Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
This is the last month we will be focusing on psychological behaviors. Our final section is about beliefs and attitudes.
In November, we focused on how learning can affect consumer's behavior. This month we will be touching on how beliefs and attitudes can influence behavior.
Similar to learned behaviors, a belief is a descriptive thought that a person has about something. They can be based on real knowledge, opinion, or faith and may, or may not, carry an emotional component.
From a pharmacy owner's perspective, we are interested in customer's beliefs about specific products and services since it is those beliefs that affect their buying behavior. A common belief that we see, is that people assume that the chain stores are more convenient. Typically, once we get those people into our pharmacy, their beliefs are modified.
Attitude describes a person's relatively consistent evaluations, feelings, and tendencies toward an object or idea. Attitudes put people into a frame of mind of liking or disliking things. Attitudes are very difficult to change and most companies end up trying to fit their products into existing attitudes, rather than trying to change them.
As an example, a common attitude people hold, is that independents are more expensive than chains. While we continue to remind people we aren't - changing their attitudes has proven to be a very difficult task.