What is an Attitude?
An attitude is a learned predisposition; formed by information acquired, exposure to the media, the internet, and other marketing forms. Sometimes attitudes change depending on a specific situation. For example, an Apple user can suddenly switch and purchase the new Galaxy because It serves a particular function that they like. Attitudes towards a product can be negative or positive, and marketers can change the consumer’s attitudes by delivering the goods or services that the consumer’s likes. There are four types of attitudes, Utilitarian function, knowledge function, value-expressive function, and the ego-defensive function. In this article, we will look at the four attitudes and the functions they serve.
Consumer Attitudes and the Functions they Serve
Utilitarian function: This function relates to rewards and punishments; students sacrifice sleep because they know that if they do well, they will get rewarded with good grades. Or they could party on the weekends and get F’s. Consumers feel the pressure to fit in with their peers; the younger generation needs to be on every social App and own all the latest gadgets. Their grandparents need to have golf memberships, among other things.
Knowledge Function: Consumers use knowledge and information to make buying decisions. When high school students are getting ready to go to college, they use the information they know about the college/colleges they are interested in before choosing one. The school’s location, school culture, fees, faculty, and student body and reputation are part of the decision-making process.
Value Expressive Function: This function expresses the consumer’s self-concept or values. Environmental conscious individuals will avoid using plastic bags and instead use reusable bags for their groceries. Consumer values guide behavior, judgment, and actions that follow.
Ego-Defensive Function: Humans have an endless need to protect ourselves from external threats and internal feelings. Last year, I got a steroid shot after experiencing pain in my wrist. I did this against my father’s advice and my co-workers who told me that it wouldn’t help long term and had a negative effect. And they were right, the pain did not go away, but I still defended my decision to protect my ego and self-image.
Marketers need to know that attitudes are learned, and they can have a strong influence on consumer behavior. They are often a result of someone’s upbringing and life experiences in addition to media influence. Our personality can play a role in attitude formation. Both external and internal forces influence attitudes, and they can negatively or positively affect consumer behavior. Remember that on a larger scale, it is easier to change consumer behaviors than attitudes.