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2017- 18

Session 3

o To Understand the Sensory Dynamics of

o To Learn About the Three Elements of
o To Understand the Components of
Consumer Imagery and Their Strategic

oPerception is how we see the world around us

oConsumers act and react on the basis of their perceptions, not on
the basis of reality
oConsumers actions and buying habits are not impacted by what
actually is the reality but by what consumers think is the reality
oHence, to the marketers, consumer perceptions are more
important than their knowledge of objective reality
oPerception is all about consumers subjective understandings and not about
objective realities
oThe process by which an individual selects, organizes, and interprets stimuli
into a meaningful and coherent picture of the world
oPerception depends on two things:
o each persons own needs, previous experiences and expectations
o The physical stimuli from the outside environment
oIndividuals are selective in which stimuli they hold on to, which stimuli they
subconsciously organize, and how they interpret the stimuli on the basis of their
individual needs, experience, expectations
oHence, Perception is highly individualized
Perception an illustration

Perception an illustration

Perception an illustration

Role of Stimuli in Perception
oAttention - be it voluntary or involuntary; is a prerequisite for perception to
take place
oAttention occurs when we notice the stimuli
oStimuli: unit of sensory input to any of the senses
oMarketing stimuli: advertisements, products, packaging, brand names etc.
oSensory receptors: human organs that receive these stimuli (eyes, ears, nose,
mouth, skin)
oSensation: immediate and direct response of the sensory organs to the stimuli
oWhile most of marketing focuses on sight and sound, much research is being
done on smell and touch
oSensory Branding
o Mosquito coils
o Cake Shops
o Pain Balms
o Hair Oils
o Toilet / Bathroom / Floor Cleaners
o Room / Bathroom Freshners
o Click sounds of bottles or jars/ Thump sounds of cars

Stimulus-Response Model

oResponse to stimuli will vary depending on:

o Quality of stimuli
o Quality of the individuals sensory receptors
o Amount of exposure to stimuli

Sensation and Absolute threshold

oThe absolute threshold is the lowest level at which an individual can experience a
oThe point at which a person detects a difference between something and
nothing is his absolute threshold for that stimulus
oAdvertisers aim to reach this level
oWhen exposed to a series of ads for e.g. billboards on a highway, the senses tend
to become dulled, hence the absolute threshold needs to be increased
oIncreased exposure to a particular stimulus leads to Sensory adaptation : getting
used to a stimulation.
oAs consumers get used to a stimulation such as an ad message and may no longer
notice it; hence the stimuli need to be changed frequently bcoz the Absolute
threshold level keeps on changing
Changing Absolute threshold:
Ambush Marketing and Experiential Marketing

oAmbush Marketing : placing ads in places where consumers do not expect to see
them and cannot readily avoid them
oE.g. Projecting ads on buildings, ads in subways etc.
oExperiential Marketing : customers engaging and interacting with brands to create
emotional bonds with them
oE.g. LIVE engagements with the brand in a mall / some central location, organizing
house-parties where guests could come, see and consume the product

Differential Threshold
The Just Noticeable Difference or j.n.d
oMinimal difference that can be detected between two
similar stimuli
oWebers law
The j.n.d. between two stimuli is not an absolute amount but an
amount relative to the intensity of the first stimulus
The stronger the initial stimulus, the greater the additional intensity
needed for the second stimulus to be perceived as different

oMarketers use j.n.d s in two ways:

Ensuring that product improvements (larger size / updated packaging
/ lower price / new ingredient) is apparently noticeable
Ensuring that products downward changes (smaller size / increase in
price) is not much noticeable
E.g. : Logo changes done with precision so that it falls below j.n.d and
consumers perceive minimal difference
Subliminal Perception

oPeople can be stimulated below their levels of conscious

awareness as well i.e. without being consciously aware that
they are doing so
oStimuli 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
oIs it effective?
Extensive research has shown no evidence that subliminal
advertising can cause behavior changes
Some evidence that subliminal stimuli may trigger certain
associations and motivations
Discussion Questions

oWhich ads do u remember seeing?

oWhat do u remember about them?
oWhy do you think you remember them?
Aspects of Perception



Perceptual Selection

Selection Depends Upon:

Nature of the Includes the products physical attributes,

package design, brand name, advertising and
stimulus more

People usually see what they expect to see;

Expectations based on familiarity, previous experience or

Desires, needs or wants for a product or

Motives service.
Why are Consumers likely to notice this Ad?
Perceptual Selection

Perceptual Defense /
Selective Exposure Selective Attention Perceptual Blocking
Selective Distortion
Consumers seek out Heightened Screening out of Consumers avoid
messages which: awareness of stimuli stimuli which are being bombarded
Are pleasant which meets their threatening with stimuli by
They can needs Unconsciously blocking or tuning
sympathize Minimal awareness distort information them out of
of stimuli irrelevant that is not conscious
Reassure them of
to needs consistent with their awareness
wisdom of their
purchases Consumers prefer needs and beliefs
Avoiding the different messages E.g. Cigarette ads
painful ones and medium
Perceptual Organisation
How consumers organize this information depends upon:

Inter-relationship between the stimulus itself i.e. the figure and the
Figure and environment or background in which it appears i.e. the ground
Stimuli that contrast the environment are more easily noticed
Ground Product placements (inserting the product in a TV show or a movie)
tend to get noticed

People have an instinctive tendency to group stimuli together so that

they become a unified picture or impression
Grouping These groups of stimuli are proven to have a strong impact on memory
and recall
Helps in guiding marketers for placing their products in supermarkets

Peoples instincts to organize pieces of sensory input into a complete

image or feeling
Closure If a message they receive is incomplete, they consciously or
unconsciously fill in the missing pieces
Figure and Ground

Figure and Ground

Perceptual Interpretation
oOnce people have selectively identified the stimuli,
organized them on the basis of some psychological
principles, next is how they interpret these stimuli
oThis interpretation; like selection and organization, is also
highly individualistic
oSometimes the stimuli are highly ambiguous or weak due
to poor visibility, brief exposure and high noise levels
oAnd at other times, individuals carry biased pictures in
their minds of the meaning of various stimuli
Perceptual Interpretation

o People hold biased pictures in their

minds of the meanings of various
Stereotypes stimuli- these are called
Stereotypes Stereotypes
Physical Appearances o Sometimes we need to showcase a
Physical Appearances stereotype e.g. a traditional Indian
Descriptive Terms woman
Descriptive Terms
o At other times we need to break a
First Impressions stereotype e.g. a modern Indian
First Impressions woman
Halo Effect o Triggers of stereotyping could be:
Halo Effect physical appearance, descriptive
terms, first impressions, halo effects
Perceptual Interpretation

o People attribute qualities of

stereotypes to those who
Stereotypes resemble them; whether or
Stereotypes not they do it consciously
Physical Appearances
Physical Appearances o Hence, attractive celebrity or
model may not increase the
Terms ads effectiveness

Impressions o A rational match between the
product and the physical
Effect attributes of the model is
Perceptual Interpretation

o Verbal messages reflect

o Essential to keep in mind for
advertisers while choosing key
Physical Appearances words or punch lines for their
Descriptive Terms
o Surf Excel daag ache hai
First Impressions o Strepsils gale ki kharachh
o Thanda matlab Coca Cola
Halo Effect o Navratna Thanda thanda
cool cool
Perceptual Interpretation

o First impressions are

Stereotypes lasting
Stereotypes o The perceiver is trying to
Physical Appearances determine which stimuli
Physical Appearances are relevant, important,
Descriptive or predictive
o Once an impression is
Impressions made, subsequent
information to counter
Effect prove it, will not be
Perceptual Interpretation

o Any single aspect may

have a magnanimous
Stereotypes impact on consumers
o Consumers may perceive
Physical Appearances
Physical Appearances and evaluate multiple
objects based on just that
Terms one dimension
o A brand name or
Impressions spokesperson may have a
Halo halo effect on the
Effect evaluation of an entire
product line
Marketing implication of Perception:
Consumer Imagery
oConsumer Imagery: consumers perceptions
of all the components of products, services
and brands; based on unique benefits that
they offer

oBrand image and Perceptual Mapping: An

analytical technique that enables marketers
to plot graphically consumers perceptions
concerning product attributes of specific
Product Positioning

oEstablishing a specific image for a brand in

the consumers mind in relation to
competing brands
oConveys the product in terms of how it
fulfills a need
oSuccessful positioning creates a distinctive,
positive brand image
Positioning of Services

oBecause services are intangible, Image is a key factor

for differentiating services from competition

oServices often want a differentiated positioning

strategy to market several versions of their service to
different markets.

oE.g. colours, lighting, ambience, tangible products etc.

Retail Store Image

Brands Level of
carried service

Store Product
ambience assortment

Manufacturers Image

oFavorable image tied to new product

oCompanies sponsor community events to
enhance images
oProduct and institutional images
Perceived Risk

oThe degree of uncertainty perceived by the

consumer as to the consequences (outcome) of a
specific purchase decision
Functional Risk
Physical Risk
Financial Risk
Social Risk
Psychological Risk
Time Risk
How Consumers Handle Risk

oSeek Information
oStay Brand Loyal
oSelect by Brand Image
oRely on Store Image
oBuy the Most Expensive Model
oSeek Reassurance