According to Kotler’s Definition, learning involves changes in an individual’s behavior arising out of the experience. Most of the human behavior is learned over time, out of the experience.
Following are the features of consumer learning
- Consumer learning is a process. A process which continually changes and acquires new knowledge.
- This knowledge can be obtained from reading, discussing, observing, thinking, etc.
- Newly acquired knowledge or personal experience, both serve as feedback.
Consumer Behavioral Learning Theories
Learning behavior theories depend upon response tendencies resulting from experience. If someone is conditioned by a particular experience, he behaves in a similar fashion again and again For instance, if workers in a factory are conditioned to loud noise; they start liking high pitch music.
If people in villages are served milk with large quantity of sugar repeatedly they become accustomed to it and they afterwards do not like milk with less sugar. If one drinks particular brand of coffee repeatedly, he does not enjoy other brand of coffee. This is called behavioral learning.
The marketer studies these phenomena and uses them in sales campaign, advertising strategy, product development, demonstration of product, free samples and serving product free. In order to take advantage of behavioural theories Nescafé Coffee serves free coffee from time to time to develop taste for it.
In 1955 when Coke was introduced in India small free bottles were supplied to consumers and by repeated tasting people became used to it. In other words when people are conditioned to a particular situation they become accustomed to it. This in other languages is called the stimulous response, the behavioral or the associative orientation.
Marketers stimulate consumers in various ways to take advantage of their behavioral psychology by repeating advertisements. But psychologies also came to the conclusion that learning depends not merely on repetition but also ability to generalization. Because of stimulus generalization people also buy products which look a like and therefore competitors produce similar products.
Stimulus generation also help promote sales of other products under same brand name. If one becomes accustomed to one product of one brand when other products are introduced with same brand name they also attract same attention as the first product.
The classical conditioning or Pavlarian conditioning is a dumb sort of learning. However, modem view of classical conditioning is somewhat different. It is now believed that individuals do not behave in a purely identical manner i.e. they are not purely passive in their behavior and conditioning can be changed after a number of trials of a product.
For instance, if one consumer is habituated to use ‘X’ tea by trials he can be persuaded to use another tea. The theory has under gone revolutionary change during last 20 years, now researchers are convinced that the behavior and conditioning behavior and cognitive one. It’s felt that consumers are not passive and they use rational even when they are accustomed to use a particular brand or a product.