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Understanding LOHAS – A SNA approach

Understanding LOHAS – A SNA approach

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05/12/2014

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Understanding LOHAS – A SNA approach
Oliver Posegga
a
1
, Matthäus Paul Zylka
a
2
, Johannes Putzke
a
3
, Kai Fischbach
a
4
 
a
University of Cologne, Dept. of Information Systems and Inf. Mgmt.,Pohligstr. 1, 50969 Köln, Germany 
Introduction
Sustainability related consumer values, needs and behaviors are evolving. Climate change and sustainability,one time the worry of only a few, gradually become issues for consumers everywhere. These days, consumersare more and more conscious of the broad sustainability challenges facing the world.Social media services like Facebook, Twitter and blogs have provided consumers with a massive platform forinformation and interaction. Nowadays, consumers, who are using this social media services, have access to ahuge amount of information about products, companies, pricing, etc. and they also are instantly aware ofproblems, recalls and scandals.The
Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability 
(LOHAS) consumer has been identified in a research report by the
 Natural Marketing Institute
(NMI) in 2002. LOHAS consumers are extremely motivated to be active in sociallyresponsible ways, for instance recycling and conservation. They are enthusiastic to personal and planetaryhealth. Moreover, they are early adopters, who try to push new products into the mainstream and influenceothers to use the products (French & Showers, 2008).In its first annual report in 2002, the NMI estimated the LOHAS market a capacity of $209 billion worth ofgoods and services, which are targeted towards social welfare, social justice apart from living sustainablelifestyles. As per the NMI statistics, 19% or 41 million people of United States population are LOHAS adults(French & Showers, 2008). Always in search for simple and environmentally less harmful solutions, thesepeople are extremely conscious about the products they use. The products don’t have to be necessarilyendorsed by a popular “brand name” but they have to comply with planet earth and in all probability beendowed with health benefits.The goal of our paper is to study LOHAS consumers and their demographic and psychographic attributes, theirbehavior and interests, by analyzing the LOHAS community on Facebook with data mining and statisticalmethods. To summarize our findings, we will provide a LOHAS consumer profile archetype and compare ourfindings to existing papers.
1
 
Email:
2
Email: zylkam@uni-koeln.de
3
Email: putzke@wim.uni-koeln.de
4
Email:
 
fischbach@wim.uni-koeln.de
 
 
 
Methods
To answer the question which attributes define a member of the LOHAS consumer segment, we focus onanalyzing the LOHAS community on Facebook. Each member of the platform provides personal details (e.g.gender, age, degree of education), which are, depending on the member’s privacy settings, available for thepublic domain. In addition to this static profile information, users can link their profiles to other profiles andfanpages, creating friendships likes. We use this information to study the mindset and interests of the LOHAScommunity.The relationship between LOHAS fans and fanpages was chosen as the initial point for the data miningapproach. To determine what kind of likes the LOHAS users have, despite liking the LOHAS fanpage, we primarycreated
association rules
with an
association rule learner 
algorithm.After performing data mining and explorative analyses on fanpages and profile attributes, we develop astatistical model to predict the likelihood of a Facebook user to be a LOHAS fan. Since fanpages on Facebookreflect interests and user attributes beyond Facebook related topics (hobbies, interests, etc.), we assume that aFacebook based description of a typical LOHAS fan can be used to describe potential members of a more generalLOHAS community. Understanding the relationship between a user and a fanpage as a dichotomous variable (0:user doesn’t like the fanpage, 1: user likes the fanpage), we are able to develop a statistical model to predictthe likelihood of a Facebook user to be a LOHAS fan with the method of logistic regression.
Data
Performing a manual research, we found several Facebook groups and fanpages, which are potentially relatedto LOHAS. We decided to focus on the largest explicitly LOHAS related fanpage on Facebook and all linked userprofiles. The page is called
LOHAS 
and has 3813 profiles attached to it. In addition, we selected approximatelyas many non-LOHAS profiles randomly from Facebook to be able to perform a statistical analysis.
Conclusion
We analyzed the dynamics of the LOHAS community through a social network analysis approach and exploredtheir demographic attributes as well as their interests. We were able to identify major characteristics of LOHAScommunity members, which are consistent with present theories regarding their origins. We could confirmtheir strong spiritual attitude, a general interest in outdoor activities like hiking, gardening and yoga.
References
Brin, S. et al., 1997. Dynamic itemset counting and implication rules for market basket data.
SIGMOD Rec.
,26(2), pp.255-264. Available at: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/253262.253325.French, S. & Showers, L., 2008. Consumer Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability.
ICSC Research Review 
, 15(1),pp.31-34. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=33160060&site=ehost-live.Hahsler, M. & Chelluboina, S., 2010. Visualizing Association Rules: Introduction to the R-extension PackagearulesViz. Available at: http://cran.us.r-project.org/web/packages/arulesViz/vignettes/arulesViz.pdf.Hofmann, H., Siebes, A.P.J.M. & Wilhelm, A.F.X., 2000. Visualizing association rules with interactive mosaicplots. In
Proceedings of the sixth ACM SIGKDD international conference on Knowledge discovery and datamining 
. New York, NY, USA: ACM, pp. 227-235. Available at: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/347090.347133.

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