Every one of us is unique. Successful marketing increasingly means being able to cater to this fact. Whilst the flood of customer data today deliver 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 their regular customer base were 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 Australian population, with two thirds of them being female.

brain hormonesThe specific neurotransmitter and hormone mix that contributes to the constitution of this particular personality type is dominated by oxytocin, cortisol, noradrenalin & serotonin, which typically further increase as our brain ages. Particularly cortisol levels increase over time, and in every day life people often observe that as they grow older they get more security conscious, avoid outrageous risks, seek more stability, start wondering about insurances 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 form past experience, neurochemistry contributes its significant part. At the same time, up until the early to mid twenties, Dopamine and Testosterone tend to decrease, making us less risk taking, adventuresome, curious and competitive

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, insurances, pharmaceuticals, health care 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 consumers 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 signalize nature, trustworthiness and attainability. The in-store service needs to be caring, personal and absolutely consistent. Against all common trend, 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 tactical, human experience, a sense of nostalgia and security and will only ever adapt tested and proven brands and products.

So targeting doesn’t start at the behavioural level, it really starts at taping into the emotional needs and drivers of your target market and aligning all executions to resonate at an emotional level.