Having completed the VALS, I must say that I agree with the results that I have obtained to some degree. According to the results that I obtained from the test, I was best described as an ‘experiencer’ (my primary type) and an ‘innovator’ (my secondary type) of sorts.
Strategic Business Insights defines an ‘experiencer’ as “[a] young, enthusiastic, and impulsive consumer.” ‘Experiencers’ are also defined as individuals who “find an outlet in exercise, sports, outdoor recreation, and social activities.” To that end, the test was able to capture my characteristics to a reasonable level – I am a young and rather enthusiastic individual. Nevertheless, I disagreed with the latter description. I am not obsessed with exercising – I only actively participate in one sport – swimming. I largely agreed with the rest of the descriptors, however. Moreover, I disagreed with the ‘favourite things’ list. Firstly, I am certainly not a big fan of VW – indeed, there is not a single brand of car that I like. Rather, I much prefer riding bikes and taking public transport. Secondly, I do not like Red Bull, because of the (perceived) harmful chemicals that are present in these drinks. I agreed with the other ideas/products in the list, however.
On the other hand, I do believe that I do fit the characteristics of an innovator better. Strategic Business Insights defines an ‘innovator’ as “change leaders [who] are the most receptive to new ideas and technologies.” Moreover, an ‘innovator’ is defined as being “very active consumers, [whose] purchases reflect cultivated tastes for upscale, niche products and services.” To that end, I am extremely welcoming of new ideas and technologies. I also try to buy objects with careful consideration. Another striking descriptor of innovators is given: “Image is important too Innovators.” This statement rang close to home for me, primarily because of my Asian background – I definitely saw parallels between this statement and the concept of ‘face,’ as seen in many Asian cultures. I also generally agreed with the ‘favourite things’ list that was given for an innovator. However, I strongly disagreed with a BMW as being one of my ‘favourite things.’ This is in part because I find luxury cars to be extremely pointless, and a status symbol.
To some extent, this psychographics analysis was successful at capturing my personality and interests. I was particularly shocked at how the ‘innovators’ list described me so fittingly. Nonetheless, I do believe that this test completely failed at capturing my idiosyncrasies. For instance, it assumed that all individuals preferred one specific type of car (as evidenced by the various brands that were given for different types of people). I attribute this failure to the limited range of questions that were asked from me.