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The result of the psychographic survey reveals a primary VALSTM (Values and Lifestyles) as experiencer. The result of the survey defines an experiencer as a person motivated by self-expression. Experiencer consists of young, impulsive, and enthusiastic consumers.
The experiencer as a consumer derives enthusiasm from new possibilities, but they also know how to reserve their calm. Consumers belonging to this category prefer exciting varieties, enjoying new experiences, offbeat and risky experiences. Outdoor activities like recreation, sports, socialization, and exercise form the basis of energy outlet among this group. Experiencers are keen consumers who spend a substantial part of their income on socialization, entertainment, and fashion. Their shopping habit reflects their beliefs in looking well and refined.
The survey shows secondary VALSTM type as an achiever. Consumers belonging to this category get motivation from the desire to achieve something. Career, family, and goal-setting lifestyle characterize the lifestyles of achievers. Achievers’ social life rotates around work, family, and their respective places of worship. Achievers tend to be conservative politically, lead a conventional lifestyle, and have respect for those in power. They also tend to identify with the status quo. This category of consumer value stability over risks and prefer consensus on issues. At the same time, they like to make self-discoveries and experience intimacy (Strategic Business Insights: VALSTM).
Achievers have several needs and want. Therefore, they form a vital part of the consumer marketplace. Achievers consider the image as an essential part of their lives. Therefore, in relation to their peers, they prefer established and prestigious products and services. Achievers live busy lifestyles and find the time-saving devices extremely useful in their day-to-day activities.
Suitability of VALSTM type
VALSTM type adopts the use of mindset in response to survey to classify people under eight consumer categories. The scientific gauging of mindsets based on psychological traits and vital demographic information helps the system to classify people according to what drives their consumer behavior. Further, it uses two critical concepts in understanding consumers. The model groups key factors influencing consumer behavior as the primary motivation and resources.
The combinations of the above factors influence how consumers respond to different needs and want. The results of the survey could reflect the true classifications of different consumers. This is because the system borrows heavily from psychological theories, traits, and classification of people, and what they value most in their lives.
However, markets for several products consist of several consumers VALSTM may offer little real value because it oversimplifies consumer personalities and purchase behavior. Some critics argue that the typologies of VALSTM are complex and lack proper theoretical underpinnings.
Targeting VALSTM type of consumers
Marketers use VALSTM to address more than single issues in a marketing environment. The developers claim that marketers use VALSTM effectively in the business world to achieve the strategic communication and marketing needs. The model provides a fresh perspective of first-hand information, individual consumer profile, and identification of a distinct communication style. Marketers can adapt the VALSTM of experiencers and achievers consumer groups to drive sales of their products and services. VALSTM identifies the strongest marketing opportunities based on competitive analysis, target market identification and selection, brand differentiation, and customer retention. Certain products require customers to be swayed by an appeal to their emotions and cultural values.
VALSTM segmentation identifies consumers into experiencers and achievers. Marketers can differentiate their brands to target consumers in a given segment. Brands related to family, work, lifestyle can fit this segment of consumer categories. Most brands should be directed to this segment of consumers since they have several needs and wants. Brands, which promote self-identity among peers, can easily penetrate this market (Arens 120).
Since markets now know their target market behavior, they need to monitor and understand them. They can easily decide on a suitable advertisement, choose an effective media plan, and spend their promotional resources wisely. The marketer will purely focus on the needs of these customers and what drives them to buy. Their primary goal is to understand similarities and difference among various target groups so as to develop marketing and communication mix to fit each market. The overall advantage lies in the fact that marketers can easily select their exact target market.
Experiencers and achievers tend to dominate marketplaces. Therefore, it makes sense for a market to retain its largest source of customers. Customer retention will help to drive brand and establish brand loyalty. These consumers consist of the largest spenders on recreational, sports and other outdoor activities.
Competitive advantages lie in the availability of information on target market and ability to use it before the competition does. The marketers should focus on where this segment of experiencers and achievers get their information from, which media to use in promotional tools so that the intended information gets to the right audience. VALSTM is also useful in innovation and development of new products and services. New products and service must be produced on difference images, occasions and time.
Marketers will define resources which most consumers in this segment have and develop products to appeal to their cultural and emotional appeals. Marketers already have the basic information about experiencers and achievers as consumers who prefer efficient commodities, they will tend to sale them at slightly high prices. They know that the experiencers and achievers cannot do without such products and services.
Arens, William F. Contemporary Advertising, 7th Edition. New York: McGraw- Hill/Irwin, 1999. Print.
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Strategic Business Insights. VALSTM, 2009. Web.