Attitude & Consumer Behaviour, ATO Model

Attitude is the way one thinks, acts or feels about something or someone. It is a predisposition to act favourably or unfavourably towards an object.

Attitude in consumer behaviour refers to a way of thinking or behaviour of a person towards a product or service which is developed through his/her past purchase experiences, use, knowledge, beliefs etc.

A person can have a positive or a negative attitude towards a product or service. For e.g. Elders usually have a negative attitude towards fast food as they consider it unhealthy, but youngsters have a positive attitude towards fast food as it is easy to eat, while middle-aged people may be indifferent towards fast food. Hence,

  1. Attitude is the mental aspect of humans which decide the likes and dislikes of human beings.

  2. It makes a consumer go in for a brand or banish the same from their purchase preferences.

  3. It impacts purchase decision as well as the post purchase experience of consumers.

  4. Attitude of consumers towards brands make them select between one of the same when given a choice.

Models of Attitude

Attitude plays a prominent role in influencing consumer behaviour and can be understood by two models – 

  1. The Tricomponent Attitude Model

  2. The Multi attributes Models

(1) The Tricomponent Attitude Model is based on three elements that help a consumer to evaluate a product. They are:

  1. Affective Element – Feelings and emotions about a product or service

  2. Cognitive Element – Knowledge and belief about the product or service

  3. Conative or Behavioral Element – Actions and behaviour towards the product or service

This Model is based on different types of hierarchy that fall under four categories as follows –

  1. Experiential Hierarchy

  2. Low Involvement Hierarchy

  3. Standard Learning Hierarchy

  4. High Involvement Hierarchy

The holistic manner in which the Tricomponent Model approaches the attitudinal aspect to that of consumer behaviour makes it a highly dependable one.

(2) The Multi Attributes Model substantiates the interest of the consumers on a specific object and likes and dislikes of consumers towards a product or a brand. This model is divided in to two types namely –

  1. Attitude towards the Behaviour Model

  2. Attitude towards the Object Model

Attitude towards Object Model – ATO Model

While Attitude towards Behaviour Model focuses on the changing Behaviour of consumers, Attitude towards Object Model focuses on the object related aspects of purchase.

  1. The ATO Model measures the likes and dislikes of consumers with the help of Fishbein Model.

  2. According to this model, consumers choose products and brands based on comparative analysis of various product or brand attributes. Consumers go in for products based on many attributes like options of accessories available along with the product, product performance, durability of the product and reliability aspects of the same.

  3. The ATO Model clearly states that the expectations of customers vary based on the products and services consumers go in for. The process of ATO model remains constant even when the attributes undergo changes

  4. This model substantiates that in order to choose the best product among the various choices available, Consumers shortlist all the attributes they expect from the product. They rate the feature or weight the required features of the product on a comparative scale. Finally they go in for the product that gets the maximum rating.

Key benefits of ATO Model

  1. ATO Model is highly rational and useful model

  2. The model gives well defined steps to select a product, evaluate different products and their attributes and make a good purchase decision

  3. It gives consumers the choice to experiment with new brands and product they have not used till now

  4. It allows consumers to rate or weight all possible options available in front of them and conduct a comparative analysis of various products or brands

  5. Consumers get the best value for their money when the ATO Model is practiced

  6. ATO Model helps consumers to make well informed and thoughtful purchase decisions 

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