Companies may focus on changing consumer attitudes for a variety of reasons. Dropping sales, increased product or service complaints and new, or renewed, competition in the marketplace can all necessitate a hard look at the reasons behind trends related to consumer perceptions and attitudes. Deciphering the cause of negative perceptions requires appropriate planning and the commitment to make the necessary changes to ensure success. For small businesses, analyzing consumer behavior becomes an essential part of developing a targeted marketing and promotional campaign. Conduct marketing research to learn about consumer attitudes that may affect the process of marketing your product or service. Focus on widespread preconceptions that you will need to counteract, identifying potentially negative beliefs, impressions and preferences. Evaluate whether these attitudes stem from actual, personal experiences or whether they are the product of advertising campaigns or popular prejudices. Perform your own direct surveys, and also study relevant research to determine the criteria and variables that influence a consumer’s decision of whether to purchase your product or service.
If negative consumer attitudes toward your product or service stem from an actual experience with it, look for ways to redesign your offerings in order to counteract these negative perceptions. Focus on directly addressing consumer dissatisfaction, based on the results of your research. Launch an advertising campaign to communicate the changes that you have implemented, and identify the ways that they will more effectively meet consumers’ needs. If consumer attitudes stem from social biases, target your marketing and advertising toward creating impressions more favorable to your product or service. For example, if consumers view your product or service as a luxury and this presents difficulties for you during tough economic times, rebrand it as a necessity or demonstrate ways that it can actually save money in the long term.