An innate aspect of most consumption experiences is that consumers are simultaneously exposed to intrinsic product quality attributes, such as product taste, and also extrinsic cues, such as brand names and packaging. Consumer welfare depends upon how well consumers are able to learn differences in intrinsic product quality. assuming
such differences actually exist. Prior research has often implied that trivial differentiation in extrinsic cues hinders consumer learning of intrinsic quality differences (e.g., on account of erroneous inferences or by making altematives hard to compare). We offer here an
alternative viewpoint by examining this issue conceptually and empirically from a consumer memory perspective. We investigate in a series of three taste test studies whether, why, and how trivial differentiation in brand names and packaging may in fact facilitate
experiential learning of intrinsic quality differences.