The first reference group is a family representing a private source of information. Due to the constant communication with the family, consumers are more likely to gain product-related information from this group that influences their purchasing intention. Celebrities, acting as the second reference group, represent a public source of information. People tend to idolize celebrities and other public figures that increase the credibility and attractiveness of a product.
Smartphones and clothes are examples of product involvement based on reference groups. These items may become a part of “peer pressure” when one of the intentions of the consumer is to impress others with the product’s fancy design or appearance, and customers tend to build their own images in relation to chosen reference groups (Hoonsopon and Puriwat 160). The above-mentioned items may also be pricy; that is why consumers try to look for recommendations before making their purchase.
In contrast, such product as soda has minimal reference group influence and may serve as an example of low product involvement. It may be explained by the low impact of an item on the consumer’s everyday life, as it cannot help a person stand out among the others, and purchasing decision comes down to personal taste. With these products, the consumer may find the best one according to experience and not a reference, as multiple purchases are available.
Business to business (B2B) buying differs from consumer buying in several ways. First, organizations purchase products to meet the needs of their own buyers. There is no place for impulses or emotions because the organization tries to meet schedules and demands at minimum cost (Diba et al. 1483). However, the buying center is a reference group that consists of many individuals. It leads to conflicts that are prevalent in joint decisions, and purchasing may depend on internal relations or an individual’s reputation and influence within the group. It means that B2B decisions require lengthy negotiations and bargaining.
Diba, Hoda, Joseph M. Vella, and Russell Abratt. “Social media influence on the B2B buying process.” Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34, no. 7, 2019, pp. 1482-1496.
Hoonsopon, Danupol, and Wilert Puriwat. “The effect of reference groups on purchase intention: Evidence in distinct types of shoppers and product involvement.” Australasian Marketing Journal, vol. 24, no.2, 2016, pp. 157-164.