Selective distortion refers to the tendency to interpret product information in a way that fits consumer perceptions. Consumers will often distort information to be consistent with the prior brand and product beliefs and expectations.
Selective distortion is “the perceptual process which occurs when people subconsciously try to make new information fit their old ideas about something.”
It is a term indicating the tendency of individuals of interpreting information in a favorable way so that it will support their perception. This concept as well as the concepts of selective retention and selective attention makes it difficult for marketers to develop their message for creating a suitable or positive product perception.
Marketers require to take into account the issues of Selective distortion by consumers. Customers or consumers distort messages because of -
- Halo effect- It happens when an individual using a specific brand in a product category, thinks that the same qualities can be expected from a different product type by the same brand, but the corporate teams engaged in the two cases may be totally different.
- Stereotypes- These are long-held perceptions about things including images and products.
- Role Models- These models are outcomes from the established role models kept in consumer minds based on their value systems and cultural upbringing.
- Previous experiences- These are the experiences of earlier consumptions affecting the perceptions of viewers of a particular advertisement.