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Old 16th October 2014, 13:32   #1
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Default Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

We all live in an era of peer pressure. It is evident that many of the high value purchase decisions (especially cars) are being influenced by our peers and colleagues.

Its only human nature to pursue certain amount of respect and today cars can be one of the tools to gain the same – especially from strangers. To an extent cars exhibit the personality, social status and smartness. Recently, one of my friend upgraded his car (which was in a very good condition) – just because many of his colleagues and subordinates started owning bigger and better cars. This just ignites the thought process – How much peer-pressure can really influence you to buy / upgrade to a new car?

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Following is a brief illustration keeping you as the center figure and just like to understand your thoughts:

Case
You have a good car- old, but strong in performance and reliability and keeps your pocket happy.

One of your close friends / colleagues upgraded his car (from a particular brand) - two segments above your current car.

Initially you never bothered about this, but soon realize that you are answering questions like “Why are you keeping an old car? When you are going to purchase a new car?” Recently you noticed the security-wala in your office is giving better respect to your friend than you (even though you are in a better position). Finally you made a “half mind” to upgrade the car.

You started searching and soon identified so many options in the market in various segments – same (as your friend’s car), higher, and lower –each having its own set of benefits.

Eventually you had a discussion with your friend - where you received good feedback - both on the product and the service aspects. To certain extent, he insists on buying the same car.

You are in a dilemma of making a decision. Your choices are as follows:

a. Don’t change the car (due to peer pressure)
b. Buy the same model of car (from same brand)
b. Buy an upper segment car from same brand
c. Buy a lower segment car (having similar features) from same band
d. Buy a same segment car from a different brand
e. Buy a higher segment car from a different brand
f. Buy a lower segment car (having similar features) from a different brand
g. Sell your current car and start using public transport

What will be your choice?

Last edited by GTO : 16th October 2014 at 16:04. Reason: Typos
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Old 16th October 2014, 13:39   #2
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

I will go with a different option, spend some money on your existing car on retouch, polish and few upgrades here and there to make it unique. But to be frank, its better not to worry about others and enjoy your life the way it is! who knows, if we wait long enough we might be able to afford to get our dream ride.

Last edited by giri1.8 : 16th October 2014 at 13:42.
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Old 16th October 2014, 14:00   #3
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

New car decisions are based on family needs and finance only, not peer pressure. I care little about what others think. Have bigger problems to worry about..hehe..
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Old 16th October 2014, 14:07   #4
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

I'm not sure how many would really just go ahead and buy or upgrade their "car" just because somebody else upgraded theirs.

I mean buying a car is not a small thing, I guess its the biggest depreciating asset people put their money on.

I think someone would buy/upgrade their car only when they have adequate money and spending 10-15 lakhs isn't too big a deal for them. Otherwise no amount of peer pressure can lead someone to spend this kind of money (barring rare exceptions of course)
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Old 16th October 2014, 14:12   #5
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

IMHO, peer pressure does play a role in buying decisions. It need not be as direct as it is described here, but there could be other subtle effects:

- A colleague of yours buying a premium car can suddenly make that model/brand appear more affordable

- A person you perceive to be at a lower strata (in terms of income or position) buying a certain car can suddenly bring down the image of the car in your mind - this might even be happening sub-consciously

- A related point to the first one, but a bit different: one of your peers buying a n expensive car brings down the guilty feeling you might have had, about spending so much money for cars

so on..
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Old 16th October 2014, 14:17   #6
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

Peer pressure does influence the brand that we own. Call it 'herd mentality' or whatever but its a fact. Will I shell out my hard earned money on a TATA or a Datsun or any other brand for that matter when majority of the people around me say not to go for it? No way!! My BIL got a Indigo Marina around ten years back and after a year of ownership this is what he had to say " except for the horn everything else is making a noise in this car". I wish he had listened then...
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Old 16th October 2014, 14:39   #7
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

If one has to peg purchase decisions (cars, phones or whatever) based on what others around you are buying, then you will keep buying things you don't need and paying for those. Instead look at what you need (not 'want'), analyse the options and go for the one that matches your need.

Our organisation has a car-lease policy which leads to most folks changing cars atleast every 3 years, irrespective of whether they need the upgrade or not. And more often than not, this ends up as a "keeping up with the Joneses" trend - as in, he bought a Scorpio, so let me buy an XUV or Fortuner etc. Ofcourse in most cases, they dont even need an SUV - but who cares ?

I drive a car that will be 10 years old in March, is reliable, FE and meets my needs. More importantly, it is FTD even after all these years. Which is why I never felt the need to swap it for another one, inspite of the lease-carrot that easily brings an Octavia-TSi within reach. Who cares what others think ?

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 16th October 2014 at 14:41.
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Old 16th October 2014, 14:42   #8
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

Interesting post! I don't think your peer / colleague / friend plays a role in tempting/forcing you to buy a new car. I mean who would buy a new car, giving up on the present well maintained car; just because people say your car is old or to earn security guard's respect

I feel your family and the new car bug in you are the only culprits or shall I say drivers to go for a new car! And I will develop a bond with my car as days pass by, how can I ditch her so easily

Last edited by StepUP! : 16th October 2014 at 14:44.
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Old 16th October 2014, 14:47   #9
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
.......
I drive a car that will be 10 years old in March, is reliable, FE and meets my needs. More importantly, it is FTD even after all these years. Which is why I never felt the need to swap it for another one, inspite of the lease-carrot that easily brings an Octavia-TSi within reach. Who cares what others think ?
Same boat. 8 years 'new' ride. I own it outright, free-revving petrol engine, has decent grunt and highway FE, no issues to date and more than meets what I need from a car right now.

I've lost track of the number of people telling me to get rid of it and buy a diesel hatch with good FE (esp. during the times when petrol-diesel price difference was widening). I just smile at them and ask how they're enjoying their 'cheap to run' car and if they've ever done the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) math, most just mumble angrily and walk away.

I also usually own gadgets that my peers consider pre-historic (my current new-ish phone was provided by my company), but I never see the point in getting rid of something that works perfectly fine, only to get something I don't need, probably can't afford, to impress someone who doesn't care.

Net result, I have peers drowning in all sorts of debt caused by 'keep up with the Joneses' tendencies, I can only feel sorry for them, or honestly, laugh at their naivete.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 16th October 2014 at 14:54.
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Old 16th October 2014, 14:51   #10
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

Whereas there are virtually no known individuals in the universe and or on Internet that would openly admit to giving in to peer pressure, fact is that a lot of market research suggest that we all do.

And it starts from very early on; its a well know phenomena that even small kids in schools fall prey to peer pressure. You don't wear the right brand of sneakers, you might find yourself left out. It's not nice, but it is happening.

There are plenty of brands that rely heavilly on peer pressure and you can see it in their adds as well.

Of course, I have never ever, not in a single occassion given in to peer pressure. I'm totally unique and I make my own decisions, based on my own relevant buying critiria.

If you are like me, let me know. I have a bridge for sale you should have a look at!

By the way, in the context of this thread, peer pressure is/might be construed as negative. But there are also positive elements to peer pressure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_pressure

http://podcasts.teenanalyst.com/Mark...Marketing.html



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Old 16th October 2014, 14:52   #11
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

Very interesting post, and quite logical too. I have seen both sides of people. Those who upgraded because someone else upgraded and those who were never bothered.

One of my managers, about 6 years back used an M800, which was pretty beaten. Irrespective of how much people told him to change, he never really bothered and continued using that car.

As for myself, I used my Indica for a little under 7 years and plan to use my current Dzire also for the same duration. No amount of peer pressure is going to make do otherwise. Yes, I do get tempted when I see a swanky new car in the parking lot, but all I have to do is check my other EMI's and am all back to normal.
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Old 16th October 2014, 15:55   #12
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

Normally a car change Idea should start based on any of the reasons below I suppose...

a. Previous car getting involved in an accident and that creates a dilemma in you and contemplate on going for a change...

b. Previous Car starts giving trouble and decide to go for some thing new.

c. Previous Car is aged enough, though Good and still you anticipate troubles and want to switch.

d. Your physical inability such as knee pain or some thing of that sort warrants a change.

e. You want to change cars frequently and if so any thing can trigger the idea of going for a new car such as a new enhancement such as Diesel Automatic Transmission or some one known to you going for a change.

In my case it was 'c'.
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Old 16th October 2014, 16:19   #13
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
If you are like me, let me know. I have a bridge for sale you should have a look at!
I'll buy only if it meets my criteria, not because of peer pressure, mind you! (I don't know (m)any people who own bridges anyway. He he he.).

Quote:
By the way, in the context of this thread, peer pressure is/might be construed as negative. But there are also positive elements to peer pressure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_pressure

http://podcasts.teenanalyst.com/Mark...Marketing.html



Jeroen


You're right in saying peer pressure isn't negative by itself. Group therapy is the most obvious example I can think of peer pressure being positive. I've had at least two friends who either quit or curbed their smoking/drinking habits owing to peer pressure.

But one can't deny the widespread influence of negative peer pressure (subtle and overt). I saw a recent advertisement by a clothing brand that actually goes with a 'get all the likes' punchline. And you only need to meet a bunch of teenagers to see how bad it actually is. I've been a child once too and peer pressure isn't anything new, but the recent explosion of affordable technology and social media has turned it into an unmitigated epidemic. Everything now is about getting the 'likes' (grabbing attention), narcissism at its worst.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 16th October 2014 at 16:36.
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Old 16th October 2014, 17:10   #14
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

A lot goes into buying a car. Peer pressure may be the least of the considerations.

First and foremost are these in decreasing amount of importance:

1) Family requirement
2) Finances or rather disposable salary available for a change
3) Really good reason to actually change the car- Service issues/High Maintenance etc
4) Last but actually the least- Peer Pressure.

We have all heard this common but very important statement:

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You give in to peer pressure. What if you are not in he company in the next year?

You have a car at a higher purchase/EMI and eventually you are not even in the company. Your boss has changed and so has your Security guard whoi gave you respect for your so called "new car".

No. We should not give in to peer pressure for such critical decisions.
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Old 16th October 2014, 17:58   #15
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Default Re: Does peer pressure influence our buying decisions?

I would love to join the bandwagon and say that I never give into peer pressure, I would like to admit that I once did! Well not exactly peer pressure, but something similar. I bought an iPad just to 'have' it. I never thought I have any specific need for it, I still dont feel any need for it (yeah, I am one of those old school guys ).
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