Embarrassment of Product Choices 1

How to Consume Differently
Wiley (Verlag)
  • 1. Auflage
  • |
  • erschienen am 8. Oktober 2018
  • |
  • 210 Seiten
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe-DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-1-119-55704-3 (ISBN)
When there are too many choices, there is no choice. The choices are entangled in a maze of rather confused possibilities. They go through many nebulous paths. Doubt, hesitation, indecision, become the only resolutions possible. Choosing is the anxiety of being wrong! The brand, the quality / price ratio, the aesthetics ... give confidence, but often with naivety! There is a gap between the reality of the qualities of the products and the perception of the customer. These are prejudices, illusions, a lack of knowledge ... Generally speaking, is the consumer-client able to appreciate, by sight, by touch, or even by a brief trial of operation, all the strengths and weaknesses? a lot of products? Market value dominates the use value. Marketing will discover that we must no longer confuse the consumer (the customer) and the user. The economic system only works because consumers are in the opacity of their choices. The search for technical prowess and above all market value has dominated the search for value in use.
1. Auflage
  • Englisch
  • 0,82 MB
978-1-119-55704-3 (9781119557043)
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The Power of Words

1.1. The power of word-of-mouth

Many consumers make their buying decisions by relying on people they trust, for example, the people within their social circles. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that word-of-mouth is the oldest form of commercial communication: consumers primarily rely on information from people they know.

Having a conversation with another person is not very difficult, because you know who you are talking to. Language and gestures are related to reactions to questions and advice. Communication is interactive!

Word-of-mouth generally acts as a recommendation for a product. It is often positive when done verbally between close friends and family, but it can be much more critical when done through the relative anonymity of the Internet and social media - which in today's world also function as "electronic word-of-mouth". This is one of the main drivers of purchasing decisions outside of stores.

The consumer or client highly values advice from family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and so forth. However, these tips can be somewhat partial, biased or unfounded. They can also be mere rumors. And neighbors and other users of the product do not necessarily have the same use requirements or the same kinds of expectations for a product's function. Unbiased word-of-mouth recommendations and the informed advice of friends, as comforting as they may be, are few and far between.

1.1.1. The Internet and electronic word-of-mouth

Word-of-mouth communication about products and services has only been amplified with the pervasiveness of the Internet and social media. When choosing a new product, our natural reflex is now to go grab our computers, cell phones or tablets. We no longer receive advice from just a few family members or friends. Comments are spread quickly to a large number of information seekers, who similarly have a wealth of commentary to choose from. Communication known as consumer-to-consumer (or C2C) is facilitated easily through online conversations on consumer forums and social networks.

The main asset of the electronic word-of-mouth is that it is relatively fast and usually completely free. This has led to an industry infatuation with marketing strategies that harness this power and its potential for publicity by establishing discussions and exchanges of information that purport to be from impartial consumers. But this attempt by marketing techniques to control a product's messaging has its limits. This mainly applies to product vouchers (advertising vouchers). However, management of this form of marketing about products and services is difficult, due to the fact that delegating word-of-mouth communications to consumers leads to a loss of control over the information to be transmitted, and can leave the product open to intense and visible criticism, particularly if consumers have doubts about the authenticity of the initial message.

1.1.2. Advertising marketing and word-of-mouth marketing

Tips given freely on the Internet help you to make choices. As surprising as it may sound, these opinions - whether biased or unbiased - are nevertheless a form of marketing: marketing via word-of-mouth. It is based on the principle of blending in with the opinions and conversations between users, customers and potential customers. In marketing, it is helpful to convince consumers that generating revenue from free things is a part of the sharing economy! So its slogan could be: "You have to give to receive!" Therefore, it is the antithesis of advertising. "The difference between advertisers and word-of-mouth marketers is that word-of-mouth marketers are interested first and foremost in other people". Advertisements do not give assurances, let alone information for making choices.

With this knowledge in mind, brands now actively try to create discussions and word-of-mouth. For someone to talk about a brand's product, they must obviously appreciate the product, but they must also trust the brand and its values. Therefore, brands should facilitate the conversation by giving a good reason to talk about their products. This means that the brand must be remarkable; it must deserve being talked about.

Word-of-mouth remains the best tool for marketing. When undertaking these campaigns, the brand does not use industry jargon ("targets", "campaigns", etc.) which may be unfit for social media, and may confuse legitimate customers. Instead of investing fortunes in advertising, creating good buzz for a service or favorable word-of-mouth for a supplier is much better! Marketing departments now try to create discussions and word-of-mouth. They facilitate conversations about products by giving people a reason to talk about them. They also must avoid drawing attention to any suspicions, falsehoods, or even the smallest manipulation, by not indulging them.

Before buying a product, consumers relying on online word-of-mouth must be able to see that previous customers appreciate and/or recommend it; they must believe in it. The product must be admirable or outstanding, worthy of saying something good about. The products are sent out to be seen more directly by the customers, by aiming for a relatively high level of visibility. The issue of this word-of-mouth is quite considerable: building trust leads to good reputations. Word-of-mouth can make or break the reputation of a product. A bad opinion has a stronger impact than a positive experience. Bad opinions are powerful since overall consumer belief in the product is perceived to be weak. On the Internet, this is the simplest way to argue about a particular product, and the one with the most presence. Consumers are increasingly expressing themselves outside their circles of friends - or over the office water cooler - and taking advantage of the formidable sounding board that is the Internet. Consumers feel empowered by having access to this communication medium, and gain a certain self-sufficiency and self-satisfaction. C2C product information, ever more accessible and easier to obtain, is usually the information that has the most impact on emotions, and ultimately, the purchasing behavior of consumers.

1.1.3. Social influence

The emotions, thoughts and behaviors of consumers are greatly influenced by the people around them. Word-of-mouth feeds on these interactions, which are often done thoughtlessly. The perceived quality, spoken of by real users and customers themselves, makes the products immediately more desirable. If a customer is won over by the product, they will make an extra effort to buy it, regardless of price.

Customers generally tend to treat the information they perceive with frivolity and superficiality, even while not recognizing the messages' subconscious impact. However, on the contrary, some sources of information prompt them to think about it more deeply.

Social influence is the pressure placed on a person or consumers by society, which generates motivations for buying. There are different ways of exercising this power. Social influence is able to change the purchasing behaviors, viewpoints and opinions of a consumer or a group of consumers, as a result of the contact between one or more other consumers. Consumers with doubts or a lack of confidence are the most predisposed to accommodate these influences. They are looking for a kind of protection in being included in the crowd. The consumer is thus conflicted between the desire to be the same as others, and therefore acceptable and not being rejected, and the desire to be different, original, to stand out from other consumers.

Social influence refers to socio-emotional desires at the level of self-esteem, social acceptance, empathy and relationships, and holding opinions recognized by other people. But, by contrast, changes, innovations and influences of a minority are a rejection of social influence by the group.

These deviations, which are characterized by non-conformity, deliberately strive to break out from the values of the group, focusing on their own values. The consumer/customer then chooses a brand or product that will represent their unique identity.

In fact, social influence applies across a very broad area. It corresponds to the pressure of our peers and colleagues, all the way up to all of society. In this sense, it requires the questioning of an "expert" to obtain information in order to be able to make the best choice. A potential consumer, frustration by the available (mis)information, reaches out to an expert on the product; someone with previous experience, who is culturally close to the consumer, to strengthen their projected image of social status.

This involves a customer watching others to try to look like them or mimic their behaviors. This confirms and reinforces adherence to the various opinions. These references serve as a source of comparison, a model. It also involves prescribing common consumer attitudes that may be assimilated within the whole group, to strengthen it and to adjust choices reciprocally.

This influence, of course, also involves the choice of consumer symbols, such as the brand of a product. For example, consumers tend to choose the same brand, whether or not the model they have chosen is no longer promoted. This influence leads to changes in the behavior, attitudes and opinions of a consumer or a group as a result of contact with another consumer or group. Aligning with other people's behaviors often changes...

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