Speaking at SIAL in Paris this week, Jean-Louis Prata, R&D director at IME (Institute of Environmental Medicine) and INC (Institute of NeuroCognitivism), and Christine Menard, marketing specialist and partner of IME-INC, outlined eight different personality types that they claim shape our purchasing decisions – as well as the way product developers work together and come up with new ideas.
The eight types are: philosopher, innovator, facilitator, manager, strategist, team member, competitor, and interdependent.
Each of us has more than one personality type, Prata said, with a handful of primary and secondary personality traits working together, meaning that some decisions are based on deeply held values, while others are based on how people think they should behave and what they have been taught.
“Since we understood this, we developed a training programme,” Menard said through an interpreter. She said that the programme was designed to teach product developers to move away from a habitual way of thinking and “how to switch on your creative mental mode.”
In addition, the idea is to make communication more fluid between teams.
“In any company, some people might have great ideas but you don’t listen to them. You have got to be open to accepting the ideas of others,” she said.
How can this be used for marketing?
Helping R&D personnel understand the way they can tap into their most creative ways of thinking is one aspect of this, but these theories have potential to help marketers too, says Menard.
“Of course, it makes it possible to better understand customers and communicate on values of interest to people – and not to communicate on anti-values, making a faux pas.”
Prata added that brands often have many different attributes that could be played up or down depending on the target consumer.
“Look at the brands: Can I offer a brand on this market that’s not offered? Or can I offer a brand that meets the deep needs of the personalities of my target market?” he said, also speaking through an interpreter.
Menard said that consumers are saturated with marketing messages, yet often are looking for certain values in brands that are meaningful to them, whether that’s luxury, exoticism, sensory pleasure or ethical production.