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THE NATURE OF LYFESTYLE
Lifestyle is defined as how one lives. One’s lifestyle is a function of inherent individual characteristics that have been shaped and formed through social interaction as one moves through the life cycle. Thus, lifestyle is influenced by such factors as culture, values, demographics, subculture, social class, reference groups, family, and individual characteristics such as motives, emotions, and personality. Individuals and households both have lifestyles. While household lifestyles are in part determined by the individual lifestyles of the household members, the reverse is also true.
Our desired lifestyle influences our needs and attitudes and thus our purchase and use behaviour. It determines many of our consumption decisions which, in turn, reinforce or alter our lifestyle. Thus, marketers view lifestyle as central to the consumption process. Lifestyle analysis can be used by marketers with respect to specific areas of consumers’ lives, such as outdoor recreation. This is a common, very applied approach. A second approach is to capture the general lifestyle patterns of a population.
Attempts to develop quantitative measures of lifestyle are initially referred to as psychographics. In fact, psychographics and lifestyle are frequently used interchangeably. Now psychographics or lifestyle studies typically include the following:
- Attitudes: evaluative statements about other people, places, ideas, products, etc.
- Values: widely held beliefs about what is acceptable and/or desirable.
- Activities and interests: nonoccupational behaviours to which consumers devote their effort, such as hobbies, sports, public service, and church.
- Media patterns: which specific media the consumer utilize.
-Usage rates: measurements of consumption within a specified product category. Often consumers are categorized as heavy, medium, light, or nonusers.
Consumers can be categorized also according to their self-orientation and resources. Marketers differentiate three primary self-orientations:
- Principle-oriented – these individuals are guided in their choices by their beliefs and principles rather than by feelings, events, or desire for approval.
- Status-oriented – these individuals are heavily influenced by the actions, approval, and opinions of others.
- Action-oriented – these individuals desire social or physical activity, variety, and risk-taking.
The second dimension, termed resources, reflects the ability of individuals to pursue their dominant self-orientation. It refers to the full range of psychological, physical, demographic, and material means on which consumer can draw. Resources generally increase from adolescence through middle age and then remain relatively stable until they begin to decline with older age.
T E X T 6
Read the text. Define the key sentence(s) of each paragraph.