At the beginning of the chapter, we explained that two consumers (say, you and your best friend) can be similar in age, personality, gender, and so on but still purchase very different products. If you have ever watched the television show Wife Swap, you can see that despite people’s similarities (e.g., being middle-class Americans who are married with children), their lifestyles can differ radically.
To better understand consumers and connect with them, companies have begun looking more closely at consumers’ lifestyles. This often includes asking consumers to fill out extensive questionnaires or conducting in-depth interviews with them. The questionnaires go beyond asking people about the products they like, where they live, and what sex they are. Instead, researchers ask people what they do—that is, how they spend their time and what their priorities, values, and general outlooks on the world are. Where do they go other than work? Who do they like to talk to? What do they talk about? Researchers hired by Procter & Gamble have gone so far as to follow women around for weeks as they shop, run errands, and socialize with one another. 1 Other companies have paid people to keep a daily journal of their activities and routines.