Influence of Psychographic factors on consumer behavior

Psychographic Factors’ Effect on Consumer Behavior

You must have heard of psychographic segmentation already. It is a kind of segmentation used by marketers to group their target customers into distinct categories based on their lifestyle, personality characteristics and other similar or related factors. All these factors are of immense importance in marketing because our purchasing decisions are affected by them. These factors help marketers predict what kind and size of purchases a person generally makes and then helps him effectively market to his target audience. Usually, such patterns can be marked in people’s daily lives. Their personalities play an important role in their buying decisions and behavior. Their taste, their choice of colors and styles, all are affected by their opinions, interests and their perception. Personality especially plays a very important role in shaping our taste.  So, it is definitely bound to affect our consumer behavior.

Personality denotes a set of traits and characteristics found in each individual. It is formed by the interaction of physiological and psychological characteristics in a person and produces constant behaviors. People’s choice of brands is affected by their personalities. Certain brands are loved more by the extroverts and certain are the favorite of the introverts.  It is your personality traits that affect the connection between you and your favorite brand. How much a person enjoys shopping and whether he is more likely to shop online or offline will be affected by his personality traits. Even people’s choices of holiday spots are affected by their personalities. Whether you are more romantic at heart or more of a risk taker affects your choice of vacation spots.

Our personal values play a similar role in affecting our buying decisions. People feel more satisfied when they make purchases that rhyme with their core values.  These core values are a part of people’s identity and personality and we generally do not act against them. Even in terms of consumer behavior, our personal values dictate how and what we buy. Our social identities also guide our behavior and even while we are shopping.  It is why certain brands target specific personality traits in their marketing communication. People respond to the call that resonates with their personality and values. TV commercials and digital ads of Thums Up and Mountain Dew target the adventure loving youth. Similarly, brands highlight certain traits like stubbornness, risk taking and courage in their advertisements to generate appeal.

Our attitudes and interests also dictate our buying decisions and consumer behavior. Interests and opinions vary from consumer to consumer. Someone is more interested in action movies, another in romantic comedies. You might have one opinion of a brand and another might have a different opinion of the same. Sometimes, different messages are used to market the same product. It is because people of varying attitudes cannot connect with the same ad. People’s opinions of things are also an important determinant of consumer behavior. However, opinions can be influenced and can change. It is why brands spend so much on marketing and customer service; in an attempt to influence consumer behavior.  They try various ways to influence people’s opinion of the brand and to maintain a good brand image.

Another critical factor that is also a central focus of the marketers is lifestyle. In general, it denotes a person’s style of living or how he spends his time, money and energy. It is also a general term used to mean how a person chooses to live his life and reflects a person’s taste, his priorities and even his choice of fashion. All these things are reflected in our lifestyle. Moreover, a desire of making their lifestyles better is also visible in people. Marketers exploit this desire for the marketing of specific products to people. They use celebrities and their lifestyles to showcase their products in the ads. Mostly, it is true about luxury items and grooming products. To see a celebrity wearing a particular suit or driving a specific car makes this desire inside customers to buy them gets stronger.   Our lifestyle is related to our consumption of several things from a soda brand to fashion and magazines. Luxury hotels also exploit this factor to provide their customers with customized experiences that match their lifestyles.  Lifestyles can also be widely different between people from the same class. While one person may have a classic taste and lifestyle, the other from the same social class may be highly modern and innovative in terms of lifestyle. These two people would not buy similar products. Lifestyle is also deeply connected with our choice of vehicles. Sam likes driving a SUV whereas John likes a sedan. Ruth likes a sports bike, whereas Jim rides a tourer. It all depends on the kind of lifestyle we lead and the products or brands that match with them.

In this way, these psychographic factors are deeply related with our buying patterns. Our choices are affected by our personality and our lifestyle. However, our core values, opinions and attitude also have a major role to play in our buying behavior. It is because all these factors affect our taste and that’s why marketers exploit these factors to develop effective messages. If so many differences and similarities are there in the taste of the people from the same generation, then it is because of their personalities and lifestyle. If celebrity endorsements work so much then it is because their fans like to follow their lifestyles. Thus you can see the central role of these psychographic factors in consumer behavior.