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ATTITUDE The concept of attitude is one of the most prevalent and important concepts in consumer behaviour.

Indeed, in the social sciences generally. Interest in attitudes emanates from the belief that knowledge of attitudes permits accurate prediction of consumer behaviour. Generally a consumer’s attitudes can be thought of as his or her basic orientation for or against various alternative products, services, retail outlets, and the like. Because attitudes form a coherent system of evaluative orientations, they are important components in any model of consumer decision-making. The Meaning of Attitudes Everyone has, on occasion, been asked to express his or her assessment of something. For example, “ How do you like your new Santro car?” “How do you feel about your teacher?” etc. Thus, although can provide a precise definition of “attitudes”, most have clear intuitive understanding of what they are. Interestingly enough, even though there is a general agreement on the meaning of “attitudes” at the intuitive level, there is a little agreement at the theoretical level. An attitude is an abstract concept in that its structure or makeup cannot be directly observed. Thus, the nature of attitude fosters alternative views regarding the underlying structure of attitude and, consequently, alternative definition.

a consumer has about the support services a retailer offers as well as beliefs about the relative merits of the product. In other words, this attitude component includes considerations such as whether Coke or Pepsi tastes better, which has more carbonation, which has a better aftertaste, and which is a better thirst quencher. The affective component is the consumer’s overall feeling of like or dislike for an attitude object (that is, a product, service, advertisement, retail outlet). Generally, marketing analysts use verbal statements to measure the affective component. The affective and cognitive components are considered to be highly correlated: that is, consumer analysts have observed that a consumer’s beliefs and feelings toward a particular product are typically consistent. The behavioural component is the consumer’s action tendency or expected behaviour, that is, his or her intention. This “likelihood-ofbuying” component is relevant to the product’s normal purchase cycle. Thus, if a consumer indicates an intention to buy a Yamaha motorcycle, it is only reasonable to expect her to buy that brand the next time she buys a motorcycle. Marketing strategists have been particularly concerned about developing accurate and timely measures of the behavioural component because of the relationship between a consumer’s action tendency and his or her actual purchase behaviour. The idea of attitudes being comprised of three major components has had considerable impact on the thinking of consumer analysts and an especially pronounced impact in the area of advertising. The classical psychological model provided the basis for a conception of advertising effectiveness called the “hierarchy of effects” hypothesis. This model became widely accepted because it provided a concise and lucid, although not completely valid, explanation of how attitudes were changed through advertising. The relationship between the three-attitudinal components and the consumer’s movement from unawareness to purchase is illustrated in the Hierarchy of Effects Model. Essentially, this model suggests that not only are attitudes made up of three components, but also these components are arranged in a

The Classical Psychological Model
The classical definition is that an attitude is a mental and neutral state or readiness to respond which is organized through experience and which exerts a directive and/or dynamic influence on behaviour. It soon became popular to adopt the classical psychological model, which theorizes those attitudes are made up of three basic components: (1) cognitive, (2) affective, and (3) behavioural. In terms of consumer behaviour, the consumer behaviour, the cognitive component refers to the manner in which a consumer perceives information about a product, service, advertisement, or retail outlet. This component includes beliefs

(1). that is. Although several models have been developed. the work of Fishbein has perhaps had the greatest impact. In order to facilitate acceptance of the brands (ignoring the obvious ethical issues). in turn predict behaviour. according to Fishbein. Dimensions Purchase THE MULTI -ATTRIBUTE MODELS Purchase Behavioural Conviction Preference Affective Liking Knowledge Awareness Cognitive Unawareness The past decade has been characterised by the emergence of multi-attribute models of attitudes. and Kool. Attitudes are functionally related to intentions. The validity of this model has been the subject of extensive research and debate. For example cigarette manufacturers. 3. (4) Intention: the subjective probability that beliefs and attitudes will be acted upon. a consumer must have awareness and knowledge of a product (cognitive component) before a liking and preference (affective component) for it occur. who are under intense . model is conceptually founded on well-established psychological theory. (3) Attitude: a learned predisposition to respond consistently in a favourable manner with respect to a given alternative. this model. which. The fact remains that the hierarchy of effects. Beliefs: information. for example. Finally. Related Behavioural Movement toward pressure from the FTC to reduce the tar and nicotine contents of their cigarettes. the companies must create a liking and preference for the brands until consumers are convinced of the advantage of smoking milder cigarettes. There is. some indication that an alternative hierarchy of effects may exist under certain consumption situations. Evaluative criteria: desired outcomes from choice or use of an alternative expressed in the form of the attributes or specifications used to compare various alternatives. has provided considerable direction for the development of promotional strategy. Fishbein introduced beliefs as the cognitive foundation on which attitudes are built. the companies must first create awareness of the cigarettes and knowledge about their relative “health” attributes.1: Hierarchy of Effects Model Furthermore. specifying the extent to which the alternative possesses the desired attribute.particular order. Next. highly regarded by practitioners. Winston. need to aggressively promote their low tar brands to consumers who enjoy the “full-flavour” brands such as Marlboro. which links a given alternative to a specified evaluative criterion. Fig. the company can seek trial and repurchase of the brands. (2).

assume that sound reproduction and mechanical characteristics are the dominant considerations. Beliefs Attitudes Intentions Fig 3. Non-compensatory models--such as the conjunctive model.2: The Relationship of Evaluative Criteria. A lower than acceptable rating of one attribute will lead to a negative evaluation and rejection of the product. and Intentions The multi-attribute models that have been developed to explain the process by which consumers form beliefs and attitudes fall into two major categories. Compensatory models--such as the expectancy value model and the attribute adequacy model--are models in which a weakness of one attribute may be compensated for by strengths of another attribute. COMPENSATORY MODELS Expectancy-Value Model: This model assumes that each alternative will be evaluated on more than one attribute. Judgements are based on beliefs about whether or not an object actually possess an attribute and the evaluation of the “goodness or badness” of those beliefs. The brand that dominates on the most important criterion receives the highest evaluation. compensatory and non-compensatory. NON-COMPENSATORY MODELS Conjunctive Model: In the case of this model. For example. Disjunctive Model: The disjunctive model suggests that consumers establish one or more attributes as being dominant. the consumer establishes a minimum acceptable level for each product attribute. A brand will be evaluated as acceptable only if it exceeds the minimum specified level of these key attributes. with the exception that an explicit assessment is made of the differences between “ideal and actual” of each attribute possessed by the object under consideration. colour. A brief explanation of the major compensatory and non-compensatory models are presented below. and so on. Attitudes. Attribute Adequacy Model: In the attribute adequacy model. an evaluation is arrived at in a manner similar to that discussed above. The consumer selects the brand with the highest overall evaluation. the second attribute is examined and so on until the tie is broken. and lexiographic model--are those models in which a weakness of one attribute is not compensated for by strength of another attribute.Evaluative criteria is evaluated individually on all attributes and the total evaluation is the sum of the ratings of each attributes. To continue with the example of the stereo component set. Each brand . A brand is determined to be acceptable only if each attribute equals or exceeds that minimum level. Any set measuring up to expectations on these attributes will be regarded as acceptable no matter what its size. If two or more brands tie. Beliefs. disjunctive model. the consumer ranks product attributes from most important to least important. Lexiographic Model: According to the lexiographic model. a stereo component system may be evaluated as completely satisfactory in terms of sound reproduction and appearance but be rejected because it is not compact enough in size.

there is growing evidence that the expectancy-value model holds the greatest promise. The Fishbein Model The Fishbein Model is similar in many ways to Rosenberg’s formulation. the “low price” might receive a rating of +10. The next section contains a detailed description of the two dominant expectancy-value models. The revised Fishbein Model stated A0 alternative 0. From the earlier example. PIi = the perceived instrumentality of alternative 0 with respect to the value. For example. The Rosenberg Model The Rosenberg Model considers attitudes to contain two variables: (1) values (approximately equivalent to “evaluative criteria”) and their importance in arriving at an attitude and (2) perceived instrumentality (the degree to which the taking of a point of view or following an action will either enhance or block the attainment of a value). if “low price” is an important value (evaluative criterion) and the consumer has come to believe that brand A offers a low price. the formula calls for belief (Bi) and evaluation (ai) scores to be multiplied for each belief. particularly the Rosenberg Model and the Fishbein Model. ATTITUDES TOWARDS ALTERNATIVES EXPECTANCY. It specifies whether or not the possession or lack of possession of the attribute in question is positive or negative. N = the number of pertinent or salient values. but there are subtle differences. .VALUE MODELS The dominant focus of consumer researchers in explaining attitudes toward alternatives has been the expectancy-value mode. Bi = the ith belief about the object. the Rosenberg Model calls for the measurement of value importance on a scale of 21 categories ranging from “gives me maximum satisfaction” (+10) to “gives me maximum dissatisfaction” (10). Rosenberg’s model is expressed as follows: N In its pure form. The second component is an “affective term.” normally stated in terms of “good or bad”. Perceived instrumentality is assessed using 11 categories ranging from “the condition is completely attained through a given action” (+5) to “the condition is completely blocked through undertaking the given action” (-5).While there is a distinct possibility that consumers use each of these models in certain circumstances. ai = the evaluation of the object. = the overall evaluation of the attractiveness of VIi = the importance of the ith value. This initial formulation by Fishbein was later revised to reflect the results of major research efforts. defined as the probability that an object does or does not have a particular attribute. His first component is belief. ai i=1 where: A0 = ∑ (Vied) (PIi) i =1 where: A0 = attitude toward the object. N A0 = ∑ Bi. Fishbein’s model is expressed as follows. then the perceived instrumentality of brand A would be high. That is. N = the total number of beliefs. Perhaps brand A in the above example would be given a score of +5 on this variable. Then these scores are summed to arrive at a single attitude ranking.

In this formula. ai = the evaluation of the object. the applications have used some modification of them. The differences between A0 and Aact are not in the formulation but in the questions utilized to assess B and a components. For what types of products is life-style research most appropriate? In what ways would a marketing manager make the most productive use of information received from life-style research? 3. Is it possible to “unlearn” something? Does this affect consumer behaviour? Explain. Distinguish between the classical psychological model and the multiattribute model. The questions here focus on one specific purchase-and-use situation and attempt to evaluate the consequences. n Questions for Discussion. Because learning is basic to human existence. 4. Rather. Bib= evaluative aspect or belief with respect to utility of N Aact = ∑ Bi ai i =1 where: alternative b to satisfy evaluative criterion i. Aact = attitude toward the act under consideration. Belief may now be interpreted as the probability that a product attribute will exist or that the act of purchase will give certain consequences. What are the basic differences among the three major personality theories? How might the marketing strategies developed by proponents of each of these theories differ from one another? 2. The ai component evaluates that belief along a “good-bad” dimension. is it an appropriate area for marketing managers to attempt to manipulate? Explain your answer. Which model holds the greatest promise for marketing strategists? A0 = ∑ Wi Bib i=1 where: A0 = attitude toward a particular alternative 0. Bi = the ith belief toward the act. Consider. N = the total number of beliefs. and Bib is the evaluation of the alternative along criterion. An Application of the Expectancy-Value Model Most of the marketing applications have not strictly followed either the Rosenberg Model or the Fishbein Model. and the summed score is attitude toward the alternative. the following application. 1.below has had a dramatic impact on the research and application of attitudes in consumer behaviour. This rating is performed for each evaluative criterion. Wi= weight or importance of evaluation criterion i. . for example. Wi is the weight or importance of the evaluative criterion. n = number of evaluative criteria important in selection of an alternative in category under consideration. 5.

a product-oriented approach focuses on the features inherent in the DIFUSION OF INNOVATIONS This unit examines a major aspect of consumer behaviour—the acceptance of new products and services. For the consumer. diffusion is a macro process concerned with spread of new product (an innovation) from its source to the consuming public.e. While this definition has considerable merit if the objective is to examine the impact that a “new” product has on the firm. diffusion is a process by which the acceptance of an innovation (a new product. and (4) time. The ability of marketers to identify and reach this important group of consumers plays a major role in the success or failure of new product introduction. it is considered new. Product-oriented definitions: In contrast to firm-oriented definitions. the various approaches that have been taken to define a new product can be classified as firm-oriented. The Innovation There is no universally accepted definition of the term “ product innovation” or “new product”. This discussion of the diffusion of innovations concentrates on two closely related processes: the Diffusion process and the Adoption process. and environmental needs. Firm-oriented definitions: A firm-oriented approach treats the newness of a product from the perspective of the company producing and marketing it. (2) the channel of communication. Consumer researchers who specialize in diffusion of innovations are primarily interested in understanding (a) how the acceptance of new product spreads within a market. Consistent with this view. new idea. product-oriented. In addition to an examination of these two interrelated processes. In broadest sense. new practice.UNIT . (3) the social system. new market) is spread by communication (mass media. to the competitors or consumers). salespeople. and (b) the decision making process that led the consumer to accepting or rejecting the new product. copies or modifications of a competitors product would qualify as new.4 THE DIFFUSION PROCESS The diffusion process is concerned with how innovations spread —how they are assimilated—within a market. new products provide an important mechanism for keeping the firm competitive and profitable. More precisely. Indeed. if the product is “new” to the company. Social. new products represent an increased opportunity for better satisfaction of personal. and consumer-oriented. it is not very useful if the goal is to understand consumer acceptance of a new product. adoption is a micro process that focuses on stages through which an individual consumer passes in making the decision to accept or reject a new product. informal conversation) to members of a social system (a target market) over a period of time. The introduction of new product is vital to both consumer and marketers.. a profile of the of consumer innovator is presented here—those who are the first to purchase a new product. In contrast. This definition ignores whether or not the product is actually new to the marketplace (i. . a new service. that is. The framework for exploring consumer acceptance of new product is drawn from the area of research known as the Diffusion of Innovations. For the marketers. market-oriented. This definition includes the four basic elements of diffusion process: (1) the innovation.

2. rather that a totally new product. the more satisfaction a consumer derives from a new product. It may involve the creation of new product or the modification of an existing product. new model of old car etc. the marketer could develop a promotional strategy that would compensate for these features.g. It would reduce the uncertainties of product marketing if marketers could anticipate how consumers will react to their product.” The concept leads to the classification of products as artificially new.. A dynamically continuous innovation is somewhat more disruptive than a continuous innovation. if the marketer new that a product contained feature that were likely to inhibit its acceptance. Market-oriented Definitions. some researchers have suggested that a consumer-oriented approach is the most appropriate way to define an innovation. Both of these market-oriented definitions are basically subjective because they leave to the researchers the task for establishing the degree of sales penetration within which the product can be called an innovation (e.product itself. And the effects these features are likely to have on consumer’s established usage patterns. Two market-oriented definitions of product innovation have been used extensively in consumer studies: 1. Another product-oriented definition suggests that the extent of product “newness” can be measured in terms of how much impact its physical features or attributes are likely to have on user satisfaction. Some new products never seem to achieve widespread consumer acceptance. For example. it has received little sympathetic attention from consumer researchers. erasable-ink pen etc. a “new” product is any product that a potential consumer judges to be new. A continuous innovation has the least disruptive influence on established pattern. A product is considered new if it has been purchased by only a relatively small (fixed) percentage of the potential market. A market-oriented approach judges the newness of a product in terms of how much exposure consumers have to the new product. Product Characteristics that Influence Diffusion All products that are “new” do not have equal potential for consumer acceptance. the higher it ranks on the scale of “newness. It defines three types of product innovations: continuous. or . Examples include CD player. in-home medical test kit etc. A product is considered new if it has been on the market for relatively short (specific) period of time. One product-oriented framework considers the extent to which a new product is likely to disrupt established behaviour patterns. Some product seems to catch on almost overnight while others take a very long time to gain acceptance. While each of the three approaches described above have been useful to consumer researchers in their attempt to study the diffusion of innovations. the first five percent to use the new product) or how long a product can be on the market and still be considered “new” (e. newness is based on consumer’s perception of the product. Thus. but still does not alter established behaviour patterns. It involves the introduction of a modified product. In this context. A genuinely new product has features that satisfy the user in a manner that differ significantly from that of an older product.g. the first three months the product is available) Consumer-oriented Diffusions. videocassette recorder etc. Examples include home computer. marginally new. In other words. rather than on physical features or market realities. New product that have been judged as having enough “newness” to qualify as genuinely new include frozen breakfast. A discontinuous innovation requires consumers to adopt new behaviour patterns. dynamically continuous and discontinuous. Although the consumer-oriented approach has been endorsed by some advertising practitioners and marketing strategists. Examples include Gel toothpaste. or genuinely new..

compatibility. Observability (or communicability) is the ease with which a product’s benefits or attributes can be observed. Clearly. and observability—is dependent on consumer perception. The Channels of Communication How quickly an innovation spreads through a market depends to a great extent on communications between the marketers and consumers. and to the impact . Marketers of such products recognise that smaller-thanaverage sizes tend to stimulate new-product trial. 3. An outstanding example of an innovation that offers users a relative advantage in their ability to communicate is the facsimile machine (or Fax). the more likely it is to be accepted. service). 5. Moreover. or described to potential customers. Complexity is the degree to which a new product is difficult to understand or use. A product that is perceived as having a strong relative advantage. Products that have a high degree of social visibility. and communication among consumers.e. (3) complexity. for many supermarket products it is possible for consumers to make a trial purchase of a new brand in a smaller quantity than they might usually purchase. are more easily diffused than products that are used in private. (4) trialability. imagined. a particular innovation may diffuse differently in different culture. 2. Researchers interested in diffusion pay particular attention to the product related information through various communication channels. the acceptance of instant coffee packet is due to its ease of preparation and use. It is important to recognise that each of these product attributes —relative advantage. For example. Trialability is the degree to which a new product is capable of being tried on a limited basis. and as simple to understand and to examine. the easier it is to understand and use a new product. Compatibility is the degree to which potential consumers feel a new product is consistent with their present needs. Low perceived relative advantage. as easy to try on a limited basis. such as fashion items. the easier it is for consumers to evaluate it. while others struggle to achieve consumer acceptance? To help answer such questions. complexity. The greater the opportunity to try a new product. is more likely to be purchased than a product that is not so perceived. Similarly. For example. Although there are no precise formulas by which the marketers can evaluate a new product’s likely acceptance. such as brand of toothpaste.decide not to market the product at all. it would seem that frequently purchased household products tend to have qualities that make trial relatively easy. Low communicability. a model of innovation resistance has been developed in an attempt to provide further insights into the adoption and diffusion processes. 4. it is not too difficult to imagine men making the transition from permanent razors—involving disposal of only the blade—to fully disposable razors that are completely thrown away after the blade becomes dull. Low perceived compatibility. Relative advantage is the degree to which potential customers perceive a new product as superior to existing substitutes. diffusion researchers have identified five product characteristics that seem to influence consumer acceptance of new products: (1) relative advantage. Low trialability. Resistance to Innovation What makes some new products almost instant success. trialability. and High complexity. and practices. values. For instance. which increases with: 1.. and (5) observability. a tangible product is promoted more easily than an intangible product (i. as fulfilling present needs and values. In general. The product characteristics of an innovation help to determine the extent of resistance. (2) compatibility.

Specifically. The following characteristics typify a modern social system: • • • • • • A positive attitude toward change. innovations that are perceived as radical or as infringements on established custom are likely to be avoided. rather than just the message recipient. if a social system is traditional in orientation. in which members of the system frequently interact with outsiders. Purchase Time: Purchase time concerns the amount of time that elapses between the consumer’s initial awareness of a new product and the point at which he or she purchases or rejects it. or may exist at the local level and influence only those who live in a specific community. An outreach perspective.of both the messages and the channels on adoption or rejection of new products. The key point is that a social system’s orientation is the climate in which the marketers must operate in attempting to gain acceptance for their new products. and (3) the rate of adoption. the terms Market Segment and Target Market are synonymous with the term Social System used in diffusion research. Central concern has been the relative influence of impersonal sources (e. with its own special values or norms. the following generalisations gleaned from diffusion research indicate that. . In recent years. as in the purchase of a personal computer. In the context of consumer behaviour. The orientations of a social system (either modern or traditional) may be national in scope and influence members of an entire society. For example. have greater knowledge of innovations 5. the early adopters: 1.. social. The members of the system can readily see themselves in quite different roles. An emphasis on rational and ordered social relationship rather than on emotional ones. have a higher degree of opinion leadership. In the process of the growth of interactive advertising. or cultural environment to which people belong and within which they function.. Time Time is the backbone of the diffusion process. The Social System The diffusion of a new product usually takes place in a social setting—frequently referred to as a social system. If the social system is modern in orientation. A social system is a physical. a variety of new channels of communication have been developed to inform consumers of innovative products and services. In contrast. seek information about innovations more frequently 4. One major stream of research has focused on the relative importance of certain types of information sources on early versus later adoption of new products. It pervades the study of diffusion in three distinct but interrelated ways: (1) purchase time. The orientation of a social system. the acceptance of innovation is likely to be high.g. the consumers become an important part of communication. An advanced technology and skilled labour force. Purchase time is an important concept because the average time a consumer takes to adopt a new product is a predictor of the overall length of time it will take for new product to achieve widespread adoption. (2) the identification of adopter categories. when the individual purchase time is short. A general respect for education and science. a marketer has reason to expect that the overall rate of diffusion will be faster than when the individual purchase time is long.g. with salespeople) 2. is likely to influence the acceptance or rejection of new products. have greater exposure to mass-media communication channels 3. thus facilitating the entrance of new ideas into the social system. advertising and editorial matter) and interpersonal sources (salespeople and informal opinion leaders). relative to later adopters. have more change-agent contact (e.

The stages in the adoption process have been described as follows: 1.. . Interest: When consumers develop an interest in the product or product category.g. if the mental trial unsatisfactory. The evaluation stage thus represents a kind of “mental trial” of the product innovation. the diffusion rate).. (3) evaluation. marketers who wish to employ a pricing strategy that will enable them to recoup their development costs quickly might follow a skimming policy—they first make the product available at a very high price to consumers and then gradually lower the price in a stepwise fashion in order to attract additional market segments at each price reduction. A penetration policy is usually accompanied by a relatively low introductory price designed to discourage competition from entering the market. (The adoption process should not be confused with adopter categories. early adopters. over time. Under certain circumstances. marketers might prefer to avoid a rapid rate of adoption for a new product. Marketers desire a rapid rate of product adoption in order to penetrate the market and establish market leadership before competition takes hold. THE ADOPTION PROCESS The second major process in the diffusion of innovation is adoption. the product will be rejected. and laggards. 2. that is. when the purchase actually occurs) it is useful to track the extent of adoption (i. while consumer involvement theory suggests that for some products limited information search is likely. most of which consist of two or three categories that compare innovators or early triers with later triers or non-triers. many consumer researchers have used other classification schemes. getting shorter). Evaluation: Based on their stock of information. consumers are exposed to the product innovation. The assumption underlying the adoption process is that consumers engage in extensive information search. Instead of using the classic five-category adopter scheme. 3. Awareness: During the first stage of adoption process. In addition to how long it takes from introduction to the point of adoption (e. moves toward becoming a necessity in the minds of adopter within a particular society. Recent research has shown that the rate of adoption for new product generally has been increasing (i. (4) trial. the consumers will actually try the product innovation. In the marketing of new products.e. The focus of this process is the stages through which an individual consumer passes in arriving at a decision to try or not to try. This exposure is somewhat neutral. (2) interest. Rate of Adoption: The rate of adoption is concerned with how long it takes for a new product to be adopted by members of a social system. For example. to continue using or to discontinue using a new product. since they are not yet sufficiently interested to search for additional product information. how quickly a new product is accepted by those who will ultimately adopt it.) Stages in the Adoption Process It is often assumed that the consumer moves through five stages in arriving at a decision to purchase or reject a new product: (1) awareness. the objective is usually to gain wide acceptance of the product as quickly as possible. and (4) adoption (or rejection).e.. Adopter Categories: The concept of adopter categories involves the determination of a classification scheme that indicates where a consumer stands relative to other consumers in term of when he or she adopts a new product. early majority. Five adopter categories are frequently cited in the diffusion literature: innovators.Another aspect of the impact of time on the adoption and diffusion process is how an innovation. If the evaluation is satisfactory. they search for information about how the innovation can benefit them. consumers draw conclusions about the innovation or determine whether further information is necessary. late majority. Rapid product adoption also demonstrates to marketing intermediaries (wholesalers and retailers) that the product is worthy of their full and continued support.

their purchase of some minimum number of . 4. • Finally. but may reverse this decision if exposed to conflicting messages about the product. • It does not adequately provide for the rejection of a product after its trial (i. which can lead to a strengthened commitments. Implementation: Consumers put an innovation into use. and the electric refrigerator. which is. while the adoption of other innovations may lead to major behavioural and life style changes. Confirmation: Consumers seek reinforcement for their innovation decision. Examples of innovations with such major impact on society include the automobile. a consumer may reject the product after trial or never use the product on a continuous basis). consumers decide to use the product on a full rather than limited basis or they decide to reject it. it does not explicitly include post-purchase evaluation. consumer researchers have derived the definition of consumer innovator from the status of new product under investigation. 5. The innovation decision process model is more comprehensive than the earlier adoption process model and overcomes many of its basic limitations. The problem with the definition.5 percent of the social system to adopt an innovation. the traditional adoption process model has been updated into a more general decision-making model—the innovation decision process model. • It does not adequately recognise that evaluation occurs throughout the decision-making process and not solely at the evaluation stage. however. Persuasion (attitude formation): Consumers form favourable or unfavourable attitudes toward the innovation.e. Knowledge: Consumers are exposed to the innovation’s existence and gain some understanding of how it functions. The five stages of the revised adoption process model are: 1. The adoption of some products and services may have minimal consequences. 2. if the researcher assesses the new product as an innovation for the first three months of its availability. In a good number of marketing diffusion studies. or to a decision to discontinue use. A recent study of the consumer decision process suggests that it may be appropriate to add two additional stages between trial and adoption—direct product experience (consequence) and product evaluation (confirmation). nor does it consider that some of the stages may in fact be skipped. It is much more attuned to the realities faced by the marketers launching a new product. Trial: At this stage. Sociologists have treated this issue by sometimes defining innovators as the first 2. concerns the concept “earliest”. Their experience with the product provides them with critical information they need to adopt or reject. after all. a relative term. consumers actually use the product on a limited basis. 5. Other researchers have defined innovators in terms of their innovativeness—that is. the television.4. Adoption: Based on their trials and /or favourable evaluation. it has been criticised for having following limitations: • It does not adequately acknowledge that a need or problem recognition stage may precede the awareness stage. 3.. then he or she defines the consumers who purchase it during this period as innovators. • It does not adequately account for the possibility that the five stages may not always occur in the specific order suggested. For example. Decision: Consumers engage in activities that lead to a choice to adopt or reject the innovation. A PROFILE OF THE CONSUMER INNOVATOR Consumer innovators can be defined as the relatively small group of consumers who are the earliest purchasers of a new product. To overcome the limitations discussed above. Limitations of Adoption Process Although the traditional adoption process model has been instructive for consumer researchers. however.

in the adoption of new fashion items.new products from a selected group of new products. they are more willing to rely on their own values or standards than on the judgement of others.innovators are other-directed. and to be creative. Personality Traits This section will briefly highlight what researchers have learned about the personality of the consumer motivator. They are also willing to run the risk of a poor product choice in order to increase their exposure to new product that will be satisfying. in the role of opinion leader. the marketer not only must rely almost entirely on mass media and personal selling to influence future purchasers. and that those who receive such advice frequently follow it. consumer motivators have been found to be less dogmatic than non-innovators. Non-innovators could be defined as those who purchased none or only one of the new fashion products. non-innovators seem to find new products threatening. it would seem appropriate to feature reference group settings and to use a recognised and trusted expert or celebrity to appeal to their other-directed responsiveness to authority figure. Varietyseeking consumers have been found to be brand switchers and purchasers of innovative products and services. In terms of category width. Since motivated consumer innovators can speed up acceptance or rejection of a new product. In contrast. innovator could be defined as those consumers who purchased more than one fashion products from a group of ten new fashion products. rather than trusting their own personal values or standards. For the marketer. consumer innovators are also inner-directed. tending to rely on others for guidance on how to respond. They have also been found to possess the following innovator-related personality traits. They tend to approach new or unfamiliar products with considerable openness and little anxiety. able to deal with complex or ambiguous stimuli. consumer innovators may not be sufficiently motivated to provide advice. For instance. low dogmatism). they influence its eventual success or failure. They rely on their own values or standards in making a decision about a new product. To reach noninnovators. For products that do not generate much excitement (either positive or negative).e.. consumer innovators seem to be more receptive to the unfamiliar. and to readily evaluate the merits of a new product on the basis of their own personal standards. To sum up. which purports to measure an individual’s risk-handling orientation. non. the product is likely to receive broader and quicker acceptance. its acceptance will be severely limited and it may die a quick death. the personality traits that distinguish innovators from non-innovators suggest that need for separate promotional campaigns for innovators and later adopters. to be liberal. it is worthwhile to note that an impressive number of studies on the diffusion of innovations have found that consumer innovators are likely to provide other consumers with information and advice about new products. but the absence of informal influence is also likely to result in a somewhat slower rate of acceptance (or rejection) for the new product. The Innovator is an Opinion Leader In discussing the characteristics of the opinion leader. open-mindedness (i. to the point where they prefer to delay purchase until the product’s success has been clearly established. low in authoritarianism. In contrast. the consumer innovator often influences the acceptance or rejection of new products. Researchers have isolated a link between variety seeking and certain personality traits and purchase behaviours that give insights into consumer innovators. that is. it has been indicated that a strong tendency for consumer opinion leader to be innovators. Consumer innovators are more likely to react favourably to informative or fact-oriented advertising that appeal to their strong interest in the product category. If innovators are enthusiastic about a new product and encourage others to try it. If the consumer innovators are dissatisfied with a new product and discourage others from trying it. Thus. Consistent with their open-mindedness. In such cases. First. to be extroverts. the consumer innovator has been found to be a broad . In the present context.

Studies concerning the relationship between innovative behaviour and exposure to other mass media. Consumers who perceive little or no risk associated with the purchase of a new product are much more likely to purchase it than consumers who perceive a great deal of risk. consumer innovators are also likely to learn about innovations earlier than others. have been too few and the results too varied to draw any useful conclusions. Perceived risk can be thought of as the degree of uncertainty or fear about the consequences of a purchase that a consumer feels when considering the purchase of a new product. . narrow categorizers are so afraid of making poor product choice that they limit their trial of new products.categorizer. even though by doing so they subject themselves to the risk of acquiring unsatisfactory products. Social Characteristics Consumer innovators are more socially accepted and socially involved than non-innovators. Perceived Risk Perceived risk is another measure of a consumer’s tendency to try new brands or products. They also tend to be more intrigued with the prospect of “newness” than are non-innovators. It appears that consumer innovators are likely to have less exposure to television than non-innovators. For example. such as radio and news papers. On the other hand. consumers experience uncertainty when they are concerned that a new product will not work properly or be as good as other alternatives. Research that has examined venturesomeness has generally found that consumer who indicate a willingness to try new products tend to be consumer innovators (as measured by their actual purchase of new products). Therefore. Media Habits Comparisons of the media habits of innovators and noninnovators across such widely diverse areas of consumption of fashion clothing and new automotive services suggest that innovators have somewhat greater exposure to magazines than non-innovators— particularly to special interest magazines devoted to product category in which they innovate. Venturesomeness Venturesomeness—a personality-like variable—is a broad based measure of a consumer’s willingness to accept the risk of purchasing new products. whereas the non-innovator tends to be a narrow categorizer. For example. Demographic Characteristics It is reasonable to assume that the age of consumer innovator is related to specific product category in which he or she innovates. consumers who express a reluctance to try new products are in fact less likely to purchase new products. Measures of venturesomeness have been used to evaluate a person’s general values or attitudes towards trying new product. Consumer innovators are also likely to be heavy users of the product category in which they innovate. they are likely to belong to more social groups and organisations—than non-innovators. This greater social acceptance and involvement of consumer innovators may in part explain why they function as effective opinion leaders. On the other hand. and more socially involved—that is. Special-interest magazines frequently point to the fact that they reach innovative consumers in their own ads aimed at prospective advertisers.). they would purchase larger quantities of the product and consume more than non-innovators. Research on perceived risk and trial of new products overwhelmingly indicates that the consumer innovator is a low-risk perceiver. Consumer innovators are also more likely to be deal-prone (to take advantage of special promotional offers such as free samples etc. better accepted by others. In other words. Specifically. venturesomeness seems to be an effective barometer of actual innovative behaviour. even though they may forgo the benefits of desirable new products. high-risk perception limits innovativeness. innovators are more socially integrated into the community. Consistent with their venturesomeness and lowered risk perception. Broad categorizer tends to try many new products.

innovators tend to be more upscale than other consumer segments. higher personal or family incomes. In other words. no single or generalised consumer-innovativeness trait seems to operate across broadly different product categories. will innovate again within the same product category. Compare and contrast the adoption and diffusion processes. were among the first to purchase a new product or service in three or more areas. and “consumer”--oriented definition of a new product? Which definition do you feel is most suitable for marketers? 2. evidence suggests that consumers who innovate within a specific product category. In other words. This is no doubt due to the fact that many of the products selected for research attention are particularly attractive to or are targeted by marketers to younger customers. research suggests that consumer innovators tend to be younger than either late adopters or non-innovators. Discuss each process in terms of the market acceptance of fax machines. super innovators. Consumers who are innovators one new food product or one new appliance are more likely to be innovators of the other new products in the same general product category. While there is little evidence to support the notion of a “universal” consumer innovator. Do consumer innovators in one product category tend to be consumer innovators in other product categories? The answer to this strategically important question is a guarded “NO”. The overlap of innovativeness across product categories seems to be limited to product categories that are closely related to the same basic interest area.however. and more likely to have higher occupational status than later adopters or non-innovators. What are the essential differences between “products”. there is evidence to support the existence of a relatively small number of consumers who respond to new offerings across the variety of loosely related product and service categories. . “market”. These consumers. 1. Questions for discussion Consumer innovators have more formal education. who have been labelled.

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