Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 32
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3448-8.ch003


Learning plays an important role in preference formation. The consumers do not only learn products but also learn how they maximize their benefits. Marketers introduce consumers to learning new lifestyles provided by using their products. In this chapter, the authors discuss learning as it applies to consumer behavior.
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Opening Case

Hello Kitty Turns Unisex

Hello Kitty is the name of a cartoon cat. Sanrio Co. Ltd. (Sanrio) developed Kitty in 1974. Initially, Hello Kitty was implanted on coin purses and pencil boxes. Hello Kitty was designed as a trivial commodity, and small girls were targeted. Hello Kitty has extended the wide range products as become popular. Hello Kitty character has expanded into more than 50,000 products in more than 60 countries in the 2000s. Hello Kitty displayed on vast products ranging from vacuum cleaners to DVD players, toilet paper to cars, and computers to candy, and it is one of the most powerful brands in the world (Hosany, 2013)

Even though the Hello Kitty is a famous brand, it was aging and facing competition from foreign competitors even in Japan. The company decided to extend the brand to menswear sensing an opportunity in 2007. It was such a risky strategy for the Hello Kitty that has known as a feminine brand. Hello Kitty Men Project announced at first as part of the brand’s 40th anniversary. Six Tokyo men’s brands (Undercover, Jam Home Made, Dress camp, Patchy Cake Eater and Yoshio Kubo) have created 12 item Hello Kitty products. They determined target market as fashion-conscious men (Cision, 2015).

Yuko Yamaguchi, the designer, expressed this project as “In the 40 years since Hello Kitty was born, the character was developed for girls, but now we hear from men in their 20s and 30s who do not view it as “girly”. I think we must have fans among men as well as women. It was quite a challenge to design Hello Kitty with men in mind, and I am satisfied with how well these collaboration items manage to express the various brand colors” (Licensemag, 2015).

The Hello Kitty as a unisex brand seems to be successful because with recent figures showing that 90% of profit is made from licensing products outside Japan and from apparel. American idols such as Lady Gaga, Avril Lavigne, and Ariana Grande who feature Hello Kitty photos, songs, and music videos. Fashion labels such as Diesel and Forever 21 have also helped grow the trend releasing Hello Kitty lines in 2012 and 2014, respectively (Akcasu, 2014).


What Is Learning?

Learning is one of the essential activities for all human beings; physically weak humans have survived through learning ability. Learning provides people develop themselves continually. People utilize learning and memory to meet the basic and psychological needs, solve their problems, meaning all kind of stimuli, and formation inside and outside of an individual. That would be very difficult to learn everything each day, repeatedly. The comedy film “50 First Dates” (2004; directed by Peter Segal, actors; Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore) is an excellent example of the importance of learning and memory.

Learning is a relatively permanent change in knowledge or behavior that results from experience (Kassin, 2004). In a broad sense, “learning is any process by which changes occur in the content or organization of an individual’s long-term memory, and it occurs when experience produces relatively changes in a person’s capabilities or behavior” (Hanna & Wozniak, 2001: 137).

Every experience does not influence behaviors or change behavior for a short time. These situations could not explain with learning. To talk about learning some qualifications should be placed. These are as follows; (Nair, 2009):

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