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Marketing applications For Consumer Learning Behaviour

It’s vital for marketers to understand how consumers learn because most of the strategies they plan are based on how people gather information about products and how they can be taught to desire one product from another. In this report I would like to discuss the concept of Consumer Learning Behaviour and its various theories and how marketers could benefit from it to apply its different applications on the market. Behavioural learning applications: Several marketing tactics concentrate on the association between stimuli and responses.

Classical conditioning applications: marketers use the concept of transferring the meaning of unconditioned stimulus to a conditioned stimulus in their strategies to achieve powerful effects on consumers. These conditioned associations are crucial to create positive brand equity in consumer’s memory and control their loyalty. One of the examples is the Marlboro Man that is used in the cigarette company ads. Repetition: To keep repeating the appearance of the product’s ad is a good way to insure that the product will stick in people’s mind and memory.

But some argue that it could be a waste (or too much of a good thing), because consumers can become so used to the stimuli that they will not pay attention anymore

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for it. This problem is called advertising wear-out, and could be avoided by changing the message that is delivered to consumers. Conditioning product association: When pairing a product with a positive stimulus such as music, sound effects, humour or imagery, it could create a desirable association for this product and guide people to choose it.

The order in which marketers should present the Conditioned and Unconditioned Stimulus is very important and can affect the learning process. In general it’s the UCS should be presented prior to the CS. Static situations and environments such as magazines are not effective for classical conditioning because marketers cannot control the order of the conditions they will appear in. This technique can be seen in Pepsi’s ad, where we can see a bottle of Pepsi paired with the refreshing sound of carbonated beverage being poured over ice.

Stimulus generalization: one of the most essential methods to use consumer’s positive associations to an existing product to expand the product’s line or creating a totally new brand. The following strategies are based on this technique: * Family Brand: a variety of products capitalize on the positive reputation and image of a company name such as Sony or Apple. * Product line extensions: where related products are added to an established brand to benefit from its well reputation. Such as Nike Air products.

Licensing: Big companies with well-known names such as McDonald’s and Dominos Pizza can rent their names to other companies to profit from its status in their marketing campaigns. Product tie-ins: by making a good use of the public’s enthusiasm for films and TV programmes to use it in marketing. Lookalike packaging: where manufacturer uses similar packaging to an existing well known product. Stimulus discrimination: One of the central aspects of positioning a product in the market is emphasising on communicating a product’s distinctive attributes from its competitors and making them able to differentiate its brand easily.

Instrumental Conditioning: This process works when a consumer is awarded or punished for a purchase decision. By encouraging a buyer to try the new product, the marketer is practicing this method. There are different ways for reinforcing consumers varies from a simple thank you letter to a generous refund and follow-up calls. Another popular technique is frequency marketing which reinforces regular buyers by awarding them with prizes that value according to their purchases. Airline companies were the leaders in this kind strategy when they introduced the Frequent-Flyer Programmes in the early 1980s.

Most of the supermarkets these days such as Sainsbury’s use the same scheme to gain customers’ loyalty by issuing them loyalty cards. Cognitive learning: Marketers do not have to directly reinforce people (by rewarding or punishing them for their purchase). Instead, they can illustrate what happens to desirable models who use or do not use their products and know that consumers will be motivated to imitate these actions later. Using a celebrity’s image (David Beckham for example) is one way of using this method in marketing, by showing them using the company’s product will trigger the action needed from consumers to respond.

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