If you look up the word Lifestyle in the dictionary you will find the definition “a way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group”. However this definition does not pertain much to marketing, or consumer purchasing habits. Another definition that would be of more relevance and importance to marketers is “Lifestyle refers to a pattern of consumption, of how he or she spends their time and money”.
A lifestyle marketing perspective shows how people sort themselves into groups on the basis of activities they enjoy, how they spend their free time, and how they spend their disposable income. This gives marketers a chance for market segmentation strategies. Market segmentation is the selection of groups of people who will be most receptive to a product. This is done using both Demographics (variables such as age, sex, race, income, occupation, education, household status, and geographical location); and Psychographics (variables such as activities, interests, opinions, product-use patterns, product benefits, and the topic of this research paper lifestyles).
Life Styles are much more than just how a person chooses to spend their extra income. It is a statement of who one is in society, and who one is not. The self definition of groups by it’s members is based on the common symbol system to which said group is dedicated.
If the lifestyle marketing perspective is used then we must look at patterns of behavior to understand the consumers. We can better understand how lifestyles and products are related by looking at consumer choices in a variety of product categories, and also by identifying the set of products and services that are associated with a type of lifestyle in a consumers’ mind.
In other words we must define the consumption constellations (sets of products used by consumers to define, communicate, and perform their social roles) and find out which products are complimentary to each other (product complementarity is when the symbolic meanings of products are related to each other).
Two households can share highly similar demographic characteristics and yet be wholly different due to the different personality traits and different lifestyles of the occupants. By combining personality variables and lifestyle preferences marketers got psychographics (the use of psychological, sociological and anthropological factors to determine how the market is segmented by the propensity of groups within the market, and their reasons to make a decision about a product, person, ideology, or otherwise hold an attitude or use a medium)
Demographics allow us to describe who buys, whereas Psychographics help us understand why they do. Psychographics is basically the separation of customers into categories depending on different choices in consumption activities, and product usage.
Marketers were always fascinated by the intangibles of consumer demand...