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The 5 basic types of consumers

The 5 basic types of consumers Dan Hill
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"The Big Five" factors needs to be measured by marketers


There's a huge amount of information missing from what you know about the audience you're trying to reach. Traditional demographics and psychographics are ignoring the most basic characteristics that define human personalities. These are referred to as "The Big Five." Here's what they are.


The open consumer


This is a huge personality trait you're not currently looking at. Openness is a person's appreciation for things like emotion and unusual ideas and experiences. These people tend to be more creative, original, and hold uncommon beliefs. On the contrary, people who are defined as "closed" tend to prefer routine and don't like change.


The conscientious consumer


Is your audience made up of high achievers and people with discipline? If so, your audience has a high level of conscientiousness. These people are self-starters, and are not prone to spontaneous acts. If you have a conscientiousness audience, these people are usually not susceptible to impulse buys.


No one knows more about the inner workings of the consumer mind than Dan Hill, president of Sensory Logic. He speaks with iMedia about why "The Big Five" factors should be kept in mind when marketers are analyzing the effectiveness of their campaigns on an audience.


The extroverted consumer


If your audience is social and full of energy, you have an extroverted crowd on your hands. These people are enthusiastic and have a higher than normal need to interact with the outside world. Brands with identities centered around energy need to capture these individuals. They are your most likely bet for creating brand loyalists.


The agreeable consumer


These consumers do not like to make waves. They tend to be very concerned for the preservation of social harmony. At their core, agreeable consumers want to get along with everyone. They are not necessarily pushovers but can be persuaded to shift beliefs for the betterment of social peace. On the flip side, consumers who are disagreeable put their interests above social harmony.


Dan Hill continues our conversation by explaining why marketers are missing the boat if they don't start to look at how emotion plays a critical part in purchasing behavior.


The neurotic consumer


These consumers are emotionally unstable and tend to expect the worst in a situation. If you have a neurotic audience, they probably don't trust your brand. They harbor feelings of anger, depression, and high levels of anxiety. These consumers are also more stressed out than the rest of us, and it's usually mental. Negative emotions tend to linger for a long time in these consumers. On the other end of the spectrum, consumers who are not neurotic are calmer and less paranoid about imminent threat.


Dan Hill ends our conversation by explaining why today's market research is not nearly as good as it needs to be, and ways marketers can improve their strategy for gaining a better view in the mind of a consumer.



 Learn more about Dan Hill's bestselling book "On-Emotion: Salvaging Market Research."


Article written by David Zaleski.


Videos edited by Associate Media Producer Brian Waters.


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"Multicolored pile of jelly beans for background image closeup" image via Shutterstock.

Dan Hill is a recognized authority on the role of emotions in consumer and employee behavior, with more than a decade of experience running his science-based emotional insights consultancy, Sensory Logic, Inc. One of the company's unique research...

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