People’s identity is related to what they have. Nearly every product on the market is directed towards a certain group of people, whether it is based on their gender, age, or even their income level. Trying to target a particular group of people is one of advertisers biggest concerns. Some products, such as make-up, are always directed at females ranging from teenagers to middle age women, other products such as cars are usually directed at middle-age males. Advertisers could not care less who buys their product, but directing their ads towards a certain group of people will result in higher sales.
Though there are exceptions to the statement, “you are what you buy”, the product a consumer purchases is generally based on either their gender, age, or income level, just as the marketer intended. The majority of products on the market today are directed towards either a male or a female. Different toys, clothing, make-up, and even cars are just a few of the products normally directed towards a particular gender. Whether the advertisement has a male in it or it has a setting in the woods, it is clearly implying that the product is targeted towards males.
Just as if an advertisement has a pink background or all females in it, it is directed towards a female. It would be very awkward to have a male model for a commercial on cover girl products, because that product just was not made for a man. Nearly every toy is made for either a male or female. Looking at the toys I had when I was little such as GI Joes and Transformers, one would guess I was a little boy. Other toys I owned such as remote control cars or squirt guns would still generally be for a boy, but probably a boy who is a little bit older than I was when I was playing with action figures.
There are some toys I have owned my entire life like sports equipment that would still imply that the consumer was a male, but not of any particular age. Toys possibly suggesting the consumer was a little girl would include Barbie dolls, stuffed animals, or playhouses. Once the girl was more mature, she would probably move on to toys like light bright, or even board games once she has learned to read. After the consumer has passed the age of playing with toys, they are then bombarded with advertisements dealing with fashion, such as clothes or make-up.
All clothing is directed at one gender or another, as well as a certain age group. Just like almost all make-up is intended for females, because most make-ups are feminine products. Even some stores are directed at certain genders and groups of people. For instance some stores in a mall play loud music, have young male and female models in the windows, and are filled with young adults. Other stores may have older male and female models in the windows, be filled with older people, and have a soft classic beat in the background.
A person would most likely buy from the store that was directed towards them, because after all, your identity is based on what you buy. Men, generally are the targets for all automobiles. Not because they are the only gender to purchases cars, but because in most cases the gender who pays more attention to the automobile industry, and makes the final decision on the car to purchase, is the male. The advertisers for an automobile usually include key words such as precision or power to attract the male population, where the looks and style of the car are enough to attract the females, regardless of the text that goes along with it.
In some cases it is the complete opposite, and a female has the final say, but the advertisers still try to target the males because in most cases the male is the consumer. After the car is purchased it generally relates to the person’s identity that purchased it, whether it is an expensive luxurious car bought by an extravagant or wealthy person, or a plain more economical car for a person who is more conservative or on a stricter budget. The age group of the population targeted is another one of the bases for advertisements.
Certain things like vacations, furniture, and cars are all directed towards certain age groups. Some items may have a very large range of age groups they target, where different items will just single out a narrow range of age groups. Normally vacations are directed towards a more narrow age group of people, particularly the middle ages because they are the age group who are most likely to be able to afford a vacation. Younger people normally do not have the extra money to spend on a vacation, so advertisers generally target the middle-age generation with families, who probably would spend the most money.
Middle-age people are not the only ones, who can afford a vacation, but in general they have more money to spend; therefore they represent the group who purchases the vacations. Similar to vacations, furniture is also usually targeted towards the middle-age generation, for the same reason, they are the ones who can most likely afford it. Again this does not mean that anyone who is younger can not afford nice furniture, but that the majority of consumers who purchase expensive furniture are middle age. The stereotypical identity of a middle-age consumer is one who is most likely to purchase expensive furniture.
With this in mind the manufacturers try to direct their advertisements to the middle-age generation. A car is a product that can be directed towards any and all age groups over 16. Some of the advertisements, such as the ones for used cars are directed at everyone, whether they are young or old. Other advertisements for cars like luxury sedans or top end sport coupes are normally directed at the older, wealthier generation of people, because they are usually the ones who have the money to purchase these cars. In many ways my car represents my identity.
I drive a red, convertible sports car that would probably suggest I like nature. With the things I have added like decals on the windshield, chrome wheels, and a stereo, one would probably guess I was a young male. Different income levels are another determining factor of which an advertisement is directed. Clothing, cars, and electronics are all industries that try to target different income levels. A designer company is generally not going to try to target consumers with a tight budget, because they can not afford their products regardless of how much they appeal to them.
The more expensive companies more than likely will not mention the prices of their products, where a company that is directed towards a lower income population of consumers will most likely include the reasonable price at which they offer their products. Companies like Saks Fifth Avenue or Macy’s target a completely different class of people than most companies. Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s both direct their advertisements at a high-class elite group of people, because of the expensive products they sell. Advertisements greatly influence consumers in this area, because they set the standard for the higher-class consumers.
Other companies such as Kaufmann’s or Dillard’s try to offer a large selection of prices to people of all income levels, with the wide variety of brands they offer. Stores like K-Mart or Target represent the lower income, or possibly more conservative group of consumers, because of the economical prices they sell their merchandise for. Stores such as Goodwill or Salvation Army, in most cases, are for the lower income people who just can’t afford to shop at some of the larger companies. Cars are a product that often try to target consumers with a certain budget, as well as a particular gender or age.
The luxurious cars are always directed at the middle to upper class people, because unless a person works only to pay for their car, they generally cannot afford these cars with a low budget. Top end sports cars are also directed at the higher-class people for the same reason, that most people on a tighter budget cannot afford to purchase these automobiles. A Jaguar advertisement is not going to contain a teenager in it, because there is a very slim chance that any teenager can afford a Jaguar. Economical or used cars are usually directed towards people of all income levels, because nearly everyone with a driver’s license needs a car.
Electronics are another product that attempts to attract a diverse group of consumers. Generally all electronic departments offer a large variety of price tags because almost everyone has electronics of some value, from equipment for extravagant or wealthy people, to equipment for people who are more economical or have a lower income. Both consumers’ identities are revealed when the extravagant person tends to save up and purchase more expensive, better quality items, or when the conservative person tries to get the most for their money.
Generally people get their first impression of others, based on the products they appear in or with. This is not always a fair interpretation of a person, but unfortunately that is the way it usually works. Because “you are what you buy”, sometimes the people with a better image on the outside get more opportunities than the person does with the better image on the inside, which is sad, but true. Whether it is voluntary or involuntary, in most cases the consumer’s identity is reflected upon by the products they purchase, as far as the gender, age, or budget of that consumer is concerned.