What is Consumer Learning?

Consumer Learning is the process by which individuals acquire the purchase and consumption knowledge and experience they apply to future related behaviour.

Most of the learning is incidental. Some of it is intentional. Basic elements that contribute to an understanding of learning are:

 

  1. Motivation
  2. Cues
  3. Response
  4. Reinforcement

 

There are 2 theories on how Individuals learn:

 

  1. Behavioural Theory
  2. Cognitive Theory

 

Both contribute to an understanding of consumer behaviour.

Behavioural Theorists view learning as observable responses to stimuli, whereas Cognitive Theorists believe that learning is a function of mental processing.

3 Major Behavioural Learning Theories are :

 

  1. Classical Conditioning : Includes Repetition, Stimulus generalization and Stimulus discrimination.                                          
  2. Instrumental Conditioning: Instrumental Learning theorists believe that learning occurs through a trial and error process in which the positive outcomes in the form of results or desired outcomes lead to repeat behaviour like Repeat Purchase or Repeat Positive Word of Mouth.                                        Both positive and negative reinforcement can be used to encourage the desired behaviour. The timing of repetitions influences how long the learned material is retained. Learning usually persists longer with distributed re-inforcement schedule, while mass repetitions produce more initial learnings.                                             
  3. Observational Conditioning or Vicarious Learning:

Cognitive learning theory holds that the kind of learning most characteristics of humans is PROBLEM SOLVING. Cognitive theorists are concerned with how information is processes by the human mind: how it is stored, retained, and retrieved.

Involvement theory proposes that people engage in limited information processing in situations of low relevance to them and people engage in extensive information processing in situations of high relevance.

TV is a low involvement medium for learning and print and interactive media encourage more cognitive information processing.

Measures of consumer learning include recall and recognition tests, cognitive responses to advertising, and attitudinal and behavioural measures of brand loyalty.

A basic issue among researchers is whether to define brand loyalty in terms of consumer’s behaviours or the consumer’s attitude towards the brand. Brand Equity refers to the inherent value a brand name has in the marketplace.

Brand Loyalty consists of both attitudes and actual behaviours toward a brand and both must be measured. For marketers, the major reasons for understanding how consumers learn are to teach them that their brand is best and to develop brand loyalty.

What does your brand mean to your customers? Are they really loyal to your brand? How do you increase their loyalty?

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

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