Psychographics is concerned with people's lifestyle, their attitudes, emotions, personality, drive and values. It is clearly an area where firms may turn to psychologists to offer advice. All segmentation attempts to produce groupings which firms can target with appropriate goods and services. However, marketers must be careful not to 'stereotype' by pandering to social classifications which have little basis in fact.
Behavioural characteristics might refer to how many times a customer buys a particular product or service during a period of time and how brand loyal they are.
Some products are almost entirely the domain of professionals and are sold to them and not to the general public e.g. medical equipment.
There are many lifestyle choices that will influence purchasing behaviour. One of the most significant areas of the last few years is environmentalism and the desire to lower one's carbon footprint. This lifestyle choice has produced a whole array of products choices such as organics and low energy innovations. Other lifestyle choices relate:
- concern for animals, have led to cosmetics retailers marketing that they their products have not been tested on animals
- sports and hobbies
- care for others - giving to charities or buying their products
- status goods e.g. yachts, jewellery and fast cars
- home entertainment - individuals who look to have the latest gadgets
The marketing industry enjoys producing acronyms or nicknames for behavioural groupings:
- Yuppies - Young Urban Professional
- Yummies - Young upwardly mobile
- Dinkies - Dual income, no kids
- Geeks - A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept
- Tweenagers - A child between middle childhood and adolescence, usually between 8 and 12 years old, technically not a teenager (being less than thirteen years old), but starting to act like one
- Boy racers - people, usually males in their late teens or early twenties, who "cruise" around in vehicles modified with loud exhausts and stereos, and/or modified body kits
- Dimwit - Dual income mortgage we're in trouble
All of these terms are shorthand for groups of individuals with particular purchasing behaviours.
One interesting psychographic classification is based on attitudes and motivations with three distinct segments:
- Subsistence types - customers who select products and services on the basis of price, looking for value for money and bargains. They will seek out those reduced stickers in supermarkets!
- Discriminators - Customers who select products and services on the basis of quality rather than price, following the principle that 'you get what you pay for'.
- Hedonists - individuals who look for instant gratification and so will live for the 'now' rather than saving for the future. These are 'party types who will spend all (or sometimes more) than their income on enjoying themselves ... all the time! The rich may lead this lifestyle but lower income groups may do so by using credit.
A comprehensive list of humorous business acronyms, including marketing examples, can be found here.