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Consumer Behavior, Eighth Edition SCHIFFMAN & KANUK

Chapter 7

Consumer Learning

Importance of Learning
Marketers must teach consumers:
where to buy how to use how to maintain how to dispose of products

Learning Theories
Behavioral Theories Cognitive Theories

Consumer Learning

A process by which individuals acquire the purchase and consumption knowledge and experience that they apply to future related behavior.

Learning Processes
Intentional: learning acquired as a result of a careful search for information Incidental: learning acquired by accident or without much effort

Consumer learning contd.

Example some ads may induce learning (Brand names) even though the consumers attention is elsewhere (on a magzine article rather than the ads on facing page) Other ads are sought out and carefully read by consumers for making a purchase decision.

Elements of Learning Theories

Motivation Cues Response Reinforcement

Figure 7.1 Product Usage Leads to Reinforcement

Behavioral Learning Theories

Classical Conditioning Instrumental Conditioning Modeling or Observational Learning

Classical Conditioning

If you usually listen to the 9 o clock news while waiting for dinner to be served you would tend to associate the 9 o, clock news with dinner, So that eventually the sounds of the 9 o clock news alone might cause your mouth to water even if dinner was not being prepared and even if you were not hungry.

Instrumental (Operant) Conditioning

A behavioral theory of learning based on a trialand-error process, with habits forced as the result of positive experiences (reinforcement) resulting from certain responses or behaviors.

Figure 7.2B Analogous Model of Classical Conditioning

Unconditioned Stimulus Dinner aroma Unconditioned Response Salivation Conditioned Stimulus 9 oclock news


Conditioned Stimulus 9 oclock news

Conditioned Response Salivation

Strategic Applications of Classical Conditioning

Repetition Stimulus Generalization Stimulus Discrimination

Repetition increases strength of associations and slows forgetting but over time may result in advertising wearout.

Figure 7.3 Cosmetic Variations in Ads

Three-Hit Theory
Repetition is the basis for the idea that three exposures to an ad are necessary for the ad to be effective The number of actual repetitions to equal three exposures is in question.

Three-Hit Theory
1) to make consumers aware of the product 2) to show cosumers the relevance of the product 3) to remind them of its benefits according to others marketing scholars 11 to 12 repetitions

Stimulus Generalization

The inability to perceive differences between slightly dissimilar stimuli.

That an individual can learn to take dinner not only to the sound of 9 o clock news but also to the some what similar sound of Azan.

Stimulus Generalization and Marketing

Product Line, Form and Category Extensions Family Branding Licensing Generalizing Usage Situations

Figure 7.5 Product Line Extension (adding related products to an already established brand)

Product form extensions

Such as crest toothpaste to to crest whitestrips, Listerine mouthwash to listerine paks Bath soaps to liquid soaps

Figure 7.6 Product Form Extensions

Figure 7.7 Product Category Extensions

Family branding
The practice of marketing a whole line of company products under the same brand name. A strategy that capitalizes on the consumers ability to generalized favorable brand associations from one product to others: e.g Nestle

Allowing a well known brand name to be affixed to products of another manufacturer..

Examples: names of designers, manufacturers, celebrities, corporations and even cartoon characters are attached for a fee i.e rented.

Figure 7-8 Shoe Manufacturer Licenses Its Name

Stimulus Discrimination

The ability to select a specific stimulus from among similar stimuli because of perceived differences.


Instrumental Conditioning
Consumers learn by means of trial and error process in which some purchase behaviors result in more favorable outcomes (rewards) than other purchase behaviors. .

Positive Reinforcement: Positive outcomes that strengthen the likelihood of a specific response Example: Ad showing beautiful hair as a reinforcement to buy shampoo Negative Reinforcement: Unpleasant or negative outcomes that serve to encourage a specific behavior Example: Ad showing wrinkled (smooth) skin as reinforcement to buy skin cream

Figure 7.10 A Model of Instrumental Conditioning

Try Brand A Try Brand B Try Brand C Try Brand D
Repeat Behavior

Unrewarded Legs too tight Unrewarded Tight in seat Unrewarded Baggy in seat Reward Perfect fit

Stimulus Situation
(Need goodlooking jeans)

Strategic applications of instrumental learning

Customer Satisfaction (Reinforcement) Reinforcement Schedules

Massed versus Distributed Learning

Observational Learning

A process by which individuals observe the behavior of others, and consequences of such behavior. Also known as modeling or vicarious (observational) learning.

Model or observational learning

Consumers often observe how others behave in response to certain situations (stimuli) and the ensuing (subsequent) results (reinforcement) that occur & The imitate (model) the positively reinforced behavior when faced with similar situations.

Figure 7.11 Consumers Learn by Modeling

Cognitive Learning Theory

Holds that the kind of learning most characteristic of human beings is problem solving, which enables individuals to gain some control over their environment.

Figure 7.12 Appeal to Cognitive Processing

Information Processing

A cognitive theory of human learning patterned after computer information processing that focuses on how information is stored in human memory and how it is retrieved.

Figure 7.13 Information Processing and Memory Stores

Working Memory (Shortterm Store)

Sensory Input

Sensory Store



Longterm Store Retrieval

Forgotten; lost

Forgotten; lost

Forgotten; unavailable

Information is stored in long-term memory
Episodically: by the order in which it is acquired Semantically: according to significant concepts

Involvemen t Theory

A theory of consumer learning which postulates that consumers engage in a range of information processing activity from extensive to limited problem solving, depending on the relevance of the purchase.

Figure 7.14

Figure 7.14 Split Brain Theory

Right/ Left Brain Hemispheres specialize in certain functions

Figure 7.15 Encouraging Right and Left Brain Processing

Issues in Involvement Theory

Involvement Theory and Media Strategy Involvement Theory and Consumer Relevance Central and Peripheral Routes to Persuasion Measures of Involvement

Central and Peripheral Routes to Persuasion

A theory that proposes that highly involved consumers are best reached through ads that focus on the specific attributes of the product (the central route) while uninvolved consumers can be attracted through peripheral advertising cues such as the model or the setting (the peripheral route).

Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)

A theory that suggests that a persons level of involvement during message processing is a critical factor in determining which route to persuasion is likely to be effective.

Figure 7.16 Peripheral Route to Persuasion

Figure 7.17 Unexpected Headline Metaphor Increases Impact

The Elaboration Likelihood Model

Involvement HIGH Central Route LOW Peripheral Route

Message Arguments Influence Attitudes

Peripheral Cues Influence Attitudes

Measures of Consumer Learning

Recognition and Recall Measures
Aided and Unaided Recall

Cognitive Responses to Advertising Attitudinal and Behavioral Measures of Brand Loyalty

Figure 7.18 Starch Readership Scores Measure Learning

Brand Loyalty
Brand loyalty is a favorable attitude toward and consistent purchase of a single brand over time.

Phases of Brand Loyalty

Cognitive Affective Conative Action

Brand Equity
The value inherent in a well-known brand name is known as Brand Equity. Co branding Megabrands

Ethics And Consumer Learning

Ethical issues regarding consumer learning are centered on potential misuse of behavioral, cognitive and observational learning. These issues involve targeting children and young adults and, albeit unintentionally, teaching them to engage in socially undesirable behaviors.