The implicit versus the explicit attitude of brand

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Herchel, Simon
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MBA in Marketing
Dublin Business School
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The main purpose of this study was to investigate if the decision making process is an automatic or deliberate practice through the theory of the implicit and explicit attitude. The rationale of this research was to underline the impact of neuro-marketing, and more especially the social-psychology through the role and influence of affective (related to implicit attitude) and cognitive (related to explicit attitude), on the brand decision making process. Another aim was to find out how a better understanding of customer behaviour, through neuro-marketing, can lead a branding strategy improvement The literature suggested that the explicit and implicit attitude were related to a deliberate and automatic decision making process. Then, the Social psychology model of Pavlovian Conditioning and APE allowed us to demonstrate and quantify the emotional and cognitive processes associated with decision-making. This distinctive dual system provided a useful framework for understanding implicit and explicit attitudes and posits that people process information through two distinct cognitive systems. The first one is propositional and operates through controlled processes, whereas the other is associative and operates through automatic processes. Furthermore the literature indicated that the explicit and implicit attitude have a mutual influence. Thank to the MODE model, we noticed two types of influence between implicit and explicit attitude, in one hand there is “Bottom-up” influences of associative on propositional processes (implicit to explicit) and on the other hand “Top-down” influences of propositional on associative processes. In terms of methodology, the research applied a deductive structured approach with a quantitative quasi-experiment method. The survey examining the cognitive aspects of the decision making process has been administrated both electronically and in person, and sixty-two responses were received. Also, the social psychology test of the Implicit Association Test was conducted to the same respondents in order to highlight the affective part. The results of the study revealed the relatively importance of the combination price and promotion in a short term to change the mind set but the advertising keep the crown jewel to deeply impact the mind in a longer term. Then, the results indicated that the explicit attitude is more favourable toward branded products and implicit one toward generic products. The principal conclusion was that the branded products users tended to follow an explicit decision making process whereas the generics one applied an implicit attitude. Author keywords: Brand decision-making process, branded products, generics products, automatic and deliberate process, cognitive, affective, conative.