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PERSONALITY AND LIFESTYLES. What is Personality?. Pleasure Principle. Id. Sexual Symbolism. Key Concepts. Reality Principle . Ego. Superego. Freudian Theory. struggle between Id (pleasure), Superego (reason) and Ego (moderates between Id and Superego)

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Freudian Theory

  • struggle between

Id (pleasure),

Superego (reason) and

Ego (moderates between Id and Superego)

  • Id desires pleasures (sex)
  • Superego says its socially unacceptable
  • Ego says I’ll find a socially acceptable way (i. e. symbolic sex)
  • so that Superego is happy and Id can have its pleasure.


  • Products symbolically satisfy consumers sexual needs --- substitute the product for the real thing

Why does advertising use sex as an appeal to the consumer?

Because it works.

Sex is the second strongest of the psychological appeals, right behind self-preservation.

Sexual desire’s strength is biological and instinctive.

For many products it is possible to find (or invent) a sexual connection.


The effectiveness of sex in advertising is gender linked.

  • Men have minimal criteria for sexual desire
  • Basically, they are concerned with a woman's anatomy -- as long as a woman looks young enough and healthy, she is desirable.
  • in advertising it is easy to get a man's attention by using women's bodies and associate getting the woman if he buys the product.

In general, female models are placed in sexually exploitative and compromising positions, sexually submissive postures, and with sexually connotative facial expressions.

  • Media definitions of sexual attractiveness promote either extreme thinness or a thin waist with large hips and breasts
  • The sexual connection is much easier to set up for men than for women.

Hanes Resilience" 1996


The use of sex in advertising to women is more difficult

  • Although the use of healthy, fit men may attract their attention and create desire, willingness to engage in intercourse is rarely aroused strictly because of a man's body
  • For a woman, sexual desire is a complex mixture of such factors as money, power, prestige, etc
  • To sell to a woman, advertising relies on that modern idea about how men and women relate -- romance.
  • Although an ad may use a man's body as an attention getting device, he is usually shown in a romantic rather than sexual context.

Motivational Research

  • assumes unconscious motives influence consumer behavior
  • research tries to identify these underlying unconscious forces (e.g., cultural factors, sociological forces).
  • Marketers can therefore better understand the target audience and how to influence that audience.
  • Qualitative as opposed to quantitative
  • standard marketing research survey can’t reveal these motives
  • Three major techniques
  • Observation
  • Focus Groups
  • In-Depth Interviews


A relationship between a brand and a person - the type of person the brand represents

The Quaker Oats man is a paternal archetype conveying old-fashioned goodness

A trustworthy, dependable, conservative personality might reflect characteristics valued in a financial advisor, a lawn service, or even a car


5 Major Brand Personalities

Sincerity: Down-to-earth, family oriented, genuine, old-fashioned. E.g. Hallmark, Kodak, Coke. The relationship might be similar to one that exists with a well-liked and respected member of the family.

Excitement: Spirited, young, up-to-date, outgoing. E.g. Pepsi.

Competence: Accomplished, influential, competent. E.g. Hewlett-Packard, Globe & Mail. Relationship might be similar to one with a person whom you respect for their accomplishments, such as a teacher, minister or business leader.

Sophistication: Pretentious, wealthy, condescending: E.g. BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus (with gold trim) as opposed to the KIA, or the VW bug. The relationship could be similar to one with a powerful boss or a rich relative.

Ruggedness: Athletic and outdoorsy. E.g. Nike, Head.


Two elements affect an individual's relationship with a brand.

1. relationship between the brand-as-person and the customer, which is analogous to the relationship between two people.

2. brand personality--I.e. the type of person the brand represents. The brand personality provides depth, feelings and liking to the relationship..

  • One important relationship for many brands is friendship.
    • Characterized by trust, dependability, understanding, and caring
    • A friend is there for you, treats you with respect, is comfortable, is someone you like, and is an enjoyable person with whom to spend time.

Dodge Neon

Your friend


What Creates a Brand Personality?

Packaging, advertising, marketing activities

The creation and communication of a distinctive brand personality is one way marketers can make a product stand out from the competition



1. the total value of a brand as a separable asset

2. a measure of the strength of consumers’ attachment to a brand

3. The strength of the associations and beliefs the consumer has about the brand


Respect Segment

"My job is to help you get accepted."

"You have good taste."

Intimidated segment

"Are you ready for me, or will you spend more than you can afford?”

"If you don't like the conditions, get another card."

"I'm so well known and established that I can do what I want."

"If I were going to dinner, I would not include you in the party."


Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique -- ZMET

  • technique for eliciting interconnected mental constructs that influence thought and behavior
  • method combines neurobiology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, linguistics, and art theory
  • Tries to uncover the mental models that guide consumer behavior
  • A tool used to asses the strategic aspects of brand personality
  • based on the premise that brands are expressed in terms of metaphors
  • i.e. a representation of one thing in terms of another
  • most marketers are so caught up in the literal, they neglect the metaphoric
  • Metaphor is central to thought and crucial to uncovering latent needs and emotions. -- often non-verbal
  • A lot goes on in our minds that we're not aware of. Most of what influences what we say and do occurs below the level of awareness

ZMET approach based on a nonverbal representation of brands.

  • Participants collect a minimum of 12 images from their lives representing their thoughts and feelings about a topic
  • Then interviewed in depth about the images and feelings.
  • digital imaging techniques are used to create a collage summarising these thoughts and feelings
  • person tells a story about the image created.


  • Conventional research told Dupont that most women hate to wear panty hose.
  • Zaltman selected 20 panty-hose-wearing women and asked: "What are your thoughts and feelings about buying and wearing panty hose?"
  • They collected a dozen pictures from magazines, catalogs, and family photo albums that captured their thoughts and feelings about the product.
  • The women found images of steel bands strangling trees, twisted telephone cords, and of fence posts encased in a tight plastic wrap.
  • also chose pictures of two African masks hanging on a bare wall, of an ice-cream sundae spilled on the ground, of a luxury car, and of flowers resting peacefully in a vase.
  • the women discussed each picture during an intense two-hour session women have a love-hate relationship with nylons.

Wearing the product made her feel thin and tall. The ice-cream sundae represented the embarrassment caused by stocking runs; the expensive car, the feeling of luxury.

  • The images also brought out subtleties related to sexual issues," Green recalls. "Women would say, 'They make my legs feel longer.' Why is it important to have long legs? 'Men like long legs.' Why do men like long legs? 'They're sexy.' And eventually women would say they wanted to feel sexy to men.
  • These findings led hosiery manufacturers and retailers to alter their advertising to include not only images of supercompetent career women but also images of sexiness and allure

Nestles Crunch

Subjects revealed that they saw the candy bar as a small indulgence in a busy world, a source of quick energy, and something that just tasted good

Subjects brought in pictures of old pickup trucks, of children playing on picket-fenced suburban lawns, of grandfather clocks, of snowmen, and of American flags.

The candy bar evoked powerful memories of childhood, of simpler times.

It was less a workday pick-me-up than a time machine back to childhood.








Products are the building blocks of lifestyles

  • Many products and services seem to go together usually because they are selected by the same types of people
  • Patterns of consumption based on lifestyles are often composed of many ingredients that are shared by people of similar social and economic circumstances
  • for this reason marketing strategies try to position a product by fitting it into an existing pattern of consumption
  • focus on product usage in desirable social settings or contexts

Life Style Marketing

  • Lifestyle marketing recognises that people sort themselves into groups based on the things they like to do
  • lifestyle marketing looks at patterns of behaviour to understand how people use products to define lifestyles.
  • Examine how they make their choices in a variety of product categories - in context
  • An important part of lifestyle marketing is to identify the set of products and services that go together

Product Complementarity

  • occurs when the symbolic meanings of different products are related to each other
  • these sets of products, termed consumption constellations
  • A consumption constellation is defined as a "cluster of complementary products, specific brands, and/or consumption activities used to construct, signify, and/or perform a social role”
  • By choosing distinctive product groupings laden with symbolic meaning, consumers communicate their affiliation with a positively valued, or aspirational, lifestyle.
  • From this perspective, the meaning of a product is critically dependent upon the context in which it is displayed or used
  • Consumers buy on the basis of product complementarity:

Knowledge about lifestyles is important for

    • defining the target market (beyond demographics)
    • new product development,
    • cross-merchandising
    • promotional and media strategies
    • creating a new view of the market (e.g. zinc cream)
    • better communicating product attributes/benefits - to match a person's lifestyle.
    • reaching consumers
  • For example, an apparel manufacturer wishing to license a line of home-related products needs to know
    • how its brand image in the sportswear category will translate into purchases of linens.
    • what linen styles will appeal to its sportswear customer,
    • the optimal way to display these items at retail
    • and how best to create advertising executions that place these products in the appropriate lifestyle context.


  • the use of psychological, sociological and anthropological factors to construct market segments
  • based on differences in choices of consumption activities
  • Psychographics is a system for measuring consumers' beliefs, opinions, tastes and interests.
  • Demographic information tells us WHO buys
  • Psychographics provides information on consumer motivations for purchasing and using products and services and tells us WHY they buy

Activities, Interests and Opinions (AIO)

  • most psychographic research groups consumers according to some combination of activities, interests and opinions
  • marketers create profiles of customers who resemble each other in their activities and patterns of product usage.
  • To group consumers into common AIO categories researchers give respondents a long list of statements and ask them how much they agree with each one
  • Lifestyle is then boiled down by discovering
    • how people spend their time.
    • what they find interesting and important and
    • how they view themselves and the world around them

VALS (Values and Lifestyles)

  • categorizes consumers into 8 mutually exclusive groups based on their psychographics and several key income related demographics.
  • highlights factors that motivate consumer buying behavior.

Use VALS to:

  • Identify WHO to target
  • Uncover WHAT your target group buys and does
  • Locate WHERE concentrations of your target group lives
  • Identify HOW best to communicate with your target group
  • Gain insight into WHY the target group acts the way it does
  • VALS has been applied to: 
  • New product/service design
  • Marketing and communications
    • - Targeting- Product positioning- Focus group screening- Promotion planning- Advertising
  • Media Planning
  • On-line advertising design and implementation

One way marketers try to use personality variables is to link personality with consumer personality type

  • Personality TypeDesired Auto Benefit
  • Extroverted Freedom
  • Warm Enjoyment
  • Affiliative Tradition
  • Subdued Relaxation
  • Introverted Compromise
  • Cool Control
  • Assertive Modernity/Fashion
  • Energetic Stimulation


  • Society's priorities and preferences are constantly changing
  • Essential for marketers to both track and anticipate them
  • Needham's longitudinal lifestyle study since 1975
  • Found that in late 1990s Americans wanted, in essence, gain without pain.


  • 1. Unhealthy eating
  • People are paying less attention to nutrition and diet.
  • For more than 10 years, the percentage of people who make an effort to increase their vitamin intake or fibre content and reduce additives, cholesterol, salt, sugar, and fat has fallen rapidly.
  • people say they may want to eat more healthfully, the reality is people are moving in the opposite direction.
  • 2. Fitness
  • More than 50% of American men and women think they're in good physical condition.
  • That percentage has been falling for more then 20 years.
  • While people indicate that exercise is a good idea, most are doing little about it.
  • Most forms of exercise have declined as regular activities

3. Environmental issues

  • End of the 1980s, 70% said they would support pollution standards, even if it means shutting down some factories.
  • End of 1990s number is starting to fall.
  • End 1970s more than 60% said they would accept a lower standard of living to conserve energy.
  • End 1990s numbers have dropped drastically.
  • People may wish to be environmentally conscious, but the truth is they're moving in the opposite direction.

4. Traditional values

  • 85% indicate they have "somewhat old-fashioned tastes”
  • But an increasing number support the legalization of marijuana, believe couples should live together before marrying, etc.
  • pendulum is swinging toward "satisfying one's self,”
  • people will "embrace traditional values only as long as they don't interfere with convenience, practicality, or individualism."

5. lack of discretionary time

  • With less time to comparison shop, consumers are limiting choices to stores they know carry the correct sizes and colours and have adequate stocks of sale items .
  • Emphasis on Time-saving products e.g. pre-cooked foods, pre-pared foods drive through pizzas
  • 6. Dual-income families are becoming single-income families:
  • has created opportunities for telecommuting, part-time work and home-operated businesses.
  • also an increased demand for home-improvement centres
  • With one income, families shop more in discount stores.
  • 7. Nostalgia
  • For many, our high-tech, materialistic world is too stressful.
  • Consumers seek connections with past when things were simpler
  • Companies can connect with consumers by helping them remember and re-live the past.

8. Increased focus on quality of life

  • More causal work environment, relaxed dress code
  • home entertainment
  • travel industry
  • spirituality
  • 9. Mass Customization
  • mass customization is about choice; about giving consumers a unique end product when, where and how they want it.
  • mass-market goods and services individualized to satisfy a very specific customer need, at an affordable price.
  • Based on the consumers desire for "custom-made", or personalized products but at mass production prices
  • More product variety: Since 1985 number of car models gone from 140 to 260; soft drinks from 20 to 90. Today., U.S. market offers 3,000 brands of beer, 50 brands of bottled water, 340 kinds of cereals, 70 styles of Levi's jeans.

10. Technohome

  • integration of technology into appliances

Internet Lifestyle experience includes a home with new levels of comfort, convenience, and security to consumers through Internet-enabled devices and services for communication, entertainment, family management, home control, and personal commerce.


What has been the impact on trends with the events of September 11th 2001?

Some Ideas from the Consumers Research Institute

  • Economic Slowdown
  • Workplace Changes
  • Carpe Diem
  • A Paralyzing Fear
  • Preserving Memories and Stories
  • What Money Can’t Buy
  • Nesting, Bunkering, Cocooning
  • Entertainment Industry
  • A Renewed Patriotism
  • US Consumers Still Spending
  • Our Hierarchy of Needs
  • Holidays