If you want to understand the concept of selective distortion while keeping in mind perception marketing, this is the place for you! We will help you know particular distortions and help you use selective distortion to your advantage in your business!

What is Perception Marketing?

perception marketing

It is challenging for a consumer to decide what they have to buy. However, their buying perception is greatly affected by the situation that they are in. Perception is when a customer tends to select, organize and interpret data, including the environmental stimuli that have been introduced to them by brands. The customers then use the sorted information to paint a more meaningful picture of the world around them.

Perception marketing is used as a pivotal idea to motivate consumers to buy a product. Advertising is a massive form of environmental stimuli. You as a consumer are exposed to about 3000 to 5000 advertisements on average in a day. You must be thinking, how is that even possible? Well, taste, smell, sounds, conversations, pictures, and everything else around you play a part in this.

If you are walking down the street, apart from the billboards and posters, many other things may grab your attention. For example, it could be the aroma from a coffee shop or bookstand selling the magazines you search for. This is how the situation you are in affects your decision to buy something. This is what leads to selective distortion!

What is Selective Distortion?

perception marketing

Selective distortion is the customer’s tendency to interpret information to suit or fit their preconceptions. Consumers use particular distortion to perceive information to become consistent with the beliefs of the prior product or even a brand.

In other words, when a consumer fits incoming stimuli to their mindset through their own set of rules, it means that they are using selective distortion to make their decision about buying a product. Particular distortion can act as a way to interpret information to support what they want to believe, or they already feel it.

Test to Prove Selective Distortion Exists

Pepsi conducted a test in 1984, which proved that consumers tend to support information they already believe in. There were two groups selected. One group of people were given two samples each; Coke and Pepsi. They had to taste and choose the drink they liked more. These people knew what they were having. It was seen that when people knew what they were having, they always chose the brand that they already had a good person about. Hence, the experiment showed that people used selective distortion to make their decision.

Another group was chosen, but it was a blind tasting test to see if the selective distortion was used here. People were given two cups that contained both coke and Pepsi but were not labelled. This test showed that people had different opinions this time. They ended up choosing the product they usually do not buy. This indicates that when people do not know what they are choosing between, selective distortion is minimized. They make a decision based on their present experience rather than their perception of their experience.

How Does Selective Distortion Play a Role in Customer Buying Decision?

When customers tend to have different opinions regarding unbranded or branded versions of identical products, they have beliefs about the effect they usually select or do not select. The perception about a brand or product can be based on a customer’s experience, loyalty towards a specific brand, or simply because of a brand’s marketing activity. This is what leads to selective distortion in the future. Consumers may find themselves being attracted to a specific product if they find its marketing attractive.

How can Marketers Make Use of Selective Distortion?

Consumers tend to build attitudes and beliefs that affect their buying behaviour in their daily lives. Consumer beliefs are their descriptive thoughts regarding a matter, and these explanatory thoughts tend to affect their attitudes in their daily lives. Attitudes can also come from feelings, evaluations, and attraction towards an idea. These beliefs and attitudes cause consumers to use selective distortion to choose when buying a product.

What marketers can do is make use of the selective distortion that consumers have. It can become more accessible for the marketers to choose their target market and select who they want to target. For example, if you run a company that sells clothes and you make casual but comfortable clothes. You can choose to target people who give a lot of importance to comfort. You can advertise your product as ‘comfortable’ and ‘soft.’ Selective distortion can become your tool, and you will be able to sell your products if you can crack what goes on the customer’s mind!


In this article, we learned what customer perception is and how it leads to customers making their buying decisions built upon their beliefs and attitudes. Their ideas lead them to do selective distortion and make their choices accordingly. Further, we learned about how vital the distortion is in a consumer’s mind by looking at an experiment conducted by Pepsi.

Lastly, this article discussed the importance of selective distortion in customer buying behaviour and what a marketer can do to make sure that particular distortion is used in favour of a business.

We hope that this article helped you develop a concept of selective distortion, and you can use it to your advantage in your business!

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