As consumers, each of us has a vast number of attitudes toward products, services, advertisements, direct mail, the Internet, and retail stores. Whenever we are asked whether we like or dislike a product, a service, a particular retailer, a specific direct marketer, or an advertising theme, we are being asked to express our attitudes. Within the context of consumer behavior, an appreciation of prevailing attitudes has considerable strategic merit. For instance, there has been very rapid growth in the sales of natural ingredient bath, body, and cosmetic products throughout the world. This trend seem linked to the currently popular attitude that things “natural” are good and things “synthetic” are bad. Yet, n reality, the positive attitude favoring things natural is not based on any systematic evidence that natural cosmetic products are any safer or better for consumers. To get at the heart of what is driving consumer’ behavior, attitude research has been used to study a wide range of strategic marketing questions. For example, attitude research is frequently undertaken to determine whether consumers will accept a proposed new-product idea, to gauge why a firm’s target audience has not reacted more favorably to its new promotional theme, or to learn how target customers are lily to react to a proposed change in the firm’s packaging design. To illustrate, major athletic shoe marketers such as Nike or Reebok frequently conduct research among target consumers of the different types of athletic footwear products that they market. They seek attitudes of target consumers with respect to size, fit, comfort, and fashion elements of their footwear, as well as test reactions to potential new designs or functional features. They also regularly gauge reactions to their latest advertising and other marketing messages designed to form and change consumer attitudes. All these marketing activities are related to the important task of impacting consumers’ attitudes. Consumer researchers assess attitudes by asking questions or making inferences from behavior. For example, if a researcher determines from questioning a consumer that she consistently buys Secret deodorant and even recommends the product to friends, the researcher is likely to infer that the consumer possesses a positive attitude toward this brand of deodorant. This example illustrates that attitudes are not directly observable but must be inferred from what people say or what they do. Moreover, the illustration suggests that a whole universe of consumer behaviors consistency of purchases, recommendations to others, top rankings, beliefs, evaluations, and intentions are related to attitudes. What then are attitudes? In a consumer behavior context, an attitude is a learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favorable or unfavorable way with respect to a given object. Each part of this definition describes an important property of an attitude and is critical to understanding the role of attitudes in consumer behavior .According to the tricomponent attitude model, attitudes consist of three major components: a cognitive component, an affective component, and a conative component.
The Cognitive Component
The first part of the tricomponent attitude model consists of a person’s cognitions, that is the knowledge and perceptions that are acquired by a combination of direct experience with the attitude object and related information from various sources. This knowledge and resulting perceptions commonly take the form of beliefs that is the consumer believes that the attitude object possesses various attributes and that specific behavior will lead to specific outcomes.
Steve’s belief system for both types of connections consists of the same basic four attributes: speed, availability, reliability, and other feature. However Steve has somewhat different beliefs about the two broadband alternatives with respect to these...