Every-day people are faced with the choice, or the necessity to spend their money. Money makes the world go round. As innocuous as it sounds, prodigious amounts of monies are spent within seconds of every day across the globe. With this in mind, what drives the insatiable need to have and consume?
During a class field trip to Chapters, our class was challenged to observe the rationale behind everyday consumer behaviour in a hands-on setting. Our task was to pick and observe one target consumer within a specific age range and record our findings on their behavioral responses, and interactions with various consumer products.
For my target consumer, I chose to observe a senior by the name of Elaine. Elaine appeared to be in her mid-seventies. She was alone and presumably single as she did not wear a wedding ring. She spent a large amount of time in the magazine stands which I took to mean she had free money to spend. Elaine seemed to be a creature of comfort and wore track pants, wide set New Balance shoes, and a bulky sweater.
I was motivated to choose this specific consumer because I felt she had a story to tell. Elaine gravitated to magazines that featured animals; she spent time looking at Easter cards, and plush throw blankets. She carried herself in a very uncomfortable way, and I wanted to know why.
The magazine I purchased- entitled World of Animals– directly pertains to the ideal self of my target consumer. My target is clearly experiencing the isolating effects of aging and is attempting to compensate by aligning herself with traditional ideals of belonging and self-purpose through her love and care of nature. Elaine aspires to be surrounded by life and to feel connected to nature. She also feels a moral responsibility to be a steward of her environment.
I know Elaine finds the World of Animals magazine interesting because she purchased a copy of it. Although I felt I understood Elaine relatively well by observing her actions from a distance, I was stricken with the degree of empathy she must possess in order to be susceptible to the advertisements within the magazine.
The first advertisement I chose to focus on in the magazine was that of a World of Animal’s subscription offer. I believe this advertisement would resonate with my target because it would be financially advantageous for her.
The second advertisement I chose for my target consumer was an ad for Pandas International. I chose this ad because I feel that it directly aligns with Elaine’s core values.
My target consumer falls into the category of a personalised consumer. She seeks meaningful connections and a sense of community which she experiences through good customer service. I had the opportunity to observe this as she spoke with two different employees who addressed her by name- demonstrating her brand loyalty- as they checked in on her shopping experience. Elaine’s purpose for shopping can be attributed to her desire for interpersonal attractions, as well as the fact that her behaviour also reflects that she could be considered that of a recreational shopper.
It is staggering to learn the amount of information one can learn from simply analysing someones purchasing happens. With a rapidly developing global population, and new emerging market’s, consumer behaviour and its insights will only continue to garner investment by international companies looking to increase their market share.