Internal Influences: Personality and Lifestyle


An individual’s personality relates to perceived personal characteristics that are consistently exhibited, especially when one acts in the presence of others. In most, but not all, cases the behaviors one projects in a situation is similar to the behaviors a person exhibits in another situation. In this way, personality is the sum of sensory experiences others get from experiencing a person (i.e., how one talks, responds in certain situations, etc.). While one’s personality is often interpreted by those we interact with, the person has their own vision of their personality, called self-concept, which may or may not be the same has how others view us.

Marketing Implications:

For marketers, it is important to know how consumers make purchase decisions to support their self-concept. Using research techniques to identify how customers view themselves may give marketers insight into products and promotion options that are not readily apparent. For example, when examining consumers, a marketer may initially build marketing strategy around more obvious clues to consumption behavior, such as consumer’s demographic indicators (e.g., age, occupation, income). However, in-depth research may yield information that shows consumers are purchasing products to fulfill self-concept objectives that have little to do with the demographic category they fall into (e.g., senior citizen may be making purchases that make them feel younger). Appealing to the consumer’s self-concept needs could expand the market to which the product is targeted.


This influencing factor relates to the way we live through the activities we engage in and interests we express. In simple terms, it is what we value out of life. Lifestyle is often determined by how we spend our time and money. Additionally, customers often associate with others who share similar lifestyles.

Marketing Implications:

Products and services are purchased to support consumers’ lifestyles. Marketers have worked hard researching how consumers in their target markets live their lives since this information is key to developing products, suggesting promotional strategies, and even determining how best to distribute products. The fact that lifestyle is so directly tied to marketing activity will be further examined as we discuss developing target market strategies (see Targeting Markets Tutorial).