The groups to which consumers belong and which influence their behaviour. These groups can be small primary groups, such as the family or a work group, or they can be larger secondary groups, such as professional associations or trade unions. Reference groups serve as direct (face-to-face) or indirect points of reference, providing comparisons that help to form a person's attitudes or behaviour. Within these groups are aspirational groups, to which people would like to belong; quite often, the aspiring person assumes the values, attitudes, and even the dress of the group. Opinion leaders are important within reference groups, because their special skills, knowledge, or personality enables them to influence others.
Subjects: Business and Management.