Every one of us is unique. Successful marketing increasingly means being able to cater to this fact.
Whilst the flood of customer data today delivers more and more information on how customers behave, enabling more targeted campaigns, one question remains unanswered: Why do customers behave the way they do? What are the driving forces behind these behaviours which we then can observe?
Introducing Mrs Balance
In a recent client research study, we found that more than 50% of this client’s regular customer base was a particular personality type – the Harmoniser, AKA, Mrs Balance.
Mrs Balance is socially-oriented, family-minded and a creature of habit. Once she is won over, she’s extremely loyal. Besides sharing care, cake and compliments, she also most openly shares all her life experiences including those when shopping. Together, Harmonisers make up 34% of the Australian population, with two-thirds of them being female.
The specific neurotransmitter and hormone mix that contributes to the constitution of this particular personality type is dominated by oxytocin, cortisol, noradrenalin and serotonin, which typically further increase as our brain ages.
Particularly, cortisol levels increase over time, and in everyday life, people often observe that as they grow older they get more security conscious, avoid outrageous risks, seek more stability, start wondering about insurance for the family, choose less risky sports or notice that routines become more dominant in their lives.
Whilst this is also a consequence of life stage, social expectations and lessons learnt from past experience, neurochemistry contributes its significant part.
What drives Mrs Balance?
Consumers with a strong emphasis on the balance system seek safety, stability, and harmony and try to avoid danger, change and uncertainty. Tradition, family and home play a strong role in the balance system of the human brain (as first described by Dr Hans-Georg Haeusel).
Buying motives that originate from the balance system become particularly noticeable in purchases of security products like alarm and locking systems, airbags, insurance, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and wellness products, but also home accessories, pets, gardening, cookware and furniture.
The balance-driven shopper wants quality and personal service. They prefer well-established brands with a good value price proposition. Balance-driven shopper types are also the only ones who still read catalogues to inform themselves about products.
What if Mrs Balance is your core consumer type?
Successful brands or products generate strong feelings in the limbic system of the consumer’s mind. So the stronger a recipient is emotionally activated by an advertising message, store display or packaging, the higher their attention, the faster their processing and the better the chances that a brand makes it into their heart and shopping basket.
But in order to achieve this critical emotional activation, and to ultimately turn it into a purchase decision, it is necessary to project an emotional image that is acceptable to its target market, in this case Mrs Balance.
Brand and marketing cues need to signalise nature, trustworthiness and attainability.
The in-store service needs to be caring, personal and absolutely consistent. Against all common trends, where catalogue readership has decreased dramatically in Australia while online and mobile have grown significantly with regards to the pre-research stage, this is not true for Mrs Balance. She still indulges in reading the print catalogue and barely goes online to research or purchase their product.
Overall Mrs Balance is 100% less likely than the average consumer to own and use a tablet, PC or smartphone.
Why? Because Mrs Balance loves the tactile, human experience, a sense of nostalgia and security, and will only ever adopt tested and proven brands and products.
So targeting doesn’t start at the behavioural level, it really starts at tapping into the emotional needs and drivers of your target market and aligning all executions to resonate at an emotional level.
Katharina Kuehn is the director of RDG Insights.