Chapter 7.docx

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University of Guelph
Marketing and Consumer Studies
MCS 2600
Karen A.Gough

Chapter 7 CONSUMER LEARNING • Take V8 vegetable juice as an example - their new product of Fusion drinks represent extensions of a highly successful brand o They fulfilled consumers needs for years with a quick and efficient way to consumer multiple vegetables together o Every time consumers bought V8 products they were rewarded with healthy food and delicious food o New products carrying the brand name are advertised and onsumers are likely to associate them with the rewarding experiences they have had for decades of consuming the jiuce • One's past knowledge to present circumstances and the application of past and present experiences to future behaviours represents llearning • Repeating advertising messages about brands and their benefits, rewarding people for purchase behaviour by selling products that provide superior benefits, getting consumers to make associations among different offerings under the same brand name, and dwveloping brand loyalty are all elements of consumer learning • Reason that marketers are concerned with how individuals learn is that they are vitally interested in teaching them, in their roles as consumers, about products, product attributes, and their potential benefits ELEMENTS OF CONSUMER LEARNING • Learning is defined as the process by which individuals acquire the purchase and consumption knowledge and experience that they apply to future related behaviour • Consumer learning is a process - both newly acquired knowledge and personal experience serve as feedback to the individual and provide the basis for future behaviour in similar situations • Role of experience in learning doesn't mean that all learning is deliverately sought • Thouguh much learning is intentional, a great deal is also incidental • Consumer earning encompasses the total range of learning, from simply, almost reflexible response, to the learning of abstract concepts and complex problem solving • Learning theorists agree that in order for learning to occur, certain basic elements must be present • These elements are motivation, cues, response, and reinforcement • MOTIVATION o Uncovering consumer motives is the prime tasks of marketers, who then tryn to teach motivated consumer segments why and how their products will fulfill the consumers' needs o Unfilled needs lead to motivation, which spurs learning o The degree of relevance, or involvement, determines the consumer's level of motivation to search for knowledge or information about a product or service • CUES o If motives serve to stimulate learning, cues are the stimuli that direct these motives o The ad is the cue, or stimulus, that suggests a specficic way to satisfy a salient motive o Cues serve to direct consumer drives when they are consistent with consumer expectations • RESPONSE o How individuals react to a drive or cue constitute their response o Learnign can occur even when responses are not overt o Aresponse is not tied to a need in a one-to-one fashoin o Cues provide some direction, but there are many cues competing for the consumer's attention • REINFORCEMENT o Reinforcement increases the likelihood that a specific response will occur in the future as the result of particular cues or stimuli o Is a consumer is rewarded that consumer has learned to associate the purchase with a pleasant feeling and is likely to repeat the learned behaviour and become a loyal customer o There is no single, universal theory of how people learn o Two general categories of learnign theory: behavioural learning and cognitive learning BEHAVIOUR LEARNING • Behavioural learning is sometimes referred to as a stimulus response learning because it is based on the premise that observable responses to specific external stimuli signal that learning has taken place • When a person acts in a predictable way to a known stimulus, he or she is said to have learned • Behavioural learning is not so much concerned with the process of learning as it is with the inputs and outcomes of learning • Two forms of behavioural learning with great relevance to marketing are classical conditioning and instrumental conditioning • CLASSICAL CONDITIONIGN o Early classical conditioning theorists regarded all organisms as relatively passive entities that could be taught certain behaviours through repetition o Ivan Pavlov was the first to describe conditioning and to propse it as a general model of how learning ocurs o Conditioning learning results when a stimulus is paired with another stimuluss that elicits a known response serve to produce the same response when used alone o An unconditioned stimulus might consist of a well known brand symbol o CognitiveAssociative Learning  Contemporary behavioural scientists view classical conditioning as the learning of associations among events that allows the organism to anticipate and represents its environment  The relationship between the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus influcenes expectations which in turn influenced their behaviour  Classical conditioning rather than being a reflexive action, is seen as cognitive associative learning  Optimal conditioning - that is the creating of a strong association between the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus - requires forward conditioning, repeated pairings of the CS and the US, a CS and US that logically belong together, a CS that is novel and unfamiliar, and a US that is bio;logically or symbollically salient - this model is known as neo-pavlovian conditioning o StrategicApplications of Classical Conditioning  Three basic concepts derive from classical conditioning: repetition, stimulus generalization, and stimulus discrimination  Repetition: repetition increases the stength of the association between a conditioned stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus and slows the process of forgetting • Alimit to the amount of repetition that will aid retention • Some repetition beyond what is necessary for learning aids retention, at some point an individual can become satiated with numerous exposures and both attention and retention will decline - advertising wearout • Substantive variations are changes in advertising content across different versions of an advertisement and are appropriate when the marketer wishes to convey more than one product feature • Consumers exposed to substantively varied ads process more information about product attributes, and attitudes formed as a result of exposure to such messages are often more resistant to change in the face of competitive attacks • Although the principle of repetition is well established among advertisers, not everyone agrees on how mucch repetition is enough • Effectiveness of repetition is somewhat dependent onthe amount of competitive advertising to which the consumer is exposed  Stimulus Generalization: according to classical conditioning theories, learning depends not only on reptition but also on the ability of individuals to generalize • Making the same response to slightly different stimuli is called stimulus generalization • Stimulus generalization explains why some initiative me-too products succeed in the marketplace: consumers confuse them with the original product they have seen advertised • Product Line, Form, and Category Extensions o The principle of stimulus generalization is applied by marketers to product line, form, and category extensions o In product line extensions, the marketer adds related products to an already established brand, knowing that the new products are more likely to be adopted when they are associated with a known and trusted brand name o Marketers also offer product form extensions and product category extensions that generally target new market segments o Success of product extensions depends on a number of factors o If the image of the parent brand is one of quality and the new item is logically linked to the brand, consumers are more likely to bring positive associations to the new offerings introduced as product line, form, or category extensions o The number of different products affiliated with a brand strengthens the brand name, as long as the company maintains a quality image across all brands • Family Branding o Family branding is the practice of marketing a whole line of company products under the same brand name o While many marketers use family branding effectively, P&G was built on the strength of its many individual brands in the same product category • Licensing o Allowing a well-known brand name to be affixed to products of another manufacturer is a marketing strategy that operates on the principle of stimulus generalization o Corporations also license their names and trademarks, usually for some form of brand extension, where the name of the corporation is licensed to the maker of a related product and enters a new product category o Increase in licensing has made counterfeiting a booming business, as counterfeiters add well-known licensor names to a variety of products without benefit of contract or quality control  Stimulus Discrimination • Stimulus discrimination is the opposite of stimulus generalization and results in the selection of a specific stimulus from among similar stimuli • Key objective of a positioning strategy is to get the consumer to discriminate among similar stimuli by establishing a uniqe image for a brand in the consumer's mind • The positiong that a product or service holds in the consumer's mind is critical to its success • When a marketer targets consumers with a strong communications program that stresses the unique ways in which its product will satisfy the consumers needs, it wants the consumer to differentiate its product from among competitive products on the shelf • Product Differentiation o Most product differentiatin strategies are designed to distinguish a product or brand from that of competitors on the basis of an attribute that is relevant, meaningful, and valuable to consumers o Many marketers also successfully differentiate their brands on an attribute that may actually be irrelevant to creating the implied benefit o One explanation is that the leader is usually first in the market and has had a longer period to teach consumers to associate the brand name with the product o The longer the period of learning, of associating a brand name with a specific product, the more likely the consumer is to discriminate and the less likely to generalize the stimulus o Principles of classical conditioning provide the theoretical underpinnings for many marketing applications o Repetition, stimulus generalization, and stimulus discrimination are all major applied concepts that help to explain consumer behaviour in the marketplace • INSTRUMENTAL CONDITIONING o Like classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning requires a link between a stimulus and a response o The stimulus that results in the most satisfactory response is the one that is learned o Instrumental learning theorists believe that learning occurs through a trial-and- error process, with habits formed as a result of rewards received for certain responses or behaviours o This model of learning applies to many situations in which consuemrs learn about products, services, and retail stores o The person most closely associated with instrumental conditioning is B.F. skinner  Isntrumental conditioning suggests that consumers learn by means of trial and error process in which some purchase behaviours result in more favourable outcomes than other purchase behaviours o Reinforcement of Behaviour  Skinner distinguished two types of reinforcement that influences the likelihood that a response will be repeated  The first type, positive reinforcement, consists of events that strengthen the likelihood of a specific response  Negative reinforcement is an unpleasant or negative outcmoes that serves to encourage a specific behaviour o Extinction and Forgetting  When a learned response is no longer reinforced, it diminishes to the point of extinction  If a consumer is no longer satisfied with the service a retail store provides, the link between the stimulus and the response is no longer reinforced - it is unlearned  There is a difference between extinction and forgetting  StrategicApplications of Instrumental Conditioning • Marketers effectively utilize the concepts of consumer instrumental learning when they provide positive reinforcement by assuring customer satisfaction with the product, the service, and the total buying experience o Customer Satisfaction (Reinforcement)  Objective of all marketing efforts should be to maximize customer satisfaction  Marketers must provide the best possible product for the money and avoid raising consumer expectations for product permance beyond what the product can deliver  Aside from the experience of using the product itself, consumers can receive reinforcement from other elements in the purchase situation, such as the environment in which the or service takes place  COmpanies shouldn't assume that lower prices and more diverse product lines make customers more satisfied  Relationship marketing - developing a close personalized relationship withc ustomers • Another form of nonproduct reinforcement • Ability to call into a company etc. • Astute service providers haveimplemented service recovery measures that provide extra rewards to customers
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