Case Study 3.1 – Personality and the Self-Concept in relation to mobile phones: What your phone say about you. Case Summary
Consumers are faced with a large array of choice during their visits to phone outlets or even phone websites. Psychographic segmentation processes and anthropomorphizing are increasingly used by phone outlets, enabling consumers’ choices to be more personalized and less overwhelming. Phone brands are also personalizing the various mobile phones choices such as phone skins, wallpapers, clip-on phone accessories etc. In addition, individual personalities are considered drivers of behavior impacting on the way consumers uses the mobile phones. Marketers who segment consumers on the basis of personality traits have further information to help in developing better marketing communication message. Q1. What other individual characteristics could also be used to better explain mobile phone usage? Besides the trait theory individual characteristics such as need for uniqueness and susceptibility to interpersonal influence could also be used to explain mobile phone usage. Need for uniqueness
Individuals with high need for uniqueness tend to seek individuality and are constantly finding ways to stand out among the crowd. This individuals tend to not conform to standards or expectations of others in terms of appearances or in possessions, and are not concerned about being critized for their choices. Being uniquely different can be easily epitomized in the choice of mobile phone being used in terms of its design, functionality and capacity for user customaization. Consumer susceptbility to interpersonal influence (CSII)
The need to identify with or enhance one’s image in the opinion of others, the willingness to conform to the expectation of others is CSII. CSII have an influence on information processing, attitude development and purchase behaviour. Explaining CSII using Horney’s compliant personality, these individuals desire to be loved, wanted and appreciated by others, hence they are highly susceptbile to interpersonal influence. For example, in order to fit into social group, an individuals may purchase a particular trendy phone commonly used by the membership group or symbolic group. This can be especially true for the teenagers and young adult market. Persuasive marketing communication can be targeted at supporting individuals to fit into their social groups. Q2. Why is it important that marketers have an understanding of personality traits and how they affect consumer behaviour? The roles of marketers include focusing on consumer, increase brand equity and setting the marketing strategy. To effectively use marketing mix to influence consumers, it is important to understand which factors influence consumers’ decision-making process and purchasing. The factors can be harnessed to better formulate appropriate marketing stimuli that will result in increased sales and brand equity. Factors include attitudes, motivation and personality. Personality refers to the unique psychological characteristics that are consistent and enduring. Individual differences in personality influences one’s buying behavior. While it is difficult to change consumers’ personalities to conform to existing products or brands, knowledge of personality traits of consumers can support marketers in appealing to the relevant traits in their target market. Personality traits are useful in analyzing consumer behavior for product and/or brand choices. Taking the sociability traits of coffee drinkers as an example, coffeehouses create environments where people can relax and socialize over a cup of hot coffee. In addition, personality traits are also important in establishing how consumers meet their needs. Equipped with the knowledge of personality traits, marketers can more effectively segment, target and position their products and branding. Marketers can also craft more effective marketing mix to attract more positive consumer responses...
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