Behavior or Attitudes?


Maximilian Weigl, a strategist at 72andSunny in Amsterdam recently guest curated the Strands of Genius newsletter created by Faris and Rosie Yakob.  Maximillian identified himself with the following descriptor: “I help build brand behaviours that outlast campaigns.”  I loved it.

One of my memes is “Campaigns come and go, a powerful brand idea is indelible,” so I felt a kinship with Max. Plus I’m a fan of 72andSunny. But the first part of Maximillian’s statement “building brand behaviors” got me thinking. Are brand planners focused on building/changing behaviors or attitudes? 

My gut says attitudes but let’s take a little quick look.

Shop, buy, advocate and recommend are behaviors. Who can argue those aren’t important in brand planning? One of my favorite sayings about advertising is “make someone feel something, then do something.” Do is a behavior. Transact. Mic drop.

Yet prefer, desire, appreciate, and discern are attitudes. And they precede behavior and drive behavior, no?  Unless the choice is truly price driven.

I’ve been a Hellmann’s Mayonnaise fan all my life. I like the taste and just buy it without thinking. It’s a behavior.  A repetitive behavior. Hellmann’s loves me, they needn’t spend marketing dollars to get my business.  But a competing mayo after my business can’t just change my behavior, they must change my attitude first.

Or must they?  Perhaps I try another product at the suggestion of a friend and it tastes as good. Or better. That behavior (trial) can lead to attitude change.

Is this a chicken and egg debate?  What do you think?