Schiffman and Kanuk defined attitude as “a learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favourable or unfavourable way with respect to a given object “. The main characteristics of attitudes are indicated by the key words in the definition: learned, predisposition, behave. As attitudes are ‘mental positions’, they cannot be observed directly. Marketers must infer attitudes through research methods that require consumers to express opinions Attitudes occur within a situation and that the situation can, and will, influence the relationship between attitude and behaviour. A consumer can have different attitudes towards the same product depending on the situation.
The main characteristics of attitudes are:
Attitudes are learned from personal experience, information provided by others, and market controlled sources, in particular exposure to mass media. Attitudes are predispositions. A predisposition is an inclination or tendency towards something; attitudes have motivational qualities. Attitudes have a relationship with behaviour. For marketers, the behaviour of primary interest is product purchase. For example. When kellog’s was introduced in India they had to study the behavioural patters of the Indians so as to change the attitude of people towards cornflakes.
Attitudes are consistent. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are permanent; attitudes can change. For example when Maagi was launched the attitude of Indians towards noodles was negative but with a strong strategy Maagi created a very strong base and made a mark for itself by changing the attitude of the consumers.
Attitudes are directed towards an object(product, advertisement, media, retailer, product category, features etc) and are very specific reactions to that object. For example : one may have a positive attitude to buy a pizza but one may have a negative attitude towards Domino’s Pizza in which case the attitude toward the retailer is negative.
one may like ‘Nike’ but don’t like ‘Adidas’. The term ‘object’ includes specific consumption- or marketing-related concepts, such as product, product category, brand, service, possessions, product use, advertisement, price, medium, or retailer.
Attitudes may be situationally determined.
For example, one may really like a McDonald's hamburger for lunch, but one may not want to eat one for breakfast. Similarly, one may have a positive approach towards the brand Nike but may go in for Bata shoes due to the price. The purchase or usage situation may affect the intensity or change the attitude. .
Other information we gather ourselves. are constantly providing consumers with information about their own and their competitors’ products. Some information is already stored in our memory as a result of past cognitions or experiences. such as watching television. either through conscious information gathering. We also receive information from those around us and by observing their actions. from price variability. or reading a poster on the wall or flyover. talking to industry or government experts. attending trade shows. through advertising. to product packaging details.
All this information forms our belief base — called cognitions — about the particular product. or by more passive means. Marketers.•
Internal and external information sources
Information about a specific product class or brand is gathered from a variety of sources. Marketing researchers are constantly amazed by the volume of information consumers have about different products. reading consumer magazines. to store shelf position. especially our families in their daily consumption routines. packaging and point of purchase displays. For example.
and is used by your mother and father. Even though you may be evaluating five salient beliefs.2mega pixel camera . some weighting occurs. is manufactured by the ColgatePalmolive Company. . you may consider only the fact that it fights cavities. Obviously. and then bundled together to form the attitude. For example : A Sony Ericsson phone may have a 3. is in a red. has tartar control. These are referred to as salient beliefs. and comes in a gel format in a pump to be significant or of importance.
Salient beliefs are evaluated as either positive or negative. 2gb memory and a music player which are all features
. Only these three beliefs would become considered as salient beliefs. perhaps you consider one of them to be more important. comes in a tube or pump. and therefore. comes in a gel or paste. Imagine the potential information overload if all the beliefs about a product had to be internally evaluated before an attitude was formed! It is important to recognise that those beliefs considered salient can change over time and are individual in nature. However. contains calcium. Many marketing strategies are designed to introduce new salient beliefs or change the importance of existing salient beliefs. What one consumer considers to be a salient belief may not be considered as such by another. comes in mint and regular flavours. For example: one may know that Colgate toothpaste prevents cavities. your evaluation of that salient belief will carry more weight in the ultimate attitude.•
Only a small number of beliefs are significant enough to an individual consumer to be used in forming the attitude. gets teeth clean. white and blue package.
For truly brand loyal consumers.
Overall attitude determines set placement within the awareness set. Products we have a favourable attitude towards form the evoked set. but if one has a tight budget then cost may become a very important criteria or a salient belief.
For example.. or possibly a backup. Products in the inept set are not considered for purchase. in case of emergencies like stock-outs. Other consumers may have a number of products in the evoked set which are prioritised depending on availability — first. Negative attitudes are usually. Products we neither like nor dislike — that is we are ambivalent towards but are still aware of them — fall into the inert set.likes by one. if an advertisement creates a certain set of expectations that the consumer believes the product cannot or will not deliver. second and third choice. but we may actively discourage others from trying or continuing to purchase the product.
. but not always. based on actual product usage. or on situational variables. one may buy a Cadbury Dairy Milk for eating a chocolate on regular basis but for giving someone one may buy a bar of Lintz chocolates. Not only do we not consider the product for purchase. For example. from which purchase decisions are made. a negative attitude may be developed towards the product. often there is only one product in the evoked set.
Products towards which we have a negative attitude fall into the inept set.
Did the product measure up to my expectations? Did it have all the features I expected or wanted? Did it satisfy my needs?
For example : one may buy Dove due to its its ¼ moisturiser but after purchase felt it dissolves easily and stopped purchasing. post-purchase evaluation is conducted by the consumer. In this case the Dove did not match up to the expectations of the consumer. as new information and experiences are assimilated. One may find that the product has a feature you did not know about (your belief base is increased).
The results of the post-purchase evaluation act as feedback to all components of the attitude formation model. This model presents a one way flow with feedback loops. a feature that you find quite significant or important (this belief now becomes a salient belief). and now you like the product even more (attitude —> set placement —> purchase behaviour). which assumes that attitudes are initiated from beliefs. many would argue that behaviour can precede attitude.•
Once products are purchased and used.
. Feedback is a continual process. It may also happen that it did not make the sikn soft as promised in the ads in this case the need of the consumer is not fulfilled. Remember from our discussion of defense mechanisms that you may also distort information to make it consistent with your prior expectations. However.
one may like its built-in conditioner. and thus develop a positive attitude towards it. one may buy a new brand of shampoo because of a special coupon promotion.
to explain. No one model provides all the answers to our question ‘What is an attitude and how is it formed’. we are in a better position. and hopefully predict the attitudes of our target consumer. Once we have a framework to use in describing attitudes. as marketers. At best. Each model takes a different view of the number of component parts of an attitude. and ultimately their purchase behaviour.
. models can just help.Models assist us in describing attitudes. and how the component parts interrelate. of how they are arranged.
and conative (I do/intend to do).
The tri-component attitude model considers all three components to be present in an attitude.We will review four different attitude models: •
Tri-component attitude model:
It portrays attitudes as having three component parts: cognitive (I think/know/believe). affective (I feel). with each component playing an important role in attitude formation and having the potential to influence the overall attitude •
as they ignore the cognitive component which addresses consumer knowledge and beliefs about a product. Fishbein’s Theory of Reasoned Action Model combines all three components (1973). a secondary role. •
Multi-attribute attitude model:
It focuses on selected product attributes or beliefs. at best. Despite these limitations. as well as the affective component. there has been a significant amount of interest by researchers and academics. in particular the models advanced by Martin Fishbein (1973). and the e variable representing the affective component. the conative component.
. consider all three components. The attitude-towards-object model looks at both the cognitive and affective components: with the b or belief variable representing the consumer’s cognition. Nor can they measure behavioural intent — just because a consumer has favourable feelings or emotions towards a product does not guarantee purchase. these are only viewed as playing a supportive or secondary role. Single-component attitude models focus almost exclusively on the affective component. These models have their limitations and cannot provide insight into ‘why’ a consumer has a particular attitude. While the modified single-component models do include the cognitive and conative components. The attitude-towards-behaviour model looks at behavioural intent.•
Single-component attitude model:
which focuses primarily on the affective component. We will discuss the Fishbein Theory of Reasoned Action Model. with the cognitive and conative components playing. The multi-attribute attitude models. The affective component is still judged to be the prime determinant of attitude or the ‘essence of the attitude’.
the conative component. is not formally addressed in these models. cognitive and affective components are addressed. These models focus primarily on the influence of advertising.•
Attitude-towards-the-ad model: which focuses on the influence of advertising on attitudes. Behavioural intent.
models are based on the belief that consumers develop attitudes towards the advertisement in addition to their attitude towards the product.
We then look at various general attitude change strategies and some specific to the Fishbein attitudetowards-object model.
. However. in developing marketing strategies. We review classical and operant conditioning and cognitive learning theories to determine how the process of learning attitudes can be applied to attitude formation and change in our marketing strategies.Knowing how attitudes are formed is the first step. more information is required.
One of the key characteristics of attitude is ‘learned’. If attitudes are learned. Let’s briefly review the three main learning theories and consider how they can be applied to the learning of attitudes. A consumer moves from having no attitude — possibly because they have no knowledge of or experience with the product — to having an attitude. learning is not a finite process. However. negative or ambivalent. you can see the interdisciplinary nature of the study of consumer behaviour as marketers use the information gained from psychologists and educators. regardless of whether it is positive.
. it is continuous. and apply the learning theories to the learning of attitudes. then obviously marketers are interested in how attitudes are learned. Again. The same learning theories that are applied to the learning of an attitude can be applied to attitude change.
especially the use of celebrity endorsers. For example Lux has always used renounced celebrities to assure its consumers of its benefits. Like in case of Dove the premium image of the brand is maintained. However.
. They hope for a positive attitude towards the product. similarly for Maagi the taste factor is mainted even in the ‘dal atta noodles’. at best. consumers have an ambivalent or neutral attitude. recognition and goodwill of the celebrity. By using celebrities. the new product is linked to the favourable attitude consumers have towards the company’s existing products or brand name.
For example in the case of family branding and line extensions.•
Marketers use this learning theory when they associate their product with a stimulus which elicits a favourable response with their target market. with caution. marketers attempt to associate the product with the positive characteristics. In terms of attitude creation. Similarly Olay is advertised by Sushmita Sen . This can be especially useful in new product introductions where. the ‘stimulus’ could be a brand name. marketers must use classical conditioning.
The ‘stimulus’ can also be a person. increasing the chance of purchase.
and do. For high involvement products. For example when livon was introduced many consumers bought its because it was a new product and many just wanted to try it. that is. the more likely they are to form an opinion. Perhaps it was the only product available. Consumers may purchase a product towards which they have a neutral attitude.•
We ‘learn’ positive attitudes by receiving positive reinforcement from use of the product. either positive or negative. knowledge and beliefs are extremely important in the formation of attitudes.
. marketers must ensure that they provide information about salient beliefs. Cognitive learning theory suggests that the more information a consumer has about a product. the reinforcement received through using the product determines their attitude. The three most important salient beliefs tend to dominate in formation of attitude. the importance of the product to the consumer. This is a clear message to marketers: provide consumers with information about product features and benefits. they were enticed by a price reduction or premium offer. Remember though that consumers can.
Cognitive learning theory
Earlier we studied the concept of involvement. If the reinforcement is positive — they liked the product — their attitude will probably move from neutral to positive. suffer from information overload. In this case. or they were curious about a new product.
. hoping to increase market share. or have weakly held attitudes that are susceptible to change. Consumers tend to develop strongly held attitudes in areas they consider to be of great personal importance. if necessary. These products would fall in the inert set.All marketers are concerned with maintaining positive attitudes in their current consumers. changing the neutral attitudes of ambivalent consumers to positive attitudes. Strongly held attitudes can be either positive or negative. Marketers have found that weakly held attitudes are easier to change than strongly held attitudes. consumers tend to be ambivalent or neutral. and. In areas of limited or questionable importance. changing negative attitudes to at least neutral ones. with the product falling in the evoked or the inept set. of high involvement. that is.
There are six categories of attitude change strategies:
Changing the basic motivational function.
These strategies are based on the theory that attitudes serve four basic functions: Utilitarian
This function deals with obtaining a reward in order to avoid punishment i.e changing attitudes in favour of a product by showing people the utility benefit of the product or service .
Many people want to protect their self image and want to replace their uncertainty with a sense of security and personal confidence.Clorex disinfecting spray works for 24hrs and kills 99.99%bacteria.
. For example:
Ads for cosmetics and personal care products come under this category.
It reflects their orientation.
For example: Santro (Santro Wale)
It is an expression of the consumers general values . culture lifestyle and outlook.
Garnier moisturiser with spf 15.
It simplifies decision making by making the consumer aware of the product features benefits and its edge over competitors.
For example: A tooth brush with tongue cleaner .
knowledge. Colgate tooth paste with active salt.
the attitude towards the product can be changed. If they can be shown that their attitude towards a product is in conflict with another attitude.
For example : Nike shoes are very expensive but also durable and effective if this two attitude were to compete in a consumers mind and the durability factor would be a concern for the consumer the it is possible to change his attitude towards the brand from negative to positive. Attitudes can be altered by indicating to consumers the product’s relationship to particular groups.By changing the basic motivational function. • Associating the product with a special group. they may be induced to change one of the attitudes.
For example : Rin Bar becomes Surf Excel Bar
. Consumers like harmony — they do not like conflict. events or causes. marketers attempt to change the evaluation of attributes by upgrading or downgrading significant attributes. event or cause. or by changing the overall brand rating. change brand beliefs by introducing new information.
Relating to conflicting attitudes. and by adding an attribute. In these strategies.
For example: Whisper is associated with project ‘DRISHTI’ where Re 1 on purchase of ever pack of Whisper or Ariel goes to the National Association for the Blind. Concern for the environment has been one cause used recently.
Altering components in the multi-attribute model.
Multi-attribute models are based on the central route to persuasion as attitudes are believed to be formed on the basis of important product attributes/features and brand beliefs.
All of these strategies take the traditional view that attitude precedes behaviour and use the relationship between attitude and behaviour to effect attitude change. In this strategy. so marketers must offer secondary inducements such as price reductions or premiums in an attempt to induce attitude change. attitude change occurs because the consumer seeks and evaluates additional information about the product. consumers are either unwilling or unable to seek additional product information. we directly compare our product with the competition in an attempt to change consumer beliefs about both products. More attention is paid in advertisement design to the credibility of the message source (spokesperson or endorser) and his or her attractiveness.
This model suggests that consumer attitudes can be changed by either central or peripheral routes to persuasion. indicating a high level of involvement. In the central route. In this case.•
Changing beliefs about competing brands.
For example : Aishwarya Rai ex brand ambassador for Nakshatra Diamonds.
For example: Sprite compares itself to Mountain Dew. In the peripheral route. motivation levels are high and the consumer is willing to invest the time and effort to gather and evaluate the information. Free Tazoos given in cheetos pack.
The elaboration likelihood model. Involvement is low.
marketers develop strategies that attempt to change or intensify attitudes. we review theories which suggest that behaviour can precede attitude formation and actually cause the formation of new attitudes or change in existing attitudes. and how the product performs after purchase.
. and that this attitude determines behaviour or purchase. either direct or indirect. stagnant or slipping market share. Marketers must realise that attitudes change not only in response to their efforts but also in response to the introduction of new or improved products by themselves or the competition.When faced with negative market research numbers. the marketing efforts of the competition. personal influence and exposure to mass media). the addition of new consumer experiences.
The models of attitude formation and attitude change strategies we have used so far have been based on the traditional view that attitude precedes behaviour: we develop attitudes towards the products from a variety of sources (past and direct experience. In this section. or active competitors.
If that happens. the consumer is faced with new information that is in conflict with the original beliefs. then behaviour — purchase.• Cognitive dissonance theory
suggests that consumers experience discomfort.
. use and evaluation — has led to a change in attitude. called dissonance. In an effort to reduce the discomfort or dissonance. when they are confronted with new information about a belief or attitude that is in conflict with the original information. or the consumer may question whether they made the right choice given the features and benefits of the products not chosen. the consumer may find that the initial set of expectations was not met. In either case. the original attitude may be changed. The product was purchased with a set of expectations (beliefs). when it is called post-purchase dissonance. This often happens after a purchase. Following the actual use of the product.
.Critics of cognitive dissonance theory would suggest that beliefs and performance expectations about the product formed an attitude. These theories provide information about how the original attitude. This is a ‘chicken and egg’ debate. the traditional theories of attitude formation and cognitive dissonance theory can actually be combined. Attitude preceded behaviour. Cognitive dissonance theory shows how post-purchase evaluation and use of the product (behaviour) can act as feedback to the original attitude. which prompted the purchase. In this case. often causing the original attitude to change. which prompts purchase. However. was formed. the fact that we cannot determine which one is ‘right’ does not mean that we dismiss both.
their skill. a component of attribution theory. Consumers often gather additional information in an attempt to confirm attributes they have made about products or people.•
suggests that attitudes are formed and changed based on the consumer’s interpretation of their own behaviour and experiences. Consumers make inferences about their own behaviour and that of others in an attempt to determine ‘why’ they behaved the way they did.
. consistency over modality. One of the meanings of the word ‘attribute’ is ‘caused by’. Selfperception theory. consistency over time. and consensus in determining whether their attributes are correct. Attribution theory suggests that attitudes are caused by behaviour. environment and ‘luck’). They might use the criteria of distinctiveness. discusses internal and external attributes. or the performance of a product. Attribution theory suggests that consumers form or change their attitudes based on their assessment of their own behaviour. This information provides direction for marketing strategies. ‘Who or what is responsible for a successful outcome?’ Consumer research indicates whether the target market attributes success to internal factors (the consumer. the behaviour of others. competence and hard work) or external factors (the ingredients.
We determined the main characteristics of attitudes and investigated a basic model of attitude formation that looked at how information from internal and external sources form the overall belief base. tri-component. how the attitude determines set placement.• Self-perception theory
suggests that consumers develop attitudes as they review and make judgements about their own behaviour. if they view the salesperson as only being interested in their sales commission — a negative attribute — this might negatively influence their attitude towards the product.’ UNIT SUMMARY In this unit we studied attitude. and attitude-towards-the-ad models of attitude formation that are built on the premise that attitude precedes behaviour. how salient beliefs are determined from this belief base. so I must really like chocolate. ‘The salesperson is only recommending that product because it is more expensive and their commission will be higher. one of the internal influences on the consumer's mind. attribution theory suggests that we also review and make judgements about the behaviour of others. called attributions towards others. ‘I always choose chocolate for dessert. This has particular significance to the role of salespeople in the purchase decision. how salient beliefs and their evaluation form the attitude. multi-attribute. which influences purchase behaviour. We then reviewed some specific structural models of attitude formation: the single-component. We
. their attitude towards the product will be positive: ‘The product must have superior features like the salesperson says. If a consumer attributes sincerity to the salesperson’s comments. Post-purchase evaluation acts as feedback to all stages in the process.’ However.’ However.
. We reviewed classical and operant conditioning and cognitive learning theories to determine how the process of learning attitudes can be applied to attitude formation and change in our marketing strategies. cognitive dissonance and attribution theory. in developing marketing strategies.also reviewed models that view behaviour as preceding attitude. Knowing how attitudes are formed is the first step. However. more information is required.
SUBMITTED BY MANSI MATHUR RN 26