Perception is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the five senses (touch, sight, taste, smell and taste) and the way brain registers certain actions/events. Furthermore, it’s normally induced upon an individual either intentionally or unintentionally due to attention or exposure.
When a consumer has to make a decision, consciously or subconsciously the brain kicks-off the perception process of sensing, organizing and reacting to the element you are exposed too. And it’s this reaction that counts which could be instantaneous if you had been exposed to it earlier e.g. Flashing red for danger. Or you may categorize e.g. online bidding advertisement in a neighboring country, might make you think of it on the same lines of eBay. But the worst reaction is when you don’t understand, or you may encounter certain faces who would be in contrast to the set of people you regularly meet and might make you think they aren’t part of your group / ethnicity altogether.
The following emphasizes that point. I took an Implicit Association Test (Asian IAT), designed to detect the strength of a person’s automatic association between mental representations of objects (concepts) in memory . I fared well in the first section, thanks to my implicit memory when I had to sort American and Asian faces (I was able to assimilate and accommodate as I progressed with the test). However, it got slightly complex when it came to sorting according to Asian American or European American where between a large pool of sketches as I was now looking for some additional information which unfortunately wasn’t provided, and one of the reasons why I got “little or no association with Asian American / European American”, as there were certain images I just could not categorize but I inevitable had to answer for me to proceed to the next question, hence I won’t say the test result was accurate but might just stop at saying the results very indicative.
Nonetheless, when it comes to perception it’s the product placement and capturing the customer’s attention that are important in getting a high conversion rate. Example being when I first visited a Banana Republic outlet last summer for shopping, the slashed rates caught my attention and I made two purchases. However, being a graduate student and frugal at times, I wanted a better deal soon I figured out that Banana Republic and other outlets in fact increase the prices and slash them by a certain % almost every few weeks, which makes us perceive that we are getting the products at a great deal. But try this, visit a Perry Ellis outlet to purchase the same suit and you’ll know what I am talking about. You won’t notice a great difference in material but you might still want to go back to Banana Republic because of Selective Distortion, and that’s how great an influence perception has in our daily choices.
References/ Work cited
- Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicit_Association_Test
- Aque Chris, 2007, The University of Chicago: Theories of Media: Perception http://csmt.uchicago.edu/glossary2004/perceptionperceivability.htm
- Credits: N.I.T.K Surathkal, Tech Fest “Engineer” logo.