Attitude: A Marketing Perspective


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An insight in to the concept of attitude. Models of attitude formation and measurements are dealt in brief. Cognition, beliefs and behavior intention have been defined. Cognitive dissonance, Over justification theory, Elaboration likelihood, Self perception, and Multi attribute models are some important ones included.

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Attitude: A Marketing Perspective

  1. 1. Attitude: A Marketing Perspective  Consumer attitudes are both obstacles and advantages to marketers.  Perceptive marketers leverage their understanding of attitudes to predict the behavior of consumers.  Marketers should distinguish between beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors .  Marketer should consider all three in the development of marketing strategies.
  2. 2. Attitude  Attitudes also known as “frames of reference” provide the background against which facts and events are viewed.  Attitude is the predisposition of individual to evaluate some objects in a favorable or unfavorable manner.  These are our feelings, thoughts and behavioral tendencies towards specific object or situation. Components of attitudes are Affect, Behavior & Cognition.
  3. 3. Functions of attitude.  Utility Function- Consumer‟s attitude is based on a utility function when the decision revolves around the amount of pain or pleasure it brings.  Value-Expressive Function - This function is used when a consumer accepts a product or service with the intention of affecting their social identity.  Ego-Defensive Function- This function is apparent when a consumer feels that the use of a product or service might compromise his/her self-image.  Knowledge Function- This is prevalent in individuals who are careful about organizing and providing structure regarding their attitude or opinion of a product or service Daniel Katz (1903-1998) Psychologist Katz theorized four functions of attitudes. Each explains the source and purpose a particular attitude.
  4. 4. Attitude and Behavior  Attitudes are actually poor predictor of behaviors. Besides a measured attitude may not be a person‟s „true‟ attitude.  Attitudes are more likely to guide behavior if attitude is made salient (e.g., ask people to consider their attitudes, make self-conscious).  Does Behavior Determine Attitude? Tendency for both good and evil acts toward others to escalate. For example, if I say I hate someone and then I am nice to him (without being forced to be) I am likely to view him more positively.  However, attitude won‟t change if there is sufficient justification for the behavior. Agreeing to a small commitment can lead to larger commitments.
  5. 5. Cognitive Dissonance Theory  Any form of inconsistency between attitude and behavior is uncomfortable and individual will attempt to reduce dissonance(Leon Festinger).  The desire to reduce dissonance is determined by the importance of the elements creating it, the degree of person‟s perceived influence on them and rewards that may be involved.  Contemporary view is that attitudes can significantly predict future behaviors by taking moderating variables into account. Leon Festinger (1919- 1989) Social psychologist Powerful Moderators: Importance- Fundamental values, self- interest, identification with a person or group. Specificity- More specific attitude. Accessibility- Easily remembered. Social pressure. Direct experience- Personal experience.
  6. 6. Reactance Theory  Reactance is a motivational reaction to offers, persons, rules, or regulations that threaten or eliminate specific behavioral freedoms.  Reactance can cause the person to adopt or strengthen a view or attitude that is contrary to what was intended, and also increases resistance to persuasion.  The degree of reactance is determined by the importance of the threatened or eliminated freedom and the degree of threat.  A threat or elimination of freedom results in an increase of attractiveness of the forbidden act and the motivation to engage in that behavior. Jack W. Brehm (1928-2009) Social Psychologist, Duke University. Reactance occurs when a person feels that someone or something is taking away his or her choices or limiting the range of alternatives.
  7. 7. Confirmation Bias  Confirmation bias is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypothesis. They also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position.  People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs.  In principle the availability of a great deal of information could protect us from the confirmation bias. „Uriah Heep‟ in "David Copperfield” by Charles Dicken Beliefs shape expectations, which in turn shape perceptions, which then shape conclusions. Thus we see what we expect to see and conclude what we expect to conclude.
  8. 8. Self perception theory  People develop their attitudes by observing their own behavior and concluding what attitudes must have caused it.  People make reasonable inferences about their own attitudes based upon their perceptions of their behaviors in the same way observers draw conclusions about our attitudes from our behaviors.  People induce attitudes without accessing internal cognition and mood states. This can explain some ambivalent situations . Daryl J. Bem (1938) Social Psychologist and Prof emeritus, Cornell University
  9. 9. Over Justification Effect  Rewarding people for activities they enjoy may backfire.  According to self-perception theory a person may observe the situation and attribute their actions to the reward not their intrinsic motivation.  A professional athlete may view his sport as rewarding as opposed to something he used to love. Mark Lapper (1944) Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
  10. 10. Both reward and severe punishment provides external or sufficient justification.  Students can internalize educational lessons and to form a desire to learn if not rewarded too much for their efforts.  In order the child to internalize an attitude, severe punishment may not be effective. Severe punishment is equal to external justification.
  11. 11. The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)  ELM accounts for the differences in persuasive impact of arguments that contain ample informations and cogent reasons as compared to messages that rely on simplistic associations of negative and positive attributes to some object, action or situation.  Key variable is involvement, the extent to which an individual is willing and able to „think‟ about the position advocated and its supporting materials.  High elaboration(Central route)- It involves cognitive processes such as evaluation, recall, critical judgment, and inferential judgment.  Low elaboration(Peripheral route)- The receiver decides to follow a principle or a decision-rule which is derived from the persuasion situation. While attitudes can result from a number of things, persuasion is a primary source.
  12. 12. Components of Attitudes  Consumer attitudes are a composite of a consumer‟s (1) beliefs about, (2) feelings about, and (3) behavioral intentions toward some object-within the context of marketing, usually a brand or retail store.  These components are viewed together since they are highly interdependent and together represent forces that influence how the consumer will react to the object. Cognition -Knowledge and perceptions which forms the belief. Affect- Emotions or feelings Conation- Actual behavior or behavioral intention.
  13. 13. Positive - Coffee taste good. Negative- Coffee is easily spilled and stains papers. Neutral- Coffee is black. Situational- Coffee is hot and good on a cold morning.  Beliefs that consumers hold need not be accurate (e.g., that pork contains little fat), and some beliefs may, upon closer examination, be contradictory (e.g., that a historical figure was a good person but also owned slaves).  The Multi-attribute Model (Fishbein) attempts to summarize overall attitudes into one score .  Consumers tend to have many beliefs and each can be added to obtain an accurate measurement. (Wi= Weight and Xib= Evaluation on a scale) Belief
  14. 14. Affect  Consumers also hold certain feelings toward brands or other objects.  Sometimes these feelings are based on the beliefs (e.g., a person feels nauseated when thinking about a hamburger because of the tremendous amount of fat it contains).  Feelings may be relatively independent of beliefs. For example, an environmentalist may believe that cutting down trees is immoral, but may have positive affect toward Christmas trees.
  15. 15. Behavioral Intention  The behavioral intention is what the consumer plans to do with respect to the object (e.g., buy or not buy the brand).  As with affect, this is sometimes a logical consequence of beliefs (or affect).  May sometimes reflect other circumstances-- e.g., although a consumer does not really like a restaurant, he or she will go there because it is a hangout for his or her friends.
  16. 16. Attitude- Behavior Inconsistency  Consumers often do not behave consistently with their attitudes for other reasons as under: (1)Ability. He or she may be unable to do so. (2) Competing demands for resources. (3) Social influence. (4) Measurement problems. Measuring attitudes is difficult. (The consumers may act inconsistently with their true attitudes, which were never uncovered because an erroneous measurement was made.)
  17. 17. Attitude Change- Appeals - Response  Effect of involvement and Argument.  Quality vs. quantity of persuasion.  The “Sleeper” Effect. A state of delayed persuasion occurs when someone initially ignores a persuasive message because it doesn‟t seem to be credible, and then gradually starts to believe the message. ( It may happen that emotions of the message are strong enough to outlast the distrust at the initial point when the message was received.)  Studies have shown that Sneezing is like an orgasm: „The Lonely Guy‟, starring Steve Martin.
  18. 18. Attitude change strategies  Changing attitudes is generally very difficult, particularly when consumers suspect that the marketer has a self-serving agenda in bringing about this change.  However strategies should aim at changing affects, beliefs and behavioral intentions.
  19. 19. Changing Affect  Changing affect, which may or may not involve getting consumers to change their beliefs. Classical conditioning - Pairing the product with a liked stimulus .  Alternatively, getting people to like the advertisement. Liking may “spill over” into the purchase of a product e.g. attempts to create a warm, fuzzy image (Pillsbury Doughboy ).  Finally, products which are better known, through the mere exposure effect, tend to be better liked- that is, the more a product is advertised and seen in stores, the more it will generally be liked, even if consumers to do not develop any specific beliefs about the product.
  20. 20. Changing behavior.  People believe that their behavior is rational; thus, once they use a product, chances are that they will continue unless someone is able to get them to switch.  One way to get people to switch is to use price discounts and coupons; however, when consumers buy a product on deal, they may justify the purchase based on that deal (i.e., the low price) and may then switch again when deal is over.  A better way to get people to switch is to at least temporarily obtain better shelf space so that the product is more convenient.  Consumers are less likely to use this availability as a rationale for their purchase and may continue to buy the product even when the product is less conveniently located.
  21. 21. Changing beliefs  Attempt to change beliefs is the obvious way to attempt attitude change, particularly when consumers hold unfavorable or inaccurate ones. This is often difficult to achieve because consumers tend to resist.  Several approaches to belief change exist: Change currently held beliefs. Change the importance of beliefs. Add beliefs. So long as they do not conflict with existing beliefs.
  22. 22. The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) and Celebrity Endorsements  The ELM suggests that consumers will scrutinize claims more in important situations than in unimportant ones.  For products which are either expensive or important for some other reason elaboration is likely to be more extensive, and the endorser is expected to be “congruent,” or compatible, with the product.  A basket ball player is likely to be effective in endorsing athletic shoes, but not in endorsing automobiles.  All, however, could endorse fast food restaurants effectively.
  23. 23. Appeal Approaches  Affect induced empathy with advertising characters may increase attraction to a product, but may backfire if consumers believe that people‟s feelings are being exploited.  Fear appeals appear to work only if (1) an optimal level of fear is evoked- not so much that people tune it out, but enough to scare people into action and (2) a way to avoid the feared stimulus is explicitly indicated.  Humor appears to be effective in gaining attention, but does not increases persuasion in practice. However, a more favorable attitude toward the advertisement may be created by humorous advertising.  Comparative advertising, which is illegal in many countries, often increases sales for the sponsoring brand, but may backfire in certain cultures.
  24. 24. Value Expressive vs. Utilitarian Appeals  Utilitarian: Functional, “bottom line” performance benefits.  Value-expressive: Product serves more personal purpose; style or philosophical expression is more relevant.  Congruence between product type and ad type is important
  25. 25. One-sided vs. two-sided appeals.  Consumers tend to react more favorably to advertisements which either : (1) admit something negative about the sponsoring brand (e.g., the Volvo is a clumsy car, but very safe) (2) admits something positive about a competing brand (e.g., a competing supermarket has slightly lower prices, but offers less service and selection).  Two-sided appeals must, contain overriding arguments why the sponsoring brand is ultimately superior--that is, in the above examples, the “but” part must be emphasized.
  26. 26. Perception  Perception is an approximation of reality. Our brain attempts to make sense out of the stimuli to which we are exposed.  Priming and Subliminal stimuli are subconscious perceptions which may influence behaviors.Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment. - Wikipedia.
  27. 27. Generating Beliefs Through Advertising Har Idea Se Zindagi Muskuraye Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a conjecture or premise to be true. -Wikipedia  Advertising can form or change beliefs through repetition, shock, and association with images of sexuality, love, beauty, and other strong positive emotions.  Statements must be Perceived, Comprehended, Remembered, and Believed (at least in part).
  28. 28. Positioning Through Creating Beliefs  What most will agree on is that positioning is something (perception) that happens in the minds of the target market. It is the aggregate perception the market has of a particular company, product or service in relation to their perceptions of the competitors in the same category.  In today's diverse marketplace, multiple advertising messages are often required to appeal to potential customers with dissimilar needs and requirements.  Creating beliefs through communication can provide a position for the product distinct from competitors . Positioning may also be defined as the way by which the marketers attempt to create a distinct impression in the customer's mind.
  29. 29. Pricing: Creating Beliefs of “Normal Prices”:  External reference prices—e.g., “Regular price…” “Manufacturer‟s suggested retail price” “Sold elsewhere for…” Comparison to internal reference prices.  Assimilation-Contrast “Discounting of Discounts”
  30. 30. Multi-attribute Models of Attitude  Multi attribute models are used to understand and measure attitudes.  The basic multi attribute model has three elements—attributes, beliefs, and weights.  Attributes are the characteristics of the attitude object. Beliefs are a measurement of a particular attribute. Weights are the indications of importance or priority of a particular attribute. (Ab= attitude toward brand b, Wi: weight of attribute I, Xib: belief about brand b’s performance on attribute I)  Model assumes rationality. The goal of the Fishbein model is to reduce overall attitudes into a score. Matin Fishbein (1936-20090) Social Psychologist, Professor, University of Illinois
  31. 31. Attitude measurement • Direct Measurement (Likert scale and semantic differential) • Indirect Measurement (Projective techniques) Rensis Likert (1903-1981) American Educator and Organizational Psychologist
  32. 32. Measurement of Components  Beliefs: Semantic Differential Scales: Good ------------Bad Fast -------------Slow Reliable--------Unreliable.  Feelings Likert Scales (Strongly agree … Strongly Disagree) “This product makes me happy.” etc.  Behavioral Intention: Rating of likelihood of purchase. May need projection if social desirability affects willingness to admit to product use.
  33. 33. Attitudes toward Objects vis-a-vis Behaviors  Attitudes toward brands is important because that's what comes closest to revealing if a consumer intends to buy the brand in question.  Attitude toward a product or brand is a function of the presence (or absence) and evaluation of certain product- specific beliefs and/or attributes.  Consumer's attitude toward behaving or acting with respect to an object is different from the attitude toward the object itself. Consumer may resist actual behavior change despite beliefs. Liking a product may not translate into wanting to use it.
  34. 34. Message Framing  Message framing can help connect people to issues with a new perspective and establish new associations, thus changing the dominant frame.  There are many facets to successfully framing an issue. Once identified, a new frame must be established through consistent, repetitive, strong, and broad-based communication, usually over a number of years.  Linking an issue to a widely held cultural value helps start the framing process by resonating with the audience and increasing interest in learning more about how the issue connects with this cultural value. Adding Power to Our Voices Many tradeoffs can be stated in two, mathematically equivalent ways—e.g., “80% lean” vs. “20% fat” $49.00 per person per night based on double occupancy.
  35. 35. Conclusion  Attitudes are pervasive and play important roles in human behaviors.  Every person forms attitudes about events, objects, ideas or persons he or she comes across in life and these attitudes provide the „frames of reference‟ for all future evaluations.  An insight of „attitude‟ is essential for marketers which they can leverage in their marketing strategies for favorable consumer responses.  Keeping the perspective in mind materials from many sources have been collated and interpreted in ppt. format. Clarity may have been lacking in some instances due to brevity but meanings indicated symbolically.
  36. 36. Thank you Prepared By Chitrasen