The social influence in the form of peer pressure is prevalent in many countries across the globe. Peer pressure is the influence of a group on behaviors of individual members of that group such that the individuals tend to follow what everybody does. In the field of business, understanding consumer’s interest is of paramount importance and therefore understanding peer pressure can be a useful tool to persuade consumers to follow their peers and buy the targeted products. How this can help businessmen promote sales and increase the brand awareness thus remains an open question for many researchers. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the importance of peer pressure on the consumption behavior of customers in Taiwan. The hypothesis is that peer pressure has a positive correlation with consumers’ decisions to buy, that is, the more consumers are affected by their peers, the more they are willing to buy products that their friends buy. This study also investigated the possible explanations for the influence of peer pressure on consumption behaviors in Taiwan (if any) and from the results obtained, suggestions on how to attract more customers and increase brand awareness in Taiwan, with respect to peer pressure, were also proposed. Online and printed questionnaires were given to a wide range of participants of different characteristics including age groups, races and gender. The results were then statistically processed using SPSS software. A total of 103 participants took part in the research and the impacts of peer pressure, together with possible explanations, were examined. Possible applications of the results in real life businesses were also given.
Key words: Peer pressure, business, consumer behavior, Taiwan.
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