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Chapter 11: Embodied Cognition, Affordances and Mind Modularity: Using Cognitive Science to Present a Theory of Consumer Experiences
11. Embodied cognition, aﬀordances and mind modularity: using cognitive science to present a theory of consumer experiences J. Josko Brakus ˇ Marketing theories typically explain product success by factors such as product diﬀerentiation based on functional features and beneﬁts and a unique value proposition (Kotler, 1997; Porter, 1985). But what explains the dramatic success of such ‘cool’ new product concepts as the ‘funky’ Volkswagen Beetle, the colorful Nokia telephones or the Razor scooters? How do we explain the explosion of new product launches in product categories that are almost perfect commodities such as water or vodka? Each of these new products arguably includes some sort of new product feature, a new functional beneﬁt and perhaps a value proposition that is somewhat diﬀerent from competitors’. However, if we look at the advertisements for these products, it seems that the main ‘features’ and ‘beneﬁts’ of these products are ‘superﬁcial’ characteristics such as colors and shapes. As a result, communications for these products do not follow the classic ‘problem–solution’ approach, but are full of peripheral components such as music, graphics and visual eﬀects. Moreover, colors, shapes, visual eﬀects and attractive music do not only appear in advertisements. Increasingly they are being used with great success to attract consumers’ attention as part of a product design, packaging, website and retail space. However, even though such elements have been used in marketing for a long time and can produce dramatic success, marketing theorists have had di...
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