Asymmetries in the Sequential Learning of Brand Associations: Implications for the Early Entrant Advantage
The highlighting effect occurs when the order in which consumers learn about brands determines the strength of association between these brands and their attributes. In four experiments, we find that consumers more strongly associate common attributes with early learned brands and unique attributes with late-learned brands. These findings imply an advantage for late entrants when unique attributes offer a higher value than attributes that are common to late and early entrants. We extend an attention-based model of associative learning to accommodate sequential learning of brand associations and predict when late versus early entrants will be able to sustain an advantage. (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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