Consumer behavior is largely acquired. Consumer’s brand knowledge can be learned so that it can strengthen brand cognition, resulting in brand loyalty, which is an important asset of the enterprise  . Since consumers have different learning motivations, different consumers have different levels of brand cognition. In this paper, learning motivation has been introduced into the empirical research of brand management. It’s a new supplement of existing consumer psychology research. This research selects smart phones which are the products that have a relatively high concentration of brands. Through the questionnaire survey of 180 undergraduates, the study researched the relationship of consumer motivation, brand cognition and brand loyalty.
2. Literature Review
2.1. Learning Motivation
Motivation research has been the focus of the psychology study. Consumer learning motivation is the concrete application of psychology  . Motivation is the initiation and maintenance of learning behavior of the individual and it’s the tendency toward a certain target. It directly promotes internal motivation of individual learning. Through the understanding of human motivation, people can explain and predict the behavior of individual learning.
2.2. Literature Review on Brand Cognition
Brand cognition means consumers’ knowing, understanding and acquaintance to brand. For researches on brand cognition, the Brand Knowledge System from Keller, an American expert of brand research, is recognized as a comparatively mature system in academic fields. According to Keller, brand cognition consists of two parts: brand awareness and brand image  . He thought that brand comes from the differences responded by consumers, without difference, those brand products will be essentially the same as general product, and such difference comes from consumers’ comprehending to brand  . Also, suggested by David Aaker, American expert of brand, brand cognition contains brand awareness and brand association, brand association is combined together in a meaningful way to form brand image  . Biel believes that Brand image can be shown from company image, user image and product/service image, and these three kinds of images originated from consumers’ association to relevant features of brand which can be divided into objective association and subjective association according to the attribute  . The objective association means cognition to tangible functions, for example, Gree air-condition is high-quality; while for subjective association, it reflects consumers’ emotional support from the brand, for instance, iPhone is the model of fashion. Domestic scholars, Xiucheng Fan and Jie Chen (2002) proposed Measurement of Brand Image Model where divided brand image into four dimensionalities: product dimension, corporate dimension, humanity dimension and semiotic dimension, and brands of toothpaste were used for empirical verification  .
2.3. Brand Loyalty
Brand loyalty means consumers have special affection and hobbies to a certain brand, they have their own preferred brand to buy the certain type of products in a brand- oriented way and never try other brands of the same product. Consumers know about brand knowledge through study to form brand loyalty which is not only the important intangible assets for company, but also the key of brand marketing. According to research by Oliver, brand loyalty directly affects a company’s profit since it can guarantee a fixed future customer group  . American scholars Yoo and Donthu built a multidimensional consumer-based brand equity model, abbreviated MBE model, in this model, brand association, brand awareness and brand loyalty are researched from perspective of brand cognition  .
On these bases, we mainly research the relationship among consumers’ learning motivation, brand cognition and brand loyalty, involving three aspects: 1) consumers’ learning motivation, referring to Study Motivation Scale compiled by Amabile and revised by Chi Liping; 2) brand cognition, referring to Brand Cognition Scale by Keller and Aaker; 3) brand loyalty, referring to Brand Loyalty Scale by Yoo and Donthu.
3. Theoretical Model and Research Hypothesis
We propose the following assumption on the basis of the model.
1) The relationship between consumer learning motivation and brand cognition
H1a: Challenging is positively related to brand image.
H1b: Enthusiasm is positively related to brand image.
H1c: Dependence of others’ comments is positively related to brand image.
H1d: Selection of simple tasks is positively related to brand image.
H1e: Focus of interpersonal competition is positively related to brand image.
H1f: Pursuit of return is positively related to brand image.
H2a: Challenging is positively related to brand awareness.
H2b: Enthusiasm is positively related to brand awareness.
H2c: Dependence of others’ comments is positively related to brand awareness.
H2d: Selection of simple tasks is positively related to brand awareness.
H2e: Focus of interpersonal competition is positively related to brand awareness.
H2f: Pursuit of return is positively related to brand awareness.
Figure 1. Relationship model of consumer learning motivation, Brand cognition and Brand loyalty.
2) The relationship between brand cognition and brand loyalty
H3a: Brand image is positively related to brand loyalty.
H3b: Brand awareness is positively related to brand loyalty.
4. Research Design
4.1. Valid Sample Descriptive Statistics
Study Motivation Scale is comparatively mature, but there are many questions listed on the scale and it is a waste of time to answer all of them, besides, due to few researches on relation between consumers’ learning motivation and brand, the survey is hard to conduct. So, in this survey, cooperative college and university students are selected as objective, boys and girls each half, their age is about 20 years old, all of them are smart phone consumers. Although they thought the survey is interesting and significant, the rate of valid questionnaire return is still low. Paper questionnaires are used and smart phone is taken as research object. 300 pieces of questionnaires we gave out are returned, 120 pieces are removed as invalid due to its data missing etc., totally 180 pieces of valid questionnaires are obtained, which means the questionnaire validity rate is 60%.
4.2. Reliability and Validity Test
In the paper, SPSS21 software is used for validity test. As shown in Table 1, CITC of all items are all greater than 0.35, Cronbach’s α coefficient of each variable are all greater
Table 1. Reliability analysis of all questionnaire variables.
than 0.6, which indicates good internal consistency among questions and good scale reliability.
For reliability, AMOS 19.0 is used to conduct test via confirmatory factor analysis, so as to obtain standardized coefficients of all factors, all standardized coefficients are greater than 0.5, and p < 0.001, significantly. It means that the questionnaires meet validity requirements, the measurement index can well explain corresponding variables, and the model has good inherent quality and constructs validity.
4.3. Model Test and Result Analysis
In this research, SPSS 21 is adopted to do correlation analysis for 9 variables of challenging, enthusiasm, Dependence of others’ comments, selection of simple tasks, focus of interpersonal competition, pursuit of return, brand image, brand awareness and brand loyalty. The results are shown in Table 2 correlation indexes of all variables are shown under diagonal line.
It is known from Table 2 that consumers’ learning motivation has certain correlations with brand cognition and brand loyalty. The six dimensionalities mentioned above is positively related to all indexes of brand cognition, yet the relation between Selection of simple tasks and brand cognition is less close than that of other dimensionalities with brand cognition; concerning brand loyalty, it is significantly related to brand image, brand awareness and brand loyalty. Relation of brand awareness with brand loyalty is closer than that of brand image with brand loyalty.
In this paper, we took users of smart phone in colleges and universities in Guangdong province as research samples and discussed the relationship among consumers’ learning motivation, brand cognition and brand loyalty. According to the survey, we get the following conclusions: 1) consumers’ learning motivation affects their cognition to brands to some extent, relevant influence factors are listed below: enthusiasm and pursuit of return have a significant influence on brand image; enthusiasm, dependence of
Table 2. Correlation analysis of consumer learning motivation, brand cognition and brand loyalty.
Note: *Means significant correlation on the level of p < 0.05, **Means significant correlation on the level of p < 0.01.
others’ comments, focus of interpersonal competition and pursuit of return are significantly influential to brand awareness. For these reasons, we suggest the sellers should give much consideration to consumers’ enthusiasm and pursuit of return when designing brand image involving product appearance, configuration and brand personality. Meanwhile, it is helpful for the sellers to promote brand awareness if they give more consideration on consumers’ enthusiasm, dependence of others’ comments, focus of interpersonal competition and pursuit of return. 2) The influence of brand cognition on promoting brand loyalty is significant. Compared with brand image, brand awareness is more powerful to drive promotion of brand loyalty.
The results of this survey expanded empirical research of introducing psychological theory to brand management in a theoretical way and can be applied practically. The
Table 3. Fitting results of the model.
Table 4. Path analysis results.
Table 5. The conclusion of the research.
conclusions help enterprises to understand consumers’ learning motivation and adjust brand marketing strategy according to their psychology, so as to simulate consumers’ learning motivation and enable them to improve brand cognition and build lasting brand loyalty.
This paper has the disadvantage that only college and university students are investigated, so further research needs to be conducted.
*Supported by the major social science programs of China (15AGL003), the basic scientific research business of Central University (Social Science project) in South China University of Technology (2015ZDXMPY02).
 Yoo, B., Donthu, N. and Lee, S. (2000) An Examination of Selected Marketing Mix Elements and Brand Equity. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 28, 195-211.