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Int. Journal of Economics and Management 5(1): 283 – 298 (2011)

ISSN 1823 - 836X

Lifestyle – A Tool for Understanding Buyer Behavior
JayaSrEE KrIShNaN St Joseph’s College of Engineering, India

ABSTRACT
This study emphasizes the importance of lifestyle and its influence on the consumer’s purchase behavior. The main purpose of this study is to empirically examine the association between the consumers’ general life styles and their consumption pattern. aIO measure was used to identify the lifestyle dimensions of the consumers. The study confirmed that there was a significant association between the lifestyle of the consumers and the brands of products used by them. From the study it was concluded that consumers often choose products, services and activities over other because they are associated with a certain lifestyle. The products are the buildings blocks of lifestyle, marketers should therefore, have a complete idea of these changing lifestyles so as to segment them and position their products successfully Keywords: Lifestyle, purchase decision, brand choice behavior

The Lifestyle of individuals has always been of great interest to marketers. They deal with everyday behaviorally oriented facets of people as well as their feelings, attitudes, interests and opinion. a lifestyle marketing perspective recognizes that people sort themselves into groups on the basis of the things they like to do, how they like to spend their leisure time and how they choose to spend their disposable income. The lifestyle concept was introduced by Bell (1958), rainwater, Coleman and handel (1959), and havinhurst and Feigenbaum (1959) as close to 1950s, pointing to its potential significance in understanding, explaining and predicting consumer behavior. William Lazer introduced the concept of lifestyle patterns and its relationship to marketing, in 1963. He defined life style pattern as a systems concept. lt refers to a distinctive or characteristic mode of living, in its aggregate and broadest sense,

* Corresponding author: E-mail: jayasree.krishnan@gmail.com, jayasreegin@yahoo.co.uk any remaining errors or omissions rest solely with the author(s) of this paper.

International Journal of Economics and Management

of a whole society or segment thereof... The aggregate of consumer purchases, and the manner in which they are consumed, reflect a society’s [or] consumer’s lifestyle Moore (1963) suggested still another definition of lifestyle to bridge conceptual and operational interpretations of the term. The term “life style”,uggests a patterned way of life into which [people] fit various products, events or resources. It suggests that consumer purchasing is an interrelated, patterned phenomenon...products are bought as part of a “life style package”. Lifestyle is an important concept used in segmenting markets and understanding target customers, which is not provided by the study of demographics alone. Many researchers have focused on identifying the lifestyle of the consumers’ to have better information about them. Demographics alone do not give a complete picture of the consumer, thus hampering the marketer in segmenting the market to its full potential (Cooper, 1984). Bone (1991) indicates that the use of demographic characteristics such as age, income and employment status can be misleading factors while segmenting markets. The use of chronological age as a tool for segmentation is not as closely related to purchase behavior as the psychological age (Barak & rahtz,1989; Barots, 1980) . Though income is highly related to buying behavior, it is generally used in segmenting the market; but it does not take into consideration factors such as activities, interest, health (Bone,1991; Burnett & Wilkes, 1985-86; Moehrle, 1990). Social class adds a greater depth to demographics but it has to be supplemented by other information to give a meaningful insight of the individual characteristics. Lifestyle segmentation has been a very...
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