a individual or a group will seek to copy by copying referent behavior Outstanding people famous persons can impact people ‘s ingestion behaviour by virtuousness of merchandise indorsement, manner statements or defending cause. referent power is of import to many selling schemes because consumers voluntarily change to delight or place with a referent

3.2. Normative influence

Besides known as useful influence, occurs when an single follows group outlook to derive a direct wages or to avoid a countenance ( Fischer et al, 1998 ) . You may buy one trade name of beer to win credence by a friend or wo n’t have on one peculiar trade name for of tease by friend. This influence is straight related with the bond of a individual with its group Strongest the bond strong will be the influence. Largely younger consumer are powered by this influence. A adolescent starts smoking under this influence.

3.3. Designation Influence

Besides known as value-expressive influence, occur when consumer has adopted all values and attitude of group and place himself with the. Here to act upon advertizer will demo the trade name being used by socially active group

It has been seen that adolescents and immature one get influenced by this groups as they live under equal force per unit area ( Auty, s.2001 ) You will hear in ace market a kid converting his female parent to purchase a peculiar trade name of cereals do His friends use it, or a peculiar trade name of places because his friends told him they are the best. It is these influence which leads them to coffin nails alcohol ingestion influence every bit good. These influences can be used straight or indirectly by the seller. Many research worker have research workers have come to decision line of descent is besides a really of import factor where female parent girl and sisters will utilize the same trade name and will hold same shopping form ( Miller, 1975 ; Moore-Shay and Lutz, 1988 ) .

.4. Celebrity as a referent power in advertisement

Celebrities like film stars, athleticss individual, Television stars help catch attending and pass on easy with consumers who admire them or wants to be like them. Its besides known as “ omnipresent characteristic of modern Marketing ” ( Mc Cracken, 1989 ) , and about 20 per centum of all publicities and advertizement utilizations use some type of famous person indorsement ( Bradley, 1996 ) . Marketers spends immense sum of money on famous person contract on the belief that famous person are effectual interpreter for their merchandise or trade name. Its really common that one famous person becomes individuality of one peculiar trade name or merchandise but in some instances more than one famous person are being used. Like Pepsi uses ace Shahrukh khan for his trade name promo.

Choice of a famous person is really of import features of famous person should fit up with the trade name to pass on effectivity. ( Kahle, Homer, 1985 ) , Some companies used multiple famous persons to pass on. In the context of famous person indorsement advertisement consumer may inquire whether subscribers are advancing the merchandise because she truly believe in it? Or merely because she has been paid to advance it. It ‘s the properties of famous person which should fit with perceptual experience of consumer. Thus sometime utilizing multiple famous persons to back the merchandise may assist the merchandise to make the consumer ( Mowen and Brown, 1981 ) . Market besides assumes that to make mark audience the famous person should be like the consumer. Celebrity should hold credibleness attraction, Integrity and the chief thing Plausibility he/ she behaves every bit referent influence, if referent Is non plausible it will non be effectual. Here referent will be effectual and will keep power by their influence as they are aspiration associate group. Celebrities with a bigger Halo will hold bigger consequence.

Despite more and more famous person are pitched in, many commercials utilizing famous person subscribers do non populate up to the outlooks ( Miciak and Shanklin, 1994 ) . However, if used suitably, famous person subscribers can play a really of import function in developing trade name equity and heightening a trade name ‘s competitory place.

Like Andre Agassi fits good with, and enhances, the image of Canon ‘s “ Rebel ” line of cameras. And Nike and Michael Jordon are synonymous when one thinks of Jordon they think of Nike, they have become portion of each other. Before backing a merchandise with peculiar famous person seller should make research that how good the famous person and the trade name belong together and how famous person represent the product.. If there is great easiness and relation of trade name an vitamin D famous person they get more rapidly develop an association.

5. Degree of Reference Group Influence

If one sees critically around us we can clearly sees that consumer does non make up one’s mind suddenly. Referent power of any sort is ever playing at the dorsum of his head. It suggest that rational persuasion, inspirational entreaties are effectual in act uponing concluding determination ( Farrell and Schroder ( 1996 ) .while the influence of personal entreaties, alliance or any sort of force per unit area were uneffective in any determination result ( Case etal. , 1988 ) . So one can state that things which does non personally appeal or internalise favourable attitude one are non effectual or will non hold a really strong motive in purchasing behaviour. As it is good said “ Power is the ability to consequence alteration ” ( Kohli and Zaltman, 1988. , Ghoneim, 1987 )

These act uponing power can be used by seller A figure of writers have good said that “ power is the ability to consequence alterations ” . Conversely, power bases depends on the features of an person that afford

Referent power will hold different impact on different people in different state of affairs, or may be the class of the merchandise used, or the trade name used

As the purchase is done to act upon the group, the merchandise or trade name should be seeable, for illustration merchandise like ticker, places, here merchandise class ( ticker ) , and trade name ( Swatch ) are all seeable. The ingestion of some quinine water is private.Referent power is rather seeable when the merchandise is seeable to the group and he acquire accepted or appreciated in the group for his bargain.

High engagement

Low engagement

Significant Differences between trade names

Complex purchasing behaviour

Variety- seeking purchasing behaviour

Few Differens between trade names


Buying behaviour

Accustomed purchasing behaviour

( Table 5.1 )

If the demand is high there is less power of referent for illustration when one privation to purchase a microwave. Reference group influence will be higher if one wants to purchase things which is less necessary e.g. in purchasing apparels or in simple words on can state that determination to purchase toothpaste tennis racket, a personal computing machine, a refrigetor are all really different. Expensive and complex purchase or things which involve more cognition involve more participant and more suggestion from equal are taken. ( Table 5.1 ) ( Henry 1987 )

Relationship, bondage of of an person with the group is another really of import standards which can impact on buying determination. More one feels committed to the group more he acquire influence by the referent power. One will be more careful when in dressing up when fall ining a group whom he wants to act upon than when he wants to travel for dinner with group he does n’t experience related or committed.

It besides depends on activity in which person is involve with a group, How relevant is the activity for illustration traveling for office dinner is more of import than traveling out with your friend for a lucifer.

There is clear grounds that single differ in inclination in acquiring powered by influence ( keillor et al,1996 ) Reference influence is besides related to a wages or penalties, wages may be in the signifier of credence in the group, publicity addition trust with your equal and penalties may be in the signifier of rejection or hatred. In preadolescent group it may be terrible and of societal effects. So to it can be said that referent power should hold authorization to implement both.

We can still reason that referent power should non misapply legal power or illicitly supercharge as he might utilize credibleness Refrent power is person which is look upon by single and if it loses credibleness and trust power will be gone. So we can state that the greater the referent power, the lower the usage of legitimate force per unit area ( Farell et al.,1999 ) .

In this context its interesting to cognize about the balance theory ( Heider, 1946 ) Every person have some preconceived thoughts and perceptual experience which remain at his subconscious degree. And while buying it plays a really of import function. The greatest power one has over other is when 1 is sufficiently intimate to allow other to ease, because the relation between influencer and consumer is cohesive.

Referent power engagement

Let ‘s take an illustration I want to buy a really expensive notebook I have seen advertizement of Dell, horsepower and Acer now I m confuse I want to purchase something g which is really of import but I do n’t hold much cognition what will I do I will non merely travel an vitamin D purchase it from the counter I will travel to one of my friend or household member who has knowledge about it I will affect his sentiment. But if at the same clip I m hungry and I want to purchase a package of biscuit I will merely travel to the supermarket and take any package or may be the one I have been utilizing from the shelf I would non affect others and take sentiment from others for buying a battalion of biscuit. So sentiment leader are needed where there is high purchase involve with no cognition of merchandise while when low purchase engagement is there I wo n’t take any sentiment even if I have less cognition ( Table 1.1 )


Merchandise cognition


Merchandise cognition








( Table 6.1 )

Consumers, particularly gen X, tend to follow their equal what they feel voguish and worn by the `in crowd ‘ ( Agins 1999 ; Spiegler 1996 ) . Here we can see their deep-rooted willingness and thirst to belong, frequently going image- and brand-conscious consumers. Now `what is voguish ‘ is what they drive from viva-voce communications. Retail Entrepreneur of the Year, Anne Yuri Namba, has found to be quoted as that her place concern was initiated and stimulated wholly by word of oral cavity. As her celebrity spread, so did the demand for her unusual, extremely typical manners ( Chain Store Age 2000 ) . Marcus ( 1999 ) reported that word of oral cavity dramas an really of import function along with demographic information when determinations are made in the manner industry. One can state, manner demand may be generated by the coincident presence of local outwardnesss and viva-voce communicating ( Corneo and Olivier 1999 ) .Individual sharing information about with other extremely target consumer plays a really critical function on consumer determination and market success. Our friends and relations are the chief beginning of information, when we are in group we observe their manners, what merchandise they use or by straight inquiring the sentiment. One research shown that half of American agrees that that they frequently seeks advice of others before doing any purchase and 40 % feel that people come to them for advice. ( Walkes, p 40 ) . The cyberspace has changed the term a little now it can be called Word Of Internet. Where one seek advice from a complete alien.

There are some person who actively filter, interpret, or supply trade name or merchandise information to their household and friends, They are called sentiment Leaderships they play really strong referent power influence over other

WE merely ca n’t recognition merely referent power involved in buying determination of an person we ca n’t go through anything to them doing it look like their group or trade name image Research have shown that determination to buy peculiar merchandise is besides influenced by the image and credibleness of the companies that market and fabricate consumer merchandises ( Lafferty and Goldsmith 1999 ) . If the company is positively portrayed, and has a good image consumers by and large maintain a positive temperament toward the company and its merchandises. However, if the company has some rumour some ethical or cultural issues in the backyard, less favourable feelings may later act upon whether consumers decide to buy the company ‘s merchandises ( Lee and Bernstein 2000 ; Ligos 1999 ) .

How Much Does It impact

During 1996 one rumored was spread about Tommy Hilfiger, saying that company had made some bad comments African-Americans and Asian which were their core clients. The rumour was largely on cyberspace. Hilfiger websites denied the rumour wholly and at that place was call to was name to boycott Tommy Hilfiger vesture, particularly in the Afro-american. Thymine

The strength and continuity of the strength of rumour suggested that it will impact the sale of trade name in Afro-american market Afro-american magazine stating them non to purchase who does n’t esteem ( Graves 1998 ) here the referent power was cyberspace, oral cavity to talk and magazine community, the whole impact was studied and recorded ( kImberly 2001 ) One deduction of these recordings was that the remaining power of the rumours had finally harm gross revenues of the Tommy Hilfiger trade name in a nucleus mark market. Wall street Journal article reported a 28 per cent lessening in gross revenues for the Tommy Hilfiger company ( Agins 2001 ) . Company denied the rumored took Afro-american theoretical account and seek to recapture the market and used integrated selling strategy strategically. In retail market consumer is really of import and referent power drama a really of import function Thus retail vesture market should take careful measurings to track their image all interior decorators, irrespective of popularity, must follow up their image and communications with their consumers. In one of the similar instance Reebok has been forced to clear up itself for more than a decennary against a rumour that company bring forth its merchandises in South Africa and supported apartheid ( Turnet 1992 ) . Initially company did n’t take much notice and did n’t believe much of it but later company suffered protests and boycotts and so company has to come out its forceful run `Reebok is NOT in South Africa ‘ ( Kazi-Ferrouillet 1990 ) . And boulder clay now company addressed the issue on its web site ( )

Referent influence has been examined in the context of consumer exposure to interpersonal influence ( Bearden et al. , 1989 ) where influence is the extent to which an person ‘s consumer picks are influenced by other people. In impulse purchasing it ‘s the cognitive behaviour which is seen where a consumer can non acquire the information from any one so He does n’t come under informational power but high degree of normative influence comes in being and impact the purchase determination, therefore we can state that normative consumer susceptibleness to interpersonal influence is positively related to the affectional constituent of impulse purchasing.

When will it consequence

We have to understand phases in buying determination of a purchasers

Information hunt

Refrent group

Internet hunt


Check option


Brand image

Purchase determinations

He decide to buy



May be prompted by marketing

Post purchasing behaviour, Reinforcement from media friends

( Diagram 8.1 )

Phases of Consumer Buying Behavior

1. Necessitate Awareness: A demand may originate or been set up by publicity of a company ‘s selling. Refrent power here may or may non be really influential

2. Information Search: Buyers search and ask Internet has made research easier for purchasers. He may read on web sites of different company.Here referent power drama a really of import function. As he is seeking the information company may utilize its influence with promos, handout an updated web sites or test samples distribution

3. Check Options: Once information is collected client will measure all option he will seek for monetary value and company credibility..

4. Purchase Decision: The last measure merely sell and shut the trades at this minute any influencing may harm. If he is still hesitating U can still urge and assist your purchasers for the best trade

.5. Post Buying Behavior: Todaies marketer knows really good that to maintain trueness of a client is really of import as now he himself will be a referent power over the other possible purchasers. Even at this phase any negative support will convey compunction and he may non urge it to others.

Influence of referent power besides depends on at what phase is a trade name one time a trade name mature its trade name image itself is good referent power but at debut phase a company needs good referent power.

9. Decision

Referent power is really effectual in certain instances and seller should utilize that power but at the same clip they should maintain in head that for that power to be influential they have to maintain certain points in head

Referent power to be effectual should convey a connexion with the consumer, or he should look up to it or associate to him

Message used by referent power should be used every bit simple as possible it should non be complex or confounding

Celebrity power will be more effectual if used repeatedly as it strengthen the relationship of trade name with that famous person and so it brings trust in the mark audience

When taking a famous person seller should be careful that he is already non strongly associated to some other trade name or services, but nil comes without a drawback. If famous person or your referent power get into negative promotion it brings down with him the merchandise. A incorrect choice will stain the whole image

Referent power is effectual if your mark audience is immature and non much knowledgeable about the trade name or merchandise. Its more affectional on one who does non hold much cognition and have low self image It so one can state its most effectual with kids.

Referent power does non merely influence at the clip of buying but besides post buying as after buying a merchandise Consumer expression at his influence group for grasp and even any negative remark at that phase will put off him and He may non purchase the merchandise once more

A company should non seek to play its ain cornet but can convey trust and credibleness through awards, media or testimonies of other clients

Make a purchase an happy stoping for him offer him warranty period or an drawn-out test period will assist in Him going a possible referent power over other purchasers


I'm Amanda

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out