BUS 217 Eastern Gateway Community College Lessons 15 to 16 Discussion Question

Discussion Question Lesson 15-16

Discussion question should be of a 2-3 paragraph response to the initial post. Then, you must respond to two of your peers with meaningful responses.  At least 1 paragraph.  (Links to an external site.)

How does brand awareness and social media effect how we purchase merchandise?

Please respond by 7/28/2021 so I can send my peers posts
Reading material below

Reading: Lesson 15

Learning and Memory

Background. Learning involves “a change in the content or organization of long term memory and/or behavior.” The first part of the definition focuses on what we know (and can thus put to use) while the second focuses on concrete behavior. For example, many people will avoid foods that they consumed shortly before becoming ill. Learning is not all knowledge based. For example, we may experience the sales people in one store being nicer to us than those in the other. We thus may develop a preference for the one store over the other; however, if pressed, we may not be able to give a conscious explanation as to the reason for our preference.

Much early work on learning was actually done on rats and other animals (and much of this research was unjustifiably cruel, but that is another matter).

Classical conditioning. Pavlov’s early work on dogs was known as classical conditioning. Pavlov discovered that when dogs were fed meat powder they salivated. Pavlov then discovered that if a bell were rung before the dogs were fed, the dogs would begin salivating in anticipation of being fed (this was efficient, since they could then begin digesting the meat powder immediately). Pavlov then found that after the meat had been “paired” with the meat powder enough times, Pavlov could ring the bell without feeding the dogs and they would still salivate.

In the jargon of classical conditioning, the meat powder was an unconditioned stimulus (US) and the salivation was, when preceded by the meat powder, an unconditioned response (UR). That is, it is a biologically “hard-wired” response to salivate when you are fed. By pairing the bell with the unconditioned stimulus, the bell became a conditioned stimulus (CS) and salivation in response to the bell (with no meat powder) became a conditioned response (CR).

Many modern day advertisers use classical conditioning in some way. Consider this sequence:

Operant conditioning. Instrumental, or operant, conditioning, involves a different series of events, and this what we usually think of as learning. The general pattern is:

There are three major forms of operant learning. In positive reinforcement, an individual does something and is rewarded. He or she is then more likely to repeat the behavior. For example, you eat a candy bar (behavior), it tastes good (consequence), and you are thus more likely to eat a similar candy bar in the future (behavioral change).

Punishment is the opposite. You eat what looks like a piece of candy (behavior), only to discover that it is a piece of soap with a foul taste (consequences), and subsequently you are less likely to eat anything that looks remotely like that thing ever again (changed behavior).

It should be noted that negative reinforcement is very different from punishment. An example of negative reinforcement is an obnoxious sales person who calls you up on the phone, pressuring you into buying something you don’t want to do (aversive stimulus). You eventually agree to buy it (changed behavior), and the sales person leaves you alone (the aversive stimulus is terminated as a result of consequences of your behavior).

In general, marketers usually have relatively little power to use punishment or negative reinforcement. However, parking meters are often used to discourage consumers from taking up valuable parking space, and manufacturers may void warranties if the consumers take their product to non-authorized repair facilities.

Several factors influence the effectiveness of operant learning. In general, the closer in time the consequences are to the behavior, the more effective the learning. That is, electric utilities would be more likely to influence consumers to use less electricity at peak hours if the consumers actually had to pay when they used electricity (e.g., through a coin-slot) rather than at the end of the month. Learning is also more likely to occur when the individual can understand a relationship between behavior and consequences (but learning may occur even if this relationship is not understood consciously).

Another issue is schedules of reinforcement and extinction. Extinction occurs when behavior stops having consequences and the behavior then eventually stops occurring. For example, if a passenger learns that yelling at check-in personnel no longer gets her upgraded to first class, she will probably stop that behavior. Sometimes, an individual is rewarded every time a behavior is performed (e.g., a consumer gets a soft drink every time coins are put into a vending machine). However, it is not necessary to reward a behavior every time for learning to occur. Even if a behavior is only rewarded some of the time, the behavior may be learned. Several different schedules of reinforcement are possible:

  • Fixed interval: The consumer is given a free dessert on every Tuesday when he or she eats in a particular restaurant.
  • Fixed ratio: Behavior is rewarded (or punished) on every nth occasion that it is performed. (E.g., every tenth time a frequent shopper card is presented, a free product is provided).
  • Variable ratio: Every time an action is performed, there is a certain percentage chance that a reward will be given. For example, every time the consumer enters the store, he or she is given a lottery ticket. With each ticket, there is a 20% chance of getting a free hamburger. The consumer may get a free hamburger twice in a row, or he or she may go ten times without getting a hamburger even once.

Variable ratio reinforcement is least vulnerable to extinction.

Sometimes, shaping may be necessary to teach the consumer the desired behavior. That is, it may be impossible to teach the consumer to directly perform the desired behavior. For example, a consumer may first get a good product for free (the product itself, if good, is a reward), then buy it with a large cents off coupon, and finally buy it at full price. Thus, we reinforce approximations of the desired behavior. Rather than introducing Coca Cola directly in Indonesia, fruit flavored soft drinks were first introduced, since these were more similar to beverages already consumed.

Vicarious learning. The consumer does not always need to go through the learning process himself or herself—sometimes it is possible to learn from observing the consequences of others. For example, stores may make a big deal out of prosecuting shop lifters not so much because they want to stop that behavior in the those caught, but rather to deter the behavior in others. Similarly, viewers may empathize with characters in advertisements who experience (usually positive) results from using a product. The Head ‘n’ Shoulders advertisement, where a poor man is rejected by women until he treats his dandruff with an effective cure, is a good example of vicarious learning.

Memory ranges in duration on a continuum from extremely short to very long term.  Sensory memory includes storage of stimuli that one might not actually notice (e.g., the color of an advertisement some distance away).  For slightly longer duration, when you see an ad on TV for a mail order product you might like to buy, you only keep the phone number in memory until you have dialed it.  This is known as short term memory.  In order for something to enter into long term memory, which is more permanent, you must usually “rehearse” it several times.  For example, when you move and get a new phone number, you will probably repeat it to yourself many times.  Alternatively, you get to learn your driver’s license or social security numbers with time, not because you deliberately memorize them, but instead because you encounter them numerous times as you look them up.

Several techniques can be used to enhance the memorability of information.  “Chunking” involves rearranging information so that fewer parts need to be remembered.  For example,  consider the phone number (800) 444-1000.  The eight digits can be more economically remembered as an 800 number (1 piece), four repeated 3 times (2 pieces), and 1000 (1-2 pieces).  “Rehearsal” involves the consumer repeating the information over and over so that it can be remembered; this is often done so that a phone number can be remembered while the “memory” moves to the phone to dial it.  “Re-circulation” involves repeated exposure to the same information; the information is not learned deliberately, but is gradually absorbed through repetition.  Thus, it is to the advantage to a marketer to have an advertisement repeated extensively—especially the brand name.  “Elaboration” involves the consumer thinking about the object—e.g., the product in an advertisement—and thinking about as many related issues as possible.  For example, when seeing an ad for Dole bananas, the person may think of the color yellow, going to the zoo seeing a monkey eating a banana, and her grandmother’s banana-but bread.  The Dole brand name may then be activated when any of those stimuli are encountered.

Memories are not always easily retrievable.  This could be because the information was given lower priority than something else—e.g., we have done a lot of things since last buying a replacement furnace filter and cannot remember where this was bought last.  Other times, the information can be retrieved but is not readily “available”—e.g., we will be able to remember the location of a restaurant we tried last time we were in Paris, but it may take some thinking before the information emerges.

“Spreading activation” involves the idea of one memory “triggering” another one.  For example, one might think of Coke every time one remembers a favorite (and very wise) professor who frequently brought one to class.  Coke might also be tied a particular supermarket that always stacked a lot of these beverages by the entrance, and to baseball where this beverage was consumed after the game.  It is useful for firms to have their product be activated by as many other stimuli as possible.

There are numerous reasons why retrieval can fail or, in less fancy terms,  how we come to forget.  One is decay.  Here, information that is not accessed frequently essentially “rusts” away.  For example, we may not remember the phone number of a friend to whom we have not spoken for several months and may forget what brand of bullets an aunt prefers if we have not gone ammunition shopping with her lately.  Other times, the problem may rest in interference.  Proactive interference involves something we have learned interfering with what we will late later.  Thus, if we remember that everyone in our family always used Tide, we may have more difficulty later remembering what other brands are available.  You may be unable to remember what a new, and less important, friend’s last name is if that person shares a first name with an old friend.  For example, if your best friend for many years has been Jennifer Smith, you may have difficulty remembering that your new friend Jennifer’s last name is Silverman.  In retroactive interference, the problem is the reverse—learning something new blocks out something old.  For example, if you once used WordPerfect than then switched to Microsoft Word, you may have trouble remembering how to use WordPerfect at a friend’s house—more so than if you had merely not used any word processing program for some time.

Memorability can be enhanced under certain conditions.  One is more likely to remember favorable—or likable stimuli (all other things being equal).  Salience—or the extent to which something is highly emphasized or very clearly evident—facilitates memory.  Thus, a product which is very visible in an ad, and handled and given attention by the actors, will more likely be remembered.  Prototypicality involves the extent to which a stimulus is a “perfect” example of a category.  Therefore, people will more likely remember Coke or Kleenex than competing brands.  Congruence involves the “fit” with a situation.  Since memory is often reconstructed based on what seems plausible, something featured in an appropriate setting—e.g., charcoal on a porch next to a grill rather than in a garage or kitchen—is more likely to be remembered (unless the incongruence triggers an elaboration—life is complicated!)  Redundancies involve showing the stimulus several times.  Thus, if a given product is shown several places in a house—and if the brand name is repeated—it is more likely to be remembered.

Priming involves tying a stimulus with something so that if “that something” is encountered, the stimulus is more likely to be retrieved.  Thus, for example, when one thinks of anniversaries, the Hallmark brand name is more likely to be activated.  (This is a special case of spreading activation discussed earlier).

A special issue in memory are so called “scripts,” or procedures we remember for doing things. Scripts involve a series of steps for doing various things (e.g., how to send a package).  In general, it is useful for firms to have their brand names incorporated into scripts (e.g., to have the consumer reflexively ask the pharmacist for Bayer rather than an unspecified brand of aspirin).

Positioning involves implementing our targeting.  For example, Apple Computer has chosen to position itself as a maker of user-friendly computers.  Thus, Apple has done a lot through its advertising to promote itself, through its un-intimidating icons, as a computer for “non-geeks.”  The Visual C software programming language, in contrast, is aimed a “techies.”

Repositioning involves an attempt to change consumer perceptions of a brand, usually because the existing position that the brand holds has become less attractive.  Sears, for example, attempted to reposition itself from a place that offered great sales but unattractive prices the rest of the time to a store that consistently offered “everyday low prices.”  Repositioning in practice is very difficult to accomplish.  A great deal of money is often needed for advertising and other promotional efforts, and in many cases, the repositioning fails.


(Links to an external site.)

East Tennessee State University. (2017a, January 6). MKTG 3202 – Consumer Behavior: Learning and Memory (6) [Video]. YouTube. 

Reading: Lesson 16

Group Influences

Humans are inherently social animals, and individuals greatly influence each other.

A useful framework of analysis of group influence on the individual is the so called reference group—the term comes about because an individual uses a relevant group as a standard of reference against which oneself is compared. Reference groups come in several different forms.

  • The aspirational reference group refers to those others against whom one would like to compare oneself. For example, many firms use athletes as spokespeople, and these represent what many people would ideally like to be.
  • Associative reference groups include people who more realistically represent the individuals’ current equals or near-equals—e.g., coworkers, neighbors, or members of churches, clubs, and organizations. Paco Underhill, a former anthropologist turned retail consultant and author of the book Why We Buy has performed research suggesting that among many teenagers, the process of clothes buying is a two stage process. In the first stage, the teenagers go on a “reconnaissance” mission with their friends to find out what is available and what is “cool.” This is often a lengthy process. In the later phase, parents—who will need to pay for the purchases—are brought. This stage is typically much briefer.
  • Finally, the dissociative reference group includes people that the individual would not like to be like. For example, the store literally named The Gap came about because many younger people wanted to actively dissociate from parents and other older and “uncool” people. The Quality Paperback Book Club specifically suggests in its advertising that its members are “a breed apart” from conventional readers of popular books.

Reference groups come with various degrees of influence. Primary reference groups come with a great deal of influence—e.g., members of a fraternity/sorority. Secondary reference groups tend to have somewhat less influence—e.g., members of a boating club that one encounters only during week-ends are likely to have their influence limited to consumption during that time period.

Another typology divides reference groups into the informational kind (influence is based almost entirely on members’ knowledge), normative (members influence what is perceived to be “right,” “proper,” “responsible,” or “cool”), or identification. The difference between the latter two categories involves the individual’s motivation for compliance. In case of the normative reference group, the individual tends to comply largely for utilitarian reasons—dressing according to company standards is likely to help your career, but there is no real motivation to dress that way outside the job. In contrast, people comply with identification groups’ standards for the sake of belonging—for example, a member of a religious group may wear a symbol even outside the house of worship because the religion is a part of the person’s identity.

(Links to an external site.)95% of consumer decisions are made subconsciously. By only using explicit insights, you are missing out on understanding what drives consumer behavior.
EyeSee’s unique approach of using remote behavioral and conventional research methods delivers you next-level consumer insights.

Rajesh Dorbala. (2017b, December 10). Group Influences on Consumer Behavior [Video]. YouTube. 

Five Trends Shaping the Future Of Customer Experience In 2019

Blake Morgan  (Links to an external site.)Senior Contributor

Before we get into my fifth annual piece on customer experience predictions, let me introduce myself to new readers. I started writing about customer experience for Forbes in 2014, simply because I thought it was interesting–I was fascinated by human behavior and by the idea of a brand. I’ve been lucky enough to work in some type of “customer” area since 2007, starting off in the conference industry, then media about customer management (that’s what we called it), moving on to work in customer service for a Fortune 100 tech company for two years and focusing purely on customer experience thought leadership for the last three years. I’ve watched as the word “customer” has gained increasing influence–from the time when Tony Hsieh, CEO and founder of Zappos, was the only person talking about customer service, to now when everyone is talking about customer experience all the time. The phrase “customer experience” gets a lot more play than it did in the business world in the past, when people would simply throw it around synonymous with the phrase “customer service.” We’ve established these two things are not the same. Customer experience is now seen as a key business strategy for every brand.

Most of those changes are driven by consumer demand. Customers crave personalized, friction-less experiences, and companies are sprinting to deliver them. But this idea of constant transformation can present a seemingly insurmountable challenge for companies that are struggling in today’s complex business environment.

We’re at a tipping point (Links to an external site.) for many transformation triggers, including globalization, digital growth, regulatory compliance and a changing economy. Each of these things has the power to dramatically impact customers and change how they interact with brands. The combination could completely change the face of customer experience moving forward. Buckle your seat belts because we’re in for a bumpy (and exciting) transformation journey heading into the new year.

With that in mind, here are my five predictions of things to look for in customer experience in 2019:

  1. Companies Realize No One Can Own Customer Experience

It’s ridiculous for companies to give lip service to customer experience by simply assigning a few people to it and thinking they’re done. Everyone wants a customer experience like Amazon without realizing what goes into making it happen. The secret about Amazon is that there is no secret. I visited Amazon headquarters in November and saw for myself that employees are just insanely focused on customers. The entire company has a customer experience mindset.

A customer-first mindset is much different than hiring a chief customer officer and thinking your work is done. That’s almost as egregious as thinking that customer experience is simply something handled by the customer service team. Today, companies are thinking about customer experience in everything they do, from hiring and leadership development to marketing, supply chain, logistics, IT infrastructure, product design and continuous improvement for the entire business.

Companies like Ritz Carlton, Trader Joe’s and Virgin America are known for their amazing customer experiences because they involve every employee in the process. Every person in the organization knows how their work impacts customers and is empowered to help solve any customer issue and provide the best experience possible. Customer experience is truly a company-wide focus, and the results are evident.

Companies that have a small team dedicated to customer experience could be in trouble. Every single department must by completely focused on customers, no questions asked.

  1. A Business Willing to Transcend Itself And Shed Its Old Skin

Digital transformation has generated a lot of interest in the last few years as companies scramble to become more digital and solve various problems with technology. However, it’s often not just the framework of the company that needs to transform. According to David Clarke (Links to an external site.), Global CXO, Experience Consulting & Digital Consumer Markets Leader at PwC, it takes transcendence for some companies to truly pivot.

Clarke told me in a phone interview that today’s businesses must be willing to shed their old skin to fully transform into a new business. This occurs when a company is willing to completely transcend into an entirely new business model. It happens when a car company decides to leave the gas business (Links to an external site.) or when a mattress company that only sold products online decides to open retail store (Links to an external site.) to showcase its products. It happens when companies completely change their offering, like moving from retail to 100% digital, or changing the sales model to offer subscription models rather than traditional offerings. The iconic guitar company Fender created a subscription-based video service (Links to an external site.) to teach customers how to play guitar after it realized 90% of customers quit the guitar within a year of buying one (I was a teenager who did this).

Going forward, we’ll continue to see business transcendence as companies blur the lines between the digital and physical worlds. According to Gartner, more than 66% of CEOs say they plan to change their business model in the next three years. Some companies completely clean house with a major transformation that alters nearly everything about the company, while others take a more tactical approach and only address small areas within the organization. You cannot talk about transcendence without talking about Amazon. An older but still relevant book that details their rise is “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age Of Amazon (Links to an external site.)” by Brad Stone, who was given exclusive access at Amazon. Amazon has pivoted from modestly selling books, riding the wave of the late 1990’s dot-com boom to sell music, movies, electronics and toys, while avoiding disaster in the 2000 bust. I never had heard of Amazon until around the time I graduated college, and I became a customer in 2009 when I was living in Brooklyn, NY. Throughout this period Amazon “mastered the physics of its own complex distribution network” and expanded into everything. After earning the spot of top retailer, it redefined itself again as an unstoppable technology firm that sold cloud computing infrastructure as Amazon Web Services. In addition to the Kindle e-reader and tablet. The purchase of The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million and Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017 continued to shock the world, but as time goes on these purchases make increasingly more sense. Amazon’s customer experience mindset, coupled with its focus on constant innovation, and lack of fear of being misunderstood for long periods of time makes them powerful. What might surprise people is Jeff Bezos is himself rooted and the unavoidable vicissitudes of business. Jeff Bezos does believe (Links to an external site.) one day Amazon could go bankrupt and fail. Most people would be shocked to know this guy talks that way. And as I said, I visited Amazon a few weeks ago, and what I found surprised me – normal, hardworking, thoughtful and service-oriented people. I met a VP of Logistics who does ride-a longs with delivery drivers at 2 am, simply so he can get honest feedback of what life is like making deliveries, and how they can make the process better. Most companies are not willing to commit to the customer in the way pretty much any Amazon employee is.

What Amazon has done is so unique, the world is still in shock. Retailers are scared, because Amazon has changed the game for so many of them, but admit you use Amazon, you love it and you cannot imagine life without it. So, before you talk about how evil it is, tell me first if you use it. But back to the point–like digital transformation, transcendence is never really done. It needs to tie into the overall strategy and be a continual change in how the company operates. Although the vision is there, the execution can be a struggle, with some experts estimating (Links to an external site.) that more than half of companies that try to transform don’t end up hitting the desired business result.

Successful companies transcend. They don’t get complacent with their current model, even if it appears to be working. Continually re-evaluating processes, products and business models is what keeps companies alive and successful in the ever-changing minds of customers.

  1. Companies Realize A Digital Transformation Doesn’t Have an End Date

We’ve talked about business transformation, or transcendence–but we haven’t addressed digital transformation, which is different. Digital transformation has been a major focus for companies across all industries, and the idea won’t expire anytime soon. In one recent survey (Links to an external site.), 87% of senior business leaders said digitizing is their top business priority. In many cases, it’s a do-or-die initiative. But too many people think digital transformation is something you go through and then you’re done, like a short-term diet. That’s not the case. Digital transformation is the new normal, as every company must be able to evolve and pivot as the customer changes, and so does the digital environment. Companies are very slow to not only achieve one digital transformation but embrace it as a permanent state of mind.

Digital transformation is here to stay because it works. According to Harvard Business School (Links to an external site.), digital leaders have a three-year average gross margin of 55%, compared to 37% for digital laggards. But for digital transformation to be effective, it must be long term and involve every employee. This isn’t a short-term initiative that will be replaced by another trend next year—this is the new normal.

Digital transformation at Porsche is a company-wide effort (Links to an external site.) that involves every employee and every luxury car the company creates. Its Car Connect app controls everything about the digitally connected cars, from navigation and real-time traffic to music and social media updates. To make the system as effective as possible, every Porsche car and driver has a unique ID to track their driving habits and experiences and provide personalized feedback. The company realizes that such a large change can’t be handled in a single department and relies on the skills, experience and knowledge base of all employees.

Digital technology is now the responsibility of all organizational leaders (Links to an external site.), which means they must also lead re-skilling efforts for employees. Changing technology leads to a new skillset for employees to grow the company and their careers. Leaders should also focus on strategic clarity, so employees know whether to focus their digital efforts on speed, quality or innovation. With a clear vision and the right skills, every employee can contribute to the digital future.

  1. Robotic Process Automation Gains Ground

Robotic process automation, or RPA, helps businesses automate repetitive tasks to increase efficiency and decrease costs. When machines control the mundane tasks, humans have more time to dedicate to the uniquely human tasks, like strategy, creativity, innovation, problem solving, connecting with customers and developing a strong customer experience.

Companies can use RPA tools to develop software programs to manipulate data, interpret transactions and communicate with other digital systems. The beauty of RPA is that it can be customized to exactly what each company needs, from actions as simple as automatically responding to emails to things as involved as controlling a large group of bots to strategically automate work. One bank redesigned its claims process (Links to an external site.) to use bots to handle 1.5 million requests each year. The work of 85 bots was equal to the output of 200 full-time human employees but was only 30% of the cost.

Allstate uses a chatbot named Amelia (Links to an external site.) to assist its employees in their customer interactions. Contact center agents can use Amelia to access the latest insurance regulations and protocol while they’re on the phone with a customer. This tactic is the best of both worlds: customers still get the personal interaction they crave, but they also get the speed and efficiency of a chatbot and don’t have to wait for agents to manually look through huge amounts of constantly changing insurance information. To be clear, the chatbot Amelia serves the employee, who is still serving the customer. In the future, it is likely the insurance agency would simply provide Amelia to customers, without the employee needing to be there.

We will need to focus on reskilling workers and finding other jobs for them to do. Automated systems can work much faster and cheaper. But that doesn’t mean we can simply replace people with robots and fire them. This brings a human and ethical question which I will not try to solve in this article, but it’s one worth discussing. I do recommend the book “Rise Of The Robots: Technology and the Threat Of A Jobless Future (Links to an external site.)” by Martin Ford, although I am an optimist and I believe we can figure something out, it is good to know the cautionary tale, and remember it. But back to 2019, in sum, many companies are taking advantage of RPA and trying to re-skill their employees to move them to other areas. Even with the effort, Forrester predicts (Links to an external site.) that RPA software will threaten the livelihood of at least 230 million workers, or about 9% of the global workforce. I believe in efficiency, but I also believe in making thoughtful strategic decisions that don’t make your company look like a heartless and apathetic demon (insert smiley winking emoji here).

  1. Data Ethics Comes to The Forefront

2018 was a banner year for data ethics with the start of the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. The law gives customers power over their personal data and allows all EU citizens to choose what information of theirs companies have and remove their data from company databases for any reason. As you probably know already, companies not in compliance with GDPR risk being fined millions of dollars.

GDPR changed how companies around the world handle their customer data and transitioned data from a business asset to a customer’s property. After the rollout of GDPR in Europe, other countries are expected to follow suit in some degree.

Facebook was front and center in the data ethics debate this year with accusations that it was selling customer data. Although executives claimed that wasn’t the case, court filings found that the company at one point considered selling access to user data. For years, it appears Facebook gathered user data to share with outside companies and make a profit. Now that the revelations are coming (Links to an external site.) (and continue to come), users are clamoring for improved privacy and moving to other social networks. The Facebook incident shows how a data ethics scandal can hurt a company’s image in the public eye and lose the trust of customers.

As data breaches become more common, including the recent breach of 500 million Marriott guest reservations and personal information, companies need to focus on cybersecurity. Data is becoming more important than ever, and customers are demanding to be in control of their own data to ensure it stays safe.

A few months ago I spent one hour on a video call with Norm Judah (Links to an external site.), Microsoft’s CTO, who was helping me with some research for a book. He was the one to identify ethics and data privacy as a huge issue for me to look at. He told me in an emailed interview, “As we have seen recently, perceived ethical failures can deprecate brands in an instant,” noting that in the future companies will need to have a better understanding of AI and the impacts of data security. “We used to say that every company would become a software company, but that has quickly morphed into not only is every company a software company, but everyone is also an AI company. A consequence of this is that every company will have to develop an AI Manifesto, which is an expression of their beliefs and behaviors in the ethical use of data and AI technologies. In 2019, we will see a few companies start to differentiate by publishing their AI manifestos to their employees, customers, partners and shareholders.”

At this point it’s hard to imagine how any of this will affect our lives, but key technology visionaries have been talking about it for years. Perhaps now it will finally come into the mainstream, first in Europe and abroad, and soon in the U.S.

In conclusion, we’re entering a time of great transition in customer experience. Customers have the power and want great customer experiences from brands they can trust. These trends will undoubtedly shape the world of customer experience in 2019.


Scaling Retail. (2018, November 19). 2019 Consumer Shopping Trends: One, The Customer Experience. [Video]. YouTube. 

CNBC. (2018, February 26). Warren Buffett: I Understand Consumer Behavior | CNBC [Video]. YouTube. 

First peer below

There are many ways that brand awareness and social media can effect purchasing habits from consumers. One way is consumers are more likely to make a quick buying decision when presented with brands that they are more familiar with, or even just one familiar brand, than when presented with completely unfamiliar brands. From personal experience, I am more likely to buy from brands that I have heard of and researched. I am typical to pass over brands that I am unfamiliar with and make a purchase with brands I have seen before.

Social media is a huge part of the buying process, especially with how prevalent online shopping is these days. Going back to brand awareness, I am more likely to shop from brands I have heard of before, and that are showcased on social media. An example would be I kept seeing Curl Smith’s line of detox shampoo, conditioner, and probiotic treatment, so I bought it. I kept seeing it on social media, and I have heard of and used the brand. If there was another brand offering a probiotic treatment (what I was looking for) that I have not heard of before, I would hav likely not purchased it.

Second peer below

Brand awareness has a direct effect on what we purchase. If we do not know what the brand is or what they offer, what their mission and values are when we see them in a store we are more likely to purchase another product. Commercials, ads and billboards show us the brand and their products to build trust and try to stick in our minds long enough to get us to make a purchase. When I go grocery shopping and see a coupon for a new product I have heard before but never tried, like paper towels or cleaning supplies, I would we more inclined to make a purchase because I am familiar with the brand.

Social media also has a similar effect as it creates its own types of ads. We see brand influencers and celebrities pushing different products to try to get higher sales. The more we see an item used on social media the higher the chance we want to purchase that product. Targeted ads on social media also can play a role on what we purchase. Social media can play a role in our desire to have what others have to keep up and can push us towards a purchase as well.

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