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CONSUMER PERSONALITY, TRAIT THEORY AND SELF IMAGES

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Consumer Psychology (PSY - 514)
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LESSON29
CONSUMER PERSONALITY, TRAIT THEORY AND SELF IMAGES
CHAPTER 5: INDIVIDUAL DETERMINANTS OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
Understanding:
 Consumer purchase as a reflection of Consumer Personality
 Trait theory
 Self Image
1. Freudian Theory and Consumer Personality
Consumer Researchers who apply Freud's psychoanalytic theory to the study of consumer personality believe that
human drives are largely unconscious. Consumers are primarily unaware of their true reasons for buying what they
buy. These researchers tend to see that consumer purchase and/or consumption situations as extension of
consumer's personality. Consumer's appearance and possessions ­ grooming, clothing, jewelry, etc reflect the
individual's personality.
A Research Study
By: Alan Hirsch (Naperville, H. Sourcebooks 2001)
Title: What flavor is your personality
Conducted on: 19,000 consumers
Examines: The link between snack food perceptions and personality traits
Findings of the research
Snack Foods and Personality Traits
Snack Foods
Personality Traits
Potato Chips
Ambitious, successful, high achiever, impatient with less than the best
Tortilla Chips
Perfectionist, high expectations, punctual, conservative, responsible
Pretzels
Lively, easily bored with same old routine, flirtatious, intuitive, may over commit
to projects
Snack Crackers
Rational, logical, contemplative, shy, prefers time alone
Cheese Curls
Conscientious, principled, proper, fair, may appear rigid, but has great integrity,
plans ahead, loves order
Nuts
Easygoing, empathetic, understanding, calm, even tempered.
Popcorn
Takes charge, pitches in often, modest, self conscious, but not a show off
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Consumer Psychology (PSY - 514)
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Meat Snacks
Gregarious, generous, trustworthy, tends to be overly trusting
2.  Trait Theory
A personality theory with a primarily empirical/quantitative orientation. It focuses upon the measurement of
personality in terms of specific psychological characteristics called traits
Trait
Trait is a distinguished relatively enduring way in which one individual differs from another. Trait theorists are
concerned with construction of personality tests (or inventories) that enable them to pinpoint individual
differences in terms of specific traits.
Single Trait Personality Tests
Single Trait Personality Tests measure just one trait (such as Self confidence) that are often developed specifically
for use in Consumer Behavior studies.
These tailor made personality tests measure such traits as:
Consumer Innovativeness: how receptive a person is to new ideas
Consumer Materialism: the degree of consumer's attachment to worldly possessions
Consumer Ethnocentrism: The consumer's likelihood to accept or reject foreign products (Pakistan
example)
Does personality link to how consumers make their choices and to the purchase of a brand product category
rather than a specific brand? Researchers have found that personality links to how consumers make their choices
and to the purchase of a brand product category rather than a specific brand.
Example
Research Study
By: Gwen Carden (Naperville, H. Sourcebooks 2001)
Title: Your favorite reveals your personality
Published: Stone City journal, January 2, 2001)
Conducted on: 1,000 US adults
Examines: The link between favorite and personality traits
Soup and So Soup and Soups Lovers Traits
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP LOVERS
 Watch a lot of TV
 Family oriented
 Great sense of humor
 Outgoing and loyal
 Like daytime talk shows
TOMATO SOUP LOVERS
 Passionate about reading
 Love Pets
 Like meeting people for coffee
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Consumer Psychology (PSY - 514)
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Aren't usually the life of a party
Findings of the Research
Brand/Product Personality
Consumers attribute various descriptive personalities like traits or characteristics to different brands in a wide
variety of product category
3. Self & Self Image
Consumers have a variety of enduring self images about themselves. The self images or perceptions about self are
closely associated with personality in that individuals tend to buy product and services and patronize retailers
whose images or personalities relate in some meaningful ways to their own personalities
The Makeup of Self Image
Each individual has an image of himself/herself as a certain kind of person, with certain traits, skills, habits,
possessions, relationships and ways of behaving. The individual's self image is unique ­ the outgrowth of a
person's background and experiences
Development of Self Image
Individuals develop their self images through their interactions with other people ­ initially their interaction with
their parents and then with other individuals and groups with whom they relate over the years
Historically individuals have been thought to have single self image and to be interested in products and services
that satisfy the single self
Our Multiple Selves
A single individual is likely to act differently in different situations with different people. A variety of different self
images have been recognized in the consumer behavior literature for a long time:
Actual Self Image
Ideal Self Image
Social Self Image
Ideal Social Self Image
Actual Self Image
How consumers actually see themselves
Ideal Self Image
How consumers would like to see themselves
Social Self Image
How consumers feel other see them
Ideal Social Self Image
How consumers would like others to see them
Expected Self
How consumers expect to see themselves in at some specified future time (somewhere between the actual self
image and the ideal self image)
Ought To Be Self
Consists of traits or characteristics that an individual believes it is his/her duty or obligation to possess
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Consumer Psychology (PSY - 514)
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Marketing Contexts and Self Images
In different contexts consumers might select a different self image to guide their attitudes or behavior. For some
actual house hold product consumers might be guided by their actual self image. For some socially enhancing or
socially conspicuous product they might be guided by their social self image. When it comes to personal
appearance they might be guided by their ideal self images
Self Image and Marketing Concept
The concept of self image has strategic implications for marketers: They can market their products on the basis
relevant consumer self images, position their products or services as symbols of such self images. Such a strategy is
fully consistent with the marketing concept. Marketer first assesses the needs of consumer segments (with respect
to both a product category and to an appropriate symbol of self image) and then proceeds to develop and market a
product or service that meets both the criteria.
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Consumer Behavior
  2. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Consumer research
  3. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Marketing Mix, Product, Price
  4. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Customer Value, Perceived Value
  5. VALUE AND RETENTION FOCUSED MARKETING AND CONSUMER DECISION MAKING PROCESS
  6. CONSUMER RESEARCH:Quantitative Research, Qualitative Research
  7. MAJOR STEPS IN CONSUMER RESEARCH PROCESS:Design of Primary research
  8. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS & DATA COLLECTION METHODS
  9. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES:ATTITUDE SCALES
  10. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS & DATA COLLECTION METHODS
  11. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION MEASUREMENT, SAMPLING, AND DATA ANALYSIS AND REPORTING
  12. MARKET SEGMENTATION AND ITS BASES:Geographical Segmentation
  13. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: DEMOGRAPHIC SEGMENTATION PSYCHOGRAPHIC SEGMENTATION
  14. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: SOCIOCULTURAL SEGMENTATION USE RELATED SEGMENTATION USAGE SITUATION SEGMENTATION
  15. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: BENEFIT SEGMENTATION:Intrinsic Cues
  16. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: HYBRID SEGMENTATION STRATEGIES
  17. MARKET SEGMENTATION IMPLEMENTING SEGMENTATION STRATEGIES ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES CULTURE
  18. HOW CULTURE IS LEARNT ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Formal Learning
  19. CULTURE AND ITS MEASUREMENT ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES
  20. MEASUREMENT OF CULTURE ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Consumer Fieldwork
  21. SUBCULTURE CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES
  22. AGE AND GENDER SUBCULTURE CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES
  23. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: BENEFIT SEGMENTATION:Market Segmentation
  24. SOCIAL CLASS CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Occupation
  25. CONSUMER SOCIAL CLASSES CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Affluent Consumer
  26. CONSUMER SOCIAL CLASSES CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Membership Group
  27. CONSUMER SOCIAL CLASSES CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Shopping Groups
  28. UNDERSTANDING PERSONALITY CHAPTER 5: INDIVIDUAL DETERMINANTS OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
  29. CONSUMER PERSONALITY, TRAIT THEORY AND SELF IMAGES
  30. CONSUMER MOTIVATION:Needs, Goals, Generic Goals
  31. UNDERSTANDING LEARNING:Intentional and Incidental Learning, Implications for Marketers
  32. INSTRUMENTAL CONDITIONING, INFORMATION PROCESSING AND MEMORY
  33. ATTITUDES:Characteristics of Attitudes, Attitudes have consistency
  34. ATTITUDE FORMATION AND CHANGE:How attitudes are learned?
  35. ATTITUDE CHANGE STRATEGIES:Resolving two conflicting attitudes
  36. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER DECISION MAKING:Decision Complexity
  37. Problem Recognition, Search and Evaluation and Decision and Purchase
  38. Decision and Purchase:Consumer Decision Rules, Output, Relationship Marketing
  39. Decisions Related to Post Purchase:Product Set up and Use
  40. Marketing Implications of Decisions Related to Post Purchase:Understanding
  41. Post Purchase Evaluation:Determinants of Satisfaction, Consumer Complaint Behavior
  42. Post Purchase Dissonance:Dissonance Reduction, Marketing Implications
  43. Consumerism:Roots of Consumerism, The Nature of Consumerism
  44. Consumerism Issues and Responses:Environmental Concerns, Consumer Privacy
  45. Review Consumer Psychology Course:Consumer Research, Consumerism