Critically evaluate the use of lifestyle analysis in consumer marketing

Essay by waaa3dUniversity, Bachelor's February 2007

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1. Introduction

Lifestyle is much more than just how a person chooses to spend his or her money. It is a statement about who belongs to a particular society and who does not. Therefore, it helps to make sense of what people do, why they do it, and what doing it means to them and others.

This allows marketers to obtain a clearer view about consumers, so any organization which decides to operate in some market, whether consumer or industrial, must recognize that it normally cannot similarly serve all the customers in that market. These customers may be too widely scattered and especially too various in their needs and wants. Recognizing that will make marketing more successful.

Market segmentation has thus become the core concept of target marketing and communication campaigns. Products are positioned to help satisfy consumer needs and to take account of how products fit into consumers' lifestyles.

Lifestyle is defined most simply as how people live and spend their time and money.

Lifestyle segmentation begins with people and categorizes them into different lifestyles, each characterized by a unique style of living consisting of a wide range of activities, interest, and opinions. There are different ways to measure lifestyle, such as geographic segmentation; demographic segmentation by age, income, occupation, etc.; psychographic segmentation on the basis of consumer lifestyle; and behavioural segmentation according to differences in knowledge, attitude or response to a product. These are examined in more detail in Section 4.

2. Lifestyle definition

"The concept of lifestyle has been developed to measure behaviour as a function of inherent individual characteristics that have been shaped through the social interaction of psychological and sociological factors and past experience."

Another definition of lifestyle is how people live, spend their money, and how they allocate their time among different types of...