1. Sometimes, when the consumer does not know how to behave, they copy other people who act as information sources for them. When consumers are not sure of their own ability to know what to do, they will look to others to tell them. This is Informational influence. However, when people aspire to be like some groups or individuals to help them enhance their self-identity/concept, it’s called Utilitarian influence. It is the compliance of the consumer with perceived expectations of others. Whereas ways in which a consumer internalizes a group’s values and joins groups in order to express his or her own closely held values and beliefs is called value expressive influence.
The practical application of informational influence can be seen in the use of “expert power” or their use in advertising. The views of Social media influencers and bloggers in the Auto world can largely impact consumers attitude towards car sharing memberships. Also, recommendations from reference groups will help consumers to accept car sharing with a degree of confidence. “A McKinsey study found that word-of-mouth influence doubles the sales with paid advertising and boosts the customer retention rate by 37%” (digital-me-up.com, 2017). So, informational influence can shift consumers attitude towards car sharing acceptance.
Some people strive to make themselves associated with certain groups in order to remain acceptable or to gain a position in society. By showcasing that consumer can gain a position of virtue by using this product/service in marketing communications, car sharing memberships can be targeted for consumers who have some Utilitarian influence. For this, car sharing has to be accepted in the society as a brand and not just a Utility or service. Utilitarian influence will help shift a consumer’s thinking about car ownership from status symbol to a means of access.
By knowing target consumers attitudes, car sharing marketers can better anticipate their values, lifestyles or outlook and can reflect these characteristics in their advertising and direct marketing efforts. Consumers trying to follow a certain lifestyle that focuses cars as a means of utility rather than just a status symbol will influence other consumers to follow the same. This is how value expressive influence can impact on consumers attitude towards car sharing membership since value expressive attitudes demonstrate an individual’s self-image to others.