Lifestyle is a mode of living that is identified by how people spend their time and resources, what they consider important in their environment, and what they think of themselves and the world around them. The analysis of consumer lifestyles, called psychographics, provides insights into consumer needs and wants. Lifestyle analysis has proven useful in segmenting and targeting consumers for new and existing products and services (see Chapter 9).
Psychographics, the practice of combining psychology, lifestyle, and demographics, is often used to uncover consumer motivations for buying and using products and services. A prominent psychographic system is VALS from Strategic Business Insights (SBI).24 The VALS system identifies eight consumer segments based on (1) their primary motivation for buying and having certain products and services and (2) their resources.
According to SBI researchers, consumers are motivated to buy products and services and seek experiences that give shape, substance, and satisfaction to their lives. But not all consumers are alike. Consumers are inspired by one of three primary motivations—ideals, achievement, and self-expression—that give meaning to their self or the world and govern their activities. The different levels of resources enhance or constrain a person’s expression of his or her primary motivation. A person’s resources include psychological, physical, demographic, and material capacities such as income, self-confidence, and risk-taking. Before reading further, visit the VALS website discussed in the Marketing inSite box. Complete the short survey to learn which segment best describes you.