Prius: Cultural & Social Factors Affecting Its Rate of Adoption Essay Sample


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1.What U.S. cultural and social factors would affect the acceptance of Prius.

People who accepted the early Prius were individualistic, they liked to be perceived as different from the norm. Some of the early adopters, who purchased the vehicle, modified it to make it even more individualized. Prius accepters were also efficient and practical because they purchased a car that is energy efficient. It uses less gasoline than standard vehicles and uses electricity, which is a renewable resource. Finally, Prius owners were free to go where and when they wanted to go, just as other car owners are.

Socially, a person who identifies with groups who are accepting of differences, who are environmentally conscious, and who may be technologically advanced or frequent chat rooms on are more likely to accept the Prius. Others who are accepting may have heard positive things about it from friends or celebrities. Another social factor is that they believed it would fit into their lifestyle and that anyone who was likely to ride in the Prius was small enough to fit in the vehicle.

2. In your opinion, what type of buying decision behavior would a consumer experience? Explain.

I think the decision to purchase a Prius is made based upon complex buying behavior. Product characteristics of this type of behavior include expensive, risky, purchased infrequently, and highly self-expressive. For most people, buying a car requires a significant portion of one’s discretionary income.

This purchase is not performed frequently and usually generates

a significant amount of research before the purchase. The early Prius consumers took a risk with their purchase of a vehicle that was different from other solely gasoline-fueled vehicles. The early Prius purchasers tended to be either highly self-expressive in that many of them bought the car for the status or early adopters who bought it for its technology and modified it for individuality.

3. Discuss the five characteristics of a new product that affect its rate of adoption as they apply to Prius.
a. Relative advantage
b. Compatibility
c. Complexity
d. Divisibility
e. Communicability

a. The relative advantage that the Prius had over other vehicles was the fuel efficiency.

b. Compatibility: Many Americans were concerned about the dependence on foreign oil and wanted to reduce this dependency. Others were not concerned about the foreign dependency, but wanted to achieve a higher number of miles per gallon because of the fluctuation and anticipated increase in the price of gasoline. Pollution was another concern. The Prius used less gasoline and its emissions were cleaner than solely gasoline-fueled vehicles.

c. Complexity: The Prius is first of all, over everything else, a car. People generally understand how to use cars. The Prius used gasoline that we all knew how to pump into a car. The electrical power was a problem because, while people somewhat knew about electricity and were quite accustomed to plugging in appliances, they were not accustomed to plugging in a car.

d. Divisibility: The Prius does not have a high degree of divisibility. In the early days, the Prius was not readily available as rental cars. About the only ways the car could be tried would have been through test drives or through trying the vehicle of a Prius owner.

e. Communicability: The Prius has a high degree of communicability. Its drivers can easily communicate its miles per gallon with virtually every driver able to understand. Its drivers can describe the time it takes to charge the Prius relatively easily as well. The Prius owner may have more trouble if that owner would try to communicate highly technical information, just as exclusively gasoline-fueled vehicle owners have trouble explaining the technical specifications of their vehicles. Overall, the Prius is just a bit less communicable than standard vehicles.

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Emma Taylor


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