Attitudes

Attitudes are one of the most heavily studied concepts in consumer behavior. According to Gordon Allport's classic definition, "attitudes are learned predispositions to respond to an object."14 More recent perspectives view attitudes as a summary construct that represents an individual's overall feelings toward or evaluation of an object.15 Consumers hold attitudes toward a variety of objects that are important to marketers, including individuals (celebrity endorsers such as Tiger Woods or Andre Agassi), brands (Cheerios, Kix), companies (Intel, Microsoft), product categories (beef, pork, tuna), retail stores (Kmart, Sears), or even advertisements (Nike ads).

Attitudes are important to marketers because they theoretically summarize a consumer's evaluation of an object (or brand or company) and represent positive or negative feelings and behavioral tendencies. Marketers' keen interest in attitudes is based on the assumption that they are related to consumers' purchase behavior. Considerable evidence supports the basic assumption of a relationship between attitudes and behav-ior.16 The attitude-behavior link does not always hold; many other factors can affect behavior.17 But attitudes are very important to marketers. Advertising and promotion are used to create favorable attitudes toward new products/services or brands, reinforce existing favorable attitudes, and/or change negative attitudes. An approach to studying and measuring attitudes that is particularly relevant to advertising is multiattribute attitude models.

Multiattribute Attitude Models Consumer researchers and marketing practitioners have been using multiattribute attitude models to study consumer attitudes for two decades.18 A multiattribute attitude model views an attitude object, such as a product or brand, as possessing a number of attributes that provide the basis on which consumers form their attitudes. According to this model, consumers have beliefs about

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