Psychological Influences in Personality and Self-Concept

Every individual has personality attributes that can influence the buying tendencies of the customers. Personality includes a set of distinctive psychological characteristics that result in steady and enduring reactions to external stimuli. Personality is defined as a set of attributes such as autonomy, self-possession, dominance, sociability, deference, and adjustability. It is a useful variable in evaluating customer brand preferences.

Brands also have identities, and customers are likely to opt for brands as per their identities. Personality is a specific blend of human attributes associated with a certain brand. The customers select and use brands that have a brand personality in alignment with their self-concept. Sometimes, the match may be based on the customer’s view of ideal self-concept or even others self-concept, rather than an actual image about the self. Such effects are more prominent for the products consumed by the public in comparison to products consumed privately.

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Psychological Influences in Personality
The three psychological frameworks of personality popularly used to analyze customer attitudes are elaborated below:

Psychoanalytic/Freudian Framework: Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory provides the base to research motivation. It is based on the concept that human impulses are hugely unconscious and drive customer impulses.

Neo-Freudian Framework: This theory emphasizes personality types. The consumer researchers are keen to study four personality pairs: sensation-intuition, thoughts-feelings, extroversion-introversion, and judgment-perception. Each pair of personalities reflects two distinct personalities’ attributes that provoke customer responses.

Trait Framework: Unlike the qualitative or subjective approach to personality metrics, trait theory advocates that an individual possesses inherent psychological attributes to a greater or lesser extent. These attributes can be measured using specifically designed tools. These personality inventories are easy to use, measure, and can be self-administered. Many researchers prefer these scales to evaluate consumer personality.

Psychological Aspects of Self-Concept
Self-concept is defined as the way individuals think. The preferences, beliefs, attitudes, and opinions of an individual are organized. It is also, about how an individual behaves and reacts in various life roles. The major aspects of self-concept are as follows:

a) Organized Self-Concept: All individuals have varying views about themselves. Individuals may perceive themselves to be calm, kind, rude, patient, or selfish. It does not matter the perception an individual has about oneself. However, the perception that drives all such insights is termed as organized self-concept. When one believes in something that aligns with the self-concept, an individual abides by the view and does not agree to change. Moreover, even if one does, it takes place after a prolonged duration.

b) Learned Self-Concept: This theory believes that self-concept is learned and not inherent. It develops gradually with growing age. Learned self-concept is developed through socializing and people interactions. An individual shapes or alters the self-concept based on their experiences. Individuals may possess a self-concept distinct from others as compared to what others perceive about them.

c) Dynamic Self-Concept: One’s self-concept does not remain constant and changes according to the instances that take place in one’s life. As per the different circumstances and challenges in life, individual insights keep on changing. Observations imply that self-concept develops continually. In addition, individuals leave the things that contradict their self-concept and hold on to the things that build favorable perceptions.

Role of Personality and Self-Concept in Marketing
Various theories of personality and self-concept enable:

i) To study, connect, and engage with customers online and offline across various channels.

ii) To extract and evaluate data about personality and the linked attitudes.

iii) To design digitized customer-specific segmentation personas.

iv) To devise a varying range of tailor-made communication frameworks/approaches for distinct personality types.

v) To strategize and create content that is engaging for all personality types.

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