Chapter 1 Consumers Rule


Chapter 1 Consumers Rule
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 textures
• Perception:
– The process by which sensations are selected, organized,
and interpreted
• The Study of Perception:
Cross Cultural Studies in
Consumer Behavior
Assist. Prof. Dr. Özge Özgen
Department of International Business and Trade
– Focuses on what we add to raw sensations to give them
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An Overview of the
Perception Process
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Sensory Systems
• External stimuli, or sensory inputs, can
be received on a number of different
• Inputs picked up by our five senses are
the raw data that begin the perceptual
• Hedonic Consumption:
– The multisensory, fantasy, and emotional aspects
of consumers’ interactions with products
Figure 2.1
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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
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Sensory Systems - Vision
• Marketers rely heavily on visual
elements in advertising, store design,
and packaging.
• Meanings are communicated on the
visual channel through a product’s
color, size, and styling.
• Colors may influence our emotions
more directly.
– Arousal and stimulated appetite (e.g. red)
– Relaxation (e.g. blue)
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Sensory Perceptions - Vision
Red color stimulates appetite
• Some reactions to color come from
learned associations.
– (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)
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Perceptions of Color
Sensory Perceptions - Vision
• Color plays a dominant role in Web page
• Saturated colors (green, yellow, orange, and
cyan) are considered the best to capture
– Don’t overdo it. Extensive use of saturated colors can
overwhelm people and cause visual fatigue.
• Trade Dress:
– Colors that are strongly associated with a corporation, for
which the company may have exclusive rights for their use.
• (e.g. Kodak’s use of yellow, black, and red)
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Perceptions of Color
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
• As this Dutch
detergent ad
(Flowery orange
fades without Dreft),
vivid colors are often
an attractive product
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Visual Communication Differences through Culture:
Cosmetic Ads in Europe
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
• Marketers are finding ways to use smell:
Scented clothes
Scented stores
Scented cars and planes
Scented household products
Scented advertisements
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Visual Communication Differences
through Culture: Cosmetic Ads in Asia
Visual Communication Differences
through Culture
• Western visiual communication is
deeply affected by the convention of
writing from left to right.
• Centeral composition 
– Centering is fundemental principle in visual art in
many Asian countries.
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Sensory Perceptions - Sound
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Sensory Perceptions - Sound
• Advertising jingles create brand awareness.
• Background music creates desired moods.
• Sound affects people’s feelings and
• 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.
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• Advertising jingles create brand awareness.
• Background music creates desired moods.
• Sound affects people’s feelings and
– Jingle bells  During new year shopping...
– 118 80
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Sensory Perceptions - Touch
Tactile Quality Associations
• 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.
Tactile Oppositions in Fabrics
High class
Low class
Table 2.1
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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.
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• Exposure:
– Occurs when a stimulus comes within the range of
someone’s sensory receptors
• Consumers concentrate on some
stimuli, are unaware of others, and
even go out of their way to ignore some
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Sensory Thresholds
Subliminal Perception
• Psychophysics:
– The science that focuses on how the physical environment
is integrated into our personal subjective world.
• Absolute Threshold:
• Subliminal perception:
– Occurs when the stimulus is below the level of the
consumer’s awareness.
• Subliminal techniques:
– 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 difference).
– Embeds: Tiny figures that are inserted into magazine:
advertising by using high-speed photography or
• Does subliminal perception work?
– There is little evidence that subliminal stimuli can bring
about desired behavioral changes.
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Subliminal Messages in Ads
• Attention:
– The extent to which processing activity is devoted
to a particular stimulus.
– Eye-tracking
• Selective Perception:
– We actually see what we want to see and expect to
see, even if it is not there.
– Effect of culture
• +IND  Selective perception process is stronger
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Attention and Advertising
Personal Selection Factors
• Experience:
– The result of acquiring and processing stimulation over
• Perceptual vigilance:
– Consumers are aware of stimuli that relate to their current
• Perceptual defense:
– People see what they want to see - and don’t see what they
don’t want to see
• Adaptation:
• Nike tries to cut through the clutter by spotlighting
maimed athletes instead of handsome models.
– The degree to which consumers continue to notice a
stimulus over time
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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 product.
• Position:
– Stimuli that are present in places we’re more likely to look
stand a better chance of being noticed.
• Novelty:
– Stimuli that appear in unexpected ways or places tend to
grab our attention.
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• What technique does
this Australian ad rely
on to get your
• Does the technique
enhance or detract
from the
advertisement of the
actual product?
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Unexpected Things
Discussion Question
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Unexpected Things
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.
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Schema-Based Perception
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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 complete.
• Principle of Similarity:
– Consumers tend to group together objects that share the
same physical characteristics.
• Figure-ground Principle:
• Advertisers know that consumers will often relate
an ad to preexisting schema in order to make sense
of it.
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– One part of a stimulus will dominate (the figure) and other
parts will recede into the background (the ground).
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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
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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 sentence.
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Principle of Similarity
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Figure-ground Principle
• This billboard for Wrangler jeans makes creative use of
the figure-ground principle.
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Semiotics: The Symbols Around Us
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Semiotic Components
• 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
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Figure 2.2
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