Low Attention Processing explains why many consumers believe that advertising has no significant effect on their choice of brands.

Brands are more competitive than ever these days, and whenever an improvement is introduced it is often only a matter of a few weeks before other brands in the market copy it. As a result consumers expect most reputable brands to perform similarly, and they do not regard learning about brands as being very important. Brand decisions tend to be made intuitively rather than rationally, and most advertising is processed at very low attention levels using a mental process known as Low Attention Processing.

Low Attention Processing employs both implicit learning (fully automatic non-cognitive processing) and passive learning (semi-automatic cognitive processing). Both of these systems are very poor at interpreting messages or drawing conclusions from ads. Instead they tend to store what is perceives, along with any concepts that are triggered by these perceptions.

The way our memories work means that the more often we process something the stronger it becomes linked to the brand. Thus it is these perceptions and concepts, repeatedly stored via Low Attention Processing, which end up defining brands in our minds and influencing our brand decisions.

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