Reference GroupA reference group includesindividuals or groups that influence customer opinions, beliefs, attitudes andbehaviours. In an aspect of marketer, reference group is important because itinfluence how consumers interpret information and make purchasing decisions.
Reference groups also influence what types of products customers will purchaseand which brand of product they choose. (ShawnGrimsley) Referencegroups can help the company develop powerful marketing programs that deliverthe right message in the right packaging at the right time in the right place. (Vickie Pittard) Therefore, prior tolaunching a product or services, the company should take reference group intoaccount in order to be a representative to the target market and in order toensure that it is match with values, tastes,opinions, and behaviours of the group.
There are three typesof reference group which are normative, informational and identificationinfluence. “Normative Influence is conformity based on one’s desire to fulfillothers’ expectations and gain acceptance” (Myers, 2009). A normativereference group is a group that has influence over the values or behaviourof an individual. (Aarti Ahuja) It can be parents, family, friends, and workorganization that influence to customer decision making. Informationalinfluence is conformity under acceptance of evidence about reality which hasbeen provided by others (Myers,2009). It is when individual seeks information aboutbrands from professional or independent group of experts who work with product.(http://k3hamilton.com/cb/cb11.
html) Therefore, customer will observe what expertsdo or use then they tend to follow the experts. Informational willhave the most powerful and influence customers in terms of purchasing decisionmaking. Thus, the marketer should well planned marketing strategy and connectdirectly with experts and opinion leaders who serve as reference points forgroups of consumers. (http://www.
umich.edu/~kcourses/smc435/PDFfiles/ref.pdf) Identificationinfluence is consumer’s effort to emulate the consumption behaviour of anothergroup member. People tend to imitate and copy the kind of person whothey are admired and would like to be as them.
The group of this people will be actors,actresses and celebrity. Sharing economy isnot only sharing and renting the asset but also in terms of media industry aswell. According to Wallensteinand Shelat (2017) a large number of customer who are renting music has increasing via streaming services such as Spotifyand Apple Music. “Thailandis Spotify’s latest market, the 61st country where the streaming service haslaunched service.” (SASIWIMON BOONRUANG) It has launched in Thailand in recent years becausethere are Thai audiences increasingly becoming familiar with the local musicwhich seemed to dominate the market. Although Spotify haslaunched in Thailand lately, it tends to be a successful in media industry inkind of sharing economy because it allows people to share favourite music tofriends and family in order to make a community together. Inaddition, Spotify also advertise the application by using opinion leader topromote and make a review for this application.
Apart from that, not onlyopinion leader such as celebrity, actors and actresses will influent tocustomer’s selection but also the influence from family and friends as wellbecause those of people are close and they have the same style. If theinfluencer said that it is good and recommend it, most of people are likely tofollow. To give an example, this is a Spotify reviewfrom some user “I love Spotify so much! I’ve been aloyal listener for about 4 years now, and they still find ways to improve mylistening experience.
If you haven’t listened to the curated playlists thatSpotify makes for you, I definitely recommend it. I’ve found so many newartists from just browsing Spotify.” (Katrina) Thereview can influence both of new customer and existing customer who interestthis application. It is the experience from the real user who are guarantee afeature of Spotify. It can be seen that sharing economy companies understandthe influence customer purchase decisions and then they adapt the system thatallow customers are easily to access the review. Apart from that, not only Spotify that use this strategyto attract and encourage customer but also many sharing economy companies adaptthis tactics as well. For example, Grab and Uber companies allow customer tocomment, give feedback and give a star after use service.
It is useful forothers customer to look at a service quality of driver before decided to useservice. As well as Airbnb, the customer will search for information and reviewof each accommodation before decided to select room. Therefore, experience’s view from other willhave an effect to customer decision making a lot. It can be mention that trust in company is very important, thus the companyhave to focus on customer reviews to develop system and trust with customers.Therefore, marketers have to increase social proof and peer reviews to buildtrust and loyalty with customers.