What is Psychographics?

Psychography studies the preferences, thoughts and beliefs of people.

  • Its name comes from “Psycho” – from Greek: Mind, and “Graphics“: to Describe.
    • Psychology, on the other hand, Studies the Mind: “Logy” means to Study.

 

It describes what and how we think, generally, with a specific purpose:

  • To sell us something.

 

To do this, Marketing experts classify the different traits that best describe customer preferences.

  • This classification is commonly known as Psychographic Segmentation.

 

We propose you the Psychographic Segmentation that we find most useful:

Psychographic Segmentation

Lifestyle: How people perceive life and how they live it.

  • How do they perceive Wealth?
  • What Habits do people have?
  • What role does Culture play in their lives?
  • etc.

 

Interests: What are people interested in?

  • What type of Music do they like?
  • Do they like Sports?
  • Do they like to Travel?
  • etc.

 

Opinions: What do people think of the world in which they live?

  • Are they interested in Politics?
  • What Prejudices do they have?
  • Which Economic model do they find most attractive?
  • etc.

 

Values: What do people believe in?

  • Are they Religious?
  • What Traditions do they have?
  • What role do their Families play in their lives?
  • etc.

 

As you can see in the image above, Values are very important because they can indicate where people will move in the future.

  • The other factors vary over the years, but Values last longer.

 

Now, let’s see a first example:

Psychographics example

 

Think about these 2 Sports: Golf and Basketball.

 

To play basketball and enjoy it, you need 2 things:

  • Be relatively young.
  • Be 2 meters tall.

 

Together with football (soccer) it is one of the cheapest Sports to play.

  • You can play it anywhere providing you have a “basket”.

 

 

These “demographic” factors, like it or not, come together with certain psychographic factors:

Generally speaking, people interested in Basketball:

  • Tend to have a “young mind” (in a good way; they are, or feel, young).
  • They tend to like “sportswear” and casual clothes.
  • They probably listen to Pop or Rock music.
  • etc.

 

On the other hand, Golf is one of the most expensive Sports to play.

  • However, you don’t need a very good physical condition to enjoy it.

 

Of course, you can play it even if you are young, but most people interested in Golf are “older” people.

  • Young people generally would prefer a little more “action”, even if they can afford it.

 

Being “old” and relatively wealthy, the psychographic factors you might expect are:

  • Give importance to personal wealth.
  • Listen to “classical” music or at least… not current music.
  • Being more interested in formal clothes.
  • Be probably interested in luxury products.
  • etc.

 

If you were designing a Marketing campaign aimed at Basketball or Golf fans, you should take these psychographic factors into account.

We know what you are thinking right now:

  • These are generalizations that are not always correct“.

 

When you generalize, you fail 30% of the time.

  • But, a 70% success rate is better than nothing.

 

Also, if you want to increase your chances of success, you should study Psychography alongside Demography.

Don’t you know the difference?

Psychographics vs Demographics

Demography studies populations, according to quantitative factors:

  • How many men and women are there.
  • How many people of each race are there.
  • Their height and weight.
  • How old they are.
  • etc.

You can literally “take a picture” of a Demographic factor, with a camera.

 

On the other hand, Psychography studies their preferences:

  • Tastes.
  • Interests.
  • Values.
  • Beliefs.
  • etc.

 

These factors, although they can sometimes correlate with demographic factors (specially “age”) create a completely different way of describing and understanding people.

  • “Age” is the demographic factor that best predicts certain preferences.

Now that you know what is Psychography and how you can use it…

 

… It is time to see some examples.

Psychographics examples

We have chosen examples of similar products that have relatively different customers.

  • In this way, you’ll visualize how psychographic factors can be used and why they are importat.

 

Let’s begin:

BMW and Mercedes - Psychographics example

 

BMW and Mercedes make relatively similar cars.

  • Perhaps not in the final design, but in the materials, quality, price…

 

However, BMW has been years associating its name to the next phychographic factors:

  • Intrepid.
  • Young-minded.
  • Successful.
  • etc.

They even sponsored some James Bond movies where BMW vehicles played an important role.

  • Specially in Goldeneye.

Pierce Bronsnan as James Bond: The epitome of BMW consumer.

 

However, Mercedes has targeted customers with other preferences:

  • Interest in wealth.
  • Classic style.
  • Less intrepid habits.
  • etc.

 

Again, we are generalizing but… Think of the people you know with a BMW and with a Mercedes.

  • Are we so wrong?

Rolex vs Patek Philippe - Psychographics example

 

We assume you know Rolex… Everybody does.

  • In case you don’t know Patek Philippe, it is one of the most prestigious watchmakers in the world.

 

Now, let’s see how these companies use phychography.

 

If you see Patek Philippe advertisements, you’ll see that they target:

  • People with high family values.
  • Discrete people.
  • People with classic preferences.
  • etc.

 

In most of their ads, they show, people who share good times with their family.

Patek philippe advertisement.

 

On the other hand, what are Rolex customers interested in?

  • Self.
  • Sports.
  • Challenges.
  • etc.

 

In their ads, they highlight “individuality”, Sport and Challenges:

Rolex advertisement.

 

We could say that:

  • Patek Philippe targets people who come from a wealthy family.
  • Rolex targets “nouveau riche” who have made themselves.

 

And it makes sense: if you want to show off how well you’re doing … buy a Rolex.

  • Everyone knows Rolex.

PlayStation vs Nintendo - Psychographics example

 

PlayStation and Nintendo: So close yet so far.

 

If you know something about video games, you’ll know that PlayStation and Nintendo target very different customers.

  • You only have to watch their game catalog.

 

PlayStation targets players interested in:

  • Sports.
  • Action and adrenaline.
  • Violence (nothing serious, of course).
  • etc.

PlayStation – God of War.

 

Nintendo, targets people with other interests:

  • Good vibes.
  • Cooperation instead of Competition.
  • Familiar content.
  • etc.

Nintendo – Zelda.

 

The psychographic factors targeted and highlighted are very different and not just because PlayStation targets more adult customers.

  • Both companies target customers between the ages of 10 and 18 in a very different way.

Summarizing

Psychography studies the preferences, thoughts and beliefs of people.

  • It describes what interests us.

 

In Marketing, psychography plays an important role in attracting customers.

 

We propose you the next Psychographic Segmentation:

  • Lifestyle: How people perceive life and how they live it.
  • Interests: What are people interested in?
  • Opinions: What do people think of the world in which they live?
  • Values: What do people believe in?

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