Consumer Attitudes Formation and Change
Consumer attitude may be defined as a feeling of favorableness or unfavorableness that an individual has towards an object. As we, all know that an individual with a positive attitude is more likely to buy a product and this results in the possibility of liking or disliking a product.
Consumer attitude basically comprises of beliefs towards, feelings towards and behavioral intentions towards some objects.
Belief plays a vital role for consumers because, it can be either positive or negative towards an object. For example, some may say tea is good and relieves tension, others may say too much of tea is not good for health. Human beliefs are not accurate and can change according to situations.
Consumers have certain specific feelings towards some products or brands. Sometimes these feelings are based on certain beliefs and sometimes they are not. For example, an individual feels uneasy when he thinks about cheese burst pizza, because of the tremendous amount of cheese or fat it has.
Behavioral intentions show the plans of consumers with respect to the products. This is sometimes a logical result of beliefs or feelings, but not always. For example, an individual personally might not like a restaurant, but may visit it because it is the hangout place for his friends.
Functions of Attitudes
The following are the functions of attitudes
- Adjustment Function− Attitudes helps people to adjust to different situations and circumstances.
- Ego Defensive Function− Attitudes are formed to protect the ego. We all are bothered about our self-esteem and image so the product boosting our ego is the target of such a kind of attitude.
- Value Expression Function− Attitudes usually represent the values the individual posses. We gain values, though our upbringing and training. Our value system encourages or discourages us to buy certain products. For example, our value system allows or disallows us to purchase products such as cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, etc.
- Knowledge Function− Individuals’ continuously seeks knowledge and information. When an individual gets information about a particular product, he creates and modifies his attitude towards that product.
Models of Attitude
The following are the models of attitude
- Tri-component Model− According to tri-component model, attitude consists of the following three components.
- Cognitive Component− The first component is cognitive component. It consists of an individual’s knowledge or perception towards few products or services through personal experience or related information from various sources. This knowledge, usually results in beliefs, which a consumer has, and specific behavior.
- Affective Component− The second part is the affective component. This consists of a person’s feelings, sentiments, and emotions for a particular brand or product. They treat them as the primary criteria for the purpose of evaluation. The state of mind also plays a major role, like the sadness, happiness, anger, or stress, which also affects the attitude of a consumer.
- Conative Component− The last component is conative component, which consists of a person’s intention or likelihood towards a particular product. It usually means the actual behavior of the person or his intention.