Consumer Behaviour and Lifestyle Marketing

Lifestyle marketing is developing linkages between market items and certain lifestyle groups. It entails segmenting the market based on lifestyle dimensions, positioning the product in a way that appeals to the targeted market's activities, interests, and opinions, and launching specific promotional campaigns that capitalize on lifestyle appeals to increase the market value of the offered product.

Lifestyle is defined as "a distinctive manner of behavior centered on activities, interests, ideas, attitudes, and demographic features separating one part of a population from another" by Rona Ostrow and Sweetman R. Smith in their Marketing Dictionary. The sum of a consumer's interactions with his surroundings is viewed as his lifestyle. Lifestyle studies are a subset of the more significant behavioral notion known as psychographics.

Demographics, Psychographics, and Lifestyle

Demographic characteristics assist marketers in "locating" their target market, whereas psychographic variables give the advertiser additional information on the group. Psychographics is sometimes known as lifestyle analysis or AIO research.

A psychographic survey, in its most common form, comprises a long series of statements aimed to capture critical qualities of a customer, such as personality, implying motivations, interests, attitudes, beliefs, and values. As the research focuses on a particular product, the customers must answer statements chosen for the purpose, such as comments about products, brands, services, competitive circumstances, etc.

The demographic and psychographic lifestyle methods complement each other well and operate best together. Individuals from the same subculture, socioeconomic class, and career have diverse lives. Suppose we imagine a hypothetical Mrs. Mathur. In that case, she may live a "belonging" lifestyle, represented in her conservative clothing, spending significant time with her family, and engaging in social events. She can also be an "achiever" with a busy personal life and a passion for travel and athletics. Lifestyle represents the "whole person" in active connection with his surroundings.

A typical demographic description gains much insight from a lifestyle study. An individual purchasing a new designer shirt maybe 34 years old, married, and in a three-bedroom house with two children. Lifestyle research would assist marketers in portraying a more human portrayal of their target consumers. Lifestyle patterns reveal behavioral variations amongst prospects that do not appear in demographic data. Lifestyle study yields more extensive and in-depth profiles of how customers think and act than other methodologies.

Characteristics of Lifestyle

Feldman and Theilbar describe lifestyle by the following characteristics −

  • Lifestyle is a group phenomenon − A person's lifestyle is influenced by his or her engagement in social organizations and interactions with others. Two clerks in the same workplace may have very different lives.

  • Lifestyle pervades various aspects of life − An individual's lifestyle may result in consistent behavior. Understanding a person's behavior in one area of life might help us forecast how he or she will act in other areas.

  • Lifestyle implies a central life interest − Several fundamental life interests, such as family, career, leisure, sexual escapades, religion, politics, and so on, can shape an individual's engagement with the environment.

  • Lifestyles vary according to sociologically relevant variables − The rate of social change in culture is heavily influenced by lifestyle changes. Age, gender, religion, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status all have a role. The rise in the number of dual-income households and working women in India in the 1980s resulted in drastically different lifestyles.

Influences on Lifestyle

Cultural and cultural factors define the outer limits of our culture's lifestyle. The combination of group and individual expectations and ideals generates a systematic pattern of conduct. This is the way of living that influences purchasing decisions. Consumer market reactions are favorable when goods and services accessible on the market align with lifestyle patterns and ideals. Purchases that reinforce these habits spotlight these lifestyles even more. Lazer's lifestyle hierarchy highlights these relationships.

Lifestyle Profiles in the Indian Context

In India, one agency is attempting to construct a psychographic profile of the Indian kid based on a sample of 4463 children from eight metros and mini-metros. Advertisements for many products include children, and marketers believe this engages the entire family and is compatible with our daily experience. As a result of these investigations, the following developing profiles of Indian children are provided −

  • 6-7 years − A fun seeker, heavily influenced by the family and teachers.

  • 8-10 years − A role player, influenced primarily by the school and by friends.

  • 11-15 years − An emulator influenced by the peer group. At this stage, gradual non-acceptance of the family begins.

  • 16-18 years − Young adults, almost entirely conforming to the group.

Some of the exciting findings of this survey are −

  • Children love to see commercials on TV.

  • They have their favorite actors and cricketers.

  • Most of them are adventurous and like trying out new brands.

  • Children feel savings are necessary.

  • A considerable percentage of children visit religious places.

  • Newspaper and magazine reading figures are impressive-particularly for the 16 to 19 age group.

Another major study using a psychographic approach conducted by Pathfinders, an Indian marketing research agency, covering 10303 working and non-working women aged 18-45 years with a family income of more than Rs. 350/- p.m. in 36 towns and cities across the country, identified eight distinct types of Indian homemakers.

The Social Hedonist

She is primarily found in the east, speaks Bengali, and is gregarious and liberal. She does not believe in sacrificing her life to please her family. She is a marketing man's dream since she is self-indulgent and prepared to spend money on new things.

The Contemporary Housewife

The modern housewife is on the verge of transformation. While she has not abandoned many traditional traditions, she aspires to modernity and is unlikely to reside in northern India, although she is happier than five years ago. She feels compelled to accomplish something more significant than housework. She is fashion savvy, yet she still uses skin-lightening creams, and her concept of contemporary clothing does not extend beyond the sari.

The Wealthy Sophisticate

She lives mainly in the western zone and follows the motto: "Have money, will spend." She is the most frequent user of all consumer items and engages in things other homemakers find difficult, such as writing a check or using the phone. She feels at ease conversing with males outside her family circle and does not worry if her offspring marries outside the group. One out of every three people exercises and watches their weight.

The Tight-Fisted Traditionalist

She lives a sheltered life and loves to look like a movie star, but she is price-conscious. She confines her social circle to her town and believes females should be educated to find excellent spouses. The vast majority dwell in northern India.

The Distressed Housewife

She is neither a leader nor an emulate, and she is essentially uneducated and has had little exposure to the media. Watches, transistors, and bicycles are her three treasured belongings. Fashion takes a back place, and her fate, she believes, is written in the stars.

The Worried Rebel

She is less likely to be in the south and would want to work rather than be at home. She is nervous and frugal but selective in shopping, eager to try out new cuisine dishes, and enjoys spending money on her children and guests.

The Satisfied Conservative

She is the most self-assured and effective housewife I have ever met. She is an incredible optimist, is concerned about her family's health, and is, in general, the advertising man's dream; she feels that advertisements are a fantastic source of information.

According to the initial study findings, the Indian housewife perceives herself primarily as a conventional provider. According to the poll, many metropolitan women are starting to perceive themselves in a more contemporary setting.


Consumer behavior is still a new subject, with much of the research being generalized in the last fifteen years. Developments like the lifestyle idea and AIO research indicate strategies to shift consumer research away from single, frequently unconnected initiatives and towards larger integrated systems and research techniques.

Updated on: 29-Mar-2023


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