In order to even start the process of shaping consumer attitudes, it is vital to identify and understand already existing consumer perceptions.
Attitude shapes the way we perceive society and the people around us, as well as our thoughts on just about anything and everything else.
The way in which we view and engage with the world around us is largely shaped by what is commonly called our attitude. When someone refers to an “attitude problem” or the “need to change your attitude” we all immediately know what they are referring to. Attitude shapes the way we perceive society and the people around us, as well as our thoughts on just about anything and everything else. Attitude is usually defined as our general evaluations of objects, issues, or people. It is essentially a predisposition to respond consistently favourable or unfavourable to something or someone.
Of course, when it comes to the way your brand is perceived by consumers, attitude is decisive. In fact, many consider attitude to be the most important determinant of buying behaviour. So, the focus of today’s video is how you can, through strategic marketing endeavours, shape and direct consumer attitudes so as to transform them into your loyal customers. In other words, what kind of campaigns and strategies can serve to persuade customers and achieve the desired outcomes.
But first things first: in order to even start the process of shaping consumer attitudes, it is vital to identify and understand already existing consumer perceptions. Evaluate and utilize feedback, surveys and other data to form a clear picture of where challenges may exist and where there is room for improvement. Additionally, it is also important to get an idea of how well-known your brand is and how much work needs to be done to effectively introduce it to a broader public. After all, the first impression you make on those who have never encountered your brand is going to be absolutely vital in terms of the attitude new customers are going to have.
Measuring consumers’ attitudes can give you a clear picture of the real state of both existing and potential markets. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how striking or innovative your slogans and advertisements are—if the attitudes consumers hold towards your brand aren’t positive, it will all end up being futile. In a market where alternatives exist, the attitude someone has towards your brand determines not only the way in which your brand gets evaluated, but also how alternatives are viewed by comparison. In fact, one of the main drivers of the market shares occupied by different brands are the attitudes of the consumers in that market toward the different brands.
A clear picture of existing consumer attitudes allows you to proceed to the next vital step: developing a plan of action. Ultimately, the goal of persuasion is almost always to affect a change in behaviour and in this case consumer behaviour—so do keep this in mind throughout.
But changing attitudes can be incredibly difficult, and in some cases literally impossible. When people hold certain beliefs or convictions it normally takes something quite remarkable to make them change it. However, as long as said beliefs aren’t emphatically opposed to your brand, the most effective strategy would be to simply let those beliefs work in your favour. In other words, the goal should be to shape, rather than change attitudes. Pairing your brand or products with the right stimulus, for example, can go a long way to winning the hearts of consumers. Think of how so many products are often paired with beautiful women in advertising.
Furthermore, because people generally believe that they ought to behave rationally, offering discounts and specials might just offer the needed incentive for people to try your products, with even one pleasant experience often going a long way to allowing clients to form long-term attachments to your brand.
So while trying to change beliefs could ultimately end up backfiring, adding new beliefs that don’t conflict with existing ones can be a most valuable means of shaping consumer attitudes. The same can be said for ideals. Generating certain ideals or goals on the part of consumers and then presenting your brand as the means to achieving those ideals, can be another highly effective means of shaping favourable attitudes.
Other examples could be added to these but the most important thing is to always bear in mind that consumer attitudes constitute a central component of consumer behaviour. Ultimately, knowing your existing and potential consumer base is absolutely key to wisely going about strategically shaping consumer attitudes in favour of your brand.
Paul Russell is co-founder of Luxury Academy London, a multi-national training company with offices in London, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam. Luxury Academy London specialise exclusively in the luxury industry and deliver training in leadership, communication and business etiquette training for companies and private clients across the globe.
Prior to founding Luxury Academy London, Paul worked in senior leadership roles within luxury hospitality. A dynamic trainer and seminar leader, Paul has designed and taught courses, workshops and seminars worldwide on a wide variety of soft skills.