Category Archives: MARK217

MARK217: Attitude Change- Old Spice

This week’s topic looked at the concept of ‘consumer attitudes’ and the numerous theories and models which work to form an understanding of how they are developed and possible strategies to change them. So, what are attitudes? Attitudes are:“a learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favourable or unfavourable way with respect to a given object” (Algie 2014). The word ‘object’ in this definition refers to “product, product category, brand, service possession, product use, causes or issues, people, advertisement, internet site, price, medium or retailer” (Schiffman et al 2014, p. 246). Attitudes are learned through direct experience, word-of-mouth and exposure to mass media advertisements via indirect or direct marketing (Algie 2014). Additionally, attitudes are generally consistent with the behaviour they reflect however certain situations may cause consumers to act in ways that are inconsistent with their attitudes (Algie, 2014). In a business context, it is important for companies to be aware of the consumer attitudes that exist regarding their brand and products.

A memorable example of a company that has acknowledged the need to change consumer attitudes regarding its products and has successfully done so through marketing is Old Spice. Old Spice is a men’s deodorant brand, owned by Proctor and Gamble (P&G) since 1990 but that has been on the market since 1938 (O’Neill 2010). In 2002, the company introduced a new product category to its brand, body wash. However, Old Spice began to be edged out of the market when faced with successful competition, namely the deodorant and body wash brand ‘Axe’ (MediaMeasurement 2011) and new entrant to the market, Nivea (Effie Awards 2011). Due to the age of the brand, it was found that younger male consumers believed the product was out-dated and was associated with older generations (O’Neill, 2010). In 2010, Old Spice launched a campaign that aimed to change these attitudes and face increased competition.  The campaign was in the form of numerous advertisements ‘the man your man could smell like’. These advertisements aimed to target both men and women (as research found up to 60% of men’s body wash is purchased by women) and to position Old Spice as a “manly” product as opposed to its “lady-scented” competitors (Effie Awards 2011). Below is the most well-known advertisement:

The campaign was first launched on Facebook and YouTube during the 2010 Super Bowl to compete with Nivea who were also planning to gain media attention at this time. The video soon went viral and in early June, consumers were asked to continue the conversation by submitting questions via Twitter and Facebook to be answered personally by the Old Spice Guy (P&G no date).

This campaign successfully transformed existing attitudes towards Old Spice branded products. It saw an increase in the sales of the product, brand awareness and worked to reinvent the brand in the eyes of its consumers (MediaMeasurement 2011).

References:
Algie, J 2014, ‘Week 8: Consumer Attitudes’, MARK217, lecture, University of Wollongong, viewed 1 May 2014

Effie Awards 2011, ‘2011 Gold Effie Winner:“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”’, Effie Awards, NY

MediaMeasurement 2011, ‘Old Spice demonstrates just what it takes to launch a successful social media campaign’, MediaMeasurement, viewed 6 May, http://www.mediameasurement.com/old-spice-demonstrates-just-what-it-takes-to-launch-a-successful-social-media-campaign/

O’Neill, M 2010, ‘How Old Spice Swaggerized Their Brand and Men Everywhere’, SocialTimes, 22 July, viewed 6 May, http://socialtimes.com/how-old-spice-swaggerized-their-brand-and-men-everywhere_b18042

P&G no date, ‘Latest Innovations: Old Spice’, P&G, viewed 6 May, pginnovation.com

Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A & Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, Australia

Advertisements

MARK217 Week 6: Consumer Learning and Classical Conditioning

This week’s topic looked at the notion of learning and the numerous theories that inform today’s marketing communications. So first of all, what is ‘learning’? It seems like such a broad concept that it is hard to put into words. It “refers to any change in the content or organisation of long-term memory” and results “from information processing that causes changes in memory” (Algie, 2014). There are two major behavioural learning theories that are relevant to marketing. These are classical conditioning and instrumental conditioning.

Classical conditioning was first described by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov as a general theory of how learning occurs (Schiffman et al, 2014). Conditioning learning occurs when a stimulus that does not usually evoke a response is paired with another stimulus that creates a known response, eventually, works to produce the same response on its own (Schiffman et al, 2014). Okay, that was an incredible confusing definition. However, if we look at the example presented in the lecture of how Pavlov came up with this theory, it makes a little more sense. Below is a model that outlines that experiment Pavlov conducted to study classical conditioning.

model1

In this experiment, Pavlov sounded a bell (conditioned stimulus) and directly followed this by applying meat paste (unconditioned stimulus) onto the dog’s tongues which caused them to salivate (unconditioned response). Classical conditioning relies largely on repetition, so after repeating this act a multitude of times, the unconditioned response became the conditioned response and the dogs salivated when the bell was rung without the addition of the meat paste (Schiffman et al, 2014, Loudon & Della Bitta, 1993).
There are a number of marketing applications of classical conditioning. They include repetition, stimulus discrimination and the one I will be focussing on today which is stimulus generalization (Schiffman et al, 2014). Stimulus generalisation relies on not only associations consumers make through repetition but also on our ability to generalise. Pavlov found that the dogs would not only salivate to the sound of a bell but also to similar sounds like jangling of keys (Schiffman et al, 2014).

In a contemporary context, one of the most common examples of stimulus generalization is copy-cat brands whose packaging and products imitate category leaders. It has been found that private label imitation of national brands can result in consumer confusion at the point of purchase (Till & Priluck, 2000). The consumer may pick up the imitation brand by accident, particularly when the viewing time is brief (Till & Priluck, 2000). Consumers also intentionally buy copy-cat products as they can be extremely similar in terms of the actual product and packaging however can be a fraction of the cost. We can see hundreds of examples of this when looking at Aldi products. Below are a few examples:

aldi

aldi2

aldi3

ald5

aldi4

These products rely solely on consumer’s positive associations with existing national products. But is imitation really the sincerest form of flattery? In this case, probably not.

References:
Algie, J 2014, ‘Week 6: Learning’, MARK217, lecture, University of Wollongong, viewed 10 April 2014

Loudon, DL & Della Bitta, AJ 1993, Consumer Behaviour, 4th edn, McGraw-Hill Inc, Singapore

Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A & Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, Australia

Till, BD & Priluck, RL 2000, ‘Stimulus Generalization in Classical Conditioning: An Initial Investigation and Extension’, Psychology and Marketing, vol. 17, iss. 1, pp. 55-72

MARK217: Subliminal Perception

For me, one of the most interesting concepts in this week’s lecture was subliminal perception. Subliminal perception is the process of using very weak or rapid stimuli at a level which is below the consumers conscious awareness (Algie, 2014). In order to be successful, stimuli must be beneath the threshold of awareness but “not beneath the absolute threshold of the receptors involved” (Schiffman et al, 2014, p.154). Subliminal perception is used either to subtly advertise a product through another source of entertainment (such as a TV show or movie) or to attach an idea (such as sex and power) to a product within its own advertisement.

Image

 

One of the most famous examples of subliminal advertising was in the late 1950s when its effectiveness was tested at a drive-in in New Jersey. The words ‘eat popcorn’ and ‘drink Coca Cola’ were flashed on the screen repeatedly during the movie. It was reported that in the 6 week period of the test, popcorn sales increased by 58% per cent and Coca Cola by 18 per cent however this was never confirmed and was later deemed false (Schiffman et al, 2014).

Another more recent example was in 2007 when a viewer spotted a McDonald’s logo embedded within a screening of the Iron Chef TV program. The logo flashed for just 1/30th of a second. McDonald’s denied that this was subliminal advertising and suggested that this was merely a technical glitch. (O’Barr, 2013).

Here’s some more funny examples of subliminal perception:

Image

 

Pepsi cans and subliminal messages?

Image

 

Jatz- this one’s pretty far-fetched!

Image

Image

 

Silhouette of a naked woman atop of Coke can?

Subliminal advertising is often associated with consumer mistrust and there has been very little evidence that supports its effectiveness. A comprehensive study of existing literature found that subliminal advertising has no effect on attitudes towards products and consumption behaviour (Schiffman et al, 2014). It has also been found that many American consumers believe that subliminal advertising exists and is used frequently by advertisers. Advertisers often play on this and produce advertisements that parody subliminal advertising.

 

References:

Algie, J 2014, ‘Week 5: Perception’, MARK217, lecture, University of Wollongong, viewed 3 April 2014

O’Barr, WM 2013, ‘”Subliminal” Advertising’, Advertising & Society Review, Vol. 13, Iss. 4

Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A & Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, Australia

MARK217: Brand Personality- Mac vs. PC

So first of all, what is brand personality? Well, brand personality can be defined quite simply as “a set of human characteristics associated with a particular brand” (Steinman, 2012, p. 76). This concept is irrevocably connected to the study of consumer behaviour as it describes the phenomenon of how some consumers identify and relate to specific brands (Schiffman et al, 2014, p. 136). In many instances, brand managers personify their brands by transforming their product or service into a human-like character. Aaker has produced a brand personality framework (see diagram below, sorry it’s a bit blurry) that intends to depict the ‘structure and nature’ of a brand’s personality. The framework proposes that there are five personality dimensions of a brand (sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication and ruggedness) and 15 personality traits in accordance with each (Schiffman et al, 2014). This framework covers most of brand attributes that would appeal to a variety of consumers.

Image

When I think of brand personality, I immediately think of Apple Mac computers and their famous Mac vs. PC advertisements. Mac employs the actor Jason Long and personifies itself as a cool, young, hip, fun and creative type and personifies Mac as old, out of date and boring. Take a look at the YouTube video below to refresh your memory!

This falls right under the ‘excitement’ dimension of the brand personality framework and encompasses the four facets that make this up. Apple Mac positions itself as daring, spirited, imaginative and up-to-date and effectively positions its number one competition as old-fashioned and nerdy. This is an example of successful brand personification as consumers are able to relate to Mac’s personality and build a relationship with the brand based on feelings and associations. It also cleverly enables Apple to advertise its latest products and features and edge out its current competition in a humorous and endearing way.  

References:

Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A & Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, Australia

Steinman, RB 2012, ‘Brand personality, Brand Transgression and Consumer Behavior’, International Journal of Business and Commerce, Vol. 2, Iss. 1, pp.76-86

MARK217: Brand Personality- Mac vs. PC

So first of all, what is brand personality? Well, brand personality can be defined quite simply as “a set of human characteristics associated with a particular brand” (Steinman, 2012, p. 76). This concept is irrevocably connected to the study of consumer behaviour as it describes the phenomenon of how some consumers identify and relate to specific brands (Schiffman et al, 2014, p. 136). In many instances, brand managers personify their brands by transforming their product or service into a human-like character. Aaker has produced a brand personality framework (see diagram below) that intends to depict the ‘structure and nature’ of a brand’s personality. The framework proposes that there are five personality dimensions of a brand (sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication and ruggedness) and 15 personality traits in accordance with each (Schiffman et al, 2014). This framework covers most of brand attributes that would appeal to a variety of consumers.

When I think of brand personality, I immediately think of Apple Mac computers and their famous Mac vs. PC advertisements. Mac employs the actor Jason Long and personifies itself as a cool, young, hip, fun and creative type and personifies Mac as old, out of date and boring. Take a look at the YouTube video below to refresh your memory!

This falls right under the ‘excitement’ dimension of the brand personality framework and encompasses the four facets that make this up. Apple Mac positions itself as daring, spirited, imaginative and up-to-date and effectively positions its number one competition as old-fashioned and nerdy. This is an example of successful brand personification as consumers are able to relate to Mac’s personality and build a relationship with the brand based on feelings and associations. It also cleverly enables Apple to advertise its latest products and features and edge out its current competition in a humorous and endearing way.

References:

Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A & Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, Australia

Steinman, RB 2012, ‘Brand personality, Brand Transgression and Consumer Behavior’, International Journal of Business and Commerce, Vol. 2, Iss. 1, pp.76-82

MARK217: Big Decisions…

This morning, a very sad thing happened. My favourite and only phone died. It’s an iPhone 4S that I’ve had for just over two years and in that time I have dropped it over and over and over again. Yes, it has served me well. But now I must make the big decision of what kind of phone to get next? Should I buy a cheap 4S off EBay? Should I go on another plan and get the latest iPhone 5? Should I switch brands and get a completely different phone? Should I buy the cheapest phone I can find until I make a decision?! The only positive thing about this is that I now have a topic for this week’s blog on week 4’s topic: Decision Making.

But what is a decision? In its most simple terms, a decision is “the selection of an action from two or more alternative choices” (Schiffman et al, 2014, p. 486). There are three levels of consumer decision making. These are extensive problem solving, limited problem solving and routinized response behaviour. Additionally, there are four different views of decision making. These are the economic model, the passive model, the cognitive model and the emotional model (Schiffman et al, 2014, p. 489). In regards to buying a new phone, I would say this involves routinized-response behaviour as I have some experience with the product category and an established set of criteria for which to base my decision on.

So…rather than making an emotional decision and rushing out to buy the latest iPhone which I can’t afford, instead I plan to (but who knows?) employ a cognitive approach. This will mean weighing up the possible benefits and risks of several different brands and primarily make a rational decision based on an internal and external information search (Solomon, 2006).

References:

Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A & Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, Australia

Solomon, MR 2006, Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having and Being, 7th edn, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ

MARK217: Consumer Research

Consumer research, particularly when introducing a new product to the market, has an irrevocable influence on the success or failure of that product. Consumer research aims to uncover attitudes, motivators and behaviours that are at the heart of consumer activity as well as brand or product selection. It intends to either predict or understand consumer behaviour. There are two types of consumer research: quantitative and qualitative research (Algie, 2014). Quantitative research is descriptive in nature and endeavors to predict consumer behaviour using surveys, experiments and observation. Qualitative research however, works to form a detailed understanding of consumer behaviour using in-depth interviews, focus groups and projective techniques (Algie, 2014). Whilst both have their merits, it is advisable to use a dual approach when researching consumer behaviour to produce optimum results (Algie, 2014). When developing new products or product line extensions, consumer research is vital. It can rule out bad ideas in the initial stages of the development process and “prevents unjustified investments” (Van Kleef, 2006).

There are numerous examples of products in the food and drink category that failed miserably due to poor consumer research. Two memorable examples, both produced by the Coca Cola company, were New Coke and Coca Cola Blak. New Coke was released in 1985 after Coca Cola conducted blind taste tests which found consumers preferred the taste of Pepsi. To remedy this, the Coca Cola company produced a new sweeter formula which research showed consumers enjoyed more than both classic Coke and Pepsi (Hiskey, 2012). However, Coca Cola underestimated customers brand loyalty to classic Coke and shortly after the launch of New Coke, the company announced the return of the classic formula (Hiskey, 2012). This was something that could have been anticipated in the research stages of development if the right questions were being asked.

Similarly, the Coca Cola company produced an extension-line product called Coca Cola Blak in 2006 (Cleghorn, 2008). The product was a coffee-flavoured cola which took two years to develop and was targeted at adult consumers who were calorie conscious (Kamiri, 2006). Shortly after its launch, Coca Cola Blak was criticized for tasting horrible and was pulled from shelves just over a year after its release (nickgerlich, 2007). This is an example that reiterates the importance of listening to consumers and conducting detailed research, particularly when something as obvious as taste was the reason for the products demise.

By looking at two examples, both produced by the Coca Cola company, it is evident that consumer research is vital when developing new products and plays a major role in the success or failure of a product or brand.

If you want to see some more bizarre food products that failed, have a look here:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/paulf24/17-products-that-failed-miserably-b5ra

 

Reference List:

Algie, J 2014, ‘Week 2: Consumer Research’, Lecture, MARK217, University of Wollongong, delivered 13 March 2014

Cleghorn, D 2008, ‘Why Coca Cola Blak failed’, YahooVoices, blog post, 10 December, viewed 18 March 2014, http://voices.yahoo.com/why-coca-cola-blak-failed-1988114.html?cat=35

Hiskey, D 2012, ‘Why coke tried to switch to “new coke”‘, todayifoundout.com, 23 November, viewed 18 March 2014, http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/11/why-coke-tried-to-switch-to-new-coke/

Nickgerlich 2007, ‘Blak Eye’, WordPress, blog post, 7 September, viewed 18 March 2014, http://nickgerlich.wordpress.com/2007/09/07/blak-eye/

Van Kleef, E 2006, Consumer Research in early stages of new product development: Issues and applications in the food domain, StudyMode.com, viewed 18 March 2014,  http://www.studymode.com/essays/Consumer-Research-In-The-Early-Stages-922216.html