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Cognitive and Reinforcement Models in Marketing Report (Assessment)

Cognitive Models

Decision Making Using Formal Strategies

This is a procedural way of making company resolutions within the outlines of rules. The applicable strategies in making important company decisions rely on a particular methodology (Van Bruggen & Wierenga, 2010, p. 80). Notably, the methodology should consider the prevailing environmental state so that the final decisions made, do not become inappropriate. Under the formal strategy, the decision-makers consider available options, which do not contravene the existing law (Sahaf, 2008, p. 54).

Furthermore, formal strategies lead to optimal and acceptable decisions, which translate to optimal solutions (Van Bruggen & Wierenga, 2010, p. 80). Therefore, through adopting formal strategies in formulating the company decisions, the management becomes assured of a non-controversial solution to the organizational problems. For example, when making a decision affecting the company employees such as salary increment, formal procedures would produce the best result, acceptable to the workers and employers.

Attitude Model

In marketing, the attitude model is a strategy that tries to evaluate personal likes, attitudes, and dislikes towards a particular product. Given the situational and personal variables, many people display diverse behavior and unique attitude depending on the product and its location (Cavalier, 2001, p. 104). Therefore, each situation would not attract a similar attitude due to variations in personal choice. For example, in marketing a new product, whether food or non-food item, the nature of success is entirely based on altering the people’s attitude to embrace the product (Cavalier, 2001, p. 112). The moment people clearly understand the attributes of the unique and new product, it would be easier for them to acquire the product (Sahaf, 2008, 99).

Reasoned Action Theory

The theory postulates that input would induce different behavior. The model depicts a simple chart like this:

Reasoned Action Theory

The theory starts with the stimulation of one’s attitude. This leads to the person developing an intention, in response to the alteration in attitude (Mullins, et al., 2009, p. 45). Finally, the indentation develops a particular behavior that differs among the people. Notably, the behavior depicts the person’s psychological, social, environmental, and educational variations (Crozier, Ranyard & Svenson, 2011, p. 101). The behavior is subjective since it also depicts the effects, which the attitude brought to the person and the way he/she developed an intention to react to the stimuli. For example, with a positive attitude toward a new product, one’s intention would be to acquire it. This means the person’s behavior changes towards liking the good, perhaps spend money to buy such products.

Planned Behaviour Theory

This theory indicates that a particular behavior could be planned, depending on the prevalent condition. When an individual person has a definite intention after being subjected to stimuli, the behavior would be pre-determined and might be exactly as anticipated (Juslin & Montgomery, 1999, p. 32). For example, if the marketing agents target a given number of consumers, the strategy that they adopt, should entice many clients.

The strategy ensures that the number is achieved and they behave as expected (Mullins, et al., 2009, p. 125). Here, the appropriate marketing strategy would condition the consumer’s behavior and produce the intended result once the product is officially launched. In another example, under planned behavior, the pre-determined customer response is achieved with marginal variation, which is the number of customers, and their ability to buy the products cannot be way below the expectation.

Decision Making Using Simpler Strategies

In this strategy, the basic heuristics or algorithmic processes are applied in making important decisions (Venugopal, 2010, p. 105). Sometimes, the marketing officials might use rules thumb during the process. The process is fast besides being simple to use because it involves limited information when making the decisions (Venugopal, 2010, p. 122). When simple heuristics are used, it limits over-fitting which complicates the process. For example, the process is similar to constructing a complex building, in which simple and small blocks are put together until the intention is achieved.

On the other hand, the thumb rule is justifiable because of adaptability either theoretically or empirically. For example, information from various sources could be integrated to aid the process of making vital decisions (Venugopal, 2010, p. 135). Here, simple behavioral attributes explain the modeling optimality of the products.

Reinforcement Models

Classical Conditioning

Under classical conditioning, the person acts according to the specific stimuli. In this case, the stimuli could be punishment or reward because either of them affects behavior differently (Solomon & Solomon, 2011, p. 12). Also, the rewards and/or punishments come independently without the person reacting to it. This means, the reinforcement does not alter the action in a profound manner, and the person reacts involuntarily (Solomon & Solomon, 2011, p. 17). For example, when a cat is fed on a particular plate repeatedly, it would be conditioned in such a manner that whenever it sees the plate carried towards it, it would definitely be prepared to eat even if there is n food on it. Therefore, the cat’s psychology is conditioned to believe that the plate always carries food, and nothing else.

Classical conditioning could be summarized in a chart as below;

Classical Conditioning

Operant Conditioning

In operant conditioning, the reinforcement applied gives a distinct reaction. Sometimes, the reaction might not produce the result as intended (Solomon & Solomon, 2011, p. 52). Here, the subject does not have psychological conditioning but would differ according to the reinforcement used (Solomon & Solomon, 2011, p. 61). For example, a plant responds to light differently from other animals. For example, while some animals might hibernate when the lights are strong, the plants make use of the strong light rays in manufacturing food. Therefore, despite the same stimulus, various animals respond differently. More importantly, the stimulant has to be felt for a reaction to occur, a failure to which the animal would not respond.

Operant conditioning could be summarized in a chart below

Operant Conditioning

Brand Loyalty

Under the model, brand loyalty is a means of enhancing consumer confidence. Notably, marketers always try to make sure that as many customers as possible, remain confident about the brand (Phillips, 2011, p. 26). Identifying consumer behavior is difficult as it keeps changing, according to lifestyle, economic status, quality levels, among others (Phillips, 2011, p. 29). Indeed, highly effective brands attract customers’ loyalty, thus increasing the product’s sales (Phillips, 2011, p. 37). The consumers, who are targeted, should be the ones passionate about the brand. Here, brand loyalty creates a pool of willing consumers who consider the product as useful (Phillips, 2011, p. 44). In addition, the brand that the people recognize most would experience more requests from loyal customers.


In marketing, inertia is responsible for the possible collapse of businesses (McEwen, 2006, p. 43). As some business players are pushed out of the market, the remaining enterprises develop a strong marketing force, where consumers are propelled into the market through enticement to reduce the imminent inertia (McEwen, 2006, p. 48). Apparently, the forces culminating in market inertia could be internal and/or external, thus capable of influencing the person’s choice of the products (McEwen, 2006, p. 53). Marketing blunders are very detrimental to the growth of business and lead to market inactivity.


Cavalier, R. P. (2001). A Model for Decision Making. New York, NY: Greenwood Press.

Crozier, R., Ranyard, R. & Ola, S. (2011). Cognitive Models and Explanations. New York, NY: Routledge.

Juslin, P. & Montgomery, H. (1999). Judgment and Decision Making Neo-brunswikian and Process-tracing Approaches. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

McEwen, W. J. (2006). Why Consumers Bond with Some Brands for Life. New York, NY: Gallup Press.

Mullins, J., et al., (2009). A Strategic Decision-Making Approach. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Phillips, C. (2011). Brand Loyalty. Kindle Edition: Kindle eBook.

Sahaf, M. A. (2008). Making Decisions for Strategic Advantage. India: Prentice-Hall.

Solomon, M. & Solomon, M. R. (2011). Consumer Behavior with MyMarketingLab. New York, NY: Pearson Education.

Van Bruggen, G. H. & Wierenga, B. (2010). Marketing Decision Making and Decision Support. New York, NY: Now Publishers Inc.

Venugopal, P. (2010). Marketing Management, a Decision-making Approach. London: Sage Publications.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Cognitive and Reinforcement Models in Marketing'. 10 February.

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