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Why People Buy

WHAT MAKES PEOPLE BUY

HINT: If you can get people to think: "I would be stupid if I didn't buy this".- your chances of selling increase greatly.

HINT: If you can create a feeling of personal contact your chances of a sale increase greatly. Some salesmen for instance might achieve this by looking a person direct in the eye and touching them lightly on the arm or shoulder when making a point.

Attitude

Attitude toward a product or service can be a complex thing. Attitude can be not only positive or negative; but the strength of feeling can also vary. In addition, a consumer may have a positive attitude toward some aspects of a product or service and negative attitudes toward some aspects of the same product or service.

When a person says they like a well-known product (eg. Coca-cola), the answer is either yes they like it or no they don’t. This type of answer tells us very little about the consumer’s psychology. For a better understanding of the consumer, you need to ask a different question (or series of questions), that will determine both quantitative and qualitative aspects of their attitude toward a product.

(eg. How necessary is coca cola to them? How often do they purchase it? How does it rank in importance relative to other drinks they purchase? …etc).

Defining Attitudes

Attitude is a term which has been defined in many different ways by psychologists. From amongst these many definitions, a common definition might be:

“A stable, long lasting, learned predisposition to respond to a particular thing in a predictable way”

The concept of attitude has the following three aspects or components:

A/ Cognitive (belief)

-concerned with what you think about a product or service.

-concerned with opinions such as it’s physical attributes (eg. whether you think it is quality, inexpensive, big, small, etc).

B/ Affective (feeling)

-concerned about less tangible attitudes such as emotional responses (eg. is it appealing or unappealing; does it stir emotions such as loyalty, love or patriotism, etc).

C/ Conative (action)

-concerned with the consumers likely behaviour (eg. are they likely to buy it, are they likely to use it, etc).

How are attitudes formed

Many animals (eg a lion) may have 90% of their brain development complete at birth; whereas humans have only around 10% at birth. As a result, an animal tends to be more predictable than a human is; and a human’s behaviour tends to be almost completely dependent upon the influences it has as it grows and develops. This is particularly relevant to “attitude”. People are not born with attitudes: they develop attitudes as they develop. There is therefore, opportunity for a marketer to influence the development of attitudes, and in doing so, influence the tendency to of potential customers to buy.

The main influences on attitude development are:

A/ Family

Family influence is very strong in most situations, about most things: including consumer attitudes. People even tend to purchase the same brands as those their parents purchased as they grew up.

B/ Peers

Friends, work colleagues or other groups of people who you see and interact with on a daily basis will influence consumer attitudes. Peer influence is particularly strong amongst adolescents. Opinion leaders within a peer group can have a strong affect upon others within that group.

C/ Direct Experience

Personal experience can over ride the affect which other people have upon our attitudes.

Changing Attitudes

Three possible ways of changing attitude are:

1. Exposure

Seeing a brand name or a product repeatedly; may be sufficient to raise enough interest for a consumer to purchase and try that product.

2. Persuasion

This involves presenting reasons why a consumer should buy and try.

3. Cognitive Dissonance

This theory says “because people have a powerful drive to be consistent, when they hold two conflicting opinions they need to find a way to resolve the resulting tension”. Eg. A person believes a product they have used for years is very good; but then as a result of persuasive advertising, believes a new and competing product is equally good. In this situation they have equal reason to use both: but they only need one. In such a situation, they need to find a reason to choose one rather than the other.

Article by Staff of ACS Distance Education

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