Consumer Psychology:

Prospect Attitudes And Buying

By James Atkinson, LLB

Consumer Psychology - Prospect Attitudes And Buying: Consumer buying habits and prospects’ attitudes determine the amount of work you will need to do to bridge what I call the "Hi"- to-Buy Gap.

You will need to target the underlying beliefs and feelings that make up their attitude, moving from what they believe when you first make contact, to what they need to believe in order to buy.

A prospect’s attitude is a general assessment of a product, service, or idea. He or she has certain thoughts and feelings about it, which create behavior.

Attitude includes knowledge of a product, like or dislike, and strength of feelings.

Simply put: a positive attitude creates motivation and intent and leads to buying. A negative attitude leads to well - not buying.

Personal Buying Influences

It’s difficult to analyze “attitude” but I venture to say that there are at least three components that are relevant to online sales:

  • Thoughts – The beliefs and opinions prospects have. They relate to the amount and type of knowledge the prospect has.
  • Feelings – Can be created by beliefs or by past emotional associations with a product.
  • Behavior – The action resulting from thoughts and feelings (for example: actually buying something).

How are these buying attitudes created? Well it can be a large number of things which include:

  • Personal experience with the product
  • Others’ experiences, through word of mouth – online and offline
  • Ideas from friends, family, and the media, including the internet.

Can online marketers promote products in a way that supports positive attitudes?

They certainly can. I’ve done it.

This is where function and benefit come into play. Here are a few things you can try:

Fulfillment – help customers achieve an outcome they desire or avoid an undesirable / painful outcome;

Self-esteem – Protect your customer’s self-image from “threats”.

Information – Enhance knowledge, understanding, and meaning.

Values – Address values consistent with prospects’ personal values, for example: buying bio-degradable garbage bags because she cares about the environment.

Your market research survey should help you discover the attitudes of your market, and identify the underlying beliefs and feelings that you need to target in order to get prospects to buy.

You may need to create or reinforce positive attitudes or change negative attitudes.

Let's now look at how groups influence buying.

Consumer Psychology > The Buyer's Mind > Buyer Emotions > Emotional Benefits > Emotional Benefits And Buying > Prospect Attitudes and Buying > Groups Influence Buying >