Reference Groups

People in a secondary or formal group interact on a less personal level than in a primary group, and their relationships are temporary rather than long lasting. Since secondary groups are established to perform functions, people’s roles are more interchangeable. Formal Virtual Group or Community: web based consumer group.

•EBay: a virtual community, where goods and services are exchanged for money.

•The pressure to outbid the competition.

Formal Work Groups: individuals who work as part of a team, thus having a sustained opportunity to influence others.

•Purchasing small consumer electronics: micro PC, new smart phone, & casual/formal work ware like sweaters, & suits.

•I felt this pressure to keep up with the other co-workers and conform. I did this by going to happy hour on occasion, going out to lunch, buying, casual & formal work ware, new phone, a smaller laptop.

Informal Reference Group

A primary or informal group is a typically small social group whose members share close, personal, enduring primary relationships. These groups are marked by members’ concern for one another, shared activities and culture, and long periods of time spent together. Examples include family, childhood friends, and highly influential social groups

Informal Family Group

•I began a winter sport; my younger brother began snowboarding about 7 years ago, when he was 11 or 12, so rather than buying a snowboard I purchased ski blades.

Informal Friendship Group

•In high school, my friend and his family had a collection of late model diesel Mercedes, I would ride with him to crew/rowing practice, and sometimes I’d drive. I really liked everything about the car and have become a Mercedes enthusiast.