Internal forces may be divided into two types:
psychological factors and personal factors
It is generally accepted that a certain type of person will favour
a type of brand over another. Personality refers to the mental,
spiritual and emotional characteristics that can be manifested
in an individual's behaviour at a point in time. Personality is
what a person is. If you visit Personality
Tests you will be able to take different personality tests.
Two main personality theories used within the study of consumer
behaviour are the psychoanalytical and trait theories. Sigmund
Freud's psychoanalytical vision of the human personality concentrates
on the interplay between the id, the ego and the superego. This
Theories Website will provide you with an in-depth understanding
of Freud's and other important theorists ideas on personality.
The id is the source of strong inborn drives and pleasure principles.
The ego controls the id. Through learning and experience the ego
develops a person's ability to operate realistically and deal
with the environment successfully. The superego internalises society's
values and morals and sets the parameters of unacceptable and
acceptable behaviour. Its role is to control the inborn drives
of the id and persuade the ego to follow socially acceptable behaviour
not just realistic behaviour.
Freud°s ideas have been extensively applied in marketing practice.
Products and services can be designed to appeal to the id°s sense
of pleasure. For example hotels, such as Hedonism
in Jamaica, are positioned to appeal to people°s inborn drives
for self-satisfaction. Sexy imagery in advertising like this ad
for Gucci [link to Gucci ad] attracts people°s attention because
its message speaks to their ids.
Many personality theorists have argued that personality consists
of relatively broad, enduring and stable traits that can be used
to explain people°s behaviour. Understanding what kind of message
or product appeals to what type of personality trait can aid marketers
when positioning brands.
For example, consumers with low self-esteem will tend to respond
to messages of acceptance and belonging such as "if you dine
in this restaurant you will feel appreciated and rewardedî. Likewise
consumers who strive to present themselves strategically to others
will purchase brands that will help communicate certain images.
A 1969 ad for Concorde and Rolex illustrates how advertising messages
can help an individual with high-self esteem communicate an appropriate
image of success [link to the Concorde-Rolex ad]
Personal factors (attitudes, beliefs, values)
Personal factors such as values, attitudes and beliefs also have
a directive influence on consumers’ behaviour. Values are
relatively stable and generalised evaluations of what is right
or wrong. They are central to the individual and set the foundations
for attitudes and beliefs. Beliefs are thoughts people have about
objects and actions, while attitudes are lasting evaluations of
objects or issues. Unlike beliefs that are neutral, attitudes
are emotionally charged. An individual is for or against an issue.
Successful products and messages will tend to resonate with consumers’
values. Because values are central to the individual, marketers
can only attempt to modify consumers’ beliefs and attitudes.
For example, a tour operator like Thomas Cook can inform consumers
that now they have exciting 2-week packages to the Amazon Jungle,
by doing so they are adding to an existing belief system.
If a player in the market wanted consumers to re-evaluate their
attitudes towards a certain type of airline, they could provide
information that would challenge pre-existing beliefs. Recently,
British Airways questioned the ‘benefits’ of travelling
with low cost airlines by highlighting the nuisances of travelling
without the usual ‘frills’. In practice, Marwell Zoo’s
Publicity and Marketing Officer highlights the importance of understanding
consumers’ values and attitudes towards their services.
Moore, Marketing and Promotions Officer
Marwell Zoo, Hampshire