Values, beliefs, and attitudes play a central role in consumer decision making and related marketing actions.
Attitude Formation An attitude is a “learned predisposition to respond to an object or class of objects in a consistently favorable or unfavorable way.”22 Attitudes are shaped by our values and beliefs, which are learned. Values vary by level of specificity. We speak of American core values, including material wellbeing and humanitarianism. We also have personal values, such as thriftiness and ambition. Marketers are concerned with both but focus mostly on personal values. Personal values affect attitudes by influencing the importance assigned to specific product attributes. Suppose thriftiness is one of your personal values. When you evaluate cars, fuel economy (a product attribute) becomes important. If you believe a specific car brand has this attribute, you are likely to have a favorable attitude toward it.
Beliefs also play a part in attitude formation. Beliefs are a consumer’s subjective perception of how a product or brand performs on different attributes. Beliefs are based on personal experience, advertising, and discussions with other people. Beliefs about product attributes are important because, along with personal values, they create the favorable or unfavorable attitude the consumer has toward certain products, services, and brands.