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Learning and Memory Chapter 3 The Learning Process Products as reminders of life experiences Products + memory = brand equity/loyalty Learning: a relatively permanent change in behavior caused by experience Incidental learning Ongoing process Consumer Stimulus Response

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the learning process
The Learning Process
  • Products as reminders of life experiences
  • Products + memory = brand equity/loyalty
  • Learning: a relatively permanent change in behavior caused by experience
    • Incidental learning
    • Ongoing process
behavioral learning theories




Behavioral Learning Theories
  • Learning = responses to external events
    • “Black box”
    • Observable behavior
  • Classical conditioning & instrumental conditioning

Figure 3.1

classical conditioning


Classical Conditioning
  • Ivan Pavlov
  • CS + UCS = response
    • Over time: CS = response
  • Brand names as CS
    • Credit card as CS
  • Music, humor, imagery
  • CS first, then UCS
classical conditioning cont d
Classical Conditioning (Cont’d)
  • Repetition of exposure
    • Type of medium used
    • Extinction
      • Izod Lacoste crocodile on baby clothes
    • Beware of…
      • Advertising wearout
      • Frequent product encounters
  • Some die-hard fans were not pleased when the Rolling Stones sold the tune “Start Me Up” for about $4 million to Microsoft, which wanted the classic song to promote its Windows 95 launch. Other rock legends have refused to play the commercial game. Singer Neil Young is especially adamant about not “selling out.”
    • What’s your take on this issue?
    • How do you react when one of your favorite songs turns up in a commercial?
    • Is this use of nostalgia an effective way to market a product?
      • Why or why not?
classical conditioning cont d7

Masked branding:


Classical Conditioning (Cont’d)
  • Stimulus Generalization
    • Halo effect
      • “Piggybacking” strategy
      • Masked branding
    • Family branding, product line extensions, licensing, look-alike packaging
  • Identify some important characteristics of a product with a well-known brand name.
    • Based on these attributes, generate a list of possible brand extension or licensing opportunities, as well as some others that would most likely not be accepted by consumers.
classical conditioning cont d9
Classical Conditioning (Cont’d)
  • Stimulus Discrimination
    • Brand positioning
      • Unique attributes of brand
    • Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition combats “knockoffs”
semantic associations
Semantic Associations
  • Intel = “intelligent” + “electronics”
  • Viagra ~ Niagara (Falls)
  • Qualcomm = “quality” + “communications”
  • p, b, t, d = slow
  • f, v, s, z = fast
  • Blackberry PDA
    • b = reliability & “berry” = smallness
instrumental conditioning
Instrumental Conditioning
  • Behaviors = positive outcomes or negative outcomes
    • Deliberate behavior to obtain a goal
  • Positive reinforcement
    • Frequency marketing, thank you letters, rebates, follow-up phone calls
  • Negative reinforcement
  • Punishment
  • Extinction
instrumental conditioning cont d
Instrumental Conditioning (Cont’d)
  • Reinforcement schedules include…
    • Fixed-interval (seasonal sales)
    • Variable-interval (secret shoppers)
    • Fixed-ratio (grocery-shopping receipt programs)
    • Variable-ratio (slot machines)
cognitive learning theory
Cognitive Learning Theory
  • People = problem solvers
  • Active use of information to master environment
    • Conscious hypotheses
observational learning
Observational Learning
  • We watch others and note reinforcements they receive for behaviors
    • Vicarious learning
    • Socially desirable models/celebrities who use or do not use their products
observational learning cont d








Figure 3.3 (Abridged)

Observational Learning (Cont’d)
  • Modeling: imitating others’ behavior
    • Bobo doll experiment
role of memory in learning






Role of Memory in Learning
  • Memory: acquiring information and storing it over time so that it will be available when needed
  • Information-processing approach
    • Mind = computer & data = input/output

Figure 3.4 (Abridged)

  • The way we encode information can help us retain it later
    • Sensory meaning
    • Semantic meaning
    • Personal relevance
      • Episodic/flashbulb memories
      • Product information conveyed as a narrative
memory systems









Figure 3.5 (Abridged)

Memory Systems
  • Informational unit in short-term memory (STM)
    • Brand name
    • Area code of telephone number
    • Optimal size for retrieval
associative networks
Associative Networks
  • Activation models of memory
    • Associative network of related information
      • Knowledge structures of interconnected nodes
      • Hierarchical processing model
spreading activation
Spreading Activation
  • As one node is activated, other nodes associated with it also begin to be triggered
  • Meaning types of associated nodes:
    • Brand-specific
    • Ad-specific
    • Brand identification
    • Product category
    • Evaluative reactions
levels of knowledge
Levels of Knowledge
  • Individual nodes = meaning concepts
  • Two (or more) connected nodes = proposition (complex meaning)
  • Two or more propositions = schema
    • We encode info that is consistent with an existing schema more readily
    • Service scripts
retrieval for purchase decisions
Retrieval for Purchase Decisions
  • Retrieving information often requires appropriate factors & cues:
    • Physiological factors
    • Situational factors
      • Consumer attention; pioneering brand; descriptive brand names
    • Viewing environment (continuous activity; commercial order in sequence)
    • Postexperience advertising effects
retrieval for purchase decisions cont d
Retrieval for Purchase Decisions (Cont’d)
  • Appropriate factors/cues for retrieval (cont’d):
    • State-dependent retrieval/mood congruence effect
    • Familiarity
    • Salience/von Restorff Effect (mystery ads)
    • Visual memory vs. verbal memory
factors influencing forgetting
Factors Influencing Forgetting
  • Decay
  • Interference
    • Retroactive vs. proactive
  • Part-list cueing effect
products as memory markers


Products as Memory Markers
  • Furniture, visual art, and photos call forth memories of the past
  • Autobiographical memories
    • The marketing power of nostalgia
    • Retro brand
    • Nostalgia index
measuring memory for marketing stimuli
Measuring Memory for Marketing Stimuli
  • Recognition vs. recall
  • The Starch Test
  • Problems with memory measures
    • Response biases
    • Memory lapses
    • Memory for facts vs. feelings
  • In his 2005 book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, author Malcolm Gladwell argues that hallowed marketing research techniques like focus groups aren’t effective because we usually react to products quickly and without much conscious thought so it’s better just to solicit consumers’ first impressions rather than getting them to think at length about why they buy.
    • What’s your position on this issue?