Just Branding or Branding with Psychological Communication – Application of Kolb’ Theory in Advertisement Marketing


David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984 from which he developed his learning style inventory.

Kolb’s experiential learning theory works on two levels: a four-stage cycle of learning and four separate learning styles.  Much of Kolb’s theory is concerned with the learner’s internal cognitive processes.

Kolb’s experiential learning style theory is typically represented by a four-stage learning cycle (Figure 1) in which the learner ‘touches all the bases’:

1. Concrete Experience – a new experience or situation is encountered, or a reinterpretation of existing experience.
2. Reflective Observation of the New Experience – of particular importance are any inconsistencies between experience and understanding.
3. Abstract Conceptualization reflection gives rise to a new idea, or a modification of an existing abstract concept (the person has learned from their experience).
4. Active Experimentation – the learner applies their idea(s) to the world around them to see what happens.

Effective learning is seen when a person progresses through a cycle of four stages: of (1) having a concrete experience followed by (2) observation of and reflection on that experience which leads to (3) the formation of abstract concepts (analysis) and generalizations (conclusions) which are then (4) used to test a hypothesis in future situations, resulting in new experiences.

Kolb’s learning theory (1974) sets out four distinct learning styles, which are based on a four-stage learning cycle (see above). Kolb explains that different people naturally prefer a certain single different learning style.

Various factors influence a person’s preferred style.  For example, social environment, educational experiences, or the basic cognitive structure of the individual.

Whatever influences the choice of style, the learning style preference itself is actually the product of two pairs of variables, or two separate ‘choices’ that we make, which Kolb presented as lines of an axis, each with ‘conflicting’ modes at either end.

A typical presentation of Kolb’s two continuums is that the east-west axis is called the Processing Continuum (how we approach a task), and the north-south axis is called the Perception Continuum (our emotional response, or how we think or feel about it).

Concrete Experience:

We frequently come across this advertisement of World Wild life fund. This creates a feeling of fear about future due to increase in global warming. The image clearly shows that climate change will change you and your descendants if you don’t take action to keep it.

Reflective Observation:

Meesho application is currently publishing its advertisements in all social media platforms. The ad clearly explains in step by step how one can start their business using Meesho.

Abstract Conceptualization:

People start to think about the safety of their kids or family members when they see such types of advertisements.

Active Experimentation:

Skinkraft is advertising in a way that we could test and know are own skin problems and they provide instant solutions with recommended products.

1. Dr. Vikas Arya
Associate Professor, Rajalakshmi School of Business, Chennai
Email – vikas.arya@rsb.edu.in

2. Mr. Ahamed Basha J (MBA Student)
Rajalakshmi School of Business, Chennai

3. Ms. Harshita M (MBA Student)
Rajalakshmi School of Business, Chennai