EduReadings:Stimulus Generalization

This concept is very much related to consumer learning. When we have needs which are unfulfilled, we are motivated by cues/stimulus around us. We are being bombarded with a lot of stimulus in our daily life as consumer which can be in form of ads, any outlet, products at grocery store, clothing stores etc. So sometimes what happens that we are unable to differentiate between stimuli as they are too similar to be differentiated, this is known as stimulus generalization.

I'll tell you that how can you benefit this being a marketer and if you are consumer then i would only ask you to beware of "me too" products (those which exactly look like the established brand one). Marketers of me too products exploit this concept and consumers get mistaken and confused by the similarity in the original and me too brand. These are either packaged same, or presented in same way etc.
For instance exmple of Biryani Expree and Biryani Extreme in Pakistani scenario, where biryani express was already established brand and people are well aware of its flex boards, menus, colors and out lets, and biryani xtreme by using everything almost similar to biryani express confuses the consumers and people are sometimes unable to differentiate.

Well Marketers can incorporate this concept in inculcating learning in following ways:
  • Product Line Extension
  • Product Form Extension
  • Product Category Extension
In Product Line Extension, a marketer with already established brand name can introduce new products in the same product line. For example; Rin dish washing bar, Rin lemon dish washing bar and Surf, Surf Excel, Surf Ecel Blue etc.
Since these brands are already established and have positive image in consumer's min, a learning process has been occurred with positive reinforcement so consumer will automatically trust this new brand as well and be stimulated to purchase and learn about that. This way you can provide your customers some added features and variety and keep them loyal to you.

In Product Form Extension, marketer introduces new and different forms of product For example; Crest tooth paste, Crest whitening strips, Crest Listerine and Dettol soap, Dettol handwash.

In product Category Extension what marker do is that he/she tries to target a different market segment by introducing products in its line. For instance a designer who was only focusing on contemporary wearings for women may start designing for males as well, and then target kids market as well.

These are the positive ways through which this concept can be utilized by marketers to benefit their customers.


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