Thursday, October 31, 2013

online assignment #2, Kexin Jiang

My VALS survey result suggests that I am primarily an experiencer and secondly an innovator. Before taking the survey, I have already taken a look at the descriptions of all these kinds and I have not expected this result. But actually it is very interesting because when I read the descriptions again for the two types that VALS categorizes myself, I feel like there are some traits showing that I belong to these types. The experiencers are described to be having most energy in “exercise, sports, outdoor recreation, and social activities.” As for me, I would like to do some sports or hangout with my friends rather than staying at home. I admit that I spend a lot on entertainment such as fashion, games, or traveling. But the trait that “becoming enthusiastic about new possibilities but are equally quick to cool” does not apply to myself. I am actually a very rational person and do not easily get enthusiastic about many things. And if I find something I really love, I will devote as much time as I can to do this thing. As for the second type, the innovators are depicted to be “successful, sophisticated, take-charge people with high self-esteem.” I always want to be a successful person and a leader but I am actually a kind of simple person with not very sophisticated background or life experience. Also as a consumer, I prefer products that are fashionable, not always certainly things that are niche or upscale. But in general, the results are very interesting to me, and make me think about a lot of things like how I perceive myself.

Online Assignment #2, Chris Picazo

The VALS survey gave a depiction of myself that I would not have considered before taking the survey.  There are some traits that I agree with, but there are others that I do not see.  The primary VALS type I received is an achiever.  These people are motivated by desire and achievement and a goal-oriented lifestyle.  They also respect authority and are interested in time-saving products because of busy lives.  I can definitely agree with those characteristics about myself.  There are certain characteristics that achievers possess that I do not think match my personality whatsoeverI would also think I am the exact opposite of being active in marketplace and my favorite types of products are generic and cheap.  Brand name of products does not affect my purchasing decision.  Also, my favorite things definitely do not include Honda or Every day with Rachel Ray.  The other two are a strong possibility.  The secondary VALS type I received was innovator.  It says image is important based on taste or personality.  I really do not care about my image or what others think about me.  Also, it says an innovator tends to live a life with characterized by variety whereas an achiever lives a life of predictability.  I guess I would like to live a somewhere in-between both of those, but definitely not swayed to only one side.  I also do not think I have a very high self esteem, but I would consider myself a take charge person.  Once again, my favorite things do not include BMW or Wired. I do enjoy a rewarding experience and an occasional glass of sparkling water.

Online Assignment #2, Ayla Kress

         After taking the VALS survey I was categorized as firstly an innovator and then secondly as an experiencer. I feel that both categorizations correctly describe me as a person for the most part and only slightly differ from how I truly visualize myself. The innovator describes a person as “successful, sophisticated, take-charge” type of people, I’ve always strived to be as successful as I can be and was raised in a generally blessed sophisticated family with lots of variety as described by the VALS survey. I believe that creating an image for yourself is important as your reputation follows you everywhere, however being humble is also important to me, which could seem to go against the description of an innovator. Secondly, the “experiencer” categorization also fits me to a T; it’s described as a “young, enthusiastic, and impulsive consumer… motivated by self-expression.” I have always been looking to discover new things in the world, take risks, and live life to its fullest. I am a very active, outdoorsy person as well. I have been this way for most of my life as I have travel from a very young age and lived in many different parts of the world. Following the description of the VALS experiencer I also spend a large portion of my budget on entertainment and fashion such as concerts, vacations and shopping. Overall I feel the VALS survey is an accurate general description of me as a person touching on my love to live life to its fullest and take charge in doing so.

Online Assignment #2, Courtney Kessler

Upon completion of the online VALS survey, it was determined I am an Experiencer/Innovator as my primary motivation and resources types respectively. The descriptions of Experiencer is pretty fitting to how I see myself and I dare say, how other people see me as well.  Despite that, I’d equate this system to a horoscope prediction on steroids. Sure, it uses questions and algorithms to determine who fits into which category, but after reading the description of each of the types, I believe I could fit into many of the aspects of each type. I understand that the point is to put people into neat boxes by which type they are most fit with in order to gain insightful consumer information.  I am therefore skeptical because the questions asked did not lead to an accurate portrayal of my consumption and purchasing habits, which is the main purpose, although I do in fact enjoy having “cool” stuff and being “risky”, I usually can’t afford either. The highly flattering Innovator description makes me wish I fit into more, but my resources are far from abundant. I suppose given them, and not having to worry about being broke and affording things like food, I’d love to get at some “niche products and services” and cultivate my tastes. I suppose the non-conformist in me is being far too critical of this simple survey. If it is so widely used, it must produce successful results. Overall, I find it fairly discouraging that people can be categorized and manipulated into buying certain goods or services so easily as I’d like to think we are more complex beings. I think this sort of idea has the potential to operate to serve more than as a means of improving advertising companies’ profit margins as well.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Online Assignment #2, Brendan Fellenz

I thought that the VALS report provided a very interesting depiction of myself.  Although there were some views that I disagreed with, many of the attributes of the categories I received were fairly accurate as well.
For the Secondary VALS type, I received the Innovator.  Innovators are supposedly successful, have high self-esteem, take-charge, and are receptive to new technology.  They also say that Innovators value their image in order to express taste, image, and personality.  Although I wouldn’t call myself wrapped up in my image, I would say that the way I present myself is due to those three characteristics.  I also agree with most of the descriptive words used to describe Innovators, however the Favorite Things list didn’t feature any actual favorites (maybe sparkling water).
For my Primary VALS type, I was told I was an Experiencer.  I was surprised at how accurate some of their depictions of me seemed to be.  I am a very enthusiastic person, and can be pretty impulsive sometimes.  I also definitely spend a fair share of my spending money on entertainment and social activities.  Even the Favorite Things list features things I enjoy such as Rolling Stone magazine, VW vans, and being entertained.
In general I don’t find it effective to categorize people in a way such as this, but the fact that based on a short survey they were able to come to a conclusion on my characteristics and interests is very impressive.  Even though the survey was not perfectly accurate, I can understand why this could be useful to better understand consumer behavior.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Online Assignment #2, Mike Anheuser

My VALS results labeled me primarily as a striver and secondarily as an experiencer. I am impressed by how accurate this short survey portrayed my personality. If there is one thing I want to be seen as, it's fun loving. I truly think it is a waste of precious time to "sweat the small stuff". In addition, I'd rather not admit, but I do at times lack a sense of long-term focus like strivers do. As a consumer, I have been known to make impulse buys, but certainly within my financial boundaries. The one characteristic of a striver that doesn't apply to my personality is defining success by the dollar. Money is not the only thing in life. Friends, family and new experiences are what I look forward to each and every day.

My secondary category, experiencer, definitely compliments my personality. I am always showing brief enthusiasm about new possibilities, only to see it fade. Whether it be joining a new club, studying abroad, or even changing my major, I rarely follow through on these actions. As many experiencers do, I participate in multiple sports and social activities as an energy outlet. There is only so much time I can spend sitting on the couch watching TV before I regain the urge to do something. Lastly, I used to worried about buying what is "cool" and what would make me look good, but this is the one trait of experiencers that I do not posses. I've come to realize that there are more important aspects to living a healthy and successful life.

This survey was obviously not perfect, as I am sure I exhibit a few traits from each VALS category, but overall, it did a solid job of trying to label my personality.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Research Report, Week 9, Marcus Shannon

Not all publicity is good publicity
                “All publicity is good publicity.” In this article by Peter S. Goodman argues against the claim that all publicity is good publicity.  In this article Goodman brings up three different companies that received a lot of media recognition, yet it was not helpful in any way. He cites the BP oil spill, Goldman playing the banking market and Toyota’s faulty gas pedal as three types of publicity that did more damage than good to the company’s image.
 All of these events occurred around 2010, making Goodman’s examples relevant to both the time and his area. These companies took huge losses and the damage to their reputations will affect them economically for a while.  It was only fitting for an economic journalist and author of a book titled “The end of easy money”, to write this story; his expertise on the area allows for credible insight.     
                Peter S. Goodman is an American economics journalist and author. His newspaper career started in Kyoto writing for the Japan Times. When Goodman came back to the United States in 1993, he returned to school at California Berkley. He later worked for the Washington Post and the New York Times and was a national correspondent during the financial crisis of 2008. Goodman wrote this story in 2010 for the New York Times, giving a few pointers of what not to do when a crisis happens.
                Goodman puts in three great titles for each crisis, “A Disaster, Made Worse” (BP), “Squandered Good Will” (Toyota), and “A Laser Focus on Profits” (Goldman Sachs). He brought three prime examples of how the three crises were handled badly. BP put together advertising that no one wanted to see; their CEO was quoted saying “I would like my life back too” which reporters used against the company and they lied about the amount of oil spilled which killed their credibility. Toyota went a different way and said that something was wrong but only gave out information when it became a problem. Goldman was shown to just be profit driven, with no regard for their customers.

                This story was very well written and gave great insight about what not to do when you are in a crisis. A comment about the story said “It was 5,000 words of wisdom and illustrates the need for worst case scenario planning in advance with a team that knows the personalities good and bad.” Goodman says it is better to lay it all out there and leave nothing out because someone will find out; people that say everything up front have a much easier time recovering. He also says that every business should have a crisis plan so that when is gets to the crunch time you can lay it all out on the table and work on recovering instead of covering up your mistakes. The claim that honesty is the best defense is proven true. People wouldn’t have been as mad if every business given them the truth.  

Online Assignment #2, Cassidy Neuville

After taking the survey, my primary VALS type is Experiencer and my secondary type is Achiever. I certainly agree with these types as they describe who I am as a person and a consumer. According to this website, an Experiencer is known as someone "motivated by self-expression" and people that "quickly become enthusiastic about new possibilities but are equally quick to cool." As a person, I can quickly become enthusiastic about new possibilities within my life, but can easily calm myself down. I also am someone that tends to buy things impulsively without looking at the overall pros and cons of the product. Along with the other characteristic of an Experiencer which involves being motivated by self-expression, I am also motivated "by the desire for achievement" which is a description of the Achiever type on the website. As I turn to my outlet of dance, I am equally motivated by self-expression and also by my desire for achievement. As the website describes Achievers as "active in the consumer marketplace", they also describe how "Image is important to Achievers; they favor established, prestige products and services that demonstrate success to their peers". Although I hate to admit it, I am a consumer that buys the latest fashions and newest technologies, not necessarily to show off my success, but partially because I have an expensive taste and because I am someone who finds a first impression crucial for several important opportunities within someone’s life. In that sense, I believe a person’s image is not at all everything about a person, but it should be thought about by individuals on how they want to present themselves to others since in today's society it is looked at with great meaning. Also, another description of the Achiever type is that they have "goal-oriented lifestyles and a deep commitment to career and family" which is completely how I am. When it all comes down to it, I work hard at school and have many goals for myself to achieve, but ultimately my family is the most important part of my life. Overall, I believe that with how I am as a person, the VALS types of Experiencer and Achiever accurately describe who I am as a consumer. 

Online Assignment #2, Sawyer Olson

The VALS survey categorized me primarily as an Experiencer, and secondarily as an Achiever. I believe both of these apply to me, especially Experiencer. I have always had an enormous amount of energy and love to exert it doing things that I love. The website describes an Experiencer as, “motivated by self-expression. Young, enthusiastic, and impulsive consumers.” The impulsivity of my personality is certainly reflected by my actions as a consumer. I am not easily impressed by advertisements or new fashions or trends, but when I am, I am quick to be someone who owns or knows a lot about it. The outlet I have for my energy is music. I am a performer. I love to be in front of people, and I enjoy impressing people with my skill, creativity, and ambition to try new things. The website also states that an Experiencer likes to be entertained. As much as I love to entertain others, I equally enjoy seeing other performers with great musical talent. Achiever also applies to me because I like to be recognized for what I do. I work hard in various areas of my life, and I appreciate it when I am affirmed by someone who realizes the work that I have done. I am surprised that Striver was not one of the characteristics I applied to. I am certainly trendy, fun loving, and motivated by achievement, so Striver could have worked well for me. Overall, I consider myself to be an extrovert. I believe Experiencer, Achiever, and Striver support that claim and do well at describing who I am as a consumer.