SELF CONCEPT Consumer Behaviour

Self Concept in Consumer Behaviour

Self-concept can be described simply as how one perceives himself and his behavior in the market place. It is the attitude one holds towards himself. What one thinks of himself. The self concept is not very realistic because an unconscious component is always present. It can be divided into six types, as given below:

  1. Actual self: How a person actually perceives himself.
  2. Ideal self: How a person would like to perceive himself.
  3. Social self: How a person thinks others perceive him.
  4. Ideal social self: How a person would like others to perceive him.
  5. Expected self: An image of self somewhere in between the actual and ideal self.
  6. Situational self: A person’s self image in a specific situation.

Self-concept is a social phenomenon. It is an attitude to the self. Consequently, the way we dress, the products we use, the services we require, depend on how we want to perceive ourselves. There is a relationship between the self-image of a person and the product one wants to buy. Products act as symbols for consumers.

People like to use the products which match their personality. These include clothing,leisure products, personal care products. Marketers want an idea of the self-concept and the image of the brand. This can be done on a differential scale of 1 to 7 of several items as shown on next page.

Self Concept

First the consumers are asked to rate their self-concept on the differential scale. Then they are asked to rate product brands on the same scales. The responses that watch with the brands are expected to be preferred by consumers.
After matching the self-concept with the brand image, the individual tries to find products for his satisfaction. If he is satisfied, his self-concept gets reinforced as shown in the figure.

Relationship-between-self-concept and brand image influence

The interaction between the product and self-concept can be situation specific. In some situations, the self-concept can be enhanced or reinforced to a lesser or higher degree. Marketers use these tools as a guide to product and brand choices.


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