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Marketing and "Cognitive Dissonance"

You've been asked by the Marketing Department to give them feedback from your customer service area about customer complaints and issues concerning their new product—an "All-In-One" coffee maker, toaster oven, and microwave.
Although your department has collected specific information concerning likes and dislikes of customers (as called in on your customer service toll-free number), you recognize that many of these calls could be reduced in time—or eliminated—if you helped the Marketing Department understand the concept called "Cognitive Dissonance."

You've been asked to provide this feedback as a two to three page article for their departmental weekly update, and you busily begin this project. In your article for the Marketing Department, be sure to include the following information:
- In one paragraph, provide an overview of what you've been asked to do.
- Next, define the term "Cognitive Dissonance" and explain how it relates to customer purchases. (In business, cognitive dissonance is often referred to as "Buyer's Remorse.")
- Provide two or three customer examples of how Cognitive Dissonance affects customers and the types of reactions they have to your product.
- Finally, suggest some changes that can be made to the marketing materials to help reduce this effect on your customers and create and maintain long-term customer loyalty

Solution Preview

Let’s look at the questions individually to see where I can be helpful.

1. I need help getting started.

The four questions from your attached file can act as a tentative outline for your response, which might look like something to this effect:
I. Introduction (e.g., purpose - You've been asked by the Marketing Department to give them feedback from your customer service area about customer complaints and issues concerning their new product—an "All-In-One" coffee maker, toaster oven, and microwave.)

II. Cognitive Dissonance
a. Definition
b. Examples of Cognitive Dissonance

III. Recommendations for change
a. Dealing effectively with buyer’s remorse (see information below)
b. Maintaining customer loyalty (see information below in the scenario)

2. Defining Cognitive Dissonance and any suggestions you have for the changes they are requesting:

Festinger’s theory of Cognitive Dissonance is a psychological phenomenon, which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation. It therefore occurs when there is a need to accommodate new ideas, and it may be necessary for it to develop so that we become "open" to them (http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/dissonance.htm).

In economics this term is also called buyer's remorse. This post-purchase behavior is more likely to happen when the purchase is a more expensive one (e.g., car, etc.). The consumer may experience some regrets or questioning as to whether the purchase was a good one. This is the fifth step in the decision making process (http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/dissonance.htm). Therefore understanding Festinger’s theory of Cognitive Dissonance can help to understand and perhaps move toward changing the attitudes and behaviors of customers.

In fact, buyer’s remorse a common condition is brought on by an internal sense of doubt that the correct decision has been ...

Solution Summary

This solution is about 1200 words and includes references throughout. Based on the scenario and by responding to the questions, this solution sketches out a basic structure of how this response could be organized in terms of the aspects of the project e.g., overview of what you've been asked to do, defining the term "Cognitive Dissonance", providing customer examples of how Cognitive Dissonance affects customers and making recommendations.

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