Theories of Personality & Self concept and how they affect one’s consumption patterns
PersonalitySome theorists prefer to view personality as a unified whole.Others focus on specific traits.Definition“Those inner psychological characteristics that both determine and reflects how a person responds to his or her environment”.
Nature Of PersonalityPersonality reflects individual differencesUnique combination of inner characteristics –No two individuals are exactly alikeVenturesome (scuba diving, rock climbing) to some others who are not venturesome.Personality allows marketers to divide people into different groups based on their traits.
Nature Of PersonalityPersonality is Consistent & EnduringMother – “child has been impulsive from the day he was born” – enduring & consistent.Marketers cannot change consumers personalities to meet their products.But understanding which specific characteristics bring in required responses, can help marketers to appeal to these traits in their target audience.
Nature Of PersonalityPersonality Can ChangeMay be altered by major life events – birth of a child, death of a loved one, personal tragedies – accident, health problem, divorce, significant career promotion.Personality changes can also be part of maturing process.Women’s personality in general has been changing faster. (Indica V2 Ad)
Theories of Personality Freudian Theory Neo – Freudian Theory Trait Theory
Freudian TheoryPersonality consists of three interacting systems.Id – related to physiological or impulsive needs to which one seeks immediate satisfaction.Super Ego – individuals internal expression of moral / ethical codes of conduct; socio–cultural forces.Ego – The individuals conscious control. Functions as an internal monitor that attempts to balance the impulsive needs and socio cultural constraints.
Freudian TheoryBuilt on the premise that unconscious needs or drives, especially sexual and other biological drives are at the heart of human motivation – ulterior motives. Id Ego Gratification System 1 System 3 Super Ego System 2
Although Ego is capable of resolving many of the conflicts that arise between the personality components, ------- there are certain occassions when no solutions could be achieved, leading to tensions withinDefense mechanisms are unconsciously determined techniques for avoiding or escaping from such high levels of tension.
Defense MechanismsRepression: resolving conflict by minimizing aspects of the conflicting situation.(conflict about watching sporting event which brings in violent and entertaining aspects. As ego cannot reach the compromise, the individual will work to reduce the violent aspects of the sport in his mind).Projection: feelings generated by individual’s id or super ego is ascribed to another person or group;(a persons disdain for others who constantly purchase products and display them can be from their own desire to engage in same behavior).
Identification: the individual unconsciously imitates the behavior of another person who has successfully handled a similar conflict.Vijay Mallya appearing in ads which says, “I enjoy my drink, but I never drive after I drink”.Reaction Formation: unconscious feelings held toward others are consciously expressed as opposites. … a partner who is un-loyal might actually purchase many gifts for the other person.
Neo Freudian Personality TheorySocial relationships are fundamental to formation of personality (Freud - impulsive and sexual in nature)Three personality Groups1. Compliant Individuals – those who move towards others (desire to be loved, wanted and appreciated).2. Aggressive Individuals – those who move against others (desire to excel / win admiration).3. Detached Individuals- those who move away from others (desire independence, self reliance, self sufficiency - freedom from obligation)
Trait TheoryDeparture from qualitative measures that typify the earlier theories.Quantitative or empirical in approach.Measurement of personality in terms of specific psychological characteristics called ‘traits’.Checks personality traits related to how consumer makes his choices ----
The trait theory is based on three assumptions.1. Individuals possess relatively stable behavioral tendencies.2. Different people differ in the degree to which they possess these tendencies.3. When identified and measured, these relative differences between individuals are useful in characterizing their personalities.
Personality Traits1. Consumer Innovativeness:Nature and boundaries of a consumers willingness to innovate2. Dogmatism:Trait that measures the degree of rigidity (vs. openness) that they show toward an information that is contrary to their own established beliefs.3. Social Character:Ranges from inner-directedness to other directedness. Inner directed consumers tend to rely on their own inner values while evaluating new products. While outer-directed tend to look for other’s opinion.
Personality Traits (contd.)4. Need for uniqueness: for such people, conformity to others expectations or standards either in appearance or in their possessions is something to be avoided.5. Optimum Stimulation Level: Some people prefer a simple, uncluttered and calm existence (whereas others prefer complex and unusual experiences). High OSL is linked to greater willingness to risks, try new products ….6. Sensation Seeking: characterized by the need for varied, novel and complex experiences and willingness to take physical and social risks.
Brand PersonalityConsumers attribute various descriptive personality like traits to different brands in a wide variety of product categories.Volvo – representing safety / family orientationLevi’s 501 jeans – dependable, rugged & AmericanBMW - performance drivenNivea – Mild and caringNike - the athlete in all of us.
Is defined as the totality of individuals thoughts andfeelings having reference to him/ her as an object.Life style, in many ways, is an outward expression ofones self-concept.
Self Concept - TheoryHolds that an individuals have a concept of self based on who they think they are (the actual self) ………… and a concept of who they think they would like to be (the ideal self).Related to two key concepts of psycho-analytic theory, the ego and the super ego.Ego is similar to one’s objective reality, so its similar to actual self.Superego is defined by the way things should be and hence can be seen as a reflection of ideal self.
Actual SelfThere is no one actual self.Consumers have various role identities – mother, wife, working woman, volunteer etc.One of these roles is dominant in specific situations. This particular role affects the behavior (dressing style, talking, way they conduct etc)The amalgam of individuals roles makes up the individual self.
Studies have confirmed that consumers buy products related to their self concept.Dolich – studied buying of beer, cigarettes, soaps and tooth paste and found that respondents tend to prefer brands they rate similar to themselves.The same is in the case of automobiles too.Marketing takeaways: the concept of ‘actual self’, says that image consumers have of themselves influences their purchases.They attain ‘self consistency’, by buying products they perceive as similar to their self-concept
Product (Brand Image) Behavior Satisfaction Relationship Seek products and Purchases Between Brands that Contribute to self concept & improve/ maintain Desired self brand image self concept. concept Consumer(self concept) Reinforces Self-Concept
Ideal SelfConcept of ideal self relates to ones self esteem.The greater the difference between the actual self and the ideal self, the lower an individuals self esteem.Dissatisfaction with actual self, will end up in purchases of such products that they think will enhance their ‘self-esteem’.A woman who would like to be more modern, efficient and imaginative will use different perfumes, deodorant or shop at different stores than a woman who want to be warm/attractive.
(Marsh L Richins) – advertising themes and images often increase the discrepancy between the real and ideal selves.Ads that features beautiful models and luxurious life styles leaves a sense of inadequacy based on a comparison of their real self with idealized self.Average fashion model is 5’9’’ tall and weighs 55 kgs. But the average Indian Woman is 5’2’’ tall and weighs 65 kgs.
The desire for both self consistency and self esteem can be conflicting.Generally consumers buy products that conform to their actual self image. But if they are lower in their self esteem they are more likely to be swayed by appeals to fantasy that portray an idealized self …..…. the alluring woman, the lone biker on Bajaj Discover or well groomed male in Vimal suiting.Buying to achieve an unrealizable self image can lead to compulsive purchasing behavior (frequent buying to overcome the discrepancy between the real and the ideal self).
Actual Self Ideal Self Concept ConceptPrivate Actual Self Ideal selfSelf How I actually How I would like see myself to see myself Socia Social Self Ideal Social Self l Self How others How I would like actually see me others to see me.
In different contexts, consumer’s behavior might be guided by different self concepts.Daily use items including consumer durables purchase will be more guided by actual self concept.Socially conspicuous products or status products will be guided by social self image.Fantasy products cosmetics, fashion items or accessories will be guided by ideal self image or ideal social self image.
Extended SelfNot only does our self image influence the products we choose, but the products (of symbolic value) we possess frequently influence our self image.Extended self incorporates some of our more important possessions into our self concept.We are what we wear, and what we use.“People seek, express, confirm and ascertain a sense of being through what they have”.
The symbolic role that products play in shaping the consumer’s self concept.Marketers have understood the role of product constellations in projecting an image.Advertising for jewelry might show fashionably dressed models or expensive automobiles ….. And ads for clothing might show jewelry.This brings in opportunity for co-branding
Life style, in many ways, is an outward expression ofones self-concept.Life style it can be viewed as a unique pattern ofliving which influences and reflected by one’s buyinghabits.Psychographics may be viewed as the method ofdefining lifestyle in measurable terms.
The Nature Of LifestylesLifestyle variables are defined by how people spend their time (activities), what they consider important in their environment (interests), and what they think of themselves and the world around them (opinions).Activities:- Work, Hobbies, Social Events, Vacation, Entertainment, Club MembershipInterests:- Family, Home, Job, Community, recreation, FashionOpinions:- Personal Relations, Social issues, politics, Business, Economics, Education
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