Consumer Behavior: Learning & Memory

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Research on the topic deals with observations on the natural behaviors of consumers in a hope to provide a better understanding of their behavior and decision-making process. This is largely driven by the fact that most marketers usually lack an in-depth understanding of consumer behavior, resulting into either miscommunication or failure at communication especially when it comes to new products.

In this regard, a number of studies was carried out to understand the relationship between consumer memory and learning. Memory has been defined as functional units that store or record information about past events for future use. In this regard, marketers should be able to build deeply rooted memories for their products before consumers will buy them.

Advertising plays a very key role in the process of creating these memories.

First, marketers should be able to design their advertisements that are able to create strong initial memories for their products that consumers will retain after the adverts have ceased. As seen through research studies by Tansuhaj and Singh (February 2005) and Porter et al. (November 2006), the role of brand awareness in influencing consumers’ initial purchase intention plays a very important role in product or service adoption.

Second, marketers should be able to reinforce these memories through post-purchase communication. This includes any form of interaction between marketer and consumer after the actual purchase is made; this may include among others, unsolicited phone calls, email, text messages and even direct visits to the customer. In this regard, marketers should clearly understand how their customers will interact with their product before initiating contact with them.

Third, marketers should also be able to create new memories that reinforce the old memories of their products in order to retain customers and hence reduce potential defection. In the process, there should be a careful understanding of how their customers will interact with their product before initiating contact with them.

It is good to emphasize that memory and learning are at the heart of consumer behavior. This is because consumers’ behavior can only be understood within the framework of either previous experiences or past memories.

Marketers should be able to create new memories for their products that will either reinforce or even add on to the existing memory of a product.

Memory and learning:

In the process producers have to remember consumers have memory capabilities and this help them to make choices and decisions based on what they have learned from the past. Consumers will use such as a reference point in making pricing, quality and other product demand decisions (Moyer et al., 2007)

Consumer memory and learning has been defined as functional units which store or record information about past events for future use. Memory and learning takes place at the same time as it is one of the important factors in consumer behavior.

Memory and learning can be seen as a process which helps them to create new memories for products they want to buy again. Consumers will use such memories as reference points in making pricing, quality, etc., demand decisions. In order to maximize their satisfaction and minimize negative effect consumers will compare between new product and old one.

In the process, marketers have to be more careful as it needs a lot of strategic planning before going into any marketing strategies since memory is very important in consumer behavior decision making process.

Some factors that can influence consumers’ memory and learning process. Some of these factors are as follows:

·          Advertisement exposure time

Marketers have to carefully choose the appropriate advertisement exposure time in order to make it effective for their products or services. It is important that marketers should be able to create strong initial memories for their products before consumers will buy them. According to Tansuhaj and Singh (February 2005) short exposure time lead consumers to be unaware of the advertisement message.

On the other hand, some advertisers are using long exposure time in order that consumers will have longer interaction with their products or services. Mayer et al., (May 2002), further argued that long exposure time can increase the likelihood of brand name formation and brand attitude.

·          Product properties

Marketers have to consider some products’ intrinsic properties such as size, color and shape when they create their messages. In the same time, marketers should be able to attract consumers’ attention by using meaningful images that can add on or reinforce initial memories of their product (Moyer et al., 2007).

·          Brand name and symbols

Brand name is also one of the important factors in creating initial memories for their products. Some marketers are using simple brand names which can easily be associated with specific images or concepts (Tansuhaj & Singh, February 2005). On the other hand, some marketers are trying to make consumers more deeply involved with their brand names.

For instance, Nike’s “Just Do It” campaigns are using strong images and symbols in order to convey the intended message about their products.

·          Repetition

Marketers have to repeat consumers’ memories again and again so that consumers will know more information about them (Moyer et al., 2007). This is essential in the process of creating new memories. If marketers want to be effective on their messages they have to use repetition on all channels or on some channels which are the most efficient ones for their product.

·          Evaluation and purchase timing

Marketers have to send different messages through different media about specific evaluation moment for their products. For example, consumers are more likely to attend to messages about quality when they are aware of the product or service’s price (Tansuhaj & Singh, February 2005).

·          Gain versus pain

Marketers have to consider some factors in order to make sure that the gains consumers are getting from their products are higher than pain (Moyer, 2007). Pain refers to any aspect in consumers’ life that is unpleasant and the gain refers to pleasurable aspects.

For example marketers can use celebrity endorsement in order to make their products more attractive for consumers. Firstly, celebrity endorsers are interested in promoting or endorsing health related products since they also want to take care about their health. In this case, consumers will be more likely to attend to the message since they trust celebrity endorsers.

In the same time, marketers have to choose appropriate channels for their advertisement in order to make sure that their products can reach potential customers. There are a lot of factors which influence consumers’ memory and learning process so marketers should be aware of the factors which are important in creating initial memories for their products.