Exploring consumer knowledge structures using associative network analysis

John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Psychology and Marketing, 2010, 27 (4), pp. 369 - 398
Issue Date:
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This paper offers a new perspective on consumer knowledge analysis that combines Human Associative Memory (HAM) models from cognitive psychology with network analytic approaches in order to gain deeper insights into consumers mental representations, such as brand images. An illustrative case study compares the associative networks of a manufacturer brand with a retail brand and is used to demonstrate the application and interpretation of various network measures. Network analysis is conducted on three levels: Node-level analysis yields insights about salient brand image components that can be affected through short-term marketing activities. Group-level analysis is concerned with brand image dimensions that characterize a brand and can be strategically influenced in the medium term. Finally, networklevel analysis examines the network structure as a whole, drawing parallels to brand imagery, which needs to be managed over the long term. Management implications are derived and suggestions for further research are provided.
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