In the case of Ajzen and Fishbein's, their theory, the theory of reasoned action (TRA), has found links between general buying behaviour and particular factors that affect this. Its key proposition is to evaluate the strength of beliefs and salient beliefs of a product utilising attitudes which, are a combination of the strength of beliefs associated with a product and the evaluation of these beliefs.
The Fishbein's and Ajzen model is an extension of what is known as the 'Information integration model' founded by Norman Anderson which explores how attitudes are changed through combining new information with existing cognitive thoughts and affects. Ajzen and Schifter introduced perceived control in 1985 simply stating that some behaviour is harder to control than others and so our buying behaviour changes as there is an influence over our choices. This concept is definitely plausible as perceived control definitely does have an affect.
Although, depending on the person or the product it varies: Not everyone succumbs to perceived control all the time as some people are less affected and based on the product itself. I. e some people are addicted to cigarettes so have to buy them whereas others do not because they are not. This will link in with strength of beliefs and evaluation of outcome as when choosing what to spend your money on, those who are addicted and who think that buying cigarettes is a necessity and very important will purchase them whereas someone who is unaffected by this example of perceived control wont.
Fazio et al (1984) and Fazio and Williams (1986) introduced the speed of access theory. This states that some attitudes are near to the surface of the memory than others consequently influencing our decision on what to buy. It is basically the relevance and salience of an issue or situation to an individual. This theory is feasible and it definitely does impact upon our attitudes and our overall behaviors when purchasing products.
If we think about it when we walk into a shop straight away we go to our memory and think back to adverts, opinions and beliefs of a product last time we tried it, subconsciously our minds are calculating and processing all this information. However depending on the person the speed of access may affect them less, and how easily they are influenced by the media is a further factor that makes speed of access less important as a person may want to try a new product regardless of memory and previous attitudes.
Pavlovs famous work on dogs whereby he rang a bell every time he fed them to link the bell with the salivation caused by the food. Eventually using this classical conditioning method he was able to ring the bell and even though there was no food the dog would still salivate. Sometimes our attitudes are affected by our memory and subconsciously we have no control. Azjen and Fishbein's theory is plausible: Azjen and Fishbein go into more depth and begin to draw in other components which are all applicable to help determine behaviour.
We are all different and we all have different beliefs, Azjen and Fishbein have advanced on traditional attitude theories by talking about components that affect behaviour and talk about different strengths of beliefs and evaluation of outcomes. Particular parts of Fishbein and Azjen's theory have more importance and affect than others depending on the current situation; The theory of relative attitude has been put forward saying that a person would behave in a particular way based on x,y, and z factors which may or may not reflect the attitude that they want.
For example there are situations (or factors) that limit the influence of attitude on behaviour. If we use the cinema for example, if our attitude wants us to go out to the cinema with our friends but due to financial constraints we have no money, our lack of money will prevent our attitude from going to the cinema. Therefore TRA predicts behavioural intention, actually going against our attitude and being able to control our behaviour. In the reasoned outlined above, consumer analyse strength of beliefs, evaluate their reasoning, are affected by intention, social norms access to attitudes and perceived control all when buying a product.
When a consumer goes into the shop to buy for example a drink, they may not necessarily know what they want so begin to look at the products on offer and analyse what they think about each product based on past opinions, social norms, access to memory and the strength of the beliefs, for example 'redbull will give me energy'. They will then evaluate how important the facts are and how relevant they are to them. On a scale of 1-10 a consumer may think that redbull will give them energy so they will rate this 10.
On evaluation of the outcome however, because they may not find this important at the particular time as they have just ate, or do not feel out of energy and in need of a boost, they will evaluate the importance of this factor as a -2. As we can see from the equation below representing the behavioural Intention model (represented as I, is the some of the belief multiplied by the evaluation of that belief). Customer's approach to purchasing a product or service is influenced by their situation: whether they have money and how important, frequent, risky or urgent the purchase is to them in their situation.
It varies depending on the person and although many of us do go through the mental process of analysing strengths of beliefs and evaluating what we think we need or want based on current situations some of us do not. For example someone with a lot of money who can afford to purchase something that they may not necessarily like, something new so can afford to make a mistake as apposed to someone who has little money. They may both be buying the same product but their financial situations result in a different approach.
Consumers will become more involved if the purchase is important to them and so will think more both cognitively and affectively into the purchase. Businesses are using these factors to aim their products at a particular market and are able to reach them more affectively. Calculating particular stimulus, and particular times of the day e. t. c which would attract consumers to their product. By using particular stimuli on their adverts they are conditioning us, the consumer and influencing our choices to buy.
Take andrex for example. Using a puppy helps to show how soft and cuddly the gentle the toilet paper is which is a stimulus for us to buy as we are given the impression it is soft. Here both the buyers will follow the theory outlined when buying the product and may evaluate the strength of belief in order to obtain an overall attitude however the thought process behind it is more in depth and thought into by the person who has little money as it is more of a risk.
For the buyer who has a lot of money this purchase is known as a 'low involvement purchase' and these are the purchases that reflect the theories above less. Further aspects which do not reflect the pattern outlined in the theories is the pattern of Routine response behaviour whereby when a need for a product is stimulated, a particular brand is automatically purchased. And for this type of purchase strength of belief, evaluation and intention are all diminished by access to memory as you already know what you want to buy.
Alternatively, an expensive, high risk purchase for example a car or a new mobile phone will need a lot of detailed research and analysis, it is not something you would go out and buy without looking into. Here all factors of the Fishbein's model will be taken into account when weighing up which is the best product to buy. The timescale available is another factor that would affect the approach of a customer and how much they would reflect the buying behaviour of the theories outlined. If a purchase is urgent, for example calling someone out to fix the boiler.
Factors such as social norms, what your friends recommend, or how well you think the service may be. You know that some services will be more expensive than others however you also know they offer the same service and will be around the same price so do not care as long as someone hurries round to fix it. Many of us already have mapped out schemas or scripts that are written in our minds that do not change, "Every Wednesday we go to the shop to buy a loaf of bread" and so we will pay little attention to these factors of the theory.
I do believe that not all buyers follow the exact structure of the theories above and as I have mentioned there are situations and factors that affect our choices and our attitudes, which result in our overall buying behaviour. The theories however cannot accurately represent buying behaviour for everybody in every situation. Fishbein and Azjen, Schifter, Fazio and Williams were all theorist in the 1980's and have based their theories around influences at that time. In the past two decades we as consumers have dramatically changed, and developed.
We have evolved into a multi-million pound consuming industry and this has been harnessed by businesses all over the world who have researched and applied different techniques and strategies that influence our buying behaviours that even we sometimes fail to control. It is in these past two decades that buyer behaviour has become so important to businesses as they recognise the importance. We are a lot more developed now then back when these theories were created and so there are factors that are not fully covered.
* Influence by the media and businesses is one aspect Offers - Buy one get one free. Deals. We are constantly hunting for cheaper products and deals and are happy to drop all we know about previous products, and happy to change from one to another to save money. * There are stronger views towards products now then there was then which can influence a decision to buy. The carbon footprint of a product, or the use of child labour. So although we may believe a product is good for us, and our evaluation of how the product will affect is also positive there may be external socio-economic factors preventing the purchase.
The theory of planned behaviour was one extension introduced by Azjen in 1985 to try and make their theory more accurate by introducing the theory of perceived control. The research behind this theory and the theory of reasoned action is widely known and supported. Behavioural intent can be predicted from attitudes towards behaviour and social norms. However with attitude and behaviour, attitude is a more accurate prediction of behavioural intent than the suvjective norms.
O'Keefe (1990) pointed out the relationship between attitudinal components and the factors that contribute to them i. e. strength of a belief and the evaluation of this, and that of the subjective norms and their components i. e. normative beliefs, and the motivation to comply. Therefore I believe that it makes sense to add the idea of subjective norms as something that can influence our behaviour however on an overall scale it is true to say that attitudes are a more important influence
Thus, I believe it is useful to add the idea of subjective norms, because sometimes they can influence our behaviour, but in general attitudes are a more important influence. And compare with other models, the theory of relative action and the extension in the form of the theory of buyer behaviour is more applicable and capable in explaining various situations that takes into account a consumers situation, environment and condition