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Group reference - Essay Example

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Group Influences in the UAE BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HERE DATE HERE Group Influences in the UAE The readings provided information about the importance of reference groups associated with predicting or changing consumer behavior. Though there are different types of reference groups, it calls attention to why marketers continue to use famous celebrities or other well-known individuals in order to promote products effectively…
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Download file to see previous pages The readings also provided knowledge about the importance of modern social networking as a method of reaching new consumer audiences. Sites such as MySpace and many others provide even more weight to the concept of reference groups and are therefore important especially in cultures like the UAE that have very group-minded collectivist values. According to Beckstrom (2010) the UAE is the largest user of the Internet in the Middle East where 74.1 percent of the population had access to broadband connections or mobile phones. It is a lifestyle activity for the UAE (Beckstrom). This is important for companies such as the Carrefour hypermarket that has recently launched its own online store offering many non-food items to customers in an environment that is convenient to the buyer segments (dubaifaqs.com, 2011). With the use of social networking tools, customers can have a more interactive experience with the brand and also satisfy their social reference group needs in an environment providing similar opinion and values. The UAE is also a culture that does not accept uncertainty easily, in areas of buying behavior and also in terms of the social structures that guide the nation. People in cultures such as this are intolerant of conflicting opinions and value group harmony over individual expression (Donnison, 2008). In the UAE, it is predictable that customers of hypermarkets will want detailed pricing guidelines and clear choices related to their purchases. Therefore, this has significance to marketers trying to predict buyer behavior and develop a system of advertising and product variety that is clear so that buyers understand exactly what they will experience in-store. For the female shopper in the UAE, it is important to identify that there are still many prejudices and stereotypes present that impede their progress toward higher social class status. Therefore, social stratification does not necessarily allow female buyers to move from lower-end class status to more influential status due to the high presence of male-controlled attitudes and political structures. However, the female shopper, across the globe, is usually the most important decision-maker in buying decisions which makes it difficult for companies like Carrefour or Lulu hypermarkets to appeal to the woman buyer. Men have more opportunity for changing their social class and therefore are more mobile. Word-of-mouth communication, as identified by the readings, is still important to the success of a brand or company. Again, the social networking capabilities of Carrefour hypermarkets is changing the interactivity between buyer and the organization which provides new opinion leadership that can change buyer behaviors. It seems that the UAE and especially the hypermarket stores are capitalizing on these new low-cost capabilities by providing products online so that consumers in the same social class with the same values can discuss their positive experiences with Carrefour or Lulu markets. The high instance of mobile phone usage and the lifestyles associated with UAE Internet usage give these markets new visibility and maybe even be able to appeal to the market maven. Since it has been recognized that women in Arab countries enjoy the shopping experience together as part of the group, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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