Okay, so I enjoyed my homework project last night to the point where I continued doing it after I’d finished the assignment. It was an assignment for my Advertising Research class where we experimented with VALS (psychographic) and PRIZM (psychographic/geodemographic). Because I’m an easily excited nerd, I just wanted to share my findings and thoughts for the PRIZM research.
I’m from a fairly small town in the suburbs in Maryland. I frequently describe this suburban town as a bubble, as nearly everyone fits a very stereotypical image, which are perfectly described by our five segments: Blue Blood Estates, Brite Lites Li’l City, Movers and Shakers, Upper Crust and Winner’s Circle. Highlights include our “manicured lawns, high-end cars and exclusive private clubs,” which perfectly describes the neighborhood adjacent to mine. They have a clubhouse and a golf course, and most residents are middle aged with or without kids, with six-figure incomes and graduate or post-graduate degrees. The most popular car, I believe, would be the Lexus, which is predicted in the description of the Upper Crust segment. Nearby, we have the “upscale mall” with stores like Crate & Barrel, Ann Taylor and Nordstrom. Locally, we have the small businesses, predicted in Movers and Shakers. Most homes in our area include one, if not two, home offices. Many people in our community enjoy skiing, eating out, shopping and travelling (and bragging about it).
It seems that PRIZM has my area stereotyped to a tee. They know that people living in my area have money and they are willing to spend it on high-end products and services. They know that we are educated and very settled into our lives here. They know to position products to a very image-centric crowd as upscale, “cool” and greatly desirable. Good products to advertise include luxury vehicles, expensive kitchenware, home furnishings and clothing, especially from boutiques. They can also advertise recreational activities such as golf and travel, as most are wealthy and many are retired. Good places to advertise include business magazines and newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal.
Since this was my first research class, I must say that until this point I had severely underestimated the abilities of advertising research, and I am excited to learn more about what research can do.