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reference groupa social group with which an individual identifies or to membership of which he or she aspires. The activities and values of the reference group provide a basis for the individual's beliefs and lifestyles. For example, young people often identify with rock stars.
The need to imitate the lifestyle of such idols can be exploited in MARKETING. Promotional material such as advertisements may feature these heroes, thereby suggesting that if consumers purchase a particular product they will be like their chosen reference group, and be viewed as such by others.