Marketing help on: ATTITUDE BRANDING
2.1. MEANING OF ATTITUDE BRANDING
In today’s economy filled with consumer over-stimulation, people are driven by their feelings and emotions. This has created a new form of branding, known as attitude branding. Attitude branding is where a company chooses to represent a feeling that does not have a direct connection to the product.Nike Corporation is one of the forefathers of attitude branding, with its billion dollar phrase of “just do it.” The slogan itself is not particularly related to their products; it does not purport any particular details about Nike shoes or athletic gear. Instead, the branding strategy promotes a lifestyle, an emotional connection with the consumer. This is clearly seen in Nike commercials, which rarely highlight the shoe, but instead focuses on people achieving their athletic goals.
Other popular companies that built their corporate empires with attitude branding include Starbucks and The Body Shop. Reflecting upon their branding, their slogans and symbols do not relate to coffee or body products, respectively. Instead, they both attempt to connect with the consumer’s emotions, encouraging customers to enhance their lifestyle through their products.Attitude branding is one the most effective ways for a company name and product to become known by millions of consumers. This form of branding can take a small business and create a global corporation. Starbucks started out as one small store in Seattle – but through attitude branding that was reflected in its logo and store ambiance, it has become a global phenomenon found in almost every country.
Success and attitude branding go hand-in-hand. When you can tap into a consumer’s emotions and lifestyle desires, you build your company’s foundation to tremendous prosperity.
2.2. MEANING OF ATTITUDE AND BRAND
Attitude means a mental representation of features of social and physical world (including evaluation of those features) that are stored in the memory. Attitude is a hypothetical construct that represents an individual’s like or dislike for a product or brand. Attitudes are(3)
positive, negative or neutral views of an “attitude object”: i.e. a person, behavior or event. People can also be “ambivalent” towards a target, meaning that they simultaneously possess a positive and a negative bias towards the attitude in question.
Attitudes are composed from various forms of judgments. Attitudes develop on the ABC model (affect, behavioral change and cognition). The affective response is a physiological response that expresses an individual’s preference for an entity. The behavioral intention is a verbal indication of the intention of an individual. The cognitive response is a cognitive evaluation of the entity to form an attitude. Most attitudes in individuals are a result of observational learning from their environment. A brand is a name or trademark connected with a product or producer. According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), a brand is a “name, term, symbol or design or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.”
Branding means an entire process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumer’s mind, through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.
2.3. HISTORY OF BRANDS
Branding practices were first practiced in the nineteenth century, when packaged goods were sold to the general public. The first commercial brand registered was Pears Soap. When the items
shipped to local merchants, the company would place the brand name and logo on all of the packaging, therefore implementing basic branding practices.
Other companies quickly followed suit, including Aunt Jemima, Quaker Oats and Campbell Soup. Each of these companies is still recognized and known around the world today – with the same branding they used decades or centuries ago. With branding, a consumer is essentially buying a company name, instead of just a product. Branding increases the reputation and respect that is held for a specific company.
2.4. BRAND NAME
The brand name is often used interchangeably within “brands”, although it is more correctly used to specifically denote written or spoken linguistic elements of any product. In this context a “brand name” constitutes a type of trade mark, if the brand name exclusively identifies the brand Owner as the commercial source of products or services. A brand owner may seek to protect proprietary rights in relation to a brand name through trademark registration.
Brand names will fall into one of the three spectrums of use:-
Descriptive brand names assist in describing the distinguishable selling point(s) of the product to the customer (e.g. Crackle)
Associative brand names provide the customer with an associated word for what the product promises to do (e.g. Walkman)
Freestanding brand names have no links or ties to either description or association of use (e.g. Pantene)
2.5. FUNDAMENTALS OF BRANDINGA company’s product or service is only as effective as its branding strategies. Even with the best product in the world, a business cannot generate revenue without customer recognition and attraction. The underlying goal of branding is to prompt the consumers to both consciously and subconsciously recognize a certain product brand. Research has demonstrated that the more familiar consumers are with a product or brand, the more likely they will buy. For example, the top Fortune 500 companies, such as Coca-Cola, Disney, and IBM, are exponentially successful because of their strategic branding practices. Regardless what country you travel to, the image of Coca-Cola, Mickey Mouse, and McDonalds are prevalent and powerful – their branding strategies permeates to consumers, regardless of age, location, or nationality.
Most business experts agree that if a company desires to achieve multimillion revenues, effective branding practices must be implemented. Through proper branding, an unknown corporation can attain celebrity status in consumer households. In fact, branding is one of the easiest and fastest ways for a company to develop its market share.
2.6. BUILDING A STRONG BRAND: THE FOUR STEPS OF BRAND BUILDING
Building a brand follows a sequence of steps, each of which is contingent on successfully achieving the objectives of the previous one. The steps are as follows:-
- Ensure identification of the brand with customers and an association of the brand in customers’ minds with a specific product class or customer need.
- Firmly establish the totality of brand meaning in the minds of customers by strategically linking a host of tangible and intangible brand associations with certain properties.
- Elicit the proper customer responses to this brand identification and brand meaning.
- Convert brand response to create an intense, active loyalty relationship between customers and the brand.
- Brand Salience – Achieving the right brand identity means creating brand salience with customer. Brand salience measures awareness of the brand, for example, how often and how easily the brand is evoked under various circumstances. It refers to customers’
ability to recall and recognize the brand under different conditions and to link the brand name, logo, symbol and so forth to certain associations in memory. It includes the breadth and depth of awareness. The depth of brand awareness measures how likely it is for a brand element to come to mind, and the ease with which it does so. The breadth of brand awareness measures the range of purchase and usage situations in which the brand element comes to mind and depends to a large extent on the organization of brand and product knowledge in memory.
- Brand Performance – Brand performance describes how well the product or service meets customers’ more functional needs. Customers view performance on the basis of the following factors. Reliability measures the consistency of performance over time and from purchase to purchase. Durability is the expected economic life of the product, and serviceability the ease of repairing the product if needed.
- Brand Imagery – Brand imagery depends on the extrinsic properties of the product or service, including the ways in which the brand attempts to meet customers’ psychological or social needs. It is the way people think about a brand abstractly, rather than what they think the brand actually does.Thus, imagery refers to more intangible aspects of the brand, and consumers can form imagery associations directly from their own experience or indirectly through advertising or by some other source of information, such as word of mouth. Many kinds of intangibles can be linked to a brand, but four main ones are:-
Purchase and usage situations
Personality and values
History, heritage, and experiences.
- Brand judgments – Brand judgments are customers’ personal opinions about and evaluations of the brand, which consumers from by putting together all the different brand performance and imagery associations. Customers may make all types of judgments with respect to a brand, but four types are particularly important:
Brand Quality-Brand attitudes are customers’ overall evaluations of a brand and often the basis for brand choice. Consumers can hold a host of attitudes towards a brand, but the most important relate to its perceived quality and to customer value and satisfaction.
Brand Credibility – It describes the extent to which customers see the brand as credible in terms of three dimensions: (a) competent, innovative and a market leader (brand expertise) ;( b) dependable and keeping customer interests in mind (brand trustworthiness); and (c) fun, interesting, and worth spending time (brand likability).
Brand Consideration – Favorable brand attitudes and perceptions of credibility are important but not enough if customers don’t actually consider the brand for possible purchase or use. Consideration depends in part on how personally relevant customers find they regard the brand and is crucial filter in terms of building brand. No matter how highly they regard the brand or how credible they find it, unless they also give it serious consideration and deem it relevant, customers will keep a brand at a distance and never closely embrace it. Brand consideration depends in large part on the extent to which strong and favorable brand associations can be created as part of the band mage.
Brand Superiority – Superiority measures the extent to which customers view the
brand as unique as and better than other brands.
- Brand Feelings – Brand feelings are customers’ emotional responses and reactions to the brand. The emotions evoked by a brand can become so strongly associated that they are accessible during product consumption or use. There are six important types of brand-building feelings:-
Warmth-Hallmark is a brand typically associated with warmth.
Fun- Disney is a brand often associated with fun.
Excitement – MTV is a brand seen by many teens and young adults as exciting.
Security – Tata AIG Life Insurance is a brand that communicates security to many.
Social Approval – Mercedes is a brand that may signal social approval to consumers.
Self Respect – A brand like Tide detergent is able to link its brand to “doing the best things for the family” to many homemakers.
- Brand Resonance – The first step of this model focuses on the ultimate relationship and level of identification that the customer has with the brand. Brand resonance describes the nature of this relationship and the extent to which customers feel that they are “in sync” with the brand. Examples-Harley Davidson, Apple and e-bay. Resonance is characterized in terms of intensity or the depth of the psychological bond that customers have with the brand, as well as the level of activity engendered by this loyalty. We can break down these two dimensions of brand resonance into four categories:
Sense of community
2.8. OPTIONS AND TACTICS FOR BRANDS
- URL – Uniform Resource Locator specify locations of pages on the web and are also commonly referred to as domain names. Now a day’s almost all the companies have their URL.But brands recall it critical for URLs because, at least initially, consumers must remember the URL to be able to get to the site. Another issue facing companies
with regard to URLs is protecting their brands from unauthorized use in other domain names.
- Logos and Symbols – Visual elements play a critical role in building a brand and brand awareness. Logos range from corporate names or trademarks (words marks with text only) written in a distinctive form, to entirely abstract designs that may be completely unrelated to word mark, corporate name or corporate activities. An example of brands with strong word mark is Coca Cola. Example of abstract logos includes the Mercedes car.Logos and symbols are often easily recognized and can be a valuable way to identify products.
- Characters – Characters represents a special type of brand symbol-one that takes on human, real life or animated character. Brand characters typically are introduced through advertising and can play a central role in ad campaigns and package designs. Examples-Dancing doll of Amul Butter,7Up,Ronald McDonald, Zoo Zoo’s(Hutch).Characters are often colorful and rich in imagery, brand characters tend to be attention getting and quite useful for creating brand awareness.
- Slogans – Slogans are short phrases that communicate descriptive information about the brand. They often appear in advertising but can play an important role on packaging and in other aspects of the marketing program. They are an indispensable means of summarizing and translating the intent of a marketing program in a few words or phrases. Example-DeBeers “A Diamond is Forever” tag line communicates that diamond brings eternal love and romance and never lose value.
- Jingles – Jingles are musical messages written around the brand. They communicate brand benefit, but they often convey product meaning in a nondirect and fairly abstract fashion. Example-The distinctive four-note signature to Intel’s ads echoes the company’s slogan “In-tel-In-side.”Although the jingle seems simple, the first note alone is a mix of 16 sounds, including a tambourine and a hammer striking a brass pipe.
2.9. BRANDING APPROACHES
- Company name – Often, especially in the industrial sector, it is just the company’s name which is promoted. In this case a very strong brand name (or company name) is made the vehicle for a range of products (e.g. Mercedes-Benz or Cadbury Dairy Milk)
- Individual branding – Each brand has a separate name such as Seven-Up or Nivea.It may happen that brands from the same company competes with one another like the brands of Unilever competes with one another.
- “No –brand” branding – Recently a number of companies have successfully pursued “No-Brand” strategies; examples include the Japanese company Muji, which means “No label” in English. Although there is a distinct Muji brand, Muji products are not branded. This no-brand strategy means that little is spent on advertisement or classical marketing and Muji’s success is attributed to the word-of-mouth, a simple shopping experience and the anti-brand movement.
- Derived Brands – In this case the supplier of a key component, used by a number of suppliers of the end-product, may wish to guarantee its own position by promoting that component as a brand in its own right. The most frequently quoted example is Intel, which secures its position in the PC market with a slogan “Intel Inside.”
- Brand Extension – The existing strong brand name can be used as a vehicle for new or modified products; for example, many fashion and designer companies extended brands into fragrances, shoes and accessories, home textile, home décor, furniture, hotels etc. Mars extended its brand to ice cream, Caterpillar to shoes and watch, Adidas and Puma to personal hygiene. Dunlop extended its brand from tires to other rubber products such as shoes, golf balls, tennis racquets and adhesives.
There is a difference between brand extension and line extension. When Coca-Cola launched “Diet Coke” and “Cherry Coke” they stayed within the originating product category: non- alcoholic carbonated beverages. Procter & Gamble (P&G) did likewise extending its strong lines (such as Fairy Soap) into neighboring products (Fairy Liquid and Fairy Automatic) within the same category, dish washing detergents.
- Multi-brands – Alternatively, in a market that is fragmented amongst a number of brands a supplier can choose deliberately to launch totally new brands in apparent competition with its own existing strong brand (and often with identical product characteristics); simply to soak up some of the share of the market which will in any case go to minor brands. The rationale is that having 3 out of 12 brands in such a market will give a greater overall share than having 1 out of 10 (even if much of the share of these new brands is taken from the existing one). In its most extreme manifestation, a supplier pioneering a new market which it believes will be particularly attractive may choose immediately to launch a second brand in competition with its first, in order to pre-empt others entering the market. Procter & Gamble is a leading exponent of this philosophy, running as many as ten detergent brands in the US market.
Cannibalization is a particular problem of a “multibrand” approach, in which the new brand takes business away from an established one which the organization also owns.
This may be acceptable (indeed to be expected) if there is a net gain overall.
Alternatively, it may be the price the organization is willing to pay for shifting its position in the market; the new product being one stage in this process.
- Own brands and generics – With the emergence of strong retailers the “own brand”, a retailer’s own branded product (or service), also emerged as a major factor in the marketplace. Where the retailer has a particularly strong identity (such as Marks & Spencer in the UK clothing sector) this “own brand” may be able to compete against even the strongest brand leaders, and may outperform those products that are not strongly branded.
At the same time, probably as an outgrowth of consumerism, “generic” (that is, effectively unbranded) goods have also emerged. These made a positive virtue of saving the cost of almost all marketing activities; emphasizing the lack of advertising and, especially, the plain packaging.
3. THE STORY BEHIND BRAND SUCCESS
THE ROAD TO BRANDING SUCCESS
Building on the inherent values of a brand should be the core of any branding strategy. If they’re not clear, get a good grip on them first. Is the brand about honesty, integrity or Quality? How about excellent communication and customer satisfaction?
Knowledge of a company’s values, at least in a literal context, is typically an internal matter; yet, those values become evident to everyone in contact with the company, from customers and prospective customers to business-to-business relationships and employee relations. Consistency is the key here. If members of the organization aren’t accurately representing the values of the brand, steps must be taken to rectify the chink in the armor. And unlike a brand’s key business proposition, values should never change even though the landscape in which the company operates and even its products may.
WINNING BRAND STRATEGIES STARTS WITH TOP-NOTCH RESEARCH
With values set, a brand proposition is ready to be established. Objective and comprehensive branding research are the keys here. At a minimum, both must be done to establish clarity on the brand’s strengths and weaknesses, the target audience and the competition. If possible, branding research should also be done on the brand’s industry, its history, the market and possibilities for future expansion.
Other research that might be done to find out what the competitors’ offerings are like. What can a customer get from your product that they can’t get from anyone else? How to increase the market share?
THE TARGET CUSTOMER WILL DETERMINE THE SUCCESS
Find out who your customers are and what are their needs and desires. Make it your mission to
get a detailed information about their age, gender, income, shopping habits (online and offline)
and anything else of relevance that can determined. If the target is a business market, these criteria will differ, depending on the industry. Understanding the target market and what they want is key to developing a winning brand. Knowing these things should also give an idea about the communication medium and content that would work to engage the market.
WHAT DOES THE BRAND PROMISE?
The brand statement, often called the brand promise or proposition, is a derivative of branding research. It states the benefit of buying and using the company’s products or services. For clothing, it could be about style or comfort. For a car, it could be about safety or reliability. Whatever it is, it must be clear, engaging and presented in a context relevant to the customer. One example of an effective brand promise is that of Gillette’s “The Best a Man Can Get.”
THE PROMISE SHOULD BE GOLDEN
If the company’s products and service don’t live up to their brand promise, it will be difficult to acquire new customers and loyal customers might leave, too. The company should live up to its promise whatever it is, in fact, it would be best if it actually over-delivered.
THE PROMISE SHOULD BE UNEXPECTED, BUT WELCOME
Don’t reuse something a competitor has already promised even if it works for your product or service, and don’t be vague in trying to position your company favorably against your competitors (such as saying you’re “the best pizza in town.”). Be specific. Besides, people expect you to be good. Otherwise, they wouldn’t give you business.
HEART AND MIND FIRST, WALLET LATER
Creating a positive emotional association in the market for your product or service is must. It can create wants and desire by the mere mention of your brand, product or service name. For instance, the mere mention of Ben & Jerry’s conjures up images of numerous unique premium
ice cream flavors. Such positive emotional associations are built over time through good
branding practices and a time-tested relationship between you and your customer based on intrigue, trust, understanding and support.
To create a brand promise that creates such emotional connections, it should be:
- 1. Grounded in the brand’s core values
- 2. Clearly relevant and engaging to your target market
- 3. Able to create some sort of positive emotional attachment beyond just being “good”
- 4. Repeated internally and externally within your organization
- 5. Adaptable to the business climate
6. Continually reinforced
7. Consistent across advertising and marketing mediums
8. Known and echoed by business partners
One of the key factors in brand strategy is consistency. The company’s identity should be repeated often in the communication. Repetition serves well in familiarizing an audience to a
new concept. However, in brand strategy, this repetition should not to become monotonous. This is a lifelong goal for your business, so you better start thinking of new innovative ways to communicate the same basic message.
Before you devise a brand strategy you must have a thorough understanding of four main business avenues: your primary target customer, your competition, the product and service mix and the unique selling proposition. Once you establish a unique brand identity according to all four avenues, you have devised a marketable brand strategy.
Business gurus have long said that your brand represents an entire experience that customers and associates have with you, not just a simple logo or slogan. Anyone can come up with a catch a phrase or a nifty piece of artwork. You could say that a company brand stands for the everyday interaction that you have with your entire market.
When you devise a brand strategy it is important that you come up with ways to stand out from the competition. This makes you competitive and brings your unique proposal to life. Remember that brand strategy must be consistent. You have to repeatedly tell customers why they should buy from you and do so in a way that’s refreshing and new.
4. BRAND ATTRIBUTES
Brand Attributes communicate the ways in which we achieve what we Promise. They contain core messages that we will use in our communications. Brand attributes are the functional and emotional associations which are assigned to a brand by its customers and prospects. Brand attributes can be either negative or positive, and can have different degrees of relevance and importance to different customer segments, markets and cultures. Brand attributes are the basic elements for establishing a brand identity.
BRAND IMAGE ATTRIBUTES
Brand attributes consist of ‘bits’ of information that are linked to the brand name in consumer memory and that, when combined with the brand name, make up a brand’s image. The brand attributes themselves can come from a variety of sources, including consumer experiences, marketing communications, and/or word of mouth. Linked attributes can consist of descriptive information, benefits and a usage situation, that is any information that is encountered with the brand name can, if sufficiently processed, become linked to the brand name in memory. The linkages between the brand name, its attributes, and other brands in the marketplace mean that associated attributes can be unique to the consumer, unique to the brand, or shared with other brands (Meyers-Levy, 1989).
THE USE OF BRAND ATTRIBUTES IN THE CHOICE PROCESSBrand attributes are important from a marketing communications perspective as they can have two important influences on brand choice. The first is to act as retrieval cues for identifying options for purchase. Drawing from an associative network-type theory of memory where brands
and attributes are linked together, stimulation of an attribute is thought to lead to the possible activation of concepts linked to that attribute. Whether a linked concept is activated depends on the number and strength of the associative links Therefore, stimulation of an attribute (e.g.’ need something chocolaty’) can lead to items linked to that attribute being retrieved (e.g. a Mars Bar, an ice cream, a milkshake and/or a Kit Kat). The second role of attributes is to be used for evaluating between evoked options. Therefore, brands may be chosen based on what is the easiest to buy, the best value for money, the best quality or some interaction of multiple attributes. It should be noted that this second stage will only happen if
more than one acceptable option is evoked or
the consumer does not use a local heuristic (e.g. the one I know the most about) or another decision rule that does not rely on attribute information such as ‘the first one I think of ’.
ATTRIBUTE CLASSIFICATION SCHEMES
While there are a variety of classification schemes for attributes throughout brand image literature, in this research three specific categories were the focus. These were:
(1) Product category attributes,
(2) Benefit attributes and
(3) Situation-based attributes.
These were drawn from which, in an exploratory study, asked subjects to elicit the thought processes they were undertaking prior to identifying potential options in buying situations. The attributes used for evoking options were identified and categorized separately from those used for selecting between evoked options. In addition, the different options that were evoked by various attributes were also catalogued. It was found that a wide range of varying cues (i.e. not just product labels) were used for evoking items and that, as cues varied, so did the evoked sets.(16)
- Product Attribute
These attributes represent the specific products offered by the brand or what the customer is actually purchasing. If consumers are unaware of the product(s) offered by a brand, the ability for considering (and therefore choosing) the brand are severely compromised. Product category labels can be at the super ordinate level (e.g. magazines) or at the subordinate level (e.g. car magazines).A relationship between linkage between the brand and product cues and brand choice/preference has been found by multiple researchers since the 1960s. An additional benefit of strong linkage with the product category is that it has been shown to have inhibitory effects on the recall of other brands. Thus, association with the appropriate product(s) is universally considered to be an important aspect of a brand’s image. Prior research has typically focused on one product for a brand. However, in recent times companies have been constantly expanding their product ranges (e.g. energy companies offering telecommunications products) using umbrella brands and bundling multiple products together in one offering for the consumer. Therefore, such a narrow measure has limited use for marketers when evaluating the effectiveness of marketing activities and influencing/predicting consumer behavior. In this study the focus is on subordinate-level product attributes, where there is an overriding broad product category schema (e.g. banking), but under that product category schema there are more specific products on offer that may vary between brands (e.g. home loans, investments and car insurance).
- Benefit Attribute -From a brand image perspective, benefit attributes refer to information about the brand, linked to the brand name that reflect what the product does from the consumer point of view. For example, while a brand may be priced at Rs.X, the benefit, from the consumer’s perception, may be that it is considered to be ‘good value for money’. These are generally evaluations of specific aspects of the brand (similar to evaluative attributes). Research into benefit attributes has shown a positive relationship between mention of a brand and current/past usage at the individual level. At the aggregate level empirical research has shown that the number of users a brand
major driver in the proportion that associate the brand with evaluative/benefit-based attributes. Therefore, a relationship with future purchase may be questionable. However, benefits have been shown to be elicited as cues used for developing consideration sets and inclusion in consideration sets is thought to have an influence on choice. Therefore, it is reasonable to hypothesize that customers who associate a brand with a benefit will be more likely to purchase the brand in the future than customers who do not associate the brand with that benefit.
5. BRAND PERSONALITY
Some people may never aspire to have the personality of a competent leader but would like to have a relationship with one, especially if they need a banker or a lawyer. A trustworthy, dependable, conservative personality might be boring but might nonetheless reflect characteristics valued in a financial advisor, a lawn service, or even a car–consider the Volvo brand personality. The concept of a relationship between a brand and a person (analogous to that between two people) provides a different perspective on how brand personality might work.
To see how the relationship basis model works, consider the personality types of people with whom you have relationships and the nature of those relationships. Some of the types might be as follows: Down-to-earth, family oriented, genuine, and old-fashioned (Sincerity). This might describe brands like Hallmark, Kodak and even Coke. The relationship might be similar to one that exists with a well-liked and respected member of the family.Spirited, young, up-to-date, outgoing (Excitement). In the soft drink category, Pepsi fits this mold more than Coke. Especially on a weekend evening, it might be enjoyable to have a friend who has these personality characteristics.
- Accomplished, influential, competent (Competence). Perhaps Hewlett-Packard and the Wall Street Journal might fit this profile. Think of a relationship with a person whom you respect for their accomplishments, such as a teacher, minister or business leader; perhaps that is what a relationship between a business computer and its customer should be like.
- Pretentious, wealthy, condescending (Sophistication). For some, this would be BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus (with gold trim) as opposed to the Mazda Miata or the VW Golf. The relationship could be similar to one with a powerful boss or a rich relative.
- Athletic and outdoorsy (Ruggedness). Nike (versus LA Gear), Marlboro (versus Virginia Slims), and Wells Fargo (versus Bank of America) are examples. When planning an outing, a friend with outdoorsy interests would be welcome.
Two elements thus affect an individual’s relationship with a brand. First, there is the relationship between the brand-as-person and the customer, which is analogous to the relationship between two people. Second, there is the brand personality–that is, the type of person the brand
represents. The brand personality provides depth, feelings and liking to the relationship. Of course, a brand-customer relationship can also be based on a functional benefit, just as two people can have a strictly business relationship.
BRAND PERSONALITY: MAKING THE CUSTOMER CONNECTION
A first impression means a lot when a first-time customer walks into your place of business. The appearance and atmosphere of your store, the quality of your products as well as the attitude of your staff can all make that crucial difference as to whether that customer will choose to do subsequent business with you.
So how do you make that first impression count? Looks and a whole lot of personality. Brand personality is an often overlooked, but crucially important component to develop when creating your brand image. When a customer is making a purchase, they are not only looking for a solid product, but also a solid connection with that product.
Take the brand, try to describe it as though it is a person using human adjectives, and give it the personality that will make it come alive. There are several points at which you can facilitate the connection between customer and brand. Communicate the brand’s personality
Use a catchy slogan, a memorable personality or voice in commercials or ads, highlight unique products and advertise particularly strong company policies or guarantees. Remember to distinguish yourself from the competition and maintain a clean track record. Just as customers will rely on a trustworthy friend, they will have faith in a product that exudes that same personality.
Create the connection between customer and product
Analyze your customer base, and then create a relationship between your product and your customer. Look at characteristics such as location, income bracket, age group and gender during your study. Find a personality element that both captures the essence of your product and appeals to your consumer. When customers feel an attraction to the product, a purchase goes from mundane to memorable.
Give customers what they expect
Is your customer’s experience consistent with what the brand personality promises to deliver? This is particularly important with service-sector companies. When there are no products involved, a customer’s service experience is essential to the company’s brand personality.
Once you establish a level of service and the quality of your product, never go back on those promises. You have established an unspoken contract with your customers, and failing to meet expectations would betray customers’ trust in the brand and betray your own original values. Consistency will create a permanent place for your brand in your customer’s mind.
Your brand personality defines the very essence of your company’s being and is an element of every action you take, every product you create and influences every decision you make. Take time and care in evaluating your brand personality – it will be the key to customer and personal satisfaction for your company.
An attitude is a hypothetical construct that represents an individual’s degree of like or dislike for an item. Attitudes are generally positive or negative views of a person, place, thing, or event– this is often referred to as the attitude object. People can also be conflicted or ambivalent toward an object, meaning that they simultaneously possess both positive and negative attitudes toward the item in question.
Attitudes are judgments. They develop on the ABC model (affect, behavior, and cognition). The affective response is an emotional response that expresses an individual’s degree of preference for an entity. The behavioral intention is a verbal indication or typical behavioral tendency of an individual. The cognitive response is a cognitive evaluation of the entity that constitutes an individual’s beliefs about the object. Most attitudes are the result of either direct experience or observational learning from the environment.
Jung’s definition of attitude is a “readiness of the psyche to act or react in a certain way”.
Attitudes very often come in pairs, one conscious and the other unconscious. Within this broad
definition, Jung defines several attitudes.
The main attitude dualities that Jung defines are the following:-
- Consciousness and the unconscious. The “presence of two attitudes is extremely frequent, one conscious and the other unconscious. This means that consciousness has a constellation of contents different from that of the unconscious, a duality particularly evident in neurosis.
- Extraversion and introversion. This pair is so elementary to Jung’s theory of types that he labeled them the “attitude-types”.
- Rational and irrational attitudes. “I conceive reason as an attitude”.
- The rational attitude subdivides into the thinking and feeling psychological functions, each with its attitude.
- The irrational attitude subdivides into the sensing and intuition psychological functions, each with its attitude. “There is thus a typical thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuitive attitude.
- Individual and social attitudes.
Attitude may also be seen as a form or appearance that an individual assumes to gain or achieve an egotistic preference, whether it is acceptance, manifestation of power or other self-centered needs. Attitude may be considered as a primitive attribute to the preservation of the self or of the ego.
IMPLICIT AND EXPLICIT ATTITUDE
There is also considerable research on implicit attitudes, which are generally unacknowledged or outside of awareness, but have effects that are measurable through sophisticated methods using people’s response times to stimuli. Implicit and explicit attitudes seem to affect people’s behavior, though in different ways. They tend not to be strongly associated with each other, although in some cases they are. The relationship between them is poorly understood.
Attitudes can be changed through persuasion. Attitude change as a response to communication.
The factors that can affect the persuasiveness of a message:-
- Target Characteristics: These are characteristics that refer to the person who receives and processes a message. One such trait is intelligence – it seems that more intelligent people are less easily persuaded by one-sided messages. Another variable that has been studied in this category is self-esteem. Although it is sometimes thought that those higher
in self-esteem are less easily persuaded, there is some evidence that the relationship
between self-esteem and persuasibility is actually curvilinear, with people of moderate self-esteem being more easily persuaded than both those of high and low self-esteem levels.
- Source Characteristics: The major source characteristics are expertise, trustworthiness and interpersonal attraction or attractiveness. The credibility of a perceived message has been found to be a key variable; if one reads a report about health and believes it came from a professional medical journal, one may be more easily persuaded than if one believes it is from a popular newspaper.
Received Wisdom is that if people are informed of the source of a message before hearing it, there is less likelihood of a sleeper effect than if they are told a message and then told its source.
- Message Characteristics: The nature of the message plays a role in persuasion. Sometimes presenting both the sides of a story is useful to help change attitudes.
- Cognitive Routes: A message can appeal to an individual’s cognitive evaluation to help change an attitude. In the central route to persuasion the individual is presented with the data and motivated to evaluate the data and arrive at an attitude changing conclusion. In the peripheral route to attitude change, the individual is encouraged to not look at the content but at the source. This is commonly seen in modern advertisements that feature celebrities. In some cases, physicians, doctors or experts are used .In some cases film stars are used for their attractiveness.
EMOTION AND ATTITUDE CHANGE
Emotion is a common component in persuasion, social influence, and attitude change. Much of attitude research emphasized the importance of affective or emotion components. Emotion works hand-in-hand with the cognitive process, or the way we think, about an issue or situation. Emotional appeals are commonly found in advertising, health campaigns and political messages. Recent examples include no-smoking health campaigns and political campaign advertising emphasizing the fear of terrorism. Attitudes and attitude objects are functions of cognitive,
spider-like structures residing in long term memory that consist of affective and cognitive nodes.
By activating an affective or emotion node, attitude change may be possible, though affective and cognitive components tend to be intertwined.
Affective forecasting, otherwise known as intuition or the prediction of emotion, also impacts attitude change. Research suggests that predicting emotions is an important component of decision making, in addition to the cognitive processes. How we feel about an outcome may override purely cognitive rationales.
Some research on emotion and attitude change focuses on the way people process messages. Many dual process models are used to explain the affective (emotion) and cognitive processing and interpretations of messages. These include the elaboration likelihood model, the heuristic-systematic model, and the extended parallel process model.
In the Elaboration Likelihood Model, or ELM, cognitive processing is the central route and affective/emotion processing is often associated with the peripheral route. The central route pertains to an elaborate cognitive processing of information while the peripheral route relies on cues or feelings. The ELM suggests that true attitude change only happens through the central processing route that incorporates both cognitive and affective components as opposed to the more heuristics-based peripheral route. This suggests that motivation through emotion alone will not result in an attitude change.
In the Heuristic-Systematic Model, or HSM, information is either processed in a high-involvement and high-effort systematic way, or information is processed through shortcuts known as heuristics. Emotions, feelings and gut-feeling reactions are often used as shortcuts.
The Extended Parallel Process Model, or EPPM, includes both thinking and feeling in conjunction with threat and fear appeals. EPPM suggests that persuasive fear appeals work best when people have high involvement and high efficacy. In other words, fear appeals are most effective when an individual cares about the issue or situation, and that individual possesses and perceives that they possess the agency to deal with that issue or situation.
COMPONENT OF EMOTION APPEALS
Any discrete emotion can be used in a persuasive appeal; this may include jealously, disgust, indignation, fear, and anger. Fear is one of the most studied emotional appeals in communication and social influence research. Dillard (1994) suggests that “fear appeals have been thought of as messages that attempt to achieve opinion change by establishing the negative consequences of failing to agree with the advocated position”. The EPPM (above) looks at the effectiveness of using fear and threat to change attitudes.
Important consequences of fear appeals and other emotion appeals include the possibility of reactance which may lead to either message rejections or source rejection and the absence of attitude change. As the EPPM suggests, there is an optimal emotion level in motivating attitude change. If there is not enough motivation, an attitude will not change; if the emotional appeal is overdone, the motivation can be paralyzed thereby preventing attitude change.
Emotions perceived as negative or containing threat are often studied more than perceived positive emotions like humor. Though the inner-workings of humor are not agreed upon, humor appeals may work by creating incongruities in the mind. Recent research has looked at the impact of humor on the processing of political messages. While evidence is inconclusive, there appears to be potential for targeted attitude change is receivers with low political message involvement.
Important factors that influence the impact emotion appeals include self efficacy, attitude accessibility, issue involvement, and message/source features. Self efficacy is a perception of one’s own human agency; in other words, it is the perception of our own ability to deal with a situation. It is an important variable in emotion appeal messages because it dictates a person’s ability to deal with both the emotion and the situation. For example, if a person is not self-efficacious about their ability to impact the global environment, they are not likely to change their attitude or behavior about global warming.
Dillard (1994) suggests that message features such as source non-verbal communication, message content, and receiver differences can impact the emotion impact of fear appeals. The
characteristics of a message are important because one message can elicit different levels of
emotion for different people. Thus, in terms of emotion appeals messages, one size does not fit all.
Attitude accessibility refers to the activation of an attitude from memory; in other words, how readily available is an attitude about an object, issue, or situation. Issue involvement is the relevance and salience of an issue or situation to an individual. Issue involvement has been correlated with both attitude access and attitude strength. Past studies conclude accessible attitudes are more resistant to change.
FUNCTIONAL THEORY OF ATTITUDE
The functions that attitude performs are:-
- Utilitarian Function– It is inherent in our nature to form a positive attitude towards objects that have helped us or have acted to our benefit.Similarly,we tend to develop a positive attitude about products and services that give a pleasant experience.Thus,individuals develop opinions about many attitude objects, depending upon the benefits or utility that they derive from them. A rewarding experience with a product will lead to a positive attitude towards that product. On the other hand, as undesirable experience will lead to a negative attitude.
- Value-expressive Function – Most of us have values that are either inculcated in us by our upbringing or have been shaped by our experiences. These values are strong beliefs that we have and they are displayed in our actions. For example, a person who believes that aerated drinks are bad for the health might avoid drinking them. Such a person can communicate his/her beliefs by always avoiding such products.Similarly,one can communicate his or her values through one’s attitude. For example, a person’s concern for environment protection is communicated through his negative attitude towards products that use plastics, CFC, etc., that damage the ecological balance. His conscious avoidance of such products communicates his attitude.
- Ego–defense Function – Most individuals generally develop positive attitude towards products that help in safeguarding their self –image. Products such as cosmetics,
fashionable clothes, and other personal care products such as deodorants or mouthwashes are targeted at appealing to the ego defense attitude of the people. Marketers try to cater to the ego defensive needs of people through appropriate advertising. Advertisements related to skincare products, mouthwashes, deodorants, etc., come under this category.
- Knowledge Function – It is a human tendency to be curious and to seek knowledge. A person’s desire to know about new things and to understand them reflects his or her need for knowledge. This need for knowledge about a product leads the person to adopt an attitude that helps him in acquiring knowledge about the product. A marketer can take advantage of this attitude and present adequate information about the product, so that it attracts the attention of that person. For example, companies tend to highlight their product attributes by comparing them with those of competitors in their advertisements. These types of ads catering to the knowledge function help consumers in analyzing the attributes of different brands easily.
- Combination of functions – Individuals develop positive or negative attitude towards different products for different reasons.Therefore, marketers have to understand the functional theory of attitude that states that all attitudes exist to serve a specific function. This helps marketers in positioning their products accordingly. For example, if Lakme were to introduce a new perfume for women called ‘Allure’ in the market, it could highlight the utility function of perfume saying it keeps one fresh all day.Lakme could also position ‘Allure’ as a gentle perfume whose fresh and delicate fragrance exuded feminity,catering to the value expression function. On the other hand, the perfume could be positioned as a pleasant way to combat body odor at work. This would serve as an ‘ego-defensive’ function of a person. Finally Lakme could also position its perfume to cater to the knowledge need of its customers by giving information about the contents and related benefits of the product.
Attitudes could be formed toward tangible and intangible objects. In marketing parlance, the attitude objects would refer to the product, its features, its price, the store where it is sold, the service provided at the store, the view regarding the company, the brand image and so on.Hence, all these are considered as ‘attitude objects’. Apart from these, marketing policies such as ‘discount offers’ or ‘free gift offered on purchasing a product’etc.,are also seen as ‘attitude objects’.
Attitudes play an important role in influencing a person’s behavior. From the marketing perspective, the study of attitudes is looked upon as the key to understanding consumers’ behavior, which will help marketers in positioning products and services according to the needs of consumers.
In order to understand the relationship between the attitude of individuals and their behavior, psychologists have developed various models that focus on studying the constitution of attitudes. Some of these models are:-
- Tri-component Model –This model helps us understand how attitudes are the result of the interrelationship between a person’s knowledge, his or her feeling, and finally, the intentions of the person. Attitude have found to have three components namely:
The knowledge and perceptions that are acquired by a combination of direct experience with the attitude object and others experience
A consumer’s emotions or feelings about a particular product or brand. (Fear, involvement, humor)
Conative / Intention Component
The likelihood or tendency that an individual will undertake a specific action or behave in a particular way with regard to the attitude object.
- Multi-attribute Model of Attitude – Marketers study consumers’ attitudes to understand their perception about their products and services. Attitude measurement helps marketers in analyzing purchase intentions of the consumers. The tri-component model only explains the beliefs and feeling of an individual that form his attitude towards attitude objects, it does not provide information about the purchase intentions of the consumers. However the multi-attribute model helps in studying a person’s attitude about the various features of the attitude object and also helps the marketer in predicting the purchase intentions of the consumers.
Fishbien presented the earliest multi-attribute model and it focused on the number of desirable attributes the attitude object had. The model helped marketers in analyzing how consumers identified the attributes of a product and to what extent they felt such attributes were attractive. For example, a consumer who wants to buy a suit might look for an attributes such as fashion, comfortable, stylish, reasonably priced, good brand image, attractive look and durable.Now, if the consumer perceives that brand A has most of these attributes (compared to other brands), then it is likely that the he will develop a ‘positive attitude’ toward that brand and purchase it.
Later, it was found that although a consumer agreed that a particular attitude object had the maximum number of desired characteristics, he or she didn’t have a positive attitude toward it, which would have led him to purchase the product. This was because through the consumer felt that all the characteristics the product had were desirable, they were not important or relevant to him. Hence, according to the modified Fishbein model, the consumer’s attitude towards a product was determined by how many desirable attributes a brand had that the consumer also rated as important for purchasing.
- Theory of Reasoned Action – The theory of reasoned action (TRA), developed by Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen (1975, 1980), derived from previous research that started out as the theory of attitude, which led to the study of attitude and behavior. The components of TRA are three general constructs: behavioral intention (BI), attitude (A),
and subjective norm (SN). TRA suggests that a person’s behavioral intention depends on the person’s attitude about the behavior and subjective norms (BI = A + SN). If a person intends to do a behavior then it is likely that the person will do it. Furthermore a person’s intentions are themselves guided by two things: the person’s attitude towards the behavior and the subjective norm. Behavioral intention measures a person’s relative strength of intention to perform a behavior. Attitude consists of beliefs about the consequences of performing the behavior multiplied by his or her valuation of these consequences. Subjective norm is seen as a combination of perceived expectations from relevant individuals or groups along with intentions to comply with these expectations. In other words, “the person’s perception that most people who are important to him or her think he should or should not perform the behavior in question” (Azjen and Fishbein, 1975).
To put the definition into simple terms: a person’s volitional (voluntary) behavior is predicted by his/her attitude toward that behavior and how he/she thinks other people would view them if they performed the behavior. A person’s attitude, combined with subjective norms, forms his/her behavioral intention.
Fishbein and Ajzen say, though, that attitudes and norms are not weighted equally in predicting behavior. “Indeed, depending on the individual and the situation, these factors might be very different effects on behavioral intention; thus a weight is associated with each of these factors in the predictive formula of the theory. For example, you might be the kind of person who cares little for what others think. If this is the case, the subjective norms would carry little weight in predicting your behavior”.
Miller (2005) defines each of the three components of the theory as follows:
Attitudes: the sum of beliefs about a particular behavior weighted by evaluations of these beliefs.
Subjective norms: Look at the influence of people in one’s social environment on his/her behavioral intentions; the beliefs of people, weighted by the importance one attributes to each of their opinions, will influence one’s behavioral intention.
Behavioral intention: a function of both attitudes toward a behavior and subjective norms toward that behavior, which has been found to predict actual behavior.
The theory of reasoned action is applied to reconceptualize brand loyalty. According to the theory of reasoned action, the antecedents of purchase behavior are attitudes towards the purchase and subjective norm. If the antecedents of purchase behavior are integrated to predict and measure brand loyalty, the prediction and measurement of brand loyalty will be more stable over time and accurate. When attitude, subjective norm and purchase behavior are all consistent and favorable, the maximum level of unit brand loyalty will be realized.
- Attitude towards the Ad Model – Consumers generally form attitude towards even those products that they have never used before, nor are likely to use in future. Advertisements help in forming attitude towards such products. For example, a person may be constantly exposed to advertisements of Nokia phones and this may lead him to form positive attitudes towards these phones, but this person may in reality never use a cell phone. Advertisers try to create a positive brand image among customers and follow several techniques to attract them.
LEARNING THEORIES APPLIED TO ATTITUDE
One of the key characteristics of attitude is ‘learned’. If attitudes are learned, then obviously marketers are interested in how attitudes are learned. Again, you can see the interdisciplinary nature of the study of consumer behavior as marketers use the information gained from psychologists and educators, and apply the learning theories to the learning of attitudes. A consumer moves from having no attitude — possibly because they have no knowledge of or experience with the product — to having an attitude, regardless of whether it is positive, negative or ambivalent. However, learning is not a finite process, it is continuous. The same learning theories that are applied to the learning of an attitude can be applied to attitude change. Let’s briefly review the three main learning theories and consider how they can be applied to the learning of attitudes.
- Classical conditioning– Marketers use this learning theory when they associate their product with a stimulus which elicits a favorable response with their target market. They hope for a positive attitude towards the product, increasing the chance of purchase.
In terms of attitude creation, the ‘stimulus’ could be a brand name. For example, in the case of family branding and line extensions, the new product is linked to the favorable
attitude consumers have towards the company’s existing products or brand name. Next
time you are in a supermarket, notice how many products have the family brand name. When you see a new product on the shelves, check to see whether classical conditioning has been used. Is there any association with an existing brand or product?
The ‘stimulus’ can also be a person. By using celebrities, marketers attempt to associate the product with the positive characteristics, recognition and goodwill of the celebrity. This can be especially useful in new product introductions where, at best, consumers have an ambivalent or neutral attitude. However, marketers must use classical conditioning, especially the use of celebrity endorsers, with caution.
- Instrumental conditioning-We ‘learn’ positive attitudes by receiving positive reinforcement from use of the product. Consumers may purchase a product towards which they have a neutral attitude. Perhaps it was the only product available; they were enticed by a price reduction or premium offer; or they were curious about a new product. In this case, the reinforcement received through using the product determines their attitude. If the reinforcement is positive — they liked the product — their attitude will probably move from neutral to positive.
- Cognitive learning theory– Earlier we studied the concept of involvement, that is, the importance of the product to the consumer. For high involvement products, knowledge and beliefs are extremely important in the formation of attitudes. Cognitive learning theory suggests that the more information a consumer has about a product, the more likely they are to form an opinion, either positive or negative. This is a clear message to marketers: provide consumers with information about product features and benefits. Remember though that consumers can, and do, suffer from information overload; marketers must ensure that they provide information about salient beliefs. The three most important salient beliefs tend to dominate in formation of attitude. You could test this by using the Fishbein attitude-towards-object model and analyzing the individual b/e multiples. Their b/e multiples, either positive or negative, would have the greatest impact on overall attitude scores.
THEORIES OF ATTITUDE DEVELOPMENT
- Theory of Cognitive Dissonance – Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The “ideas” or “cognitions” in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one’s behaviour, and facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours. Cognitive dissonance theory is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.
Dissonance normally occurs when a person perceives a logical inconsistency among his or her cognitions. This happens when one idea implies the opposite of another. For example, a belief in animal rights could be interpreted as inconsistent with eating meat or wearing fur. Noticing the contradiction would lead to dissonance, which could be experienced as anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, embarrassment, stress, and other negative emotional states. When people’s ideas are consistent with each other, they are in a state of harmony, or consonance. If cognitions are unrelated, they are characterised as irrelevant to each other and do not lead to dissonance.
This theory is of importance to marketers as every decision that a consumer faces a conflict between his or her decision to buy a product and the fact that by doing so he is forgoing the features of alternative products.
- Self Perception Theory – Self-perception theory (SPT) is an account of attitude change developed by psychologist Daryl Bem.According to the self-perception theory, a consumer has an opinion about his or her tastes and attitudes and these attributes of the consumer’s personality are reflected in his actions. Therefore a consumer tries to justify his purchase decision as a correct one. For example, a homemaker who purchases a particular brand of oil might instinctively believe that the brand is good as she is a person who always buys a good brand.
This theory also helps in explaining the strategies used by door to door sales men, who follow the ‘foot in the door’ technique to make a person buy their product. This technique refer to the tactic that the salesman follow wherein they get the consumer to let them into the house as they believe that once inside, they have a better chance to make a sale. The rationale
behind this belief is that the consumer has communicated that he or she perceives the product to be good or else they wouldn’t have let the salesman inside. So if the consumer were to refuse a product, it would be inconsistent to a certain extent with his earlier attitude toward the product.
This theory also explains the ‘low ball technique’ wherein the salesman first gets the consumer to agree to buy a product and then reveals the price.
- Social Judgement Theory – Social judgement theory is proposed by Muzafer Sherif and Carl Hoyland(1961).This theory states that a person will evaluate any new information (about a product) given to him in the light of the opinion that he already has about that product. For example, a woman might have a favourable attitude towards western dresses, as she considers it more professional and comfortable while working .Such a person will welcome Allen Solly’s new collection of apparel for working women. On the other hand, if she has a negative attitude towards western wear, she will not receive the information about Allen Solly positively.
Balance Theory – The Balance Theory states that a person’s view about a product includes these dimensions: 1) the person’s perception about the product, 2) what other people think about the product, and finally 3) what the product itself communicates, in reality. In short, a person perceives a three dimensional relationship between his views about the product and how he perceives other people to think about product and finally the product itself.Thus,a person examines a product from three points of view. This is called a triad.
ATTITUDE CHANGE STRATEGIES
If your brand is clearly the market leader, your goal would be to solidify and maintain the positive attitudes of your current customers. Would this mean that only marketers of secondary brands are concerned about attitude change? Obviously not. All marketers are concerned with maintaining
positive attitudes in their current consumers; changing the neutral attitudes of ambivalent consumers
to positive attitudes, hoping to increase market share; and, if necessary, changing negative attitudes to at least neutral ones.
Can attitudes be changed? If you have ever tried to change a bad habit, or ‘clean up’ your attitude, you know that it is difficult — but not impossible — to change attitudes. Marketers have found that weakly held attitudes are easier to change than strongly held attitudes. Consumers tend to develop strongly held attitudes in areas they consider to be of great personal importance, that is, of high involvement. Strongly held attitudes can be either positive or negative, with the product falling in the evoked or the inept set. In areas of limited or questionable importance, consumers tend to be ambivalent or neutral, or have weakly held attitudes that are susceptible to change. These products would fall in the inert set.
We identify six categories of attitude change strategies:
• Changing the basic motivational function. These strategies are based on the theory that attitudes serve four basic functions: utilitarian, ego-defensive, value-expressive and knowledge function. By changing the basic motivational function, the attitude towards the product can be changed.
• Associating the product with a special group, event or cause. Attitudes can be altered by indicating to consumers the product’s relationship to particular groups, events or causes. Concern for the environment has been one cause used recently.
• Relating to conflicting attitudes. Consumers like harmony — they do not like conflict. If they can be shown that their attitude towards a product is in conflict with another attitude, they may be induced to change one of the attitudes.
• Altering components in the multi-attribute model. In these strategies, marketers attempt to change the evaluation of attributes by upgrading or downgrading significant attributes; change brand beliefs by introducing new information; and by adding an attribute, or by changing the overall brand rating.
• Changing beliefs about competing brands. In this strategy, we directly compare our product with the competition in an attempt to change consumer beliefs about both products, for example, Mercury compares itself to BT.
- The elaboration likelihood model. This model suggests that consumer attitudes can be changed by either central or peripheral routes to persuasion. In the central route, attitude change occurs because the consumer seeks and evaluates additional information about the product. In this case, motivation levels are high and the consumer is willing to invest the time and effort to gather and evaluate the information, indicating a high level of involvement. Multi-attribute models are based on the central route to persuasion as attitudes are believed to be formed on the basis of important product attributes/features and brand beliefs. In the peripheral route, consumers are either unwilling or unable to seek additional product information. Involvement is low, so marketers must offer secondary inducements such as price reductions or premiums in an attempt to induce attitude change. More attention is paid in advertisement design to the credibility of the message source (spokesperson or endorser) and his or her attractiveness.
Note that all of these strategies take the traditional view that attitude precedes behavior and use the relationship between attitude and behavior to effect attitude change.
When faced with negative market research numbers, stagnant or slipping market share, or active competitors, marketers develop strategies that attempt to change or intensify attitudes. Marketers must realize that attitudes change not only in response to their efforts but also in response to the introduction of new or improved products by themselves or the competition; the addition of new consumer experiences, either direct or indirect; the marketing efforts of the competition; and how the product performs after purchase.
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