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Chapter 2 Perception


Chapter 2 Perception By Michael R. Solomon Consumer Behavior Buying, Having, and Being Sixth Edition Opening Vignette: Parmalat What was Gary s perception of Parmalat? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 2 Perception

Chapter 2Perception
By Michael R. Solomon
Consumer Behavior Buying, Having, and Being Sixth
Opening Vignette Parmalat
  • What was Garys perception of Parmalat?
  • Why is shelf-stable milk popular in Europe?
  • In the focus group research, what were the U.S.
    consumers perceptions of Parmalat?
  • What is Parmalat doing to overcome the obstacles
    associated with marketing shelf-stable milk in
    the United States?

Sensation and Perception
  • Sensation
  • The immediate response of our sensory receptors
    (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, fingers) to basic
    stimuli such as light, color, sound, odors, and
  • Perception
  • The process by which sensations are selected,
    organized, and interpreted
  • The Study of Perception
  • Focuses on what we add to raw sensations to give
    them meaning

An Overview of the Perception Process
Figure 2.1
Sensory Systems
  • External stimuli, or sensory inputs, can be
    received on a number of different channels.
  • Inputs picked up by our five senses are the raw
    data that begin the perceptual process.
  • Hedonic Consumption
  • The multisensory, fantasy, and emotional aspects
    of consumers interactions with products

Advertisements Appeal to Our Sensory Systems
  • This ad for a luxury car emphasizes the
    contribution made by all of our senses to the
    evaluation of a driving experience.

Sensory Systems - Vision
  • Marketers rely heavily on visual elements in
    advertising, store design, and packaging.
  • Meanings are communicated on the visual channel
    through a products color, size, and styling.
  • Colors may influence our emotions more directly.
  • Arousal and stimulated appetite (e.g. red)
  • Relaxation (e.g. blue)

This ad targets which senses?
  • This Finnish ad emphasizes the sensual reasons to
    visit the city of Helsinki.

Sensory Perceptions - Vision
  • Some reactions to color come from learned
  • (e.g. Black is associated with mourning in the
    United States, whereas white is associated with
    mourning in Japan.)
  • Some reactions to color are due to biological and
    cultural differences.
  • (e.g. Women tend to be drawn to brighter tones
    and are more sensitive to subtle shadings and

Perceptions of Color
  • This ad campaign by
  • the San Francisco
  • Ballet uses color
  • perceptions to get urban
  • sophisticates to add
  • classical dance to their
  • packed entertainment
  • itineraries.

Sensory Perceptions - Vision
  • Color plays a dominant role in Web page design.
  • Saturated colors (green, yellow, orange, and
    cyan) are considered the best to capture
  • Dont overdo it. Extensive use of saturated
    colors can overwhelm people and cause visual
  • Trade Dress
  • Colors that are strongly associated with a
    corporation, for which the company may have
    exclusive rights for their use.
  • (e.g. Kodaks use of yellow, black, and red)

Perceptions of Color
  • As this Dutch detergent ad demonstrates (Flowery
    orange fades without Dreft), vivid colors are
    often an attractive product feature.

Discussion Question
  • First Heinz gave us Blastin Green ketchup in a
    squeeze bottle. Now they have introduced Funky
    Purple ketchup.
  • What sensory perception is Heinz trying to appeal
    to? Do you think this product will be
    successful? Why or why not?

VIDEO Snapple
  • Snapple drinks were revived by the Whipper
    Snapple product, thanks to consumers forming
    their own perceptions about the product.

Click image to play video
Sensory Perceptions - Smell
  • Odors can stir emotions or create a calming
  • Some responses to scents result from early
    associations that call up good or bad feelings.
  • Marketers are finding ways to use smell
  • Scented clothes
  • Scented stores
  • Scented cars and planes
  • Scented household products
  • Scented advertisements

Smell in Advertising
  • This ad pokes fun at the proliferation of scented
    ads. Ah, the scent of sweat.

Sensory Perceptions - Sound
  • Advertising jingles create brand awareness.
  • Background music creates desired moods.
  • Sound affects peoples feelings and behaviors.
  • Muzak uses a system it calls stimulus
    progression to increase the normally slower
    tempo of workers during midmorning and
    midafternoon time slots.
  • Sound engineering
  • Top-end automakers are using focus groups of
    consumers to help designers choose appropriate
    sounds to elicit the proper response.

Stimulus Progression
Sensory Perceptions - Touch
  • Relatively little research has been done on the
    effects of tactile stimulation on the consumer,
    but common observation tells us that this sensory
    channel is important.
  • People associate textures of fabrics and other
    surfaces with product quality.
  • Perceived richness or quality of the material in
    clothing is linked to its feel, whether rough
    or smooth.

Applications of Touch Perceptions
  • Kansai engineering A philosophy that translates
    customers feelings into design elements.
  • Mazda Miata designers discovered that making the
    stick shift (shown on the right) exactly 9.5 cm
    long conveys the optimal feeling of sportiness
    and control.

Tactile Quality Associations
Tactile Oppositions in Fabrics Tactile Oppositions in Fabrics Tactile Oppositions in Fabrics Tactile Oppositions in Fabrics
Perception Male Female
High class Wool Silk Fine
Low class Denim Cotton
Heavy Light Coarse
Table 2.1
Sensory Perceptions - Taste
  • Taste receptors contribute to our experience of
    many products.
  • Specialized companies called flavor houses are
    constantly developing new concoctions to please
    the changing palates of consumers.
  • Changes in culture also determine the tastes we
    find desirable.

  • Exposure
  • Occurs when a stimulus comes within the range of
    someones sensory receptors
  • Consumers concentrate on some stimuli, are
    unaware of others, and even go out of their way
    to ignore some messages.

Sensory Thresholds
  • Psychophysics
  • The science that focuses on how the physical
    environment is integrated into our personal
    subjective world.
  • Absolute Threshold
  • The minimum amount of stimulation that can be
    detected on a given sensory channel.
  • Differential Threshold
  • The ability of a sensory system to detect changes
    or differences between two stimuli. The minimum
    difference that can be detected between two
    stimuli is known as the j.n.d. (just noticeable

Webers Law
  • The amount of change that is necessary to be
    noticed is systematically related to the
    intensity of the original stimulus
  • The stronger the initial stimulus, the greater a
    change must be for it to be noticed.
  • Mathematically
  • K A constant (varies across senses)
  • ?i The minimal change in the intensity required
    to produce j.n.d.
  • I the intensity of the stimulus where the
    change occurs

Subliminal Perception
  • Subliminal perception
  • Occurs when the stimulus is below the level of
    the consumers awareness.
  • Subliminal techniques
  • Embeds Tiny figures that are inserted into
    magazine advertising by using high-speed
    photography or airbrushing.
  • Does subliminal perception work?
  • There is little evidence that subliminal stimuli
    can bring about desired behavioral changes.

Subliminal Messages in Ads
  • Critics of subliminal persuasion often focus on
    ambiguous shapes in drinks that supposedly spell
    out words like S E X as evidence for the use of
    this technique. This Pepsi ad, while hardly
    subliminal, gently borrows this message format.

  • Attention
  • The extent to which processing activity is
    devoted to a particular stimulus.
  • Attention economy
  • The Internet has transformed the focus of
    marketers from attracting dollars to attracting
  • Perceptual selection
  • People attend to only a small portion of the
    stimuli to which they are exposed.

Attention and Advertising
  • Nike tries to cut through the clutter by
    spotlighting maimed athletes instead of handsome

Personal Selection Factors
  • Experience
  • The result of acquiring and processing
    stimulation over time
  • Perceptual vigilance
  • Consumers are aware of stimuli that relate to
    their current needs
  • Perceptual defense
  • People see what they want to see - and dont see
    what they dont want to see
  • Adaptation
  • The degree to which consumers continue to notice
    a stimulus over time

Factors that Lead to Adaptation
  • Intensity Less-intense stimuli habituate because
    they have less sensory impact.
  • Duration Stimuli that require relatively lengthy
    exposure in order to be processed tend to
    habituate because they require a long attention
  • Discrimination Simple stimuli tend to habituate
    because they do not require attention to detail.
  • Exposure Frequently encountered stimuli tend to
    habituate as the rate of exposure increases.
  • Relevance Stimuli that are irrelevant or
    unimportant will habituate because they fail to
    attract attention.

Stimulus Selection Factors
  • Size
  • The size of the stimulus itself in contrast to
    the competition helps to determine if it will
    command attention.
  • Color
  • Color is a powerful way to draw attention to a
  • Position
  • Stimuli that are present in places were more
    likely to look stand a better chance of being
  • Novelty
  • Stimuli that appear in unexpected ways or places
    tend to grab our attention.

Discussion Question
  • What technique does this Australian ad rely on to
    get your attention?
  • Does the technique enhance or detract from the
    advertisement of the actual product?

Attention to Stimuli
  • Interpretation
  • The meaning that we assign sensory stimuli.
  • Schema
  • Set of beliefs to which the stimulus is assigned.
  • Priming
  • Process by which certain properties of a stimulus
    typically will evoke a schema, which leads
    consumers to evaluate the stimulus in terms of
    other stimulus they have encountered and believe
    to be similar.

Schema-Based Perception
  • Advertisers know that consumers will often relate
    an ad to preexisting schema in order to make
    sense of it.

The Priming Process
Stimulus Organization
  • A stimulus will be interpreted based on its
    assumed relationship with other events,
    sensations, or images.
  • Closure Principle
  • People tend to perceive an incomplete picture as
  • Principle of Similarity
  • Consumers tend to group together objects that
    share the same physical characteristics.
  • Figure-ground Principle
  • One part of a stimulus will dominate (the figure)
    and other parts will recede into the background
    (the ground).

Gestalt Principle
  • This Swedish ad relies upon gestalt perceptual
    principles to insure that the perceiver organizes
    a lot of separate images into a familiar image.

Principle of Closure
  • This Land Rover ad illustrates the use of the
    principle of closure, in which people participate
    in the ad by mentally filling in the gaps in the

Figure-ground Principle
  • This billboard for Wrangler jeans makes creative
    use of the figure-ground principle.

Semiotics The Symbols Around Us
  • Semiotics Field of study that examines the
    correspondence between signs and symbols and
    their role in the assignment of meaning.
  • A message has 3 components
  • 1) Object the product that focuses the message
  • 2) Sign the sensory imagery that represents the
    intended meanings of the object
  • 3) Interpretant the meaning derived

Semiotic Components
Figure 2.2
Semiotics (cont.)
  • Signs are related to objects in one of three
  • 1) Icon a sign that resembles the product in
    some way
  • 2) Index a sign that is connected to some object
    because they share some property
  • 3) Symbol a sign that is related to a product
    through conventional or agreed-upon associations
  • Hyperreality The becoming real of what is
    initially simulation or hype

Office Space and The Red Stapler
Perceptual Positioning
  • Positioning Strategy
  • A fundamental part of a companys marketing
    efforts as it uses elements of the marketing mix
    to influence the consumers interpretation of its
  • Many dimensions can establish a brands position
    in the marketplace

Lifestyle Competitors
Price Leadership Occasions
Attributes Users
Product Class Quality
Perceptual Map
  • Figure 2.3 HMV Perceptual Map
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