Define self-image. How is it relevant for a marketer.

Explain the keyword "Self-Image". How does marketer is effected by the concept of Self-Image.

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"Traits, characteristics, qualities and mannerisms of behavior, all put together create the self-image of a person. This self-image arises out of the person’s background, values, lifestyles, experiences, etc. as well as interactions with parents, family, friends, peers etc. In terms of marketing also, we as consumers possess a self-image. Similar to relationship between self-concept and brand personality, there also exists a relationship between self-image and the brand personality. Consumers match the product and/or brand personalities, with their self-image, and buy those where they find a close or perfect match. In this manner they attempt to reaffirm and preserve their self-image. Based on findings from research undertaken in consumer behavior, various kinds of self-images have been identified, viz., actual self-image (how a consumer perceive himself), ideal self-image (how he would like to perceive himself), social self-image (how a consumer feels others perceive him, or how they think of him), ideal social self-image (how the consumer would like others to perceive him), and expected self-image (how the consumer expects to see himself in future). The expected self-image refers to something that lies between the actual and the ideal self-image, in other words, it is something what the consumer would like to be. It needs to be mentioned here that very often consumers’ seek to “alter their self”, and try and go for a personality change, for example they could go in for fashion apparel, grooming and cosmetic surgery, etc., and try and reach an ideal self. As a consumer, which of the self-images comes into play would depend upon the i) product/service offering and, ii) the situational factors, which would include social visibility of purchase and usage, and the importance/relevance of the purchase for the person’s self-image. For example for convenience goods or day-to-day household goods, the consumer would base his purchase on his actual self-image. On the other hand, for shopping goods or specialty goods, he would be guided by the social selfimage or the ideal self-image. This could have implications for a marketer in terms of market segmentation and positioning. Self-image can be used as a basis to segment the market, and the marketer can then position his product/service offering as a symbol of such self-images. Source:"

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