Finance free essay: Consumer Traits Assessment
Consumer Traits Assessment
The Values and Lifestyles (VALS2) survey assigned me into the primary group of experiencers and the secondary group of innovators. The survey assigned my partner into the primary group of experiencers and the secondary group of achievers. The primary descriptions closely reflect our lifestyles and personalities. I like expressing myself and what I feel. I am an impulsive and enthusiastic consumer. Sometimes, I spend money impulsively on entertainment. I also spend money on new technologies. However, I like spending on durable and efficient technological products. I am enthusiastic and motivated to exploit new opportunities, but I am not persistent. I stop focusing on exploiting new opportunities when I feel that it is difficult to achieve the expected outcomes or when I feel that getting the expected outcomes will take long. I spend a lot of energy on social activities and outdoor activities. I like looking good and unique. I have a high sense of visual stimulation. I like connecting with friends and I believe they are important to me. Although I spend on the latest fashions, I do not like deviating too much from the mainstream. My partner also expresses the traits of experiencers. He often engages in spontaneous spending on entertainment and technological products. He is trendy and he likes purchasing products that are in fashion. He is enthusiastic and he likes to exploit new activities. He likes engaging in outdoor activities and he is very sociable. He values and invests in friends. He likes everything that adds value to his life. He likes taking risks and he is always concerned about his image. He admires power and wealth and he is politically apathetic. In short, the VALS2 survey produced accurate results about our primary traits.
My secondary description of an innovator is not very accurate. I believe that research and development and science are credible. I am also highly receptive of new technologies and ideas. I like finding solutions to challenges and problems. I also like thinking critically when dealing with issues and concepts. I am interested in a wide variety of activities, including social and leisure activities. Sometimes, I am skeptical about advertisements. I like taking in new information in order be well information. Although I tend to be impulsive, I do not engage in the largest number of transactions among the friends. Despite the fact that I spend money in order to improve my appearance and image, I am not a self-directed consumer. Although I like change, I tend to avoid change when I feel that it will lead to negative outcomes. I feel that I have an urge to lead people, but sometimes I feel that I should not be the top leader. I feel that there are some of my personal traits that are not covered in the secondary description. Just like achievers, for instance, I have deep commitment to family. I have some traits of a survivor since I am always concerned about the security and safety of the family members. I am fun-loving and I am concerned about the approval and opinions of others, just like strivers. Thus, the secondary description of my traits does not fully cover my personal traits and lifestyle.
In the same vein, the secondary description of my partner as an achiever deviates slightly from his actual personality and lifestyle. He values family members and he feels that he has a mandate to contribute to their security and safety. He likes to follow schedules and to express professionalism. He feels the need to put his interests and the interests of his family members as top priorities when spending. Although he feels that money is an imp0ortant source of power, he does not believe that it is always the source of authority. He is hardworking and goal-oriented. Although he is conscious about the friends he interacts with, he is not very private. He is usually moderate, but he portrays extreme behavior sometimes. He values technology that adds as value to his life, although he sometimes portrays interest towards new technologies that do not have significant impacts on his life. Unlike most achievers, he does not always resist change. He is motivated by his knowledge, like thinkers do. Just like believers, he tends to stick to moral values and laws. In most cases, he is motivated by ideals. He is also fun-loving and trendy.
Consumptive behaviors in the soft drinks industry are very explicit. The industry comprises of firms that sell soft drinks such as Coke and Pepsi. The consumer behaviors in the industry are influenced by personal, psychological, social and cultural factors. The personal factors that influence the consumptive behaviors include self-concept, lifestyle, revenue and purchasing power, health and age. Personality refers to an individual characteristics or traits. Personality is displayed in terms of characteristics such as self-confidence, aggressiveness and conservativeness (Lamb & Hair, 2010). Personality varies from one person to another and it influences the consumption behaviors in the soft-drinks industry. The previous studies have shown that some consumers tend to prefer the soft drink brands that reflect their personality. Some consumers refer to their personality traits when before making a decision on whether to purchase Coke, Pepsi or any other soft drink (Paracha, 2012). In some cases, self-concept influences the consumption behaviors of the consumers of soft drinks. Self-concept refers to an individual’s mental image of self. Some people purchase products that reflect their images. Coca-Cola Company, for instance, has been cultivating the image of power from the consumption of sprit, one of its product brands. People that quench for power can consume sprite so as to associate themselves with the image of power (Paracha, 2012).
Some consumers consider the possible impact of a soft drink on their health before making purchasing decisions. For instance, people that have diabetes tend to avoid sugary soft drinks. Such people are likely to avoid taking soft drinks or opt for the sugarless soft drinks. The lifestyle entails the way an individual lives and it is influenced by his/her opinions, interests and activities. Some people live a lifestyle that includes consuming a lot of sugary drinks. Such people are more likely to consume soft drinks than people that avoid taking sugary drinks. Sometimes, revenue and purchasing power influences the purchasing behaviors of consumers (Lantos, 2010). People with a high purchasing power can opt for other beverages that are more expensive than the soft drinks. In the same vein, an individual’s occupation can influence the consumption behaviors towards soft drinks. People that walk long distances and ultimately become thirsty, such as marketers, are likely to consumer soft drinks more frequently than people who stay in offices most of the time. Sometimes, age influences behaviors towards the consumption of soft drinks. The previous studies, for instance, have shown that people aged between 18 and 35 years consume Coke more than people aged above 35 years (Paracha, 2012)..
The social factors that influence behavior towards the consumption of soft drinks include reference groups, status, roles and family. Precisely, the social factors are the direct or indirect influences to purchasing decisions. Reference groups are the groups to which an individual belongs to, or aspires to belong to, which influence the purchasing and consumption decisions. Membership to such groups is related to factors such as leisure, hobbies, work and place of origin. Such groups can influence a person’s attitudes and behaviors towards the consumption of soft drinks (Pride & Ferrell, 2011). In Mexico, for instance, Coke is consumed during religious rites. Members of such religious groups are likely to have a positive attitude towards coke and to prefer it to other soft drinks (Paracha, 2012). Family plays a significant role in shaping the consumption behaviors of individuals. Family acts as a major source of socialization and values that shape an individual’s behaviors and personality. As such, family influences an individual’s consumption behaviors. For instance, an individual who never drunk coke during childhood and his parents described it as a sugary product that can have a negative impact on health is not likely to purchase it during adulthood. In some families, coke is perceived as a source of fun during cerebrations and thus, it is consumed by all family members. Young children that grow up in such families are likely to consumer it during adulthood (Paracha, 2012).
Social status and roles of an individual in groups of his friends, his work, his country and his country can influence his or her purchasing behaviors. Social status is the position of an individual in a group, institution or society. Social roles are the activities and attitudes that an individual is expected to portray according to his position in a group, institution or society (Williams, 2012). In some countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, for instance, Coke is valued as a symbol that facilitates interaction during debates. Consequently, most leaders consume it when engaging in debates. Coke is perceived as a symbol of power and thus, athletes in America and other countries consume it.
Culture encompasses the customs, values and beliefs that influence an individual’s behaviors. In most cases, individuals make reference tom cultural values, beliefs and customers when making purchasing and consumption decisions. A change in the culture of a society can lead to a significant change in the consumption and purchasing behaviors of the members of that society. If an element of a culture changes in favor of a product, the societal members are likely to increase its consumption. Conversely, an individual can develop negative attitudes towards a product if an element of a culture changes in a way that is unfavorable to the product (Sokolowski, 2011). The effects of culture can be revealed at group, national or supranational level. At group level, different groups within a society portray varying cultures. At national level, people of a particular nation portray a given culture. At supranational level, cultural differences are revealed between different countries or societies. Some groups and societies perceive Coke as having a gratifying effect. In the UK, Coke is perceived as a symbol of fun when consumed during cerebrations such as Christmas. During World War II, Coke was perceived by the US military as a symbol of friendship (Paracha, 2012). Consequently, they consumed it when socializing. In some countries, such as the US, the rate of consumption of sugary brands of Coke has been reducing due to the perceived negative impacts that it has in health (Paracha, 2012).
The consumption behaviors of Coke are also influenced by sub-cultures. A sub-culture is a social group that has a distinct culture and it exists within the mainstream culture. Each mainstream culture has distinct sub-cultures within it. For instance, different ethnic groups within a society can portray varying elements of culture that influence the purchasing behaviors of the members. The elements of a subculture can be based on a particular religion (Wright, 2006). In the US, for instance, the members of the Mormons church do not drink soft drinks such as Coke (Paracha, 2012). Also, gender can be a subculture. The results derived from the previous studies have shown that the consumption behaviors of men are different from the consumption behaviors of women. Subcultures can also be based on age. People of different ages have varying attitudes and interests towards the consumption of Coke. This explains the fact that Coca-Cola Company has developed numerous brands meant to suit the interests of people of different ages (Paracha, 2012).
Social class is also an element of culture that can influence the purchasing behaviors of consumers in the soft drinks industry. The social class to which an individual belongs is influenced by factors such as levels of power and income. People who are ranked in the high class group, for instance are wealthy and they have significant power. Conversely, people belonging to the low class have low levels of incomes and do not have significant power. In most cases, people belonging to the same social class have similar interests, behaviors, lifestyles and behaviors (Lamb, Hair & MacDaniel, 2008). Social class influences an individual’s consumption behaviors. For instance, people belonging to the low class are likely to prefer soft drinks that are not expensive such as Coke (Paracha, 2012). Conversely, people belonging to the high class are likely to consume alternative drinks that are more expensive and more nutritious. Cultural trends also influence the consumptive behaviors in the soft drinks industry. Culture is dynamic and it keeps on changing. People who are not conservative follow the emerging trends. A new cultural trend can inhibit or facilitate the consumption of a product. For instance, the increased use of the social media by people aged between 18 and 35 years during the recent years has contributed to significant rise in the consumption of Coke among the members of that group (Paracha, 2012).
The consumption behaviors in the soft drinks industry is also influenced by psychological factors such as perception, learning and motivation. Motivation is the drive to satisfy a social, biological or psychological need (Lamb & Hair, 2010). In most cases, people consume soft drinks in order to satisfy to satisfy the biological need of quenching thirst. In some cases, people consume soft drinks in order to satisfy the social needs of interaction. The perceptions of consumers towards soft drinks influence their purchasing behaviors. Perception entails the manner in which individuals select information and organization and interpret it (Lamb & Hair, 2010). The perceptual processes that influence the consumption behaviors are selective retention, selective distortion and selective attention. Consumers select the preferred brands of soft drinks based on the perceptions they develop. Positive perception towards a particular influences a consumer to purchase that brand. Conversely, negative perception has a negative impact on the intention to purchase (Lamb & Hair, 2010). Last, learning through experience modifies the behaviors of consumers. For instance, when an individual becomes ill after drinking a certain brand of soft drink, he/she learns not to consume the same soft drink in the future.
The Lucrative Consumer Group
In my view, the most lucrative consumer group for the soft drinks comprises of people aged between 12 and 30 years. Firms in the soft drinks industry should target the youngsters who are physically active and they expend a lot of energy. Young people that engage in athlete activities tend to consume soft drinks in large amounts in order to replenish their energy. Also, most young people like consuming soft drinks when engaging in social activities. Marketers in the soft drinks industry can reach and influence the youth more easily through the social media than other age groups. Also, the youths tend to engage in entertainment and fun activities that encourage the consumption of soft drinks. In order to succeed in selling soft drinks to the youths, however, the firms in the soft drinks industry should sell their products at prices that are affordable to the youths, including those that are not yet employed.
Suitable Strategies based on the VALS2 Survey Results
There are several strategies that suit the consumer group of an experiencer, which was our primary description in the results of the VALS2 survey. First, firms in the soft drinks industry should adopt a marketing strategy that includes making advertisements. As an experiencer, I like attending to or viewing advertisements. The firms in the soft drinks industry should describe the important information about their products when making advertisements. The firms should utilize both the traditional and new media channels to advertise their products. In addition to advertising the products through old channels such as radio, televisions and newspapers, the firms should advertise their products through the social media channels such as FaceBook and Twiter. Further, firms in the soft drinks industry should ensure that their products are supplied in strategic points that are easily accessible to the consumers, such as near places of entertainment.
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