Attitude changes are learned; they are influenced by personal experience and other sources of information, and personality affects both the receptivity and the speed with which attitudes are likely to be altered. Altering consumer attitudes is-a key strategy consideration for most marketers. For marketers who are fortunate enough to be market leaders and to enjoy a significant amount of customer goodwill and loyalty, the overriding goal is to fortify the existing positive attitudes of customers so that they will not succumb to competitors' special offers and other inducements designed to win them over. Most competitors; take aim at the market leaders when developing their marketing strategies. Their objective is to change the attitudes of the market leaders' customers and win them lover. Among the attitude-change strategies that are available to them are (1) changing the consumer's basic motivational function, (2) associating the product with an admired group or event, (3) resolving two conflicting attitudes, (4) altering components of the Multi attribute model, and (5) changing consumer beliefs about competitors’ brands.
1. Changing the Basic Motivational Function:
An effective strategy for changing consumer attitudes toward a product or brand is to make particular needs prominent. One method for changing motivation is known as the functional approach. According to this approach, attitudes can be classified in terms of four functions: the utilitarian function, the ego-defensive function, the value-expressive function, and the knowledge function. I. The Utilitarian Function:
We hold certain brand attitudes partly because of a brand's utility. When a product has been useful or helped us in the past, our attitude toward it tends to be favorable. One way of changing attitudes in favor of a product is by showing people that it can serve a utilitarian purpose that they may not have considered. For example, the ad for Clorox Disinfecting Spray points out that this product will work for 24 hours, whereas its competitor, Lysol, does not. II. The Ego-Defensive Function:
Most people want: to protect-their self-images from inner feelings of doubt they want to replace their uncertainty with a sense of security and personal confidence. Ads for cosmetics and personal care products, by acknowledging this need, increase both their relevance to the consumer and the likelihood of a favorable attitude change by offering reassurance to the consumer’s self-concept. For example, the ad for Suave Performance Series Anti-Perspirant stresses in its headline In a 24-7 World, Your Anti-Perspirant Does not Get To Knock Off Early.
III. The Value-Expressive Function:
Attitudes are an expression or reflection of the consumer’s general values, life styles, and outlook. If a consumer segment generally holds a positive attitude toward owning the latest personal communications devices (e.g., owning the smallest cellular telephone), then their attitudes toward new electronic devices are likely to reflect that orientation. Thus by knowing target consumers’ attitudes, marketers can better anticipate their values, lifestyle, or outlook and can reflect these characteristics in their advertising and direct marketing efforts.
IV. The Knowledge Function:
Individuals generally have a strong need to know and understand the people and things they encounter. The consumer's "need to know," a cognitive need, is important to marketers concerned with product positioning. Indeed, many product and brand positioning are attempts to satisfy the need to know and to improve the consumer's attitudes toward the brand by emphasizing its advantages over competitive brands. An ad for Celestial Seasonings that point out that Green Tea is loaded with antioxidants, which are good for you. It supports its claims with some evidence (the bar graph) and an incentive (a cents-off coupon). An important characteristic of the advertising...