Home arrow Consumer Psychology arrow Characteristics of Opinion Leaders  
 
Characteristics of Opinion Leaders
Numerous studies have been conduced attempting to identify opinion leader characteristics. The research is not conclusive, but we have some understanding of the opinion leaderís profile. First, opinion leaders have approximately the same social-class position as non leaders, although they may have higher social status within the class.

You can donwload excellent powerpoint slides on marketing management and business strategy here.

You can download excellent powerpoint slides on Marketing Strategy and Marketing Management HERE.

1. Opinion leaders have approximately the same social-class position as non leaders, although they may have higher social status within the class. This does not mean that personal influence does not flow across different class lines, but is likely to be infrequent and of a visual nature rather than verbal.

2. Opinion leaders have greater exposure to mass media that are relevant to their area of interest. For example, opinion leaders for women's fashions could be expected to have higher exposure to such magazines as Vogue and Glamour. Similarly, automobile opinion leaders might be expected to read Motor Trend or Hot Rod. Exposure to relevant mass media provides them with information useful in enhancing their leadership potential.

3. Opinion leaders have greater interest and knowledge of the area of influence than do nonleaders. This finding is closely related to their greater media exposure. Of course, knowledge is not a prerequisite for opinion leader influence. Undoubtedly, much influence takes place by those who are ignorant of the topic of conversation.

4. Opinion leaders are more gregarious than nonleaders are. This finding is logical, given that they must interact with those whom they influence. Thus, opinion leaders are generally more sociable or companionable.

5. Opinion leaders have more innovativeness than do nonleaders. This does not mean, however, that they are innovators (the first people to purchase a new item). In fact, innovators and opinion leaders have been found in several studies to have differing characteristics and lifestyles. In the fashion market, for instance, the innovator is seen as an adventurer who is the earliest visual communicator of the newest styles aimed at the mass of fashion consumers." The opinion leader, however, may be characterized more as an "editor" of fashions, who defines and endorses appropriate standards.

6. Opinion leaders are also more familiar with and loyal to group standards and values than are nonleaders. This refers to the fact that opinion leaders are vested with leadership authority by group members, and in order to maintain this position, the individual has to reflect underlying norms and values for that area of consumption leadership. The clothing influential, for instance, cannot be too far ahead of or behind fashion, but must reflect the current norms in clothing.

Source of Reference:
Albert Loudon and David Della Britta, Consumer Behavior : Concepts and Applications, , McGraw Hill. You can obtain this fine book here

You can download excellent powerpoint slides on Marketing Strategy and Marketing Management HERE.

 
Top!
Top!