Individual and group leisure activities

People more highly endorsing a sense of belonging tend to be heavily involved in individual and group leisure activities with others. In other words, they search for activities that enable them to fulfill their important values or needs. Consumers endorsing fun and excitement in life apparently desire more exciting media, such as police dramas, and engage in more exciting activities, such as sports like jogging and skiing. Conversely, those who more heavily stress security seem to like passive activities more, such as watching sporting events and having hobbies, and they have different media preferences.

Both the Rokeach Value survey and the List of values can prove helpful to the marketer in understanding important consumption facets. Knowing that consumers who endorse certain values more highly than other values have different lifestyles may be extremely useful in determining promotion appeals, product positioning and design, channels of distribution, and pricing approaches. In market segmentation decisions, Knowledge of personal values can significantly enhance demographic understanding. For example one study involving a national chain of family restaurants and its leading competitor found that brand preference was not differentiated with respect to demographic characteristics of consumers who ate at both chains and had a stated preference for one or the other. However, market segments based on value orientations of these fast food restaurant customers did reveal differences that related to consumers’ Brand preferences. This kind of information is useful in designing effective advertising campaigns and developing products with salient products attributes, thereby enhancing the competitive posture of the brand. Values have also been also been found to relate to contributions to charitable causes to help explain automobile importance ratings, to predict mass media usage, and to relate mass media vehicles to promotional messages. However, more research is needed on the subject of values as they relate to purchasing behavior. There is still much disagreement on how widely and how intensely values must be held among consumers. A greater understanding is also needed on the origins and consequences of values. In addition, more research is necessary to understand cultural value influences cultural value on consumer behavior across a broader range of products than has so far been investigated.

Several companies are pursuing such a goal of broadening the application of consumer values to understanding the behavior of users of a wide range of products. For example, SRI International combines value and lifestyles (termed VALS) information with available demographic data. The purpose is to create a general psychographic that can be used to understand consumers of a variety of products, from deodorants to television sets.

After over a decade of research into consumer values and lifestyles, SRI has created VALS 2 which identifies eight types of distinctive behavior and emotional makeup that it is held to constitute specific market segment. The five major categories and their subcategories are identified as representative demographics of these consumer segments. The typology is built on two dimensions. The first, self orientation pertains to the patterns of attitudes and activities that help people reinforce, sustain, or even modify their social self image. Principle oriented consumers are guided in their choices by their beliefs or principles rather than by feelings, events, or desire for approval. Status oriented consumers are heavily influenced by the actions, approval, and opinions of others. Action-oriented consumers are guided by a desire for social or physical activity, variety, and risk taking

The second dimension resources involve the capacities and means that enable to act on their desires and decisions. This dimension is a continuum ranging from minimal to abundant. It encompasses education, income, health, self confidence, eagerness to buy intelligence an energy level. Resources generally increase from adolescence through middle age, while they decrease with extreme age, depression, financial reverses, and physical or psychological impairment.

Based on information gathered by SRI on dozens of products the VALS 2 program appears to have much usefulness for understanding the activities, product purchases and media habits of each category of consumer.

Researchers involved with the LOV system claim that it work better than does VALS while VALS researchers claim that their system is preferred over LOV as a segmentation basis. Nevertheless, SRI’s pioneering work on the values and lifestyles of consumers has achieved much notice and success within the business community.