Should I wear this? Will this suit me? I will buy this wrist watch, but is it my type? Do you think Maruti goes well with my personality, and many more such questions we ponder on before we really decide to get something, Don’t we? Basically the type of stuffs that we use and consume is an indication of the type of personality we possess.

Personality is something which is difficult to be explained in one sentence. It’s very vast &dynamic and so does our behaviour. Nevertheless, there are three major components of personality which Freud (Father of abnormal Psychology) mentioned & discussed about i.e. Id, Ego & Super-Ego. ID is the representative of a child’s traits; Ego reflects our behaviour that we portray in front of others & in Social Life. Super-Ego is the manifestation of our own real self.

We will try to comprehend the role of these components on the consumer behaviour. An individual with “Id” dominating in his personality will go for anything that he likes without thinking of the possibilities, irrespective of its price, quality, brand, demand in the market, whether its obsolete or not, etc. None of these external factors will determine his decision except his own choice itself. Whereas someone whose personality is dominated by “Ego”, will be mindful of what he is wearing in a get together or a party and hence will go for branded things on such occasions and will be carefree about it  when he is with his own family or with himself. A person with high “Super-Ego” will not be concerned about being in a social gathering .Whatever he does its same everywhere with a realistic approach, when he is alone or when he is in a party. If he is keen on the quality & brand of the product, it will manifest even when he is just with his family.

Apart from these major components, there are many other important traits which form our personality .Our behaviour is the manifestation of these personality traits and vice versa. Let’s talk about, how these trait influences our consumer behaviour. What we purchase and use is very much regulated by our nature and personality. Few examples are given below:-

  • Introversion VS Extroversion:-A person who is introvert will go for something which is sober and not very jazzy & gaudy, be it dress, shoes, accessories etc.Whereas a person who is extrovert and outgoing will prefer to buy flashy things more in comparison to the sober things.
  • Unusual and conventional:-An innovative person keeps on trying out with new stuff and is very comfortable using any new product launched in the market. On the other hand somebody who is very conventional will be reluctant to do trial and error with the products that he/she uses and will try to stick with the same stuff which he/she has been using past so many years.
  • A person, who does a lot of socialisation, will make an attempt to be updated about any novel stuff that has just arrived or is going to be launched. Somebody who is not very social and is not very keen on going to parties, functions, will not be very curious about what’s new happening in the market.
  • Uniqueness VS Commonness:-Attention seeking personalities have a tendency to look different and not a part of the crowd for which they choose to purchase unconventional products. People who want to be seen as common mass will try to follow what everyone else does.
  • Impulsiveness VS Deliberation:-People with more of impulsiveness in their personality, believe in quantity. They will buy end number of products without considering its quality and brand. Those who are higher on their thoughtfulness and maturity scale will go for something which is of a brand and will be of good quality.
  • Sensitivity VS Indifference:-Emotionally driven people are more easily convinced with attractive products and their decision can be easily influenced by what the customer agent speaks about. A practical oriented person will be indifferent to outside attraction and will not be carried away with what others say. He will enquire about the stuff, think about its advantages and disadvantages and then only decide about whether to purchase it or not.

Thus we are so much governed by our personality, but the big question still remains unanswered, our behaviour is because of our personality or our personality is because of our behaviour, so as, was it the hen or the egg, which one came first?

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Written by
I am a psychologist by profession. I like reading books and enjoy writing on human nature, and discussing about it.
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