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Consumer Motivation and Personality

Motivation is the driving force within individuals that impels them to action. It is produced by
a state of tension due to an unfulfilled need which leads to conscious / subconscious attempts
to reduce the tension.

Model of Motivation Process

Needs are the essence of the marketing concept. Marketers do not create needs but can make
consumers aware of needs. A need is something that is necessary for humans to live a healthy
life. Needs are distinguished from wants because a deficiency would cause a clear negative
outcome, such as dysfunction or death. Needs can be objective and physical, such as food and
water, or they can be subjective and psychological, such as the need for self-esteem.

Types of Needs:

Innate Needs: Physiological (or biogenic) needs that are considered primary needs or motives.
Acquired Needs: Learned in response to our culture or environment. Are generally
psychological and considered secondary needs.

Types of Motives

Rational Motives: Goals chosen according to objective criteria (e.g., price)

Emotional Motives: Goals chosen according to personal or subjective criteria (e.g., desire for
social status)
Latent Motives: Motives that the consumer is unaware of or unwilling to recognize. They are
harder to identify and require projective techniques to identify.
Manifest Motives: Motives that the consumer is aware of and willing to express.

A goal or objective is a projected state of affairs that a person or a system plans or intends to
achievea personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development.
It is the sought-after results of motivated behavior.

Types of Goals

Generic goals: are general categories of goals that consumers see as a way to fulfill their needs.
Product-specific goals: Are specifically branded products or services that consumers select as
their goals.

The goals selected by an individual depend on their personal experiences, physical capacity,
prevailing cultural norms and values and goals accessibility in the physical and social

Positive and Negative Motivation

Positive motivation is a response which includes enjoyment and optimism about the tasks that
you are involved in. Positive motivation induces people to do work in the best possible manner
and to improve their performance. Under this better facilities and rewards are provided for their
better performance. Such rewards and facilities may be financial and non-financial.

Negative motivation aims at controlling the negative efforts of the work and seeks to create a
sense of fear for the worker, which he has to suffer for lack of good performance. It is based
on the concept that if a worker fails in achieving the desired results, he should be punished.
Negative motivation involves undertaking tasks because there will be undesirable outcomes,
e.g. failing a subject, if tasks are not completed.
Both positive and negative motivation aim at inspiring the will of the people to work but they
differ in their approaches. Whereas one approaches the people to work in the best possible
manner providing better monetary and non-monetary incentives, the other tries to induce the
man by cutting their wages and other facilities and amenities on the belief that man works out
of fear.

The chapter also explains various theories of needs viz. Maslows hierarchy of needs, Murrays
List of Psychogenic Needs and McClellands Trio of Needs.

Personality is the inner psychological characteristics that both determine and reflect how a
person responds to his or her environment. The nature of personality is either the personality
that reflects individual differences or the one which is consistent and enduring or a personality
that can change.

Theories of Personality

1. Freudian Theory: Unconscious needs or drives are at the heart of human motivation
a) Id: Warehouse of primitive or instinctual needs for which individual seeks immediate
b) Superego: Individuals internal expression of societys moral and ethical codes of
c) Ego: Individuals conscious control that balances the demands of the id and superego

2. Neo-Freudian personality theory: Social relationships are fundamental to the formation

and development of personality
Alfred Adler:
a. Style of life
b. Feelings of inferiority
Harry Stack Sullivan: We establish relationships with others to reduce tensions
Karen Horneys three personality groups
Compliant: move toward others
Aggressive: move against others
Detached: move away from others

3. Trait theory: Quantitative approach to personality as a set of psychological traits

Consumer Innovativeness
Consumer innovators are the group of consumers that are very open to new ideas and are
usually the first to purchase products. Innovativeness is the underlying trait that describes a
consumers willingness to try new products. Companies have found this very important when
introducing brand extensions because it is a key factor in the consumers likelihood to try the
new product. For hi-tech products, we see that innovativeness can be explained at three levels.

Dogmatic is a personality trait that describes how rigid or open a person is to new and
unfamiliar ideas and products.

Social Character
Inner-directed people prefer ads that stress product features. Other-directed individuals
gravitate to ads that that show approving social environment rather than product information
they want to look to others to understand how to act or be accepted, and the ads give an example
of this.

Need for Uniqueness

Consumers who avoid conforming to expectations or standards of others. If a respondent scores
high on this scale, then they have a higher need for uniqueness.

Optimum Stimulation Levels

Optimum stimulation levels are related to how a consumer tends to like or dislike novel,
complex, and unusual experiences and products. High optimum stimulation levels lead
consumers to take risks and try new products. Similar to a person with high innovativeness,
these consumers are important to marketers of new products.

Sensation Seeking Traits

Sensation-seeking traits tie to the need to take risks to fulfill the sensations of experiences
which are different and extreme. Much research has been tied to the study of teenage males
who often engage in this behavior.

Variety Novelty Seeking

Consumers seek variety in many ways. Some exhibit exploratory purchase behavior where
they switch brands often to experience new products. Other consumers display variety by use
innovativeness, using an existing product in a new way. Finally, vicarious exploration, which
often does not involve actual purchase about the product, refers to daydreaming or thinking
often about a new product.