“The world is as you perceive it” we all would have come across this phrase. Perception is way that one selects, organizes and interprets the stimuli into meaningful and coherent picture of the world (Schiffman Kanuk). It is attaining awareness of sensory information (www.wikipedia.com). People act and react on basis of their perceptions, which also underlies the preferences.
Sensation and Marketing Stimuli
Consumer perception is critical and fundamental to understand as it shapes their buying decisions, based on their sensory preferences-sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. Of course the culture, demographics, family and friends and other factors do influence the consumer perception and interpretations.
It is a dominant sense in human. Different colors affect moods and emotions of the people, but one should remember that this feature may differ drastically across cultures. Colors used in print ads evoke relaxation and excitement. Other than color, shape size and packaging is also important for marketer when designing a product.
This sense is less important in human hut it is more direct sense that will have a long affect, if used. Smell can be defined as how they have felt.
Like other senses it can create a mood of relation and stimulation. People depict surprising ability to drag some sounds right up front while unnoticing others.
Skin is the largest organ and touch affects the whole organism. The usage of this sense depends upon the product category.
It is also an intimate sense,. Combined with sense of smell it becomes even more powerful. A tongue has different taste buds to taste foods such as sugar; salt, sour etc. Artificial sweeteners and other food items like this are created to fool the taste buds.
The way one organizes and interprets the information follows a process that can be divided into four parts
1) Exposure to stimuli: once a customer is exposed to stimuli it must be sufficient enough to draw the attention. Only then the information or stimuli is further processed.
2) Selection: Consumers’ selects part of information that they are exposed to and tend to ignores others. It is critical for marketers to tailor the message according to the target audience it intends to deliver message. Messages that are created to speak to everyone usually ends up talking to no one. Although researches show that consumer tend to be more attentive towards messages for various motives. One who might be interesting buying a new car will be more attentive to all pieces of information regarding to that car or brand.
3) Organization: Consumers classify perception into different categories and group together to make sense out of stimuli. There can be different forms like grouping-options and opinion that are closely related go together. That why people associate their messages with such props and celebrities that have close traits and personality that goes with theirs intended message/product/service.
4) Interpretation: Consumers apply previous learning and association to understand and give meaning to novel stimuli.
Perception (definition) accessed on 14th October 2010 from the website
Zinkhan Arnold (2002) “Perception: world of sensations” Consumers 1st Ed New York, McGraw-Hill Publication.