Consumer behaviour theory is all fine and well, but has nothing to tell us about how consumers act in real life

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‘Consumer behaviour theory is all fine and well, but has nothing to tell us about how consumers act in real life’

In the current state of understanding consumer behaviour attitudes are core concept in gaining knowledge of people’s personalities, behaviour and choices they make. In other words answering the question - “Why do people do what they do?” Along with beliefs and identity they are main factor impacting on individual’s life since everyday choices are made embracing a certain attitude. Unless marketers try to define and pay attention to the psychological need which is encountered by the holding of an attitude they are in a poor position to predict when and how it will change. (Daniel Katz, 1960) This essay will specify the factors and psychological processes that influence people’s needs and their perceptions of various products. Furthermore it will describe how marketers can apply the Functional Theory of Attitudes to understand and influence consumers’ attitudes and buying behaviour.
According to Arnould (2004)”An attitude is a person’s overall, enduring evaluation of a concept or object, such as a person, a brand or a service” Attitude formation could happen in different ways and it is continual process which is influenced throughout an individual’s lifetime. Some of the influences are internal such as values and beliefs but many of these influences are external, such as family, school, religion, work, peers and, to an increasing extent, the media. The views for companies are based on associations that they have linked them.

The Functional theory of attitudes explains consumers’ reasons for holding or changing their attitudes. Daniel Katz (1960) distinguished four functions differing in what roles they perform for the individual. “According to functional theory, people form attitudes in order to organize, structure and summarize large amounts of information about an object (Grewal et al. 2004)” (Argyriou, E., & Melewar, T. C., 2011, pp.433) The



References: Argyriou, E., & Melewar, T. C. (2011). Consumer attitudes revisited: A review of attitude theory in marketing research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 13(4), 431-451. Arnould, E., Price, L., & Zikhan, G. (2004). Consumers (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill Fried, M Guest, A., & Lee, B. (1983). The social organization of local areas. Urban Affairs Quarterly, 19, 217-240. Herting, J., & Guest, A. (1983). Social ties, environmental perception, and local attachment Solomon,M .R., et al, (2010) Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective. Pearson Education, 4th ed. Page 275-280 Stedman, R .C St John, C., Austin, D., & Baba, Y. (1986). The question of community attachment revisited. Sociological Spectrum, 6(4), 411-431.

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