The new year often welcomes us with a refreshed spirit and renewed goals. It is a time that we are more open to self evaluation and acceptance of our personal areas of opportunity. We are looking to make room in our lives for growth and look for ways to adjust our behaviors to reach them.
During this time most of us are establishing financial goals to make up for the holiday spending including concluding our holiday consumer behaviors. This makes the new year prime time to evaluate not only your personal goals but also your consumer personality traits and behavior. Before getting into that we must first understand the consumer decision making process which applies to all purchases.
The 5 steps of the consumer decision-making process are as follows:
Recognition of a need initiates the consumer decision-making journey, where internal or external prompts lead to a desire for a service or product. To influence consumers at this stage, focus on external stimuli, like hunger or lifestyle changes. Launch a comprehensive brand campaign to foster trust and awareness. For instance, a customer facing winter might realize the need for a heavy-duty coat.
In the 'Information Search' stage, consumers rely on internal and external factors, exploring options at physical locations or online resources. As a brand, provide accessible information, utilizing funnels and diverse content to establish trust. Leverage word of mouth with consumer-generated content such as reviews. For instance, a customer searches for "women’s winter coats" and seeks opinions from those with appealing coats.
During 'Alternatives Evaluation,' prospective buyers define product criteria and weigh choices against alternatives. Tailor marketing to showcase product superiority and address objections. For instance, a customer compares brands, considering factors like color, style, and sustainability in a winter coat.
The 'Purchase Decision' is the awaited moment, requiring consumers to logically conclude their selection based on gathered information and feedback. Ensure consumers recognize your product as the optimal choice. For instance, a customer finds a discounted pink winter coat with sustainable materials, confirming the decision with friends before online purchase.
'Post-Purchase Evaluation' involves reflection by both consumer and seller. Evaluate if the purchase met the consumer's need, ensure customer satisfaction, and plan post-purchase engagement. Utilize strategies like follow-up emails and discounts for continued positive experiences. Gain lifelong customers by prioritizing satisfaction in the age of online reviews. (Source 1)
Is it important to keep these steps in mind as we discuss consumer personalities and behaviors as these factors highly impact the outcomes of each step.
"Consumer Personalities can be referred to as an individual's unique set of characteristics, traits, and patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior that influence their interactions with the marketplace." (Source 2) Called OCEAN, CANOE, or the five-factor model, the big 5 model combines five main attributes of a consumer’s personality. These factors impact the viewpoints that we use to navigate the consumer decision making process. Those five traits are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Openness means being open to experiencing new or different things. Those who score high on this trait tend to be intellectually curious, willing to try new things, and more creative or unconventional. Those who score low on this trait are usually opposed to change and struggle with abstract thought.
Conscientiousness refers to acting in an organized or thoughtful way. Those who score high on conscientiousness tend to be self-disciplined, strive for achievement, and follow a plan or schedule. Scoring low on this trait, you may be more unstructured in your approach to tasks and procrastinate more often.
Extraversion is seeking stimulation in the company of others. Those who score high on this trait don’t mind being the center of attention and tend to be very social and energetic. Those who score low on extraversion often prefer to be alone and may be anxious in social situations.
Agreeableness entails being compassionate and cooperative towards others. Those who score high on agreeableness tend to get along well with people and are more sympathetic and caring. Those who score lower on this trait can be less empathetic and seem uninterested in others.
Neuroticism refers to emotional sensitivity—particularly when it comes to environmental or situational factors. Those who score high for this trait can be easily stressed and sometimes come off as worry-warts. Those who score low on neuroticism, on the other hand, tend to be more emotionally grounded and laid-back. (SOURCE 3)
Click here to take the Big Five Personality Test or IPIP NEO Personality Test and discover your consumer personality.
It is important that we learn our consumer personality and behaviors because brands, advertisers and marketers strive for us to rush our consumer decision making process and chose them. Being unaware of our consumer personality leaves us susceptible to having our emotions manipulated by marketers, advertisers, and brands. Not understanding out consumer behavior leaves us susceptible to having our finances manipulated which increases buyers remorse.
Come back on 1/15/2023 to learn about how consumer behavior and the ways in which the marketers, advertisers, and brands use information about us to steer our fashion decisions in their favor.
But before you go, Please take a moment to complete this poll.