Attitude Formation and Change

Consumer Attitude Formation and Change

Learning Objectives 6.1 To understand how consumers’ attitudes influence t heir decision-making.

6.2 To understand the tri-component attitude model.

6.3 To understand how to apply mu ltiattribute models to change consumers’ attitud es.

6.4 To understand how to alter consumers’ attit udes by making particu lar needs prominent .

6.5 To understand cognit ive elaboration and the two routes t o persuasion.

6.6 To understand cognit ive dissonance and resolving cognit ive conflicts.

6.7 To understand how peop le assign causa lity to events.

N ATTITUDE is a learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favorable or unfavor- able way toward a g iven object. In t he con- text of consumer behavio r, an “object” can

be a product, brand, service, price, package, adver- tisement, p romotional medium, or the retai ler sell ing the product, among other dimensions of consumer behavior.

Consumers learn attitudes from direct experi- ence w it h the product , word-of-mouth, exposure to mass media, and other information sources. Attitudes reflect either favorable or unfavorable evaluations of t he attit ude object and mot ivat e consumers either to b uy o r not buy part icular products o r brands. Con- sumers buy product s t oward which they have positive and f avorable feeli ngs, and market ers m ust ensure that consumers ma intain these attitudes fo llowing

the p urchase so t hat t hey keep buying their products repeated ly.

Marketers who introduce new it ems strive to form favorab le consumer attit udes toward the new p roducts in order to get consumers to try them, like them, and continue to b uy them. Doing so is difficu lt because people are oft en unrecept ive to the unfamiliar, at least initially. One way to establish positive attit udes towa rd new products is to capitalize on wel l-establ ished brand names. For example, Wrangler Traveler Jeans-a new product featu red in Figure 6. 1-is targeted p rimarily to millennia Is. Sales of jeans to mil lennials have slowed as they dress in more comfortable clothing such as leg- g ings and sweat pants. This ad tells consumers t hat the traveler jeans are comfo rtable, like sweat pants, and ca rry t he well-known brand name of Wrangler, so that consumers can expect a certain level of qual it y.

FIGURE 6.1 Changing Attitudes

attitude A learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favorable or unfavorable way toward a given object.

CHAPTER 6 • Consum ER ATiiTud E FoRmATion And CHAng E 143


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