What are the Different Types of Consumer Personality Traits?

Companies today need to understand that an excellent product with mesmerizing advertisements or at the lowest price will not sell in the market, but a product that consumers can relate to will sell in the market. What sets one consumer apart from another is their personality trait. Personality traits help companies understand different consumers better. These traits help the companies develop −

  • Marketing and advertising strategies

  • The company is positioning its product

  • Understand the purchasing habits and patterns of your customers

In this article, we will delve into the various consumer personality traits and how these traits influence consumer purchasing decisions, as well as how companies can use these traits to position and market their products.

Consumer Personality Traits

We live in the world of moderates. Hence, the consumer will rank somewhere between the extremes. His personality will be a combination of moderate and not extreme characteristics and personality traits. Personality traits are the inner psychological traits of humans.

Different Personality Traits and How They Affect the Purchase Decision

  • Innovators Versus Laggards − Innovators are people who want to try out new products, services, or brand extensions. These people are keen to try out new things in the market, and the reason for this could be

    • Functional Factors − These individuals are always on the lookout for new features and technology in the product that can enhance their consumption experience.

    • Hedonic Factors − These consumers try out a new product for their internal and personal satisfaction.

    • Social Factors − These consumers like being recognized by their social networks as innovators.

    • Cognitive Factor − This set of consumers is innovative because they like the mental stimulus that a new product brings with it.

    • For innovators, the price and the value of the product are generally of little consideration.

      Laggards, on the other hand, are the last people to adopt the product. They generally do so because they do not like change in their lives, they are unsure about the product's quality and its usage, they do not feel the need for the product, and other reasons.

  • Consumer Ethnocentrism − Ethnocentrism refers to the consumer’s willingness to purchase a product made by foreign companies. Some consumers feel very strongly towards foreign products or certain countries and prefer only their own (national) products as they believe this will help in their country’s growth. For example, after World War II, the Japanese citizens boycotted the products made in America and were even willing to pay higher prices for local products. French consumers are low on ethnocentrism, and India has started the movement of "Vocal" for locals.

  • Open versus closed-minded consumers − Close-minded consumers are high on dogmatism. This group of people is generally very rigid in their thought processes and does not appreciate opposing beliefs or information. They like traditional products more than innovative ones. When the company is targeting close-minded individuals, they should use celebrities or experts from different fields in their advertisements. On the other hand, open-minded individuals are open to new experiences and, hence, trying out new products. When the company targets this customer set, it should prepare advertisements using factual data and information.

  • Need for cognition (NFC) − there could be two sets of consumers: one who would want to think and then purchase a product, and the other who hates the thinking part and would purchase an attractive product that is in trend. High-NFC consumers rely on data and will prefer data-driven advertisements, while low-NFC consumers will depend upon the aesthetics and goodwill of the brand. In general, high-NFC consumers are brand loyal, whereas low-NFC consumers will switch brands without blinking an eyelid.

  • Companies can differentiate their consumers by using verbalizers or visualizers − when deciding on the medium of advertisements. Some consumers prefer reading out the information, while others prefer pictorial representation, audio, or video advertisements.

  • Inner-directed, other-directed, and the need for uniqueness − Here we are talking about three types of individuals.

    • Inner-directed individuals are individuals who believe in their gut and inner values. They measure the product against the parameters of their beliefs and will only purchase a product if they feel that it is right for them. They can be innovators. This group of individuals will be more receptive to advertisements that tell them about the product’s features and benefits.

    • Other directed individuals are those who seek direction. They decide whether the product is appropriate or inappropriate for their consumption based on the perception of society or their friends and family. These consumers are generally not the innovators' kind. For advertisements that show social acceptance of the product, they will be more effective, as well as reviews of the product on different reliable sites.

    • The need for uniqueness is driven by a set of consumers who are always on the lookout for products that are different from the norm and are super creative. The need for this set is to be better than the rest. They want to be the pioneers of change-making. Companies can target this group of consumers with their limited-edition products and set the trend.

  • Compulsions and fixations − companies can also distinguish consumers on this basis. Compulsive consumers are generally shopaholics. These consumers generally buy products that they do not need and will not even use. They have an intense desire to buy an item they like immediately. Fixated consumers are those who are willing to pay a premium for products that match their tastes and interests. They consider two factors before purchasing, and those are

    • Would it be an addition to their precious collection?

    • Is it worth showing off to their friends and family members?

  • Novel and complex, or Simple and safe consumer experience − We can also differentiate between consumers who would want to have a high optimum stimulation level, which means trying out new products, doing adventure sports, using existing new products in novel ways, and setting their own trend, and consumers on a low optimum stimulation level (OSL). Consumers with the lowest optimum stimulation level buy what the mass market buys, will try new experiences only on recommendations, and would prefer good, safe experiences over a wild encounter. Consumers might be high on OSL because

    • Exploratory purchase behavior − Here the consumers want to explore new options.

    • Vicarious exploration − Here the consumer will gather information regarding the different brands offering them the same product and will start contemplating their purchase decision.

  • Innovativeness − The consumer here comes up with new ways to try out the existing products. For example, Snack Biscuits, an Indian brand, came up with a challenge to consumers on how they could use the biscuit in their different recipes. The best recipe would win, and it will also be shown in the TV advertisement.

The above-mentioned different traits have helped us understand the different consumer traits, how these traits affect the consumer purchase decision, and how companies can target these traits through their products and advertising features. Running in the wild with a blindfold on will not help the companies, but an understanding of their consumers and their different needs due to their personality traits will help.

Updated on: 15-Feb-2023


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