Associative and item memory for brands among elderly consumers
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] A key imperative for marketers is to generate high levels of brand awareness and create favorable and distinctive brand associations in the minds of consumers. Memory for brand information is typically created through brand-based experiences, which get stored in a person's episodic memory system. Past research suggests that episodic memory of an individual declines with age. Further, studies suggest that the effect of aging on two types of episodic memory, i.e., item memory and associative memory, is differential. Older adults compared to younger adults seem to have poorer associative memory than item memory. Episodic memory deficits in older adults can not only impede the brand building efforts of marketers but also compromise the quality of the former's brand choices. Therefore, the overarching objective of this dissertation was to study item and associative memory deficits among elderly consumers in a branding context and investigate managerially relevant ways to improve episodic memory for brand information. Specifically, this thesis looked at the effects of meaningfulness of brand logos (study 1) and relatedness between brand logos and brand names (study 2) on associative and item memory in elderly versus younger consumers. The dissertation thus adds to the existing body of literature on episodic memory decline among the elderly. In doing so, it also advances our knowledge of consumer behavior from a brand management standpoint.
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